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Jury decides on $234M penalty for Apple in WARF infringement case

10/19, 11:59am

Apple to appeal decision, maintains patent is over-broad and invalid

Following a guilty verdict against Apple in a case that claimed the iPhone maker incorporated technology in its A7, A8, and A8X chips covered by a patent held by the University of Wisconsin's Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), a Wisconsin jury has decided that Apple owes the foundation $234 million in damages for its infringement. The award is just over half the among sought by WARF, and considerably less than the $862.4 million it could have faced, but the jury disagreed with a finding of willful infringement.


Wisconsin jury finds Apple guilty of infringing UW patent

10/13, 6:25pm

Company could face damages of up to $862M over A7 component

Apple has been found guilty in a Wisconsin court of infringing on a patent for a "table-based data speculation circuit for [a] parallel-processing computer," granted in 1998 to the University of Wisconsin -- a patent actually cited by Apple in its own filings for a similar patent. Should the ruling not be overturned or modified on appeal, Apple could be facing damages of up to $862.4 million. The university also successfully sued Intel over the same patent, receiving an undisclosed sum in 2008.


Second Apple vs Samsung damages retrial set for March or April

09/02, 12:03am

Third jury trial between sparring companies may finally force Samsung to pay

US District Court Judge Lucy Koh, who has presided over both of the previous Apple vs Samsung juried trials (and one prior damages retrial), has set a date in either March or April of next year for the second damages retrial stemming from the first patent trial, brought on by a decision from the Federal Court of Appeals. That first patent trial's original $1.05 billion judgement against Samsung has been steadily whittled down through appeals, and is now approximately half its original amount.


Apple loses German patent decision on 'swipe-to-unlock'

08/25, 10:49pm

Ruling benefits Lenovo, Android generally, though patent no longer infringed

One of the lynchpins of Apple's original court challenges against Android was set aside in a European court on Tuesday, as a top patent court in German ruled that the European version of Apple's "swipe-to-unlock" feature for the iPhone "was already suggested by the state of the art" at the time, and should not have been granted patent-level status.


Samsung petitioning US Supreme Court over first Apple patent trial

08/19, 8:42pm

At stake is $400 million of $548 million damages award

Samsung has made its intention known to appeal the ruling on the its first trial with Apple before the US Supreme Court. In papers filed today, the Korean manufacturer petitioned that the continuing battle with Apple in the California courts be suspended until the matter could be heard before the Supreme Court, following the refusal last week at the US Federal Court of Appeals.


Google 'smart toy' patent under fire from privacy groups

05/25, 9:57am

Patent for responsive toys with microphones, cameras deemed creepy by critics

A recently published patent from Google is drawing concern from privacy groups. The patent for "Agent Interfaces for Interactive Electronics that support Social Cues" effectively describes a toy or doll that can analyze a user's speech and body language to determine if it is being communicated with directly and respond accordingly, with law-related tech company SmartUp describing it as "one of Google's creepiest patents yet."


Litigious patent troll podcast patent struck down by USPTO

04/11, 11:40am

Samsung, Apple, CBS all previously found guilty of infringing '90s era patent

A final ruling by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has invalidated a podcasting patent held by non-practicing entity Personal Audio, ending the company's bid to cash in on the backs of successful content creators. The EFF originally filed a petition in 2013 to review the serialized media content patent held under patent number US8112504.


Watchmaker patent may stymie Apple Watch launch, promos in Switzerland

04/04, 12:27pm

Three decade old patent possibly holding use of word 'Apple' with watch

Citing a patent issued in 1985, Apple won't be allowed to use either the image of an apple, nor the word itself to launch the Apple Watch in Switzerland. Luxury watch brand Leonard owns the patent, which is set to expire on December 5. At this time, no special deals with the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property or Leonard allowing Apple use of the trademark are known.


Samsung patent challenge could help overturn Apple $533 million loss

04/04, 10:16am

Patent troll Smartflash facing invalidation of five patents at USPTO

Samsung, in challenging the validity of two patents, may help Apple skirt a $533 million patent verdict. The Korean manufacturer has petitioned, and convinced, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to re-evaluate a pair of patents owned by non-practicing entity Smartflash for uniqueness in order to avoid a suit over in-app purchasing in app stores.


