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  1. Google has been hit by a patent troll. A company that's gone after Apple, Microsoft, Motorola, and Samsung — among other tech companies — has proven in court that Android's push notification services infringe on one of its patents, and it's now seeking damages of $125 million or more. The infringed patent covers certain aspects of messaging services, and it's in fact the same patent that Apple agreed to a settlement over in 2012. The plaintiff, SimpleAir, now boasts on its website that its patent portfolio is licensed to Apple. The case comes out of the Eastern District of Texas, a jurisdiction that's been notoriously friendly to patent trolls. Though it's often simpler and cheaper for companies to settle cases like this, Google may have been hoping to take a stand here if it truly believed that it didn't infringe on the patent from SimpleAir, a company that licenses a small number of patents but doesn't actually make its own products. SimpleAir's lawsuit is representative of the type of patent issues that some major tech companies — Google included — have complained about and would like to see reformed. The House of Representatives actually passed legislation late last year that would help to combat patent trolls, but it'll need to see companion legislation in the Senate before moving forward. Google now faces a second trial against SimpleAir to determine damages, with a new jury being called in for the coming case. Though the money itself may not be a huge concern to Google, it may end up as the next big name noted as a licensee on SimpleAir's website. Source
  2. In the latest Apple vs. Samsung patent trial held in California's Northern District court, Judge Lucy Koh entered a summary judgment yesterday finding Samsung's Android-based devices as infringing on a specific patent held by Apple. Besides being found as infringing of the text autocomplete patent used in iOS, Judge Koh has also tossed Samsung's patent related to "multimedia synchronization method and device". Koh claims that the latter patent - purchased in September 2011 some 5 months after the start of patent disputes between the two companies - was only acquired by Samsung to use against Apple in court. The latest ruling increases Apple's likelihood of scoring a ruling in its favor once the multi-patent trial against Samsung begins on March 31 of this year. The summary judgment strengthens Apple's case for its patent related to the autocomplete function, not to mention the other four patents still in play. The dismissal of Samsung's patent leaves them with a total of four. Source
  3. Samsung and Google have signed a sweeping deal to license their patent portfolios to each other, covering both existing intellectual property in addition to patents filed over the next ten years. United under Android, the two companies haven't really been seen as litigation threats to one another — but with this deal, the threat drops considerably more. Samsung's Seungho Ahn says "Samsung and Google are showing the rest of the industry that there is more to gain from cooperating than engaging in unnecessary patent disputes," a pretty clear shot at Apple, which has been locked in patent suits for years with Samsung and Motorola Mobility (predating Google's acquisition of the manufacturer). Google's Allen Lo takes the same tone: "By working together on agreements like this, companies can reduce the potential for litigation and focus instead on innovation." For Google, the deal could have particularly broad implications considering its ever-growing reach into hardware: Glass is expected to move to wider availability at a lower price soon, Chromecast has been a hot seller, and rumors of a Nexus set-top persist. Clearly, Samsung has a slew of helpful hardware patents on-hand. Source
  4. Apple employees received a note from the man in charge, Tim Cook, that the company has settled with the US Federal Trade Commission over the issue with in-app purchases. The dispute came about when parents complained that it was too easy for children to click on in-app purchases and unknowingly spend money. In the email, Cook stressed that one of Apple's primary concerns is the security and privacy of customers who use the app store. He also pointed that Apple has gone out of its way to assist customers who have suffered from unintentional in-app purchases. Check out a snippet of his staff email below: Team,I want to let you know that Apple has entered into a consent decree with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. We have been negotiating with the FTC for several months over disclosures about the in-app purchase feature of the App Store, because younger customers have sometimes been able to make purchases without their parents’ consent. I know this announcement will come as a surprise to many of you since Apple has led the industry by making the App Store a safe place for customers of all ages.From the very beginning, protecting children has been a top priority for the App Store team and everyone at Apple. The store is thoughtfully curated, and we hold app developers to Apple’s own high standards of security, privacy, usefulness and decency, among others. The parental controls in iOS are strong, intuitive and customizable, and we’ve continued to add ways for parents to protect their children. These controls go far beyond the features of other mobile device and OS makers, most of whom don’t even review the apps they sell to children. Source
