The short version of this story is that Tse Ho Keung, holder of a patent that is currently within an inch of its life, has so far failed to get any traction in lawsuits against major tech companies (...and Blockbuster), and has resorted to threatening independent developers in a dual effort to either gain money or to avenge the name of his patent by forcibly eliciting amicus briefs and declaratory statements.
As had been previously reported, the European Parliament has now taken a vote on and passed a non-binding resolution that, if it should become a regulatory act of the European Commission, would seek to have Google's Search product broken up into a separate company. The motivation behind the resolution, according to the European Parliament's statement, is in "ensuring competitive conditions within the digital single market."
What's a digital single market? It is essentially the EU's attempt to regulate how businesses and governments alike should behave on the web, particularly in regards to competition, net neutrality, and privacy.
Roughly one year ago, the Rockstar Consortium filed a lawsuit against Google and a number of Android handset companies in the Eastern District of Texas for patent infringement. That consortium consisted of Apple, Ericsson, Microsoft, Sony, and Blackberry, companies that bought up a heap of Nortel patents related to telephony and internet technology.
According to re/code, a court filing made by Google earlier this week reveals that the dispute has been settled, and the two are seeking a dismissal of the case.
Update: Microsoft's PR agency reached out to clarify that the lawsuit is not over a failure to pay, but merely a failure to pay on time and with accrued late payment interest. This lawsuit just got a lot more boring.
According to re/code, Microsoft filed a lawsuit against Samsung today for failure to pay royalties as part of a contractual IP licensing agreement between the two companies. The agreement in question is for Microsoft's infamous smartphone patent portfolio, which has pretty much every Android OEM in the US paying out a percentage of their handset sales to the struggling Windows Phone maker.
In what has become modernly an exceedingly rare circumstance, the US's highest lawmaking body today introduced a bill that would do something moderately useful: remove utterly useless FCC etchings from the back of electronics. The bill is known as the E-Label Act, and the bill was introduced by two US Senators, Deb Fischer and Jay Rockefeller. The act, as written, would allow manufacturers of goods requiring FCC certifications to "stamp" their FCC approval digitally, rather than physical etchings or markings on the product itself.
While Apple was eventually forced into settling for $32.5 million in customer reimbursements during a similar investigation launched by the FTC last year, it seems Amazon isn't interested in paying out for unauthorized purchases on its own Appstore, and the FTC isn't taking it lying down.
Today, the de facto consumer protection agency in the US filed a federal lawsuit against Amazon under the wide-reaching FTC Act's section 45, which prohibits "unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce." Yes, that is a law.
In one of his typically brief opinions, Justice Clarence Thomas of the US Supreme Court today wrote for a unanimous Court striking down a generic software patent using a long-known loophole in the patent system for protecting an abstract idea simply by linking it to implementation on a computer.
The case, Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int., is one of the relatively few software patent-related cases the court has ever heard, and anti-software patent advocates are, as a result, unlikely to come away from the decision fully satisfied.
After a lengthy appeal, the Oracle v. Google trial on various Java APIs is headed back to the district court for a new trial. The federal appeals court in this case sided with Oracle, agreeing that the structure, sequence, and organization of the 37 Java APIs in question constituted copyrightable material.
While I still disagree with this on a fundamental level (I'd argue Oracle is merely using copyright as a false shield - it really wants to protect functionality, not form, which copyright does not protect), the
9th Circuit's Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit's decision falls in line with the court's reputation as being one of the strongest on intellectual property protection.
King.com isn't doing a lot to win positive publicity lately. The company's aggressive strategy toward establishing IP dominance in the industry has won the ire of most of the web, and for good reason: it's kind of super asshole-ish.
The developer of Candy Swipe, Albert Ransom, filed his trademark for CandySwipe in 2010 under his company Runsome Apps, Inc.
Nokia just issued a press release announcing that the company had settled all ongoing patent litigation with Taiwanese handset-maker HTC today, and it looks like the Finnish firm came out on top. Nokia says HTC will make payments to Nokia and that HTC will license its LTE patent portfolio to the company under a cross-licensing "technology collaboration agreement." Sounds pleasant.
No figures were released in relation to the settlement. This news probably shouldn't be too surprising - HTC has a reputation for settling.