Category Archives: Intellectual Property

Update on Patent Trolling: What Your Startup and Small Business Should Know

Last year, we devoted considerable attention to an issue that impacts many small businesses and startups: Patent trolling. As a reminder, patent trolls, or patent assertion entities, are shell companies that exist solely for the purpose of asserting that they should be reimbursed because they hold patents that are being infringed upon, mostly by an

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How To Avoid a Misappropriation Lawsuit and Maintain The Confidentiality of Your Trade Secrets

Last October, California-based startup Zettaset, the leader in secure Big Data management, sued Intel Corp., the world’s largest semiconductor chip maker, in the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Santa Clara for breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets, and intentional misrepresentation.  Zettaset claims that “among other things… Intel unlawfully

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Two Legislative Victories for Startups and Entrepreneurs

As 2013 winds to a close, and friends and family gather at Thanksgiving tables across the country, startups in California and across the United States are giving thanks for two legislative actions.  The first legislative initiative, and one which impacts startups across the country, concerns an issue we have discussed many times over the last

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Patent Trolling Provokes the Ire of VCs and Comes Before the House Judiciary Committee

Patent assertion entities (PAEs), or patent trolls, are in the news again.  On Tuesday, the House Judiciary Committee began expedited hearings on a comprehensive patent reform bill.  Last week, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Representative Bob Goodlatte introduced the Innovation Act of 2013.  Several weeks ago, we discussed provisions of the Act when it was in

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Patent Trolls Are Facing Investigation by FTC and Increased Court Transfers

It has been two weeks since we last addressed the issue of patent reform and patent trolling, and it seems that once again the issue is making headlines in the business and legal communities.  According to pandodaily, the site-of-record for Silicon Valley startups, “[t]he Federal Trade Commission has proposed a study that would put patent

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Discussion Draft Bill Aimed at Patent Trolling is Applauded by California Tech Companies

It seems we cannot go one week without hearing about patent troll litigation and this week is no exception.  Last week, we discussed a report issued by the Government Accountability Office on August 22, which raised questions about whether patent trolling is really a big problem for businesses and whether patent trolls are truly the

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Are Patents Trolls Really a Problem for Businesses?

In July, we raised the issue of patent trolling.  See How Patent Trolls Are Stirring Up California’s Tech Industry, July 19, 2013; What The Government is Doing to Regulate and Restrict Patent Trolling, July 24, 2013.  As a reminder, patent trolls are shell companies that exist solely for the purpose of asserting that they should

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What the Government is Doing to Regulate and Restrict Patent Trolling

Last week, we discussed how patent assertion entities (P.A.E.’s) or “patent trolls” are stirring up California’s tech industry and other companies by buying patents and then attempting to enforce them against alleged patent infringers through costly lawsuits.  See How Patent Trolls Are Stirring Up California’s Tech Industry, July 17, 2013.  Patent trolls are shell companies

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How Patent Trolls Are Stirring Up California’s Tech Industry

In the last few months, we have had several blog discussions about cases involving patents or patent law.  The issue of patents and patent law is an important one in California because the tech industry relies heavily on patents, and, once again, the issue of patents is in the news.  The tech industry had been

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U.S. Supreme Court Hears Gene Patent Case

The United States Supreme Court has been busy this term with cases affecting intellectual property.  Remember recent news surrounding the Monsanto/Roundup Ready patent infringement case, which could have significant implications for California farmers?  This time, the issue is not soybean seeds, but the patentability of human genes, and the Supreme Court’s decision could have a significant

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