Plessy moves to a licensing model

Interesting move by Plessey.  I wonder if there are underlying reasons why they couldn’t get interest in actual manufacturing – is it that the UK financial ecosystem is biased against deviation from the design-it-at-home-but-make-it-all-in-China model that was (but no longer is?) popular for the past 20 years?  or is something else going on? If the former, then things wouldn’t seem to bode very well for the various Brexiteers’ economic promises if innovative UK companies can’t get funding to manufacture in the UK


Silicon Valley entitlement meets the real work, Part 564….

Once again, just because you think you’re a tech company and special doesn’t mean that the law should treat you differently.  . The key issue from the piece: Florida policy requires all state, county and municipal records to be open for inspection and copying by anyone. That’s bad news for Uber, which has fought to exclude its files from public and police view. And now, an appellate court has ruled the company must disclose documents detailing its airport trips and what it paid Broward County for that business.

US Trade Secrets vs. Chinese Injunctions

In a case designed to hit as many buttons as possible of IP futurists,  a suit in the US for theft of trade secrets under DTSA responded to with a patent lawsuit and injunction request in China.  Should be interesting to see how this turns out.

Huawei and ZTE security issues, again

“US lawmakers have long worried about the security risks posed the alleged ties between Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE and the country’s government. To that end, Texas Representative Mike Conaway introduced a bill last week called Defending U.S. Government Communications Act, which aims to ban US government agencies from using phones and equipment from the companies.”

Engineering and “Engineering” and the consequences of the difference

While I can’t say I feel sorry for Google, with the growth of the Internet of Things these kinds of problems are going to become far more common unless and until people start caring about engineering, not the faux activity that Silicon Valley calls “Engineering”

Huawei’s injunction against Samsung – a universally applicable rule or something else?

I wonder whether this logic will be applied to Chinese companies like ZTE – last I heard Nokia hasn’t been able to secure a license for some 15+ years.  (See para 2.5


Trade Secrets in China

I would have thought so.  Probably in Chinese companies’ own interests to make sure trade secret protections are strong as well.  From the article: A senior executive at Taiwanese memory chipmaker Nanya Technology said Tuesday that Chinese rivals will face increasing global scrutiny over trade secret violations as Beijing aggressively builds up a domestic semiconductor industry in large part by acquiring foreign companies and poaching talent. “These emerging Chinese competitors will face stricter reviews on how they obtain memory chip technology and whether they are involved in trade secret theft,” said President Lee Pei-Ing of Nanya Tech.

Something that those who are concerned about trade secrets need to keep an eye on.

Something that those who are concerned about trade secrets need to keep an eye on.  While there may be a backlash against over use of trade secrets in certain circumstances, the law has an unfortunate way of throwing out the baby with the bathwater on a routine basis.   Of particular danger here would seem to be negative knowhow. From the article: AB 889 would solve this. It provides that in an action based upon the existence of a danger to the public health or safety, information relating to the danger that was discovered during the course of litigation cannot be kept secret in an agreement between the parties or a court order. There is a necessary exception, however, if a court finds that revealing the information would disclose “trade secrets.” A secret formula or design for a product is a trade secret; the dangers it poses are not.

“Working” Patents in India

Great article providing lots of empirical information on India’s working requirements and a lot of discussion of the issues raised by the requirements. That said there doesn’t appear to be any discussion of the important issues of:   how long it takes Indian applications to clear the office (VERY long) – if it were shorter, like under 5 years, then having to show working within 3 years might be a real issue, since, I would argue, most non-pharma patents aren’t “Worked” by anyone for at least 5 if not 10 years after filing; the mess that is the Indian patent office – unless something has changed recently, while much of an Indian patent is on line, the ACTUAL ISSUED CLAIMS are NOT and must be found at Individual patent offices.  If that is still the case, then any reform of Working must first account for the fact that third parties have no easy way of really knowing the true scope of Indian patents are.

These points and the issues raised in the article (including nightmare of trying to assign value for Individual patents on a product like a cellphone outside of a litigation and prospectively as the patent issues; how the working requirement seems to impose a duty on global licensors to monitor whether the licensees are in fact “working” in India as opposed to having the right to do so; concerns about the fact that most licensees prefer to keep their licenses confidential; among other issues) make one wonder whether the entire point of the working system in India is to provide a self-destruct option for the Indian patent system by making it impossible to enforce patents coming from complex patent ecosystems (E.g., SEPs) or at least requiring compulsory licenses.


SMEs, IP and the Internet of Things

Another good article on SMEs, IP and the internet of things.  From the depressing conclusion (which just show how widespread IP ignorance is): “the survey [discussed in the article] showed that young innovative firms lack IP awareness and do not understand the role that IP management could play for their firm. A good illustration of this issue is that respondents showed two apparent contradictory views on the IP system. On the one hand side they lacked awareness on IP, on the other hand, they felt that the patent system should be urgently reformed. This suggests that the senior managers in YICs have, at best, a layperson’s understanding of the IP system and it underlines the need for further IP awareness-building campaigns. The interviewees also had a minimal understanding of standard essential patents and the accompanying FRAND debate, especially the early stage firms. This leaves them exposed to unexpected licensing requests, while depriving them of the opportunity to pursue their own licensing programs.”