Monday, October 24, 2005

Patents and borders

It's becoming common to patent distributed systems. For example, you might have a patent on server software S and client software C, where a person deploying server software S' and client software C' would infringe the patent. But if S' is in Canada, and the C's are (at least in part) in the United States, does that also infringe the patent S+C? And if so, where? That's the big issue in NTP v. RIM, the "Blackberry case."

The latest news is that the district (trial-level) court will go ahead and move the case forward on remand while the case is appealed to the United States Supreme Court and the USPTO reexamines NTP's e-mail patents at the urging of RIM. One of the issues the district court will look at is whether NTP reached a settlement with RIM for $450 million. NTP wants more!

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