Scintilla – a flash, a spark, an iota. Shorthand for creativity and an indicator of inventiveness under Australian law.

Friday, June 27, 2014

US Supreme Court turns off TV streaming service

By Jesse Gleeson, Senior Associate

The US Supreme Court has just handed down its long-awaited decision in the Aereo case, reversing the 2013 decision of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. This decision makes Aereo's free-to-air television streaming service illegal under US copyright law.

For a recap of the play thus far (and the internet streaming landscape), please see our post from 2013. Please also see our coverage of the Full Federal Court of Australia's decision in relation to the similar (but not identical, as discussed below) Optus 'TV Now' service in Australia.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Financial risk management scheme not eligible for patent, software patents still available

By Anthony Selleck, Patent Attorney and Senior Associate

The United States Supreme Court has issued its decision in Alice Corporation v CLS Bank, a closely  watched case concerning the patentability of computer-related inventions that we have reported on in our previous posts. Although the court decided that the particular patent claims in issue were invalid as being directed to an unpatentable 'abstract idea', we do not read the decision as imposing any additional restrictions on obtaining patents for inventions involving software.

As discussed in those earlier posts, Alice Corporation's US patents cover a trading platform that seeks to mitigate settlement risk (ie the risk that only one party to an agreed-upon financial exchange will satisfy its obligation) by using a programmed computer as a neutral intermediary. CLS Bank successfully challenged the validity of the patents both at first instance and (by majority) on appeal. The Supreme Court has now agreed with those earlier decisions that the patents were not directed to patentable subject matter.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Thoughts on Tesla Motors' decision to 'give away' its patents

By Jesse Gleeson, Senior Associate

Elon Musk is a true tech visionary. His involvement in everything from PayPal, to his private space company SpaceX, to his electric-only Tesla Motors and even his proposal for a 'hyperloop' high-speed vacuum tube train between San Francisco and Los Angeles shows his extraordinary ambition.

Musk has garnered considerable press recently for his announcement* on his blog on the Tesla Motors website:
Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology.