Supreme Court Decision Changing Patent Cases

There was an interesting item in today’s Wall Street Journal that may have an impact on the Blackboard patent. According to the WSJ:

Last week, a federal judge in San Francisco who previously had allowed a patent-infringement lawsuit to proceed against RealNetworks Inc. changed course and dismissed the case, citing the Supreme Court’s April ruling in KSR v. Teleflex. The case is believed to be the first in which a trial-court judge has reversed his position and dismissed a case in the defendant’s favor, citing the KSR decision.

The judge involved said the following at a hearing: “The Supreme Court has made it clear what it thinks. Patents are being issued on obvious inventions, and it tightened the reins.” Basically, this makes it easier to invalidate patents based on obviousness. More specifically (although I’m not an IP attorney so take this with a grain of salt), the KSR decision seems to say that it will be more difficult to enforce a patent that is a result “connecting the dots” from prior art rather than true innovation. Whether that affects the Blackboard patent remains to be seen.

Coverage of this can also be found (without a required login) at:

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