In a 2011 court case, Microsoft v. i4i Limited Partnership, the Supreme Court addressed the issue of when a patent could be proved to be invalid. Two software technologies for editing computer documents were at issue. i4i Limited Partnership patented its customized software and later sued Microsoft, alleging that Microsoft’s competing Microsoft Word program violated i4i’s patent. Microsoft argued that i4i’s patent was invalid, and that Microsoft therefore could not have violated it. Originally, Microsoft lost its case and appealed. The Federal Circuit enjoined sales of Microsoft Word and affirmed a damage award of $290 million to i4i. The Supreme Court Justices affirmed the Federal Circuit’s decision and were unanimous in their 8-0 decision in which they rejected Microsoft’s challenge to the Federal Circuit precedent and held that “an alleged infringer must show by clear and convincing evidence that the patent it is accused of infringing is invalid.”
BlackBerry Ltd (NYSE:BB) is making some changes to its licensing strategy as revealed through the announcement of a new deal through which it will outsource its patent licensing efforts to Marconi Group.
According to Patently Apple, Apple has been granted a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for technology that employs secret biometric identification and tracking of unauthorized or illegal users, the Apple Secret Biometric Tracking. Filed in the second quarter of 2016 and made public on Nov. 14, 2017, patent # 9,819,676 introduces a new superior biometric security system that gathers fingerprints as a way of identifying unauthorized people trying to unlock another person’s MacBook, tablet, or iPhone.
In Taiwan, a design patent can be obtained rather quickly (generally speaking, the patent office takes three to 12 months to substantively examine a design patent application) and almost all kinds of designs applied to articles are acceptable subject matter of design patents (such as a partial or whole appearance of an electronic component, icons or graphical user interfaces (GUIs) displayed on a screen, decoration of a store, etc.).