Also on the blog in the past week were:
Africa IP news round-up (July 2016)
Guest post: A smoother road thanks to TM5 harmonisation
Has the PTAB peaked already?
Users of Madrid System warned about problems
ASEAN and more in our bumper mid-year issue
We’ve also posted the following articles in the
past week (log in via subscription or free
Patent litigation trends in Russia
Federal Circuit’s en banc MedCo ruling clarifies
Interview: Nakeena Taylor of Pandora, corporate counsel,
PTAB grants motion to amend ContentGuard patent in Google/Apple
Data: PTAB petitioners, patent owners and law firms in
2016’s first half ranked
The Marrakesh Treaty comes into force – what impact
will it have?
PTAB grants attorneys fees for first time, to RPX
Apple pays $25m to settle Network-1 patent litigation
Physical markets can be forced to stop sales of fakes -
Nokia and Samsung expand cross licence
Nokia and Samsung have expanded their patent cross license
agreement to cover certain additional patent portfolios of both
parties. Nokia’s deal with Samsung was previously
extended in 2013. Compensation related to that agreement was
determined by arbitration between the two companies
announced in February this year.
The agreement expands access for
each company to patented technologies of the other. Nokia said
the agreement "reinforces Nokia's leadership in technologies
for the programmable world", and expects a positive impact to
the net sales of Nokia Technologies starting from the third
quarter of 2016. As a result of the expanded agreement, Nokia
Technologies' annualized net sales related to patent and brand
licensing is expected to grow to a run rate of approximately
€950 million by the end of 2016, said Nokia
in a statement.
by Fortune, since 2013 Nokia has bought out
Siemens’ stake in joint venture Nokia Siemens
Networks and bought Alcatel-Lucent. This added 3,700 patent
families from the Siemens deal and 17,500 patent families from
Alcatel-Lucent to the 9,900 patent families held by Nokia
"With intellectual property portfolios from Nokia
Technologies, Nokia Networks and Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia has a
wealth of technologies relevant to mobile devices and beyond,"
said Ramzi Haidamus, president of Nokia Technologies in the
Nokia statement. "We welcome this expanded agreement with
Samsung which recognizes the strength of our assets, and we
continue to pursue new licensing opportunities across a number
of diverse industries."
Professors call for venue reform
letter signed by 45 professors has been sent to the Senate
Judiciary Committee supporting patent venue reform.
"Changes to the venue rules are necessary and urgent to
address the significant problem of forum shopping in patent
litigation cases," said the letter.
The professors noted that the Eastern District of Texas is
home to nearly half of all US district court patent cases, with
one judge handling 1,686 of the cases filed in the district in
2015 – or two-thirds of the patent cases in the
"If all of those cases were to go to trial, that single
judge would have to complete four to five trials every day of
the year (including weekends) – not counting any time
for motions or other hearings. The burden of this overwhelming
number of cases leads, unsurprisingly, to a high reversal rate
on appeal," said the letter.The Federal Circuit affirmed 39% of
the decisions from the Eastern District of Texas in 2015.
"It is imperative that Congress address patent venue reform
to return basic fairness, rationality, and balance to patent
law," said the letter. "Specifically, venue reform that treats
plaintiffs and defendants equally by requiring a substantive
connection to the venue on the part of at least one party is
critical to ensure fairness and uniformity in patent law."
Last week, Senator Jeff Flake (right) slammed patent trolls
while advocating for the VENUE Act, which only has two
"Patents are an important part of our economy and are vital
to promoting innovation and spurring growth. However, the
health of the patent system is at risk," Observer
quoted Senator Flake as saying. "Specifically, there is an
ever-increasing problem of frivolous patent lawsuits brought by
non-practicing entities, also known as patent trolls."
Adidas puts foot down
Patent disputes appear to be increasingly afoot in the
sneaker industry. Adidas recently sued Skechers in the District
of Oregon, claiming its patented technology of a "Springblade"
shoe has been infringed,
Skechers’ Mega Flex
shoe shares similarities with Adidas’ Springblade
shoe, released in 2013.
Both have turned blades on the bottom designed to propel
Nike earlier this year also sued Skechers for allegedly
copying sneaker designs. Skechers
took the fight to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, filing
eight petitions challenging Nike’s design
Adidas also recently filed three petitions challenging Nike
A first for Guangzhou IP Court
Guangzhou IP Court, as of December 31 2015
Number of cases closed
Jiaquan IP Law
The Guangzhou IP Court in China has issued what is believed
to be its first preliminary injunction in a patent infringement
to The Fashion Law, the court ordered Guangzhou Wentan
Trading to cease making and selling nine models of Louboutin
lipstick that the luxury fashion brand claimed infringed its
design patents for lipstick cases.
The Guangzhou IP Court was established in December 2014, and
is one of three IP courts in China, along with Beijing and
According to an update from Jiaquan IP Law, the court has
had a high number of IP cases, with 4,940 cases accepted by the
end of 2015, with 3,393 of those cases closed.
More than 200 of the cases had a party from Hong Kong,
Macau, Taiwan or foreign countries, with 83 of those cases
involving US entities while "a couple of cases involve British,
French and Japanese entities," according to Jiaquan IP Law.
Yahoo’s serious severity issues
Yahoo may struggle to sell its patent portfolio, according
to a recent report. A survey by TurboPatent estimated that 44%
of its patents have "high severity" issues,
TurboPatent analysed 1,757 Yahoo patents and 896 patent
applications in the Excalibur portfolio.
"TurboPatent's analysis found Yahoo!'s Excalibur patent
portfolio contains a much higher percentage of potentially
worthless patents than the average patent portfolio,"
said the company in a statement. In contrast, it said
roughly 30% of the average patent portfolio of large
corporations is worthless. An executive summary of the report
can be viewed
Yahoo today revealed a $440 million loss in the second
quarter, according to
The patents behind Pokémon Go
It has been impossible to avoid stories about Pokémon
Go in the past week. Inevitably, there is an IP angle. In
a blog post, Envision IP analysed Nintendo’s
patent portfolio to see how it is protecting the technologies
powering games such as Pokémon Go.
According to Envision IP, Nintendo
owns more than 70 US patents and has 37 pending related to
augmented, mixed and virtual reality hardware and software.
Globally, it owns more than 180 patents and published
applications related to these types of patents. These patents
include aspects such as three-dimensional data processing,
displaying immersive scenes, creating virtual spaces, motion
and movement sensors for portable devices, eye tracking and
visual data overlays.
The company owns almost 1,200 active in-force US patents as
a whole, up from about 1,000 in 2013.
"While Nintendo continues to re-invent itself with
innovative offerings like Pokémon Go, the company has
done a good job in obtaining patent protection for its
proprietary technologies," concluded Envision IP. "Many of its
technologies related to immersive display processing and
hardware for devices which enable true augmented experiences
for users are similar to those technologies found in non-gaming
applications of wearable devices and AR glasses."