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(Network World)   Company begs to be sued by patent troll, court says no way   (networkworld.com) divider line 46
    More: Interesting, TR Labs, lower courts, class switching, design choices, Appeals Court  
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4813 clicks; posted to Geek » on 13 Sep 2013 at 10:07 AM (45 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



46 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-09-13 10:09:33 AM
Ok, that's it.  Things you buy from an apparently legitimate dealer can get you sued for a patent you would have no reason to know exists.   Time to burn down the USPO and start again.
 
2013-09-13 10:17:27 AM
There are patents on how you can configure networking and communication equipment?  I wish they would have linked to the cases, I'm curious to what they claim is infringing.
 
2013-09-13 10:24:45 AM

wingnut396: I wish they would have linked to the cases, I'm curious to what they claim is infringing.


They gave the patent numbers, but I don't feel like wading through a couple hundred pages of legalese to see what they think they're trying to get away with.
 
2013-09-13 10:26:24 AM

ikanreed: Ok, that's it.  Things you buy from an apparently legitimate dealer can get you sued for a patent you would have no reason to know exists.   Time to burn down the USPO and start again.


That's because Cisco has the wherewithal to beat trolls into the pavement. They want no part of Cisco's budget and legal team.
 
2013-09-13 10:29:31 AM
Here are the patents-in-suit:


U.S. Patent Numbers 4,956,835; 5,850,505; 6,377,543; 6,404,734; 6,421,349; 6,654,379; 6,914,880; and 7,260,059.

Here is the Fed. Cir. opinion:
Cisco Systems, Inc. v. Alberta Telecommunications Research Center
 
2013-09-13 10:32:00 AM
Hmmm... Looking at another article, and going by the vague descriptions of the patents they are claiming, it almost sounds like they are trying to claim patent on BGP/OSPF for self healing/pre-configuring networks.  If that truly is the case, then Good luck with that.
 
2013-09-13 10:34:36 AM

Carousel Beast: That's because Cisco has the wherewithal to beat trolls into the pavement. They want no part of Cisco's budget and legal team.


Um TR Labs is a consortium of Canadian Universities and Government communications researchers.  Not exactly a patent troll.

Oh wait, I forgot.

On Fark, patent troll = plaintiff

carry on
 
2013-09-13 10:46:56 AM

Carousel Beast: ikanreed: Ok, that's it.  Things you buy from an apparently legitimate dealer can get you sued for a patent you would have no reason to know exists.   Time to burn down the USPO and start again.

That's because Cisco has the wherewithal to beat trolls into the pavement. They want no part of Cisco's budget and legal team.


I know why it's happening, I'm just talking about what needs to be done to get it to stop.
 
2013-09-13 10:56:42 AM

ikanreed: Ok, that's it.  Things you buy from an apparently legitimate dealer can get you sued for a patent you would have no reason to know exists.   Time to burn down the USPO and start again.


The company seems to be saying if you plug device x into device y in manner z you violate the patent, but there are things you can do with device x and device y that don't violate it.  IE, nothing Cisco made directly violates the patent, but once the telecommunications companies configure it in a certain manner the patent is violated.

Now, whether or not this is actually accurate, who knows.  But I can grok the argument; basically the telecommunications companies built a device out of Cisco equipment that violates the patent but the individual pieces of equipment don't do so per se.
 
2013-09-13 11:01:23 AM
I'm confused... what is the patent that is being contested here? How can a device's configuration violate a patent but not the device itself?
 
2013-09-13 11:22:49 AM

Teiritzamna: Carousel Beast: That's because Cisco has the wherewithal to beat trolls into the pavement. They want no part of Cisco's budget and legal team.

Um TR Labs is a consortium of Canadian Universities and Government communications researchers.  Not exactly a patent troll.

Oh wait, I forgot.

On Fark, patent troll = plaintiff

carry on


And yet they're still trolling.
 
