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Blackberry apparently resolves patent law dispute

Companies often spend countless hours and millions of dollars developing new technology and/or products. In an effort to protect their investment, these same companies will often file for a patent. Under patent law, the patent will protect the Texas company and prevent another company from utilizing the same technology without the permission of the patent holder.

Patent disputes regarding operating systems for cellular phone and smartphone have been the focus of several lawsuits in recent history. One particular dispute has involved BlackBerry and BLU Products. Reports indicate that a deal has been reached, and BLU Products has now purchased the right to utilize technology protected by one of BlackBerry's patents. Financial details pertinent to the agreement have not been disclosed.

Does patent law make it difficult to move forward with new ideas?

Texas inventors may want to start a new business and enlist the financial aid of investors when they come up with a new or innovative idea. Of the numerous business and legal decisions that need to be addressed during the start-up phase of a new business, considering the need for a patent should possibly be on the list. The problem may be, however, that current patent law may make it difficult to move forward.

Many Texas inventors consider the possible outcomes if they do not put some protections into place for their ideas before beginning the manufacturing and distribution process. This often means seeking a patent. The problem, however, appears to be in getting there first.

Allegan looking to protect product using patent law possibilities

Companies throughout the United States, and Texas in particular, spend thousands and even millions of dollars bringing a new product to market. If the product is considered to be a drug, in addition to the development of the product, the company must spend money seeking Food and Drug Administration approval. Additionally, at the center of any new product launch is the need for patents and patent law protection.

Recently, Allergan, a popular pharmaceutical company, apparently became concerned with issues surrounding its patent of the drug Restasis. Restasis is an eye drop type drug that is used to treat conditions associated with dry eyes. Upon development of the product, Allergan apparently patented the product and is afforded patent law protection for the duration of the patent.

Nintendo found in violation of patent law

Technological development is big business throughout Texas, the United States and the world. Companies spend thousands of hours and often millions of dollars developing new technology that will appeal to the consumer and help the public. In an effort to protect this investment, this new technology is often patented. Thus, if another company attempts to use this same technology, it can be found to have infringed upon the patent under patent law.

In 1999, a Dallas based company called iLife developed motion-detection technology designed to assist the elderly in case of a fall. Apparently this motion detector was attached to the individual's body and could detect a fall. According to iLife, Nintendo then utilized this same technology in its Wii and Wii U game systems.

Patent law protects new self-repair cellphone technology

There may be few moments more frustrating than the one in which a cellphone slips from the user's hand. The sinking feeling the user may have while watching the device drop to the ground comes from knowing that the screen will likely crack, especially if the phone has a delicate touch-screen. This may mean spending hundreds on a new phone or months trying to carry on important tasks through a spider web of cracks until time for an upgrade. Butter-fingered cellphone users in Texas can rejoice because, according to recent reports from patent law analysts, new technology may be on the way.

Motorola just received a patent for a self-healing phone display. The design describes a screen made of a "shape memory polymer" that can repair its own cracks. Apparently, the polymers respond to a variety of stimuli, but the phone screens will likely respond to heat, which will cause the material to reverse any damage or deformity. Phones designed with this technology will include a repair button that users can press to activate the process. Then, by tapping the damaged area of the screen, the user can indicate where repairs are needed.

Patent law decision affects podcasts in Texas and elsewhere

Many in Texas are aware that patents can be applied for not only inventions but also for intellectual property and for communication tools. It was communication tools that were the subject of a recent patent law debate that occurred in the federal courts. It involved podcasts.

The case came after Personal Audio filed a patent in 1996 that was fairly broad and covered a "System for Disseminating Media Content Representing Episodes in a Serialized Sequence." This, of course, affected podcasts, which are used for communication by many people from many different industries and genres. The approval of the patent allowed Personal Audio to initiate lawsuits against many who had podcasts over the years.

Trademark and patent law changes affect those in Texas

For many years, the courts have monitored the naming of trademarks and patents for decency, as many in Texas who have applied for such names have learned. In fact, patent law and trademarks have faced naming review for over 71 years, a recent report notes. But now, after a recent case, it appears that those restrictions may be a thing of the past.

The report discusses the case of a musical group called, "The Slants", that filed a lawsuit after being denied a trademark for their name after it was determined to be offensive. The group objected to that decision and the case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Early this summer, the court ruled that the law that restricts the naming choices of those who filed for trademarks and patent law items violates the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Amazon makes good use of patent law

Texas readers may have heard that mega-retailer Amazon has some interesting ideas about the future of shipping their goods. Recently, the company has applied for patents for methods that include drones and flying ships. The innovative retailer has always used patent law to protect its technological developments, and now the company has applied for patents for underwater warehouses that would be built across the nation.

According to the patent filing, the underwater warehouses would be designed to make shipping easier for the retailer. They may be necessary, Amazon says, because of the difficulty in stocking items under its current system. The idea is that items would be stored in water-tight containers. When a customer orders an item, sound vibrations would cause the item to float to the water surface.

Amazon uses patent law to prevent price comparisons in stores

It may seem counterintuitive to Texas consumers that online retailing giant Amazon would want to keep customers from comparing prices while they stop at brick and mortar stores. However, the company is moving parts of its business into traditional retail stores. Could this be why Amazon decided to use patent law to keep consumers from finding a better price online?

Amazon has undoubtedly benefited from customers being able to check prices on its website while standing in a physical store owned by another retailer. Despite this, the company recently received a patent for the technology needed to accomplish this goal. The CEO of Amazon looked into obtaining this technology several years ago before the online retailer decided to move into brick and mortar locations.

Small businesses get big win from USSC in patent law case

Anyone in Texas who buys toner for printers knows how expensive new cartridges can be. In recent years, a market has grown that remanufactures those cartridges and sells them at a lower cost than a new one. One large printer cartridge retailer, Lexmark International, was unhappy with this loss of business and filed a lawsuit against several smaller companies that remanufacture and sell those printer cartridges. The printer giant believed that patent law was on its side, but the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled otherwise.

Most of the companies involved in the lawsuit decided that it would be more advantageous to settle with Lexmark, but one company, Impression Products, decided to see the case through to the end. The smaller company argued that Lexmark made its profit from its patented products with the first sale. What customers did with the cartridges thereafter was not Lexmark's problem or prerogative.

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