Google and Oracle have been going at it for weeks now over both patent and copyright infringement claims made by the latter company. At least one issue is settled, though, as the jury on the case has decided that Google did not infringe any of Oracle's patents with Android. This is only a small part of Oracle's assault on Google. The larger issue is on the matter of copyright infringement, but at least on the patent issue, Google seems to be in the clear.
Today, Google announced that its acquisition of Motorola Mobility had officially closed. Make no mistake, this merger is something of a shotgun arrangement - and the offspring conceived out of wedlock is Android. So, how did we get here, two and a half years after the first DROID?
A Brief History Of Motorola And Android
Motorola was once Google's model manufacturer partner. At least in the US, it produced what was the most popular "first generation" Android smartphone, the original Motorola DROID.
In a somewhat unexpected turn of events, it seems that at least one customer ordering an HTC Amaze 4G from T-Mobile.com has been alerted that shipments of the device have been delayed "due to an unforeseen issue with receiving the product from the manufacturer." It looks like T-Mobile is sending out emails to customers informing them that they have no "estimate as to when the product will be available," and suggesting that customers explore other options in the meantime.
According to an exclusion order issued by the ITC, some of Motorola Mobility's smartphone devices are in violation of four claims in a Microsoft patent related to scheduling meetings in a calendar. The specifics really aren't important - basically, the ITC found that Motorola infringed a Microsoft patent related to mobile software for creating and sending meeting invitations.
Motorola and Google had argued that an exclusionary order banning the import of offending Motorola devices wasn't in the public interest, but the judge didn't buy it.
We reported last night that, due to an ITC order on an Apple patent infringement claim, at least some of HTC's One X and EVO 4G LTE smartphones had been halted at shipping ports by US Customs.
The implications of this for the EVO 4G LTE just got worse, as Sprint has been forced to concede that the planned May 18th launch will have to be delayed until the customs investigation is completed.
US Customs has halted at least some shipments of the HTC One X and EVO 4G LTE (presumably at the Port of Los Angeles), as a result of an earlier ITC order won by Apple over a patent lawsuit for "data tapping" (context-sensitive text-based actions) in the browser and messaging apps on some HTC phones.
These features, HTC contends, have been removed from the One X and EVO 4G LTE, and HTC is "confident" that it is in compliance with the ruling:
Two weeks ago, the judge in Apple's case against Motorola ordered Google and Moto to hand over details on Android development. Naturally, Motorola appealed, and managed to change Judge Posner's mind. While the company isn't getting away scot-free (or at least, not yet), he did say that "[Apple's] motion is vague and overbroad and Motorola's objections are persuasive." In other words, Apple needs to tone down their request and make sure things are relevant and specific (or in my words, "Apple needs to stop requesting all the shit they can think of").
It's hard to say what exactly Google has up its sleeve here, but it recently filed a trademark application for some new software called Showy that "allows users to use their computer, tablet device, or mobile phone as a remote control to operate video display devices and televisions; and downloadable software which allows users to remotely control the content on internet-connected digital signage."
It's highly probable that this new software will correlate with GoogleTV, as El Goog has reportedly been working on a new remote that incorporates voice controls and cloud services, allowing Android users to control their TV by speaking to it.
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).
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.