2013-09-13 11:24:31 AM

Teiritzamna: Um TR Labs is a consortium of Canadian Universities and Government communications researchers. Not exactly a patent troll.

Oh wait, I forgot.

On Fark, patent troll = plaintiff


Patent trolls enforce dubious patents that they do not actually use.  It's quite possible for a consortium of universities to qualify.
 
2013-09-13 11:25:33 AM

Geotpf: ikanreed: Ok, that's it.  Things you buy from an apparently legitimate dealer can get you sued for a patent you would have no reason to know exists.   Time to burn down the USPO and start again.

The company seems to be saying if you plug device x into device y in manner z you violate the patent, but there are things you can do with device x and device y that don't violate it.  IE, nothing Cisco made directly violates the patent, but once the telecommunications companies configure it in a certain manner the patent is violated.

Now, whether or not this is actually accurate, who knows.  But I can grok the argument; basically the telecommunications companies built a device out of Cisco equipment that violates the patent but the individual pieces of equipment don't do so per se.


Yeah, I get that too, but that does not make sense to me.  Usually the individual devices are created to work together in just that fashion. I'd be surprised is ATT, Spring and all these other companies are using Cisco equipment in a totally unsupported or non-recommended manner.
 
2013-09-13 11:30:48 AM

manbart: I'm confused... what is the patent that is being contested here? How can a device's configuration violate a patent but not the device itself?


I have a patent on a two-wheeled horse cart.

You take a pair of bicycle wheels, attach them to the sides of a wheelbarrow body, and use a set of tack from a plow to hook it up to your horse.

Viola.  You've violated my patent, but none of the people selling you the devices you used (the wheels, the body, the horse, or the tack) violated it.

//At least, I assume this is what's going on here.
 
2013-09-13 11:36:39 AM

Jim_Callahan: manbart: I'm confused... what is the patent that is being contested here? How can a device's configuration violate a patent but not the device itself?

I have a patent on a two-wheeled horse cart.

You take a pair of bicycle wheels, attach them to the sides of a wheelbarrow body, and use a set of tack from a plow to hook it up to your horse.

Viola.  You've violated my patent, but none of the people selling you the devices you used (the wheels, the body, the horse, or the tack) violated it.

//At least, I assume this is what's going on here.


Right,

But Cisco is in the business of selling all those parts, which are made specifically to create a horse cart. They offer professional services, support and certifications in how build, maintain and run your horse cart.  Unless I'm missing something, The patent may very well be valid, but I don't see how Cisco is not part of the infringement.
 
2013-09-13 11:37:25 AM

wingnut396: Yeah, I get that too, but that does not make sense to me. Usually the individual devices are created to work together in just that fashion. I'd be surprised is ATT, Spring and all these other companies are using Cisco equipment in a totally unsupported or non-recommended manner.


That's not the test.  For contributory infringement, they need to show that there are no substantially non-infringing uses of the technology.  i.e. a plaintiff would need to show that when a guy sells a device that could be used by the buyer in an infringing fashion, that is pretty much all the device can be used for.  For a elucidation of the analogous doctrine in Copyright, Grockster offers a solid analysis of the difference between the VCR and file-sharing systems.

Here the Plaintiffs stated in court that they can show that there is no substantially non-infringing use of the products sold by Cisco.  Which is why they aren't suing Cisco.
 
2013-09-13 11:54:38 AM

wingnut396: But Cisco is in the business of selling all those parts, which are made specifically to create a horse cart. They offer professional services, support and certifications in how build, maintain and run your horse cart. Unless I'm missing something, The patent may very well be valid, but I don't see how Cisco is not part of the infringement.


Actually to be analogous. Cisco sells the parts and offers professional services, support and certifications in how build, maintain and run a yak cart.  However those parts can also be assembled in different ways to make a horse cart.  because Cisco's products can be used to make many different animal powered carts, and there is no evidence that Cisco actually induced buyers to make horse carts, they aren't proper plaintiffs.
 
