Diane's Feed
May 21, 2014

Key Senator Leahy drops patent reform bill for now

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senator Patrick Leahy, chairman of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, said on Wednesday a controversial patent bill backed by major technology companies was being taken off the committee’s agenda for now.

The committee had been attempting to reach agreement on changes to a bill aimed at reducing patent litigation brought by patent assertion entities, often called “patent trolls” by their critics. The measure is similar to legislation passed overwhelmingly by the House of Representatives in December.

May 20, 2014

U.S. approves deal that makes biggest flour miller even bigger

WASHINGTON, May 20 (Reuters) – ConAgra Foods Inc,
Cargill Inc and CHS Inc won U.S. antitrust
approval on Tuesday to merge their North American flour mill
operations after agreeing to sell four mills to a Japanese
company.

The companies had announced in March 2013 that ConAgra Foods
Inc would join Horizon Milling, a joint venture of Cargill Inc.
and CHS Inc that is the largest flour miller in America. CHS is
owned by farmers and cooperatives. The combined company will be
called Ardent Mills.

May 14, 2014

U.S. court refuses to revive Samsung patent case against Apple

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. appeals court on Wednesday refused to revive a Samsung Electronics patent case against Apple Inc, affirming a decision in favor of the iPhone and iPad maker.

Apple and Samsung have been litigating around the world for three years, each accusing the other of infringing patents in making smartphones and other mobile devices. Neither side has scored a crippling sales ban against the other.

May 13, 2014

Big jump in U.S. patent infringement cases in 2013 despite reform: experts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of new patent infringement lawsuits in the United States rose more than 10 percent to 6,092 in 2013 despite a 2011 law specifically aimed at reducing patent litigation, according to experts at the analytics group Lex Machina.

The number of lawsuits in 2013 increased 12.4 percent from 2012 despite the America Invents Act, which was the most significant overhaul of the patent system in decades.

May 12, 2014

Will the U.S. patent bill regain its momentum?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – After flying through the U.S. House of Representatives and winning the support of an influential senator, closely watched legislation aimed at reducing frivolous patent litigation appears to have stalled, at least for now.

Since at least early April, Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, has been crafting an amendment aimed at reining in “patent assertion entities,” or PAEs, companies that critics say use weak patents to file unwarranted infringement lawsuits.

May 9, 2014

Oracle wins copyright ruling against Google over Android

SAN FRANCISCO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Oracle Corp is entitled to copyright protection over certain parts of the Java programming language, according to a U.S. appeals court ruling on Friday in Oracle’s high-profile lawsuit against Google Inc.

The issue, decided by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, is being closely watched by software developers in Silicon Valley.

May 8, 2014

Lawmakers express concerns over Comcast deal to buy Time Warner Cable

WASHINGTON, May 8 (Reuters) – Lawmakers expressed concern
about combining the top two U.S. cable operators at a
congressional hearing Thursday to discuss Comcast’s
plan to merge with Time Warner Cable Inc.

While none of the lawmakers asked federal regulators to
block the transaction, both Republicans and Democrats cautioned
there were potential negatives in the $45 billion deal.

May 8, 2014

Comcast to face trio of critics at congressional merger hearing

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Comcast’s plan to merge with Time Warner Cable Inc is expected to face criticism from an independent network, small and medium-sized cable operators and a former Internet partner when U.S. lawmakers meet on Thursday for a second time to discuss the controversial deal.

The House of Representatives Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel will hear from Comcast Corp Executive Vice President David Cohen.

Apr 29, 2014

U.S. top court overturns appeals court in elliptical patent case

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday overturned an appeals court ruling in a patent fight over elliptical machines, potentially making it easier for the winner in a patent lawsuit to request that its fees be paid by the losing party.

ICON Health & Fitness Inc sued a rival, Octane Fitness LLC, accusing Octane of infringing one of its patents on elliptical trainers. Octane won, and asked to be reimbursed for the estimated $1.3 million it spent fighting the lawsuit. Both the U.S. district court and an appeals court that specializes in patents declined to award the fees.

Apr 28, 2014

High court takes up case involving ambiguous patents

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Supreme Court on Monday took up the thorny issue of how to assess if a patent is so vague that it should be thrown out, a case that could impact other fights dealing with patent infringement.

The high court heard arguments in the long-running case between Nautilus Inc and Biosig Instruments Inc, which centers on monitors built into fitness machines like treadmills that register electrical waves to estimate a user’s heart rate.