Weekly Game Replay: Nintendo patent disputes, Ubisoft game fine print

12/28, 6:45pm

News from the video game industry for the week of December 21

Every Sunday, Electronista and MacNN offer up a single article with some of the significant happenings in the video game industry for the previous week. In this edition of the Weekly Game Replay, we take a look at Nintendo winning two patent disputes, the catch with the free game offer for Assassin's Creed Unity issues, new details on Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward, Resident Evil HD cross-buy, and expansion of PlayStation Now to non-Sony devices.


Rumor: Bose products set to return to Apple Stores

12/08, 8:08pm

Mysterious dispute resulted in Bose products taken off store shelves

A French enthusiast site has reported, citing anonymous sources, that Apple will soon return Bose products back to the shelves of the iPhone maker's brick-and-mortar Apple Stores following a two-month fallout in which Bose products were removed. The move was originally thought to be in response to a lawsuit Bose filed against Beats, its rival in headphones, or possibly a unilateral move by Apple to reduce competing products in its stores now that it owns Beats, but the truth of the matter has yet to emerge.


Nintendo updates old emulator patent to target SoC, smartphones

11/30, 6:48pm

Update to 2003 filing focuses on adaption, doesn't mean official emulation coming

Last week, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) posted a recent patent update from Nintendo. Patent application 20140349751, filed in June 2014, looks to improve upon Nintendo patent 8157654, adding processor-level adaptation for emulators of handheld consoles like the Game Boy, Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advanced. While some fans may take it as a sign that Nintendo is official moving into the smartphone and tablet space, it's more likely done for legal purposes.


Judge grants Apple post-judgement royalties from second Samsung trial

11/26, 9:24am

Apple not given what it wanted; Samsung appeals, Apple filing shortly

Judge Lucy Koh, overseeing the myriad Apple versus Samsung smartphone patent trials, has partially granted a motion by Apple. The ruling would allow the Cupertino manufacturer to collect post-judgement royalties on ongoing sales of some Samsung devices -- but the amount received will be less than Apple wanted. The motion, filed for the second Apple versus Samsung trial, covers two patents -- data detectors and "slide to unlock" -- and specifically covers 10 products and other devices that infringe on the patent or are not "demonstrably different" than the infringing products.


Velocity Micro issues open letter responding to Samsung/Nvidia suit

11/12, 6:59pm

Computer builder 'caught off guard,' believes fallout will affect employees, community

Custom computer builder Velocity Micro is stuck in a legal battle between two computing powerhouses after Samsung lumped the company in with Nvidia over a patent dispute. The Virginia-based company issued an open letter today admitting it is confused by the whole situation, adding that it intends to fight the suit that will drain company resources.


Samsung sues Nvidia over patent infringement, false advertising

11/12, 2:44pm

Nvidia responds to benchmark criticism with multi-benchmark graph

Samsung has filed a lawsuit against chip producer Nvidia, accusing it of infringing its patents and faking benchmark results for its processors. Nvidia has since spoken up about the suit, filed last week, claiming Samsung's accusations of benchmark deception is false, by comparing its Tegra K1-powered Shield Tablet against Samsung's Galaxy Note 4 and its Exynos 5433 processor.


Samsung seeking to break patent deal with Microsoft over Nokia buy

10/31, 8:09pm

Court filing calls Microsoft direct hardware competitors after Nokia acquisition

Samsung is petitioning a court to allow it to invalidate its contract with Microsoft, an agreement that it has only belatedly paid patent license fees on for the last year. A late Thursday court filing declares that once Microsoft acquired Nokia, it became a significant competitor with Samsung. The Korean manufacturer claims that the buy puts the two companies on equal footing in the smartphone market, and continuing the contract thus would induce some problems with US laws. Samsung pays royalties to Microsoft on patents it owns that are used in Android and other software.