2013-09-13 12:06:11 PM
I guess what I find unsatisfactory about the article is that it lacks any explanation whatsoever about the patent in question. It doesn't need to be super specific even, just the gist of what this copywrited network configuration may enta
 
2013-09-13 12:07:00 PM
il.
 
2013-09-13 12:32:36 PM

Loren: Teiritzamna: Um TR Labs is a consortium of Canadian Universities and Government communications researchers. Not exactly a patent troll.

Oh wait, I forgot.

On Fark, patent troll = plaintiff

Patent trolls enforce dubious patents that they do not actually use.  It's quite possible for a consortium of universities to qualify.


Well, if we want to go with the (sourced) wiki entry:

Apatent troll, also called apatent assertion entity (PAE), is a person or company who enforces rights against accused in an attempt to collect, but does not manufacture products or supply services based upon the patents in question. Related, less terms include (PHC) and  non-practicing entity (NPE). NPEs such as university research laboratories, development firms that offer their patented technologies to licensees in advance and licensing agents that offer enforcement and negotiation services on behalf of patent owners are generally not considered patent trolls.

From:  http://www.american.com/archive/2013/august/the-paradox-of-patent-ass e rtion-entities

I work on the biology end but what you do in a University research environment is not patent trolling. If we develop a drug or druggable compound to treat a disease we don't want to be in the pharmaceutical business, but the University (and government) likes a return on research investment when possible. So you patent the drug through the University (usually) and enter into negotiations with a company (or companies) to manufacture it. If you are willing to license your patented technology or product at a reasonable cost that doesn't make you a patent troll just because you don't manufacture and sell the technology itself.
 
2013-09-13 01:09:42 PM
Hey at least no one is conflating patent and copyright . . .

manbart: copywrited


m.blog.hu
 
2013-09-13 01:10:53 PM

entropic_existence: I work on the biology end but what you do in a University research environment is not patent trolling. If we develop a drug or druggable compound to treat a disease we don't want to be in the pharmaceutical business, but the University (and government) likes a return on research investment when possible. So you patent the drug through the University (usually) and enter into negotiations with a company (or companies) to manufacture it. If you are willing to license your patented technology or product at a reasonable cost that doesn't make you a patent troll just because you don't manufacture and sell the technology itself.


Yes, but a nuanced understanding of how licenses work (and occasionally even help inventors) doesn't fit the narrative.  so shush you.
 
2013-09-13 01:50:32 PM

Teiritzamna: Hey at least no one is conflating patent and copyright . . .

manbart: copywrited


Thanks for isightful post, you have truely shed light on a nuanced technical topic. Now, isn't it about time to go post that "they're" vs "there" comic a few dozen times.
 
2013-09-13 02:17:35 PM

manbart: Thanks for isightful post, you have truely shed light on a nuanced technical topic. Now, isn't it about time to go post that "they're" vs "there" comic a few dozen times.


i43.tinypic.com

Glad to help.

I mean if I was being a dick, I suppose I could have also noted the conflation of "right" and "write," but that likely wouldn't have been pedagogically helpful, merely unnecessarily pedantic.
 
2013-09-13 02:33:08 PM

Teiritzamna: manbart: Thanks for isightful post, you have truely shed light on a nuanced technical topic. Now, isn't it about time to go post that "they're" vs "there" comic a few dozen times.

[i43.tinypic.com image 460x259]

Glad to help.

I mean if I was being a dick, I suppose I could have also noted the conflation of "right" and "write," but that likely wouldn't have been pedagogically helpful, merely unnecessarily pedantic.


It's not that the topic shouldn't be discussed, I was just pointing out that your topic adds nothing to the discussion (much like this  very post).

I suppose that has more to do with the failings of the article than anything else though. The article implies that the nature of the  patent is based on a specific network configuration rather than the software/hardware of the devices themselves, but it gives no hint as to what this configuration is. This is the topic I was hoping would be expanded upon.

