Monday, July 14, 2008

Carpet-bombing by patent trolls?

IPBiz came across this text at pocketpcthoughts:

"Now that the Patent Reform Act (S. 1145) has been pulled from the Senate floor schedule, it looks like business as usual for patent litigants, as a holder of touch screen patents has launched a carpet-bombing assault. Re-tooling a patent infringement suit aimed at Dell from 2007, Typhoon Touch Technology and co-plaintiff Nova Mobility Systems have added Apple, Fujitsu, Toshiba America, Lenovo U.S., Panasonic Corp. of North America, HTC America Inc., Palm Inc., Samsung Electronics America, Nokia Inc, and LG Electronics USA to its list of defendants."

The final deal-breaker in S.1145 was apportionment of damages.

The text at pocketpcthoughts had come from Tim Conneally of BetaNews, which also noted the case was in ED Texas AND

Typhoon alleged that Dell and Motion Computing Inc. were "using and profiting from" the company's patented technologies. Typhoon holds two patents on fundamental elements of touchscreen technologies, (#5,379,057, and #5,675,362 issued in 1995 and 1997. Both patents share the title "Portable Computer with Touch Screen and Computer System employing Same," and have practically identical abstracts

Of patent reform issues, the betanews story rolled out the standard "treble damages" horror story:

Both the definition of "willful infringement" and situations potentially resulting in the dreaded treble damages (damages multiplied three times as punishment for willful misconduct) were major topics of the Patent Reform Act. The Electronic Frontier Foundation's Emily Berger and Richard Esguerra attribute vagueness in these areas to be a major factor for "chilling innovation." When a company could be hit with a willful infringement ruling for simply knowing a patent exists, many companies would simply license any patent that could be troublesome rather than risk suit.

US patent 5,675,362 is to William A. Clough et al., assigned to Microslate, Inc. The '362 is a continuation -->

This is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 08/098,219, filed Jul. 28, 1993, now U.S. Pat. No. 5,379,057, which is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 07/890,311, filed May 26, 1992, now abandoned, which is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 07/731,375, filed Jul. 16, 1991, now abandoned, which is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 07/271,237, filed Nov. 14, 1988, now abandoned.

Claim 1 of the '362 states:

A portable, keyboardless computer including an input/output device for entering and displaying information, said computer comprising:

A. a memory for storing a data collection application and an operating system, said data collection application determining contents and formats of the information displayed by the input/output device;

B. a processing unit connected to said memory for executing said data collection application;

C. an application generator operating in conjunction with said operating system to generate said data collection application and to create different functional libraries relating to said contents and said formats displayed by the input/output device; and

D. a run-time executor operating in conjunction with said processing unit to execute said application and said libraries to facilitate data collection operations.

The '362 patent has non-patent references, including -->

Data Bases Why They're Finally Usable, Joanne Kelleher, pp. 80, 83, 85, 87, Personal Computing, Oct. 1986. .
Paradox 1.1, Rusel DeMaria, Byte, V.11, Sep. 1986, pp. 303, 306, 308. .
R:Base Gets a Lot Better, Personal Computing V. 12, May 1988 pp. 222-224, Marvin Bryan. .
And Now dBase IV, Miriam Liskin, Personal Computing, V.12 pp. 104-110, May 1988. .
Advanced Features from New R:Base (System V), Cheryl Spencer, Personal Computing V. 10, pp. 156, 158, Nov. 1986. .
Guru, Ernest R. Tello, Byte, V.11, pp. 281-282, 284-285, Aug. 1986. .
The New Data Base Functionality, Personal Computing, V.10, Amanda C. Hixson, pp. 102-111, Jun. 1986. .
dBase III Plus, Personal Computing, V.10, Miriam Liskin, pp. 201, 202, 204, 208, May 1986. .
Highlights of Two Shows, Byte, V. 11, William M. Raike, pp. 317-320, Feb., 1986. .
New Database Ideas, Dick Poutain, Byte, V. 10, pp. 389, 390 392, 394, 396, 397, Apr. 1985. .
Educational Technology article entitled "A General Issue Examining Aspects of Educational Technology," vol. XXIV, No. 8, Aug., 1984, pp. 27-30. .
Byte article entitled "The HP 150 Computer," Mark Haas, Nov. 1984, pp. 262-275. .
Advances in Instrumentation, vol. 42, Part 2, ISA, (Research Triangle Park, NC,US), P.P. Off: "Human Interface Techniques for Real-Time Global Data Base Access," pp. 883-890. .
Electronic Design Article entitled "Software Package Lets PC Control Instruments With A Touch," Oct. 31, 1984, pp. 180-194. .
Electronics Review, "System For Terminals Created Keyboards' Anyone Can use," Jun. 5, 1980, pp. 39-40. .
IEEE Communications Magazine article entitled "An Interactive Touch Phone For Office Automation," vol. 23, No. 2, Feb., 1985, pp. 21-26. .
Computerworld article entitled "Standing Up For The Touch Screen," Jul. 23, 1984, pp. ID/1-ID4. .
Product Bulletin entitled "Fluke 1020 Series Touch Control Screen," John Fluke MFg. Co., 1986. .
Cybernetics and Systems Research, "A Frame-Based Real-Time Graphic Interaction System," Horn, et al., 1984, pp. 825-830. .
Control Engineering article entitled "Control Panels: From Pushbuttons to Keyboards to Touchscreens," W. Raymond Flynn, Jun., 1984, pp. 79-81..


Blogger stv said...

Call it what you will...patent hoarder, patent troll, etc. It all means one thing: “we’re using your patent and we’re not going to pay.

When corporate America agrees to not use our inventions without consent, American inventors and small entities will agree to stop suing them.

12:02 PM  

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