Today, the Supreme Court will hear argument in Microsoft v. i4i, which industry watchers have described as the most important and far-reaching intellectual property case of the year. As general counsels for prominent innovators in the United States today, we could not agree more.
The case revolves around the standard of proof that must be met by those who seek to challenge the validity of a patent in court. The law states that patents, which are generally issued by the Patent Office solely on the basis of supporting information submitted by the patent applicant, are to be presumed valid. Since the 1980s, however, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, which oversees patent appeals, has required a challenge to a patent's validity be proved by a heightened standard of “clear and convincing evidence,” as opposed to the lower “preponderance of evidence” standard routinely applied in civil lawsuits. The issue is far more than a technicality, as it can have far-ranging effects on innovation and technology businesses.
While patent law does not require it, Congress never intended it, and Supreme Court rulings have questioned it, the “clear and convincing” standard has been applied to all challenges - even when the patent examiner who approved a patent application never considered the evidence being used to prove that the patent is invalid.
Posted by Bill HarmonAssociate General Counsel, Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit
As you may have seen on CNN or from one of many other media and online reports, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher’s DNA Foundation launched an innovative and interactive digital campaign this week that enlists the public’s help in the fight against child sex trafficking.
The campaign features videos of well-known celebrities sending the message that “Real Men Don’t Buy Girls”. With this campaign, the DNA Foundation aims to help change the social dynamics that enable the child sex trade today. Child sex trafficking is a difficult topic, one that many people would prefer to look away from, so we commend DNA Foundation for this daring approach that will get people talking – and thinking.
Microsoft works with advocates, governments, law enforcement, academics and industry stakeholders, including the DNA Foundation, around the world to combat technology-facilitated crimes against children.
Posted by Andrew KoSenior Director of U.S. Partners in Learning, Microsoft
Starting tomorrow, we celebrate the 23rd annual Global Youth Service Day (GYSD), which runs from April 15 to April 17. GYSD is the largest service day in the world and the only one solely dedicated to children. More than a million youth in all 50 states and in more than 100 countries will actively make a difference in their community this weekend.
InterroBang is a Microsoft U.S. Partners in Learning socially-networked, service-learning game built in partnership with Nuvana, the Corporation for National and Community Service, Youth Service America and ePals. Since November 2010, more than 20,000 students in over 72 countries have submitted thousands of completed missions (known as deeds) that show how they have helped their local communities while also learning valuable educational lessons about history, the environment, world culture and more.
Posted by Richard BoscovichSenior Attorney, Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit
Today, the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice announced a legal and technical operation to take down the Coreflood botnet, using a civil suit for a temporary restraining order against the operators of the botnet and criminal seizure warrants in order to disable the botnet’s infrastructure.
We commend the FBI and DOJ for the action against Coreflood . There is clearly strong public and private momentum in the fight against botnets and the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit was happy to provide technical information from the lessons we learned from the recent Rustock and Waledac botnet takedowns to assist these agencies in their operation.
Posted by Frank TorresDirector, Consumer Affairs, Microsoft
Microsoft offers its support for new bipartisan legislation introduced today by Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) that aims to give consumers more control over their personal information. We look forward to working with the sponsors of the bill, the Senate Commerce Committee, and all interested stakeholders as the bill winds its way through the legislative process.
Here is some of what’s in the bill:
• Most importantly, the Kerry-McCain bill protects consumer privacy.