Intellectual property Stories December 15, 2014

Google's Madrid offices

Google’s Madrid offices

Most newspapers were slow to get the hang of the Internet, and Spanish ones more than most, it appears. After successfully lobbying for a law which would force Google to pay them every time it quoted even the smallest excerpt of a story in its Google News search results, Google responded by closing the service in Spain.

Belatedly realising they will now be missing out on all the traffic Google used to drive to their websites, the Spanish newspaper publishers’ association AEDE is asking the government to force Google to re-open the service, reports The Spain Report …  expand full story

Intellectual property Stories December 11, 2014

xiaomi-phones

The Times of India reports that the Delhi high court has banned Xiaomi from both importing and selling smartphones in India following a patent infringement claim by Ericsson.

Hearing a case filed by Ericsson India against Xiaomi, the court on Monday passed an ex parte order forbidding the popular Chinese manufacturer from importing and selling its smartphones in India […]

It is not clear if the order will impact all Xiaomi devices sold in India or specific devices that violate the patents.

However, as the patents concerned are Standard Essential Patents – patents which are so fundamental to a particular product category that the patent owner is obliged by law to license them on reasonable terms – it appears likely that the ruling applies to all Xiaomi handsets …  expand full story

Intellectual property Stories June 18, 2012

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office first published Samsung’s patent about a dual-display smartphone in September 2011, but now a second patent application on the subject recently surfaced that advances on the previous design.

According to PatentBolt, the two patents detail the device’s functionality by describing how both screens can display several apps simultaneously, such as showing a picture on one screen and chatting in a window on the other panel. The device could further feature capabilities for “television (TV) watching, on-line game service and on-demand video service are communications or applications that may be provided to users,” or even voice communication, SMS, and mobile banking. The dual screens could also seamlessly join to create one larger display.

Samsung’s older patent explained many of the above functions, but a problem with manufacturability weighed down the likelihood of this product ever becoming known. One of the main drawbacks to the original design is its hinge, but a large part of Samsung’s newer patent concerns a better hinge solution.

The strength of the new hinge will allow the unit to stay in place, so the user can consume content while recharging (and without the need for a separate docking station). The entire concept provides “the plurality of display units which rotate stepwise,” according to PatentBolt, by way of an advanced multi-axis hinge. Moreover, Samsung now uses the term “multidisplay” instead of “dual display.”

The South Korea-based manufacture apparently believes consumers need a portable communication device with a “multidisplay.” Its latest patent application for the device filed in Q4 2011 in the U.S., and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published it in Q2 2012.

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Intellectual property Stories April 25, 2012

Microsoft just revealed it signed a patent agreement with Pegatron that covers the Windows maker’s patent portfolio for a variety of Android and Chrome-based consumer electronics.

The Redmond, Wash.-headquartered Corporation now has coverage for eReaders, smartphones, and tablets running Google’s operating system. Both parties admitted Microsoft would receive royalties from Pegatron; however, the agreement’s particulars were not disclosed.

Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of Intellectual Property Horacio Gutierrez said the agreement with Pegatron reflects continued success of its Android licensing program by settling IP issues regarding Android OS and Chrome-powered devices in the marketplace.

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Intellectual property Stories January 16, 2012

Microsoft is not stopping on its mission to sign patent licensing agreements with just about every Android vendor around from Samsung to Acer, and over 10 others. As of its latest agreement with LG, the company now collects royalties from over 70 percent of all Android smartphones sold in the United States. According to a deal with HTC inked in May, that figure could be as much as $5 per device sold. Now, Microsoft is apparently in talks with Pantech, South Korea’s third biggest smartphone vendor, for a similar licensing agreement.

