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[The Android Police Podcast] Episode 69: Sea Lion Pie (With Special Guest Pam Hill)

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.

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[Drama] Sprint Sues DISH Network And Clearwire For Butting In On Its SoftBank Love Triangle

If you're thinking this whole Sprint-SoftBank-Clearwire-DISH fiasco is getting a bit confusing, you're not alone: Sprint's fed up with the whole ordeal, and is now suing DISH and Clear for trying to run off together in a lurid affair of megahertz and majority ownership.

Why, exactly? Well, SoftBank, basically. One requirement of the Japanese firm's deal to buy out Sprint is that the Now Network take a controlling interest in Clearwire, whose juicy 2500MHz spectrum lease is the apple of SoftBank's eye.

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President Obama Proposes Patent Troll Laws That Will Probably Do Very Little To Stop Most Patent Trolling

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.

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A Brief History Of Verizon And Google Wallet, And Why The Carrier Is Still Allowed To "Block" It

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.

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ASUS Announces Class Action Settlement, Transformer Prime (TF201) Customers Can Get $17 And A GPS Dongle

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.

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Google Launches Open Patent Pledge, Promising Free Use Of Patents For People Who Don't Sue

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.

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FTC And Google Settle: Google To Stop Seeking Product Bans Against Competitors In The US, Take Disputes Out Of Court

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.

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Android: A Look Back To 2012, And A Look Forward To 2013

Happy New Year! It's that time again; with the new year comes our new annual prediction post. I tackled this last year, and rather than do a bunch of crazy, pulled-from-thin-air predictions, I ended up with a link-filled research-fest for the year. It worked out pretty well, so that's what's on the docket for today. First though, I'll take a look and see just how many of last year's predictions and rumors came true, and provide some updates for the more important topics.

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Another One Bites The Dust: Apple's Pinch-To-Zoom Patent Deemed Invalid By USPTO

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.

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Samsung Drops All Bids For Injunctions Against Apple Products In Europe

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.

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