Patent trolling is far from a divisive issue in the United States. Pretty much everyone but the trolls can agree that patent trolling is damaging to the economy, and generally kind of a dick move. Patent trolling, if you're not familiar with the practice, is quite simple in concept: buy patents, extort licensing fees from alleged infringers, and sue if they refuse to comply. President Obama proposed some "major" changes to US law that will supposedly reduce the effectiveness of such companies.
In September of 2011, Google introduced a product called Wallet. Android lovers were understandably thrilled by the idea of paying for things with their Android phones. A month later, Google introduced a product called the Galaxy Nexus, and it had Google Wallet, and Android lovers were, once again, thrilled. A few days after that, Verizon announced its own version of the Galaxy Nexus. There was yet more thrillilation.
The Transformer Prime (or TF201 if you're nasty) had its share of GPS problems when it first came out. So much so that the company began sending out dongles to fix the issue. Well, that didn't prevent a class action lawsuit from being filed and, as a result, ASUS has settled the case. What does that mean for you? Well, if you purchased a TF201 between December 1, 2011 and February 19, 2013 and you didn't get a refund, then you qualify to receive $17 and a free GPS dongle.
Google has announced a new initiative today that might, if we're lucky, slowly lead to some meaningful changes in how patent litigation is approached. Or, alternatively, make it easier to highlight the jerks who are ruining it for everyone. The Open Patent Non-Assertion (OPN) Pledge gives would-be inventors a pool of patents that Google promises to never sue anyone over, "unless first attacked." That last part is where eyebrows go up, though.
If you were wondering if this is the sort of legal story you should pay attention to on Android Police, let me make it easy: it is. This is probably the biggest legal story in the mobile sphere since Apple's victory over Samsung last August. Yeah, that important.
This morning, the FTC announced at a press conference that Google had settled its antitrust claims with the agency, and that Google agreed to two very important stipulations as part of that settlement relating to mobile.
It seems Apple isn't making many friends over at the patent examiner's office lately - yet another high-profile patent used by the company in litigation has been deemed wholly invalid on a preliminary basis.
The patent in question is often called the "pinch-to-zoom" patent, because that's basically what it patents - a pinch gesture to zoom in on content on a display. This patent had been used successfully by Apple during the first Samsung lawsuit, with numerous (all but two) Samsung devices found to infringe it.
Samsung has officially sought to end all of its claims requesting bans of Apple products in Europe, according to a company official. The decision comes on continued probing by the European Union's anti-trust body, on allegations that Samsung is abusing its standards-essential patents by seeking product bans for their infringement. Note that this does not mean Samsung has dropped its lawsuits - merely the injunction demands involved in them.
Standards-essential patents have played a pretty important role in the mobile patent wars to date, though that role has been one which is increasingly under question.
Breaking news coming out of California's Northern District Court tonight, as Judge Lucy Koh, who presided over the now-infamous Apple v. Samsung trial, has issued post-trial rulings on the parties' respective motions.
Jury Misconduct (Vel Hogan)
Judge Koh ruled that no jury misconduct occurred during the Apple v. Samsung trial, and that she would refuse to entertain the issue further. The judge will not even hold an evidentiary hearing on the matter, meaning Samsung failed in even at the most basic level in arguing its case for a new trial on account of Vel Hogan's alleged biases.
If you're looking for a Twitter client on Android, you won't be pressed for a lack of choices (just look at the poll options below). But what you may be pressed for is equivalent functionality, speed, and features across those various options.