Articles about patent

Patent quality has fallen, confirm Euro examiners

An extraordinary letter from nearly 1,000 patent examiners has confirmed what critics of the European Patent Office (EPO) have been saying for some time: patent quality has fallen thanks to a determined push by management to approve more of them. The letter [PDF] has been sent to the EPO's Administrative Council (AC) – the …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Mar 2018
Macbook 2015 keyboard. Pic: Apple

Good news: Apple designs a notebook keyboard that doesn't suck

An Apple patent application has surfaced that should give hope to frustrated MacBook owners everywhere. The Cupertino-based speaker vendor appears as the applicant on a US patent application published this week for a new keyboard design that is said to be resistant to liquids, dust, and crumbs. Titled "Ingress Prevention for …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Mar 2018
Woman packs up contents of desk. Image via shutterstock

Waddawewant? Free video codecs! When do we... oh, look, the last MPEG-2 patent expired!

It's almost of historical interest only, but everywhere except the Philippines and Malaysia, the last MPEG-2 video encoder/decoder patents have expired. As *nixcraft noted, what it means is that there will never again be the risk of an MPEG-2 decoder being bombed in the libre operating system world. The company that had the …

Blackbird shot down, patent nuked by judge in Cloudflare legal battle

A US court has trashed a patent at the center of Cloudflare's legal war with patent troll Blackbird Technologies – and thrown out the latter's case against the web biz. In a victory for Cloudflare, Judge Vince Chhabria, sitting in a northern district court of California, ruled on Monday [PDF] that Blackbird's US patent 6,453, …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Feb 2018

Microsoft wants to patent mind control

Microsoft has applied to patent a brain control interface, so you'll be able to "think" your way around a computer device, hands free. Last year, Facebook claimed to have 60 engineers engaged in BCI [brain computer interface] but Microsoft isn't going to take this sitting down. It's erm, sitting down and thinking really hard …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Jan 2018

German Bar Association says Nein to patent court block effort

The effort to create a single patent court system for Europe has been given a boost with a response from the German Bar Association arguing that a complaint against the Unitary Patent Court (UPC) should be thrown out. The association is one of more than a dozen organizations that have been asked by the German Constitutional …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Jan 2018
women laughing

Apple and Qualcomm become best pals... lol jk the sueballs keep flying

Apple filed a countersuit against Qualcomm in the Southern District Court of California today for allegedly infringing eight power-efficiency patents. The pair have been locked in a lengthy game of ping pong over all sorts of fun disagreements – from breach of contract to patent infringement. In July, Qualcomm pitched to the …
Andrew Silver, 29 Nov 2017
Two angry businessmen fighting over agreement signing. Coffee is spilled. .Photo by Shutterstock

No, Samsung, you really do owe Apple $120m for patent infringement

Samsung seems to have trouble accepting reality when it comes to a long-running patent spat with Apple. The US Supreme Court today declined to hear another appeal of a May 2014 verdict awarding Apple $119.6m for Samsung's alleged infringement of software patents including "quick links", Reuters reports. An eight-person jury …
Andrew Silver, 6 Nov 2017
Patents, image via Shutterstock

Red Hat pledges patent protection for 99 per cent of FOSS-ware

Red Hat says it has amassed over 2,000 patents and won't enforce them if the technologies they describe are used in properly-licensed open-source software. The company has made more or less the same offer since 2002, when it first made a "Patent Promise" in order to "discourage patent aggression in free and open source …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Sep 2017
Patent files

Both HPs, Vizio join Arista's legal fight against Cisco

Upstart Arista has managed to gather some friends in its ongoing battle with Cisco: both HPs, Vizio, two automotive groups and others have filed an amicus brief with the Federal Circuit arguing that the International Trade Commission's (ITC's) ban on some Arista kit be permanently set aside. For most of its short life, Arista …

Europe's 'one patent court to rule them all' vision may be destroyed by EPO shenanigans

The freeze on long-held plans to approve a single patent court for Europe is a result of the actions of the president of the European Patent Office, according to German media reports. The Unified Patent Court (UPC) has been in progress since 2012, but last month Germany's constitutional court unexpectedly ordered a halt to …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Jul 2017

Factories counter-punch Qualcomm in the gut as Apple eggs them on

Updated The four electronics factories sued by Qualcomm for not paying licensing fees have lodged their own countersuit with the backing of Apple. In a counter-complaint [PDF] lodged Tuesday in California, Taiwanese manufacturers Pegatron, Compal, Hon Hai, and Wistron allege Qualcomm is trying to force them to pay excessive royalties …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Jul 2017

Oracle, Amazon, Google, and Salesforce finally agree on something

Some of the biggest names in IT are joining forces to create a lobbying effort focused on patent reform in the US. The High Tech Innovators Alliance (HTIA) is backed by eight tech giants that will lend their money and expertise to getting new laws and rules passed to make it more difficult for patent trolls to sue them and …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Jul 2017
Judge gavel, photo via Shutterstock

Arista-cats nearly out of the bag as redesigned products okayed

Arista's long slog back to the shelves in America continues with an initial determination from the International Trade Commission okaying its product redesign. As part of the long-running legal slugfest between Arista and Cisco, the Trade Commission banned the import of Arista products it alleged infringed a Cisco patent. …
Poker all in

Apple ups the stakes in patent royalties battle with Qualcomm

Apple is expanding its legal war with Qualcomm to include an attempt at having the chip designer's patents thrown out. The Cupertino giant filed an amended complaint [PDF] that now asks the US District Court for Southern California to declare 18 of the patents Qualcomm seeks payments for invalidated. The two companies have …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Jun 2017
Stop sign in front of a bush. Image via Shutterstock

Germany puts halt on European unitary patent

Europe's effort to create a single patent system has been thrown into confusion following a decision by Germany's constitutional court to halt legislation ratifying it. According to German media reports, since confirmed by a court spokesperson, the court received a complaint from an as-yet-unnamed individual arguing that the …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Jun 2017
Fat Tony

Intel to Qualcomm and Microsoft: Nice x86 emulation you've got there, shame if it got sued into oblivion

Intel used the 40th anniversary of its x86 architecture to warn chip rivals to mind their step when emulating its instruction set. The reigning desktop and data center server CPU king (AMD, you know it's true) said it would not hesitate to sic its lawyers on any competitor whose emulation tools got too close to copying the …
Shaun Nichols, 9 Jun 2017
Package parachute illustration

Amazon granted patent to put parachutes inside shipping labels

Amazon has been given a patent on a system to deliver packages from the sky via on-board parachutes. The Bezos Bunch has filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office and been granted a patent for a system that will cram parachutes into shipping labels. The on-board parachute functions as you would think: an adhesive label on …
Shaun Nichols, 2 Jun 2017

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