We were hopeful that we would see Samsung’s flexible display by the end of the year, but 2014 seems more likely. In the meantime, we can get a little taste of what is coming from a couple of patent filings. The first one is based on the overall design and interaction from the controller that detects how much the display is bent. The above image shows a controller that controls the image displayed based on bending information received by the sensor. The display can be bent concavely or convexly and the display will zoom in or zoom out accordingly. You can even roll the display. The touch screen is capacitive and includes a top film, a first layer, and second layer. The bottom includes the ”bending detection part”.
It looks like Google’s Motorola unit may be in some potentially hot water because of Motorola abusing some of its advantages and power over Apple. According to some objections made the European Commission, Motorola may be abusing some of its extensive patent portfolio, not allowing Apple to have a fair opportunity or chance to at least agree on some sort of licensing terms. Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia highlights:
“I think that companies should spend their time innovating and competing on the merits of the products they offer – not misusing their intellectual property rights to hold up competitors to the detriment of innovation and consumer choice.”
So in other words, the EC believes that Motorola is well… “pulling an Apple” and abusing its patent portfolio so that Apple can’t get any bigger in Europe than it is now. What’s unknown at this point is which exact patents are identified as ones where Motorola is exerting its heavy hand and power, but we’re sure we will see more details of this potentially serious case soon. Naturally this is in the early stages now, but it will be interesting to see how the EC will move forward based off of its investigation and findings.
It just seems like the “minor disagreement” between Samsung and Apple will never end. News has surfaced that the two manufacturing giants filed a joint case management document with the Northern District of California court which aims to regulate what is presented and argued against in the upcoming trial, such as the number of patents identified involved in select devices. For now, each company agrees that the case will be limited to 5 patents each, though Apple wants a maximum of 12 claims, while Samsung slightly disagree and wants to limit the claim to 8 instead. Additionally, the upcoming trial currently indicates there are 16 devices involved, with Samsung arguing it should be far fewer, of course.
But regardless of what disagreements Samsung and Apple will make clear in court, we’re sure that Judge Lucy Koh will be eagerly awaiting to hear them.
source: FOSS Patents
Patent suits involving Motorola and Apple have been relatively quiet lately, but that doesn’t mean they’ve ceased entirely. The latest comes from a German court that has ruled Apple’s infamous slide-to-unlock patent invalid in their case against Motorola. Apple tried to show 14 different amendments to the patent to keep it valid, but the German court disagreed.
While this is technically a win for Motorola, most Android manufacturers have put workarounds in place to avoid infringing on Apple’s slide-to-unlock patent. Had Apple been able to continue using that patent, it wouldn’t have given them any notable advantage over other manufacturers. Still, we can chalk this one up as a win for common sense and call it a day.
source: FOSS Patents
I’m sure you’re all too familiar with the huge patent battle between Samsung and Apple that ended with Apple being awarded $1.05 billion in damages. Then, the damages were reduced to about $600 million, and then Apple claimed mistakes were made in calculations, etc… It’s been a long, drawn out process.
Now, the second trial concerning 14 devices that infringed on Apple’s patents will be opened up again for a second verdict. Samsung wants the jury to review whether or not those devices infringed on Apple’s patents in the first place to attempt to reduce the damages, but by doing so, Samsung admitted that Apple could “seek even more damages on these products in the new trial.” So that $600 million could come way down… or it could back up to $1 billion in damages again. Obviously Samsung’s lawyers feel pretty confident they can make a better case this time around.
As a side note, Samsung also said Apple’s claims for reinstating the $85 million Judge Lucy Koh took away were ”procedurally improper and substantively incorrect.” Like with all the other patent trouble, we’ll be sure to keep you updated as soon as anything else comes out of the courtroom between these two.
source: FOSS Patents
Following in the footsteps of Open Source pioneers IBM and Red Hat, Google has taken a giant leap forward in preserving the purity of Open Source and Patents in the world of technology. In a recent blog post on Google’s “Open Source Blog”, Senior Patent Counsel, Duane Valz, makes a less-than-obvious attack on patent and money hungry technology companies (like the one named after that one fruit that Eve took a bite out of that started this whole mess). He states the importance of protecting this purity to ensure continued innovation in the world of computer software, and continued advancement in cloud computing, the mobile web, and the internet in general.
