EB SIG: Patents for E-Business
Do You Know Enough? >> And Late Breaking News!! <<
Tom Lathram, Thelen, Reid & Priest
Second and Mission - security locks the doors at 6; buzz the security officer from the Second Street entrance for admission to the building.)
Thelen Reid & Priest Multipurpose Room
101 Second Street, Second Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105
(Room is provided courtesy of Thelen Reid & Priest, LLP).
7:00-9:00pm presentation and discussion
(Pizza and sodas are provided courtesy of Execustaff)
$10 for non-SDForum Members
No charge for SDForum members and students with ID
>>> LATE BREAKING NEWS! US COURT OF APPEALS VACATES PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION PROHIBITING BARNES AND NOBLE FROM USING AMAZON.COM'S 1-CLICK PATENT BEFORE A FINAL RULING AT TRIAL.
DO YOU KNOW HOW PATENTS RELATE TO YOUR E-BUSINESS?
DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN PATENTS, COPYRIGHTS, TRADEMARKS, AND TRADE SECRETS?
WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOUR E-BUSINESS WAS SUED FOR PATENT INFRINGEMENT?
Patents for Internet-related technology are a hot topic. The Industry Standard reports that in 1999 alone, 8,500 Internet-related patents were issued worldwide and that the annual rate of such patents being issued has grown rapidly. (This includes hardware as well as software and business processes.)
An article in Technology Review in March/April 2000 (http://www.technologyreview.com/magazine/mar00/shulman.asp) lists several patents that have been awarded for Internet business-related technologies. These include Amazon.com for one-click purchasing, CyberGold for "attention brokerage," Netcentives for online incentives, Open Market for online shopping carts, and Priceline.com for the idea of letting consumers name the price they want to pay for an item.
In 1993, Signature Financial, an East Coast investment company, obtained a patent involving software to link its central assets with a series of mutual funds. In 1996, the patent was challenged by State Street Bank on the grounds that it was only a ``business method,' not a patentable process.
In 1999, Pitney-Bowes sued Stamps.com and E-Stamp for patent infringement.
Last year, Open Market sued Intershop for patent infringement.
In recent weeks, San Francisco-based Digital Island, a web hosting firm, was awarded a patent regarding digital content delivery.
The web is full of information about this topic. The Software Patent Institute (http://www.spi.org/) is a nonprofit corporation formed to provide courses and prior art about software technology to help improve the patent process. Dan Bricklin, the inventor of VisiCalc (an early spreadsheet program) provides some good basic discussion at http://www.bricklin.com/patentsandsoftware.htm, as do the web sites of several law firms.
Also see http://www.dcisoc.org/info0010.html for several more good links to resources about patents for E-Business.
Tom Lathram, Thelen, Reid & Priest
Tom Lathram assists clients in the areas of technology transactions and intellectual property, and the litigation, arbitration and mediation of technology and general commercial disputes. His work in the transactions area involves the development, protection and licensing of technology and intellectual property, web site development, hosting and maintenance agreements, privacy policies, co-marketing a,nd content agreements. He has lectured and written on intellectual property law, Internet and e-commerce risks, and general computer and litigation matters. Mr. Lathram is a graduate of Duke University, where he earned a B.A. in Physics, and the University of San Francisco School of Law.