Photo credit: New York Times
There's no denying that the United States legal system has helped turn the Internet into what it is today. For example, the Zeran v. America Online, Inc. Supreme Court case ruled that service providers cannot be prosecuted if users post illegal content, and Religious Technology Center v. Netcom established that linking to another site didn't count as stealing. In a recent ruling, the Supreme Court has decided that citizens cannot be blocked from accessing the internet by state or federal laws. Read More
Google announced the existence of a new program known as PAX today, which apparently stands for Android Networked Cross-License Agreement (someone should tell Google how acronyms work). PAX is intended to reduce litigation between Android device makers by granting royalty-free licenses to any Android-related patents held by its members to all other members.
Google, Samsung, LG, HTC, Foxconn, HMD Global, Coolpad, BQ, and Allview are the founding members, which Google claims collectively control over 230,000 patents globally. Membership in PAX is free and open to any company in the business of making Android stuff. There's no obligation for Android OEMs to join, either. Read More
Odds are that your phone has some Qualcomm silicon in it, and even if it doesn't the baseband processor (modem) probably includes some technology licensed from Qualcomm. The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) now says that the way Qualcomm manages those patents amounts to anti-competitive behavior, and it's taking the company to court over it. Read More
BlackBerry's phone sales have been on the decline for years, and its switch to Android may have been too little too late. The company's first Android phone, the PRIV, has not made a significant impact on the market. BlackBerry CEO John Chen made an unusual and potentially troubling statement on the company's May earnings call. He said he was in "patent licensing mode." That means lawsuits, and one of the first targets is budget phone maker BLU. Read More
Creative is not a name you hear as often in consumer electronics these days. The Singapore-based firm is known for making audio products, including the Zen line of media players. Creative has filed a complaint with the US International Trade Commission (ITC) alleging that basically every maker of Android phones is infringing its Zen patents by displaying your music. It wants them all banned, but what it really wants is money. Read More
Samsung and Apple have largely ended their ongoing patent animosity, but the earlier cases are still winding their way through the courts. In the most recent ruling, a previous $120 million judgement against Samsung was thrown out by a federal appeals court. In fact, the court found it was Apple that infringed one of Samsung's patents. Read More
While the legal battle between Samsung and Apple has mostly winded down, there are still some legal loose ends that need to be tied up. US District Judge Lucy Koh on Monday ordered a sales ban of several Samsung phones in the US, stemming from a 2014 ruling that found Samsung did infringe on several Apple patented features. You can probably put down your pitchforks, though. The phones included in the ban are ancient and aren't even sold anymore. Read More
Patent lawsuits are without a doubt one of the more boring topics in technology. It takes a lot of drama to make it interesting, but the case between Samsung (and Qualcomm) and NVIDIA has hit that bar. See, NVIDIA sued Samsung/Qualcomm in late 2014 for infringing three of its patents, but Samsung sued back with three of its own. Now, NVIDIA has lost its case, and Samsung won on all three counts. Burn. Read More
Google is not the largest search provider in Russia, but that didn't stop market leader Yandex from filing an anti-monopoly complaint against Google earlier this year. Now the Russian Federal Anti-monopoly Service (FAS) has quite predictably sided with Yandex. According to FAS, Google illegally required Android device makers in Russia to include its apps and services alongside the Play Store. Read More
We see a lot of questionable crowdfunding campaigns in the technology sphere. There's everything from magical multi-screen phone-laptop hybrids, to flexible wrist phones, to more dumb smartwatches than you can count. Now the people behind these outlandish projects might have a new concern to factor into the "risks" section of their pitch. The Federal Trade Commission has announced the first successful action against a fraudulent crowdfunding campaign.