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Taiwan University Sues Apple Over Siri Patents

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the what's-good-for-the-goose dept.

Patents 138

Rambo Tribble writes "Reuters is reporting that Taiwan's National Cheng Kung University has filed a suit against Apple claiming patent infringement by the Siri voice-recognition software. At issue are two patents dating to 2007 and 2010. From the article: 'The suit was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division, on Friday, it said. "We filed that lawsuit in the Texas court because it processes faster and its rulings are usually in favor of patent owners and the compensations are usually higher," said Yama Chen, legal manager of National Cheng Kung, in the southern Taiwan city of Tainan.'"

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SIRI !! WHAT THAT MEANS ?? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40818189)

I want to know !!

Re:SIRI !! WHAT THAT MEANS ?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40818305)

I want to know !!

Try Googling it, ya lazy bastard.

Re:SIRI !! WHAT THAT MEANS ?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40818347)

Try Googling it, ya lazy bastard.

Done. [wikipedia.org] .

Re:SIRI !! WHAT THAT MEANS ?? (1)

turkeyfeathers (843622) | about 2 years ago | (#40819029)

Ask your iPhone to tell you.

Re:SIRI !! WHAT THAT MEANS ?? (0)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 2 years ago | (#40821043)

1, Infinite Loop indeed.

Re:SIRI !! WHAT THAT MEANS ?? (0)

jd2112 (1535857) | about 2 years ago | (#40820405)

I want to know !!

It's Tom Cruse and Katie Holmes daughter, right?

Re:SIRI !! WHAT THAT MEANS ?? (0)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 2 years ago | (#40820849)

Read Warbreaker.

Re:SIRI !! WHAT THAT MEANS ?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40820899)

'Sirius' without the 'us'.

Goose, Meet Gander (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40818191)

I wonder how much Apple likes being on the receiving end?

IP lawsuits are great! ... until you get slapped by one.

Re:Goose, Meet Gander (2, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 2 years ago | (#40818265)

Keep in mind that this is a US company being sued in a US court by a company from Taiwan. Apple recently had the fact that their iPhone design was 'borrowed' from Sony suppressed in their Samsung lawsuit; I'm sure they're not very worried about this.

Re:Goose, Meet Gander (3, Insightful)

IrrepressibleMonkey (1045046) | about 2 years ago | (#40818333)

Apple recently had the fact that their iPhone design was 'borrowed' from Sony suppressed in their Samsung lawsuit

Nothing like half a story, eh? Or maybe you're genuinely not aware, but the accusation of 'borrowing' now seems well wide of the mark. Google "iPhone Purple prototype" if you haven't seen the designs that pre-date the Sony-inspired images.

Re:Goose, Meet Gander (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40818459)

Nah, he's aware - he's like Fox News and other hater fags. They only report what's convenient. Not true. Hey nerdfaggots - rage more about where I shop and what I buy. Guess what, the world doesn't give a fuck. Suck my cock nerdfaggots.

Re:Goose, Meet Gander (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40818481)

Apple recently had the fact that their iPhone design was 'borrowed' from Sony suppressed in their Samsung lawsuit

Nothing like half a story, eh? Or maybe you're genuinely not aware, but the accusation of 'borrowing' now seems well wide of the mark. Google "iPhone Purple prototype" if you haven't seen the designs that pre-date the Sony-inspired images.

Well, it's a good damn thing Sony doesn't prototype their products prior to releasing them then isn't it!

Re:Goose, Meet Gander (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 2 years ago | (#40818597)

That wouldn't matter unless Apple got their hands on Sony's prototype pre-dating their own prototype. If Sony had a prototype, but Apple had no way to know what it looked like when they developed theres, then their point still stands.

Re:Goose, Meet Gander (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40818775)

No point based on design patents ever stands. The concept itself is broken, even if it didn't have the worldwide chiilling effect that it does.

Adoption of ever-better human interfaces should be encouraged, not dissuaded. Treating them as proprietary is the biggest conceptual idiocy in the history of Man.

Re:Goose, Meet Gander (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40820589)

Treating them as proprietary is the second biggest conceptual idiocy in the history of Man, after organised religion.

TFTFY.

Re:Goose, Meet Gander (2)

aix tom (902140) | about 2 years ago | (#40820969)

As I have come to believe it is actually THE SAME conceptual idiocy. Consider what "organised religion" is all about.

