- Patent Lawsuits on the Rise – Even with the disruption due to the coronavirus, patent lawsuits are up 9% year-over-year.
- Google and Sonos at odds over Wireless Speakers Fight – Google countersued Sonos over an alleged patent infringement in an escalating legal battle between the two companies.
- Federal Circuit finds no infringement in an Interactive Guitar Game– The court in Ubisoft Entertainment, S.A. v. Yousician Oy, affirmed the dismissal of Yousician’s claims of infringement because the claimed invention was improperly directed to an abstract idea.
Here’s the latest.
Patent Lawsuits on Rise, Buying Spree Hints More to Come
Even with the coronavirus outbreak disrupting courts and businesses, patent lawsuits are up 9% as compared to the first five months of last year, and recent intellectual property sales are hinting at a further increase. This is likely due to recent Federal Circuit and patent office developments that make it harder for accused infringers to quickly invalidate patents. In addition, more patents in the area of computers and communication software are being asserted, legal developments have made patent owners more optimistic they’ll prevail in court, and a recent upsurge of investments in patents are all driving this spike in suits. David Donoghue, a partner in Holland & Knight LLP’s Chicago office offers this advice:
I think a large percentage of the increase in filings is accounted for by non-practicing entities … For companies that haven’t seen enough patent cases to feel like they need a strategy, now is the time to develop one so that you are acting with some purpose and certainty when you face one of these claims.
Google fires back at Sonos with its own lawsuit after the smart speaker company sued it over alleged patent infringement
Google filed a patent infringement lawsuit against smart speaker maker Sonos on Thursday in response to Sonos’ own patent suit against Google in January. Sonos’ accused Google of copying Sonos’ patented technology in creating its audio products despite the two companies’ partnership to make the company’s products work seamlessly. Sonos CEO Patrick Spence states:
Instead of simply addressing the merits of our case, and paying us what we’re owed, Google has chosen to use their size and breadth to try and find areas in which they can retaliate … We’re mostly sad to see a once innovative company with the mission of ‘Do No Evil’ avoid addressing the fact they’ve infringed on our inventions…
Gentlemen. It has been a privilege playing with you tonight.
Ubisoft and Yousician are competitors in the music-lesson software market. Ubisoft sued Yousician for infringing its US patent covering an “Interactive Guitar Game” with the claims direct to functional software stored on a computer drive. The problem with the claims is that they are written in broad functional form without actually claiming how the results are accomplished. Without specifics, the court said that it’s just taking a human music tutor’s methods and saying to do it on a computer. The court explained its decision to affirm the district court’s dismissal saying:
[The steps here are] thus no different from the ordinary mental processes of a guitar instructor teaching a student how to play the guitar.
For more on this case, see our coverage.