Google called itself a neutral third party, judge questions impartiality
Magistrage Judge Paul S. Grewal, the judge in charge of pre-trial discovery issues in the second Apple vs. Samsung patent trial, has ruled that Google must provide Apple search terms used in the unearthing of documents related to the case. Google is now compelled to "produce search terms and a list of custodians that Google used in response to requests for production Apple served on it." The seven-page ruling makes a point clear -- Apple wasn't seeking further discovery, it just expressed concern on the information Google pulled for discovery.
Tablet design includes kickstand, Surface-style keyboard
A patent application by Nokia shows the company not only thought about creating a tablet, but also incorporating a keyboard into the cover. The application, titled "Apparatus Cover with Keyboard," was filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office in October 2011, long before Microsoft revealed its Surface tablets, complete with the Touch Cover.
Vacated products from first trial holding up payment, conclusion of first trial
Judge Lucy Koh of the Northern District of California in San Francisco has entered an order on the recent battery of Apple and Samsung motions brought in regards to the first contentious smartphone patent trial. While there aren't any clear decisions on any legal matters, Judge Koh has left open the door for a full retrial on the 14 accused products that need, at the very least, a new damages declaration.
Google patent application details GPS-based camera settings
Google has filed a patent application with the USPTO for using a GPS to alter the settings on a camera. The abstract in the filing suggests that a weather report based on a specific physical location could give the camera important data to optimize its settings for a photograph or video recording, such as how much ambient light there is to work with, reports Engadget. While it is possible that the method may not make its way into digital cameras, it is possible it could appear in a Google-produced handset, like the X Phone, in the future.
Application uses Glass to superimpose controls over other devices
Google has applied for another patent relating to its head-mounted display project, Glass. Titled "Wearable Computer with Superimposed Controls and Instructions for External Device," the application details how the headwear would provide information and virtual controls for other electrical items, such as a refrigerator.
OLED lawsuit dropped, settlement details unknown
Samsung is reportedly dropping its lawsuit against LG over the alleged leakage of details relating to Samsung's OLED and LCD technology. Part of an ongoing feud between the two companies, the suit has apparently been laid to rest, after both parties were supposedly in discussions over the matter this month.
'Device independent message distribution platform' patent granted
Twitter has been issued a patent from the United States Patent and Trademark Office for Twitter itself, a request it filed in 2008. The patent, described as a "Device independent message distribution platform," is listed as invented by Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone, both of which are founders of the micro-blogging service.
Smart Pause in S4 similar to Smart Video in Optimus G Pro
LG is accusing Samsung of infringing a patent relating to eye-tracking technology. A patent for the Smart Video feature of the LG Optimus G Pro, which automatically pauses a video when the user looks away from the device, may have been infringed by a similar feature called Smart Pause in the Samsung Galaxy S4.
Ruling first of three court proceedings between the pair in two weeks
The Mannheim Regional Court in Germany has ruled in an LTE patent suit brought by Huawei against ZTE, with Huawei has winning an injunction in the country against ZTE. The ruling prevents it from selling LTE base stations in Germany. Despite the injunction, a minor victory was won by ZTE, as it is still allowed to sell USB "4G" modems. The devices were deemed to be not infringing, and cleared by the court.
Initial ruling found Apple not guilty of infringement, likely to be upheld
The US International Trade Commission (ITC) has once again delayed a full-panel ruling on Samsung's complaint that Apple violated patents related to the iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad. The preliminary ruling in September by a single judge held Apple blameless of any violation, with the full ITC judgement being the final word on the subject. The ruling is now expected on May 31, barring any further delays.
Nokia takes fault in court ruling of need for 'causal nexus'
After asking for an extension, Nokia has filed an amicus curae ("friend of the court") brief in the Apple versus Samsung patent battles, supporting Apple's position of a permanent injunction against some Samsung products. Nokia's filing believes that the case is currently headed towards a "compulsory-licensing system, wherein patent holders are forced to license patented technology to competing firms, which could in turn harm incentives to innovate."