Google wins small battle in Rockstar suit, case moves to California

10/13, 1:50pm

Texas court abused discretion, single California case heard for less confusion, resource savings

Google's battle with the Rockstar Consortium is getting closer to a trial, as the matter of the venue for the case has finally been settled. While several cases were ongoing in California and Texas, judges gave different opinions on where the court battle should take place. Google asked the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to weigh in, a risky move that ended up working in its favor.


ITC to investigate Samsung, Qualcomm over Nvidia patent allegations

10/07, 8:23pm

Nvidia alleges that Qualcomm, Samsung violate seven graphics patents in devices

Video card maker Nvidia has cleared its first hurdle in a patent dispute with Samsung and Qualcomm, as the US International Trade Commission (ITC) voted to investigate complaints the GPU manufacturer filed over infringement. The ITC will evaluate if a number of possibly-infringing devices, such as the recently announced Galaxy Note 4, should be barred from entering the country. The decision stems from complaints Nvidia filed last month with the ITC and US District Court in Delaware.


Texas court finds CBS infringes upon Personal Audio LLC's patent

09/16, 7:35pm

Jury awards Personal Audio $1.3 million, less than the $7.8 million sought

Podcasters may not be in the clear of potential patent violations after a ruling this week in a Texas court. Six jurors found that CBS Corporation, home of the television network with shows like The Big Bang Theory and Person of Interest, infringed upon the patent by streaming episodic content of its television shows on the Internet. The trial only lasted four days, with CBS failing to prove the patent owned by Personal Audio LLC should be invalidated.


Lotzi Digital, Personal Audio drop patent lawsuit over podcasts

08/19, 3:00pm

Terms under 'quiet period' until September 30, Adam Carolla crowdfunded defense fund

Big name podcasts may be in the clear for the time being, as Personal Audio and Adam Carolla's Lotzi Digital recently agreed to jointly dismiss a patent lawsuit without prejudice last Friday. The filing, obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), comes after a settlement was reached between the two parties, the details of which have yet to be announced. Both companies are under a "quiet period" until September 30.


Lenovo patent reveals wearable with sound recording capabilities

06/25, 6:30pm

Application outlines features of the device, doesn't dip into components used

In a filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, information on a head-mounted wearable display similar to Google Glass has been discovered from Lenovo. The application filing, which dates back to last December, covers "an electronic device and a sound-capturing method." It just happens that the device looks like a pair of glasses with embedded electronics.


Apple seeks triple damages and retrial in latest Samsung verdict

05/24, 3:20pm

Both Apple, Samsung file near close of business on Friday

Both Apple and Samsung petitioned Judge Lucy Koh's court late on Friday afternoon, seeking to redress grievances brought about by the jury verdict and various court rulings. Bolstered by its most recent victory in court, Apple has filed for a Samsung product sales embargo for most of the Samsung devices found to be infringing the '172 patent covering user text prediction, the '647 data detectors patent, and the "slide to unlock" '721 patent. Additionally, the company is seeking triple the damages awarded by the jury, as Samsung was found to be willfully infringing on Apple's patents.


Patent reform debate and legislation taken off Senate's calendar

05/21, 11:31pm

Move makes patent troll curbing measures unlikely for 2014

Comprehensive patent reform in the 2014 Senate is unlikely to happen. Citing the absence of "sufficient support behind any comprehensive deal," Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has torpedoed legislation fixing the US patent system. Leahy is concerned about the long-term scope of the deal, and potential problems it may have for legitimate patent holders.


Microsoft watch design information discovered in patent filings

05/12, 1:58pm

Patents filings outline design, features of Microsoft's smart watch entry

Recent patent information has given those awaiting a Microsoft entry into the smart watch race something to look at. A patent award for an "electronic band," and an application for a "wearable personal information system" filed by the company, give information on what is to come from the software giant.


USPTO grants Amazon seamless white background photography patent

05/08, 6:00pm

'Studio arrangement' process for true white backdrop photos filed in 2011

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) granted a questionable patent to Amazon in March, which gives the online retailer a hold on a common photography practice. Called "studio arrangement," the practice awarded the patent is an instruction set that outlines specific light and object placement to achieve photos of a subject on a white background, as well as steps for the process -- which has used by retailers for catalogs since the beginning of commercial photography.


