As far as patent disputes go, BlackBerry vs. Nokia is a sad undercard between two fallen heavyweights whose combined market share remains part of the dismal "Other" category in most reports. Nevertheless, Round 1 of this match is going to Nokia, thanks to an arbitration court ruling that has awarded the Finnish company $137 million to resolve a contract dispute related to payments it said BlackBerry owed under a patent license contract signed in 2012. Read More
A couple of months ago we learned that BlackBerry CEO John Chen decided a good way to arrest his company's decline was to go into patent lawsuit mode. His first victim was rival manufacturer BLU, against which BlackBerry filed two separate infringement lawsuits covering 15 different patents. One of the suits was mainly based on software while the other looked at hardware, specifically relating to phone signal transmission. Read More
While it's not the "rounded rectangle" iPad patent of fame, the iPhone 3G design patent is easily the second most-famous Apple design patent of record. It's called D618677, and it was a key issue in Samsung v. Apple "round one" - and by "key issue," I mean "reason for most of the remaining half billion dollars in damages." According to the USPTO, that iPhone design patent is now invalid on multiple counts of obviousness in light of prior art (in a technical, not literal, sense - two very different things).
Samsung was deemed to infringe this patent by a jury, and while it may well have were the patent valid, the USPTO is saying the point is moot - the patent itself is not eligible for protection. Read More
If corporate patent litigation was a soap opera, it would be at once the most interesting and most snooze-inducing show on television. The latest twist comes from a three-year-old suit by Fujifilm against Motorola Mobility, which was still a Google company instead of a Lenovo one when the suit first started. Fuji alleged that Moto violated three camera patents and one wireless patent in its phones without licensing. A San Francisco court invalidated Fuji's claims on all but one of them, so Moto will have to pay for the privilege of one camera patent.
That corporate faux pas will cost Motorola (and by extension, Lenovo) $10.2 million USD, according to a report by Reuters. Read More
Can't two grown international mega-corporations just get along? Apparently not. Two months after NVIDIA filed suit against Samsung in Delaware, Samsung is suing NVIDIA right back. The South Korean manufacturer alleges that NVIDIA violated some of its technical patents, including data use and semiconductor buffering. Samsung then upped the ante by accusing NVIDIA of false advertising, saying that NVIDIA's claims that the SHIELD Tablet has the world's fastest mobile processor are demonstrably false.
Samsung named Velocity Micro, a boutique PC manufacturer based in Virginia, in the same patent suit. Velocity Micro is actually accused of violating eight Samsung patents to NVIDIA's six. Read More
Stop me if you've heard this one before. Reuters reports that the Rockstar consortium, a joint effort between Apple, Microsoft, Sony, and Blackberry, has sued Google and Android manufacturers Samsung, HTC, LG, ASUStek, Huawei, ZTE, and Pantech over patents formerly held by the now-defunct Nortel Networks. Rockstar won the patents in an auction in 2011 that topped out at $4.5 billion - Google lost the same auction with a $4.4 billion bid.
East Texas: where tech companies go to bleed money.
The companies were sued in eight separate filings in the eastern district court of Texas, which is now famous for its generally favorable disposition towards plaintiffs in patent suits. Read More
Remote Locator Systems, LLC, a generic company incorporated in East Texas, filed a lawsuit against seven defendants recently for allegedly violating one of its patents. That patent can be found here. They've also filed against Google, Apple, T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T.
The gist is this - some company in the late 90's thought up the idea of equipping an entire hospital with IR receivers and then putting IR blasters on every employee and important piece of equipment. The blasters would send out a unique identifier to the receivers, and the receivers would correspond with locations in the building, and a computer would then record the location of that person or piece of equipment in a database. Read More
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. Before we look at those, though, let's look briefly at what makes a troll tick.
(And no, Apple is not a 'patent troll.' This has basically nothing to do with Apple. Read More
I can't say I'm the biggest student of Gandhi, but that whole "an eye for an eye and the whole world goes blind" bit sure came to mind this morning when I read that Samsung's head of mobile, Shin Jong-kyun, said the company "[does not] intend to (negotiate) at all" with Apple. This came on news of HTC's settlement with Apple on Saturday, which I contend is objectively good for the industry and consumers, no matter how you spin it.
First, let's look at the backstory. Apple and Samsung are involved in probably over a dozen various legal entanglements across the world. Read More
Update: AllThingsD, reaching out to Motorola, and received the following response:
“As we have previously stated Motorola Mobility is focusing on fewer mobile devices ... As a result we have phased out some of our lower tier devices in Europe/Germany.”
Sounds like we won't be seeing any of those devices return.
-- Original Story --
I haven't been following Motorola's ongoing patent spats in Germany particularly closely in the last year, but I do know the company hasn't been doing well there. Failures to assert standards-essential patents against the likes of Microsoft and Apple (though Apple can't use push email in Germany because of Moto), as well as a number of losses in countersuits resulting in injunctions, have probably set back Motorola's ambitions in Deutschland. Read More