The patent application describes the now-patented Google homepage, in a rather long-winded manner, as being a "graphical user interface for a display screen of a communications terminal.” Although the verbose account of the minimalist Google homepage may lend an air of significance to the patent, this design patent is actually limited in scope just like other design patents. Furthermore, experts believe it is difficult to enforce design patents in court.
The Google homepage has remained largely unchanged – only links to some other Google services have been moved - in the five years intervening the patent filing and approval. The design patent will expire on Sept 1, 2023.
Discovery still hasn’t commented on the entire issue, but many analysts have. Industry watchers are not too excited by the possibility of a Discovery-branded e-reader. "My initial reaction is that this could be a 'patent troll,' Phil Leigh, an analyst at Inside Digital Media, told the Washington Post.
According to the patent application, made public on August 13, the Redmond-based goliath intends to replace ordinary CAPTCHAs with images, slogans, musical jingles, or other information related to a particular product. In order to gain access to content on the other side of the sponsored CAPTCHA, the user will have to type in the name of the featured product or other related text.
“Unlike so much web-based advertising that accompanies popular web portals such as search and news sites that users can easily ignore, here the user must actively engage in reading and understanding the content in the advertisement in the HIP (human interactive proof) challenge in order to identify the solution to the challenge," the patent filing reads.
Creative has filed a patent that could change the way we operate touchscreen devices. Filed back in January under the 3DLabs brand, the patent describes a drag and drop user interface with "action tabs."
In a nutshell, users would be able to manipulate "action" areas of the screen and drag objects (like a music title or video, for example) onto an action tab. Or as Creative describes the technology in its filing:
"A system and methods for a novel user interface of a touch sensitive screen for pocket device. The user interface contains display items and action tabs. Display items are configured to be draggable if being dragged at substantially horizontal direction; display items are configured to be scrollable if being dragged at substantially vertical direction. Dragging and releasing a draggable item to an action tab causes a specified action or a sequence of actions being applied to the item."
Because Creative filed the patent under its 3DLabs brand, now known as ZiiLabs, we wouldn't be surprised to see this technology show up on the Zii EGG.
The best times to beset the phone user with audio ads, according to the application, are when the call is on hold, when the call is suspended, and when it is being dialed. Furthermore, the ads will be targeted at a certain demographic. Delivering precisely targeted ads would undoubtedly require that the system be fed information about phone users. It is still too early to say what exactly Google has on its mind.
Another DRAM patent lawsuit has been filed, and not by Rambus. Instead, a Canadian company alleges IBM has breached a number of DRAM-related patents, which include 6,608,703, 7,038,937, 6,680,654, 6,69,448, and 7,486,580.
Each patent relates to elements of DRAM technology, and according to Mosaid, the company which filed the lawsuit, IBM breached every single one by making and selling DRAM mircroprocessor and ASIC products which allegedly use the inventions.
To date, Mosaid's portfolio contains more than 850 patents and a long list of licensees for its DRAM and embedded memory patents. Some of these licensees include Fujitsu, NEC, Toshiba, Hitachi, Mitsubishi, Oki, Panasonic, Winbond, Sony, Samsung, Hynix, TSMC, Infineon, ProMOS, Powerchip, and Micron.
Mosaid said it filed the lawsuit when talks with IBM broke down.
We're not sure what to make of this, other than maybe Microsoft is trying a wee bit too hard to be hip. Or maybe it's a reminder that pretty much anything is patentable. In any event, the software maker has filed a patent for a "Hot or Not" interface allowing viewers to rate one another's fashion sense via uploaded pics. Taken from the patent application:
"The contributor uploads self images for viewing and rating (or voting) by viewers who choose provide an opinion on different fashion and/or cosmetic looks of the contributor. The contributor takes images show the contributor presented with a number (e.g., two) of different fashion choices. The snapshots can then be processed for upload to a website or other accessible location by one or more viewers. The viewers can cast a vote for one of the images by selecting the desired image, in response to which the viewer and/or contributor will be presented with overall statistics for that set of images as to how other viewers voted, as well as a next set of photos depicting the user in a different fashion and/or cosmetic choice. This process can continue until terminated."
It's called the Online Personal Appearance Advisor and, well, we're not really sure what Microsoft might be cooking up, but we're hoping it's nothing like this.
Rambus doesn't appear to be doing too well with its legal battle against Nvidia, and while the company hasn't given up entirely, it did ask the International Trade Commission to drop four of its patent infringement claims against the GPU maker. In addition, Rambus also asked for termination of several claims from a fifth patent, all of which date back to a November 2008 complaint.
"We are pleased Rambus has recognized the weakness of these patents and claims," said David Shannon, Nvidia executive vice president and general counsel in a statement. "These withdrawals represent essentially half of the patents and one third of the claims asserted against us, and we look forward to addressing the remainder of the case."
Exactly what will remain in the case remains to be seen, but before the withdrawals, the original complaint included nine alleged patent violations all involving memory controllers as used on Nvidia's graphics cards.
According to the company, it was left with no other choice after two years of licensing talks didn’t bear any fruit. “We couldn’t find a common viewpoint with Apple, so we decided we had to take action,” a spokesperson for the company told The NYT.
Elan has accused Apple of violating two off its patents related to touchscreen technology. It maintains that the MacBook and iPhone/iPod Touch violate its patent rights.