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Articles about Patents

Zombie patents raid TI's wallet for $US3 million

Yet another patent troll non-practicing entity (NPE) has accumulated important wins in US courts, with US Ethernet Innovations (USEI) scoring a $US3 million win against Texas Instruments in a Texas US District Court. The company, which acquired patents from 3Com, had filed its suit against Texas Instruments in 2011, complaining …

Pure Storage buys HUNDREDS of patents from IBM in lawfare protection deal

Pure Storage, the fairly rich all-flash array startup, has spent some of its cash to buy more than a hundred storage patents from IBM and the two have signed a cross-licensing agreement. Pure’s legal VP, Joe FitzGerald, talked of how “this transaction significantly increases the number of Pure Storage’s patents, creating a more …
Chris Mellor, 19 Jun 2014
management regulation1

Facebook didn't infringe Dutch inventor's patents: Jury

Facebook has beaten off a dead Dutch inventor in a lawsuit targeting The Social Network'sTM Timeline, Newsfeed, Groups and Photo Sharing features. At issue in the lawsuit were two patents by Dutch computer scientist Joannes Van Der Meer, who died in 2004, which the licensing litigant Rembrandt Social Media said Facebook had …

Twitter avoids IP face-off with Big Blue, will buy 900 IBM patents

Six-year-old Twitter has agreed to buy 900 patents from IP superstore IBM after Big Blue threatened to sue the microblogging firm last year. IBM wrote to Twitter just before the company was due to go public last year, telling the firm that it was infringing on at least three of Big Blue's patents and inviting the company to sort …

Microsoft: We've got HUNDREDS of patents on Android tech

Microsoft has been hush-hush about specifics of the patent licensing deals it has been signing with Android device makers, but a new blog post suggests Redmond might be wielding a larger intellectual-property club against the open source smartphone OS than had previously been thought. Buried in Tuesday's announcement that China' …
Neil McAllister, 08 Apr 2014
Troll in cross hairs

Cisco asks court to bin Rockstar patents

Cisco has thrown on the armour and couched the lance to defend itself and its customers from the zombie Nortel patent lawsuits. The Nortel patent portfolio, bought by the Rockstar Consortium and since partly spun out to subsidiaries Bockstar and Constellation (yes, these are the real names), has been the basis for an ongoing …
Troll in cross hairs

Trolls and victims watch Supremes for definition of meaningless patents

A patent dispute over a fitness technology running in the US Supreme Court will decide just how vague a patent has to be before it becomes meaningless. The long-running lawsuit (it was first filed in 2004) is between iron-pumping-powerhouse Nautilus and bio-monitoring specialist Biosig. Biosig's original complaint was that …
Zombies, credit: Wikimedia from Night of The Living Dead

Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial

Google has won a victory in its battle against patent troll Rockstar, with a US District Court judge having denied Rockstar's request to try the case in the troll-friendly Eastern District of Texas, rather than in California. Google, which is headquartered in Mountain View, California, filed suit against Rockstar in December and …
Neil McAllister, 18 Apr 2014

ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US

Seagate and LSI are off the hook for infringing Taiwanese firm Realtek’s semiconductor patents after the US International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled that Realtek can't enforce its rights without a local presence. Realtek had accused Avago-owned LSI and Seagate back in 2012 of violating its patent on a way of making an …
Apple iPad 2

Apple says sayonara to Samsung's ninjas: iPad, iPhone don't infringe comms patents – report

Apple's iPhone 4 and 4S and iPad 2 products do not violate Samsung-owned patents, a judge in Tokyo ruled today, according to reports. The South Korean giant had taken its rival to court in Japan and demanded damages for alleged patent infringement, and is now considering lodging an appeal, we understand. The ruling, as reported …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Mar 2014
Palm Pre Touchstone wireless charger

Qualcomm gobbles Palm patents after rummaging around HP's backroom

Mobile chipset maker Qualcomm has bought 2,400 patents from HP, including Palm and iPaq technology. The processor baker announced that it had secured a deal with Meg Whitman's tech titan to land granted and pending patents covering stuff from Bitfone to Palm. Terms of the deal, including the price Qualcomm is set to shell out, …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Jan 2014
Lenovo K800

Restless PC biz Lenovo blows $100m to gobble 2,500 mobe tech patents

Lenovo has inked a patent deal which looks to expand the company's reach into the mobile computing world. Wireless intellectual property broker Unwired Planet said it will take $100m in cash from the Chinese electronics giant in exchange for about 2,500 "issued and pending US and foreign patents" covering wireless broadband and …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Mar 2014
Empire of the Bs Troll

