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Archived updates for Monday, May 09, 2005

Intel: More Manufacturing, Less Enjoining?

According to Brenda Sandburg's article in The Recorder on May 9, 2005, while the Business Software Alliance says patent reform is needed to decrease the amount and cost of patent litigation, those opposed say the legislation would, in effect, impose compulsory licensing on inventors.

"This is a critical reform for us," she quotes David Simon, Intel Corp.'s chief patent counsel. "Unfortunately there's been a growing business model of [these entities] buying patents from distressed companies and suing people." Simon also repotedly said that Intel is facing seven suits from patent-holding companies. They are able to use the threat of an injunction, he said, to push big companies into a settlement. "If someone buys a patent for 50,000 bucks and their business model is suing people, should they be able to get an injunction?" he asked.

But many other groups are opposed to limiting the ability to obtain an injunction. The American Intellectual Property Law Association, Eli Lilly Co. and Dean Kaman, the inventor of the Segway scooter and head of DEKA Research & Development Corp., testified against the provision at the recent Senate hearing.

"This would essentially destroy the exclusivity that a patent grants," AIPLA President William Rooklidge reportedly said in an interview. "It's telling patentees, 'If you don't commercialize an invention ... we'll allow others to come in and do so.'"

Besides, only Boy Scouts pay their patent damages without a fight.
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