Pantech confirmed the discussions to Yonhap News (via The Next Web):

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Intellectual property Stories September 13, 2011

This is a Samsung-branded Windows 8 tablet Microsoft is giving away to BUILD attendees today. Wanna take bets on possible actions from Apple? Go past the break for unboxing clips. Image courtesy of MobileTechWorld

The latest in the ongoing patent saga involving Apple, Google, Motorola and Samsung includes an unexpected twist as Samsung goes after iPhone and iPad with a complaint filed before a Paris district court in July. The filing alleges infringement of Samsung’s three technology patents, reports AFP. The first hearing is expected in December of this year.

Meanwhile, patent expert Florian Müller notes on his blog FOSSPatents that Apple has filed motions to temporarily halt two Motorola lawsuits until Google completes its $12.5 billion acquisition, which shook the technology world last month. Put simply, Apple argues Motorola waived its rights to sue when it transferred patents to Google. Apple wrote:

To further its pending acquisition by Google, Motorola has surrendered critical rights in the patents-in-suit, such that Motorola no longer has prudential standing to pursue this action. According to the publicly-filed Merger Agreement, Motorola has ceded control of the most basic rights regarding the patents-in-suit

As you know, Google has transferred some of the Motorola patents to HTC, in addition to the ones acquired from Palm and Openwave Systems. HTC then used those patents to counter-sue Apple. Back to Apple vs. Samsung…

Financial Times today opined that Samsung needs to hit the reset button, predicting a licensing agreement of sorts provided Apple succeeds in blocking Galaxy products in the U.S. next month. Contrary to the reports, the publication thinks “Apple is restricted from taking its chip business to Samsung’s rivals in Taiwan because Samsung offers a complete package of components that other firms cannot match”. However, there are indications that Apple’s been lowering Samsung orders for some time and it’s widely believed the company is eager to take its silicon business to TSMC beginning next year.

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Intellectual property Stories August 18, 2011

Apple has already tried to ban the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in most of Europe (injunction lifted), but today they are going even farther with their legal proceedings, asking a Netherlands court to ban all Galaxy series devices. The ban includes the widely popular Galaxy S II, which has seen some success in Europe. On top of trying to ban sales, Apple is trying to push the thought of Samsung sending a letter to all of their partnered retailers within 14 days to end sales. Stated strongly:

“For the record we would like to mention the fact that by storing, offering and/or selling of the above mentioned Galaxy smartphones [and tablets], you commit infringement of the intellectual property rights of Apple Inc.,”

The trial will take place in The Hague, Netherlands September 15th, and the judge said  if he grants any injunctions, they would take effect no sooner than Oct. 13. (Webwereled via Computerworld)

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Intellectual property Stories August 15, 2011

GigaOm is reporting that many companies were in the race to buy Motorola Mobility, including Microsoft. GigaOm contributes this as one of the reasons why Google made the purchase for such a high price, so other manufacturers couldn’t hurt their ecosystem even further with IP lawsuits.

The reason Motorola didn’t go with Microsoft was due to the fact Microsoft only wanted the company for its patents, rather than running a hardware business.

Talks between Google and Motorola began five weeks ago, reports GigaOm. Their sources say CEO Larry Page and Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha were talking directly and only a few other executives were brought in. Also, Android co-founder Andy Rubin wasn’t bought into the talks until recently. The deal Google has struck gives the company 17,000 current patents and 7,500 patent applications.

Newsweek Technology Editor Dan Lyons makes some great points this morning regarding Google acquiring Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion. First he talks about TechCrunch MG Siegler’s remarks that Google made themselves “look like huge asses in retrospect”. Lyons pretty much says Siegler’s opinions were just foolish. Lyons also makes an interesting point that Google most likely didn’t actually want the Nortel patents, they were just driving up the price for Apple and Microsoft with their PI (3.14 billion) bid.

And today it all makes sense. Google just sandbagged its rivals. The whole thing was a rope-a-dope maneuver. Google never cared about the Nortel patents. It just wanted to drive up the price so that AppleSoft (those happy new bedmates) would overpay. Today, with the Motorola deal, Google picks up nearly three times as many patents as AppleSoft got from Novell and Nortel. More important, Google just raised the stakes in a huge way for anyone who wants to stay in the smartphone market.