  5. By Diane Bartz WASHINGTON Mon Jan 13, 2014 12:12pm EST Visitors to the Supreme Court are pictured in the rain in Washington, October 7, 2013. Credit: Reuters/Jason Reed (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court said on Monday it would not take on an Internet technology patent case that pitted a company accused of aggressively enforcing weak patents against another with an equally tough reputation for fighting patent infringement claims. The closely watched case involved the online shopping site Newegg Inc, which specializes in computer products, and software company Soverain Software LLC, which had accused Newegg of infringing three patents known as the "shopping cart patents," which describe a way to buy products online and pay for them. Chicago-based Soverain had filed similar lawsuits against a long list of companies, including J. Crew Group, Macy's Inc and Williams-Sonoma. Against Newegg, Soverain won in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas but lost at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which ruled that the three online shopping patents were invalid because they were obvious. In its filing to the Supreme Court, Newegg argued that the Federal Circuit decision should be upheld. "Petitioner's notorious 'shopping cart' patent merely applies the common sense concept of a shopping cart to the Internet," Newegg said. Newegg's chief legal officer, Lee Cheng, applauded the decision. "The witch is dead, hurray," he said. "We are very, very pleased that the Supreme Court has recognized ... these patents should never have been granted in the first place. What we have showed in the Soverain case is the fighting back works." Soverain President Katharine Wolanyk said, "We're obviously disappointed that the court denied our petition," said Wolanyk. "It's a really tough time to be a patent owner." There are a variety of bills before Congress aimed at reining in what many tech companies complain is frivolous patent litigation. Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has sponsored legislation aimed at targeting patent assertion entities (PAEs) - companies often known derisively as "patent trolls" - which buy or license patents and then extract licensing fees or file infringement lawsuits seen as frivolous. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill in December that would encourage judges to award fees to the winner of an infringement lawsuit if the judge deems the lawsuit unfounded. The White House urged Congress last June to take steps to curb abusive patent lawsuits that have sprung up in recent years, especially in the technology sector. The case is Soverain Software LLC v. Newegg Inc., 13-477, U.S. Supreme Court. (Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Ros Krasny and Jonathan Oatis) http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/13/us-scotus-newegg-soverain-idUSBREA0C13Q20140113 Cooment: Supreme Court worked hard today, but all are important cases :)
  6. (Reuters) - Apple Inc does not use patented technology owned by Google unit Motorola Mobility in making its iPhones, an appeals court said on Friday. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld a decision by the International Trade Commission in April that Apple did not violate a Google patent to make the popular iPhone. The smartphone industry has seen dozens of lawsuits on several continents as Apple vies for market share with companies that make smartphones using Google's Android software. "We're disappointed in this decision and are evaluating our options," Google unit Motorola said in a statement. Apple had no comment on the decision. Motorola Mobility accused Apple in 2010 of infringing on six of its patents covering technology such as reducing signal noise and programming the device's touch screen so a user's head does not accidentally activate it while talking on the phone. The ITC ruled in April 2013 that Apple did not violate any of the six. The appeals court addressed just one of the six patents. Google acquired the patents in the case - and the lawsuit - when it purchased Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in 2012, partly for its library of telecommunications patents. Google's Android software, which the company lets handset makers use for free, has become the world's No. 1 smartphone operating system, ahead of the iOS software used on Apple iPhones. The ITC, a U.S. trade panel that investigates patent infringement involving imported goods, is a popular venue for patent lawsuits because it can bar the importation of infringing products and because it issues decisions relatively quickly. The case at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is Motorola Mobility LLC v. International Trade Commission and Apple, Inc. The case is No. 2012-1666. (Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Sandra Maler) http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/10/us-apple-google-patent-idUSBREA090SZ20140110
