Patent Sanity Slowly Returning to the USA: Judge Rudi Brewster Throws Out Absurd MP3 Jury Verdict in Microsoft Battle against Alcatel-Lucent

As we already noted in discussing the impact of the Supreme Court’s KSR decision:

There is no question that KSR will become one of the most cited decisions in law generally and that it will have a tremendous impact on patent law and litigation.

In KSR (KSR International Co. vs. Teleflex, Inc. (No. 04-1350, slip opinion)), the Supreme Court in its unanimous decision clearly indicated to the legal community that the pendulum of patent law had begun to swing in the direction of common sense and away from the outrageous awards being granted to undeserving patent trolls.

The changed direction of the swing of the patent pendulum is shown by Judge Rudi Brewster’s reversal of a record $1.5 billion jury award in an MP3 patent dispute between Microsoft and Alcatel-Lucent.

We posted vociferously about that case in February under the title Patent Insanity in the USA Continues as Jury Awards Record MP3 Verdict. We were one of the few voices on the internet or elsewhere to correctly raise the loud sound of alarm and we express our continued surprise that the legal community in general did not, often being seemingly preoccupied with banalities rather than with the most important cases of our day, such as this case is.

For the details, see:

CNET News Blog at, Tom Krazit, Microsoft wins reversal of MP3 patent decision

Bloomberg News, Jeff St.Onge and Crayton Harrison, Microsoft Judge Negates Alcatel-Lucent MP3 Patent Win (Update3)

Although this case does not involve the KSR obviousness issue, KSR is nevertheless starting to throw its long shadow over patent law generally. The US Supreme Court, by its decision in KSR, has sent off the long-needed signal to the legal community that sanity must return to US patent law application and interpretaton, and this sanity IS returning. Judge Rudi Brewster’s decision is strong evidence of that.

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