Posts pointing out reletively minor grammerical errors while adding nothing to the topic at hand are a tiresome cliche on internet message boards in my opinion. Wouldn't you rather discuss something interesting?
 
2013-09-13 02:56:03 PM

manbart: Wouldn't you rather discuss something interesting?


Sure I would, which is why I posted the patents-in-suit and the federal circuit case being discussed up-thread.  For completeness sake, here also is the complaint from Cisco.

As there seems to be no delineation of which claims are at issue, lets peg one at random, say claim 1 from U.S. Patent No. 7,260,059 patent ("the '059 patent"):

1. A method of providing protection for a telecommunications network against failure of a span or node in the telecommunications network, in which the telecommunications network initially has protection organized in rings of connected protection links, the method comprising the steps of:

selecting ring nodes for conversion from ring node to mesh node according to a strategy that increases and optimizes demand served by the telecommunications network, wherein the strategy takes into account the cost of conversion of the selected nodes from ring node to mesh node;
breaking connections between protection links at the selected ring nodes; and
connecting the protection links into a mesh network of links of spare capacity, thereby converting each of the selected ring nodes from a ring node to a mesh node.

Now since my specialty is in biotech, and i haven't studied the patent specification, i have basically no real idea what this means.  But i am sure someone having ordinary skill in the art will be able to do so, and such people are likely to be found in a Fark thread.
 
2013-09-13 03:00:37 PM

manbart: Teiritzamna: manbart: Thanks for isightful post, you have truely shed light on a nuanced technical topic. Now, isn't it about time to go post that "they're" vs "there" comic a few dozen times.

[i43.tinypic.com image 460x259]

Glad to help.

I mean if I was being a dick, I suppose I could have also noted the conflation of "right" and "write," but that likely wouldn't have been pedagogically helpful, merely unnecessarily pedantic.

It's not that the topic shouldn't be discussed, I was just pointing out that your topic adds nothing to the discussion (much like this  very post).

I suppose that has more to do with the failings of the article than anything else though. The article implies that the nature of the  patent is based on a specific network configuration rather than the software/hardware of the devices themselves, but it gives no hint as to what this configuration is. This is the topic I was hoping would be expanded upon.

Posts pointing out reletively minor grammerical errors while adding nothing to the topic at hand are a tiresome cliche on internet message boards in my opinion. Wouldn't you rather discuss something interesting?


I'm far too lazy to go thru every page of those patents, but here are the titles:

Method and apparatus for self-restoring and self-provisioning communication networks
Method for preconfiguring a network to withstand anticipated failures
Path restoration of networks
Scalable network restoration device
Distributed preconfiguration of spare capacity in closed paths for network restoration
Integrated ring-mesh network
Protection of routers in a telecommunications network
Evolution of a telecommunications network from ring to mesh structure

I think Drunken_Polar_Bear is right, it sounds like they are suing over BGP/OSPF.
 
2013-09-13 03:14:52 PM

Hz so good: I'm far too lazy to go thru every page of those patents, but here are the titles:


I have never fully understood this, as an argument.  It's akin to saying, "i am too lazy to read Harper Lee's book, but from glancing at the title it appears to be a guide to hunting and killing songbirds."  Especially given that, no matter what 37 C.F.R. 1.72 says, the title of a patent can often have little to do with what actually ends up being claimed.
 
2013-09-13 03:31:58 PM

Teiritzamna: Hz so good: I'm far too lazy to go thru every page of those patents, but here are the titles:

I have never fully understood this, as an argument.  It's akin to saying, "i am too lazy to read Harper Lee's book, but from glancing at the title it appears to be a guide to hunting and killing songbirds."  Especially given that, no matter what 37 C.F.R. 1.72 says, the title of a patent can often have little to do with what actually ends up being claimed.