  7. Apple and Samsung's legal skirmish has reached another milestone, where the latter has now been asked to pay $290 million to Apple for infringing on patents. As you may already know the court found Samsung guilty of infringing upon Apple's patents once in the past, for which Samsung was fined $1 billion as fine but was then dropped down to $599 million after reconsideration. Now another jury has found Samsung guilty of infringing on additional Apple patents, for which the Korean giant now has to pay $290 million, or $290,456,793, to be precise.Apple had requested a fine of $380 million, so Samsung should be glad the court didn't agree to that, even if the $290 million amount is higher than their own estimate of $52 million. The final amount now stands at just under $890 million for Samsung.Samsung will obviously be appealing to the court to reduce the amount further, and Apple will try to get it raised, so this thing is far from over. But as of now things don't seem too good for Samsung. Regarding the decision, Apple and Samsung released the following statements. Source
  8. Nokia and HTC ended their prolonged legal war with a patent and technology collaboration agreement. The partnership ends all pending patent litigation between the two companies. Its full terms are confidential. According to the official press release, HTC will make payments to Nokia, but the exact amounts haven't been disclosed. The Finnish company on the other hand will gain access to HTC’s LTE patent portfolio, thus further expanding its own expertise. Furthermore, the companies will look into future technology collaboration opportunities. Unsurprisingly, representatives from both Nokia and HTC are pleased with the agreement. By staying out of court and sharing patents, both companies will be able to focus on making products which can better compete in today’s crowded marketplace. Source
  9. Apple has been sued for $2 Billion by the German company, IPCom, due to alleged patent infringements. The patent is for mobile phones giving priority to emergency calls over a cellular network. IPCom purchased the patent from Robert Bosch, a German automobile parts maker. Seeing as this technology has existed in mobile phones for a long time, and virtually every phone uses the feature, it's hard to see IPCom as having a real shot at getting an amount anywhere near what they're asking for in the lawsuit. It seems to be a very obvious case of patent trolling, which is heavily practiced in the consumer technology space. This isn't the first time, however, that this patent has been brought up in courts. Nokia has also been sued by IPCom, along with other cell phone manufacturers. HTC, Vodafone, Ericsson, Nokia, and Apple have all previously attempted to get this patent deemed invalid by the European Patent Office. IPCom demands $2.12 Billion from Apple for the patent infringement. Apple hasn't been reached for comment on the lawsuit, but the Cupertino-based company's legal team probably isn't sweating bullets. Source
  10. Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:08am EST (Reuters) - Twitter Inc has bought 900 patents and signed a cross-licensing agreement with IBM, making peace with Big Blue and bulking up on its intellectual property portfolio as it takes on larger rivals Google and Facebook. The agreement announced on Friday comes after International Business Machines Corp accused Twitter in November - on the eve of its high-profile initial public offering - of infringing three of its patents. At the time, it underscored how few patents the six-year-old social media company possessed in relation to more established rivals. A cross-licensing agreement will help safeguard Twitter against similar claims in the future. IBM is one of the industry's largest research spenders and stockpilers of intellectual property, a consistent leader in U.S. patent filings and the owner of some 41,000 patents. Twitter is following on the heels of Facebook, which itself faced similar claims before its own 2012 IPO. The world's largest social network has since gone on a patent-buying spree, acquiring intellectual property from tech bellwethers, including Microsoft Corp and IBM. "This acquisition of patents from IBM and licensing agreement provide us with greater intellectual property protection and give us freedom of action to innovate on behalf of all those who use our service," Ben Lee, Twitter's legal director, said in a joint statement with IBM on Friday. (Reporting by Edwin Chan; Editing by Jan Paschal) http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/31/us-ibm-twitter-idUSBREA0U0YF20140131
