Monday, September 20, 2004

Woolston on eBay litigation

InformationWeek has some quotes by Thomas Woolston on the eBay/MercExchange battle:

What makes Woolston mad at George Bush is that after the ruling in the lower court, eBay appealed to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to review the validity of the MercExchange patents, which the agency agreed to do. Woolston says it's a violation of at least the spirit of the law for the Patent Office to review the patents after a court has already ruled on them. (...)

Many people think the patent process has gotten seriously out of whack, especially when it comes to Internet-related patents. But Woolston says the rights of Internet pioneers need to be protected. "The rights are sorting themselves out," he says. "What's the big deal?" It's a big deal, I suppose, if you're on the wrong end of that equation. Last week, a U.K. company, BTG, sued, Barnes &, Netflix, and for infringing on patents BTG owns "covering technologies related to tracking the navigational path of a user through the World Wide Web," according to BTG. The patents, No. 5,717,860 and No. 5,712,979, were granted by the Patent Office in 1998 to a company called Infonautics, and acquired by BTG in 2002. BTG is asking for unspecified damages and an injunction to stop the Internet companies from using the patented technology.

from my article in the June 2003 issue of Intellectual Property Today ("Say Good-night, Gracie"):

On May 27, a jury found that a subsidiary of eBay had infringed claims of US 5,845,265 (prosecuted by the inventor/lawyer Thomas G. Woolston) and of US 6,085,176 (prosecuted by Fish & Richardson) assigned to MercExchange and found $ 35 million in damages.


Post a Comment

<< Home