EFF has awarded its coveted Stupid Patent of the Month prize to Microsoft for D554,140, a design patent on a slider widget for a UI.
Microsoft filed the patent for the slider in 2006, and is currently using it to sue Corel, arguing that Corel owes it all profits earned on Corel Home Office, under a doctrine set out in the bizarre Apple v Samsung patent dispute.
Samsung has now asked the Supreme Court to weigh in. In its petition for certiorari, Samsung points out the absurd results of this rule. For example, Samsung explains that under the Federal Circuit’s ruling, “profits on an entire car—or even an eighteen-wheel tractor trailer—must be awarded based on an undetachable infringing cup-holder.” In addition, given that many products will include multiple ornamental features that could be covered by design patents, this raises the possibility that a company could get hit for multiple judgments for all its profits.
That sounds pretty crazy to us. But that’s exactly what might happen if Microsoft prevails against Corel. Putting aside whether Microsoft’s design was actually new and not obvious in 2006 (when Microsoft filed its application), whether Microsoft needed the patent incentive in order to come up with this design, and whether it is even desirable to grant a company a government-backed monopoly on a graphical slider (we don't think so, that's why this is a stupid patent), the scope of damages for design patent infringement has the potential to become a powerful tool to shut down legitimate competition based on the mere threat of a lawsuit.
Stupid Patent of the Month: Microsoft’s Design Patent on a Slider
Jamie Dimon (previously) is the Jpmorganchase CEO who committed a $13b mortgage fraud and whose company received $25B in TARP bailout money, $500B in low-cost federal loans, and billions more through the bailout of their insurer, AIG.
Motherboard has obtained and published a copy of the forensics report that suggests that Jeff Bezos's phone was hacked by Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud, possibly in a scheme to obtain kompromat that could be used as leverage to prevent the Washington Post of reporting on the death of Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered […]
Last June Glenn Greenwald and The Intercept published and reported on a massive trove of explosive leaks that revealed that top prosecutors and the judge who eventually became the justice minister of Brazil conspired to rig the corruption trial of the beloved and incredibly popular leader Lula, sending him to prison as part of their […]
Boxed wines have come a long way since their admittedly subpar debut, and it’s now possible to grab a box of wine that delivers a surprising amount of flavor and body for a price that won’t break the bank. This Boxxle Premium Wine Dispenser makes it even easier to enjoy your favorite bag-in-box wine by […]
If you’re interested in either beginning or furthering a career in graphic design, you need to have a thorough understanding of Adobe’s famed editing and illustration tools, and these bundles will get you to where you need to be for a fraction of what you’d pay for an in-class education. 1. The Essential Adobe Photoshop […]
Laptops are great when it comes to getting work done on the move, but sometimes you need a better and more responsive keyboard in order to get your work done away from your desktop. Here are six top-rated Bluetooth keyboards that will help you power through your tasks both at the office or while you’re […]