  11. By Simon Sharwood, 24th January 2014 OEMs will love this just like they loved Surface Sharp-eyed blogger Kevin Houston has spotted a Microsoft patent for a “Tray and Chassis Blade Server Architecture”. The patent, awarded last December, offers a chassis design that assumes blades – storage, compute, network switch and hybrid blades all get a mention – will reside in trays and be inserted horizontally. The trays will provide and plug straight in to sockets for power and network connectivity. Such an arrangement, the patent appears to argue, reduces cabling complexity and hassle. Here's part of Microsoft's description of the design: “Presented herein are configurations of a multi-blade computational unit architecture involving a chassis comprising a number of slots respectively configured to support an insertable tray hosting one or more blades of the server comprising a set of blade components. The chassis and blade provides power and network connectors that are positioned to couple upon insertion of a tray into a slot of the chassis, thus avoiding the inclusion of cables and the manual manipulation thereof.” That sounds nice but hardly revolutionary. The patent also mentions a “chassis unified connector” providing power and data, which would be interesting as Power over Ethernet has generally been imagined as a way to fuel rather less energy-hungry devices than servers. Another feature Microsoft talks up is the ability to house blades of different sizes in one chassis, instead of a one-size-fits-all approach. One of the images describing Microsoft's blade server design There's also a discussion of integrating storage and compute blades. GPU and other specialist blades also get a mention elsewhere in the patent. While it is not explicitly described, the patent could – if one draws a long bow – perhaps be considered almost a design for a kind of modular server. Built-in management components are also mentioned. Again with an optimistic eye, might that be a chance for Microsoft to embed some Hyper-V and/or System Center goodness in a blade chassis and have it orchestrate a server's components? Could software-defined-networking and virtualisation then get a new twist as physical and virtual resources become manageable in new ways? An innovation of that sort might just quiet Microsoft's friends in server-land, as integration of OS, management layer and hypervisor is probably beyond them. But with some of Microsoft's server-land friends also having been stung by Surface, this patent could also provoke some testy questions, even if Redmond has only a stream of royalties in mind. Or perhaps the patent describes how Redmond wants to build Azure bit barns, in which case everyone can move along because there's nothing to see here. ® Source
  12. By Dan Levine SAN FRANCISCO Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:13am EST A woman walks past the Google Chicago headquarters logo in Chicago, March 20, 2012. Credit: Reuters/Jim Young (Reuters) - Intellectual Ventures is set to square off this week against Google Inc's Motorola Mobility unit in the first trial that the multibillion-dollar patent-buying firm has underta ken since it was founded. Privately-held Intellectual Ventures sued Motorola in 2011, claiming the mobile phone maker infringed patents covering a variety of smartphone-related technologies, including Google Play. Motorola has denied the allegations and will now go to trial over three of those patents. Barring any last-minute settlements, jury selection is scheduled to begin on Tuesday at a federal court in Wilmington, Delaware. The trial takes place amid an unfolding debate in Congress over patent reform, in which Intellectual Ventures and Google are on opposite sides. Google is backing attempts to curb software patents and make it easier to fight lawsuits, while IV has warned that Congress should not act too rashly to weaken patent owners' rights. IV and other patent aggregators have faced criticism from some in the technology industry, who argue that patent litigation and royalty payments have become a burdensome tax on innovation. They say firms like IV, which do not primarily make products, are exploiting the patent system. But IV argues that unlike some of the firms denounced as "patent trolls," it invests only in quality intellectual property and does not file frivolous lawsuits. IV also says it helps inventors get paid for their innovations while helping tech companies protect and manage their intellectual property. Should the Delaware jury rule against Motorola and uphold IV's patents, it could bolster the firm's argument that it does not