Can you patent a shape? That is a question so many media outlets have been asking since Apple's more generic design patents have gotten more legal attention, and unfortunately, it's resulted in a rather severe oversimplification of just what a design patent is, and what it can protect. Yesterday, Wired reported that Apple finally received a long-awaited design patent on the shape of the iPad, a patent which lists none other than Steve Jobs himself as a co-inventor (and, of course, Jonathan Ive).
It seems Apple is getting far more than it bargained for in its failed iPad lawsuit in the UK, having been ordered by a judge there to run statements in both print and on its website clearly stating that Samsung's Galaxy Tab had not copied the company's own tablet. Of course, when Apple ran the apology on its UK website, it was one paragraph of acknowledgement of the judgment, and four paragraphs of reasons why that judgment was stupid, essentially.
Good news, bad news, and really bloody ridiculous news, Android fans. Today, the latest round of DMCA exemptions has been passed and if you've ever jailbroken or rooted a phone, you'll be happy to know that this will continue to be legal. At least, for your phones. If, however, you want to gain su access to your tablet, you're fresh out of luck. Also, phones purchased after January 2013 cannot be legally unlocked for use on a carrier that didn't give you explicit permission.
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.
Welcome to the Android Police Week In Review - your source for the biggest Android stories of the week. Don't forget, you can catch a lot of these stories (and more) on our weekly podcast.