Last month, Google bid $2 million for the patents of the now-defunct micro-cell phone company Modu, fueling speculation as to just what Google's plans would be with that intellectual property. Today, it was announced that the bidding process for the last remnants of Modu's legacy had ended, and Google was the winner (albeit by a narrow margin of $10,000), with a final offer of $4.9 million.
If you've never heard of Modu before, don't worry - the company came out of Israel, and was generally unknown to most of us in the US-of-A until it started having financial troubles. Read More
File this under "things that look good on paper." On Tuesday, a federal judge for the Northern District of California issued an order forcing Oracle and Google, in their fight over various Java patents allegedly infringed by Android, to reduce the number of patent claims and defenses thereto to a "triable" number. That number? Three. And Google will be allowed eight "prior art references" to defend against those claims. (Note: A "prior art reference" is a way of showing that a patent was trying to patent something someone else had already invented prior to the filing, a complete defense against patent infringement, invalidating the patent in question)
Oracle's complaint ended up amounting to 132 patent claims against Google's Android mobile operating system - a staggering number for any court. Read More
Last month, Microsoft took bookseller Barnes & Noble, the company responsible for the Nook and Nook Color, to court over some patents infringed because B&N used the Android operating system in the Nook and Nook Color. This is definitely nothing new in the world of mobile devices. It happens all the time, especially with companies like Apple and Microsoft trying to take complete dominance of every arena they enter. That's not the big story here. Read More
I would like to say that this comes as a surprise... but I would be lying. Two Michigan women have filed a class-action lawsuit against Google for location tracking features used in Android's GPS, stating that it puts "users at serious risk of privacy invasions, including stalking." Their request? That Google stops selling phones that can track users location. Puh-lease.
This $50 million class action lawsuit comes after Google acknowledged that Android phones temporarily store some location based data directly on the phone after using GPS. Read More
Well, not solely for Android and Chrome - but presumably those products are the headliners affected by this patent bid. Google is currently bidding on a collection of over 6,000 patents held by Nortel Networks, which is selling the portfolio as part of bankruptcy proceedings. Google tossed its name in the hat with an initial offering of $900,000,000 - not exactly chump change.
Many of the patents relate to wireless technology (such as LTE) and data networking, but undoubtedly Google found some of them to be in the particular interest of protecting Android and Chrome, as Google's General Counsel indicted on the company's blog. Read More
Amazon's upcoming Android Market competitor, the Amazon Appstore, is in hot water for its namesake. On Monday, Apple filed a lawsuit in a California federal court claiming Amazon had infringed on its trademark of the phrase "App Store." Apple applied for a trademark to this name way back in 2008, but it wasn't approved until January of 2010. Since then, Microsoft has filed a dispute with the trademark office alleging that the grant was improper. Read More
Have you ever been annoyed by SMS spam that attempts to convince you to pay for new Paris Hilton ringtones or something else you probably don't want? It appears that Verizon Wireless has too, as they have filed a federal lawsuit outlining a fraudulent SMS scheme that targeted its customers.
Among the violations that the scammers allegedly performed on Verizon customers:
- misappropriating approved short codes for unapproved “shadow” campaigns that did not comply with Verizon Wireless’ consumer protection and disclosure policies
- blocking certain IP addresses from accessing the websites associated with these shadow campaigns
- re-directing visitors to shell websites, preventing Verizon Wireless and its auditors from finding the shadow campaign websites in the normal course of monitoring Premium SMS campaigns for compliance
Customers who think they might have been on the receiving end of this scheme and think they might be entitled to a refund can visit www.premiumsmsrefunds.com to get the full scoop. Read More
Update: In response to the ZDNet article, it seems like Mueller may well have been incorrect about the "additional instances" of possible infringement he claims to have found. Exhibit J (linked as "6 pages of code") from Oracle's amended complaint is not addressed in the ZDNet article. We make no claims as to the validity of Oracle or Mueller's assertion; we are merely commenting on the situation.
Many people are confused about what it is Mueller is saying about copyrighted code, and it's an understandably complex topic, one I don't claim to fully comprehend. Read More
If you were worried that Google would no longer be able to call its mobile operating system "Android," fear not.
From 1998 to 2002, a gentleman by the name of Erich Specht ran a company called "Android Data." Android Data went bankrupt in 2002, and Erich hasn't used the name since. However, when he heard of Google's use of the "Android" name, he put together a website to "prove" that Google had infringed on his trademark. Read More
Looks like Sprint's $10 per month "premium data" fee (I like to call it the "4G tax") is coming back to bite them - a class action lawsuit was recently filed against the carrier.
Customers of the HTC EVO 4G as well as the Samsung Epic 4G may be "interested to know" that they can call the law offices of Scott A. Bursor at 646-504-7781 to confirm that they have indeed been charged the $10/month fee. Read More