Apple-Samsung foreman: 'consumer' is loser in patent case

05/05, 11:44pm

Secret Google indemnity deal 'interesting' but 'didn't change our decision'

With the trial now over in the second Apple-Samsung patent case, jurors have begun talking to the media about the case -- particularly foreman Thomas Dunham, a retired IBM supervisor. Commenting on the verdict, he said that "ultimately, the consumer is the loser in all this" and that he'd like to see the two tech giants "find a way to settle." After revising figures owing to what Dunham called a "clerical error" earlier in the day, the jury left the total awards to Samsung and Apple intact.


Editorial: No winners, lots of losers in Apple-Samsung patent trial

05/03, 8:12am

Mixed verdict sends mixed signals; punitive awards possible?

Today's verdict in the Apple-Samsung patent trial -- which was marked by a self-declared "non-technical" jury, complex and mind-numbing patent and software code minutia and flanks of overpaid experts -- sent few clear signals either in the ongoing patent battle between the two tech giants, or the larger issue of IP theft ... or even who exactly won. One thing seems obvious: yet again, a jury found that Samsung stole more from Apple than they were stolen from. Beyond that, the waters get terribly murky -- on a number of levels.


Apple vs. Samsung, Day 6: It's not copying, it's 'benchmarking'

04/15, 4:20am

Samsung offers Google engineers, but Samsung marketers in day of witnesses

Over the weekend, Judge Lucy Koh turned down Samsung's request for a summary judgement in the Samsung-Apple second patent trial, claiming that Apple had failed to prove its case during its presentation. Judge Koh rebuffed the claims and thus the trial continued on Monday, with Samsung still presenting its defense. Continuing its strategy of saying the case is about a dispute between Apple and Google rather than Samsung, the Galaxy smartphone maker put on a stunning seven witnesses -- most of them from the search and advertising giant.


Apple rests in second Apple-Samsung trial

04/11, 7:00pm

Samsung begins its defense, downplays Apple patents, losses

Apple's presentation to the jury in the second Apple-Samsung patent trial is over, with attorneys for the iPhone maker resting their case as expected on Friday following the completion of damages expert Christopher Vellturo's detailed explanation of why Apple is asking for $2.191 billion in total from Samsung. Apple had one final witness on its list, but decided against calling him following Vellturo's testimony. Samsung has already begun its presentation, which seeks to minimize the value of Apple's royalties and calls the damages estimate "grossly inflated."


Apple vs Samsung, Day Two: Schiller gets cross, Christie on stand

04/04, 11:43pm

New details on competition emerge; lies told in court, says Apple

The second full day of the second Apple-Samsung patent trial is over, with Phil Schiller starting the day by continuing to submit to cross-examination by Samsung attorney Bill Price. Also on the stand on Friday was early iPhone engineer Greg Christie, and Apple-hired patent expert witness Dr. Andrew Cockburn. In the course of proceedings, some additional details about how buyers perceive the iPhone and its creation were revealed, and Judge Lucy Koh ruled against Apple on two objections.


US Supreme Court hearing arguments about software patentability

03/31, 1:09pm

Relatively minor suit could set the stage for patent law's future

For the first time in over three decades, the US Supreme Court is hearing significant arguments on whether "computer-implemented inventions," otherwise known as software, can be patented. The debate will center around what qualifies for a patent, centering on a debate about a computer system used to handle financial transactions, evaluating risks of default. Despite the suit itself being relatively small, the ruling will set precent for patent law for decades to come.


Follow-up: Judge overrules Samsung on patent video

03/30, 10:32pm

Jury will see instructional video on patent process that features Apple products

Ahead of the second patent trial between Apple and Samsung, US District Court Judge Lucy Koh has overruled objections filed by Samsung over an instructional video on the US patent process that will be shown to jurors. Samsung's attorneys had complained that the video depicts a number of Apple products, in most cases used innocuously, and would be "highly prejudicial" to the jury.


