November 29, 2010

Supreme Court to hear Microsoft patent-infringement appeal - News - Windows for Devices

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear Microsoft's appeal in its long-running patent case with Canadian firm i4i. This not only gives Microsoft another shot at overturning a substantial monetary judgment, but also gives the Court a chance to leave its mark on the patent-infringement battles gripping the tech industry.

November 24, 2010

HTC Shores Up In Legal Fights With 30K-Patent Deal

HTC Shores Up In Legal Fights With 30K-Patent Deal:
In one swift move, HTC may have just diffused what could have become yet another legal bomb: the handset maker yesterday entered into a long-term licensing agreement and strategic alliance with Intellectual Ventures, an IP patent house run by Microsoft’s former CTO, Nathan Myhrvold, and chief architect, Edward Jung. The deal gives HTC access to over 30,000 patents.

The agreement gives HTC the IP it needs to “defend itself and its subsidiaries from potential litigation,” says the joint press release. A value for the deal was not disclosed.

November 18, 2010

Is software too abstract to be patented? |

Is software too abstract to be patented? |
"The serious problem of proliferating bad software patents was not solved by the Supreme Court's Bilski decision, but now it's looking like it may be part of the solution. The early case law applying Bilski is much more encouraging than expected. The new Bilski test focuses on whether an application attempts to patent “an abstract idea.” That new test has already been applied to reject applications for quite a few bad software patents, and with more lawsuits, it could invalidate a lot more. To advance on this, we need to figure out out better ways to explain what software is and show when it is an unpatentable abstract idea."

November 9, 2010

Microsoft Sues Motorola Over Patent Fees on Xbox - Bloomberg

Microsoft Corp., the biggest software maker, accused Motorola Inc. of breaching contractual obligations to fairly license patents on wireless networking and video coding to be used in the Xbox gaming system.

Motorola is violating a pledge to license on reasonable terms patents that are deemed essential to industry technology standards, Microsoft said in a lawsuit filed today in federal court in Seattle. Royalty demands made by Motorola are out of line with the terms of the industry standard-setting body in which the companies are participants, Microsoft said.

October 8, 2010

Patent battles by tech giants a fuzzy midpoint in phoney war - The Irish Times - Fri, Oct 08, 2010

MOTOROLA THIS week began proceedings against Apple for what it claimed were violations of its patents. The patents – Motorola claimed these include innovations in 3G and Wi-Fi antenna design, wireless e-mail, proximity sensing and software application management – all revolve around Apple’s iPhone, which just happens to be a major competitor.

If you haven’t heard about this lawsuit, it may be because it’s one of approximately a bazillion patent battles in the mobile field.

On Tuesday, Microsoft sued Motorola over its Android smartphones, including e-mail, contacts and calendar synchronisation. In March, Apple sued HTC, another maker of Android phones. The creator of Android itself, Google, was sued by Oracle for patent violations in August. Nokia is suing Apple, Qualcomm, the LG Group, Hitachi, Sharp, Samsung, Toshiba, Hitachi and Motorola.

October 7, 2010

Motorola sues Apple for patent infringement

Motorola, just days after being targeted in a patent suit by Microsoft, filed complaints against Apple on Wednesday alleging that the iPhone, iPad and other products infringe its patents.

The Motorola complaints allege that Apple's iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and certain Macintosh computers infringe 18 patents 'which relate to early-stage innovations developed by Motorola in key technology areas.'

Motorola files patent lawsuits against Apple

Motorola has filed two patent lawsuits and a patent complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) alleging that a wide range of Apple products infringe its patents.

The three complaints cover 18 Motorola patents, including communication technologies related to W-CDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access), general packet radio service (GPRS), 802.11 and antenna design, as well as smartphone technologies related to wireless e-mail, proximity sensing, application management and location-based services, Motorola said in a press release.

October 4, 2010

Microsoft, Motorola Lawsuit: A Settlement Waiting to Happen

Every time I turn around, someone's suing Android directly or by proxy--the latest being Microsoft's patent-infringement lawsuit against Motorola launched this past Friday. In the suit, Microsoft alleges that nine of its patents were violated.

This is the third time software makers have gone after Android or Android-based phones this year. In March, HTC found themselves in Apple's cross hairs as another proxy against Google's Android, with another patent lawsuit. This summer, Oracle went straight at Google, claiming its Java code was being improperly used in Android.

