Microsoft is not the only company to have pinned high hopes on Windows Live Tiles and been let down. The user interface element that has come to be associated with Windows 8’s well-documented alienation of desktop users has been at the center of a patent lawsuit since 2012. A little-known Portland, Maine-based company named Surfcast, which inhabits the obscure realm of “operating system technology” design, suddenly shot to attention a couple of years back, when it filed a lawsuit against Microsoft, accusing the latter of infringing on one of its patents with Live Tiles. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) on Monday gave its final written decision in an inter partes review (IPR) of patent 6,724,403 (the “'403 patent”) and sadly for Surfcast, Live Tiles are just as difficult to make money from as ever.
Entertainment and Devices Division’s 2013 operating income pales in comparison
A couple of months back, Microsoft instituted legal proceedings against Samsung for its refusal to fulfill “substantial” obligations under a 2011 agreement that allows the latter to use patented technology in its Android devices in exchange for annual royalty payments. But with virtually all vital facts and figures contained in Microsoft’s complaint being redacted from public view, we could do little more than take wild guesses at the money involved. Not anymore. Microsoft’s complaint was unsealed Friday and, as a result, we now have a much better idea of just what is at stake.
AT&T has developed a Credits System for the purpose of limiting file-sharing bandwidth as reported by TorrentFreak. The telecom company filed a patent on September 12, 2013 that revealed consumers would be given a number of credits to be used when downloading data. In turn, the data would be checked to see if it is permissible or non-permissible.
Rockstar Consortium under fire after targeting Android
Google has decided that enough is enough. The company has filed a lawsuit against Rockstar Consortium—a patent group backed by many of Google’s biggest competitors—claiming that the group’s patent campaign is unfairly targeting Google and its Android partners.
Patent disputes are unfortunately a common occurrence in the tech industry, but boy-oh-boy, the patent lawsuit filed by Rockstar may take the cake. In this case, Rockstar doesn't refer to Rockstar Games, makers of Grand Theft Auto V, but a consortium made up of Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Ericsson, and Sony. At the heart of the dispute are thousands of former Nortel patents Rockstar purchased for $4.5 billion, and according to the lawsuit, several Android players infringe on these patents.
Research In Motion (RIM) managed to escape from having to pay a hefty patent infringement fine when the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California overturned an earlier verdict that would have had the company pay $147.2 million in damages to Mformation, a software company that deals with mobile device management. According to the presiding judge, there wasn't enough evidence to support the jury's findings of patent infringement.
Don't feed the trolls; the axiom may work well for avoiding Godwin's Law in forum postings, but it isn't working so well in courtrooms around the globe. In fact, a new study from the Boston University School of Law says patent trolls -- companies that deal solely in IP litigation rather than actual services and products -- are fatter and hungrier than ever before, costing the economy a whopping $29 billion in 2011. To put things in perspective, trolling "only" cost the economy roughly $6.7 billion in 2005.
Software patents, to put it mildly, are a bit of a mess. Its difficult for us to say that innovation which happens in bits, rather than hardware shouldn’t be protected, but naturally a line must be drawn if progress is to be made. On Friday US federal Judge Richard Posner rendered a verdict that not only left the executives over at Motorola sleeping a bit easier, but could actually be an important precedent for patent litigation going forward.
It's said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but when you're Apple, a company that thrives on form just as much as it does on function, there's nothing flattering about other companies designing products that look even remotely like existing iDevices. And make no mistake, today's Ultrabooks share design DNA with Apple's MacBook Air, DNA Apple doesn't want anyone else using, so the Cupertino company went out and snagged a broad patent for the MBA's wedge shaped design.
Google and Oracle sat down for a last-ditch, court-ordered settlement conference over the weekend, but their latest attempt at settling their longstanding patent dispute failed to yield any results even after six hours of parleying. With the latest settlement conference between the two companies proving just as sleeveless as those before it, their protracted patent dispute is now all set to go to trial.