Oregon Senate passes bill banning patent trolls

02/15, 12:41pm

Makes patent trolling a violation of Unlawful Trade Practices Act

The Senate in the State of Oregon passed a bill on February 14 that adds a ban on patent trolling in accordance to Oregon's Unlawful Trade Practices Act. Senate Bill 1540 had overwhelming support in the Senate, with a 30-0 with no abstaining votes. The bill will now be passed to the House Judiciary Committee for review.


Four Apple patent applications outline quantum dot use

02/09, 1:05pm

USPTO information hints at future retina displays

Information from Patently Apple shows that new developments for Apple's retina displays may be in the works for the company. Four patent applications published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office show the use of quantum dots on display layers and various technologies surrounding their optimization for better color through displays which the company had began approaching with a filing in September 2012.


Motorola Mobile versus Intellectual Ventures suit ends in mistrial

02/05, 11:49pm

Trial to be rescheduled, likely in 2015

The long-running smartphone patent court duel between Google's Motorola Mobility and non-practicing entity Intellectual Ventures was declared a mistrial earlier today. A two-week long trial resulted in a hung jury in the Wilmington, Delaware venue, with Judge Sue Robinson making the ruling.


Apple, Samsung reveal accused products ahead of second patent trial

02/05, 1:27am

Galaxy SIII, Galaxy Note 2 and Tab 2; iPhone 5 and iPad 4 among alleged infringers

In the upcoming trial between Apple and Samsung set to start at the end of March, each company is allowed to assert five claims and ten products it accuses the other of infringing. The new trial, which is not related to the first Apple-Samsung trial that saw Apple make a clean sweep of claims against Samsung (and won nearly $900 million in penalties, though both the verdict and damages are being appealed), will see Apple start the case with a slight advantage over its rival.


Google, Cisco sign long-term patent cross-licensing agreement

02/04, 2:34pm

Patent deal reduces threat of litigation for both Cisco and Google

Google and Cisco have signed a cross-licensing agreement for each others patent portfolios. The long-term agreement, which is said to cover a "broad range of products and technologies," is said to help both companies defend themselves from future patent infringement lawsuits as well as preventing the two companies from suing each other.


USPTO awards Apple patent on sapphire windows

02/02, 12:50pm

Patent outlines manufacturing and growing process

Along with the patent awarded for the ejectable component assembly last week, the United States Patent & Trademark Office also granted Apple a patent for manufacturing sapphire windows, which had originally been submitted in July 2012. The patent gives credence to the reports of all-sapphire glass displays used on the new iPhone prototypes, as well as the company pushing to open a US sapphire manufacturing plant in Arizona this year.


Apple awarded patent for ejectable component assembly

02/01, 1:00pm

Thinner tray to house SIMs and other small cards

Earlier this week, Apple was awarded a patent from the United States Patent & Trademark Office based on a filing from September 2012. The filing, for "ejectable component assemblies in electronic devices," marks another win for Apple as it moves into different markets -- including the anticipated iWatch that the company has been bolstering its ranks for as of late. The application builds on provisional patent application 61675328, which was filed in July 2012.


Google gains patent for offering free transport in advertising

01/26, 2:25pm

Customers could get free travel to business locations

Online advertising could offer viewers free travel to businesses in the future, based on a recently-granted patent. The filing, titled "Transportation-aware physical advertising conversions," suggests a way for a system that can provide free or discounted transit of a customer to a physical location, in order for the customer to buy products or to try out a service.


Qualcomm acquires vast collection of Palm, Bitfone patents from HP

01/24, 5:30am

1,400 US patents and applications bought by Qualcomm

Processor producer Qualcomm has acquired a considerable haul of patents from HP, including some originally from the portfolios of iPAQ, Bitfone, and Palm. Though the sale price was not revealed by the company in a statement, it did reveal that the purchase includes approximately 1,400 granted patents and pending applications from the United States, and another 1,000 from other countries.


