When you hear about a patent case in the Eastern District of Texas, you can bet there will be shenanigans. This time a jury in the capital of software patent lawsuits has found that Google infringed on a patent held by a company called SimpleAir that reportedly covers push messaging systems used in Android.
Despite it being the holiday season, there is little jolliness in Google's legal department. Google has just filed a lawsuit against Rockstar. No, not the game maker of GTA fame. This legal attack is aimed at the Rockstar patent holding company owned jointly by Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Sony, and Ericsson. Rockstar has been going after Google and various Android OEMs for patent infringement and Mountain View has apparently had enough.
Rockstar's patents come mostly from the purchase of the Nortel portfolio a few years ago, but Rockstar itself is merely a litigator of patents – it doesn't make anything.
Remember when Apple was up in arms about Samsung swiping their look for the first generation of Galaxy phones and tablets? Prepare for a case of design patent infringement that makes that look pretty tame. Today Nikon issued a press release stating that it had won a preliminary sales and import injunction against Sakar International, a current licensee of the Polaroid brand name, for the Android-powered Polaroid iM1836. See if you can guess why.
The San Jose Mercury is reporting that as part of a retrial in the infamous Samsung v. Apple lawsuit in California, a jury has awarded Apple a revised damages figure of $290 million after Judge Koh found the original jury made errors in its calculations, resulting in the vacating of $450 million of the original $1 billion-plus verdict. With the new figure, the total is still sky-high at just a hair under $900 million.
Stop me if you've heard this one before. Reuters reports that the Rockstar consortium, a joint effort between Apple, Microsoft, Sony, and Blackberry, has sued Google and Android manufacturers Samsung, HTC, LG, ASUStek, Huawei, ZTE, and Pantech over patents formerly held by the now-defunct Nortel Networks. Rockstar won the patents in an auction in 2011 that topped out at $4.5 billion - Google lost the same auction with a $4.4 billion bid.
Monster gets a bad rap from the technology community, but in all fairness, they absolutely deserve it. Between ridiculously overpriced home theater components and insanely malicious trademark lawsuits, the company is probably the most-hated technology corp this side of Electronic Arts. Having said all that, Monster announced its first Android tablet today, the 7", $149 M7. The combination of branding and price is incongruous to say the least.
The tablet fits pretty well into the budget 7-inch mold - you could probably guess the specs, which include a 1280x800 screen, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, a 5MP rear camera, and 16GB of storage plus a MicroSD card slot.
In spite of the color-based lawsuit, AT&T is planning to expand its Aio Wireless service nationwide in September. The prepaid service is only available in a few markets right now including Florida, Texas, Chicago, and Atlanta.
Aio Wireless offers only three different plans and an assortment of mostly mid-range phones. Customers of Aio get access to AT&T's 4G LTE network (with a cap), then additional data at lower speeds. Signing up before September 29th gets you a free month of service, provided you maintain an account for at least three months.
So let's say you own a phone store, and your store has a logo that's a sort of distinct shade of magenta that you use on a lot of stuff. Let's say some guy down the street opens a competing phone store, and his logo is an almost sort of similar shade of magenta, but not really the same. And his logo otherwise doesn't look like yours, really at all. Do you: A.) take this as a coincidence and forget about it, B.) as a compliment that you have good taste, or C.) sue the ever-loving crap out of that guy because where does he get off almost stealing your color what a jerk?
Remote Locator Systems, LLC, a generic company incorporated in East Texas, filed a lawsuit against seven defendants recently for allegedly violating one of its patents. That patent can be found here. They've also filed against Google, Apple, T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T.
The gist is this - some company in the late 90's thought up the idea of equipping an entire hospital with IR receivers and then putting IR blasters on every employee and important piece of equipment.
Welcome to the Android Police Podcast, Episode 67.
I'd like to apologize in advance for a few technical snafus and various awkward transitions you may notice in this week's show, as much of the Eastern US was experiencing severe storms yesterday, causing problems with the YouTube / Hangouts On Air backend.
Don't forget - the Android Police Podcast's live broadcast is every Thursday at 5PM PST (www.androidpolice.com/podcast). You can also check out our calendar, below, for detailed scheduling information.