buy frivolous patents, said Shubha Ghosh, a University of Wisconsin Law School professor. Yet a win for Motorola could be held up as evidence that the U.S. government issues too many dubious patents. And even if IV prevails, Google could still argue that patent litigation before a jury of non-expert citizens is akin to a lottery, said Ghosh, who supports patent reform. "Just because you have a winning ticket doesn't mean it's not still a lottery," he said. IV and Google both declined to comment on the upcoming trial. Since its founding in 2000, IV has raised about $6 billion (3.6 billion pounds) from investors and has bought tens of thousands of intellectual property assets from a variety of sources. Google was an investor in IV's first patent acquisition fund, but did not join later vehicles. IV filed a barrage of lawsuits in 2010 against companies in various sectors, and most defendants have since settled. THE INVENTORS Two of the patents in the upcoming Motorola trial cover inventions by Richard Reisman, U.S. government records show. Through his company, Teleshuttle, Reisman has developed several patent portfolios for various technologies, including an online update service, according to the Teleshuttle website. IV claims that the two Reisman patents cover several of Motorola's older-generation cellphones that have Google Play, a platform for Android smartphone apps. Motorola argues that IV's patents should never have been issued because the inventions were known in the field already. Reisman did not respond to requests for comment. One of the patents in play against Motorola has been in a courtroom before. Teleshuttle and a British partner, BTG, sued Microsoft and Apple in 2004 using one of the same patents now in play against Motorola. In 2006, Teleshuttle and BTG sold their patent rights to Delaware-based Twintech EU LLC for $35 million up front, plus a percentage of future licensing fees, according to BTG's website. At the same time as the sale, BTG and Teleshuttle abruptly withdrew their cases against Apple and Microsoft. Microsoft and Apple were both early investors in Intellectual Ventures. IV often uses subsidiary companies to buy patents, and then transfer them at a later date to related corporate entities, though public records do not indicate whether IV had an ownership interest in Twintech. IV took title on the patents from Twintech in September 2011 and sued Motorola a month later, U.S. records show. In a 2011 blog post, Reisman wrote that his deal with IV provided resources "to let me focus on my work as an inventor." Microsoft declined to comment while Apple did not respond to a request for comment. Another patent being asserted against Motorola was originally issued to Rajendra Kumar in 2006. Kumar's company, Khyber Technologies, transferred it to Balustare Processing NY LLC in July 2011, which passed it over to IV about a month later, patent records show. Khyber Technologies was founded in 1991 with the goal of creating the next generation of handheld computing products, according to its website. The patent that IV obtained from Khyber covers detachable handset technology, which IV claims Motorola used in its defunct Lapdock product. Kumar declined to comment on the IV lawsuit. If IV wins, damages will be decided at a later proceeding. The trial is expected to last about ten days. The case in U.S. District Court, District of Delaware is Intellectual Ventures I and Intellectual Ventures II, 11-908. (Reporting by Dan Levine; editing by Jonathan Weber) http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/20/us-google-iv-trial-idUSBREA0J0PC20140120
  13. As you have probably noticed from the news over the past few hours, today was a big day for Apple patents. Apple apparently had about 30 patents approved, although only a few of them are targeted enough to the mobile sphere to make us interested. We've seen mobile camera lens patents and now we're seeing another patent that points to work on an "iPen" stylus. This isn't the first "iPen" patent gathered by Apple, and it is unlikely to be the last either. According to Patently Apple, the Cupertino crew has more than 20 patents that could all be part of an Apple stylus, including LiveScribe-like recording, variable pressure and texture input, gesture controls, and more. The newest patent granted today allows for determining the orientation of the stylus through a sensor in the pen as well as a sensor in the slate. There could be a number of cool uses for a feature like this from something simple like making the device feel more like various drawing materials, for example a pencil (one end for writing and the other for erasing), or a charcoal stick (using the side for a broad shadows), to more advanced functionality like putting the stylus into power-saving mode depending on the orientation. This patent was filed in 2011, but it seems fairly obvious that Apple is still putting time and effort into figuring out how to make a stylus that is more than just a "dumb stick", which was why Steve Jobs wanted to avoid it in the first place. It just remains to be seen if Apple will actually build the device and sell it. It seems more likely with the rumored 12.9-inch iPad in the works, but we'll have to see. Source