Google loses push notification suit to non-practicing entity SimpleAir

01/22, 9:29pm

Google faces 'more than $125 million' damages for infringement

Google and SimpleAir's court case wrapped up its first phase today in the Eastern District of Texas. The jury found Google guilty of infringing SimpleAir's patent on its push notification implementation after a week-long trial. Google faces a seperate trail after a hung jury failed to resolve damages, but SimpleAir claims that it is seeking $125 million or more from the search engine giant.


Samsung awarded design patent for tablet with foldable display

01/02, 10:47am

Patent awarded at end of 2013 shows single screen spanning two tablet halves

Samsung is still working on a folding tablet with a single seamless screen, according to a newly-granted design patent. The USPTO filing shows a tablet that appears to consist of two halves of a tablet that closes like a book, but still retains a single screen without a central seam or hinge in the middle of the display, something that the company has been working on for some time.


Apple patent filings detail quantum-dot displays, 'layered map' UI

12/19, 11:37am

Filings hint at future product features

The US Patent and Trademark Office has published several Apple patent applications, including separate filings for an "interactive map" interface and "quantum dot-enhanced display." The map application, spotted by AppleInsider, details an interactive interface that dynamically adjusts map content based on a chosen mode, with different modes for a range of activities or interests.


Google fails to overturn embargo on Motorola devices in appeals court

12/16, 7:42pm

Microsoft-led suit led to embargo of older Motorola devices, suits continue

The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld Microsoft's ban on Motorola's products that used a meeting scheduler patent. Google-owned Motorola attempted to get the ruling overturned, hoping that the court would invalidate the patent and overturn the US International Trade Commission finding holding it valid.


Apple lands patent for manufacturing curved touchscreens

12/10, 10:27am

Patent hints at curved device development

The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted Apple patent protection for a manufacturing process that focuses on curved touchscreens. Patent No. 8,603,574, spotted by AppleInsider, describes a fabrication method that attempts to minimize a curved touchscreen's substrate and film thickness without distorting or damaging the integrated components.


European Commission warns Nokia away from 'patent troll' behavior

12/09, 7:59am

Threat of antitrust investigation by EC if Nokia overreaches with patents

Nokia has been warned by the European Commission (EC) to avoid becoming a "patent troll," once the company completes the sale of its Devices and Services arm to Microsoft. Joaquin Almunia, head of competition and vice president of the EC, reconfirmed the Commission's approval of the purchase, but advised that there is a danger that Nokia could try to "extract higher returns" from its patent portfolio.


House of Representatives passes anti-patent-troll Innovation Act

12/05, 2:24pm

Bill aims to reduce frivolous litigation

The US House of Representatives has passed a bipartisan bill that aims to reduce negative impact from the practice derisively known as patent trolling. Passing by a wide margin of 323 to 89, Rep. Bob Goodlatte's (R-VA) Innovation Act (PDF) focuses on a range of litigation reforms to help protect businesses against frivolous patent-infringement lawsuits.


Samsung denied emergency motion to stay patent retrial

11/26, 4:31am

Infringing competitior questioned validity of key patent-in-suit

A last-minute move during the damages retrial by Samsung has failed to stop Judge Lucy Koh from moving forward with the trial's results, where once again the Korean company was found guilty of infringing on several Apple patents, but ordered to pay $112 million dollars less to Apple in damages than the first jury's just over $1 billion dollar initial judgement. Samsung had attempted to stop the proceedings on the grounds that a key patent-in-suit during the retrial might be found invalid.


Apple wins against NetAirus in iPhone 4 patent dispute

11/25, 11:00pm

Inventor argued that iPhone equalled computer plus phone

An inventor named Richard L. Ditzik has discovered, thanks to a jury, that an iPhone isn't just a computer and a phone slapped together. The inventor, through his company NetAirus Technologies, has sued Apple (though strangely, no other smartphone makers) claiming in a just-decided case that the iPhone 4 violated a patent that described a method for computers to make phone calls through Wi-Fi and cellular networks. A jury, in an unusual majority vote, disagreed that Apple was in violation.



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