Could keep older Apple devices relevant for longer
Apple has won rights to a new US patent, Modifying operating parameters of a device based on aging information. The concept would bake aging detection circuitry into a device, set to react if parameters fall outside of a predefined scale, or using data collected from other users. As a device gets older, the circuitry could help optimize performance and extend battery life.
Case shrinks dramatically as Apple, Samsung agree to avoid SEP disputes
The second patent trial between Apple and Samsung, scheduled to start on March 31, took a dramatic turn late on Friday as the two companies filed a stipulation with the court dropping some of the claims and counter-claims to be debated in the second trial. Samsung, perhaps fearing further investigations over its improper use of standards-essential patents (SEPs) as legal weapons and bargaining tools, has agreed to drop all SEP claims from the case, leaving it with only two claims on two patents, down from its original five.
Apple likely to appeal portions as well, renew fight for product ban
With surprising speed, Samsung has now officially filed a notice of appeal over the final judgement in the first Apple vs. Samsung patent trial from 2012. The last ruling in the case was handed down yesterday, when Judge Lucy Koh ruled in Samsung's favor that sales injunctions on the products it was found guilty of infringing Apple patents with were not warranted in the interests of competition. Apple is likely to appeal that portion of Judge Koh's rulings.
Patent purchase to end legal dispute leaves Twitter with 956 patents in total
Twitter paid a hefty sum to acquire a collection of patents from IBM, a Securities and Exchange Commission filing reveals. The January payment, which saw Twitter take ownership of 900 patents, was worth $36 million and also ceased the legal action brought against the micro-blogging firm for alleged patent infringement, though it will certainly not be the last it faces.
Company failed to prove harm caused by Samsung patent infringement
A California court has denied Apple a renewed motion it sought for a permanent injunction against Samsung, according to reports. In December 2012, US District Court Judge Lucy Koh made the initial denial of a permanent injunction against 23 Samsung devices. Apple won a partial appeal of the ruling at the Federal Circuit, which affirmed the denial of trade dress (design) patents, but handed back an injunction over software patents to Koh for review.
Court filing points out double-standard in allegations
At the same time as it was accusing Samsung of leaking the same information, Apple publicly exposed the terms of its patent licensing terms with Nokia and NEC, Samsung remarks in its latest Apple v. Samsung lawsuit filing. In October, Apple filed a motion against Samsung as part of the original Apple v. Samsung case, alleging that Samsung's counsel -- Quinn Emanuel -- had inadvertently leaked licensing terms to Samsung executives, giving them an edge in corporate negotiations. In January the the District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that the latter was never sufficiently proven, and denied sanctions against Samsung, pinning the blame on counsel.
One Apple suit valued at almost $2.2 billion
Germany's Mannheim Regional Court has dismissed two lawsuits against Apple and one against HTC, all of which were brought by IP holding firm IPCom, reports say. The cases revolved around a set of standards-essential 3G patents IPCom bought from Bosch after the latter exited the carphone industry. One of the suits, had it been successful, would have have demanded almost $2.2 billion in damages from Apple.
Ruling claims Apple's non-SEP lawsuits amount to 'first shot fired'
In a judgement that has bewildered international patent and legal analysts, the South Korean Fair Trade Commission (FTC) has rejected Apple's complaint against Samsung that the latter was using FRAND-pledged standards-essential patents (SEPs) for bargaining leverage and as threat of litigation in order to strike unjust licensing deals. The Korean FTC has essentially said that suing or seeking product injunctions over SEPs is perfectly okay -- if your company is based in South Korea.
Industry seeks to limit potential for injunctions
Apple, Samsung, Huawei, and Google are among a group of 19 businesses and associations that have submitted a letter to the European Union, asking it to implement measures designed to fight patent trolls, Bloomberg reports. In particular, the companies are asking for limitations on product injunctions and/or court proceedings when the validity of a related patent is still in contention. Patent trolls are companies that make no products of their own, but instead generate income through licensing fees and/or lawsuits.
