Minecraft Creator, Mojang, Sued for Patent Infringment In Android Game

by Brad Ward on
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Uniloc is a patent protection company based in Australia that specializes in anti-piracy technologies. They have decided to start suing Mojang, the developers of Minecraft, for infringing on an Android-related patent called”System and Method for preventing unauthorized access to electronic data”. Essentially it’s a system for authenticating license data. I wonder how they proved this because it seems like it’d take a lot of code-digging. The lawsuit says:

“Mojang is directly infringing one or more claims of the ’067 patent in this judicial district and elsewhere in Texas, including at least claim 107, without the consent or authorization of Uniloc, by or through making, using, offering for sale, selling and/or importing Android based applications for use on cellular phones and/or tablet devices that require communication with a server to perform a license check to prevent the unauthorized use of said application, including, but not limited to, Mindcraft.”

(Apparently, in a official court order, they misspelled Minecraft.) You can see the full lawsuit here. Notch, the mastermind behind Minecraft, is against software patents. After obtaining the lawsuit, he wrote up a cunning blog post linked below and tweeted:

» Read the rest

Samsung appeal for stay of injunction barring sales of Galaxy Tab 10.1 denied by court

by Jeff Causey on
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On Thursday, a U.S. appeals court turned down Samsung’s request to stay a preliminary injunction barring the sale of Galaxy Tab 10.1 tabs. The preliminary injunction was granted by Judge Lucy H. Koh in patent litigation between Samsung and Apple over the design of the Galaxy Tab 10.1. The injunction was granted on June 26th and bars Samsung from importing or selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the U.S. The injunction does not apply to the Galaxy Tab 10.1 II, the current model being sold by Samsung in US markets. » Read the rest

Apple must publicly admit that Samsung didn’t copy the iPad both on their website and in print.

by Robert Nazarian on
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Apple haters get ready to scream, “In your face!” Remember when we reported last week that a U.K. judge ruled that Samsung didn’t copy Apple’s iPad design? Well you’re going to love this. Apparently Judge Colin Birss said that Apple must publish a notice saying that Samsung didn’t copy their registered designs, and this must be done on Apple’s U.K. website for six months and published in several newspapers and magazines. The reason is to obviously correct any damaging impression that consumers might have that Samsung simply copied Apple.

I think this is awesome news. In a sense Apple will be “advertising” Samsung’s tablets with these announcements. All I can say is, “What goes around comes around baby.”

source: bloomberg

 

 

 

Motorola Avoids U.S. Import Ban Of Smartphones & Tablets

by Roy Alugbue on
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Looks like Motorola Mobility has recently been proactive in avoiding a ban of the imports of its various devices. According to reports, there was a recent International Trade Commission ruling that specified certain MOTO devices infringed on technology that makes it possible for MOTO device users to use the devices in order to generate meeting requests and schedule gatherings. The devices named are: the Atrix, Backflip, Bravo, Charm, Cliq, Cliq 2, Cliq XT, Defy, Devour, Droid 2, Droid 2 Global, Droid Pro, Droid X, Droid X2, Flipout, Flipside, Spice and the Xoom tablet. While Apple immediately comes to mind for most Android users, it’s actually Microsoft who believes MOTO infringed on certain patents, as highlighted by spokeswoman Becki Leonard:

 

“While we can’t share specific details, we have employed a range of proactive measures to ensure there is no continuing infringement under the ITC’s interpretation of this single Microsoft patent”.

 

For those of you unfamiliar, here’s a quick rundown to help refresh your memory: Microsoft accused Motorola Mobility of infringing nine patents in a complaint filed in October 2010. Both companies ended up in a quiet, but significant legal battle in which MOTO was found not guilty on infringement of all but one of the patents. Fast-forward to May and we find the ITC ruled that Motorola Mobility infringed on the one patent, which leads us to MOTO now trying to avoid a ban of imports for its different devices.

The infringement claim is indeed a serious one, MOTO at least knew there was an easy workaround in order to keep its devices on retailers’ shelves. The main option is simply removing the meeting-scheduling technology from its smartphones and tablets since Microsoft originally believed MOTO should have licensed the technology.

source: Latinos Post

 

 

Apple, Samsung Trade Jabs Over Galaxy Nexus

by Brian Kramer on
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An update from the never ending Samsung vs. Apple saga….

Samsung has won its request to expedite its appeal of the preliminary injunction that Apple won against the Galaxy Nexus.  Samsung needs to file a brief with the court, then Apple has until the end of the month to respond.

In its initial complaint, Apple accused Samsung of harming manufacturers other than Apple with their alleged patent violation, something the courts won’t even consider anyway.  Apple also this week decided to start contacting (read: threatening) vendors to stop selling the Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy Tab 10.1.

The good news is that Sprint and Google were both allowed amicus briefs, which allow them to argue on behalf, and with, Samsung.  Apple also had a problem with that, saying that Google was not in fact a neutral third-party.