New act proposes patent trolls pay legal costs if suit lost
The second bill intended to quash "patent trolls" has been introduced by the sponsors of the original failed bill. Representatives Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Peter DeFazio (D-OR) are sponsoring the SHIELD act of 2013, which intends to create a "loser pays" system where certain patent holders will be forced to pay the defendant's legal bills in entirety if the holder loses the suit. Debate on the bill may be held up by the possible upcoming Federal budget cuts, but the representatives believe it will come up for a hearing fairly soon.
Authors describe direct display onto retina
The US Patent and Trademark Office has published a Google patent application that appears to describe many of the technologies used in the company's Glass wearable display system. The authors describe the limitations to current wearable displays, including traditional screens that block the wearer's vision or heads-up displays that typically serve as passive headwear reliant on signals from external sources.
Cook was keen to defend supply chain
Tim Cook was opposed to suing Samsung in a lengthy patent battle over its products, according to a report. Cook is said to have been against the lawsuits in the first place due to Samsung's important role as a component supplier for the iPad and iPhone, with analysts estimating around $8 billion in parts were bought by Apple from Samsung.
Ruling will save Samsung billions, but still guilty and liable to Apple
Late on Tuesday, Judge Lucy Koh issued a handful of new rulings in the ongoing resolution of the first Samsung vs. Apple patent-infringement trial, which Apple won with a jury finding of willful infringement and a liability ruling of just over $1 billion. In a surprise move, the judge overruled the jury's finding of willfulness, saving Samsung a possible tripling of damages under US law. Samsung, however, lost its challenge to the jury findings overall, with Koh denying vacating motions and a proposal for a retrial.
Filing claims Motorola should be held to Google's license standards
Google has suffered a setback in the next step of its federal case regarding Microsoft's potential abuse of the H.264 video codec. The head of the MPEG-LA licensing group, Lawrence Horn, declared in a court briefing that Google's agreement with the group and monetary restrictions on licensing fees applies to companies it acquired -- meaning Motorola's claim of Microsoft's patent abuse likely won't net the search engine hundreds of millions of dollars per year, as it has requested from Microsoft. Motorola, as a subsidiary of Google, is held to the same licensing standards as originally signed by Google in 2004.
Application could see future use in Project Glass devices
Google has applied for a patent concerning a Project Glass-style pair of glasses with built-in bone-conducting headphones. The application, titled "Wearable Computing Device with Indirect Bone-Conduction Speaker," would theoretically allow the wearer to hear audio played from the device privately without resorting to use earphones or external speakers.
Increase in international customers brings added expense
Just before Apple's blockbuster results, media streaming company Netflix announced a modest profit for the fourth quarter of 2012. The company reported $945 million in revenue, which generated $8 million in profit. Additionally, 27 million streaming subscribers were added in the US, more than two million than the previous quarter.
Mode automatically reduces screen contents, brightness
Microsoft has filed a patent application for a mode that will make a smartphone less obtrusive in certain situations. The application for "Inconspicuous Mode," filed in July 2011, would reduce the amount of information on screen, as well as lowering sound volumes and altering other phone settings, depending on the environment the phone finds itself in.
Evenly-applied ruling redacts some post-trial filings on both sides
Judge Lucy Koh, overseeing the Apple versus Samsung smartphone patent trials in the US, has tossed some declarations from both companies attached to briefs and other court filings that were "not explicitly articulated within the briefing page limits." In the order striking the declarations, the judge said that "the Court has not relied on any of this documentation in ruling on the parties' post-trial motions," possibly indicating other post-trial orders are expected soon.
Initial ruling favored Apple, criticized Samsung FRAND abuse
A US International Trade Commission final ruling on Samsung's complaint against Apple will be delayed two and half weeks until February 6, rather than the original January 14 date, according to a scheduling notice from the trade organization. The move does not necessarily signal anything, but is seen as unusual were the full commission planning on simply approving Judge James Gildea's preliminary ruling, which rebuked Samsung harshly for patent abuse.