Alleges government failed to invalidate Zhizhen voice recognition patent
Apple has filed a lawsuit against China's State Intellectual Property Office, as well as Shanghai company Zhizhen Network Technology, according to news agencies Xinhua and Agence France-Presse. Zhizhen owns a voice recognition patent which Apple previously asked the SIPO to invalidate. The lawsuit is due to reach the Intermediate People's Court on Thursday.
CEOs, top lawyers met in early February, but could not come to agreement
Ahead of the second patent trial between Apple and Samsung scheduled for March 31 -- which covers a completely different set of patents and is not an appeal of the first trial, which Apple won last year -- the two companies are said to be making efforts at settling their differences rather than going to trial. Thus far -- as before, ahead of the first trial -- the negotiations have not resulted in an agreement, but in a court filing, both companies said they were willing to keep talking.
Tech could even theoretically monitor mental states
Apple has won rights to a US patent on a biometric headphone system. The technology would track factors like temperature, heart rate, and/or perspiration, using embedded sensors. The sensors could be embedded into the rim of a speaker, or broken out into other components, such as ear clips or inline remotes. Apple also suggests integrating one or more accelerometers for tracking movement, in the latter case recording multiple axes.
Android co-creator may be asked to explain development of certain features
During next month's Apple v. Samsung trial, Apple may call Google's Andy Rubin to the stand to testify, according to court documents. Rubin was one of the creators of the Android platform, and would be asked to explain the development of Android features Apple claims infringe on patented content. He may also be asked to speak about "Google documents relating to such development." In March 2013 Rubin left the Android team to work on Google robotics projects.
Bill under consideration spells out bad faith allegations
Oregon isn't the only state that has been moving forward with legislation to curb patent trolls, recently. The Kentucky Senate has moved forward in a bill to put restrictions on patent trolls acting in bad faith in their allegations according to FOSS Patents.
Trial due to begin at end of March
Apple CEO Tim Cook and the head of Samsung's mobile division, Shin Jong-Kyun, are said to have met last week in a failed attempt to negotiate an out-of-court settlement, Korean reports say. The meeting came about because of a US court order mandating the two sides meet ahead of next month's trial. Lawyers are said to have met on January 6th to set a framework for the negotiation, which included a Feburary 19th deadline, and the presence of each side's CEO along with three to four in-house attorneys.
Ousted VP Scott Forstall also on list for possible testimony
In court filings on Thursday, both Apple and Samsung have presented their first-draft witness lists to Judge Lucy Koh for the upcoming second patent trial between the two smartphone giants. The trial, which is set to begin March 31, covers different patents and more recent products than those involved in the first patent trial, which Apple won. Among the witnesses for Apple is the company's Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller, while former SVP of iOS Scott Forstall appears on both Apple's and Samsung's list for possible deposition or testimony.
Copied the look of iOS 7, icons too closely; return delayed
A customization app for Android called Themer, which featured a number of themed "looks" for modifying Android smartphones including an iOS 7-like theme, has been removed from the Google Play store with no indication of when it will return. Google pulled the app on February 2 after Apple complained that the iOS 7-esque theme used icons that infringed on Apple's patents. The developer says it has since addressed Apple's concerns, but Google has not yet restored the app.
Dings Apple attorneys for appealing to patriotism, denies Samsung's motions
The difficult maze that is the US patent battle between Apple and Samsung is sometimes hard to fathom, with a second patent trial (involving different patents) coming up at the end of March while matters left over from the first trial -- and its subsequent retrial on a portion of the damages -- is still being decided. Late on Friday, US District Court Judge Lucy Koh -- who has presided over the battles -- made further rulings with respect to the first trial, which Apple won.
DOJ shut down inquiry, claiming that Presidential embargo veto sufficient
Following the ITC-ordered embargo of Apple products and subsequent Presidential veto, the US Justice Department commenced an investigation of Samsung, and its use of standards-essential patents (SEPs) as a legal weapon. Declining any action, the Department of Justice is closing the investigation, but noted that Samsung was guilty of abusing SEPs legally, and that it would keep monitoring patent lawsuits filed by the Korean electronics manufacturer.
