Alice v CLS Bank Supreme Court ruling dooms patent holder case
Google, Asana, Canon, Dropbox, Newegg and SAP, recently announced the License on Transfer (LOT) Network, a cooperative patent-licensing agreement meant to cut down on patent troll litigation. LOT Network is a device to further inhibit the troll business models.
"The LOT Network is a sort of arms control for the patent world,” said Allen Lo, Deputy General Counsel for Patents at Google. “By working together, we can cut down on patent litigation, allowing us to focus instead on building great products.”
The LOT agreement is a new kind of royalty-free cross-license meant to address systemic problems. Member companies receive a license when the patents are transferred out of the LOT group. That means that companies retain their right to enforce a patent so long as they retain ownership of it. However, as soon as it is sold, a license to the other members becomes effective, protecting them from attacks by the troll to which the patent was sold.
The Supreme Court Ruling in Alice Corp vs CLS Bank deals another (and more serious) blow to business method patents.
The link to the 9-0 ruling is provided here: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/13pdf/13-298_7lh8.pdf
Efforts to reform patent law have become bogged down in the U.S. Senate. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) chairman of the judiciary committee announced "I am taking the patent bill off the Senate judiciary committee agenda. Senator Leahy noted "If stakeholder are able to reach more targeted agreement that focused on the problem of patent trolls, there will be a path for passage this year."
To read more:
The 4A's joins Google, Amazon & other tech leaders as Amici Curiae in support of CLS Bank's patent case vs Alice Corporation Pty. Ltd.
For more information, including a downloadable copy of the amici curiae, see Judicial Info & Cases.