In the end of things, Google is earning 3 times the patents than they would have in the Nortel deal, but for three times the price. One last word from Lyons:

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The web is abuzz with the news that Google is snapping up Motorola Mobility in a deal valued at $12.5 billion. And while there are concerns that Google is pursuing the deal purely for the patents, CEO Larry Page said in a blog post that the agreement will let them “supercharge the Android ecosystem” by fending off patent threats from Apple, Microsoft and other companies. In addition, he dropped hints of “wonderful user experiences” in a nod at tightly integrated devices that Apple famously builds.

Now, conventional wisdom has it that the transaction will put other Android backers in an uneasy position as they get to compete with Motorola on an uneven playing field. Not to worry, Boy Genius Report has reactions from major Android backers that appear to be upbeat about the deal. For example, J.K. Shin, president of Samsung’s Mobile Communications division says:

We welcome today’s news, which demonstrates Google’s deep commitment to defending Android, its partners, and the ecosystem.

The publication quoted similar statements by executives from HTC, LG and Sony Ericsson that Google published on their site. On the other hand, as noted by Business Insider, Android backers cannot be satisfied with the outcome of this time, regardless of their voice of support. TIMN wonders what this deal means for the future of Motorola products and the level of Google’s involvement in product development. So far, this is about intellectual property. Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha revealed in a conference call discussing the Google deal that his company controls a rich patent portfolio of 17,000 issued patents and 7,500 patent applications filed, indicating that Google will use this patent war chest as a powerful leverage against legal pressure from rivals Apple and Microsoft.

Google’s chief legal officer David Drummond said this in the call:

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Intellectual property Stories August 11, 2011

So the war continues… Motorola has been around for quite a long time, so it’s no secret they have a pretty big patent portfolio. During a keynote at the Oppenhimer Technology & Commmunications conference Motorola’s CEO Sanjay Jha had this to say regarding their pool of patents:

I would bring up IP as a very important for differentiation (among Android vendors). We have a very large IP portfolio, and I think in the long term, as things settle down, you will see a meaningful difference in positions of many different Android players. Both, in terms of avoidance of royalties, as well as potentially being able to collect royalties. And that will make a big difference to people who have very strong IP positions.

To sum it up Jha and company may plan to collect royalties from other Android handset manufacturers like HTC, Samsung, etc.

Houston, we have a problem.

(TechCrunch, via Unwired View)

Intellectual property Stories August 3, 2011

Over the past few weeks, the patent arms race has been accelerating and the latest comes in a Bloomberg story that has old frenemies – Apple, Google and Samsung – locked in a fight for InterDigital’s patent portfolio. Samsung is said to be interested the most in InterDigita’s intellectual property their CEO claims is “stronger” than the 6,000 Nortel patents the Apple-led consortium recently acquired for $4.5 billion. People familiar with the matter tell the publication Samsung has been “approached to make a bid”:

Samsung is looking at the patents along with Apple Inc. (AAPL), Google Inc. (GOOG) and other potential bidders, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. InterDigital, which holds patents related to mobile technologies used to transfer information, said last month that it hired bankers as it considers a sale.

InterDigital’s patent portfolio covers technology for high-speed cellphone networks “now used by the world’s biggest handset makers”, including Apple’s iPhone as well as BlackBerry and Android phones. The portfolio includes 8,000 patents in total and is estimated to be worth $5 billion or more. “To hedge the risk, Samsung could go ahead with bidding, although they may have to pay a big premium”, says  Shinyoung Securities Co. analyst Lee Seung Woo…

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Intellectual property Stories August 2, 2011

In response to media reports that it has halted planned sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia until Apple lawsuit is resolved, Samsung Australia has stepped forward and shed some light on the matter. The company clarified via the official statement published by Ausdroid.net that a court injunction involves a Galaxy Tab 10.1 variant that the company “had no plans of selling” in Australia whatsoever.