I said that because IANAL, and I would get lost in the legalese, and I'm also not about to read thru all of that and summarize it for you, without being paid for my time.  You wanted to know more about the configuration that's involved in the suit, and i think the titles give an idea of what they are talking about, since they seemingly refer to the self-healing capabilities of BGP/OSPF. Sorry if my argument isn't up to your standards.
 
2013-09-13 03:33:55 PM

Teiritzamna: Hz so good: I'm far too lazy to go thru every page of those patents, but here are the titles:

I have never fully understood this, as an argument.  It's akin to saying, "i am too lazy to read Harper Lee's book, but from glancing at the title it appears to be a guide to hunting and killing songbirds."  Especially given that, no matter what 37 C.F.R. 1.72 says, the title of a patent can often have little to do with what actually ends up being claimed.



Oh, piss! I conflated you with manbart. Sorry about that!
 
2013-09-13 03:45:19 PM

Hz so good: Teiritzamna: Hz so good: I'm far too lazy to go thru every page of those patents, but here are the titles:

I have never fully understood this, as an argument.  It's akin to saying, "i am too lazy to read Harper Lee's book, but from glancing at the title it appears to be a guide to hunting and killing songbirds."  Especially given that, no matter what 37 C.F.R. 1.72 says, the title of a patent can often have little to do with what actually ends up being claimed.

I said that because IANAL, and I would get lost in the legalese, and I'm also not about to read thru all of that and summarize it for you, without being paid for my time.  You wanted to know more about the configuration that's involved in the suit, and i think the titles give an idea of what they are talking about, since they seemingly refer to the self-healing capabilities of BGP/OSPF. Sorry if my argument isn't up to your standards.


1) that was Manbart
2) If you look at the links up-thread, Google puts the claims in a pretty easy to see area, fairly near the top.  Also i even quoted an example of claim language.
3) the title issue is that invention titles are often used in arguments that x or y patent is "too broad" or "too obvious"  See, e.g., often discussed "patent on toast" entitled: Bread refreshing method. which seems ridiculous, until you look at the claims and see that the method is for ultra high heating of bread, for very short periods of time (most toasters have elements that get to 800-1200 degrees C as a maximum, the patent at issue requires heat of ~1300-2500 degrees C.).  Given that many commercial elements melt at these temperatures, and the patent is a companion to an ultra high heat toaster . . . its not so crazy.

People tend to read titles then leap directly to "everyone panic." At this point it is like nails on a blackboard, so, alas, I launched.
 
2013-09-13 04:01:04 PM

Teiritzamna: Hz so good: Teiritzamna: Hz so good: I'm far too lazy to go thru every page of those patents, but here are the titles:

I have never fully understood this, as an argument.  It's akin to saying, "i am too lazy to read Harper Lee's book, but from glancing at the title it appears to be a guide to hunting and killing songbirds."  Especially given that, no matter what 37 C.F.R. 1.72 says, the title of a patent can often have little to do with what actually ends up being claimed.

I said that because IANAL, and I would get lost in the legalese, and I'm also not about to read thru all of that and summarize it for you, without being paid for my time.  You wanted to know more about the configuration that's involved in the suit, and i think the titles give an idea of what they are talking about, since they seemingly refer to the self-healing capabilities of BGP/OSPF. Sorry if my argument isn't up to your standards.

1) that was Manbart
2) If you look at the links up-thread, Google puts the claims in a pretty easy to see area, fairly near the top.  Also i even quoted an example of claim language.
3) the title issue is that invention titles are often used in arguments that x or y patent is "too broad" or "too obvious"  See, e.g., often discussed "patent on toast" entitled: Bread refreshing method. which seems ridiculous, until you look at the claims and see that the method is for ultra high heating of bread, for very short periods of time (most toasters have elements that get to 800-1200 degrees C as a maximum, the patent at issue requires heat of ~1300-2500 degrees C.).  Given that many commercial elements melt at these temperatures, and the patent is a companion to an ultra high heat toaster . . . its not so crazy.