Before organised religion there were groups of people, who now and then came up with rules and stuff to make living easier. Then "organizers" came along that took that rules, made them more and more complex until nobody understood them any more and everybody needed "high priests" to explain them and "oracles" to divine the will of the gods, which they only gave if the people paid them tribute.

Until people thought "this is all crap, let's make new rules and laws apart from that religious nonsense.".

Not a *new* group of people hat taken those rules and made them more and more complex until nobody understood them any more and everybody needed "lawyers" to explain them and "consultants" to divine the likely outcome of court cases, which they only give if the people pay them fees.

And 99% of the normal people are screwed again.

Re:Goose, Meet Gander (1)

oztiks (921504) | about 2 years ago | (#40818791)

Prior art work may here because of how it was disclosed, I don't see commercial in confidence written at the bottom of the design and divulging it to Apple can be seen as publicly disclosing information.

The only defense is if NDAs were imposed and how those NDAs were used. Lastly, it was a Sony employee designing the prototype and giving it too Apple, if Apple said f-off we don't need you, it can be construed as Apple screwing a supplier.

Re:Goose, Meet Gander (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40819091)

I don't think that you've understood the situation at all.

Try googling. Or read this article: http://www.idownloadblog.com/2012/07/30/purple-iphone-2005-prototype/

Re:Goose, Meet Gander (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | about 2 years ago | (#40820307)

Patents are supposed to be for "non-obvious" inventions- things which you can be reasonably sure someone else in the field wouldn't come up with in the same circumstances.

If Apple and Sony (not to mention LG with the Prada Phone) all came up with identical designs independently at almost exactly the same time, that's a pretty strong statement that the patent is "obvious" and shouldn't be allowed.

Re:Goose, Meet Gander (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 2 years ago | (#40820945)

I guess you never heard of convergent evolution. This is why a lot of patents patents are idiotic and this is one of them.

Re:Goose, Meet Gander (1)

kenorland (2691677) | about 2 years ago | (#40819985)

It hardly matters whether Apple borrowed from anybody. What matters is that Apple's claim that the iPhone design is in any way unusual or unobvious is bogus.

Re:Goose, Meet Gander (2, Informative)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 2 years ago | (#40821009)

How so? Apple's design for the iPhone circa half a decade ago came at a time when phones had slide-out keyboards and buttons. My Cliq has volume up/down, power, camera, and on the front at the bottom a menu/home/back set. Newer Android phones are all suddenly super thin, no physical keyboard, menu-home-back is pretty integral to the Andorid interface though. Some have eschewed camera, most use volume down to enter the bootloader and boot a recovery system.

Everyone's trying to eliminate physical buttons just like they eliminated the stylus after Samsung declared the stylus must die--eliminating the stylus crippled smartphones and PDAs (back in 1999, you could get a Compaq iPaq with Windows on it with Pocket Word and PocketPC 6, and the handwriting recognition could take my unreadable scribble and interpret it as text proper -- it seemed to be able to read topology, rather than just shape). I used the PDA as a pretty serious professional portable word processor and it was fantastic. Do you see AbiWord on Android with handwriting recognition and a stylus? Just as Samsung led the demise of the stylus, Apple is leading the demise of buttons... starting with physical keyboards.

Re:Goose, Meet Gander (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40820209)

I think it says something about the confusion of the modern tech world when I first read that as "Google's iPhone purple prototype" and assume a totally different chain of idea custody.

Re:Goose, Meet Gander (-1, Troll)

danomac (1032160) | about 2 years ago | (#40818795)

I'm not defending Apple here, but I think it's interesting that they don't generally follow US copyright/trademark rules over there, yet they come over to the US and expect us to follow theirs?

Re:Goose, Meet Gander (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40818915)

No, they expect YOU to follow YOUR rules. Companies from China don't take US rules seriously when they're creating products for sale in China, since US laws don't apply in China. They follow US rules for products selling in the US, and expect the local companies to do the same. Just like they follow Chinese rules in China, and expect foreign companies to do the same.

Re:Goose, Meet Gander (2)

danomac (1032160) | about 2 years ago | (#40819629)

They're not my rules, I don't live in the US.

Re:Goose, Meet Gander (5, Informative)

Meeni (1815694) | about 2 years ago | (#40819201)

This is Taiwan, not PRC China. Situation is very different there.

Re:Goose, Meet Gander (4, Interesting)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 2 years ago | (#40818845)

I wonder how much Apple likes being on the receiving end?

IP lawsuits are great! ... until you get slapped by one.