All of this isn’t expected to see the inside of a courtroom until 2014, at which point it seems the Galaxy Nexus would have already been long replaced anyway.

source: Electronista

Apple Issues Warning Letters To Retailers Regarding Samsung Galaxy Nexus And Galaxy Tab 10.1 Sales

by Roy Alugbue on
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There’s yet another development of the epic saga between two of the biggest manufacturing giants in the world. In some newly released documents, FOSS Patents has uncovered what is a mind-boggling move by Apple in order to deter any continued activity from Samsung. As Apple continues to go on the offensive towards the Korean giant, it has also set its targets on retailers. Yes, you read that correctly— Apple is now applying the pressure on retailers regarding the various Samsung “infringements”. Many of you have a perplexed look on your face, so let me explain: as Apple continues to press for court-ordered injunctions of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 sales, Samsung believes Apple is acting in what looks to be an unlawful manner. Samsung notes in a recent filing that Apple was actually sending out letters to third parties— otherwise known as retailers— about the court-ordered injunctions. In short, Apple sent do-not-sell letters to the various carriers and retailers that carry Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy Tab 10.1. The same letters sent by Apple include actual copies of the court-ordered injunction and a postscript suggesting that the same retailers or sellers are “acting in concert” with Samsung by selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Galaxy Nexus and effectively, must obey the court order.

Samsung wants the courts to see there is something significantly wrong with Apple’s latest tactics and goes so far as to call them “menacing”. More importantly– as long as there is no court ordered ban as of yet, Samsung believes the retailers should be able to sell the existing inventory of the Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy Tab 10.1 without any issue. While the various retailers are seemingly ignoring Apple’s warning, this is still a sad development in this ugly battle. Just when you think it couldn’t possibly get worse for both companies, it actually did.

You can see a sample transcript of Apple’s warning letters at the source links below.

source: FOSS Patents
via: The Verge

 

 

Judge Richard Posner: There Are Too Many Patents In America

by Roy Alugbue on
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Tired of all these various conflicts involving patents here in the U.S.? Well, you’re not alone. After dismissing a frivolous suit from Apple against Motorola and expressing his unhappiness on the matter shortly after, Judge Richard Posner recently wrote an opinion expressing his complete and utter disdain of the U.S Patent system. Posner argues:

“With some exceptions, US patent law does not discriminate among types of inventions or particular industries. This is, or should be, the most controversial feature of that law. The reason is that the need for patent protection in order to provide incentives for innovation varies greatly across industries.”

Posner believes there are indeed industries out there that serve as examples of actually needing patent protection— he names the pharmaceutical industry as the “poster child” for patent protection. The sole reason the pharmaceutical industry would need protection? Posner specifically argues “the invention of a new drug tends to be extremely costly–in the vicinity of hundreds of millions of dollars”. Conversely, there are “few industries that resemble pharmaceuticals” and “the cost of invention is low”, generally speaking. In fact, Posner adds “the product will be superseded soon anyway, so there’s no point to a patent monopoly that will last 20 years” and “most industries could get along fine without patent protection”. Looking at the bigger picture, Posner feels a patent:

“blocks competition within the patent’s scope and so if a firm has enough patents it may be able to monopolize its market” .

Posner doesn’t offer a specific solution, but he does outline a few preventative measures to fight defensive patents and patent trolls (we’re looking at companies like you Lodsys!). He cites examples like reducing patent terms for certain industries and completely eliminating jury trials by expanding the authority and procedures of the Patent and Trademark Office to make it the trier of patent cases. Nevertheless, Posner believes the problems and solutions of patents “merit greater attention than they are receiving”.

source: The Atlantic
via: The Verge

AT&T latest to roll out OTA update to remove universal search on Galaxy S III

by Jeff Causey on
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AT&T has joined the ranks of carriers rolling out an OTA update for the Galaxy S III.  Part of the update is removal of local (on device) search. In addition to the change in the search function, no doubt a move undertaken by Samsung as part of their ongoing legal battles with Apple, the update also provides a new radio (UCLG1).

source: Android Central

Samsung Removes Universal Search From Sprint Galaxy S III

by Anthony Hardy on
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Yesterday the Sprint Galaxy S III began receiving a security update OTA, but little information was given as to what the update addressed. Users have reported that the update has removed the universal search feature from the device, meaning only web results are given from the search bar. The removal of local search is undoubtedly in response to the recent Apple lawsuit against the Samsung Galaxy Nexus for the very same ability. Google and Samsung are working together to fight that case and this move is a preemptive strike in case Apple decides to take on Samsung’s latest star.

» Read the rest

Samsung wins U.K. ruling over Apple; tablets not as simplistic

by Jeff Causey on
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Samsung won a ruling in a U.K. courtroom today in one of its many cases against Apple. Judge Colin Birss ruled in London that consumers are not likely to mix up Galaxy tablets with the iPad. In the ruling, Birss indicates the Samsung products “do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity” of the Apple products. According to Birss, the Samsung tablets were thinner and possessed “unusual details” on the back. Apparently these qualities make the Apple products more “cool” according to the judge. » Read the rest