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Jessica Chesher

Managing Editor

Innovation eReview
Headlines Worth Knowing

Microsoft calls for changes to patent law - Microsoft is calling for a major reform of the world's patent laws. Brad Smith, Microsoft's General Counsel and Corporate Secretary is asking for greater harmonisation of laws between various countries. (PC Pro News, 4/2/05)

Flat screen makers face patent lawsuits - Two industrial manufacturers, Guardian Industries Corp. and Honeywell International Inc., have sued dozens of companies in the global PC and video display businesses in a U.S. federal court to try to recoup royalties on liquid-crystal technology. (CNN, 3/13/05)

Yahoo! countersued in IM patent dispute - Yahoo! has been hit with a countersuit in a dispute between the search engine and on-line gaming platform and community Xfire Inc. over alleged patent infringements relating to instant messaging. (Out-law.com, 3/11/05)

Record Number of International Patent Applications - In the same year that the international patent system marked the filing of the one millionth international patent application, a record number of applications, just over 120,000, were filed in 2004 using the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The United States of America continued to top the list of largest users, but the biggest rates of growth came from the Asian continent – namely, Japan, the Republic of Korea and China. The PCT is the cornerstone of the international patent system and offers a rapid, flexible and cost-effective way to obtain patent protection in the 126 countries that have signed up to the system. (WIPO, 3/9/05)

Amazon patents gender stereotyping - Girls like dolls, and their presents should be wrapped in pink paper. Whether it is obvious or not, Amazon now holds the patent on the idea. (ZDNet, 3/9/05)

Apple Faces iPod, iTunes Patent Suits - Patent lawsuits have been filed against Apple by two separate companies claiming that Apple has violated patents related to the iPod and the iTunes music store. (CIO Today, 3/8/05)

National Geographic CD-ROM archive does not violate copyright law - National Geographic did not violate the copyright of freelance photographers and authors when it used their work in a CD-ROM collection archiving 108 years of the magazine because the digital archive is akin to bound volumes or microfilm and not a new work, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (2nd Cir.) ruled Friday. (RCFP.org, 3/7/05)

IE Patent Ruling Reversed - An appeals court on Wednesday threw out a $520.6 million patent infringement judgment against Microsoft and ordered a new trial in the dispute brought by Eolas Technologies. (PC World, 3/4/05)

Is the GPL OK for DNA? - Open-source biology might work by just distributing developments and using community pressure to encourage everyone to follow in the spirit of sharing. With dual licensing, those who restrict have to pay for that right, raising money to fund free development. If the patents were truly blocking, then they could be pooled and only licensed to those who agreed to open standards. (Linux Insider, 3/1/05)

Rambus Destroyed Evidence in Patent Suit - Rambus Inc., a designer of high-speed computer memory chips, destroyed documents knowing that competitors would need them to defend against the company’s patent infringement lawsuits, a lawyer told a federal judge. (Bloomberg, 2/21/05)

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