The iPad 2 and iPhone 5 haven't even been announced yet, but there is already some intriguing information about the technology that could be in future versions of Apple's iOS devices. Two separate patent filings uncovered this week reveal Apple's work on a smart bezel that could be used for tablets, and on denser lithium batteries that will go longer between charges.
There are many assured changes coming to the mobile world with the deal struck between Microsoft and Nokia today. But an uncertain future scenario with broad implications concerns how the combination of Nokia's very large patent portfolio and Microsoft's slew of licensing deals will alter the mobile patent landscape.
Over the last two years it's begun to seem as if all the major smartphone players are involved in one patent spat or another with Nokia a chief antagonist in the drama. The company has more than 10,000 patents and says it has reached licensing agreements with … Read more
A serious complication has just emerged for Google's plan for high-quality, patent-free, open-source video on the Web--but Google also revealed plans today to try to counteract it.
MPEG LA, an organization that licenses video-related patents related to a variety of standards, has formally requested for patent owners to inform them of patents they believe Google's VP8 technology uses.
In "offer[ing] to facilitate development of a joint license to provide coverage under essential patents," MPEG LA is taking a major step toward actually offering such a license.
That might reassure some players who are interested in … Read more
LG Electronics wants the U.S. International Trade Commission to bar the import of the PlayStation 3 into the United States, according to a complaint.
The complaint, filed Friday with the ITC and first reported by Bloomberg yesterday, claims that the Blu-ray player in the PlayStation 3 violates several of LG's patents. The company cited Sony, Sony Corporation of America, Sony Electronics, Sony Computer Entertainment, and Sony Computer Entertainment America in the complaint, according to the docket page on the ITC's Web site.
As the holder of more than 25,000 patents and pending patent applications in the United States, Microsoft knows a thing or two about getting them. And a long history of litigation is further proof of its intent on defending such intellectual property.
But in a post yesterday by Senior VP and General Counsel Brad Smith and VP and Deputy General Counsel Horacio Guitierrez on the company's Microsoft on the Issues blog, the pair outlined some things about the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) that the company believes could use some work.
"In our view, the … Read more
Weeks after Google announced it would drop support for H.264-encoded video from Chrome, Microsoft announced it's adding support back in through a browser extension for Windows 7 users.
"Today, as part of the interoperability bridges work we do on this team, we are making available the Windows Media Player HTML5 Extension for Chrome, which is an extension for Google Chrome to enable Windows 7 customers who use Chrome to continue to play H.264 video," said Claudio Caldato, principal program manager on Microsoft's Interoperability Strategy Team, in a blog post. The software can be downloaded from Microsoft's Web site. … Read more
A common problem with slim point-and-shoots is that users with larger hands may find it difficult to hold and operate the camera. A recent Sony patent (PDF) for a foldable grip may just resolve this issue, and I have to say it is quite clever.
According to the diagrams, it's possible to increase the grip's surface area by pulling the front plate out sideways so it folds and becomes a grip. Presumably, this will also expose the lens and turn on the snapper, much like the Cyber-shot T-series shooters.
But as with all patents, this apparatus will remain … Read more
A judge said today that Apple and RIM phones featuring cameras are not infringing on technology developed by Eastman Kodak, according to reports.
Kodak filed a complaint in January 2010 with the International Trade Commission claiming that the technology used in the iPhone and BlackBerry to preview images infringes on one of its digital imaging patents. Kodak demanded the ITC block import of phones in violation.
The endgame for Kodak is really to get Apple and RIM to pay royalties for using the technology. The camera company arrived at royalty arrangements more recently with LG and Samsung after filing similar complaints. … Read more
The Open Software Initiative and the Free Software Foundation yesterday released a joint statement, urging the U.S. Department of Justice, as well as the German Federal Cartel Office, to investigate the sale of Novell's more than 800 patents as part of its multibillion dollar sale to Attachmate in November.
In December, the OSI sent a position paper to the German Federal Cartel Office. That paper has been updated to name both software groups as the concerned parties and filed with the U.S. Department of Justice.
"Since making that filing, we have been joined by the Free … Read more
The legal battle between Nokia and Apple shows no signs of letting up anytime soon.
Apple on Tuesday sued Nokia in the U.K. claiming that one of the company's patents is invalid, according to Bloomberg. The patent in question describes a scrolling technology on touch-screen handsets and is one of the patents Nokia previously sued Apple for violating.
Nokia responded to the suit saying it is confident its patents are valid and it "will take whatever actions are needed to protect our rights."
Apple representatives were not immediately available for comment.
The legal tangle between the … Read more