  14. By Joe Mullin - Jan 29 2014, 1:30pm AUSEST Holding company Vringo used old Lycos patents to wrest a win worth many millions. Vringo is a tiny company that purchased some patents from Lycos, an old search engine, in 2011 and then used those patents to sue Google. In December 2012, Vringo won $30 million in a jury trial, but that was far less than the hundreds of millions it was seeking. Today, Vringo got the payout it was looking for: a 1.36 percent running royalty on US-based revenue from AdWords, Google's flagship program. US District Judge Raymond Jackson had already ruled last week (PDF) that the AdWords program, which was tweaked by Google after the Vringo verdict, wasn't "colorably different" from the old infringing program. He gave Google and Vringo one last session to hammer out a royalty rate, and when they couldn't, he went ahead and set it (PDF)—at almost exactly the rate Vringo was seeking. Because some aspects of Google's revenue are opaque, it's impossible to know exactly what Vringo's win would be worth—and the company is a long way from cashing a check. But if the royalty rate were to be upheld on appeal, Google would surely have to pay hundreds of millions of dollars. Whatever its worth, it will lift the hopes of patent-holding companies around the nation. A 2007 Supreme Court decision makes it almost impossible for so-called "patent trolls" to get an injunction that would knock a product out of commission; in the context of 2014 case law, a solid running royalty is a troll's dream come true. Jackson followed the methodology laid out in an East Texas case in which Yahoo was found to infringe an online advertising patent owned by famed patent troll Acacia. The math is a little confusing. Today's order sets a royalty rate at 6.5 percent, on a "royalty base" of 20.9 percent, for an overall rate of 1.3585 percent. The royalty base is supposed to calculate what the Vringo-owned patents add to Google's search system. "My reaction is pretty darn positive," said Jeffrey Sherwood, the lead lawyer on Vringo's trial team. In Vringo's view, the patents describe Google's ad-filtering system, which ranks various possible advertisements against each other in an auction. "They have a huge inventory of ads, and they have to get it down to the few that are the most relevant to their users. These patents describe a way to do it. And our position is, that's the way Google does it." Jennifer Polse, Google's lead patent lawyer on the Vringo case, said that the company has already appealed the jury verdict and will appeal today's royalty award as well. "We believe strongly in our pending appeal in this matter, and we anticipate seeking Federal Circuit review of today's decision as well," said Polse in an e-mailed statement. AOL, Gannett, Target, and IAC were named as co-defendants in the lawsuit for their use of AdWords. However, they've been indemnified in this case by Google, which is handling the litigation. Vringo brought the case under the name I/P Engine, a subsidiary it created to hold the two patents it purchased, numbered 6,314,420 and 6,775,664. Vringo also sued Microsoft over ads in its Bing search engine. Microsoft settled that case in May, agreeing to pay $1 million plus 5 percent of whatever Google ultimately pays. While publicly traded Vringo also has a "video ringtone" business, its financial statements describe its business as now being focused on patent assertion. The company has 28 full-time employees, has generated "no significant revenue to date," and had more than $10 million in legal expenses in 2012. Vringo stock rose 13 percent before trading was reportedly halted. Redesigned system wasn't different enough In today's order, Jackson awarded Vringo almost exactly the royalty it wanted. The company's expert argued for a royalty of 5 percent, and Jackson chose to award 4.6 percent. Vringo wanted a 40 percent increase on the rate because Google was found to be a willful infringer, and Jackson agreed that was reasonable. Knocking up 4.6 by 40 percent comes out to 6.44 percent, which the judge rounded up to 6.5. That's significantly more than the 3.5 percent royalty that the jury suggested, which was "only a starting point in the analysis," wrote Jackson in today's order. Even though there was no evidence of copying—Vringo admitted as much—a willfulness adjustment was still appropriate, the judge found. "Defendants' misconduct continues presently and Defendants have taken no remedial action," wrote Jackson. "In fact, they have redesigned a system that clearly replicates the infringing elements of old AdWords." In last week's order, Jackson said