People suing Apple isn't exactly a *NEW* thing. It's actually been quite steady or so (one every week or so) the past decade or more.

Heck, Creative sued Apple about a decade ago over the use of categories to help find music (Artist/Album/Genre/etc) on the iPod way back when. (I believe Apple settled, in exchange for a pile of stuff Creative was to make to support the iPod or so). Ditto Sony and others.

It's actually unusual to have Apple NOT being sued by someone or other on a weekly basis.

This just in, US patent system is broken and abuse (1, Insightful)

azop (935907) | about 2 years ago | (#40818199)

....and in other news...

Well, good for them! (4, Insightful)

macbeth66 (204889) | about 2 years ago | (#40818227)

It is nice when ugly corporations get hoisted by their own sack.

Re:Well, good for them! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40818259)

Quiet so, I loved it when Google and Samsung got slapped with fines recently. If you're anything like me, it get a little stiffy

Re:Well, good for them! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40818341)

If you're anything like me, it get a little stiffy

I see, your Apple purchases are a sort of "compensation"?

Re:Well, good for them! (1, Flamebait)

macbeth66 (204889) | about 2 years ago | (#40818387)

I don't think I have ever owned anything by Apple. I disliked their whole apporach to music and stayed away from iTunes. Never touched a piece of iCrap.

Re:Well, good for them! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40819083)

It's even more refreshing to hear a straight-forward reasoning. Try snarking the argument Yama Chen's reasoning for choosing the Texas court...

Re:Well, good for them! (1)

LuckyLuke58 (207964) | about 2 years ago | (#40820773)

Sure, but the 'little guy' i.e. smaller businesses still get screwed by an unjust system.

Live by the patent, die by the patent (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40818237)

And so it goes

At least they are honest about it. (5, Funny)

sycodon (149926) | about 2 years ago | (#40818321)

"We filed that lawsuit in the Texas court because it processes faster and its rulings are usually in favor of patent owners and the compensations are usually higher..."

Re:At least they are honest about it. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40818549)

I just said the same thing aloud. There is something worth noting here about full disclosure of intent that the rest of the 'civilized' world should have learned a long time ago.

Re:At least they are honest about it. (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40818579)

"We filed that lawsuit in the Texas court because it processes faster and its rulings are usually in favor of patent owners and the compensations are usually higher..."

Does that hold true when the patent owner is not American?

That section of Texas tends to be a little xenophobic.

Re:At least they are honest about it. (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 2 years ago | (#40818743)

"That section" includes more than just the xenophobic parts, since the district extends all the way down to the outskirts of Houston and far enough west to a few other large cities in Texas. Plus, most of these cases are decided by Presidentially-appointed judges, not by local juries, which would render the concern moot.

Re:At least they are honest about it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40819103)

a dislike of foreign politics is not the same thing as fear of it.. quit trolling.

Re:At least they are honest about it. (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#40820793)

I'm sure all the judge will care about is the color of their money.

Re:At least they are honest about it. (1)

Grond (15515) | about 2 years ago | (#40818975)

It's not actually true, though. The Eastern District of Texas is not the fastest district for patent cases. Virginia Eastern and Wisconsin Western are both significantly faster (29 months to jury trial versus 12 and 13 months, respectively). Nor are its rulings "usually" (i.e. more often than not) in favor of patent owners. These days it's about average, relative to other popular patent litigation districts.

And given the change in the law of venue I'd be surprised if the case stayed in Texas Eastern. Neither Apple nor the university have a significant presence there (Apple's Austin campus is in Texas Western), and it's become significantly easier to get out of an inconvenient forum in patent cases in the past couple of years.

Re:At least they are honest about it. (1)

Barefoot Monkey (1657313) | about 2 years ago | (#40819197)

Faster, not fastest. At least as I understood it he was talking about a reason why they chose Texas over - for example - California, where Apple is based. (disclosure: I haven't RTFA'd yet, or know how often California judges in favour of patent holders)

Can two wrongs make a right? (5, Funny)

cupantae (1304123) | about 2 years ago | (#40818339)

Maybe Chinese patent trolls will eventually alert US patent supporters to how stupid the system is.

Re:Can two wrongs make a right? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40818465)

As long as the Chinese patent trolls are hiring US lawyers to do their suing in the US courts they're contributing to the US (legal) economy and all's good, yes?

Re:Can two wrongs make a right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40818521)

Unless they win, then US money would go overseas, no? Which tbh I don't care much about as I'm not american, so I think that sounds excellent.