Apple patents Wi-Fi access point location lookup

Apple has once again demonstrated that it's no slouch as a patent troll, applying for and receiving a patent to tell you where you are, by performing a database lookup of WiFi access points. US Patent 8700060, “Determining a location of a mobile device using a location database”, covers a phone-stored location database that …
9.7-inch Apple iPad 2 (left) and 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab (right)

US judge Koh won't ban old Samsung gear, tells Apple: Your patents aren't that amazing

A US judge has struck down Apple's request for an injunction banning the import of Samsung gadgets that had infringed its patents. California District Court Judge Lucy Koh ruled on Thursday that the iPhone giant had not shown it would suffer from the import and sales of nearly two dozen of Sammy's older Galaxy mobile products – …
Shaun Nichols, 06 Mar 2014
The new Twitter logo. Pic: Twitter

Twitter blew $36m on patents to avoid death by lethal injunction

Twitter spent about $36m buying nearly 1,000 patents from IBM to avoid a perilous legal fight, official paperwork has revealed. The micro-blogging site's annual 10-K filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) includes a note about the patent acquisition, which was part of a $38.5m expense the company logged as " …
Shaun Nichols, 08 Mar 2014
HP TouchPad

Wanna buy some patents? HP might sell a few soon - reports

HP is looking to try and shore up the company's financial position by flogging off some of its mobile patents, sources whispered to Bloomberg. The company has already approached potential interested parties about its patent portfolio, including WebOS tech, which it got from its 2010 acquisition of early mobile device firm Palm …
Supreme Court Building

US Supreme Court to preside over software patents case

The US Supreme Court has agreed to hear a patent case which some hope will have a profound effect on the software industry. The top US court on Friday said that it would review a lower court ruling in the case of Alice vs CLS Bank. The decision, say advocates, could have implications throughout the software industry. At issue …
Shaun Nichols, 07 Dec 2013
Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch 2013

Apple patents touch-sensitive controls for MacBook

Apple has filed for a patent on a system which places the controls for a notebook computer within the outer bezel of the screen. Patent number 8,654,524, published Tuesday, describes a set of systems in which sensors are placed in both the casing and outer screen bezel (the black box around the outside of the display) allowing …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Feb 2014
Brando_lipspeaker

Google buys speech rec patents from SR Tech

A company established last year to negotiate royalties from patents filed by previously low-profile individuals from Cincinnati has vaulted into public eye courtesy of Google, which has bought rights to two of its patents. SR Tech Group LLC, which principal Stuart Goller told The Register was set up last year (we were unable to …
Troll in cross hairs

Nintendo: We didn't just slay Wii Fit 'troll', we've now gobbled its patents

"Patent troll" InterActive (IA) Labs not only tried to sue Nintendo and lost: it's now had its patent portfolio bought by the gaming giant in a sheriff's sale. The fun began in 2010, when Maryland-based US peripheral maker IA filed suit alleging that Nintendo infringed its fitness gadget and exercise sensor patents by …
Apple face-recognition patent illustration

Apple patents facial recognition tech for mobile log-in

Apple has been granted a patent on techniques for unlocking a device based on facial recognition. US Patent number 8,600,120, "Personal computing device control using face detection and recognition," describes a system in which a device is able to access its camera and authorize access based on recognizing your face. In …
Shaun Nichols, 04 Dec 2013
Apple design patents (right) and Samsung smartphones (left)

Apple wants $380m for patents, Samsung says $52m. Get a room, you two

Apple and Samsung kicked off the next phase of their high-profile patent infringement case with the two sides far apart on their damage estimates. Presenting at the San Jose district court yesterday, lawyers from both companies put forward their proposals for just how valuable the Apple patents which Samsung infringed upon were …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Nov 2013
Google Glass

Google plonks down cash for Foxconn's head-mounted display patents

Google has snapped up a parcel of patents from Hon Hai Precision Industry, the Taiwanese electronic manufacturer more commonly known as Foxconn, in a move seemingly designed to bolster its Glass headsets against potential competitors. In a statement obtained by The Wall Street Journal, Hon Hai described the patents sold to the …
Neil McAllister, 23 Aug 2013

Hello Moto: Lenovo grabs Motorola biz for $3bn. But Google's KEEPING the patents

Lenovo has signed a deal to buy the loss-making Motorola Mobility smartphone manufacturer for $2.91bn, but a switched-on Google is keeping the patents owned by the firm it gobbled two years ago for $12.5bn. "The acquisition of such an iconic brand, innovative product portfolio and incredibly talented global team will immediately …
Iain Thomson, 29 Jan 2014

New Zealand to bar software patents, again

The software patentability row in New Zealand, which broke out last August over the wording of new patent legislation, seems to have been settled with the release of new legislation by the government. In a move that's been welcomed locally by the IT industry, the government has clarified the original intention of the legislation …
management regulation1