Today, Google announced its “Open Patent Non-Assertion (OPN) Pledge“. In it they pledge “NOT to sue any user, distributor or developer of open-source software on specified patents…unless first attacked.“ Gotta love that last part! Google, in their infinite wisdom, has included an Apple escape clause (Oops! Just came right out and said it that time).
At this point Google has only identified 10 patents relating to MapReduce in their initial pledge list, but vow to expand on that list, adding “past, present or future” open-source software that might rely on pledge patents. Good for you Google! » Read the rest
In case you missed it among the seemingly constant back and forth between Samsung and Apple in the world’s courtrooms, there is a patent case about to get underway between HTC and Nokia regarding some alleged patent infringements. The bad news for Android fans is that Judge Thomas Pender has issued a ruling that could negatively impact any Android devices that make a tethering feature available. Nokia has asserted that HTC is infringing on U.S. Patent No 5,884,190 describing a “method for making a data transmission connection from a computer to a mobile communication network for transmission of analog and/or digital signals.” The court case between Nokia and HTC is scheduled to start in a couple months, but this ruling regarding the interpretation of the 190 patent makes it difficult for HTC to deny infringement.
The case between the two companies involves about 40 patents that Nokia has asserted HTC infringes. Google is involved in the case as a third-party intervenor supporting HTC. Both HTC and Google had hoped to narrow the scope of the 190 patent, but failed to do so. The two companies will now have to somehow prove the patent is invalid, such as due to prior art. Proving the existence of prior art could be a challenge since Nokia obtained the patent in 1995, a time when the web was still in its infancy and mobile devices were closer to bricks than what we have today. If HTC fails to make their case during the trial, they may also try to sway the ITC commission to overrule the judge.
If Nokia succeeds during the trial in showing HTC has infringed on the 190 patent, one of the likely results will be an import ban on all HTC devices into the U.S. Nokia will also be in a strong position to pursue other Android device manufacturers, much like they have already done against Apple and Blackberry. In the end, most companies will probably opt to pay a royalty to Nokia in order to keep the feature available.
Google received a big win today in the patent department regarding Google Glass. Patent 20130070338 is probably the most important patent for the Search Giant’s wearable tech. What makes it so important is the fact that it details everything regarding the eye piece. You know, the part that the whole Project Glass is centered around. The claim details how the HUD will work and interact with the user. That’s just one out of 28 claims though. If you have some free time you can read the full technical document that encompasses all 28 claims here.
I’m sure the folks at Mountain View are sleeping easier knowing that Glass is protected. No one can come after them for patent infringement. It’s a safe bet that Google will waste no time going forward with the project considering that it took the Patent Office over a year to process and accept the patent. Even with the Explorer Edition just passing through the FCC, this win should certainly put some pep into Google’s step.
source: Patent Bolt
Google has brought many great concepts to reality and an application published by the US Patent & Trademark Office, shows off Google’s invention of simple backside device touch controls. Apple introduced the idea of backside touch controls on tablets in a patent from 2006 and Google seems to have explored the idea in significantly more detail. It could eventually make its way to future devices such as phones, tablets, e-book readers, Chromebooks, and more. To make backside touch controls on devices more responsive, Google mentions there could be visual, audible, and/or tactile feedback to let the user know an action was completed. Google’s patent application was originally filed in Q3 2012 under serial number 593117.
Source: Patent Bolt
HTC’s President of Global Sales, Jason Mackenzie, sat down for an interview about the HTC One. Let’s just say he had a few slightly unkind words for Samsung and a few other Android OEMs.
It’s no secret that the HTC One X had a very highly praised camera. The pictures were fantastic, and HTC included several different nifty little features for users, such as burst shot and slow motion video capture. Now, though, it seems like every phone you buy has burst shot for pictures and slow motion video camera, and apparently that irks HTC a bit. » Read the rest