Earlier today, Google rolled out a brand new feature for its online patent research tool: prior art search. Now, while looking at a patent, you can click a single button to pull up a host of results from Google Patents, Google Scholar, Google Books, with a bit of Google's typical search results sprinkled on top. The goal, of course, is to aid in researching whether a patent that's been filed is "new and not obvious." Which is far more complex than it sounds.
As most of our readers are surely aware, the Apple vs Samsung case is still boiling, and over the course of nearly two weeks since the trial's beginning, document after document has revealed juicy details from both sides regarding previously unreleased designs, plans, and even sales figures. While so far we've avoided piecemeal coverage of the case's twists and turns, a new development (reported earlier this evening by The Verge) reveals something particularly interesting.
What an interesting turn of events - Oracle just sued a notorious patent troll Lodsys, seeking invalidation of four of Lodsys' patents. In fact, these are all the patents Lodsys owns - if Oracle wins, Lodsys will have nothing to threaten innocent developers with.
If you haven't been following the Lodsys drama for the past year+, let me step back for a brief history lesson. Lodsys LLC, a Texas patent troll shell corporation, has been harassing various developers since early 2011, including many with Android apps in the Play Store.
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).
Apple is famous for crafting beautifully designed products, but it is a little condescending to start giving design advice to its competitors. Nevertheless, this is exactly what Apple has done in a legal brief filed with their earlier request for a ban on Samsung's devices in the United States (a request which was denied by a district judge a few days ago). The legal brief from Apple describes both what their U.S.
The patent wars between Samsung and Apple are stretching everyone pretty thin, lawyers and judges from 10 countries are contending with over 20 cases, manufacturers are having to make last minute adjustments to devices, and most importantly reporters, including yours truly, are having a hard time keeping up with it all.
Bringing the discussion stateside, on Friday a U.S. District Judge in California denied Apple's request for a preliminary injunction against Samsung.
Prospects of purchasing a Galaxy Tab 10.1 are looking a bit better for our Australian friends, after a court today overturned the injunction leveraged against Samsung's super-thin tablet by Apple. While this is great news, the Australian court stated that it would keep the injunction in place until Friday, and Apple has already indicated an impending appeal.
Leading to the injunction's overturning, the Australian court ruled that there was not enough evidence that Samsung had infringed Apple's touchscreen patent.
It seems that these days, Samsung must constantly be on alert for new entries in the ever-growing list of patent disputes with Apple. Sensing this, Samsung's Mobile President, Shin Jong-kyun (who we heard from at last night's presentation) took a moment to stress the fact that the Galaxy Nexus was designed with patents in mind - specifically, it was designed to avoid trouble with Apple. While it is a rectangular device with a touch screen, not much else seems to put it in danger.
Samsung just announced in a blog post today, that they have filed preliminary injunctions in the Tokyo District Court and in the New South Wales Registry to ban the sale of Apple's iPhone 4S in Japan and Australia, respectively. Additionally, in Japan, Samsung have also requested an injunction to bar the sale of the iPhone 4 and the iPad 2.
According to Samsung, the injunction request in Australia is premised on Apple infringing various patents relating to wireless telecommunications standards, specifically Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) and High Speed Packet Access (HSPA).
What do you do if you're a known patent troll and a major company announces a new device that is sure to sell millions of units? Try to sue the heck out of them, of course. That's exactly what's going on with Amazon's upcoming Kindle Fire, the still-unreleased tablet from the online retail giant.
The story goes a little something like this: Amazon announces the Fire for an ultra-affordable price. Everyone is happy and wants this new device, so pre-orders are through the roof.