Tired of all these issues involving software patents? Well luckily, you’re not alone— even high-ranking officials at prominent companies are sick too. While speaking at the Technology Policy Institute conference, Google Public Policy director Pablo Chavez states:
“One thing that we are very seriously taking a look at is the question of software patents, and whether in fact the patent system as it currently exists is the right system to incent innovation and really promote consumer-friendly policies.”
Chavez certainly has reasoning for this too. As of now, Google has been involved in long-standing disputes against other tech heavyweights such as Apple and of course, the not-so-friendly Oracle. Oh and don’t forget patent trolls and patent bullies like the infamous and generally disliked Lodsys. The current software patent model doesn’t make sense and is not uniform in something like medicine-related patents. To support his notion, Chavez believes software patents can be differentiated from patents in areas such as medicine because a:
“Lot of structural differences between that industry and the software industry. With that in mind, we are starting to brainstorm longer-term solutions.”
Chavez’s reasoning certainly isn’t too unreasonable, especially since there are other experts who you know— share the same sentiment.
As the Apple & Samsung case winds down, Judge Lucy Koh sought one last ditch effort in order to get the executive heads to try and make peace before the final decisions where handed to a jury because after all, she “sees risks here for both sides”. While the lawyers asserted each CEO would attempt to talk (again), most patent lawyers believe it’s not likely. Florian Mueller, an intellectual property consultant believes “think this dispute isn’t ripe for a settlement” because Mueller agrees with Judge Koh and argues both sides have too much at stake in the case.
Hopefully the CEOs do end up coming together and resolving this issue once and for all. It’s time to focus on development on innovative products now— not bickering and name slander. Like Judge Koh says, “it is time for peace”.
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
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
The case of Apple v. Motorola has been effectively dismissed in its entirety in US Federal Court by Judge Richard Posner on Friday. The case has been going on since 2010 and had already been reduced to Apple claiming four patent violations by Motorola, and Moto claiming one against Apple.
Posner had previously dismissed the case, at least tentatively, with one more chance given to both parties to make their case. Apparently, both sides failed to prove damages so Posner ruled that an injunction against the sale of any products is unwarranted. This is great news, especially for Motorola who was in the weaker position.
Hit the break for quotes from the ruling and a link to the full document.
Samsung today fired back at Apple’s recent allegations of patent infringement relating to the Galaxy S III. Apple has claimed the phone infringes on at least two of its patents, and has requested an injunction to prevent sales in the US until it can figure it out for sure. Samsung responded in a statement that it can and will “demonstrate to the court that the Galaxy S III is innovative and distinctive“. The Galaxy S III went on sale in Europe on May 29th, and is expected to go on sale in the US in July, months before Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 5.
This is just the latest in the never ending feud between Apple and Samsung, and it seems Apple is feeling more and more vulnerable as it seeks to maintain its market share through litigation instead of innovation. We’ll keep you posted, but for those of us waiting for a Galaxy S III here in the States, let’s hope this gets settled quickly.
Not Guilty. Finally the two words that Android fans worldwide were waiting to hear have been uttered, bringing and end to lengthy court case . After a week long deliberation the jury in California ruled in favour of Google declaring that the search giant did not infringe on Oracle’s patents with Android. Earlier this month we brought you the news that the jury had concluded that Google had infringed on 37 separate API’s. The jury has since concluded that Google adequately demonstrated that it felt it was acting within the law due to its belief that it didn’t need a license to utilise java,
The news represents a significant victory for Google who would have been set to pay damages of up to $1bn should it have been found guilty. Naturally, both firms have released statements post verdict.
Oracle presented overwhelming evidence at trial that Google knew it would fragment and damage Java. We plan to continue to defend and uphold Java’s core write once run anywhere principle and ensure it is protected for the nine million Java developers and the community that depend on Java compatibility.
Today’s jury verdict that Android does not infringe Oracle’s patents was a victory not just for Google but the entire Android ecosystem.
So another law suit bites the dust; Google and Android live to fight another day. Do you think we’ve heard the last of it or will Oracle by ready to launch an appeal? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. This invaluable proverb has been motivating children in the UK for over 200 years now and I was fairly certain that I’d never find a scenario where it doesn’t fit… until now.
In its eternal battle to ban pretty much everything ever invented that doesn’t have an Apple logo on it, Apple hauled Samsung through the US courts last summer with a view to banning the original Galaxy Tab 10.1. Apple’s bid didn’t prove fruitful on that occasion however news from Foss Patents surfaced today suggesting that Apple is back in for a second bite at the cherry and that perhaps this time it might just succeed.
Florian Muller from Foss Patents had the following to say on their website: “Apple’s motion is fairly likely to succeed. If and when it does, there will be formal U.S. bans in place against all three of the leading Android device makers. Also on Friday, the ITC ordered a U.S. import ban against Motorola’s Android-based devices (to the extent those infringe a particular Microsoft patent), and in December, the U.S. trade agency also banned HTC’s products that infringe a particular Apple patent — as a result, two HTC product rollouts just got delayed.”
With Apple and Samsung due in court later in the week with a view to attempting to put an end to this nonsense, this writer will certainly be hoping not to write another article on litigation any time soon. Seriously Apple; save the money for your R&D department, it needs it way more.
Source: Foss Patents
It was only yesterday we wrote about Apple’s claims against Samsung in Germany and just as one would expect, the saga continues.
This time it’s Motorola’s turn to go up against the Cupertino giants although, just to break the usual trend, it’s Apple’s turn in the dock. The groundwork for this case was actually laid back in November when Motorola won an injunction against the sale of Apple products in Germany.
In an unexpected twist, a German judge has ruled in Motorola’s favour, granting two permanent injunctions. Motorola has really gone for the jugular on this one too, dealing two major blows to Apple’s products in Germany :
Injunction passed preventing the sale of various iOS products
Apple has already removed the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, as well as all 3G-enabled iPads from its online store. The iPhone 4s is the only device still available online. All devices are still for sale at retail outlets.
Injunction passed preventing the use of push e-mail services
The Mannheim Regional Court has granted a permanent injunction preventing the use of the iCloud and MobileMe push e-mail services on German devices. Whilst users in Germany will still be able to use e-mail services, there will be no push option. They will need to set their device to check for new e-mail at pre-defined intervals.
I’m ordinarily the first person in line to poke fun at our Apple owning friends however, on this occasion I have to say I take little pleasure in reading about cases like this. There are no real winners as these patent wars rage on and Android users have missed out on features over the years due to similar claims. In cases such as these, Apple may lose on the day but inevitably it’s the consumer who is losing out in the long run.
Another day, another failed Apple lawsuit. Samsung’s latest flagship models, the Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy Tab 10.1N, have escaped unscathed after the Munich Regional Court rejected Apple’s bid to block sales of the devices in Germany.
Our good friends from Cupertino seem hell-bent on causing complications for Samsung’s big German sales push. Samsung had already redesigned the original Galaxy Tab 10.1 as the 10.1N as a result of a previous Apple lawsuit.
The patent war really gathered a head of steam in 2011 with Apple as the real driving force behind it. Unfortunately, 2012 seems to be promising more of the same with Apple entangled in court room battles with many of the major Android manufacturers.
Perhaps if Apple spent as much time on innovation as they do trying to sue the competition they might have produced something more imaginative than the underwhelming upgrade that was the iPhone 4s.