Re:Can two wrongs make a right? (1)

F.Ultra (1673484) | about 2 years ago | (#40818911)

But only 70% :)

taiwan != china (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40818513)

n/t

Re:taiwan != china (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40818595)

Taiwan is the Republic of China, dumbass. The place you think of as China, is the People's Republic of China. Please learn some history.

Re:taiwan != china (5, Informative)

gabebear (251933) | about 2 years ago | (#40818611)

Two sovereign states with the name "China" exist.

ROC = Republic of China = Democratic China = Taiwan
PRC = People's Republic of China = Communist China = Mainland China

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_Chinas [wikipedia.org] . Prior to 1971 "China" was the ROC in the UN, it is now the PRC...

Re:taiwan != china (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40819075)

Two sovereign states with the name "China" exist.

ROC = Republic of China = Democratic China = Taiwan

PRC = People's Republic of China = Communist China = Mainland China

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_Chinas [wikipedia.org] . Prior to 1971 "China" was the ROC in the UN, it is now the PRC...

I don't think Taiwan is sovereign. At least, I don't think that word means what you think it means.

Re:taiwan != china (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40819343)

I don't think you have ever been to China or Taiwan. On paper, to the "outside" world Taiwan may appear to be governed by the Chinese government but in reality they are independent.

The arrangement with China is pretty much you ignore us and we'll ignore you.

Re:taiwan != china (1)

DinDaddy (1168147) | about 2 years ago | (#40819467)

You don't and China (PRC) doesn't, but Taiwan considers itself sovereign, and says so to the extent it can without provoking PRC into a more military form of rebuttal.

US seems to be staying on the fence on the issue.

Re:taiwan != china (1)

gtall (79522) | about 2 years ago | (#40819939)

Thanks to Dick Nixon. The U.S. still has a military treaty for defense of Taiwan in case the potentates in the PRC's Communist Party attempt to make themselves look like a bigger group of f-ckups by attacking Taiwan. Sooner or later, I think they will make the attempt but only after it is sufficiently clear the U.S. cannot stop them. Taiwan's democracy makes China look bad, so it will have to go.

Re:taiwan != china (5, Informative)

readin (838620) | about 2 years ago | (#40820221)

Taiwan's democracy doesn't make China look bad any more than any other democracy makes China look bad. Taiwan's location is strategic for China. It sits between Japan and the South China Sea (which China has made clear it wants to dominate). Taiwan sits on a strategic supply route for South Korea and Japan. China views Taiwan as part of a potential buffer between the Pacific Ocean and China.

The other problem China has with Taiwan is that the hatred between the Chiang (whose forces occupied Taiwan) and Mao was strong enough that neither could accept the existence of the other. Prior to Chiang's occupation of Taiwan Mao made a statement supporting independence from Japan for Taiwan. But once Chiang moved to Taiwan, Taiwan suddenly became important to Mao. After 60 years of propaganda about how important it is to take Taiwan, the Chinese Communist Party looks bad to their ultra-nationalists by their failure to do so, and even moderating their tone on the issue is difficult.

US law requires that we sell Taiwan such defensive weapons as it needs, based purely on need and not on consultation with China. Neither US law nor treaty requires the US to defend Taiwan. Instead the US has to consider it a "grave" concern. It is deliberately ambiguous so that the US can dissuade both sides from launching hostilities with a certain expectation of how the US will respond.

Re:taiwan != china (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40820809)

Taiwan considers itself sovereign, and says so to the extent it can without provoking PRC into a more military form of rebuttal.

Um, "soverign to the extent of not provoking a military rebuttal" is, well, not soverign.

Re:taiwan != china (3, Interesting)

sydneyfong (410107) | about 2 years ago | (#40819653)

Taiwan is de facto sovereign. The only non-sovereign part about Taiwan is that due to pressures by the PRC govt, most of the International community do not recognize Taiwan/ROC's sovereignty (over the island generally known as "Taiwan").

It's a over-complicated issue though, and really depends on who you're talking to, and whether you're trying to be factually correct or politically correct....

Re:taiwan != china (2)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 2 years ago | (#40821039)

Taiwan has its own government, currency, army. They have 290K people in their armed forces (more than the UK or France). They develop their own weapons systems. How the heck do you think it isn't sovereign? Because the PRC says it isn't?

