News, Views and Muse

FASB Proposes a Qualitative Assessment Test to Indicate if Goodwill Impairment Test is Necessary

Late last week the FASB issued an exposure draft of a proposed update to the standards governing testing for goodwill impairment. The proposal allows an entity to first perform a qualitative assessment test to see if a goodwill impairment test is even necessary. (The proposal also allows for the qualitative assessment test to be by-passed.) The comment period for the proposal ends on June 6, 2011, and the new standards would be effective for impairment tests performed for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2011 (if approved.)

New Microsoft Patent Sounds Strangely Familiar

As I imagine the Kindle APP on my iPad while reading the albeit confusing language in the claims of Microsoft patent 7,925,548, issued earlier this month, the cloud in my future litigation crystal ball begins to dissipate.  Here’s the Abstract:

Methods of purchasing products through a client portal


A client portal that is optimized to fulfill a specific function. The portal can include a browser that is dedicated to performing a particular task, such as reviewing and purchasing electronic books. For example, to better perform the specific function, the browser may only be able to directly access sites designated by an authorized party, e.g., the browser's publisher. Because the browser is dedicated to performing a single task, the user interface for operating the dedicated browser may be simplified to include only those controls useful for performing the assigned task. Also, the content available for access by the client portal can be controlled by a single authorized party, such as the portal's publisher or distributor.

The filing date for the above was November 5, 2004.

Google Loss Could Be Significant

An Eastern District of Texas (where IP attorneys experience full employment) jury handed Google what ultimately might be its most serious setback. The Plaintiff, Bedrock Computer Technologies LLC, holds a valid patent on a Linux kernel that is used in Google’s server farm.  The $5M verdict is relatively harmless, but, as Florian Mueller reports, that finding may well have long-term implications for Android’s and APP builders’ use of Linux.

Side Note on the Google Loss To Bedrock

Does the Judiciary already feel i4i has lost in the dispute argued earlier this month before the Supreme Court? Even before the SC ruling (expected this summer), as Mueller points out, the judge’s jury instructions in Bedrock v. Google indicated the Plaintiff could satisfy its burden of proof through a “preponderance of the evidence.”