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Comcast Sues Sprint For Patent Infringement On SMS/MMS, Mobile Broadband, And Network Technologies

It seems Sprint just can't catch a break lately. After the LightSquared LTE fiasco (it seems eminently likely Sprint will be forking over $65 million and have to cancel the deal), this just seems a bit like kicking the company when it's already down. Comcast has filed suit in Pennsylvania against the nation's number-three carrier, and it's for patent infringement.

Namely, Comcast alleges that Sprint is violating patents it owns covering technologies like SMS/MMS, mobile broadband cards and hotspots, as well as certain traffic routing technologies (IP/MPLS).

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In-Depth Analysis: Android's Notification Bar Patent (And How Apple May Or May Not Infringe It)

There has been a lot of interest of late in a patent filed (by Google) back in 2009 for what is obviously a rendition of Android's notification bar system. There are a number of pretty (well, as pretty as black and white gets) figures in the patent showing the notification bar we all know and love, and lots of language about notification systems and the like.

As many of the Android-faithful know, Apple recently implemented as part of iOS 5 the "Notification Center," and it looks an awful lot like Android's in some respects.

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Apple Seeks Preliminary Injunction Against Galaxy Nexus In U.S. Based On The "Four Horsemen" Of Patents

Apple is at it again, bringing a motion for preliminary injunction against Samsung's Galaxy Nexus in the United States Thursday. The motion is based on a handful of powerful patents, which FOSS Patents has labeled "the patent equivalent of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse." Here's FOSS' breakdown:

 

  1. the "data tapping" patent based on which the ITC ordered an import ban against HTC

  2. a patent related to Siri and unified search, which must be of huge concern to Google with a view to its core business

  3. a new slide-to-unlock patent that even had the head of the Taiwanese government profoundly worried

  4. a word completion patent that provides major speed improvements for touchscreen text entry

Three of the above patents were apparently granted only recently (after September 2011), while the "data tapping" patent may sound familiar to those who followed Apple's case to the ITC against HTC.

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Editorial: Android May Be Winning (Or Not Losing) Battles Against Apple In Court, But Don't Expect An End To The Lawsuits Any Time Soon

A recent Newsweek article has been making the rounds claiming, through an unnamed Apple "insider," that Apple has spent north of $100 million litigating its various grievances against HTC since late 2010. Verifying the accuracy of this number is pretty much impossible. But that doesn't really matter. It may just as well be $80 million, $150 million, or $300 million - the conclusion drawn would remain the same: Apple is spending quite a chunk of income on its growing lawsuit habit.

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Motorola Files New Lawsuit In Florida, Seeks Injunction Against iPhone 4S And iCloud

Adding another suit to the series of legal skirmishes falling under the overarching battle between Apple and Android Manufacturers, Motorola Mobility has filed a new lawsuit in Florida, accusing Apple of infringing on a handful of technology patents. This suit is hot on the heels of a preliminary U.S. ITC decision that Moto had not infringed on Apple's patents, and comes as an addition to an existing Florida lawsuit (which began in late 2010).

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PSA: The DMCA Exemption Allowing Legal Rooting Of Smartphones Expires This Year, And The EFF Wants Your Help To Renew It

This a cause I think we can all get behind. Back in 2010, the Copyright Office in the Library of Congress issued a rulemaking statement exempting smartphones and DVDs from reverse engineering laws under the DMCA. Previously, companies like Apple had used these provisions to threaten criminal prosecution (as well as civil action) against those who "jailbroke" (rooted) devices such as the iPhone (or iPad). The exemption to these penalties put in place by the Copyright Office extended to the "jailbreaking" (or, as we know it in the Android community, rooting) of all smartphones (it also extends to things like bootloader unlocking).

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Apple Files Two New Lawsuits Against Samsung In Germany: One Against 10 Phones, The Other Against 5 Tablets

The ridiculous and wasteful patent war continues, with a German court confirming that Apple has filed two new suits against Samsung. The first is against 10 phones including the SGSII, and the second against 5 tablets. Details are light at the moment, but evidently Apple is using these two (unsurprisingly very vague) patents in the smartphone suit:

000888920-0018 00074280-0006

Yes, seriously - their patents are basically for a shape. Readers familiar with the current lawsuit situation in the tech world know the situation is violently out of control, and close followers of AP have heard my thoughts on just how hypocritical and ridiculous Apple is.

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Motorola Mobility Cleared Of Apple's Infringement Claims By ITC, Faces Other Battles

International Trade Commission Judge Theodore Essex decided in Washington today that Motorola Mobility did not violate three of Apple's Patents, as the Cupertino tech giant had claimed. Two of the patents related to touchscreen features, including multi touch, and a device's ability to recognize various types of manual input, like sliding and pinching gestures. The third, as Bloomberg explains, "is for a way to add components without having to run an installation program or rebooting."

apple-multitouch

This case comes as one of many in a long saga of attacks on Android for alleged patent infringement, part of an effort by Apple across four continents to prove that Android copies pieces of the iPhone's functionality.

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Microsoft Inks Patent-Licensing Agreement With LG - Continues Making Money From Android

Reports from CES 2012 indicate that Windows Phone 7 may be a competitive mobile platform, however Microsoft has decided to hedge its bets and continue making money from Android by signing a patent-licensing agreement with LG. The terms of the agreement will likely require LG to pay Microsoft royalties for all LG tablets, phones, and other consumer devices running the Android or Chrome OS platform. This deal likely mirrors Microsoft's ten previous patent-licensing agreements with Android and Chrome OS manufacturers, including Samsung, HTC, Acer, and ViewSonic.

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HTC's Growth Stalls While Samsung Has Record Quarter

The latest unaudited results from HTC for Q4 2011 indicate that total revenues reached NT$ 101 billion (US$ 3.34 billion), a 2.49% drop as compared to the same period in 2010. In stark contrast, Samsung just had a record breaking quarter with profits reaching 5.2 trillion won (US$4.5 billion), almost double the figures of Q4 2010. Samsung's results for Q4 2011 breaks its previous record profit period of 5.0 trillion won (US$ 4.3 billion) from Q2 2010 and is an increase of 22% from Q3 2011.

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