Tag - Patents
Non-practicing entity Uniloc, whose sole source of revenue is patent lawsuits and licensing, has taken to the patent-holder haven of the Eastern Texas Court District to sue Apple over four VOIP patents it claims are being infringed by Apple's Messages app. The company has filed dozens of lawsuits against big tech firms, but had its largest win -- a $388 million judgement against Microsoft -- overturned. While Apple's Messages gained some VOIP components in 2014, Uniloc has waited until now to file suit.
Apple has been granted a pair of patents by the US Patent and Trademark Office, for two different types of imaging technology. One patent filing describes a "transparent electronic device" that could be used for augmented reality, while another suggests a potential design for an "electronic device with wrap around display," one that could be employed in the creation of smartphones and tablets with curved screens.
A pair of patents have been granted to Apple by the US Patent and Trademark Office today, with the two applying to audio. One patent describes a way a speaker on a device can resist liquid, preventing damage to internal components, while another mentions bone conduction technology that could be used within Earpods and other audio headwear, with the patent itself relating to improving voice quality in calls.
Three panel judges at the US Patent and Trade Office (USPTO) have voted to invalidate a pair of patents that Smartflash is utilizing against Apple, and other companies. While the total of invalidated patents being used by the non-practicing entity is now three, the process can potentially drag on for years.
The California Institute of Technology has filed suit against Broadcom and Apple over four specific and highly-technical Wi-Fi patents, accusing Broadcom of infringement -- and thus Apple, which uses Broadcom Wi-Fi radios in most of its products. At present, Caltech is seeking a jury trial and both a sales injunction on possible infringing products and "adequate" damages for the alleged infringement.
VirnetX has asked a Texas court to force Apple to stop offering its FaceTime and iMessage services to its users, following its legal victory against the computer producer earlier this year. At the same time, VirnetX is not happy with the $625 million verdict it has already got in terms of damages for Apple infringing on its patents in February, with it wanting the court to add at least $190 million on top of its existing reward.
Fitbit is now less likely to endure an import ban for some of its fitness trackers into the United States, following a ruling made by a US International Trade Commission (ITC) judge yesterday. In a dispute between Fitbit and Jawbone over alleged patent infringement, ITC Judge Dee Lord ruled the last of the contentious patents owned by Jawbone to be invalid, though the ordeal is not yet over for either of the companies involved.
TiVo, the manufacturer of TV set-top boxes, has agreed to be acquired by another company that is also quite big in the digital video recorder business. Rovi will be paying $1.1 billion, made up of approximately $277 million in cash and the remainder paid in stock, to acquire the DVR producer, with the deal apparently being seen as a way for Rovi to significantly increase its patent catalog by including TiVo's collection to the pile.
If you learn just one thing from slicing week by week through Apple's four decades of history, then you really haven't been paying attention. The odds, though, are that the one thing you will learn is that contracts are really important. Microsoft beat Apple over copying the Mac because the Windows maker had better lawyers, for one thing, and the sheer number of lawsuits flung everywhere rivals the number of patents involved. Consequently, if you were going to do something that crossed a contract, you would sort out the paperwork first.
The US Court of Appeals in Washington violated the US Constitution when it reversed a previous verdict that ruled Samsung was guilty of patent infringement, Apple has declared. In a filing to request an en banc (full court) review with the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Apple claims the three-judge panel's decision to overturn a previous ruling worth $120 million in February was incorrect, due to the panel introducing its own evidence into the case, and denying Apple's right for a jury to decide the fate of the case.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.4 ( -2.7 )
WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R