Items tagged with patents

Certain judges in the Eastern District of Texas have dealt a blow to patent defendants when it comes to fending off patent trolls. Before we get into that, let's talk a moment about Alice v. CLS Bank. That's a case that went to the Supreme Court where it was ruled that abstract ideas implemented on a generic computer are not patentable.The ruling prompted many patent defendants to file "motions to dismiss" claims of patent infringement based on the Alice decision. More than half of those cases have been won, and apparently that isn't sitting will with some judges in the Eastern District of Texas.Those... Read more...
Let's be honest here, GoPro pretty much owns the action camera scene with its super popular line of Hero cameras. That being the case, what's a company to do that doesn't see much competition? One option is to rest on its laurels, though a better idea is to buckle down and keep innovating. It looks as though GoPro has chosen the latter, as a newly granted patent shows the company tinkering with a compact square camera. In the patent, GoPro describes the housing as being of substantially equal length on all sides. It’s a little cube, in other words, that can be secured in several... Read more...
In a Twitter post on Monday, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) confirmed that Michelle K. Lee is the organization’s new director. Lee once worked as a legal counsel for Google and now goes down in history as the first woman to lead the USPTO, filling a seat that has technically been vacant since 2013 (Lee was already serving as acting director). According to Reuters, Lee won the position by an unrecorded voice vote in the full Senate a mere week after the Senate Judiciary Committee approved her nomination. As such, she now officially leads a federal agency with... Read more...
Just days after winning a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple to the tune of $532.9 million, Smartflash LLC is again suing the Cupertino outfit over the exact same patents. The Texas-based company feels confident it can squeeze more money out of Apple by again claiming infringement, this time focusing on devices that were introduced after the prior case had begun. According to Reuters, Smartflash wants Apple to pay additional damages for using its allegedly infringed patents without permission in devices like the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and iPad Air 2, none of which were included in the... Read more...
Samsung can't seem to catch a break these days. The latest blow to the company's bottom line is a $15.7 million verdict in favor of Rembrandt Wireless Technologies LP, which managed to convince a Texas federal jury that the South Korean electronics firm infringed on two of its patents relating to Bluetooth technology. It only took the jury one hour to deliberate after a five-day trial laid out details regarding U.S. Patents 8,023,580 and 8,457,228. In addition to the $15.7 million damages award, Rembrandt will also receive royalties on all Samsung Bluetooth sales for the life of the patents. According... Read more...
Over the past few years, Google has been somewhat of an advocate in ridding the tech industry of so-called patent trolls as it looks to foster innovation rather than stifle inventions because of legalities. That mentality continues today with the announcement that Google and Verizon Communications have entered into a long-term patent cross-license agreement covering a broad range of products and technologies. "This cross license allows both companies to focus on delivering great products and services to consumers around the world," said Kirk Dailey, Head of Patent Transactions at Google. "We're... Read more...
There are far too many headlines about Company X suing Company Y over alleged patent infringement, and Company Z spending an inordinate amount of money on patents in hopes of not being the next to be hit with a lawsuit. It's become a game of sorts, and unfortunately it stifles innovation and growth. Luckily, not everyone wants to play. Tesla CEO Elon Musk, for example, penned a blog post about how it's tearing down its wall of patents (literally). "Yesterday, there was a wall of Tesla patents in the lobby of our Palo Alto headquarters. That is no longer the case," Musk begins. "They have been removed,... Read more...
A big shout out goes to Amazon for forever changing the way we think about photography. You see, Amazon was recently granted a patent that, in short, describes taking photos of subjects and/or or objects against a white background. Brilliant! Wait, what's that? Photographers far and wide have long known about this technique and used it extensively in the past? Well, that changes things -- give a huge shout out to Amazon's legal team for somehow wording the patent application in such a way that the USPTO thought this was a brand new idea worthy of patent No. 8,676,045. "A subject can be photographed... Read more...
On paper, South Korean smartphone maker Samsung has lost another patent infringement trial filed against it by Apple, this time to the tune of $119.6 million in damages. However, that amount is no where near the $2.2 billion Apple wanted Samsung to cough up, and it's substantially less than the $930 million (reduced from $1.05 billion) awarded to Apple in a previous trial. As to Samsung's counterclaim of patent infringement, the same jury ruled in its favor and ordered Apple to pay the company $158,400 for running afoul on a single patent -- Samsung had sought $6 million. Monetarily it would appear... Read more...
Two days after announcing plans to invest $1 billion in an ambitious cloud computing venture, Cisco Systems finds itself having to defend against a lawsuit alleging that some $43 billion in sales over the last five years infringe on patents. The company making the claim is Spherix, which describes itself as an intellectual property development company committed to the fostering and monetization of intellectual property. Spherix alleges that Cisco ran afoul of 11 patents that relate to routers and switches, and all of which were developed by inventors at Nortel, which were then acquired by Spherix... Read more...
Securing patents is an important part of doing business in today's corporate world. Lenovo understands this, hence why it just agreed to purchase a portfolio of mobile technology patents from Unwired Planet for $100 million dollars in cash, the two companies announced. The deal also gives Lenovo a term-based license to Unwired Planet's patent portfolio. In total, Lenovo gains access to 21 patent families owned by Unwired Planet, the most important of which are for certain 3G and LTE mobile technologies. "This investment is an extension of Lenovo's existing intellectual property portfolio," said... Read more...
Apple, a company that's known for aggressively defending its patents (just ask Samsung, which seems to always be involved in patent litigation with the Cupertino outfit), may have bitten off more than it can chew when it designed its custom A7 system-on-chip (SoC). A newly filed lawsuit by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF from here on out) accuses Apple of infringing on a patent developed at the University of Wisconsin. Specially, the lawsuit claims Apple's A7 chip infringes upon U.S. Patent No. 5,781,752. Unless you have a strange fetish for memorizing millions of patents, we'll... Read more...
It's a sue happy society we live in, that's just the way it is. Not only is that true of individuals, but it especially applies to businesses, hence why it's so important to own a robust patent portfolio. Without one, a company is at risk of litigation over patent infringement. It's with that in mind that Cisco and Google today announced that they've entered into a long-term patent cross-licensing agreement. The deal covers a broad range of products and technologies. By inking the deal, both companies are able to extract value from their respective portfolios as well reduce the chances that either... Read more...
Finally! That's an oft overused term in the technology space, but this time, we mean it. With patent wars thwarting innovation left and right over the past few years, it's a huge relief to see two major companies shaking hands and agreeing to move ahead and look beyond the legal aspects. Apple and Samsung probably still have some ways to go, but Samsung and Google have signed a long-term partnership that includes a global patent cross-license agreement. The deal includes "a broad range of technologies and business areas," with each company dubbing is "mutually beneficial." The agreement covers... Read more...
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