Google Scholar Released – Free Online Legal Research Tool

Google just released a beta version of Google Scholar ( which allows for free legal research (full text) of legal opinions in both state and federal courts.  My initial usage of this legal research tool is very positive – the typical fast and good searches you would expect from Google.

Ford Ordered to Pay $55.7 Million to Inventor (Krippelz v. Ford Motor Co.)

Krippelz v. Ford Motor Company, 2009 WL 3852466 (N.D.IL).

On November 18, 2009, Ford Motor was ordered to pay $55.7 million to an inventor (Jake Krippelz).  Back in December 2008, a Federal jury awarded the inventor $23 million in a patent infringement lawsuit against Ford Motor.  The inventor’s patent covered an automotive lighting system used in exterior rear view mirrors and was issued in 1991 (U.S. Patent No. 5,017,903). 

After a 10 year lawsuit, Ford Motor was found to have willfully infringed the ‘903 patent and the Court awarded double-damages to the inventor for the willfully infringing sales (an additional $21 Million for the inventor).

In the end, the inventor was awarded $55,703,357 ($23,000,000 in damages, $21,017,400 in enhanced damages for willful infringement and $11,685,957 in prejudgment interest).  The Court also granted the inventor his costs for the litigation which will be determined later.


Court Order for $55.7 Million

U.S. Patent No. 5017903

Google Books Settlement Receives Preliminary Approval

A New York judge has granted preliminary approval to a revised settlement agreement between Google Inc., the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers.  The revised agreement allows Google to distribute millions of copies of digital books online but narrows the number of books allowed.  Members of the public have until January 28 to file objections.  See the Wall Street Journal article:  Third Time a Charm for Google Books Hearing?

Appeal of Tafas v. Kappos Dismissed

On November 13th, an en banc Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit granted the joint motion of all parties to dismiss the appeal of Tafas v. Kappos (the “continuation and claims rules” case).  Hence, the continuation and claims restrictions rules previously instituted by the USPTO are now officially gone.  The Federal Circuit refused to vacate the district court’s grant of summary judgment.

See the Tafas v. Kappos Dismissal.

PAIR Master (Beta) Released

PAIR Master is a software product developed by Neustel Software, Inc. to provide for simple downloading, viewing and management of USPTO Private PAIR documents listed in a Private PAIR Correspondence Notification e-mail from the USPTO.  You can download the free beta release at (the beta version automatically expires January 1, 2010).