People tend to read titles then leap directly to "everyone panic." At this point it is like nails on a blackboard, so, alas, I launched.


I did click on each of the patents you linked, I just didn't read the entirety of them, and that was my mistake. You are correct in that the devices do not infringe, its the configuration of them that's the issue.  Sounds like TR Labs is suing over BGP/OSPFs capabilities, and the Telcos implementation thereof.
 
2013-09-13 04:02:29 PM

Teiritzamna: entropic_existence: I work on the biology end but what you do in a University research environment is not patent trolling. If we develop a drug or druggable compound to treat a disease we don't want to be in the pharmaceutical business, but the University (and government) likes a return on research investment when possible. So you patent the drug through the University (usually) and enter into negotiations with a company (or companies) to manufacture it. If you are willing to license your patented technology or product at a reasonable cost that doesn't make you a patent troll just because you don't manufacture and sell the technology itself.

Yes, but a nuanced understanding of how licenses work (and occasionally even help inventors) doesn't fit the narrative.  so shush you.


I think all this this really depends upon the manor in which all of this happens. Its quite possible that the network configurations are complex. If Cisco assist their users in setting up these configurations, especially if they have software on their routers specifically designed for this, then Cisco probably does have a interest in this. Given reasonable license fees, Cisco would probably negotiate to pay these fees for each installation so as to not burden the end purchaser with such issues. Either the desired fees are very high, or TR Labs has been purposefully not allowing Cisco to buy license because they want to deal with the end user themselves.
 
2013-09-13 04:04:24 PM

Hz so good: I did click on each of the patents you linked, I just didn't read the entirety of them, and that was my mistake. You are correct in that the devices do not infringe, its the configuration of them that's the issue. Sounds like TR Labs is suing over BGP/OSPFs capabilities, and the Telcos implementation thereof.


Cool. 

Sorry again about launching - but given the general Farkery regarding patents, I have gotten used to having to come out aggressively.
 
2013-09-13 04:11:36 PM

Teiritzamna: Hz so good: I did click on each of the patents you linked, I just didn't read the entirety of them, and that was my mistake. You are correct in that the devices do not infringe, its the configuration of them that's the issue. Sounds like TR Labs is suing over BGP/OSPFs capabilities, and the Telcos implementation thereof.

Cool. 

Sorry again about launching - but given the general Farkery regarding patents, I have gotten used to having to come out aggressively.


Not prob, Bob.  I launched too, when i conflated you with manbart, so it's all good.
 
2013-09-13 04:14:13 PM

Loren: Teiritzamna: Um TR Labs is a consortium of Canadian Universities and Government communications researchers. Not exactly a patent troll.

Oh wait, I forgot.

On Fark, patent troll = plaintiff

Patent trolls enforce dubious patents that they do not actually use.  It's quite possible for a consortium of universities to qualify.


There are many definitions of patent trolls. But, no matter your definition, there is no indication in the article that this is not about the proper enforcement of valid patents. You have to show that, at the very least, before you can convince me it is a troll.
 
2013-09-13 04:15:01 PM

MindStalker: I think all this this really depends upon the manor in which all of this happens. Its quite possible that the network configurations are complex. If Cisco assist their users in setting up these configurations, especially if they have software on their routers specifically designed for this, then Cisco probably does have a interest in this. Given reasonable license fees, Cisco would probably negotiate to pay these fees for each installation so as to not burden the end purchaser with such issues. Either the desired fees are very high, or TR Labs has been purposefully not allowing Cisco to buy license because they want to deal with the end user themselves.


From the Fed. Cir.'s opinion:

As an initial matter, at oral argument, Cisco's counsel conceded that its products were not identified in claim charts relating to two of the eight patents at issue, the '505 and '543 patents. . . . Since the reference to Cisco's products in certain of the claim charts is the primary basis upon which Cisco premises its alleged fear that an infringement claim might be asserted against it, the absence of any reference to Cisco products in the charts relating to the '505 and '543 patents greatly undercuts Cisco's claim that a controversy exists as to those patents.As an initial matter, at oral argument, Cisco's counsel conceded that its products were not identified in claim charts relating to two of the eight patents at issue, the '505 and '543 patents. . . .