October 1, 2010

Microsoft Lawyers Try To Bust Up Motorola's Android Party

Microsoft has been grumbling for months about Google Android OS infringing on its patents, but this is no ordinary fear, uncertainty and doubt campaign. With its Friday filing of a patent infringement lawsuit against Motorola, Microsoft is showing its willingness to back up these claims.

Microsoft's suit, filed with the International Trade Commission and in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, alleges that Motorola's Android smartphones infringe on nine of Microsoft's patents, which cover functions such as synchronizing e-mail, calendars and contacts, scheduling meetings, and notifying applications of changes in signal strength and battery power.

Microsoft Slaps Motorola with Patent Lawsuit over Android

Anyone who did not see this one coming after Microsoft's patent deal with HTC and Apple's meticulousness in avoiding Windows Mobile in its suit against HTC hasn't been paying attention. Microsoft has filed a patent complaint with the US International Trade Commission, as well as a patent lawsuit in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington against Motorola over its Android-based devices.

Well, paint me red and call me a girl scout - Microsoft has sued Motorola over the company's Android-based devices. According to Microsoft, Motorola infringes upon nine of its patents relating to a whole array of stuff - with Microsoft being in the business for this long, you can barely take a piss without violating one of Redmond's patents.

July 9, 2010

NTP Targets 6 Smartphone Makers In Latest Patent Lawsuit

The company, which most notably squeezed a $612.5 million settlement out of BlackBerry maker Research In Motion, now is suing Apple Inc., Google Inc., HTC Corp., LG Electronics, Microsoft Corp. and Motorola Inc. over eight patents it says cover the wireless delivery of e-mail to cell phones. The question, as MarketWatch put it, is whether NTP can stand up to its rich foes. NTP has no Web site and no listed phone number, and seems to be acting out of desperation -- its patents expire in 2012, according to reports.

NTP is considered a patent troll. It manufactures nothing, but holds a number of patents and has demonstrated its willingness to fight for royalties and licensing of that property. And since NTP has the RIM-settlement as precedence, it could well prevail in its latest lawsuit. Indeed, in an ever-more-competitive tech world, charges of patent infringement have become almost commonplace, as winning such cases has proven lucrative.

March 2, 2010

Apple Slaps Lawsuit on HTC and Nexus One

If you think iPhone-like features are showing up on other smartphones, apparently Apple's lawyers agree. The iPhone maker said Tuesday it has filed suit against device maker HTC for violating 10 patents relating to user interface, architecture and hardware.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs said the company could 'sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it.' So, he added, Apple decided 'to do something about it.'

February 18, 2010

Myhrvold disputes 'troll' claims, makes case for 'invention capital'

Myhrvold disputes 'troll' claims, makes case for 'invention capital':
Nathan Myhrvold, our local mosquito-zapping, hurricane-stopping, high-tech gourmand and environmental geoengineering geek, offers a broad defense of his company, Bellevue-based Intellectual Ventures, in a Harvard Business Review article today -- disputing the assertion that it's a patent troll and laying out a vision for a concept that he calls 'invention capital.'

'What we’re really trying to do is create a capital market for inventions akin to the venture capital market that supports start-ups and the private equity market that revitalizes inefficient companies,' writes Myhrvold, the former Microsoft technology chief. 'Our goal is to make applied research a profitable activity that attracts vastly more private investment than it does today so that the number of inventions generated soars.'

February 17, 2010

Investment Firm Hopes to Turn Patents Into Invention Capital Market

Investment Firm Hopes to Turn Patents Into Invention Capital Market:
"In the article and in conversation, Mr. Myhrvold describes the patent world as a vastly underdeveloped market, starved for private capital and too dependent on federal financing for universities and government agencies, which is mainly aimed at scientific discovery anyway. Eventually, he foresees patents being valued as a separate asset class, like real estate or securities.

His antagonists, he says, are the “cozy oligarchy” of big technology companies like I.B.M., Hewlett-Packard and others that typically reach cross-licensing agreements with each other, and then refuse to deal with or acknowledge the work of inventors or smaller companies.

Ignoring the patents of others is “deeply ingrained in parts of certain industries,” he writes in the article, “most notably software, computing and other Internet-related sectors.”

Large technology companies complain about patent suits but, Mr. Myhrvold says, their actions often invite litigation. “The attitude of the big guys has been that unless you sue me or threaten to sue me, get lost,” he said in the interview. “I know, I was one of those guys.” Indeed, Mr. Myhrvold, 50, supplied his considerable brain power to Microsoft for 13 years, serving as chief technology officer until 2000."