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Juries and patience | 81 comments | Create New Account
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Juries and patience
Authored by: jkrise on Thursday, January 03 2013 @ 08:47 PM EST
None of them can really be a significant contributor to the buyer's desire for the product, but only in aggregate. This would lead to a significantly lower per-patent royalty.

Precisely, and the point would be made clear to all citizens, competing corporates, as well as the USPTO and the courts. The patents were issued one by one, after due process, which means that the issuing office felt that they were worthy of being issued. They were not issued in aggregate. The purpose of granting a patent is for conferring a limited-time monopoly on the inventor to moentize his valuable invention by taking it to market.

So this means the USPTO felt that there are hundreds of mutually differentiated, innovative, non-obvious methods of touching a smartphone with more than one finger; all of them by one company. There could be many more companies who have been issued multi-touch patents.

It appears the jury in this case has awarded damages not by the number of patents infringed, but by some other unknown math. Florian estimates each patent to be worth about $2 to $4. By his logic, a single phone incorporating 100s of touch patents alone should be worth more than $1,000. Add thousands of other patents, and it should be $ 1 million per phone. But Apple is selling a phone which DEFINITELY infringes ALL their own thousands of patents for say, $500.

So, the penalty for infringing 1 patent should be fixed at Value of product which infringes all patents Divided by Number of patents infringed, about $ 0.0001 per patent. This amount can be more precisely calculated thus, than the arbitrary algorithm suggested by Florian. And it would make everybody feel that Justice WAS done, because it presumes the inventors, the USPTO and the courts all did a very fair job.

Such an approach would SOLVE the problem of corporates acquiring thousands of patents, threatening infringers, etc. The present system discourages innovation, and favours status quo by the big businesses, which is not good for innovation.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Juries and patience
Authored by: jkrise on Thursday, January 03 2013 @ 09:29 PM EST
What the courts try to do for economy of everyone's time, is to make the plaintiff pick what they believe are the most valuable patents to try.

My point is that, by setting limits on arguments, number of patents etc., the precise opposite effect has been achieved. Everyone's time has been wasted.

The plaintiff has invested TIME, effort and expense in being awarded his thousands of valuable patents. Why should that TIME go waste?

The USPTO spent several man-hours evaluating and issuing the valuable patents. Why should that TIME go waste?

The defendant has spent TIME, 2 years in this case, to get 2 of the 6 patents-in-suit re-examined, and preliminarily declared invalid on all counts by the USPTO. Why should that TIME go waste?


I come to valuable. By definition, every single patent is valuable. If a patentee has been granted a patent which he himself feels is not valuable, the punishment for such offence is already covered in my previous post - put the numerosity of patents goes to the denominator in damages calculation.

An additional penalty should be levied for each patent in suit that has been invalidated on re-examination. The amount of this penalty should be magnitudes higher than the amount sought for by the plaintiff. For instance, if a plaintiff seeks $1 bn in damages for infringing 3 patents from 1 defendant, and assuming the defendant gets all 3 invalidated on re-examination; the plaintiff should be fined say, $10 bn; for applying for frivolous patents, threatening many competitors, decelerating innovation in the marketplace, wasting everyone's time and resources etc.

At present, I believe most re-examination requests are from Anonymous sources. Given that in this case, ALL 20 claims in the patent application have been invalidated, the prize money for the successful re-examination should go the requesting party.

Such an approach would discourage big businesses from applying for, and getting 1000s of patents, and the farce of the 3 most valuable among them being found completely invalid. It would permanently SOLVE the vexatious problem, and save everyone's time in the long run.

SOLVING a problem is more efficient than repeatedly DEALING with it.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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