Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Magnitude of the Jaffe/Lerner Patent Misunderstanding Examined

In discussing the resignation of Qualcomm's Lou Lupin on August 13, 2007, the PatentProspector noted:

Michael King, an analyst with the Gartner Group, was hopeful that Lupin's exit may signal a strategic shift from Qualcomm as legal gunslinger. “Qualcomm has always been considered very, very aggressive, and Lou was definitely known for being aggressive in their defense."

One recalls that Jaffe and Lerner in Innovation and Its Discontents around page 35 praised Qualcomm's use of the patent system. Although they misunderstood the CAFC decision in the Rambus case, they criticized Rambus for trying to patent an industry-standard. Ironically, the undoing of Qualcomm in the present matter was in trying to secure patent coverage over the H.264 standard. What Jaffe and Lerner think is "good" about the patent system is not necessarily what others think is good, as the Qualcomm / Broadcom matter is showing in spades. Recall also the Harvard Business Review article that told people to "plagiarize with pride." It's becoming increasingly apparent what "patent reform 2007" is about. It's also clear that many of the criticisms of the patent system made by the reformers aren't true.

With the unraveling of the "high patent grant rate" myth and the exposure of Jaffe/Lerner's misunderstanding of prior art, the lynchpins of the reform movement are falling out. The emperor has no clothes here.

See also


On some details.

Some of the discussion of Qualcomm's misconduct may be found here.

The patents in question to H.264 are

US 5,452,104 to Chong U. Lee (based on application 08/102,124 which was a continuation of application Ser. No. 08/004,213, filed Jan. 13, 1993, abandoned, which is a continuation of application Ser. No. 07/710,216, filed Jun. 4, 1991, now abandoned, which is a continuation-in-part application of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 487,012 filed Feb. 27, 1990, now U.S. Pat. No. 5,021,891 issued Jun. 4, 1991, and as such relates to image processing.)

US 5,576,767 to Chong U. Lee and David Pian (based on application 08/532,042, which was a continuation of application Ser. No. 08/407,427, filed Mar. 17, 1995, abandoned which is a continuation of application Ser. No. 08/012,814 filed Feb. 3,1993, now abandoned. )

In a thesis (at MIT) published on May 23, 1997, Andrew S. Huang thanks Chong U. Lee of Solana Technology Development Corporation.

One notes that Chong U. Lee is a co-inventor of US 5,719,937 (issued February 17, 1998 based on application 08/712,900), which patent is assigned to Solana Technology Development Corporation (San Diego, CA). See also US 6,154,484.


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