In perhaps its soon to be most-publicized decision in decades, FOSS Patents is reporting that the USPTO has issued an initial finding of invalidity on every claim in Apple's patent for "rubber-band scrolling," that is, the scroll bounceback patent which anyone with half a brain knows is about as patent-worthy as any purely aesthetic user interface element is.
After seeing a deluge of rumors, leaks, and hoax after hoax this season, it looks like we're finally starting to wind down. With Google's Android event a mere 8 days away, it's time to clear away the muck and take a look at what we expect to make an appearance just a couple days before Halloween. Let's start with the stuff we're most confident in and work our way down, shall we?
About two weeks ago, we published some clues from our own server logs indicating that there were two as-yet unidentified Nexus devices cruising the web. One, the Occam, is believed to be a phone. That device remains unidentified (it is not, as some speculated, the Nexus 4, which is called "Mako"). Our guess is still that it's a Motorola RAZR Nexus device, but who knows if or when we'll actually see it.
It may be pretty hard for Apple to get away from the ruling that it has to state publicly on its website and in advertisements that Samsung didn't copy the iPad. An appeals court has ruled that the previous sentence should still be in place. The judges stated that, if Apple wasn't the one to clear up the confusion, the damage caused by the lawsuits all over Europe would be irreparable to Samsung.
Bad news for Verizon subscribers: Verizon isn't just raping you on your bill, they're really getting you up the pooper because they're making a few more dollars off of you by selling your personal data. Things like where you are, what you're doing on your phone, your gender, age, and personal details like whether you're a "sports enthusiast, frequent diner, or pet owner."
Meanwhile, the FTC is investigating Google for possibly "abusing its dominance of internet search in violation of antitrust laws" and - get this - "misusing patent protections to block rivals' smartphones from coming to market." What?
Justice may be sweet, but when it comes to patents, it's not usually swift. In the case of Apple's multiple, far-reaching patent disputes with Samsung, it took them a few weeks to get an injunction on the Galaxy Nexus based on the controversial results of the billion-dollar patent infringement suit. After Samsung took its case to the 9th Circuit US Court of Appeals, the higher judiciary power has sided with the Korean manufacturer.
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- T-Mobile is acquiring MetroPCS, but really, MetroPCS is acquiring T-Mobile, and Deutsche Telekom will be the majority shareholder, but it'll still be called T-Mobile, and the networks will be operated separately, but also together.
Just when you thought this whole Samsung vs. Apple case couldn't get any weirder, we're now hearing that Vel Hogan, the jury foreman on the case who helped guide the jurors on patent law and owns some patents himself, was once sued into bankruptcy by Seagate. Samsung, as it turns out, just happens to be the largest single investor in Seagate, owning 9.6 percent of the hard drive company's stock. While it doesn't guarantee that a juror's judgment could be clouded, it is the kind of information one would expect to be volunteered to a courtroom.
Every so often, with all the new device releases, lawsuits, feature scandals, and scathing editorials that fly back and forth across the tech world, it's nice to step back and take a look at the state of the industry from the comforting safe haven of numbers. ComScore's recent round of stats shows an unsurprising yet telling look at the US mobile industry. Predictably, Android remains the top dog with iOS following closely behind.