Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Desire2Pod Cast 18 - East Texas Law School Lecture

During my lunch hour today (I'm on a diet - no soup for you!) I recorded a phone interview with Michael C. Smith who is a patent lawyer who regularly works in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas - also known as the Rocket Docket for patent cases in the U.S. This is the court where the Desire2Learn - Blackboard case was tried. This conversation was very enjoyable and informative, at least for me.

I titled this post as the East Texas Law School Lecture because I learned so much from it - but it is not a lecture at all, just two guys talking about patent law.


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I had been reading Michael's blog (EDTexweblog) for updates about the D2L-Blackboard case and decided to contact him about doing an interview (his About page). He readily agreed and a day later we have this recording in the can. This is longer than most of my podcast entries, weighing in at 30 minutes. Here is an abbreviated table of contents:

2:25 - Michael explains that he is a neutral party with regard to the D2L - Blackboard case.

3:30 - I ask whether a Canadian company can enjoy a level playing field when being sued by a U.S. company in a U.S. court.

6:05 - Why are complicated, technical cases like this tried in front of a jury of laypeople in the first place? (Hint: it's a constitutional thing)

9:10 - How did the Eastern District of Texas come to be known as the Rocket Docket for patent cases?

12:00 - Michael's take on whether software should be patentable in the first place.

12:50 - Good clarification about the non-final action issued by the USPTO about the re-examination requests. (@ 14:20 - Does that signal the USPTO's intent to reject the patent? - NO!!!)

17:10 - If the patent is rejected - would damages from the court case still stand? What about the injunction and royalties?

19:15 - As the re-exam drags on, might Judge Clark pay some attention to the 45-page non-final action from the USPTO?

21:45 - How common is it for both processes (infringement case and USPTO re-exam) to run in parallel tracks at the same time?

23:30 - Do plaintiffs who win these cases typically want the infringing party to continue to infringe - thus exerting market control over them with the patent - or am I just making all that up?

25:50 - What is the process to determine whether the work-around continues to infringe?

27:30 - Michael talks about the difficulty plaintiffs (BB in this case) often have in proving infringement on the work-around since the defendant now has useful information gained from the trial.

I apologize for the rather loud paper shuffling that occurs a few times throughout the recording - I'll have to be more careful in the future.

2 comments:

Jared M. Stein said...

The most surprising info was this (at around 14:20):

"I want to talk about that type of a non-final action being issued based on the information in the reexam request. When they mark that as saying claims 1-44 are rejected is that a signal of their intent unless somebody changes their mind?"

"No. In fact, that's common; it's misleading because it's very common. ... If you ask for a reexamination of a patent, 92% of those are granted ... it's very common after that, that you're going to get a non-final action that rejects everything. That's pretty common. At that stage the patent office has only heard from the party that's challenging it. The patentee has a right before they come up with a non-final action ... as a matter of course the patentee does not respond at that stage."

Anonymous said...

>During my lunch hour today (I'm on a >diet - no soup for you!)

Let me know when you put back the water you will be losing.

Dont eat less often, eat more often. Smaller meals, 4-5 times a day (I work in an house and its doable) are better assimiliated.
Dont eat after 7pm when your metabolism slows down.

The problem with your diet is you are eating X amount of calories less than before (lets say you were eating 3000 calories then and now are eating 2000cal). Hence, you will drop the weight. But what happens when you start eating normally the 3000 calories you were having before?
You gain weight back.
Smaller meals means better assimilation of the nutrients, less waste, much more effective way of feeding the body.

Whenver I see the I skip lunch/Im on diet comments, I cringe.