Tuesday Tiddlywinks

Another dreary day in Londontown, but the IPKat Team is here to wish you a very happy day filled with intellectual property goodness.

US Supreme Court to hear Stanford v Roche patent fight: Yesterday the US Supreme Court justices agreed to hear Stanford University's
claim against Roche Holding AG in respect of patents for methods of testing the effectiveness of AIDS treatments by measuring the HIV concentration in blood plasma. Scientists at Stanford created the invention while under a contract to promise to assign the inventions to the university. However, one of the inventors, Professor Mark Holodniy, had also, prior to the invention, actually assigned his rights in future inventions to Cetus (now Roche). Stanford filed a patent application and demanded a royalty from Roche for their use of the patent. The case reached the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (the appeals court where all the appealed patent cases go to from the federal district courts) who held that Roche was not liable for patent infringement because they held ownership rights derived from Holodniy's assignment. In their appeal to the Supreme Court, Stanford are arguing that because they were beneficiaries of federal funding for the research, under Sections 200-212 of the Bahy-Dole Act their rights trump that of Roche. The university's question to the Supreme Court reads as follows:
Whether a federal contractor university's statutory right under the Bayh-Dole Act, 35 U.S.C. §§ 200-212, in inventions arising from federally funded research can be terminated unilaterally by an individual inventor through a separate agreement purporting to assign the inventor's rights to a third party.
The US Department of Justice (DoJ) filed an amicus curiae brief in support of Stanford's writ and argue that the Bahy-Dole Act does indeed trump the general proposition that ownership of a patent vests first with the inventor. This case will be a somewhat obscure but important case for university and federally funded research institutions. The lesson being, make sure your researchers and scientists have entered into strict assignment agreements with your institution. Thanks to Dr. Ward for alerting the AmeriKat to this story.

UK MP to "bang heads" of ISPs and music industry: The UK Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, Ed Vaizey, (picture, left)has called for a joint meetin between music industry and ISP representatives to progress the implementation of the Digital Economy Act (DEA). Readers will note that the crucial piece to this legislative nightmare is Ofcom's final "Initial Obligations Code", which is still missing. Ofcom received a further three month extension for the Code in September to allow for consultation about its costs provisions with the EU. Judicial review of the DEA applied for by BT and TalkTalk is expected any time. For more information see this report from MusicWeek. This IPKat has searched online to find any further information about the agenda for this meeting without joy. If anyone has any info on this, please let the IPKat know.

Apple sues Motorola: This Kat has just given up trying to follow who is suing who in the mobile patent wars (see previous posts here). As of Friday, Apple has again gotten into the mix by filing two complaints (here and here) in the the US District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin against Motorola for infringement of a number of patents of its android handsets. The patents, for the most part, are for touchscreen technology. Motorola, maybe anticipating the descending cloud of Apple, filed four separate complaints against Apple as well as applying to the court to invalidate over 20 iPhone patents for want of novelty. It hasn't been a good month for Motorola who was on the receiving end of another lawsuit from Microsoft earlier last month. For more information see this report in the Wall Street Journal and CNet.

Court of Appeal Judgment Alert! Mr Justice Kitchen, sitting in the Court of Appeal with Lord Justice Jacob and Longmore, dismissed the appeal in the case of Softlanding Systems Inc v KDP Software Limited and Unicom Systems Inc ([2010] EWCA Civ 1172) last week. The case was on appeal from Mr Justice Wilcox of the Technology and Construction Court for England and Wales (see previous 1709 blog post by IPKat Jeremy). This Kat has not had an opportunity to digest the judgment, but there will be a full IPKat report on the judgment soon!
Tuesday Tiddlywinks Tuesday Tiddlywinks Reviewed by Annsley Merelle Ward on Tuesday, November 02, 2010 Rating: 5

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