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Old 02-02-2006, 10:40 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by BluePolaski
I guess I am just trying to distiguish between patent law and criminal law here. In "criminal law" if a case is going on and it is found that evidence against the defendant was obtained illegally (or in this case the pantents are now found to be invalid), the rest of the case from that point forward that used that evidence to stand on is no longer valid. Looking at your statement, is it safe to say that pantent law is different?
Yes, patent law is different from criminal law. The rule you speak of, which excludes illegally gotten evidence in criminal trials, is a protective measure designed to encourage compliance with constitutional criminal procedure. When there is a violation of the criminal defendant's constitutional rights (for example, a confession made during a custodial interrogation where the defendant was not aware of and did not waive his right against self-incrimination), that evidence may not be considered, and that can tank the case. It doesn't render the proceedings invalid in any respect, it just makes it harder for the prosecution to win--if the only thing you had to go on was the ill-gotten confession (as in Miranda the first time around), there's nothing left to support the conviction (i.e., no evidence establishing, beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant's guilt), and the defendant walks.

On your licensing question, there wouldn't be anything left for NTP to license out. So, yes, forward-looking damages (you can think of damages as a forced royalty on a forced license) would be cut off.