By Cody Lee on Jan 17, 2013
It’s kind of funny that Apple gets a bad wrap for not being innovative enough, because its IP filings tell a different story. The company was awarded more than 1,200 patents last year — which was enough to beat Google, who dabbles in self-driven cars and computer glasses.
The latest testament to Apple’s innovation is a new patent application, which was just published by the US Patent and Trademark Office. It describes a removable clip for a mobile device, such as an iPod, with an integrated trackpad, that could double as a remote control… Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Jan 15, 2013
First, South Korean smartphone maker Samsung tries to steal Apple’s coolness, now the company is trying to mimic the California firm’s penchant for secrecy. Samsung reportedly is now asking suppliers to sign non-disclosure agreements with penalties of up to $1 billion (you read that right).
The push for an NDA comes as Samsung Electronics is reportedly developing a next-generation Galaxy smartphone. At the heart of the secrecy agreements is preventing disclosure of product information, which has become an industry all of its own as Apple and its rivals alternately build hype while suppliers leak product details… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jan 11, 2013
Last year, Kodak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and came up with a plan to sell off its collection of imaging patents to pay off its debts. It wanted more than $2 billion for the IP, but ended up settling on a $525 million offer from a consortium of companies led by Apple and Google. And today, Bankruptcy Court Judge Allan Gropper has green-lighted the deal… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jan 4, 2013
Good news out of Washington this week. The FTC has announced that it’s reached a settlement with Google regarding its antitrust investigation. The Federal Trade Commission was going after the search giant for several reasons, including patent abuse.
But not anymore. Google has agreed, among other things, to license several of its standard-essential patents — many of which it picked up in its recent acquisition of Motorola — to its competitors under FRAND (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory) terms… Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Jan 3, 2013
No matter if you are in Syracuse, NY or Singapore, when you step into an Apple Store, you’re likely to be greeted in a singular manner. That’s no mistake. In fact, the ‘brain’ of Apple’s retailing success is part of a patent filing for a centralized floor plan management. It’s entitled “System and method for planning layout of a retail store” and details, well, everything.
Starting from how the tech giant uses the iPad and centrally-controlled in-store displays to offer customers a unified appearance, no matter which Apple Store around the globe you happen to waltz in. Indeed, if tech retailing were part of the Star Trek universe, Apple locations would be manned by the Borg – seeming to operate with one mind… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jan 3, 2013
We’re not sure this was the right move on Apple’s part, but the company has in fact filed for the iOS Notification Center patent with both the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the World Intellectual Property Organization. While the document tries to outline the feature in excruciating detail, even the most ardent Apple fans would have to admit that the feature is way too similar to Google’s Notification Bar in Android.
To make matters worse, Google got there first as its Android software had the Notification Bar in place before Apple introduced Notification Center in iOS 5, which was released in June 2011.
Maybe Apple hastily moved to file for this patent because Samsung last month filed a lawsuit in its home country against Apple regarding the iOS Notification Center, arguing the feature infringes on one of its active patents? Read More
By Cody Lee on Jan 3, 2013
Apple has always strongly opposed the stylus, even though other manufacturers have continued to push for them. Steve Jobs had a number of quotes on the matter, famously saying things like “nobody wants a stylus” and “if you see a stylus, they blew it.”
But despite its public disdain for the touchscreen accessory, Apple obviously sees some value in it. The Cupertino company recently filed a patent for an advanced “active stylus” that works with the capacitive touch screens on its different iOS devices… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jan 3, 2013
Back in December, Samsung withdrew all of its SEP (or Standard-Essential Patent) —related injunction requests in Europe “in the interest of protecting consumer choice.” Well if that was truly the case, then why is it still pursuing identical claims here in the US?
In a response filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission yesterday, Apple accused Samsung of filing a motion to strike to avoid “inconvenient facts” regarding its reasons for withdrawing claims in Europe. In short, Apple just called Samsung out… Read More
By Cody Lee on Dec 23, 2012
Samsung has reportedly filed a new lawsuit in its home country against Apple regarding its iOS Notification Center. It says that the feature, which Apple introduced last year in iOS 5, infringes on one of its active patents.
Of course, patent lawsuits have become commonplace between the two tech giants in recent years. Typically, however, Samsung has used its standards-essential, hardware-related IP to go after Apple. But this time it’s software-related… Read More
By Cody Lee on Dec 21, 2012
As expected, Apple is filing for an appeal on Judge Koh’s decision to throw out its request for a permanent injunction against Samsung’s products. In addition to the $1 billion in damages it won back in August, the iPad-maker was seeking a US sales ban on all of Samsung’s infringing devices.
But in a pair of rulings handed down Monday, Koh denied both Samsung’s request for a re-trial due to jury misconduct, and Apple’s injunction request, noting that it would not be in the public’s best interest to halt Samsung handset sales when only a few features were found guilty of infringement… Read More
By Cody Lee on Dec 19, 2012
We’ve seen the United States Patent and Trademark Office reject or invalidate a few important Apple patents in the last few months, including one covering the infamous ‘rubber banding‘ UI feature, and one covering the iPhone.