Companies want easier time recouping legal fees
A collection of companies -- including Apple, Google, Yahoo, Intel, Cisco, and Facebook -- are asking the US Supreme Court for measures to help deter frivolous patent lawsuits, Bloomberg reports. In particular, the companies are seeking to change the language used to determine when a defendant can claim coverage of legal fees from a plaintiff. The current standard allows coverage only if a suit is ruled "objectively baseless" and filed in bad faith.
Plaintiff so far winning rulings against Nokia, HTC
On February 11th, Apple will go to trial at Mannheim Regional Court to defend itself against a patent infringement suit brought by German patent firm IPCom, reports say. The latter company accuses Apple of violating a standards-essential wireless patent upheld by the European Patent Office last month; another, separate patent is also at stake. IPCom is asking for €1.57 billion ($2.12 billion) in damages, plus pre-judgment interest.
Could change use based on devices' orientations
The US Patent and Trademark Office has awarded Apple a patent on an inductive charging pad that would also change functions based on how mobile devices are aligned on it. The pad, described as a "smart dock," would feature its own processor and power supply, and multiple I/O connections. Making it unique though would be the sensors determining how objects are aligned.
Says chip violates university-developed patent
The University of Wisconsin's patent licensing arm -- the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation -- is suing Apple for violating a university patent through the A7 processor found in the iPhone 5s, iPad Air, and iPad mini. The patent is titled Table Based Data Speculation Circuit for Parallel Processing Computer, and credited to several computer scientists who were at UW Madison. It describes a way of improving "the efficiency and performance of contemporary computer processors."
IBM patent buy by Twitter follows similar acquisitions by Google, Facebook
Twitter has acquired over 900 patents from IBM, with the two companies also agreeing to a patent cross-licensing deal, IBM has announced. Occurring in December and only just being announced today, the agreement also puts to an end a patent lawsuit by IBM, accusing Twitter of infringing on three patents before the micro-blogging service filed its IPO.
Apple says bans are the price Samsung has to pay for copying
Apple and Samsung were in court on Thursday in front of US District Court Judge Lucy Koh, with the former arguing that its successful verdicts against Samsung entitles it to sales bans on the affected products (even though none of them are still offered for sale). Samsung, meanwhile, protested that the injunctions would "create fear and uncertainty" among suppliers, since Apple could seek bans on current and future products as well.
Vringo award estimated to be $225 million per year for four years
Non-practicing entity Vringo, under the practicing name I/P Engine, won a trial against Google on the strength of Lycos patents back in 2012, and was awarded $30 million. Google then changed the AdWords program, attempting to circumvent Vringo's patents; but earlier today, US District Judge Raymond Jackson finalized his ruling made last week that the new offering is not "colorably different" than the old program. After a patent-licensing negotiation ordered by the judge failed to produce results, Google must now pay 1.36 percent of its AdWords revenue.
Deal gives each side access to patents, lessens legal threat
Google and Samsung have signed a global patent cross-licensing agreement, which effectively prevents the two companies from accusing each other of patent infringement. The broad, long-term agreement will cover patents of both Samsung and Google, including not only existing patents, but also patents filed by either company over the next ten years.
Finds another of Samsung's patents invalid ahead of second trial
In a summary judgement issued ahead of this spring's second patent-infringement trial between Apple and Samsung over a different set of copying charges not covered in the first trial, US District Court Judge Lucy Koh has found Samsung guilty of infringing an Apple patent covering its auto-correct functionality. The judge also invalidated one of Samsung's five contested patents, saying that Apple had proved prior art on all of the Korean company's claims.
Playlist tech could switch between media sources
The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted Apple a patent for a idea called "auto-station tuning," notes AppleInsider. The technology would automatically generate media playlists based on user preferences. While similar in concept to the current Genius function in iTunes, the patented idea would allow playlists to switch between sources such as FM/satellite radio, live TV, and Internet stations, instead of focusing exclusively on locally-stored content.