that Vringo had proven infringement of both the old and new AdWords systems. While he didn't go into the details of changes Google made, he did write that all Google had done was apply the "LTV" or "long-term value" score at a different point in the ad-selecting process. It was basically the same: "t is undisputed that new AdWords continues to use a candidate advertisement's LTV score that includes a predicted click-through rate in the process of choosing which advertisement will ultimately be shown to the individual performing the query." Becker, the Vringo expert who convinced the judge on most points, has testified as a patent damages expert in many cases, including past cases over AdWords. In 2010, he argued that Google should pay patent-holding company Bright Response LLC between $64 million and $128 million, because AdWords infringed its patents, as well. Google won that case. Last year, Becker served as the damages expert for TQP Development, which won a patent trial against Newegg. Back-of-napkin math on the Vringo win Google doesn't break out AdWords revenue clearly, but the company made $9.39 billion from "Google-owned sites" in the last quarter. The company will likely make more than $35 billion in 2013 in this area. The majority of that is surely AdWords, since estimates for YouTube range from $3.7 billion to $5.6 billion. Around 55 percent of the company's overall revenue comes from the US. Accepting those estimates, an extremely rough calculation suggests US AdWords revenue is somewhere in the range of $15 billion to $18 billion annually. If that's right, it would place the Vringo royalty win somewhere in the realm of $200 million to $250 million annually. The patents expire in 2016, and Google is liable from November 2012, which is the date final judgment was entered after the trial. And of course, if Google loses, it will owe interest on the whole shebang. It's all pretty academic at this point; the numbers are clearly high enough that Google is likely to fight this tooth-and-nail through the appeal process, and the parties have agreed to stay earlier judgments until the appeal is resolved. Still, a royalty award that could potentially push the billion-dollar mark—on old search technology that not even Vringo believes Google actually copied—could become additional fodder in the ongoing patent debates in Congress. In an interview today, Sherwood emphasized that debates in Congress over "patent trolls" don't apply to Vringo. "The criticism doesn't relate to cases like this," he said. "There are situations where plaintiffs are filing cases that have no merit and extorting money out of defendants, because it's cheaper to settle. Obviously, in this case, we had a very good federal judge and jury come to the opposite conclusion." http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/01/court-orders-google-to-pay-1-36-of-adwords-revenue-for-infringing-patents
  15. HTC just can't catch a break these days. The company has been in rough financial shape for a while now, despite churning out stellar products like the HTC One. One of the company's biggest threats is Nokia, which coincidentally has one of the biggest patent portfolios in the mobile space. The Finish company has won a patent lawsuit against HTC where Justice Arnold of the England and Wales High Court has ordered an injunction against the Tainawese manufacturer's products, which are in violation of Nokia's EP0998024 patent on "modular structure for a transmitter and a mobile station". HTC's argument is that the technology is part of the Qualcomm chips the company uses and should be covered in a deal between Nokia and Qualcomm in the US. But to no avail as the judge has issued the injunction, which has been delayed until Friday so as to give time HTC to appeal. If that does not happen Nokia could file to ban HTC One sales in the UK. HTC's One mini has already fallen victim to Nokia and will be banned from selling starting December 6. HTC has evoked examples such as Apple, BlackBerry, Google, LG, Samsung and Sony, which all infringe on said patent, but that wasn't enough to save its case. Nokia had achieved a sales ban against the One smartphone line in the UK before, forcing HTC to change the radios and microphones inside the One. Nokia also won against HTC regarding its wireless patents, battery-saving patent in Germany, the list goes on. Source
