The U.S. Supreme Court eliminated a defense against the patent equivalent of a late hit in football, saying the ancient doctrine of laches, or needless delay, doesn’t apply.
The widely expected ruling follows the reasoning in the court’s 2014 decision in Petrella v. MGM, which eliminated laches in copyright suits in a lawsuit over the rights to the story in “Raging Bull.” In both cases the court found that Congress established a statute of limitations to limit the amount of time for which plaintiffs can collect damages, stripping from judges the power to utilize the older power of laches.
The practical impact of the decision is to allow patent holders more time to determine whether a competitor’s products are successful before suing to recover six years worth of royalties for infringement. While that scenario may be distasteful to some judges, wrote Justice Samuel Alito for the majority, separation-of-powers doctrine requires courts to defer to Congress and Congress decided a “hard and fast rule” was preferable to fact-based judicial determinations.
As 2022 starts, let’s take some time to share our goals for CircuitPython in 2022. Just like past years (full summary 2019, 2020, and 2021), we’d like everyone in the CircuitPython community to contribute by posting their thoughts to some public place on the Internet. Here are a few ways to post: a video on YouTub, a post on the CircuitPython forum, a blog post on your site, a series of Tweets, a Gist on GitHub. We want to hear from you. When you post, please add #CircuitPython2022 and email email@example.com to let us know about your post so we can blog it up here.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.
Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!
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