Re:taiwan != china (1)

thomas8166 (1244688) | about 2 years ago | (#40819373)

Thanks very much for helping to clarify this point! It still saddens me that there are still Slashdotters who confuse Taiwan with China. (Disclaimer: I'm a student at the university.)

Re:taiwan != china (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40820193)

At least it's not as bad the American university students who confuse Taiwan with Thailand!

Re:taiwan != china (1)

readin (838620) | about 2 years ago | (#40819701)

Republic of China = the government that started in China in 1911, occupied Taiwan in 1945, and lost control of China in 1949.

The "Republic of China" is a "China" in the same way that the "Chinese Communist Party" is "Communist" and the same way that the "United States of America" consists of states. It started out that way, but it isn't anymore.

The USA no longer consists of independent states, the Chinese Communist Party is no longer communist, and the Republic of China" is no longer China.

Re:taiwan != china (2)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 2 years ago | (#40820491)

Sorry, but this is pretty silly. The US does still consist of semi-independent states. No, they're not as independent as they were under the Articles of Confederation, or as independent as they were pre-Civil War. They're not as independent as the nations that comprise the EU either, from what I can tell. However, they are a lot more independent than, say, the states that form modern Germany.

There's a lot of legal things that differ drastically between different US states. Gun laws, for instance, are very different; in Arizona you can have just about anything, and you can carry it around (concealed or not) in public all you want, while next door in California there's tons of restrictions on things like magazine size, and in Hawaii it's very hard to own one and nearly impossible to carry it outside your house. Marriage laws are also extremely different; some states will recognize gay marriage, others refuse to. Some states have "community property" laws, so that spouses have a claim to half of anything they gained during their marriage, whereas other states don't. Some states are "right to work" states where either employer or employee can terminate employment at any time, with no notice, for any cause at all (except discrimination against protected classes and some other exceptions), whereas in other states it's not so easy to fire an employee.

Re:taiwan != china (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40820901)

US states are NOT semi-independent. We fought a little war over that between 1861 and 1865, and the "semi-independent" side lost. There are rights that are reserved by the US Federal Government (nearly all the important ones), and rights that are reserved by the state (which tend to be the ones we notice from day to day, but none of those which are important in the definition of sovereignty). A US state cannot coin or print money, cannot make treaties with other states or with nation states, cannot declare war, cannot send ambassadors to other states or nation states, cannot prevent the collection of federal taxes, cannot impose import duties, etc. ad nauseam. These are the reserve of sovereign states, and none of the US states meets this definition, so none are "semi-independent." I suggest that you read some political theory beyond Austrian school economics, Ron Paul newsletters, and Ted Nugent's website.

Re:taiwan != china (1)

readin (838620) | about 2 years ago | (#40821075)

The key parts of the states not being sovereign are:
1. Any dispute as to what rights the state has are settled by the Federal Government. In other words, the states only have the rights the FG says they have.
2. If the states don't like the decision of the FG, they cannot leave (as you mentioned - 1861 to 1865).
3. Even on the question of limited sovereignty, the states lose. If you don't like the way your state treats you on any given issue, you can appeal to the FG. The FG may let the state have their way, or they may not - its entirely up to the FG and not at all up to the state.

For a long time it has been the case that the states only have as much leash as the FG gives them.


The states had three checks on the FG - the power to appoint senators, the state militias, the constitution. In modern politics the constitution means whatever the FG says it means, the states no longer appoint senators, and the state militias are subject to control by the FG. Contrary to the clear meaning of the Constitution and Judge Scalias writings, the states are not sovereign and have not been for a very long time.

I'm sure the university just wishes... (1)

Chibi Merrow (226057) | about 2 years ago | (#40818349)

that people would invent their own stuff...

Re:I'm sure the university just wishes... (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | about 2 years ago | (#40818411)

I'm sure they wish that companies wouldn't try to hamper the market with mental copyright claims.

Re:I'm sure the university just wishes... (1)

jd2112 (1535857) | about 2 years ago | (#40820571)

that people would pay them to invent stuff...

Fixed that for you.

How do ya like them Apples? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40818395)

(Pun intended.)

Just reinforces established corporate dominance. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40818573)

All the patent litigation back in forth between the big tech companies just passes money back and forth with hardly any of them really making out above their "competitors" in the end. The patent trolls are the only annoying ones and even they perform a valuable service. All of this serves to keep the barrier to entry for new companies so high as to never be truly surmounted. With less new marketing destabilizing competition entering their markets these companies are significantly safer.

