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11/30/2013 - A Texas jury awarded TQP Development a $2.3 million judgment -- TQP, widely regarded as a nonpracticing entity, won the judgment against Newegg for Newegg's infringement of a public key encryption patent that TQP acquired in 2006. The Texas jury rejected the argument that a claim from the public key encryption patent was invalid despite testimony from Whitfield Diffie, one of the original inventors of public key encryption.

6/25/2013 - Software Patents May Contain Ineligible Subject Matter Under 35 U.S.C. §101 -- A recent Federal Circuit ruling suggests differing opinions among the judges about whether certain software patents include patentable subject matter under §101. The court issued six different opinions in CLS Bank International v. Alice Corporation, each including varying tests to determine patent-eligible subject matter under §101. The patents at issue related to financial services software and included method claims, computer-readable medium claims, and system claims. Eight of the judges agreed that the claims "should rise or fall together in the § 101 analysis." The main opinion asserts that "the test should be a flexible claim-by-claim analysis that focuses on whether the claims add 'significantly more' to a basic abstract concept." In the case at issue, the main opinion found that the subject matter was not patentable because it included an abstract idea that was a "disembodied concept." A separate opinion written by Chief Judge Rader (concurrence-in-part, dissent-in-part) concludes that the system claims were patentable because they included subject matter that was not abstract or disembodied, but instead was integrated into a system utilizing machines. Although no definitive test as to patentable subject matter under §101 was set forth in the opinion, the opinion does indicate that there is substantial disagreement within the court as to whether particular software/financial services software patents include patentable subject matter. The Intellectual Property Strategist, Vol. 19, No. 9, June 2013.

6/25/2013 - Obama Attempts to Reduce Patent Trolling -- "[T]he White House is asking Congress to force the USPTO to narrow the scope of patents within the next six months so that whole fields of endeavour cannot be trolled. Obama also wants to prevent patents being asserted against the users of technologies, like coffee shops, rather than manufacturers." This action is aimed at reducing patent trolling (i.e. asserting patents that are either invalid or of questionable validity, often because they are obvious or overbroad).

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