A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit unanimously vacated the agency's decision [on 22 April 2008] and said a new trial would have to address "serious concerns about the sufficiency of the evidence" in the case.
Richmond also noted: The court's position conforms with a March jury decision of the U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif., that ruled Rambus wasn't guilty of fraud or violating antitrust laws in its dealings with Jedec. The ruling marks another key step toward a future when Rambus may be able to collect lucrative royalties on its technologies, which are now widely used by chip makers, by removing a key defense used by chip makers that have already been found in violation of Rambus' patents.
The clear signal sent from BOTH courtrooms demonstrates the intellectual vacuity of arguments made by Jaffe and Lerner in Innovation and Its Discontents on the Rambus matter. Jaffe and Lerner did not understand what was going on, much as they did not understand other points about the patent system. Jaffe and Lerner have no credibility in this area.
It's sad to see that Mike Masnick of TechDirt relies on Jaffe and Lerner for his knowledge of patent quality. Jaffe and Lerner showed on page 144 of Innovation and Its Discontents that they have no understanding of prior art, or of patent quality.
Note that Micron was a losing defendant in the ND Ca patent litigation. From the Recorder: In March, a San Jose jury rejected claims by Hynix Semiconductor Inc., Micron Technology Inc. and Nanya Technology Corp. that Rambus violated antitrust laws. A lawyer representing Hynix did not return calls seeking comment on the latest ruling.
Note also that losing defendant Micron is a member of the Coalition for Patent Fairness:
The Coalition for Patent Fairness is committed to the passage of
legislation that will foster innovation and economic growth. Representing a
broad range of companies and trade associations in the technology,
financial services, energy, manufacturing and media industries, the
Coalition's members include Amazon.com, Apple, Autodesk, Business Software
Alliance, Cisco Systems, Comcast, Dell, Electrolux, Financial Services
Roundtable, Hewlett-Packard, Information Technology Industry Council,
Intel, Micron Technology, Microsoft, Oracle, Palm, Inc., SAP, TechNet, Time
Warner and Visa.
Note that when the Coalition for Patent Fairness could not get what it wanted on
"apportionment of damages" in S. 1145, it walked away from patent reform, mumbling something
about the heart of the issue. The real issue was damages, and never "patent quality."
Going back to Mike Masnick talking about Jon Dudas on patent quality, one sees that this
is a sideshow. Certainly an ironic one, in that the IT industry itself is largely responsible
for the massive number of low quality applications bogging down the patent office. But
still a sideshow. The Coalition for Patent Fairness wanted to curb patent infringement damages,
not low quality patents. When they could not curb damages, the Coalition for Patent Fairness
walked away. They did not stay at the table to do patent oppositions. They didn't care.
Patent quality was always a smokescreen in the patent reform debates, a prop
used to carry the debate to the real issue, money. And the Rambus case illustrates the real
problem with the Coalition for Patent Fairness. If the patents they are complaining about are
SO bad, they would be getting such patents invalidated somewhere. Yet, as illustrated in Rambus,
they seem to be losing, everywhere.
See Mike Masnick, unbundled
***UPDATE. April 24.
Of Mike's comment below, note text from the previous IPBiz post
[Mike said]-->I merely pointed out that they [Jaffe and Lerner] *ACCURATELY* pointed out that the USPTO was being overhwelmed [sic] with questionable patent apps. , IPBiz asks what evidence Jaffe and Lerner had that the "USPTO was being overwhelmed with questionable patent applications"?
Mike is clearly relying on Jaffe and Lerner for this point, and Mike has produced no evidence to support this reliance. In fact,
Mike has produced NO EVIDENCE to support ANYTHING he is saying. Mike is sound and fury, signifying nothing.
Of Mike's --feel threatened by what I have to say --, IPBiz does not feel threatened by anyone who has NO EVIDENCE to back up opinions. Mike can talk the talk, but that's about it.
Memory Lapse in Litigation by John Danforth.
***UPDATE. 7 Aug 08