They re-iterate plans to launch a version for the Australian market “in the near future”. It is not clear from the statement whether or not said version will hit the market regardless of the outcome of the Apple lawsuit in the country. The company does stress that “this undertaking” will not affect availability of their smartphones and tablets around the world. Here’s Samsung’s statement in its entirety:

Apple Inc. filed a complaint with the Federal Court of Australia involving a Samsung GALAXY Tab 10.1 variant that Samsung Electronics had no plans of selling in Australia. No injunction was issued by the court and the parties in the case reached a mutual agreement which stipulates that the variant in question will not be sold in Australia. A Samsung GALAXY Tab 10.1 for the Australian market will be released in the near future. This undertaking does not affect any other Samsung smartphone or tablet available in the Australian market or other countries. Samsung will continue to actively defend and protect our intellectual property to ensure our continued innovation and growth in the mobile communication business.

CNN has confirmed authenticity of the statement. 9to5Google has contacted Samsung Mobile seeking clarification and will updated the post accordingly when we hear back from them. We suggested that the very fact Samsung has bowed to Apple in Australia could be viewed either as their concession to Apple ahead of a possible settlement or a major setback in their legal spat with the Cupertino, California gadget maker. FOSS Patents’ Florian Mueller concurs and points out that “if Samsung believed that the US version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 doesn’t infringe any of Apple’s rights, it would have defended itself as a matter of principle”.

Cross-posted on 9to5Mac.com

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Intellectual property Stories July 20, 2011

In order to acquire more patents, Wall Street Journal is reporting Google is in talks with InterDigital regarding an acquisition. In past weeks, Google lost the bidding war against Nortel, which would of landed the company numerous amounts of patents. Currently, Google has a small portfolio of patents which could lead to lawsuits over Android. For Google, the only logical thing is to acquire more. As CNet notes:

“We continue to be optimistic about the prospects for the company under its current business plan,” Terry Clontz, InterDigital’s chairman, said in a statement. “That said, over the past year we have seen the value of intellectual property rise substantially as major players in the mobile industry increasingly understand the strategic and economic value of this type of asset.”

As of now these talks with InterDigital are preliminary and no price has been set.  Apple is also rumored to be involved.

Intellectual property Stories June 27, 2011

A month ago we learned that Microsoft signed a patent-protection pact with Android handset maker HTC, with the Windows maker taking an estimated five bucks in royalties for every Android handset HTC makes. Some even calculated that Microsoft makes more money from Android than Windows Phone 7 licenses. Today, Microsoft confirms that it has talked another Android backer,  General Dynamics Itronix (GDI), into signing a patent-protection deal.

The agreement “provides broad coverage” for GDI’s Android devices and Microsoft confirmed it will receive royalties from the company. GDI is the maker of rugged mobile computing devices and even though they’re irrelevant in the smartphone space, first-tier handset vendors like Motorola and Samsung could find it increasingly difficult not to pay royalties to the Redmond giant. Apple could indirectly benefit as well… expand full story

Intellectual property Stories June 18, 2011

Oracle purchased Sun for $7.4B in 2009.  The deal closed at the outset of 2010 and some wondered why Oracle had outbid IBM for the hardware/software giant.  Today we finally hear how much Oracle is after in its suit against Google over Android’s use of Java: $1.5 – $6 Billion.  That means that Oracle could recover more than half of the purchase price.  Perhaps most?  Just from one intellectual property suit.

Java pioneer and recent Google hire James Gosling gave a hint to what was to come when he resigned from Oracle right after the purchase

During the integration meetings between Sun and Oracle where we were being grilled about the patent situation between Sun and Google, we could see the Oracle lawyer’s eyes sparkle. Filing patent suits was never in Sun’s genetic code.

So, it seems that Oracle always had some Google Java money baked into its purchase price.  That’s why it could outbid IBM so spectacularly.  expand full story

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