Also at oral argument, TR Labs' counsel conceded that TR Labs has "no basis for suing [Cisco] either for direct or indirect infringement." Id. at 24:20-24:26. TR Labs further conceded that there are substantial non-infringing uses of Cisco's products, a point Cisco does not dispute. Id. at 17:20-18:50. Given this reality, TR Labs could not assert a claim of contributory infringement against Cisco under 35 U.S.C. § 271(c). See Ricoh Co. v. Quanta Computer, Inc., 550 F.3d 1325, 1337 (Fed. Cir. 2008) ("The language of the statute incorporates the core notion that one who sells a component especially designed for use in a patented invention may be liable as a contributory infringer, provided that the component is not a staple article of commerce suitable for substantial noninfringing use.").

. . .

Finally, TR Labs has expressly offered to give Cisco a covenant not to sue Cisco for infringement of any of the asserted patents. As noted above, TR Labs' counsel stated that TR Labs has "no basis for suing [Cisco] either for direct or indirect infringement" and "we were happy" to give Cisco a covenant not to sue. Id. at 24:20-24:35. It is understandable that Cisco may have an interest in saving its customers from infringement contentions premised, even in part, on their use of Cisco products. In the circumstances presented here, that interest is simply insufficient to give rise to a current, justiciable case or controversy upon which federal declaratory judgment jurisdiction may be predicated.
 
2013-09-13 04:19:42 PM
Basically the above suggests that Cisco argued it had standing for two reasons:

1) it legitimately feared suit over these patents, so it filed for Declaratory Judgment seeking a ruling that it did not infringe; and

2) it believed it could protect its consumers, and that doing so would grant standing.

as to (1), the court held no, you cant honestly argue you feared suit when (a) the patent holder has said "we don't think we can sue these guys"; (b) many of the patents in suit dont even involve products that Cisco  produces; and (c) the patent holders have even offered to sign a court enforceable document saying they wont sue you. 

as to (2), federal standing doesn't generally allow one party to sue for interests of a third party, without some big-assed exception.
 
2013-09-13 04:22:37 PM

Teiritzamna: Basically the above suggests that Cisco argued it had standing for two reasons:

1) it legitimately feared suit over these patents, so it filed for Declaratory Judgment seeking a ruling that it did not infringe; and

2) it believed it could protect its consumers, and that doing so would grant standing.

as to (1), the court held no, you cant honestly argue you feared suit when (a) the patent holder has said "we don't think we can sue these guys"; (b) many of the patents in suit dont even involve products that Cisco  produces; and (c) the patent holders have even offered to sign a court enforceable document saying they wont sue you. 

as to (2), federal standing doesn't generally allow one party to sue for interests of a third party, without some big-assed exception.


It'll be interesting to see how all this plays out, since it  has far-reaching implications.

/Does internetworking/telecommunication for a living
 
2013-09-13 04:30:44 PM

Teiritzamna: From the Fed. Cir.'s opinion:


That says absolutely nothing. Just because TR Labs doesn't think Cisco infringes doesn't mean Cisco can't buy license for their users. Its a fairly common practice for sellers of products to buy license for users who wish to use their products in such a way that might infringe. It appears TR Labs is trying to avoid allowing Cisco to buy its license and would rather deal with each individual customer individually.
Technically TR Labs has the right not to sell license to Cisco, but it doesn't mean its not trollish behavior, especially if Cisco is willing to pay for it..
 
