Microsoft Cofounder Paul Allen Sues Google, Facebook, Apple, eBay & Other Web Giants for Patent Infringement

Wall St. Journal:  “They’re the everyday fixtures of the Internet experience: pop-up stock quotes on a website, suggestions for related reading near a news article, videos along the side of your screen.  Now, Microsoft Corp. co-founder Paul Allen says he owns the technology behind all these ideas, and he’s demanding that some of the world’s top Web companies pay up to use them.”

Are Business-Method Patents on Life Support?

Wall St. Journal:  “To us, there’s something oddly comforting when the Supreme Court justices all appear on the same page in a case; when Justice Scalia’s comments echo Justice Breyer’s, which, in turn, echo Chief Justice Roberts’s.  If all these big brains see a case the same way, we tend to think, they must really be right.  Judging from the tenor of the arguments on Monday, this seems to be the way things are likely to play out in In Re Bilski, one of the larger cases of the term.”

Software Patents: A Personal Story – Big Co Threatens Start-up

A real-life story about how a big company with a lot of money threatened a small start-up company with patent infringement.

The other day, I received a phone call from a friend who has been building a kick-ass startup. That friend had been contacted by a much larger competitor with what amounted to an ultimatum: shut down and come work for us, or we’ll crush you with a patent infringement suit. My friend’s startup didn’t cave in–in fact, my friend even went through the trouble of sharing a pile of incontrovertible prior art with the competitor. The competitor was unimpressed, and my friend’s startup is now facing a potentially ruinous lawsuit.

Microsoft Wins Reversal of Uniloc $388 Million Patent Verdict  “Microsoft Corp., the world’s biggest maker of computer software, won a ruling that throws out a $388 million jury verdict over a patent on software used to deter piracy.   U.S. District Judge William Smith in Providence, Rhode Island, yesterday [September 29, 2009] vacated the April verdict.  The jury had found that Microsoft violated a patent owned by Uniloc Singapore Private Ltd. and Uniloc USA Inc., which claimed Microsoft wrongfully used their security technology to earn billions of dollars.”

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