Items tagged with patents

It appears that Apple is bound and determined to improve the keyboard on its MacBook Pro system in some way, shape, or form. Exactly how remains to be seen. We've heard rumors of Apple swapping out the top row of Function keys for touch sensitive control that display icons based on the app a person is using, but that might not be all it has up its sleeve. A newly published patent application from Apple describes a MacBook keyboard that would allow users to adjust the sensitivity of the keys. Apple correctly surmises in its patent application that "certain users may prefer certain keyboards (and/or... Read more...
We may never which came first, the chicken or the egg, but if it comes as any consolation the highest court in the land has agreed to settle a longstanding and tired dispute between Apple and Samsung over smartphones. Specifically, the United States Supreme Court will decide how much of a $399 million patent infringement award Apple is entitled to. This is a case that's been weaving through the court system for the past six years. Apple sued Samsung in 2010 for patent infringement, saying the South Korean electronics maker copied the look and feel of its iPhone handset. Apple ultimately won its... Read more...
Apple has filed a patent application with the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) that could flip the script on iPhone and iPad thieves looking for a fast payday. What they'll get instead is a visit from local law enforcement—the patent involves taking a snapshot and capturing the fingerprint of the thief without the sticky fingered culprit knowing. This is really a means of taking biometric security to the next level. Traditionally biometric security measures have been used to help verify a person's identity in place of (or in addition to) inputting a user password. But in this... Read more...
Well this is a little awkward. Apparently Samsung invented the Apple Watch design, or so it would seem based on the South Korean electronic maker's recent patent filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The patent is for a wearable device and included in the filing are several sketches that look remarkably like the Apple Watch family. The discovery was made by Patently Apple, a site that focuses on Apple products and services, but that doesn't diminish the finding. You can check things out for yourself by directing your web browser to Samsung's patent filing and clicking... Read more...
Microsoft has found a new partner in the smartphone sector in Xiaomi, a major player in China that's looking to expand its reach into other territories. To help it do that, Microsoft sold Xiaomi around 1,500 of its patents for an undisclosed sum. The two also entered into a cross-licensing deal as part of what they're describing as a long-term pact. Here's the thing—Microsoft doesn't have anywhere near the same level of market share in the smartphone segment as Google with its Android platform or Apple with iOS, but it's still managed to make a few bucks from the category. One way is through royalties... Read more...
The California Institute of Technology (Caltech from here on out) has filed a lawsuit against both Apple and Broadcom claiming the two companies are using wireless technologies that infringe on various patents in its portfolio. Perhaps coincidentally, two of Apple's wireless products have since been pulled from store shelves. Caltech's lawsuit was filed with the U.S. District Court for Central California. In it, Caltech references patents it owns for IRA/LDPC encoders and decoders. According to Caltech's lawsuit, a range of Apple products use Wi-Fi technology that infringe on its patents, including... Read more...
It's probably inevitable that we'll one day be a race of hybrid humans, a cyborg-like collection of skin and bones supplemented with a growing number of electronic and mechanical devices. Perhaps the road to such a destination starts with injecting an electronic lens into your eyeball, something Google is trying to patent. Though it might sound like science fiction, it's not—Google's patent application describes in squeamish detail the process of swapping out the natural lens in a human's eye with an electronic implant. And there's more than one way to go about it. Optometrists could opt to use... Read more...
Ericsson now has a vested interest in iPhone sales. That's because the two electronic firms came to terms on a global patent license agreement that will see Apple pay Ericsson a royalty on every iPhone it sells for the next seven years. It also includes an initial payment, presumably to cover royalties from iPhone sales while the matter has been in litigation over the past year. It's a cross licensing deal that covers patents relating to both companies' standard essential patents (including the GSM, UMTS, and LTE cellular standards), while also granting certain other unnamed patent rights. Perhaps... Read more...
An administrative law judge at the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled on Friday that Samsung and Qualcomm did not run afoul of the law by importing certain devices into the U.S., according to NVIDIA, which has sued both companies for alleged patent infringement related to GPU technologies. This is the latest development in a case NVIDIA filed against Samsung and Qualcomm last year. NVIDIA claims that certain mobile processors built by Qualcomm and incorporated into several of Samsung's handsets infringed on technologies that cover things like programmable shading, unified shaders, and multithreaded... Read more...
Tech giants Microsoft and Google agreed to call off the legal hounds on all patent infringement claims related to a dozen and a half lawsuits filed against each other in the United States and Germany. The patents covered a bunch of varying technologies, including those uses in smartphones, Wi-Fi connectivity, Microsoft's Xbox console, and more.As part of the agreement, Google also dropped all pending litigation involving Motorola Mobility, a former Google company that is now owned by Lenovo. When Google sold Motorola Mobility to Lenovo for $2.91 billion back in January of last year, Google kept... Read more...
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...
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