2013-09-13 04:46:58 PM

MindStalker: Teiritzamna: From the Fed. Cir.'s opinion:

That says absolutely nothing. Just because TR Labs doesn't think Cisco infringes doesn't mean Cisco can't buy license for their users. Its a fairly common practice for sellers of products to buy license for users who wish to use their products in such a way that might infringe. It appears TR Labs is trying to avoid allowing Cisco to buy its license and would rather deal with each individual customer individually.
Technically TR Labs has the right not to sell license to Cisco, but it doesn't mean its not trollish behavior, especially if Cisco is willing to pay for it..


That is irrelevant. What is relevant is who is guilty of infringement (assuming the case holds up). And it seems pretty clear that Cisco is not based on the information provided to the court.
 
2013-09-13 04:53:58 PM

MindStalker: That says absolutely nothing. Just because TR Labs doesn't think Cisco infringes doesn't mean Cisco can't buy license for their users. Its a fairly common practice for sellers of products to buy license for users who wish to use their products in such a way that might infringe. It appears TR Labs is trying to avoid allowing Cisco to buy its license and would rather deal with each individual customer individually.
Technically TR Labs has the right not to sell license to Cisco, but it doesn't mean its not trollish behavior, especially if Cisco is willing to pay for it..


What?  I am trying to figure out what your issue is.  This suit is not about Cisco licensing the patented method from TRLabs.  Here is what is happening:

(1) TR Labs has patents on configuring systems in a particular fashion
(2) Companies, such as AT&T buy equipment from Cisco
(3) AT&T configures the Cisco equipment in a particular fashion
(4) TR Labs believes AT&T's use of the equipment is infringing, and so sues AT&T (Lawsuit I)
(5) During Lawsuit I, TR Labs prepares patent claim charts showing exactly how they think AT&T infringed.  In those charts, TR Labs refers to Cisco's equipment.
(6) Cisco sues TR Labs for a declaration that they do not infringe (Lawsuit II).
(7) TR Labs argues that Cisco lacks standing because:
     (a) Cisco has no legitimate threat of suit because TR Labs has not indicated that it will sue Cisco, and because, under the law, they likley couldn't
     (b) Cisco cannot sue on behalf of their clients
(8) The Fed Cir agrees
 
2013-09-13 08:45:35 PM
Gah, I would love for coding to be treated the same as language for court rulings in that one cannot trademark (for words, patent for technology) common phrases or terms (like a start command or a property inherent to systems in the Cisco case) but one can protect phrasing that is distinct to one entity or product. "The Most Magical Place On Earth" would be analogous to a coding mechanism that is exclusive to one service or company and could be inferred as belonging to a brand through the reasonable human standard. ("No, Mr Defendant, you didn't just accidentally create a similar function on your own, this product has existed for a substantial time to be market dominant")

I would love for a jury to open that can of worms because I believe a lot of good things can happen when you dismiss the ability to sue over common or self-evident "words". It would be a mess in the short term because money buys good lawyers and standards can get skewed really fast with the wrong moron on the jury, but I would still consider the risk to be worth it.
 
2013-09-14 01:05:23 AM
So, the court ruled that a major company cannot prevent its customer base from being sued into oblivion by third parties by forcing reasonable payment for inadvertent violations incorporating said major company's products. Yeah, good lucky with that. An appeals court will straighten this out so that the major company has standing to protect future sales to the target of the lawsuit. It's surprising that this hasn't already been done by the courts. It would be a far more innocuous finding than others in the last several years regarding the rights of companies.
 
2013-09-14 01:18:17 AM

BolloxReader: An appeals court will straighten this out


Nope.

A federal appeals court in California has upheld a lower court ruling
 
2013-09-14 03:20:32 PM

dywed88: BolloxReader: An appeals court will straighten this out

Nope.

A federal appeals court in California has upheld a lower court ruling


Well Hell's belles, I never thought our judicial system would let a foreign NGO act against the profit margins of a company like Cisco like that. I expect dueling partisan fixes proposed in Congress next month, one bundled with a "defund Obamacare" section and the other with a "ban whatever the last crazy guy used to kill people with" clause. If someone is targeting telecoms like this eventually the system will find a way to shield them.
 
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