IBM, Samsung, and even Google made it onto the top 10 list for patents awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). While IBM and Samsung take the top two spots (IBM dominated Samsung with 7534 patents awarded), Google comes in on the leader board at number 8, which is the first time the Mountain View search giant has appeared in the top 10.
The past few years have been a total pain for Samsung when it’s come to patents. In a near-constant state of being bogged down by infringement lawsuits, Samsung may be attempting to prevent such legal actions in the future by dutifully applying for as many patents as it can. Compared to 2013, Samsung’s patent awards increased 5.9% in 2014.
You may recall back in November, we wrote that LG had applied for a trademark on the name “G Pen” at the USPTO and now, according to a report from China, it looks like the South Korean company’s next flagship smartphone, presumably entitled the G4, will be the first to feature support for the unannounced smart stylus.
A new trademark application with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office was filed by Google to get protection for the ARA name for their forthcoming modular smartphone. Project ARA is Google’s project to produce a smartphone that has hot-swappable components that plug into a frame. This would allow users to upgrade certain components or add new features without having to purchase a whole new phone. We anticipate Google having a fully functional prototype available at the Ara Developer Conference coming up in December. This will be followed by an expected market launch in 2015.
The application for trademark protection is a strong indication that ARA is the name that Google will use to market the device when it is made available for the general public.
It appears that Samsung has trademarked the name “Galaxy Note Edge,” which we believe will be a variant of the Galaxy Note 4.
The “Edge” variant will feature curved screens which possibly wrap around the edges of the device. The device may be limited to certain markets (most likely Asia). It’s possible that we’re going to see it unveiled alongside the Galaxy Note 4 on September 3.
The USPTO has issued a ruling on an Apple patent related to predictive text input declaring the patent invalid. The decision on US Patent No 8,074,172 centered on claim 18 of the patent which was defeated on the basis of prior art. The patent in question was one of two that a jury recently determined had been infringed upon by Samsung in a lawsuit brought by Apple.
We have already seen Samsung apply for a few Gear related trademarks, like the Samsung Gear VR mark and another for the Samsung Gear Store. Samsung is clearly interested in building out a complete ecosystem based on Gear devices. The latest trademark to be added to the mix is the “Samsung Gear S”. Like the previous applications, the description regarding application of the mark is very general and casts a wide net over most any wearable device or related accessory.
Although the description may not be much help in figuring out what device this latest trademark may be meant for there could be a clue in the name. There are some who think the S is a reference to “Solo” which would be a variant of the Samsung Gear 2 that has an onboard SIM card and cellular connectivity instead of relying on a connection to a user’s smartphone.
Apple has always been a little over possessive of “multitouch,” but today it appears the USPTO has put an end to that unhealthy affair. In a preliminary ruling, the multitouch patent was found invalid on all 20 points. This is unfortunate for Apple as that patent was the basis of nearly all of their multitouch patent lawsuits, including the lawsuit against Motorola that was tossed out of court earlier in June.
Although this could be overturned in higher courts, I’m hopeful that the USPTO will understand that these incredibly broad and vague patents are stifling to innovation and hopefully keep this one invalidated.
source: FOSS Patents
In a stunning turn of events, the US Patent and Trademark Office has filed an initial ruling declaring Apple’s rubber-banding patent invalid. If you recall, the patent focuses on an effect that can cause a page on a device to bounce back up after a user has swiped to the bottom of the screen on a mobile device. While this ruling isn’t final, this means that all 20 claims of Apple’s patent (No. 7,469,381) are now invalid— which includes an important one used against Samsung during their epic battle in the U.S. courts. The effect of this is major too: while we have a long way to go during the appeals process, this is perhaps the first step needed for Samsung to have the courts potentially overrule at least some of the major rulings.
source: The Next Web
Yesterday the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Stack Exchange and Google announced a new joint effort to try to bring an end to overbroad and ridiculous patents before they can be used by patent trolls to cause harm to companies. A change in U.S. patent laws went into effect this month that permits the USPTO to accept comments and evidence regarding prior art and obviousness from third parties when evaluating a patent application. Prior to this change in the law, the USPTO could not accept third party information.
Samsung has submitted a patent application with the USPTO late last year for a different method of handling folders in Android. This was done presumably to get around Apple’s folder paradigm and avoid future lawsuits, as well as to provide a cool interaction that differentiates themselves from other Android UI’s.
Sammy’s application shows folders stacked like playing cards which can be pulled open accordion-style with a quick drag of the finger. They can also be expanded and collapsed by a single finger tap with a vertical scrolling function. The creation of the card stacks is done by dragging one icon onto another, just like the current Ice Cream Sandwich folder creation method.