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. Read More
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 Read More
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.
Another story of King's evil started to gain traction today, in the form of an open letter from the developer of a game called Candy Swipe.
The developer of Candy Swipe, Albert Ransom, filed his trademark for CandySwipe in 2010 under his company Runsome Apps, Inc. Read More
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. Read More
Through its official global blog, Samsung today announced a new patent licensing deal reached with Google, whereby both companies will have access to each other's existing patents and those filed over the next ten years, covering "a broad range of technologies and business areas."
The cross-licensing agreement is described by Google's Deputy General Counsel for Patents, Allen Lo, as one that will help the two giants "reduce the potential for litigation, and focus instead on innovation." Indeed that has been a popular refrain as both Google and Samsung have historically faced (and continue to face) patent challenges from various other companies on various grounds. Read More
The San Jose Mercury is reporting that as part of a retrial in the infamous Samsung v. Apple lawsuit in California, a jury has awarded Apple a revised damages figure of $290 million after Judge Koh found the original jury made errors in its calculations, resulting in the vacating of $450 million of the original $1 billion-plus verdict. With the new figure, the total is still sky-high at just a hair under $900 million. Read More
While of only tangential relation to Android (the Amazon Appstore is an Android app store after all), when Apple filed a lawsuit against Amazon over 2 years ago for infringing its trademark on "App Store," I got a bit perturbed. Their reasoning? Well, basically there wasn't much in the way of good legal argument for the case from day one. In fact, Apple probably knew the likelihood of a victory was low, and has been biding time hoping that Amazon would cave to a settlement demand. Read More
If you're thinking this whole Sprint-SoftBank-Clearwire-DISH fiasco is getting a bit confusing, you're not alone: Sprint's fed up with the whole ordeal, and is now suing DISH and Clear for trying to run off together in a lurid affair of megahertz and majority ownership.
Why, exactly? Well, SoftBank, basically. One requirement of the Japanese firm's deal to buy out Sprint is that the Now Network take a controlling interest in Clearwire, whose juicy 2500MHz spectrum lease is the apple of SoftBank's eye. Read More
About two years ago, we reported that one of the most recognized patent trolls around, Lodsys LLC, had sued game maker Rovio over Angry Birds for Android, claiming that the defendant had "infringed and continues to infringe" on patents controlled by Lodsys.
If you're not up to snuff on your patent troll bestiary, Lodsys is a company that produces no real goods or services, but holds plenty of patents that they are willing to either license or use for legal action. Read More
Hi there. It's been a while since I last wrote about the smartphone patent wars. I consider that a really, really good thing. I really don't like the patent wars. They're little more than a proxy conflict led by Apple and Microsoft to slow down the emergence of competing OEMs in what has obviously become the next big computing market. It is, however, a proxy war they are undeniably winning. Microsoft has inked royalty deals with nearly every Android OEM of note except the Google-owned Motorola (big surprise there), Apple has a nice little licensing arrangement with HTC, and a $600 million verdict against Samsung with another trial considered to be in Apple's favor to come. Read More