Home / Tag Archives: almost-done

Tag Archives: almost-done

Since Supreme Court’s Alice decision, 11 lower court rulings have invalidated software patents (Timothy B. Lee/Vox)

The Supreme Court's  June ruling on the patentability of software — its first in 33 years — raised as many questions at it answered. One specific software patent went down in flames in the case of Alice v. CLS Bank , but the abstract reasoning of the decision didn't provide much clarity on which other patents might be in danger. Now a series of decisions from lower courts is starting to bring the ruling's practical practical consequences into focus. And the results have been ugly for fans of software patents. By my count there have been nine court rulings on the patentability of software since the Supreme Court's decision — including five that were decided last week.  Every single one of them has led to the patent being invalidated. This doesn't necessarily mean that all software patents are in danger — these are mostly patents that are particularly vulnerable to challenge under the new Alice precedent. But it does mean that the pendulum of patent law is now clearly swinging in an anti-patent direction. Every time a patent gets invalidated, it strengthens the bargaining position of every defendant facing a lawsuit from a patent troll. The end of "do it on a computer" patents In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the Patent Office handed out a growing number of what might be called "do it on a computer" patents

Read More »

Mobile carriers have kept profits high, even after moving away from charging for voice minutes (Ina Fried/Re/code)

A few years ago, cellular companies charged for each call their customers made and gave most of them unlimited data. As data use exploded and voice calling and texting began to wane, carriers effectively flipped their business model , with most people now getting unlimited calling and texting and paying for the size of data plans they want. That transition in the U.S. is now largely complete, with the industry having managed to keep its profits high, while changing the way it does business. A new study from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners finds Verizon has navigated that shift best, with the fewest customers still on unlimited data as well as the largest share of consumers paying more than $100 per month. “Verizon has succeeded in getting the most out of its smartphone customers,” CIRP partner Josh Lowitz said in a statement. “Not only do more of their customers use Verizon data on additional devices, with limited data plans, their customers also pay for their actual data usage.” Some 51 percent of Verizon customers play more than $100 per month, including 14 percent that pay upward of $200 per month, according to a survey of about 500 U.S. customers who activated new or used phones between April and June. The same survey found that just 22 percent of Verizon customers have an unlimited data plan, compared with 44 percent for AT&T and 78 percent for both Sprint and T-Mobile. AT&T and Verizon have been moving away from unlimited data plans, especially for core smartphone customers. AT&T, for example said that, as of the first quarter of this year, about 81 percent of postpaid smartphone subscribers were on some type of usage-based data plan. Verizon, which reports earnings on Tuesday, has already indicated it had a strong second quarter. CEO Lowell McAdam said at the recent Sun Valley, Idaho conference that Verizon Wireless expects to report an addition of more than 1.4 million retail postpaid customers with limited churn and profit margins consistent with the last few quarters

Read More »