Ongoing fees between $2 and $5 per handset expected in future
The first part of Research In Motion's settlement with Nokia has been paid, a week after the two companies agreed to end all of their outstanding patent battles. The one-off payment of 50 million euro ($65 million) by RIM will be followed by currently-unknown ongoing payments, as part of a patent licensing agreement between the mobile phone manufacturers.
Request mirrors similar ban complaint by Ericsson one month ago
Samsung has filed a complaint with the International Trade Commission, seeking a ban in the US on the import and sale of Ericsson devices. The ban request comes less than a month after Ericsson requested the same ban on Samsung devices, with both ITC complaints stemming from the patent dispute between the two companies.
Company claims the feature infringes on non-SEP patent
According to a South Korean news site, Samsung has launched a patent-infringement lawsuit in Korea against Apple over the iOS version of Notification Center, saying it violates their patent. The feature, which debuted almost two years ago, is also similar (but not identical) to an Android feature called Status Bar for which Google recently received a US patent. Apple most recently brought the Notification Center over to the Mac in OS X Mountain Lion.
UK court invalidates Motorola patent, hands win to Microsoft
A High Court judge in England has ruled that a key Motorola patent being used against Microsoft is invalid, which should result in the lifting of an injunction against Apple. The Motorola patent, for syncing messages across many mobile devices, forms the basis of an injunction that prevents Apple's iCloud push notification from being used in Germany. Apple is likely to ask for a hearing on staying the ban pending the outcome of any appeals. Judge Richard Arnold not only ruled the patent invalid, but said it should be revoked, since it threatens many other modern services.
Nokia, RIM reach agreement ending all outstanding claims
Struggling smartphone giants RIM and Nokia have reached a settlement ending all outstanding patent claims between the two companies. A statement issued by Nokia indicates that the settlement is heavily weighted in its favor. Nokia will receive a one-time payment from RIM while the Canadian company will also furnish Nokia with ongoing payments, although the details of which remain undisclosed.
Swiss company licensing efforts with Netflix fail
Patent holder OpenTV has launched a lawsuit against Netflix on Wednesday, claiming the company is misusing its patents on viewer recommendations, digital rights management and video playback. The owners of OpenTV, Kudelski SA, have been attempting to negotiate licenses for the patents in question for a year, but Netflix has signed no agreement with the Swiss company.
Pender finds Moto proximity sensor patent invalid
In a preliminary ruling, the US International Trade Commission has again found that Apple's iPhone did not infringe on a Motorola patent regarding proximity sensors, another win for the Cupertino company in a string of almost-exclusively favorable ITC rulings. Judge Thomas Pender ruled again that the Motorola patent, now owned by Google, is invalid. The ruling came as a part of an appeal against his earlier August decision, which covered both the sensor patent and several 3G-related ones. The ruling is preliminary, and will be reviewed by a full panel.
Judge: no proof of lost sales; jury presumably followed the law
Both Apple and Samsung have won minor victories in the first group of post-trial hearing rulings from Judge Lucy Koh. Late Monday afternoon, Koh issued her initial rulings following the December 6 post-trial hearing between Apple and Samsung regarding matters raised by the verdict of the first smartphone patent trial. The judge has refused product sales embargoes desired by Apple on the infringing Samsung devices, saying that when only a small amount of the product is found to be infringing, it fails to merit a ban on the whole product. Additionally, the judge rejected Samsung's motion for a mistrial based on juror misconduct, saying that inadmissible statements after the trial didn't count as "evidence properly before the Court" to consider a hearing to examine the jury.
Intel had said Apple, HP indemnified in product use
An International Trade Commission lawsuit brought by technology company X2Y Attenuators against Intel -- claiming that the chipmaker had stolen X2Y's technology and used in chips purchased by other manufacturers -- has failed, with a preliminary ruling by Judge David Shaw that not only did Intel not infringe on the three energy-conditioning patents in question, but that two of the X2Y patents were invalid. Also named in the lawsuit were Apple and HP, since both use certain Intel chips in their products. Both companies were also cleared.
Qualcomm concerned with release of business-confidential info
A letter condemning Apple as a habitual patent infringer filed by Qualcomm with the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) has been completely withdrawn by the communications chip manufacturer. Qualcomm claims the letter wasn't "appropriately authorized" and that it doesn't want the commission to consider the submission in any way, and to act if it never received the missive.
Preliminary ruling first step to possibly invalidate the patent
In a ruling issued Monday and made public today, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued a preliminary ruling declaring a key Apple iPhone patent invalid. All 20 claims of US Patent Number 7,479,949, also known as "The Steve Jobs Patent" covering a "touch screen device, method, and graphical user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics" have been rejected.
Licensing fee claimed by media 'ludicrous,' says Chou
Responding to a media question that HTC must pay Apple between $6 and $8 per Android phone, HTC CEO Peter Chou called the reports "outrageous." The questions came from a lack of details about the HTC and Apple a global patent settlement and 10-year licensing agreement announced earlier this month, ending the pair's legal skirmishes worldwide.
Dispute expands to iPhone 5 and iPad mini
VirnetX has filed a second lawsuit against Apple, kicking off a new legal battle just hours after the patent holding company won a $368 million patent-infringement judgement for technology used in iPads, iPhones and Mac computers. The fresh filing expands the litigation to include Apple's latest devices, such as the iPhone 5, fifth-generation iPod touch, fourth-generation iPad, iPad mini and latest Mac computers.
Non-practicing entity owns a single patent on messaging
A "patent troll" type company that owns a single patent (not their own invention) has added Apple and its FaceTime and and Messages to a long list of companies it is suing for patent infringement. The patent, granted in 2006, concerns "an inter-carrier messaging service providing phone number only experience." It was assigned to the Texas company Intercarrier Communications expressly for the purpose of suing other companies. Apple and a number of other companies have been sued over the patent in the last week.
Suit relates to location-sensitive shopper rewards
In the wake of the Google Wallet update announcement, Google has been sued in the Federal District Court of Delaware for allegedly violating a patent related to technology for "encouraging customer patronage by providing awards to customers." The patent was originally filed in September of 2005, and issued on November of 2007. The lawsuit plaintiff appears to be the inventor of the patent, Peter Sprogis, with no information filed with the patent about transfer or sale to another party.
Method to detect perfect shot at apex of camera throw
Nikon has received a patent for a way to protect a device being used in "camera tossing." The Japanese patent details how a camera could detect the highest point in its trajectory in order to take a photograph, as well as to brace itself for impact as it falls back down by retracting and covering the lens.
States that Samsung had their chance to remove foreman, chose not to
While the trial has been over for nearly two months, the legal jousting between Apple and Samsung in the first smartphone patent trial in the US between the pair of industry giants continues. Apple has filed its response with Judge Lucy Koh's court to Samsung's allegations of jury misconduct, and argues that Samsung had their opportunity to remove foreman Velvin Hogan during jury selection. In failing to do so, Apple believes that Samsung's jury misconduct accusations are baseless.
'Slide to unlock' now a more powerful patent
Apple's "slide to unlock" patent, which has been at or near the center of a number of patent battles, has been continued -- and perhaps powerfully extended -- in a new patent just awarded to the Cupertino computer maker. The new patent, in addition to re-validating the original patent, adds the ability for Apple's particular "slide to unlock" gesture to open directly into an application, an expanded meaning that could have serious legal implications in the ongoing litigation.
Google filing forced USPTO analysis of patent
The otherwise-stagnant Lodsys lawsuit has shown signs of life after six months of inactivity. According to a blog post on the Lodsys website, during the inter-parties reexamination requested by Google, the United States Patent Trade Office has confirmed the non-practicing entity's patent as valid after on in-app purchases and free-to-paid application upgrades.
