August 15, 2011

Last week in #patents: #Apple, #Android and trolls oh my!

In the fluid smartphone market, this week it was reported that Apple became the top vendor for the first time claiming 19.1% in the second quarter of 2011 with Samsung claiming 16.2%. It was also reported that the iPhone had, indirectly, come to dominate not only the private consumer market but enterprise IT.

Android continues its astronomical growth, last week it was reported that Android accounted for 53% of all ad impressions and claiming 43% of the market share in the second quarter of 2011. Oracle asked the courts to force Google to reveal its Android revenue. Scott Daniels discussed Google's attempts to invalidate Oracle's patents being used in their Android battle. Google accused Microsoft of releasing its proprietary code.

Apple was sued by a possible LG shell company in Florida over the fast booting used in OSX. Florian Mueller suspects it's a preemptive strike in the patent proxy war surrounding Android, which has thus far spared LG but only because of their smaller market share.

Apple was granted additional important patents regarding its touch-screens, no doubt there will be little wait in their use in litigation against its competitors.

Following its success in Australia, Apple succeeded in blocking the release of Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the European Union except the Netherlands where a different lawsuit is underway. Samsung is of course, appealing with a date set for August 25th. It was also reported that Apple is also targeting Motorola's Xoom tablet, escalating the the already chaotic Android legal battle.

With Apple and Microsofts success in impeding competitors products through litigation and licensing fees, it's not surprising that Motorola may be joining them in extracting such fees from other Android makers.

For a great overview of the Android battle with Microsoft I suggest the SeattlePI article Microsoft’s biggest mobile failure and success: Android.

HTC is opening to negotiating a deal with Apple, it all comes down to just how much Apple is going to charge in order to settle their numerous lawsuits and what if any, cross-licensing arrangements can be made. HTC continues its acquisitions, buying Beats Electronics, a high-end speaker and headphone maker cofounded by Dr. Dre and will begin using Beats' audio technology in its handsets.

Huawei Technologies accused rival Inter Digital of filing infringement claims against it to boost the value of its patents while courting bids from Google, Apple, and Samsung for them.

Android was also updated to allow its phones to rent movies.

Rovio and EA are urging the federal court to allow Apple to directly intervene in the patent-infringement case targeting iOS developers by Lodsys. Meanwhile Google's response, whose Android developers have also become a Lodsys target, is to seek the invalidation of Lodsys's patents, much to the consternation of Florian Mueller: Google risks alienating its Android developer community if it doesn't do more and quickly, to clear up all the litigation surrounding Android.

Cisco and Twitter joined a Linux patent protection pool, hopefully it's not as devious as Intellectual Ventures which announced a licences deal with LCD maker Chunghwa. Intellectual Ventures is also suing 100+ media companies.

Sony and LG settled their 3 year patent dispute over TV and Blu-ray technology with a cross-licensing arrangement.

Speculation about the iPhone5 and an iOS 5 powered iPad3 release date were abound, meanwhile rumors were spread that Windows Phone "Mango" will be released September 1st and Android's "Ice Cream Sandwich" will likely come at the end of 2011.

With the debt deal past them, Congress looks ready to pass some form of patent reform, whether it will do any good remains to be seen, but Mike Elgan is skeptical. News surfaced of possible legislation to curb the lawsuits generated by non-practicing entities or patent trolls.

Tim Richardson defended NPEs, explaining that software patents were just as sellable as anything else. Timothy Lee continued making the case for invalidating software patents and conducted a very enlightening discussion with Julian Sanchez on topics ranging from NPEs, software patents, and the charges against Aaron Swartz, if you've got 35 minutes I strongly suggest listening to it. Brad Feld, Martin Fowler, and Brian Kahin also make the case against software patents. Meanwhile, Nilay Patel defends the software patent system.

Pantently-O's Dennis Crouch got to the heart of patent reform: the statistics behind filings, litigation and the USPTO's budget and stats on patents and litigation.

Lawrence Higgins also has a great roundup of other patent news not covered here.

No comments:

Post a Comment