Attorneys argue over injunctions
Ahead of formal settlement negotiations next month, Apple has reiterated its demands for an anti-cloning provision in any potential agreement with Samsung. Litigation analyst Florian Mueller suggests Apple's insistence may be a "dealbreaker" that puts the patent-infringement lawsuit back on track for a formal trial, though the company successfully pushed HTC to sign off on such provisions as part of a settlement in a separate dispute.
Lawsuits launched over soon-expiring blue LED patent
A spate of lawsuits launched in 2012 over a patent held by a Boston University engineering professor have largely been settled, with a number of big-name tech firms -- including Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Samsung, Nokia and others -- agreeing to a licensing deal through "defensive intellectual property firm" RPX rather than continue litigation. The patent in question covers blue LED, essentially used in all LED-base tech devices, and which was due to expire soon.
Second case still ongoing
VirnetX is seeking to add Apple's most recent slate of products to a lawsuit against FaceTime devices, according to an announcement. The patent holding firm says it has submitted a petition to the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, one which would add the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPad Air, Retina iPad mini, fifth-generation iPod touch, and the latest Mac notebooks and desktops to the list. VirnetX has accused Apple's FaceTime of violating a patent for peer-to-peer VPN technology.
iPhone tech could change interface for runners and walkers
Apple has won a pair of new patents from the US Patent and Trademark Office. The first deals with processing and editing 3D video, and suggests a means of importing and editing two clips simultaneously. Apple editing software -- presumably Final Cut -- would be able to identify and link clips from left-eye and right-eye cameras, mainly using SMPTE timecodes. For convenience, edits applied to one camera would be automatically reflected in the other, and adding one clip to the primary track would put the paired one in a secondary track. If necessary, linked clips could still be edited separately.
Tech used is similar but different, court finds
The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has upheld an International Trade Commission ruling that found Apple didn't violate a Motorola patent on communications between devices and data networks, reports say. The ruling, issued in May, specifically dealt with Claim 12 of the patent, and whether or not it covered the deletion of apps capable of receiving push notifications. The ITC determined that Apple's implementation of status updates to halt notifications was non-infringing.
Tech could migrate to other iOS devices
A newly-published Apple patent application may back rumors that Apple is planning to add optical image stabilization to the iPhone 6. The filing describes a camera with both OIS and autofocus features, compressed into a module small enough to fit into a smartphone or tablet. In Apple's implementation, OIS functions would be integrated into the voice coil motor actuators used for autofocus.
Samsung and Apple get back to patent negotiations
After being roundly defeated in a partial damages retrial last month, Samsung has reportedly returned to the patent negotiations table with Apple. The Korea Times reported on Sunday that the two companies have resumed negotiations to resolve their ongoing patent disputes, with officials at the Fair Trade Commission saying the firms are looking to hash out issues surrounding royalties.
Company avoids demanding rehearing
Apple has submitted a motion to renew injunction efforts against Samsung products violating three of its patents, reports say. Back in November the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit asked District Court judge Lucy Koh to reconsider Apple's case in terms of patents for rubber-banding, pinch-to-zoom, and tap-to-zoom functions, but at the same time supported the denial of an injunction based on asserted design patents. The Court of Appeal issued an official mandate for its decision on Thursday, at which time Apple quickly filed the motion to renew.
Apple working on letting Siri search voice-tagged photos
Apple may in a future version of iOS give users the ability to search for pictures on iPads and iPhones using Siri, the platform's built-in digital assistant. This according to a patent unearthed by AppleInsider that describes "Voice-Based Image Tagging and Searching," a process assorting "natural language" text strings with photographs present on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod.
Hover system would mimic Samsung devices
The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted Apple two new patents. The first, Touch and hover signal drift compensation, documents a display panel which can register both touch inputs and someone "hovering" a finger or stylus over a part of the screen. Different versions of the same concept are already in shipping products; the best known example may be Samsung's S Pen, which will do things like trigger a preview image when hovering over a video timeline.
Apple, Microsoft among Rockstar partners
The Rockstar Consortium -- a collection of companies including Apple, BlackBerry, Ericsson, Sony, and Microsoft -- is planning to sell a portion of the $4.5 billion in patents it bought from Nortel Networks in 2011, sources tell Bloomberg. Rockstar is allegedly already in talks with potential buyers. Three of the sources indicate that this is because it hasn't had much success with large licensing deals.
