Technologist - The FindLaw Legal Technology Blog

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The dream of patent litigation reform is nothing new. It is expensive. And so called patent trolls can pretty much get away with operating legal, government sanctioned, extortion schemes.

Even after strong patent reform was passed in 2011 basically targeting patent trolls, the problem has continued to persist. But interestingly, SCOTUS recently heard arguments in a case seeking to invalidate and challenge the somewhat new process of inter parties patent review by the USPTO. And based on the reports after the oral arguments, the Oil States v. Greene Energy case doesn't seem likely to disturb the newish process.

While we've seen quite a bit of talk about self-driving cars and "taxis" this year, one of the self-driving vehicle industry's greatest challenges has been waiting on the side of the road: Self-driving semi trucks.

For most drivers, driving next to, or in front of, an 80,000 pound semi truck is one of the more frightening parts of being on any roadway. However, that fright likely pales in comparison to driving near an 80,000 pound semi truck that doesn't even have a driver in the cab. While autonomous driving systems are continually being refined and getting better with each successive test and software/hardware update, the stakes, and thus regulatory hurdles, for self-driving trucks are a little bit higher.

Patent Was Masterminded to Sue Small Businesses

This 'Stupid Patent of the Month' was once a mastermind's plan.

U.S. Patent No. 6,738,155 claims a "printing and publishing system" that uses a "communications network." That would be a network printer, right?

It doesn't seem so patent-worthy -- because, well, everybody thought of that. But a company claiming the patent threatened litigation to coerce license fees from hundreds of small businesses, and that was the master plan.

Tool Company Wins $27.8 Million Patent Case

Snap-on. Snap-off. The Snapper. Wait. Wrong product.

Snap-On got sued for patent infringement. Snap-On sued for patent infringement. Case on. Case off. A Judgment.

Sorry, but the jingle was more catchy than the story. It goes like this: Snap-On lost a $27.8 million judgment in a patent infringement case.

AT&T Gives Up Against Google Fiber

Google resistance is futile.

Seriously, Google it. It's a Borge expression from another universe, but here it means you can't stop Google's fiber network. AT&T tried and failed.

Last year, AT&T sued to keep Google Fiber from getting faster access to utility poles in Kentucky. A judge dismissed the case, and now AT&T is giving up.

Despite what the tech crowd would have you believe, the court, judges, and juries, do not need to know how to code to rule on cases involving software programs. In fact, having experienced jurors and jurists could actually lead to deeper confusion, or potentially improper influences.

The U.S. justice system is setup to present conflicts before neutral fact finders who rule based on the evidence and law presented, not their own personal knowledge. While some might think that highly technical disputes require a jury or judge that can understand the technicalities, in reality, those disputes require attorneys that can properly explain the technicalities via experts and evidence. A trials is not meant to be a "hack-a-thon."

Apple Inc. is known for manufacturing some of the sleekest and highest quality consumer technology available. However, according to a recent review of legal filings by Ars Technica, the most creative people on the Apple team might in fact be the lawyers.

The In Re Apple IPhone Antitrust Litigation case has found its way to SCOTUS review. Now the tech goliath will have a chance to test out their novel arguments before the High Court in a bid to get the case tossed once again.

Uber Turns Over Key Evidence in Self-Driving Lawsuit

They found a proverbial 'smoking gun' in the self-driving car case against Uber.

It was buried in discovery documents that the company wanted to hide. Ultimately, the judge ordered Uber to produce them.

The plaintiff has the documents now, but there's a problem. It's going to take some time to figure out if the smoking gun shot the bullets.

Did Tribes Find Pass Around Patent Review?

If you thought Native American tribes just made money from casinos, you don't know the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation.

The tribes, with about 15,000 members, occupy about one million acres in North Dakota. Most members live elsewhere due to poor conditions on the tribal lands.

Unlike many Native American tribes, however, the North Dakota tribes don't survive solely on casino money. In addition to oil rights, the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation owns a significant technology patent.

Ever wonder why so many patent cases get filed in the Federal Eastern District Court of Texas? It might be that wild wild west Texas mindset, or it might be the fact that over 70 percent of patent holders win their cases in that judicial district.

While you might think that reputable companies like Raytheon might rise above the troll-ish act of venue shopping, you should never underestimate the desire of corporations to save money and to get a leg up in litigation. Unfortunately for Raytheon in their patent infringement case against Cray Inc. over supercomputer patent stuff, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals just shipped the case out of the Texas district that has become the most popular for patent holders, and into Cray's home state of Washington.