The IP Recap
Keeping you in the loop on IP-related news
The Rise of the Autonomous Car Wars?
IP Ownership and Trade Secrets
Alphabet’s self-driving car unit Waymo is already making shakes in the automotive world, having just gone on the IP attack against Uber. The Google sibling has sued Uber for using their trade secrets after a former Waymo exec left the company to form “Otto”, which was then acquired by Uber. One of Otto’s innovations is a LiDAR system for autonomous driving, which Google says is using their IP.
Why it Matters
This could be setting a precedent for the self-driving car world, which is still in its infancy and could become the next big battleground. It is also an instance of the new US trade secret law being used, which is driving one of the lesser talked about forms of IP into the spotlight.
7 Years in the USPTO
Thanks for making a decision
IBM was recently granted a patent for an out of office email system. This might seem a bit unexpected, given that out of office systems have been around long before the patent application was submitted in 2010. This likely explains why the patent’s grant was somewhat narrower, requiring the system to check the sender’s calendar and warn people in advance that they are going to be away soon. Regardless, IBM have said they will “give the patent to the public” and won’t enforce it.
Why it Matters
For a patent to be prosecuted for over 6 years is somewhat unusual, and it supports accusations from some that “The Patent Office is so out of touch that it conducted years of review of this application without ever discussing any real-world software.” Another point of note is that the world of software patents is somewhat different to that of 2010, and if the patent rights weren’t immediately withdrawn then the patent could have been subject to a PTAB petition under Alice.
The More we Talk, the Smarter you Get
IP implications for virtual assistants
Natural language interfacing with technology is one of the most prevalent concepts in Sci-Fi. The current rise of the virtual assistants that is taking place has led to tech research firm Gartner predicting that some 20% of all our smartphone interactions could be via a virtual assistant in 2 years time. This has also led to an inevitable wave of lawsuits, with an NPE already suing Apple for infringement by Siri.
Why it Matters
As these systems become more intelligent and complex, the IP situation will become more complex too and will require diligent checks for existing IP, and careful management over how the system is protected.
Other IP News Stories
- What Inventors Need to Fix the Patent System
- Clearing the Underbrush: How to Fight Low Quality Patents Related to Commoditized Technology that Threaten Innovation
- PTAB issues key decision over revolutionary CRISPR technology but more disputes could be on the horizon
- Foreign patent owners face big hurdles when seeking to get damage awards and license fees out of China
- Intelligent virtual assistants will support one-fifth of all human interactions with smartphones by 2019
- Acacia alumni NPE acquires Chinese patents amid growing enthusiasm about country’s licensing prospects
- Waymo sues Uber – It’s not often Google goes on the IP attack, so its suit against Uber is a very big deal
- Sending cease-and-desist letters and conducting licensing negotiations enough for personal jurisdiction
- How to value a professional services firm in an M&A transaction
- Federal Circuit grants Google mandamus petition to transfer patent case out of Eastern Texas
- Former Intellectual Ventures development fund Xinova seeks $50 million in new investment
- Will the Trump Administration Be Pro Patent?
- N.D. Ga. judge invalidates two patents covering remote race car audio broadcasts under Alice standard
- The $940 million trade secrets verdict against Tata couldn’t have come at a much worse time for India – It’s clear that Tata gets the importance of IP, but it is one of the few Indian businesses which does
- Whirlpool Corporation wins permanent injunction in patent suit against Chinese water filter manufacturer
- Softbank may not like this – Inventergy files suits against Apple and HTC just days before crucial Fortress vote
- IBM somehow got a patent for an Out-Of-Office email system – immediately gives patent rights to public
- Apple won’t have to pay $533 million to an iTunes patent troll
- EUIPO ranked world’s most innovative IP office in exclusive research
- Snapchat Acquired Core Patents Related to Mobile Messaging
- Federal Circuit reverses PTAB, says CBM patents must be financial in nature according to the claims
- Monetisation may be some way off, but Southeast Asian companies have many reasons to get serious about IP
Other Tech News Stories
- WhatsApp also clones Snapchat
- Verizon drops $350M from its Yahoo offer
- BMW and Mobileye team up for smart car maps
- Samsung’s next phone could be very big
- YouTube is now set to challenge traditional cable TV players
- NASA releases treasure trove of free software
- Alibaba’s cloud division is growing
- A brief history of smartphones
- IBM is planning to build the first universal quantum computer
- Chatbot that got people off 160000 parking tickets is helping with asylum claims