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Litigators Corner:
Have the Big Guys Wised Up?

By Joseph N. Hosteny of Niro, Scavone, Haller & Niro

Regular IP Today columnist Joseph N. Hosteny is an intellectual property litigation attorney with the Chicago law firm of Niro, Scavone, Haller & Niro. A Registered Professional Engineer and former Assistant US Attorney, his articles have also appeared in Corporate Counsel Magazine, The Docket (American Corporate Counsel Association), American Medical News, Inventors’ Digest, Litigation Magazine and Assembly Engineering Magazine. Mr. Hosteny can be reached at (312) 236-0733, or by e-mail at, or by visiting his web site at

A number of large companies have spent years, and I suspect a good deal of money, to weaken patents. Of course, there are the well-documented efforts of the Coalition for Patent Fairness—which I often refer to as the Coalition for Fairness to Foxes in the Hen House—to get the Patent Reform Act passed. Another example is the spat in the Supreme Court in Merc Exchange LLC v. eBay, where the Supreme Court took the CAFC to task over injunctions in patent cases. The amici curiae supporting the petitioner, eBay, included Yahoo, IBM, the CCIA, Intel, Microsoft, Oracle, Micron, Time Warner, a number of business associations in the securities industry, the Business Software Alliance and others. The present members of the CCIA, according to its website1, include Oracle, Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Redhat, eBay and T-Mobile. The current members of the BSA include Adobe, Apple, Cisco, Dell, HP, IBM, Intel, Microsoft and Siemens PLM Software.2 They might just as well have filed one brief by "The Big Guys." I am sure it would have been a lot cheaper.

The Business Software Alliance is reported to have said:

"This decision is a clear victory for innovation and for consumers and a defeat for patent trolls and others who are abusing the ...

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