Patents are now simply a way for collusion to take place and not look anything like collusion, they are suing each other after all.

This trope is getting old (5, Informative)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 2 years ago | (#40818625)

I really wish everyone would get over the idea that East Texas is still the best place to file patent suits. It definitely was for about a year in the mid-2000s, but since then it's returned back to within a few percentage points of the national average.

The percentage of patent cases where the plaintiff succeeded at trial was, over the period from 1995-2009, in line with the national average [pwc.com] (66.7% trial success in East Texas vs. 66% nationwide), and by all indications it hasn't changed from that in the last few years (as a point of comparison, Florida Middle District Court had an 80% trial success rate for plaintiffs over that same period). Aside from the one-year blip where plaintiffs won more frequently and the district deservedly earned its reputation, its rates have been at levels that are in line with other district courts. Unfortunately, most people seem to have not caught on to that fact yet (even Wikipedia's sources regarding much of this stuff is several years out of date).

Because of that one year blip being so noteworthy, there is still a mistaken perception that the East Texas courts are plaintiff friendly, but that's all it is now: a perception. In fact, for NPEs (i.e. non-practicing entities, a.k.a. patent trolls), the Florida Middle District and the Delaware District courts had overall success rates (i.e. including summary judgments) that were about 11% and 7% higher, respectively, than East Texas over the period from 1995-2009.

That said, the East Texas courts do make for an ideal venue for trying patent cases, even if they're not as one-sided as people seem to think. The district has faster turnaround times than many other federal districts (which was part of the motivating factor in this particular case), the judges are well-versed in patent cases and have indicated an interest in handling them expeditiously, and there are local laws permitting lawyers from any bar association, not just the Texas bar, from trying their cases there, making it easier to use than some of the other districts.

The fact that the judges are knowledgeable is especially important, because many of the corporations being sued prefer to have their cases tried there, rather than getting them transferred to their home district where an ignorant judge can add a major level of uncertainty to the equation (in fact, in one case involving 112 defendants less than a year ago, the East Texas judge was able to dismiss 99 of the defendants immediately because they weren't infringing and didn't request transfers to other districts). As a result, more cases that start in the district tend to stay in the district than you might otherwise see, creating a larger volume of cases that reach a conclusion. So, not only does it handle more cases, but it also concludes more cases than most of the other district courts.

It's just a shame that people are still perpetuating the idea that it's plaintiff-friendly when it's not, since it sets up East Texas as a distraction and as a scapegoat to vent our frustrations over the patent system whenever a ruling we disagree with comes out of there. The fault isn't theirs any more than it is any other court's. It's the fault of the corporations playing this billion dollar game with each other.

(Note: much of this was pulled from a previous comment of mine [slashdot.org] from February)

Re:This trope is getting old (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | about 2 years ago | (#40818717)

They said it's because : It's faster, and they will be paid an amount of compensation more in line with their loss because the court understands the real value

So according to what you said above their reasons are valid?

They already assume that winning the case if a given...filing in a US court against a US company means they think they have a strong case ...

Re:This trope is getting old (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 2 years ago | (#40818825)

They made a third claim that you've conveniently neglected to mention, that "its rulings are usually in favor of patent owners", and that's the one I take issue with. Regarding the other two, that it's faster and that compensation tends to be higher, I have no issues.

Re:This trope is getting old (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40818981)

So, a team that wins 66.7% of their games doesn't usually win?

Re:This trope is getting old (2)

DroolTwist (1357725) | about 2 years ago | (#40821123)

The East Texas Patent Courts are known unofficially as the 'Sex Panther Circuit': 60% of the time, plaintiffs win every time.

Re:This trope is getting old (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40819095)

"66.7% trial success"

This looks like more rulings in favour of patent owners than against them, doesn't it? The fact that others are more in favour of the owners, or that the national average is near this, doesn't change that basic fact: they give about 2 rulings for the owners for each ruling against them.

Re:This trope is getting old (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 2 years ago | (#40819285)

While what you've said is true, the implication in their citing it is that it's somehow noteworthy or different from other district courts, since it was a reason why they chose this court over another one. So even though what they said may have been factual, its implication is anything but.

Re:This trope is getting old (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40818781)

If, due to its notoriety, East Texas attracts more iffy cases, than the win rate being the same as the national average would be a big win for the plaintiff. Now that's an unsubstantiated "if", but the point is that the win rate by itself is insufficient to show that it is not plaintiff friendly due to potential selection bias.

