Tag Archives: software

The Good, The Bad And/Or The Ugly

In case you have been on vacation for the past two weeks, here is a quick update of some major developments in the intellectual property arena. Depending on your position, they may represent the “good,” the “bad” or the “ugly.” Alice Corporation Supreme Court Decision Yesterday, in the Alice Corporation case, the Supreme Court provided further comment on patent-eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101 in the computer software context.  The patent claims-at-issue were directed to “a computerized scheme for mitigating ‘settlement risk.’”  The Court held, in part, that “the claims at issue [were] drawn to the abstract idea of intermediated settlement, and that merely requiring generic computer implementation fails to transform that abstract idea into a patent-eligible invention.”  The takeaway is that merely reciting a computer system configured to implement an abstract concept will not be patent-eligible subject matter. Rader Resigns As previously reported, Federal Circuit Judge Randall Rader stepped down as chief judge last month in the midst of criticism over his controversial e-mail.  Last week, Judge Radar announced that he will be retiring from the bench at the end of the month.  He intends to teach. Washington Redskins Trademarks Cancelled On June 18, 2014, the Trademark Trail and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) in the Amanda Blackhorse matter cancelled Pro-Football, Inc.’s trademark registrations consisting in whole or in part for the term REDSKINS for professional football-related services.  The marks were cancelled because they were found to be disparaging to Native Americans and as such, were obtained in violation of 15 U.S.C. §1052(a), which prohibits “registration of marks that may disparage persons or bring them into contempt or disrepute.”  The TTAB was quick to point out that its decision solely related to the right to register these marks and does not deal with the right to use such marks. This is an important distinction as this case will surely be appealed and does not extinguish any common law enforcement rights that may exist. Thus, if you are thinking about starting your own REDSKINS clothing line, you might want to rethink that decision.

Update: Software Developers Sued In Texas

As previously discussed, Apple developers allegedly received cease and desist letters from Lodsys based on the use of in-app applications.  Now, Lodsys appears to have taken it to the next level by allegedly suing several developers for patent infringement in the ever popular Eastern District of Texas.  Read what appears to be a copy of the Complaint. It will be interesting to see Apple’s reaction and/or next steps.

Software Developers Beware

It has been interesting to follow Lodsys’ (a patent holding company) pursuit of Apple app developers for patent infringement.  It has been reported that Apple took a license to the patent-at-issue from Lodsys and now, Lodsys is sending cease and desist letters to various Apple app developers.   According to various sources, Apple allegedly required use of the allegedly infringing technology by the developers so certain groups are calling on Apple to indemnify the developers.  Read the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s take on the issue. What is the take away from this scenario? If you are developer and are required to incorporate some sort of technology into your software app, it would be smart to try to negotiate some sort of indemnity provisions to avoid the situation described above.  While this may be difficult as the developers are not often in a position of power to negotiate such terms, they need to be aware of what may transpire without such protections in place.