Saturday, February 11, 2023

FOSS Patents to make announcement on future editorial focus (patent vs. antitrust topics) on or before February 20

80% of the 25 blog posts in the first third of February were about non-IP antitrust topics. I say "non-IP antitrust" in order to distinguish topics like Epic Games v. Apple--despite Apple also using an IP pretext for its supracompetitive app tax--from competition cases that are about patent enforcement and licensing, such as FTC v. Qualcomm or certain standard-essential patent (SEP) issues raised by the automotive industry (my analysis of a U.S. appellate decision on an automotive SEP case got nominated for this year's Antitrust Writing Awards--please vote for me if you haven't).

While this means that only 20% of my articles during that period covered patent topics, that does not constitute a reduced commitment to IP. Not in the slightest. The average number of posts in the years 2014-2019 (where I focused near-exclusively on IP; App Store antitrust issues came up only in the summer of 2020 when Epic Games thankfully sued Apple and Google) was marginally below 10 posts per month. So my five IP posts over the course of ten days were actually more than I wrote about patents in the average ten-day period from 2014 to 2019. During that period, FOSS Patents was already relevant in the patent space, but by some measure it is definitely bigger today.

It's just that there is currently only one major global patent spat going on (Nokia v. OPPO/OPPO v. Nokia; see my battlemap) while there is so much happening in "Big Tech" regulation on a daily basis. With

  • app store cases pending and legislation being contemplated around the globe,

  • the European Commission's DG COMP handing down a Statement of Objections (SO) against Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard King, and

  • the UK Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) having issued provisional findings,

the number of news cycles in that field has recently exploded. This week I did three of my five most popular tweets ever, and I didn't have the blue verification icon yet when those tweets went viral (I got it only last night):

By the way, for patent topics, LinkedIn is the new Twitter. I'll talk about that in a LinkedIn post--the only appropriate place because I for my part continue to be a big Twitter fan as you can see above.

[Update] As part of this recalibration effort, I've created a new FOSS Patents LinkedIn page. Its focus will clearly be on patents (not absolutely exclusively, but largely). [/Update]

I know that quite a number of you are indeed interested in both patents and Big Tech competition issues: those of you who work (or are interested) in antitrust law with respect to SEP as well as gatekeeper issues, and those who view those gatekeepers as enemies of strong IP protection and are, therefore, interested in those companies' abusive conduct in other areas. My estimate is that approximately a quarter to a third of you are interested in both sets of issues.

But I also know that most of you are interested in only one of these topics--either just patents (especially SEPs) or just Big Tech regulation--and have recently received too many emails or other notifications of new posts that weren't relevant from your vantage point. Rest assured that I'm aware of this problem, I recognize it, and I'm working on a solution.

The solution will be announced on or before Monday, February 20, 2023. All three segments of the audience--"patents only", "patents + Big Tech", and "Big Tech only"--will find their interests in a high signal-to-noise ratio reflected and, which is the most important thing, respected. Please stay tuned.

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