• We recently prepared a Patent Alert on the Federal Circuit’s decision (penned by Chief Judge Rader) in Ultramercial v. Hulu, where the court reversed a district court’s prior finding (on a motion to dismiss) that Internet-related patent claims were not patentable subject matter under Section 101.  At IP Watchdog, Eric Guttag says that Judge Rader has “thrown down the gauntlet” before the Supreme Court on the eligibility of computer-implemented inventions, and offers seven “pearls of wisdom” to glean from the court’s decision.
  • Indirect infringement, particularly inducement, is often a very murky issue — and the Federal Circuit’s 2012 Akamai/McKesson en banc decisions (which found no single direct infringer was needed to show inducement) may have further unsettled things in this area.  But as Dennis Crouch at Patently-O notes, the Supreme Court may now be closer to granting a petition for certiorari to clarify some of these issues — it recently asked the U.S. Solicitor General for its views on the issue.
  • As part of Wired‘s op-ed series “The Patent Fix,” Prof. Colleen Chien of Santa Clara Law School wrote a thoughtful opinion piece titled “Everything You Need to Know About Trolls (The Patent Kind).”  Prof. Chien offers some useful insight into the scope of the perceived problems involving non-practicing entities, as well as numerous links to background literature, presentations, and studies on the issue.
  • Florian Mueller at FOSS Patents alerts us to a number of lawsuits filed by Cellular Communications Equipment LLC (an apparent Acacia Research subsidiary) against wireless device companies and service providers in the Eastern District of Texas, alleging these companies of infringing several patents (including some cellular standard-essential patents).  What’s notable about these cases is that the patents all appear to have been assigned to the plaintiff from Nokia, potentially in conjunction with a December 2012 settlement between Acacia and Nokia.
  • Shameless Plug Alert: Dow Lohnes attorneys and Essential Patent Blog founders David Long and Matt Rizzolo wrote an article that was recently published in the June/July 2013 issue of Today’s General Counsel magazine.  The article, titled “Design Patents May Be Next Troll Target,” takes a look at whether non-practicing entities might turn to design patents in an attempt to recover an accused infringer’s total profits.