Companies call for clarity from the court
The US Supreme Court has decided to hear a patent-infringement case that calls into question the validity of patent protection for certain software features. In the legal battle fought between Alice Corporation and CLS Bank International, in which the former alleges violation of a software patent related to financial transactions, lower courts have failed to reach a consensus regarding the technology's patent eligibility.
Could hint at possibilities for iOS Camera app
Apple has won a US patent on a software-based method of producing a stereoscopic image. Instead of requiring a specialized camera with twin lenses, the new system would identify two suitable photos in a device's camera roll and combine them, aligning content automatically. The patent was first filed for in January 2011, but only came into Apple's hands after a Kodak patent auction in 2012. The film and camera maker sold off some $525 million in patents to help emerge from bankruptcy.
Could be used to unlock future Apple devices
The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted Apple a new patent on a facial recognition system. The concept was first submitted in 2008, and would let people unlock a device like an iPhone or Mac simply by staring at a built-in camera. The device would store several images of a user, and only grant access if one of them matched. More significantly, Apple notes that the technology could be used to hide or reveal data on a per-case basis, instead of across the board.
The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted Apple a patent on a refocusable camera system similar to Lytro's camera technology. Apple's concept is based on a microlens adapter, but like Lytro, would let people refocus a photo after it's taken -- something impossible with regular camera optics. The Apple patent in fact cites the work of Lytro founder Ren Ng as prior art, and reports have previously noted that, prior to Lytro going public with its product, former Apple CEO Steve Jobs invited Ng to his home for a demonstration.
System could create specific responses based on earlier messages
Responding to social network postings could be easier in the future, according to a patent filing from Google. A listing on the USPTO for the "Automated generation of suggestions for personalized reactions in a social network" advises of a potential system that could suggest appropriate responses to posts and messages, one that takes into account previous messages by the user.
Case against Apple suspended while validity of Samsung patent decided
Just hours after a US jury restored more than half of the set-aside portion of damages from the first Apple vs Samsung trial, a separate case in Germany has been suspended because the court believes that the patent Samsung is attempting to sue Apple over is invalid. The matter will be put on hold until the Federal Patent Court of Germany can determine it. Even if the patent is eventually found valid, Apple will face no injunction over its use, since it is a standards-essential patent (SEP).
Sum below Apple's original demand
Two of the jurors in the Apple v. Samsung damages retrial are crediting an accountant witness, Julie Davis, for the $290 million verdict in Apple's favor. Jury forewoman Colleen Allen tells Bloomberg that Davis was a "superstar" who stayed steady even when she was being cross-examined. Allen's opinion is backed by juror Barry Goldman-Hall, who says it was Davis' testimony that helped the jury come to a precise figure. There were eight people on the jury in all, consisting of two men and six women.
Document kept out of public eye until after 5s launch
The US Patent and Trademark Office has published an Apple patent application for the technology inside its Touch ID fingerprint sensor. The document is titled Capacitive Sensor Packaging, and was originally submitted on March 15th. Like a number of Apple filings, though, it appears to have been kept secret until after the product associated with the technology launched.
Previously attempted Samsung tactic tried again as USPTO hearings continue
In a last-ditch effort to stop the jury deliberation of the now concluded Apple versus Samsung damages retrial, Samsung has made an emergency filing based on a comment from the US Patent and Trademark Office, which said that an Apple patent may not be valid. According to the filing, the USPTO questions if Apple's "pinch to zoom" patent, a key patent used in the retrial, is valid. Samsung believes that "this PTO decision calls into question the entire jury verdict in this trial."
Company claims documents, absence of Samsung execs aid case
Apple today made its closing arguments in the Apple v. Samsung damages retrial. A lawyer for the company, Bill Lee, argued earlier on Tuesday that documents were Apple's best evidence. Presenting to the court, Lee once again referred to images of Samsung devices pre- and post-iPhone, as well as internal Samsung communications. "In some ways our best witness is Samsung," he claimed.