If you were hoping that the litigious nature of the consumer electronics industry would fade out any time soon, well, keep on hoping. Today NVIDIA announced that it has initiated a suit against phone and tablet manufacturer Samsung and mobile chip supplier Qualcomm in the US District Court of Delaware for violating seven of its patents. The company is also petitioning the International Trade Commission to block shipments of Samsung devices using Adreno, Mali, or PowerVR graphical processing units.
Asus has lately become the king of anime-style transforming electronics, with their Transformer tablet line and Padfone devices. It looks like Google is paying attention, at least when it comes to conceptual hardware. US patent 8,649,821, granted to Google in February of this year, describes a laptop with a built-in and detachable cell phone, with the two working in tandem for various functions. While Android and Chromebooks aren't specifically mentioned in the patent documentation, it's easy to assume they were on the engineers' minds, since it was filed in September of 2012.
The latest round of back-and-forth in the endless IP battle between Apple and Samsung is over, and the former has come out on top. According to an 8-person jury in the federal court, various Samsung phones and tablets, including the Galaxy S II and III, Galaxy Note, and Galaxy Nexus, infringed on three Apple patents. The jury awarded Apple $119.6 million USD in damages.
Apple didn't have it all its own way: the jury also found that none of the Samsung phones presented violated two other Apple patents, and they awarded Samsung $158,400 after finding Apple guilty of unintentionally violating one of the Korean company's patents presented in a counter-suit.
Just because a company files a patent for something, it doesn't mean that idea will eventually see the light of day. In this case, the patent filing in question doesn't just concern an unannounced but rumored product, it deals with a particular aspect. As it turns out, Samsung may one day want us to walk around interacting with our not-yet-confirmed-but-totally-expected Galaxy Glasses while typing on our palms.
The glasses presumably use a camera to project an augmented reality keyboard onto your fingers.
Companies file for new patents all the time with nothing ever coming of it, so Google's application shouldn't be taken as evidence that such a device is coming down the pipeline. Nevertheless, some concepts are just plain cool. Google has designed a computing device with dual e-ink displays that folds as though it were an actual book, according to a patent application that the US Patent and Trademark Office recently published.
Chalk one up for the bad guys. FOSS Patents reports that Chinese manufacturer Huawei and the Rockstar Consortium (a patent holding company jointly owned by Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry, Sony, and Ericsson) have filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed against Huawei in November. Both parties have filed to dismiss with prejudice, and have almost certainly agreed to some kind of licensing settlement, though financial details don't have to be reported.
Remember when Apple was up in arms about Samsung swiping their look for the first generation of Galaxy phones and tablets? Prepare for a case of design patent infringement that makes that look pretty tame. Today Nikon issued a press release stating that it had won a preliminary sales and import injunction against Sakar International, a current licensee of the Polaroid brand name, for the Android-powered Polaroid iM1836. See if you can guess why.
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.