What happened in the world of IP this week? ⬇️
📌 Intel, after announcing last April that it was going to pull out of the market with its 5G smartphone modem business, has put 8,500 patents relating to cellular wireless connectivity on the auction block: the portfolio includes approximately 6,000 patents related to 3G, 4G, 5G and an additional 1,700 assets that rely on wireless implementation technologies.
📌 Following last week’s proposal by Senator Marco Rubio to restrict Huawei from seeking legal action over patent infringement in the U.S., Huawei has warned against the politicization of intellectual property claiming that “if politicians use IP as a political tool, they will destroy confidence in the patent protection system,” ultimately breaking “the foundation of global innovation.”
📌 A U.S. jury ruled on Wednesday that Huawei — which originally claimed to be the real victim in the dispute — stole trade secrets from a company co-founded by a former employee. The judge, however, hasn’t awarded any damages to the startup — CNEX Lab — stating that the Chinese tech giant didn’t benefit from the theft.
📌 After the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled — last September — that patents covering the CRISPR gene editing technology held by the Broad Institute (MIT and Harvard University) were not in conflict with previously submitted patents from the University of California, the USPTO has restarted the dispute by stating that, in fact, there may be overlapping IP.
📌 McAfee accused three former sales employees of trade secrets theft. According to the computer security software company’s complaint, the three acquired advanced knowledge of the company’s sales tactics and customer strategies, knowledge that they later applied to benefit the competitor Tanium.
📌 The speaker and home-entertainment products manufacturer Sonos filed an infringement suit against Lensbrook Industries, the parent company of the smart-speaker maker Bluesound. The patents involved — seven in total — cover volume-control and syncing features. This isn’t Sonos’s first attempt at enforcing its IP rights, in 2014, in fact, the company sued Denon. Back then, the case was settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.
📌 General Electric and the Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas Wind Systems settled all of the infringement disputes that the former started in 2017, after suing the latter in relation to patents covering technologies that enable wind turbines to manage grid faults. The settlement included a cross-license agreement that enables both companies and their affiliates to apply the technology covered.
📌 According to a report by CPA Global, patent transfer activities in the U.S. decreased by 22% last year. The decline — which particularly affected sectors such as electronics, computer software, and telecoms — has been described as “unsurprising” by the intellectual property and technology management firm in light of the ongoing uncertainty over subject matter eligibility.
Read our latest blog article here.
Follow us on social media to keep up-to-date with the latest patent-related news: