Apple, BlackBerry, others partnered on former Nortel patents
The Rockstar Consortium, a group comprised of Apple, BlackBerry, Ericsson, Microsoft, and Sony, will see a windfall on its 2011 purchase of some 4,000 patents from Canadian tech giant Nortel, with Apple expected to gain at least $392 million from the holding, one analyst says. Wells Fargo's Maynard Um has used BlackBerry's reported gain of 17 percent of a base figure in predicting Apple's share of the profits.
Apple, Ericsson at loggerheads over fair rate for standards-essential patents
The US International Trade Commission has announced a formal investigation into a complaint filed by Ericsson -- along with a handful of court cases -- following a lawsuit by Apple over what the iPhone maker says is a dispute about a fair rate for some standards-essential and LTE patents. The battle began earlier this year, when Apple complained to a court about "excessive" rates Ericsson wanted to charge for previously-licensed LTE technology.
Ericsson source of latest barrage, court filings made in Eastern District of Texas
On February 26, Ericsson filed two complaints with the US International Trade Commission (ITC) and seven complaints in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas against Apple, asserting 41 patents covering many aspects of Apple's iPhones and iPads. The patents include standards-essential patents related to the 2G and 4G/LTE standards, as well as other patents that are critical to features and functionality of Apple devices, such as the design of semiconductor components, user interface software, location services and applications, as well as the iOS operating system.
Jury declares Samsung infringed on pair of modem patents
Samsung has lost a patent infringement lawsuit over Bluetooth 2.0, to a non-practicing entity called Rembrandt IP. A jury in an East Texas federal court ruled the manufacturer had infringed three claims on two patents, numbers 8,457,228 and 8,023,580, relating to modem compatibility, with Rembrandt being given $15.7 million in compensation and royalties on future Samsung devices using Bluetooth.
Agrees to changes in licensing terms of essential 3G, 4G patents in China
Qualcomm has agreed to pay a fine to end an antitrust investigation in China. The settlement, which involves the chip producer handing over 6.09 billion yuan (approximately $975 million) to China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), as well as performing other actions, after the NDRC declared Qualcomm had violated an anti-monopoly law.
Claims company knowingly infringed on two 3D UI patents from 1996
Apple has been named in a new lawsuit filed in San Francisco on Wednesday by patent non-practicing entity (NPE, often nicknamed "patent troll") TriDim Innovations. The NPE accuses the iPhone maker of knowingly infringing on a pair of patents from 1996 that covers a 3D workspace user interface, and claims that the company's Cover Flow technology, bought from Steel Skies in 2006, violates the two patents. Time Machine and Mobile Safari in iOS 7 and 8 also use the technology.
Negotiations fruitless for two years, telecom firm says
In response to an Apple lawsuit over LTE patents, Ericsson has filed one of its own, according to Reuters. The Swedish firm notes that a license agreement between the companies has expired for some time, and that two years of negotiations have yielded no results. It's asking the court to determine whether a tendered license offer is fair.
Reports initially claimed patent was Apple invention
The reassignment of a Kodak-held remote control camera system patent to Apple has been blamed for a 12.17 percent drop in GoPro shares on Tuesday. The patent is credited to three people -- Keith Stoll Karn, Marc Krolczyk, and Kazuhiro Joza -- who reassigned it to Kodak in 2012. Apple acquired a variety of Kodak patents that year, however, as part of one of two consortiums that raced to snap up some of the bankrupt imaging company's intellectual property.
Will collect royalties from parties such as Cisco and Google
(Updated with correct purchase price, lawsuit settlements) A subsidiary of San Francisco-based RPX Corporation, RPX Clearinghouse, is buying patent assets held by the Apple-led Rockstar Consortium, according to an announcement. Rockstar was formed by Apple, BlackBerry, Ericsson, Microsoft, and Sony in 2011 in order to buy some 6,000 patents in the wake of Nortel's bankruptcy. Although roughly 2,000 of the patents have already been separately distributed, RPX has entered into a deal in which it will receive license payments from a syndicate of over 30 companies, such as Cisco and Google.
Philips to end all lawsuits under terms of the cross-license patent agreement
Those considering picking up a Nintendo console in the near future no longer have cause for concern, as the Japan-based hardware and software developer ended its patent dispute with Philips on December 2. The two companies were locked into an infringement battle over motion technologies used inside of Nintendo's consoles, dating back to 2011, which could conceivably have resulted in a sales ban.
Lawyers say $930M award overblown compared to actual damages
The lower court -- and the jury -- "made a mistake" when it said that Samsung infringed design and trade dress patents with its smartphones, lawyers for the Galaxy maker argued during the first day of appealing Apple's $930 million trial win. One attorney, Kathleen Sullivan of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, noted that that the targeted Samsung phones didn't carry Apple logos, didn't have Home buttons similar to an iPhone, and also had speaker slots in different locations than Apple products. "Apple was awarded Samsung's total profits on those phones, which was absurd," she added, though Samsung's claims on "total profits" from the phones is considered highly suspect.
Both sides call on experts, supporters
Samsung's appeal of a 2013 US patent trial verdict - which, after more legal wrangling, finally awarded Apple $930 million -- is going to court today. Lawyers for Samsung are arguing that those damages were excessive, and that most or all of them should be tossed out, contrary to the jury's carefully-considered determination. A brief has been filed by 27 law professors in support of the company's position.
Cook works to influence Republican's high-tech stance
Apple CEO Tim Cook's stay in DC on Tuesday involved meeting Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, the latter's office has confirmed. Hatch is the chairman of the Republican Party's High-Tech Task Force, and has been supporting a number of tech-related agendas. One of these involves addressing patent trolls -- patent-holding firms that make their income solely through licensing deals and lawsuits. Hatch backed a Senate patent reform effort this year, and may well bring the issue up again in 2015.
Posts proof it notified Apple in September
A Chinese smartphone maker, Digione, is claiming that the iPhone 6 may violate a phone design patent. The patent was submitted to China's State Intellectual Property Office in January, and approved in July. On Monday, the company took to Sina Weibo to post proof that it sent a letter to Apple in September, notifying it about the issue and suggesting that "a communication with goodwill would contribute to solving potential legal disputes." So far, Apple appears to be remaining silent.
Agreement reached November 12, set to end year-long legal battle by end of 2014
Google's legal battle with the Rockstar Consortium over claims that the search company infringes upon seven patents with the Android operating system appears to be coming to an end. According to a filing submitted to the US District Court of the Eastern District of Texas on November 17, both parties have agreed to settle their dispute.
Settlement should cover other companies such as Time Warner, Suddenlink
Cisco is said to be preparing to pay a $188 million pre-tax charge to settle a lawsuit brought against it by Rockstar, the Apple-led patent holding firm born out of the remains of Nortel Networks. The company recent mentioned a $188 million payout in an earnings call. The connection to the settlement can be made, as Cisco has asked the judge in the lawsuit to stay litigation because it has signed a "term sheet" with Rockstar.
Terms of the deal unknown, but covers 'a broad range of products and technologies'
South Korean electronics manufacturer LG and advertising giant Google announced in a joint press release that an agreement was been reached between the two businesses for patent licensing. The agreement will span a decade, encapsulating current and future patents from both companies. No terms were announced for the agreement, but it doesn't appear to be limited to specific technologies.
Sonos asks Denon to stop copying its wireless speaker system
Sonos is suing Denon for patent infringement over a set of wireless speakers it released earlier this summer. The Denon Heos range is apparently violating four patents owned by Sonos relating to wireless audio products, prompting Sonos to file a lawsuit in its incorporation state, Delaware, against Denon's parent company D&M Holdings.
Company directly refers to plaintiff as 'patent troll,' calls for continued patent reform
Non-practicing entity GPNE, which had tried to sue Apple over alleged infringement of expired pager-related 3G wireless patents, has come away completely empty-handed after a jury exonerated Apple of all charges. The firm, which has attempted to sue or sued most other big-name tech firms over the same or similar patents, had sought $94 million in damages (which Apple had referred to as an "attempt to extort money" from the iPhone maker), but was awarded nothing.
Claims decision contradicts statutes, Supreme Court precedent
Patent holding firm VirnetX has filed a motion with the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, requesting a rehearing of a September decision tossing a $368.2 million verdict against Apple, and asking it to reinstate a District Court's damages award in full. In a press release, VirnetX says the decision was "contrary to the patent statute and Supreme Court precedent." It also asserts that it should receive damage payments on the basis that the District Court properly construed the claim term "secure communication link."
Could theoretically bring Bose products back to Apple Stores
Bose has settled its lawsuit against Apple-owned Beats Electronics, filed in July over patents connected to noise cancellation technology, says Bloomberg. The companies have submitted joint filings to a Delaware court, and asked the US International Trade Commission to halt an investigation. Had Bose's original demands been met, imports of Beats' Studio and Studio Wireless headphones would've been blocked. The terms of the settlement are unknown.
Microsoft seeking $6.9 million in interest over Samsung refusal to pay
Microsoft's smartphone patent lawsuit from August was unsealed, showing that Samsung has paid the company over $1 billion in royalties on patents used in Android for just the second year of the agreement, but still owes $6.9 million in unpaid interest. Microsoft claims that Samsung initially ceased making royalty payments, then paid late and refused to pay interest, with Samsung claiming that the buy of Nokia invalidated patent licensing agreements that the pair had signed.
Company's claims ruled invalid; second victory for Apple against patent troll
Non-practicing entity and patent holdings company WiLan has again lost to Apple in the second of three proceedings against the iPhone maker. The US District Court for Southern California granted Apple's motion for a summary judgement, following a finding that the two LTE patents the Canadian patent troll was accusing Apple of infringing were invalid, and therefore not infringed. Apple previously won a jury trial brought by WiLan in Texas over different wireless patents.
Users could 'pour' files from one device to another
Apple has won a US patent on an unusual tablet-based graphical interface. The UI would not only make use of touch and motion, as iOS does currently, but simulated physics -- including mass, gravity, friction, and/or drag. A basic example involves selecting multiple files or folders; by drawing a circle around them, users would create a selection "bubble" that could be behave like a floating ball, even bouncing off of screen edges. File and folder size could dictate mass, such that a larger file might move more slowly.
Could theoretically cost Samsung up to $6.46 per unit
Having been denied an injunction by the US District Court for the Northern District of California, Apple is now pursuing a motion for postjudgment royalties, reports say. While the motion states that the company "believes that it has been and continues to be irreparably harmed by Samsung's infringement and that only injunctive relief would suffice to remedy that harm," it is also asking for back and future royalties from Samsung on infringing devices.
Suit likely to span years, covers most all of Cox's in-home networking
After what AT&T calls "years of protracted negotiations," it has filed suit against Cox Communications, alleging that the cable company has violated seven patents covering general networking, digital video recorders (DVR), and packet loss mitigation. In a change from "normal" patent suits, AT&T is not seeking sales embargoes, but instead looks for a "compulsory ongoing royalty" for products that use the patents in question.
Impact of injunction would likely be minor
Apple will appeal a recent court decision which denied a permanent injunction against a variety of Samsung products, according to The New York Times. If imposed, an injunction would prevent several devices -- like the Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II -- from being sold in the US. The financial impact on Samsung would be minor, since the products in question are outdated and/or no longer being sold.
Architecture partly designed by Steve Jobs
The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted an Apple design patent on the most recent incarnation of the glass cube sitting over the Fifth Avenue Apple Store in New York City. The original cube -- paid for and partly designed by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs -- used 90 panes of glass. In 2011, however, Apple spent some $6.7 million on installing a redesigned, more visually-appealing version of the cube with just 15 panes, taking advantage of advances in glass technology.
Motion involved infamous 'slide to unlock' patent, others
The US District Court for the Northern District of California has again denied Apple a permanent injunction against Samsung products accused of violating three of its patents. Although the court and a jury found that Samsung did indeed infringe Apple IP -- including the famous "slide to unlock" patent -- the judge in the case, Lucy Koh, explains that Apple couldn't show that an injunction was warranted. The ruling is related to one of the post-trial motions stemming from the second Apple-Samsung patent trial. Koh also denied any injunctions on products found guilty of infringing from the first trial as well.
Ruling could have affected outcome of second Apple-Samsung trial
US Federal District Court Judge Lucy Koh has denied Samsung's post-trial request to invalidate two Apple patents, both of which were used successfully to convict Samsung of copying the iPhone maker's technology yet again in the second federal Apple-Samsung trial, held earlier this year. Samsung had filed the motion in early July, based on a recent Supreme Court decision, Alice vs. CLS Banks, which stated that software ideas that were just abstract representations of real-world concepts (such as turning a doorknob) were not patentable.
Apple argued some VirnetX claims were too vague
US District Judge Leonard Davis has issued pre-trial rulings blocking Apple attempts to preemptively invalidate some VirnetX patent claims, and in other cases use invalidity as a defense, reports say. For the former, Apple's argument had been that many of VirnetX's claims are too vague to justify patenting, including the use of terms like "secure name service," "secure name," or "unsecured name."
Finding unlikely to affect judgement or payout, will take years to resolve
A claim asserted against Samsung in the second Apple-Samsung patent trial in California, which had already received a summary judgement of infringement by US District Court Judge Lucy Koh, has been rejected alongside other claims in the same patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office -- the same body that initially granted the patent. The finding, which is a preliminary rejection that is part of a long process, has already been brought up by Samsung in an effort to get out of paying part of the $119 million judgement against it.
Bid for sales ban against 23 copying Samsung products had been denied twice
Two years after the first Apple-Samsung patent trial, the big winner in that case -- Apple -- has dropped a motion to cross-appeal a portion of Judge Lucy Koh's final verdict. The action means that the company has officially given up hope of seeing any product bans on the 23 Samsung products found guilty of copying Apple technology, though the matter is largely moot as none of the products are still offered for sale anyway. Despite the clear victory in the jury trial, Judge Koh twice refused to issue sales injunctions on the infringing Samsung products.
Patent lawsuit over notifications asked to be tossed based on Supreme Court ruling
Google has stepped into the ring for another patent dispute in East Texas, this time involving its Android operating system, Samsung and the Rockstar Consortium. Last November, the consortium filed a complaint with the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, claiming that Samsung phones using the Android operating system infringed on seven patents that Rockstar holds. The patents in question include messaging and notification systems found on mobile devices, but Google asked to have the case thrown out.
Suggests basic and rejected iWatch capabilities
The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted Apple a comprehensive patent titled Wrist-worn electronic device and methods therefor, which describes a number of the ideas the company has since integrated into its upcoming iWatch. The concept watch -- in diagrams referred to as the "iTime" -- would, for instance, be able to connect to devices like iPhones, iPads, and desktops. An unusual suggestion though is that it might be dependent on a special wristband, equipped with technologies such as accelerometers, GPS, haptic feedback, biometric sensors, and/or wireless receivers.
Appeal already in works
Beijing's No. 1 Intermediate People's Court has upheld a 2006 Zhizhen patent challenged by Apple, says China's official Xinhua news agency. Zhizhen filed suit against Apple in 2012, accusing it of violating a patent used for its "Little I Robot" voice-controlled assistant with Siri, the voice command system used in iOS. Apple though sued Zihizhen and China's Patent Review Committee late last year, with the hope that the court would render Zhizhen's patent invalid.
Unlikely to be implemented in near future
The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted an Apple patent on a technique for fusing together all-glass housings for portable electronics, and even larger devices such as monitors and TVs. Apple notes that glass can actually be a heavy material, especially if it's layered to defend against damage. The patented fusing concept would allow Apple to cut down on weight by shifting the burden to strategic points of structural integrity, instead of bulking up the glass in general.
Attempt at reducing jury prejudice, confusion
Apple must avoid using terms like "patent troll," "privateer," or "bandit" in its defense against a patent lawsuit from GPNE Corp., according to a pre-trial ruling by US District Judge Lucy Koh. The company will also be blocked from using terms like "shakedown" or "playing the lawsuit lottery." Koh argues that such expressions could potentially confuse or bias the jury, which is set to decide whether Apple violated data transmission patents reaching back to 1996.
Each gains access to a 'broad range' of products and services under agreement
Software giant Microsoft and camera specialists Canon announced today that the two companies have signed into a cross-licensing agreement for intellectual property (IP) patents. The agreement gives each company the ability to license numerous patents, from mobile phones to digital imaging. Contents of the scope and scale of the agreement, as well as monetary considerations, were not disclosed in the announcement.
Services like MLB At Bat, WatchESPN under the gun
Apple pushed organizations like Major League Baseball and ESPN to adopt its HTTP live streaming (HLS) technology, and in so doing caused them to infringe on an Emblaze patent, a lawyer for the latter party claimed today at the start of a federal trial. The patent in question was issued in 2002; Emblaze says that it covers delivering live-streaming video over wireless networks. Apple began work on HLS "no earlier than 2007," according to the Emblaze attorney, and asked services like MLB At Bat and WatchESPN to switch to the format to improve sales of iOS devices, since they can't handle other standards like Flash.
Exhibit foreshadows opening of USPTO satellite office in Colorado capitol
A week or so ahead of the grand opening of a new US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) building in Denver, Colorado, the central library branch of the Denver Public Library is hosting a USPTO-created exhibit featuring life-size models of the some of the many inventions and patents that are jointly or solely credited to Steve Jobs, the co-founder and twice former CEO of Apple. "Patents and Trademarks of Steve Jobs: Art and Technology that Changed the World" will run through September.
Court rules Nintendo infringed on two of three patents in lawsuit from 2012
Nintendo lost its first court battle against Philips Electronics last week over its use of technology in Wii Remotes and associated consoles. The England and Wales High Court ruled that Nintendo infringed upon two of three patents from Phillips that are based on motion, pointing and gesture controlling. The third patent considered for a potential violation, which is for modeling a body in a virtual environment, was found to be invalid.
Samsung may remain core Apple supplier
Apple and Samsung are negotiating towards "common ground" and looking to trim down the number of legal issues they're in conflict over, according to sources for the Korea Times. The two companies have been engaged in lawsuits for years over various smartphone and tablet patents. While Apple has been victorious overall, collecting significantly more in damages, it hasn't collected as much as expected, and its actions have done little or nothing to slow the advance of Android-based devices while costing millions in legal fees.
Regulators reviewing Nokia deal find 310 patents Microsoft leverage against Android
After the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) approved Microsoft's purchase of Nokia's device and services business, Microsoft was found to have 200 patent families necessary to build Android phones. In the process of posting news on the merger approval, however, the MOFCOM posted a list of 310 Microsoft patents that Android could be infringing upon.
Samsung gives up appeal of import ban, Apple drops infringed-but-invalid patent
While the move should not be interpreted as the beginning of the end of the intractable Apple-Samsung patent disputes, the two companies have mutually agreed to drop their differing cross-appeals of aspects of last year's ITC decision on an Apple complaint against Samsung. While Apple won the overall ruling in that particular case, the headset-related patent it was pursing an appeal of has since been reaffirmed to be infringing but invalid. Meanwhile, Samsung has given up on appealing a moot import ban.
Could theoretically integrate with iWatch, Health app
The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted Apple a patent on a weightlifting tracking technology, says AppleInsider. The patent is actually titled Shoe wear-out sensor, body-bar sensing system, unitless activity assessment and associated methods, and was first filed in 2006, but since then Apple has removed claims related to the shoe sensor and unitless measurement concepts. The company appears to have made the most drastic changes after a version of its patent application was published in early 2013.
Ruling may set precedent for legal relationship between Apple, developers
The Patent Trial and Appeal Board has sided with Apple and mostly invalidated two software activation patents being used in a lawsuit by Achates Reference Publishing, says The Recorder. Achates filed suit against an iOS app developer, QuickOffice, over a year ago; recently it argued that Apple had a "substantive legal relationship" with QuickOffice, and that the two businesses were trying to circumvent rules and time limits for inter partes review defined in the America Invents Act. The PTAB ruling states that Apple didn't wait too long to file for inter partes review, and that QuickOffice's apparent contract to indemnify Apple for third-party patent infringement claims didn't represent legal privity between the two entities.
Patent licensing includes royalties for 3G, 4G technologies up to 10 year term
A agreement between Samsung and InterDigital has been reached today over wireless patents, saving Samsung from facing a ban on the import of its phones into the United States. Samsung will license patents from InterDigital, bringing an end to the litigation between the two companies. Details on the agreement were outlined in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Patent applications hint at gesture recognition using both hands
Samsung's wearable devices could include gesture recognition in the future, according to one of a number of recently-published patent applications. Listings on the United States Patent and Trademark Office website suggest the company is looking into ways to add gestures to its smart watch, not only through the movement of the device, but also by recognizing actions close to it.
Could allow solar charging to be built into iPhone, other devices
The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted Apple a modified version of an existing patent on integrating solar panels into mobile devices. Under the updated patent, solar cells could be inserted into multitouch or even flexible displays, simply included as another layer in the the display's surface. Apple's design might require the cells to be facing back into the device however, meaning that they would need fiber optics or parabolic mirrors to channel light to them.