Apple bats away WiLAN cellular data patents sueball

Intellectual property licensing company WiLAN has lost a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple, despite scoring settlements against companies like Dell and HP. The company was looking for $248m from the fruity firm for wireless tech used in its mobile devices, but a jury decided in just over an hour that Apple's products …

YES YES YES! Apple patents mousy, pressure-sensing iVibrator

Apple has been granted a patent for a vibrating mouse which will respond to fanbois' hamfisted affections using advanced pressure sensing technology. Sadly, the "Force Sensing Mouse" will not turn Appleytes into Jedi knights, but it may allow them to navigate their computers into hitherto unfamiliar ways. Currently, the Apple …
Jasper Hamill, 15 Aug 2014
The Register breaking news

Twitter patents sending messages, promises not to sue everyone

Twitter has patented a messaging service in which users follow each other and send messages that don't have specific recipients - or in other words, Twitter. The approved patent, originally filed in 2007 but published this week, describes pretty much how Twitter and tweeting work, and lists Twitter founders Jack Dorsey and Biz …
The Register breaking news

Dotcom titan funds 'Mark Cuban Chair To Eliminate Stupid Patents'

It's not like there's not enough money in the sector. Patent lawyers have been the main beneficiary of the global lawsuits created by the world's richest tech companies suing each other over patents such as "pinch to zoom", page scrolling and round-cornered rectangles. But that's why the reform of patent law has become a …
Anna Leach, 20 Dec 2012
Infinidat Web Page

Infinidat quietly files THIRTY-NINE patents. Let's take a closer look

A secretive Israeli startup staffed by ex-XIV people is filing patents like there’s no tomorrow. Infinidat is all about object storage for big data, and has EMC Symmetrix inventor and XIV founder Moshe Yanai on its board. The company, whose technology has been described as "XIV done right", has an IZBox G300 filer (NAS) it is …
Chris Mellor, 17 Feb 2014
EPO President: Benoît Battistelli

Big spike in Euro patents - but 63% were filed from outside Europe

More patents were filed to the European Patent Office (EPO) in 2012 than ever before, said the EPO today. The 258,000 applications filed represent a third record year in a row for the Patent Office and reflect the worldwide push to patent driven by the tech industry. But the 5.7 perc ent increase in patent applications from 2011 …
Anna Leach, 17 Jan 2013
The Register breaking news

Microsoft to Moto: We'll give you $1m a year for your patents

Microsoft and Googorola are having a slight difference of opinion when it comes to how much Redmond should pay for Motorola Mobility's video and Wi-Fi patents. Microsoft reckons that no more than $502,000 a year is fair for Moto's H.264 video patent - which is used in Xboxes and other MS gear - and $736,000 a year is a fair …

Can't find your motor? Apple patents solve car park conundrums

Apple has filed a series of patents which will help people find their motors in a crowded car park and then open the doors without using a key. The patents that emerged today are called "method for locating a vehicle" and "accessing a vehicle using portable devices". The first sets out a system for anyone who wants to leave …
Jasper Hamill, 26 Apr 2013
TX4 Black Cab

Google patents ROBO-TAXIS to ferry punters into advertiser's shops, restaurants, etc for free

What's holding you back from online shopping? Not being to touch or test drive the thing you desire before splashing the cash? What if someone were to drive you to the store, dealership or wherever, to seal the deal for free? Great idea, huh? Well, Google just patented it. The web ad kingpin, which designs self-driving cars and …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Jan 2014
President Obama takes selfie at Nelson mandela's funeral

Apple patents the super-soaraway selfie system of the future

Apple has embarked on a mission to allow fanbois to take the best quality mobile phone selfies in the history of humanity. As well as a new section in the iTunes store specifically dedicated to "Sharing Selfie" apps which allow fanbois to share pictures of their ugly mug, the fruity firm has patented a system to allow them to …
Jasper Hamill, 17 Mar 2014
The Register breaking news

Bankrupt Kodak misses $2bn target, flogs imaging patents for $525m

Iconic camera-maker Eastman Kodak has reached an agreement to sell its portfolio of imaging patents for $525m. Patent shop Intellectual Ventures is among the buyers, and together with RPX Corporation leads a consortium of 12 unnamed licensees to buy a portion of the patents. IV, considered by critics to be a patent troll, is …
Gavin Clarke, 19 Dec 2012
The Register breaking news

Apple engineers 'pay no attention to anyone's patents', court told

Apple must pay software biz VirnetX $368m after a court ruled FaceTime video calls infringed VirnetX's patents. The fruity firm was on the hook for as much as $900m, but a jury awarded a lower payout during a Texas court hearing yesterday evening, according to VirnetX's lawyers McKool Smith. The jury, which had sat through the …
The Register breaking news