Today, the USPTO added another key patent to the list, tentatively declaring Apple’s US 7,844,915 invention — widely referred to as the pinch-to-zoom patent — invalid. It’s just a preliminary decision, but it’s still a fairly big deal… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Dec 19, 2012
Wednesday morning, Kodak announced that it has agreed to sell its digital imaging patents to two consortiums, Intellectual Ventures and RPX Corporation, that are backed by Silicon Valley giants Apple, Google, Microsoft and other companies. The transaction is valued at $525 million.
That’s way less than their previously estimated worth of about $2.6 billion. The $525 million will be paid by Intellectual Ventures and the two consortiums twelve licensees, each receiving rights to the digital imaging patent portfolio and certain other Kodak patents. Another portion will be paid by Intellectual Ventures, which is acquiring the digital imaging patent portfolio subject to these new licenses, as well as previously existing licenses… Read More
By Cody Lee on Dec 18, 2012
In a world where the company with the biggest and baddest IP portfolio reigns king, Apple is superior. It’s proven this on a number of occasions, most recently by winning a settlement of over $1 billion from Samsung in a northern California trial.
Today, it adds another interesting patent to the stack. The US Patent and Trademark Office has awarded the Cupertino company a patent for the design of the original iPhone, released in 2007, and created in part by Steve Jobs and Jony Ive… Read More
By Cody Lee on Dec 18, 2012
While the high profile Samsung-Apple trial technically ended back in August, with Apple winning a staggering $1 billion judgement, the fallout is far from over. The two companies must still endure countless post-trial hearings and their subsequent appeals.
In fact, both sides met this month to discuss some of their post-trial demands. In addition to its large settlement, Apple wanted Samsung’s infringing products to be banned, and Samsung wanted the whole trial thrown out on the back of jury misconduct.
Tonight, US District Judge Lucy Koh published her decisions on both requests in a pair of court filings… Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Dec 11, 2012
Apple has been granted a patent for a sort of intelligent visual caller ID. Like usual, the patent application carries the mundane title of “Image selection for an incoming call”.
In reality, the technique Apple proposes could alert you to the caller’s identity and give you some contextual clues where they are calling from, even their time of day. We can already get an image of a caller, based on the incoming phone number.
But the patent could display an image based on additional filters. For instance, suppose you receive a mid-morning call on the West Coast from someone in Japan. The technology would determine the caller’s location and timezone, and show a photo of the person in the middle of the night. Does this mean I can’t call in sick when I’m actually at the beach? Read More
By Cody Lee on Dec 7, 2012
Back in August, a report popped up claiming that Apple and Google had teamed up to put a bid in for Kodak’s patents. The company, once a staple in the photography industry, declared bankruptcy this year and is selling off its IP to help pay its debts.
Well the story resurfaced tonight, with a follow-up report from Bloomberg confirming that Google and Apple are indeed working together to buy Kodak’s IP. The two are said to be offering more than $500 million to buy 1,100 of Kodak’s imaging patents… Read More
By Cody Lee on Dec 6, 2012
Both Apple and HTC have been very quiet about the details surrounding their surprise patent settlement they announced last month. We don’t know who paid who what, or what patents were included in the 10-year cross-licensing agreement.
But thanks to Apple’s dispute with Samsung, we’ve been given a glimpse inside the accord. Following a court ruling that said patents in the deal must remain unsealed, Samsung has submitted a redacted copy of the pact into public record… Read More
By Cody Lee on Dec 5, 2012
The FTC filed what’s called an amicus brief with the US Federal Circuit Court of Appeals this afternoon, arguing that Google-owned Motorola’s attempts to ban the sale of the iPhone, iPad and other Apple products in the US for allegedly infringing on its patents was ‘inappropriate.’
The Commission feels that since Motorola has already licensed the patents in question under fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory (FRAND) terms, it had no right to seek an injunction against Apple’s products that supposedly violated them, without offering similar licensing terms… Read More
By Cody Lee on Dec 4, 2012
In a ruling late last night, US District Court Judge Lucy Koh ordered that the patents Apple and HTC are cross-licensing as part of their settlement are to remain unsealed, suggesting that the public will eventually get a look at this information.
The order comes two weeks after US Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal granted Samsung’s motion to compel, forcing Apple to disclose the terms of its deal with HTC to its legal team. But now it looks like we’ll all get a peek inside the pact… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Dec 3, 2012
Apple and Samsung are scheduled to once again duke it out in the courtroom on the eve of Pearl Harbor Day, Thursday, December 6. And as the South Korean conglomerate last month alleged jury misconduct, claiming a foreman in the Apple v. Samsung lawsuit concealed information during the jury selection process, Apple is adamant it knew nothing of the foreman background.
Samsung is hoping to overrule the jury verdict which resulted in a $1.05 billion penalty on the grounds that it would have never approved jury foreman Velvin Hogan had it known of his prior involvement in litigation with a former employee Seagate, with which the Galaxy maker has a “substantial strategic relationship”… Read More