Re:This trope is getting old (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40818989)

Stop giving ideas to the trolls. Let them find it out the hard way.

Re:This trope is getting old (5, Insightful)

Warhawke (1312723) | about 2 years ago | (#40819077)

Actually, and essentially in support of your conclusion although contrary to your opening, the Eastern District of Texas - while the margin is narrowing - is still much friendlier to patent plaintiffs than a strong majority of other districts. Or, specifically, it would be more fair to say the E.D.Tex. is not horrendously biased to favor the defendant, like several other districts. Most of it boils down to the Local Patent Rules. For example, E.D.Tex. allows for very liberal amendments of initial infringement contentions. In layman's terms this means that a patent-holder can sue an alleged infringer with "well-formed" suspicion that the defendant's product is allegedly infringing, go into discovery, and then determine the details as to whether or not the product is actually infringing based on evidence. In districts like the Northern District of California, the local patent rules expressly prohibit this behavior, requiring that the plaintiff have essentially absolute proof that the defendant's product is infringing before being able to move to the discovery phase.

While N.D.Cal's strict rules cut down on troll litigation, it does become a problem for plaintiffs when the details of how a defendant's product works is only available to the defendant: for example, closed-source software or secret formulas or recipes not available to the public. While software patents aren't treated well here on Slashdot, what this would allow someone to do is to copy line for line someone else's code, resell it, and then have total immunity in the Northern District of California from patent infringement (and good luck proving copyright infringement when you don't have access to the source code...). The Eastern District of Texas (specifically Judge Ward of said district) realized the potential problem for abuse and thus created a standing order to modify the Local Patent Rules and allow for more liberal discovery. Good for plaintiffs (troll and honest) who are attempting to prove infringement, bad for defendants (honest and infringing) who now lose shelter and have to deal with costly discovery.

The problem is two-fold. First, the dichotomy between local patent rules across federal districts completely destroys the concept of "one body of federal law." It encourages forum shopping, which is exactly what we're seeing here where a plaintiff chooses where to file suit in a place most favorable to him (thus theoretically unbalancing the concept of a fair and impartial trial). Second, it encourages patent trolls to flock to a district and abuse the system. In a perfect world, discovery would be allowed and initial infringement contentions could be modified, but anyone found to be patent trolling would be liable for attorney's fees and damages if discovery proved senseless litigation or the patent was invalidated (or hell, I'd just make a rule where you have to actually manufacture the patented product to have a claim for damages... none of this treating IP like physical property where you have an arbitrary right to exclude). In reality, it causes people to see the ratking of patent trolls form in E.D.Tex, and everyone blames the system there for supporting patent trolls and praises draconian districts like N.D.Cal for arbitrarily (and contrary to federal mandate) favoring defendants.

As more patent trolls flood in, the win-margin is narrowing, because even the Eastern District of Texas tires of senseless lawsuits. But the rules are still much more favorable to plaintiffs in those districts, and any patent lawyer worth his salt is going to find a way to establish personal jurisdiction in that district.

Re:This trope is getting old (2)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 2 years ago | (#40819405)

I just wanted to say thanks, even if you are contradicting something I said. Yours is just a great response, and it's one of my small pleasures in life to have people respond as thoughtfully and carefully to something I've said as you did, since I love having my misconceptions corrected or having additional information provided for something I've said. Comments like yours are why I come to Slashdot. :)

Thanks again.

(Just in case: this is not sarcastic. I'm being sincere.)

Re:This trope is getting old (2)

Kaenneth (82978) | about 2 years ago | (#40820519)

Federal cases should be assigned to courts via lottery; more fair, equally inconvenient for both parties.

Re:This trope is getting old (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40819093)

> The percentage of patent cases where the plaintiff succeeded at trial

Fails to take into account the cases where the judge badgers the defendants into settling (been there, got the scars to show for it).

Re:This trope is getting old (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 2 years ago | (#40819307)

If you follow the link to the source I cited, I believe it covers settlements as well if you would like to conduct your own research on the matter.

if you settle one, others will come... (1)

enterix (5252) | about 2 years ago | (#40818693)

It all started with Apple settling name dispute over iPad with Chinese company. That set the precedence for other East Asian companies to follow the suit. There was already suit for Chinese "snow leopard" name, some other bogus one, and now this... I am not siding with any side, but that sounds like leaching on potentially easy settlement money...