Amazon patents digital resale market

If Apple ever wants loan-or-onsell capabilities in iTunes, it will probably find itself discussing patents with Jeff Bezos. That chat is one possible outcome that may flow from this newly-minted Amazon patent: “A secondary market which allows users to effectively and permissibly transfer “used” digital objects to others while …

Torvalds on patents: 'Sane people know it's bullsh*t but making real change is difficult'

This was the week when a piece of software (supposedly) passed the Turing Test, giving the world all the “robot overlord” headlines they could possibly need in a slow, sunny news week. Facts were hard to come by in the tale of Eugene Goostman, the 13-year-old-boy-simulating software that apparently hit the controversial …
The Register breaking news

EC: Motorola abused its patents in Apple iPhone spat

Google's Motorola Mobility division was dealt another blow in Europe on Monday, when the European Commission (EC) informed the company that its use of standard-essential patents (SEPs) likely constitutes a violation of EU antitrust rules. The preliminary decision comes following two yearlong investigations launched in April 2012 …
Neil McAllister, 06 May 2013

TracBeam sues Apple over location

TracBeam, which earlier this year sued Google and Ericsson over location technology, has launched against Apple on the same grounds. The company's complaint alleges that Cupertino is infringing four of its patents covering using base station signals to estimate the location of mobile phones. The patents (listed in full at the …
The Register breaking news

Apple, RIM didn’t infringe Kodak patents

Kodak’s hopes to parlay its patent portfolio into a get-out-of-Chapter-11 card have been dealt a blow, with a ruling that Apple and RIM haven’t infringed its digital image preview patents. The patents have been subject of lawsuits in both directions: Apple has accused the moribund icon of “ransacking” its IP to secure the …
The Register breaking news

US Patent Office seeks public input on software patents' future

The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has asked the software community to help advise it on how to properly handle software-related patents – a move that could represent the first steps toward software patent reform. The agency published its request for comments in the Federal Register on Thursday, explaining that it wants …
Neil McAllister, 04 Jan 2013
An Amazon Coin

Amazon patents caches for physical goods

Amazon.com has been granted a patent for “a method and system for anticipatory package shipping”. The patent's concept is simple: Amazon wants to pack up single items and ship them closer to customers, even before they order the item. These “speculatively shipped packages” will be distributed to a “hub” in locations Amazon …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Jan 2014
Cat 5 cable

Nearly half of Google's Moto gobble cash was spanked on patents

Google has finally put a price tag of $5.5bn on the patents it snaffled in its $12.4bn purchase of Motorola Mobility. The web behemoth declared the value of Moto's "patents and developed technology" in a filing with US stock market regulator SEC. The Chocolate Factory's surprise Motorola Mobility gobble was attributed mainly to …
gavel_judgment_channel

Apple hoards LTE patents to deflect Samsung attack

Apple has been hoarding LTE patents in a bid to head off a possible legal attack from fierce rival Samsung on its forthcoming iPhone 5, according to reports from Korea. Apple has gone from holding zero LTE patents last year to having 318 filed away today. That's around five per cent of the world’s total, today, the Korea …
Phil Muncaster, 05 Sep 2012

Apple patents technology to STALK YOU in your own HOME

Apple has been granted a patent for technology which will detect movement around the user's home and automatically change the settings of light switches or other household devices accordingly. The patent raises the prospect that fanbois could wander around the house, fondling their slab aimlessly while their telly turns itself …
Jasper Hamill, 06 Nov 2013
The Register breaking news

Google patents swish, swosh, swoosh pattern unlock app swipe

Google has a new, freshly approved patent up its sleeve that should get rid of a few of the gestures involved when you launch your favourite app on your locked phone. Google's unlock to app patent The Chocolate Factory has won a patent for "alternative unlocking patterns", which would let fandroids get into apps like the …
The Register breaking news

HTC: $8 per phone for Apple patents? We're not CRAZY!

HTC has rubbished claims that it's paying $6 to $8 per Android phone to keep Apple off its back. The Taiwanese firm reached a settlement for its patent spats with the fruity firm earlier this month, signing a 10-year cross-licensing deal with its one-time enemy. Naturally, neither firm would say what exactly was being paid to …

IBM tops chart for churning out patents for the 20TH TIME

It may be arguable whether patents are desirable or over-prescribed in the high tech industry, but there is no doubt that companies use patents as competitive – and anticompetitive – weapons, and therefore they have a huge value. Applying for and receiving lots of patents, then, can be seen as an insurance policy against …