  16. After failing to purchase the patents previously owned by the now defunct Nortel in 2012, Google is going after the large group of companies that currently holds those rights. The company filed a lawsuit on Monday, claiming that the Rockstar patent consortium has "placed a cloud on Google's Android platform" with their ownership and enforcement of their properties. According to GigaOM, Google feels that the Rockstar group, which includes Microsoft, Apple and BlackBerry, is using its over 4,000 patents to unfairly threaten mobile device makers that use the Android OS. Google seems to be particularly concerned about the threat against its own Nexus devices, and wants the court to rule that those products don't violate seven of Rockstar's patents. Google tried and failed to purchase the Nortel patents, but the Rockstar group ended up as the winner after paying $4.5 billion for the rights. They cover a wide range of technology products and software rights, including "wireless, wireless 4G, data networking, optical, voice, internet, service provider, semiconductors" and more. Earlier this year, Rockstar filed lawsuits against Google and a number of its third party Android partners, claiming that those companies had used the consortium's patents related to display advertisements, messaging and more. Source
  17. Both Samsung and Apple will appear before Judge Lucy Koh on January 30th. The issue this time, is a request by Samsung for an extension to answer Apple's post-appeal request for a permanent injunction. With word that both sides are working on a settlement, Samsung wanted to have the talks on the record by asking the judge to allow it to conduct discovery relating to these talks. Apple opposed, which you might expect it would, and Judge Koh agreed with them. Late Tuesday, she ordered both sides to appear on the 30th and ruled that Samsung cannot depose an Apple witness on the settlement talks. Obviously, Samsung believes that there is something involved with the settlement talks that would benefit its position in the case. Koh's order does make some sense in that Samsung, as a party to the settlement talks with Apple as they discuss a licensing deal, would seem to already be aware of any "concessions" made by Apple and thus, would not seem to require discovery. Interested in the Patent Issues, You can play legal beagle by downloading a transcript of Koh's order below. 14-01-17 Source
  18. The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in November greenlighted Apple’s appeal to a U.S. district court ruling which had originally rejected the company’s request to ban accused Samsung products from the U.S. market. Last month’s Appeals court ruling has prompted Judge Lucy Koh to reconsider her original decision and has opened door to a permanent sales ban on more than twenty different Samsung smartphones and tablets. Sure enough, Apple yesterday renewed its motion to permanently halt the sales of these devices in the United States, even though Samsung no longer offers none of the devices in question… Lawyers for Apple are requesting that a separate injunction trial be held on January 30, 2014 and separately from the already scheduled infringement retrial, reports patent expert Florian Müeller on his blog, FOSS Patents. Back in August 2012, Samsung’s Galaxy devices were found to violate Apple’s three utility software patents covering the iPhone’s Multi-Touch user interface: the famous rubber-banding invention that bounces back content when a user scrolls past screen edges, tap-to-zoom and perhaps the most famous of all patents – the pinch-to-zoom invention that early Android versions did not have (at Steve Jobs’ request). On the other hand, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office tentatively invalidated Apple’s ‘915 patent for pinch-to-zoom functionality, prompting Apple to file a notice of appeal with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Judge Lucy Koh had rejected a Samsung ban within the United States during the original Apple v. Samsung trial in 2011 on the basis that Apple failed to present compelling evidence that it would suffer irreparable harm should Samsung be allowed to continue selling these products. However, now that Apple has successfully appealed her ruling, Judge Koh is forced to reconsider her decision. It is important to mention that none of the accused Samsung products – such as the Galaxy S II and the Galaxy Tab - are no longer relevant. Still, Apple wants to impose a sales ban in order to prevent the South Korean giant from selling them again in the future. Bloomberg has this excerpt from Apple’s filing: Samsung’s claim that it has discontinued selling the particular models found to infringe or design around Apple’s patents in no way diminishes Apple’s need for injunctive relief. Because Samsung frequently brings new products to market, an injunction is important to providing Apple the relief it needs to combat any future infringement by Samsung through products not more than colorably different from those already found to infringe. This is why Apple’s proposed injunction seeks to also cover “any other product not more than colorably different from an Infringing Product as to a feature found to infringe,” according to court documents. By the way, Bloomberg reminds us that the two frenemies so far spent “hundreds of millions of dollars” in legal fees on claims of copying each other’s features. Source
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