Applicable sayings (1, Insightful)

dskoll (99328) | about 2 years ago | (#40818703)

"What goes around comes around"

"Karma's a bitch"

Re:Applicable sayings (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40818799)

"Appul has bad karma cos Samsung stole their design but used a patunt to defend themselves. Lololol"

can't even keep patent troll jobs local? (2)

Mr Krinkle (112489) | about 2 years ago | (#40818715)

So now we've even outsourced our patent trolls? When will it end.

that said, this could get interesting, and lets go super conspiracy theory.
Patent troll sues Apple, Apple "settles" which gives legitimacy to said patent troll.
Patent troll uses that legitimacy to get injunctions against all other smart phones that use voice.
Apple wins.

Damn it.

Re:can't even keep patent troll jobs local? (2)

thomas8166 (1244688) | about 2 years ago | (#40819313)

How, pray tell, is a university a patent troll?

Re:can't even keep patent troll jobs local? (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about 2 years ago | (#40819725)

If you consider Apple a patent troll (some on slashdot do), then yes a university can be considered a patent troll too. But only if you consider Apple a patent troll.

Re:can't even keep patent troll jobs local? (1)

thomas8166 (1244688) | about 2 years ago | (#40820045)

I always thought that there was a difference between patent trolls and actual innovators; it depends on whether they put any effort into creating stuff. Apple has patents on a few innovations of their own, and patents on really obvious stuff that shouldn't have been granted a patent in the first place. A university (especially a public one like NCKU) is not as profit-driven as corporations (or so I believe). A patent troll exists solely by holding patents on stuff they did not invent themselves. By this metric, then, I believe neither are patent trolls. (Disclaimer: I'm a student at NCKU, which could be skewing my judgment.)

Re:can't even keep patent troll jobs local? (1)

Mr Krinkle (112489) | about 2 years ago | (#40820151)

Since I couldn't find the actual patents in my 45 seconds of looking, (yes I'm lazy) I'm not sure if they are what I would consider "valid" patents or more of the blatant "on a phone" type patents.
I also did zero research to see what NCKU was, and whether it was a "proper uni" or if it was a "for profit" type uni.

BUT to me, a patent troll is someone that has a patent for 5 years, does nothing with it, then sues someone that made a successful device. Once more information is available, maybe the joke won't be as funny. But mainly, it was just a smart ass comment. I was amused by it.

Cheers. :)

Re:can't even keep patent troll jobs local? (1)

thomas8166 (1244688) | about 2 years ago | (#40820203)

Ah, I see your point now. I'm hoping to read about the actual patent itself, since it's conspicuously missing from the news. I'll just wait and see. No hard feelings. :)

So what? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40818773)

I don't really care if Apple violated the university's patents. The U. hasn't done anything with them, so I only have Siri because of what Apple has done. (I know there was an app before, and the point is the same with respect to them, who interestingly the U. didn't bother to sue.)

Re:So what? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40819205)

Normally universities do research and don't develop a thechnology to production quality. For this they either do spin-offs or licensing. And apple didn't license the patents.

I am more interested if someone here checked the patents in question have any merits?

Another question is should a (presumely public funded) university patent its inventions at all?

"And we will buy our mansions with it." (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 years ago | (#40819901)

> "We filed that lawsuit in the Texas court because it processes
> faster and its rulings are usually in favor of patent owners and
> the compensations are usually higher,""

Holy bloviators, Dark Knight! A lawyer who told the undistorted truth!

That was silly (1)

pem (1013437) | about 2 years ago | (#40820373)

Yama Chen obviously doesn't understand the first rule of Fight Club.

Oh, well, it was fun while it lasted.

Easy win for Apple (4, Informative)

oergiR (992541) | about 2 years ago | (#40820413)

Disclaimer: I'm not a patent lawyer, but I do know a thing or two about speech recognition. I've only read the summaries of the patents, but they don't seem to cover anything that Siri or any other sensible speech recogniser system does.

Patent 7,266,496 (from 2007) is about a complete speech recogniser on a chip. This couldn't be further from Siri, which sends the audio data to the cloud to be recognised. The four "modules" that the patent covers are bog-standard. Patent 7,707,032 (from 2010) describes a silly way of doing speech recognition (by comparing with individual training samples) and is unrelated to any modern commercial speech recogniser.

This is just some Taiwanese university hoping for two minutes of fame and a settlement. They seem to be getting their fame, but they're not going to see any money.

Jurisdiction shopping (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40821031)

The news release itself openly admits to jurisdiction shopping!

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