Ruling won't affect existing injunctions
A German court has issued a ruling that clears Motorola of infringing a Microsoft patent, preventing the latter company from enforcing a fourth sales ban in the ongoing case. Microsoft had accused the company of infringing a patent that describes a radio interface for application interoperability between different handsets.
System would write sentences from logged data
Samsung has filed a patent application for an automatic diary. Entitled "Apparatus and method for generating story according to user information," the system would use data logs to write a long-form sentence of what took place, and store it in what has been called a "Life Diary" on a device.
ITC-deferred action scheduled for November 5
The ITC-deferred patent counterclaim trial between Apple and Google subsidiary Motorola Mobile has been scheduled for November 5 in the Western District of Wisconsin. On Monday, Apple filed an unopposed motion for the patent suit to be heard as a bench trial. On Tuesday afternoon, Judge Barbara Crabb approved the motion, sending Apple and Google to trial without the encumbrance of a jury. The unopposed nature of the filing is noteworthy, as Motorola Mobility has spoken out against a bench trial in a very similar case versus Microsoft, also scheduled for November.
Remaining defendants scheduled for trial in early 2013
Patent troll VirnetX announced that at a pre-trial scheduling conference, jury selection in its trial against Apple will begin on October 29, with a jury trial commencing on October 31. Remaining defendants Cisco, Avaya, and Siemens are scheduled for jury selection on March 4, 2013.
Technology similar to optical mice adapted for use in gloves
Google has been granted a patent from the USPTO for glove-based gesture control. Patent number 8,248,364, entitled "Seeing With Your Hand", uses a hand-mounted sensor that records the environment through a detector and can work out what motion occurred. In theory, this would allow for gesture controls on surfaces that do not have a touchscreen.
Bids reportedly significantly less than expected
After fighting in court for more than a year, Eastman Kodak is now saying it may sell only some of its patents, or none of them at all. The company is currently in the eighth day of a no-minimum-bid, blind-bidder patent auction that was scheduled to end earlier this week, but was extended on August 13.
Stickers cover back of phones, don't obscure brand labeling
Earlier today, Samsung attorneys filed a motion in the Apple versus Samsing patent trial in the District Court of the Northern District of California to "label joint exhibit devices in a manner not obscuring trade dress." Apple is the curator of the joint exhibits, most of which are Samsung-developed smartphones. The devices have large stickers affixed to the backs, labeling the devices as trial exhibits, but not obscuring any branding or device model identification.
Corrective measures taken, asks court for forgiveness
In another Samsung misstep, an attorney for Samsung-hired Quinn Emanuel has admitted that she wasn't yet allowed to practice law in the court district where an Apple vs. Samsung trial is being held. Susan Estrich, a law professor and Fox New analyst, was questioned early Thursday about her compliance with court regulations on attorney appearances and qualifications, and had until the close of business that day to accept or refute the court's records on her qualifications. She has since applied for and been accepted to practice before the court.
Lawyer co-filed counter-motion to evidence spoilation ruling
Potential missteps by Samsung's legal team in the contentious Apple versus Samsung mobile device patent trial continue to make headlines aside from the issues of the trial itself. Samsung lawyer and Fox News commentator Susan Estrich may be in violation of Judge Lucy Koh's order that all the trial lawyers in the case must have made appearances in the case, and be able to practice law in the United States District for the Northern District of California. According to records, Mrs. Estrich may not be admitted to the federal district's bar.
Found not infringing Mformation Technologies patent
Canadian smartphone maker Research in Motion got a welcome break of good news today as a US District Court judge overturned a $147.2 million jury award and finding that the BlackBerry maker infringed on a patent from New Jersey-based Mformation Technologies. Judge James Ware also granted RIM's motion granting a new trial if his ruling is overturned, meaning the jury award is permanently tossed even if Mformation is able to appeal the ruling. The patent in question covered remote management for wireless devices.