Congressmen Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) have introduced the Saving High-tech Innovators from Egregious Legal Disputes (SHIELD) Act, an act that attempts to fight back against patent trolls. The bill would force plaintiffs to pay for the defendant’s attorney fees and other legal costs if their patent lawsuit fails in court. Plaintiffs would be exempt if they invented the patent themselves or could show that they had made a substantial investment in trying to bring the patent to market. The SHIELD Act has the support of various organizations, who view patent trolls as a threat to innovation, a threat that adds no economic value to the country. On the other hand, some warn that any legislation on patent trolls would be a “gift to infringers”
Nintendo Sued for Patent Infringement Over 3DS
The gaming giant Nintendo is being sued for patent infringement for its 3DS handheld gaming system. Sejiro Tomita, a former SONY employee, claims that Nintendo used technology that he developed and patented relating to the ability to provide 3-D images without the use of glasses. Opening arguments were heard on Monday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, with Tomita’s legal team arguing that Nintendo used Tomita’s technology to develop the 3DS. Tomita claims that he showed his technology in a 2003 meeting with seven Nintento officials, four of which went on to be key developers for the 3DS. Nintendo claims that the 3DS doesn’t use key aspects of Tomita’s patent. It claims that the meeting with Tomita was one of hundreds, including one with Sharp Corp., the manufacturer of the 3DS’s screen. Tomita is seeking $9.80 for every 3DS sold, which, given the nearly 29 million units already sold, amounts to approximately $280 million in damages. This is not the first time that Nintendo has faced this kind of lawsuit. Back in 2006, similar claims were brought regarding Nintendo’s “wii-mote.”
LegalTech New York
This week at LegalTech New York the FBI warned that law firms are increasingly becoming the target of hackers. Mary Galligan, special agent in charge of cyber and special operations, went on to say that cyberintrusions are more dangerous and sophisticated than just a few years ago. With the amount of documents sent by law firms on a daily basis, they are an easy target for skilled hackers. Galligan gave several examples of what’s being done. She said having up-to-date network diagrams, physical access logs, and legal notices upon logging in are all helpful methods to prevent them, adding that Firewalls, intrusion detection systems, remote access servers, virtual private networks, and web servers all also should be logged. Derrick Donnelly, CTO of mobile forensics company BlackBag Technologies Inc., mentioned that they are seeing increased security on smartphones, citing the new iOS operating system on iPhones as an example. Leaders of firms’ security operations maintain that the best form of law firm security is still risk awareness training. Not only is this a safety issue, but are required under ABA Rules of Professional Responsibility 1.1 and 1.6.
Samsung and Apple: The Battle Continues
Samsung’s attempt to block sales of the iPhone and iPad in Japan failed last week. The judge ruled that the Korean firm didn’t negotiate in good faith with Apple before bringing the case to court. The judge also ruled that Samsung did not have a right to seek damages from Apple. The case in Japan is just one of many between the world’s two largest makers of smartphones. Samsung had won a previous case in Japanese court in which Apple alleged Samsung had infringed its patents. Samsung also prevailed in a British case, with the judge finding that Apple had to reissue its apology to Samsung because in addition to stating that Samsung had not infringed any patents, the apology included quotes from British consumers that Samsung tablets were “not as cool” as apples.