Microsoft’s protracted patent battle with 30-man strong Canadian company i4i is finally over. The U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously turned down Microsoft’s appeal against a lower-court ruling ordering it to pay $290 million in damages for infringing one of i4i’s XML-related patents with certain versions of its popular word processing software. More after the jump.
Mosaid Technologies, an intellectual property and technology licensing firm based out of Canada, has filed a lawsuit against DRAM makers Eplida Memory, Buffalo Inc., and Axiontech in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division. In the lawsuit, Mosaid accuses all three firms of infringing on six of its semiconductor memory patents.
If Google is one of the most prominent Linux stalwarts around, Android is undoubtedly the public face of its love affair with the open source operating system. But its Linux affection runs deeper than that as the Internet behemoth uses the OS on everything from back-end servers to employee machines. Now, that deep-rooted love is beginning to cost Google, for a jury has fined it $5 million for infringing on a patent (U.S. Patent No. 5,893,120) held by Texas-bases patent troll Bedrock Computer Technologies.
A federal judge in Tyler, Texas this week ruled that Apple didn't infringe a patent owned by Mirror Worlds LLC, throwing out a $625.5 million patent infringement verdict over how documents are displayed on a computer screen, according to a Bloomberg report. At the same time, the judge did uphold the validity of the three Mirror Worlds patents, but said the damage award was too high.
The patent row between Redmond and Canadian firm i4i has been a patent disaster for the former. Microsoft’s remaining hopes now rest on the U.S. Supreme Court, which in November, 2010 granted Microsoft’s petition for writ of certiorari for review of the case. But i4i, which has been winning (feel free to replace with the recent neologism “bi-winning”) pretty much all the battles in this patent war, once again seems assured of victory. According to the Canadian company, 22 amicus (or friend-of-the-court) briefs , including one by the United States government, have been filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in its support.
We have some major news from the Dutch theatre of Sony’s patent battle with LG. The temporary ban that was imposed on the import of PS3s into Netherlands last month has now been lifted. Sony has plenty to cheer about as a bulk of its PS3 shipments designated for continental Europe and UK come through Rotterdam and Schiphol. But this isn’t the proverbial last laugh for Sony. Read on to find out what’s next for the two companies.
The International Trade Commission in Washington is investigating a complaint by Motorola against Microsoft and will decide whether or not to ban imports of the Xbox 360 game console, Bloomberg reports.
We'd be shocked if the two sides didn't come to some sort of agreement to prevent that from happening, and this looks like a whole lot of legal posturing to us, but the fact that the dispute between these two companies has gone this far is troubling.
It all started when Microsoft filed a lawsuit in early November accusing Motorola of shenanigans with its patents used in the Xbox 360. According to Microsoft, Motorola breached contractual obligations made to standards organizations for "reasonable and non-discriminatory terms and conditions" for patents dealing with wireless and video-encoding technologies. Microsoft described the patent royalties as "wholly disproportionate to the royalty rate that its patents should command under any reasonable calculus."
Motorola quickly fired back with a lawsuit of its own, claiming its demand was a "fair offer" and Microsoft should quit bellyaching.
It's nowt the ITC's job to investigate the dispute, and it has the power to ban imports of products found to infringe on US patents.
RIM recently removed popular messaging app Kik from the BlackBerry app store. The only reason given for the removal was "breaching contractual obligations". But according to a Canadian court filing, RIM has now sued Kik for patent infringement. It is not clear what features of Kik are considered infringing by Waterloo, but we would imagine it relates to the way Kik notifies users when a message has been sent, received, and viewed. Just like Blackberry Messenger (BBM).
Kik is available on several platforms, and has amassed a large userbase in the neighborhood of 2.5 million in a short time. Kik allows users to have an instant messaging experience that is closer to that of BBM than the competition. RIM may feel that BlackBerry Messenger is one of their remaining selling points as Android and iOS eat up the market.
Kik was in the midst of lining up a round of funding when this suit was filed. It's unclear if they were able to lock in any deals before the news broke. Kik founder Ted Livington is reportedly "disappointed" by the suit.
Now that you are up to speed, let us get back to Google’s response, which is not contrary to what someone of reasonable mental soundness would expect from a company being sued for patent infringement. The internet giant, which had earlier dismissed the suit as “baseless,” has denied pretty much all allegations – of course, except for the harmless ones like the fact that it is a corporation – while citing 20 defenses.
“Google does not infringe any valid and enforceable claim of the Patents-in-Suit, either directly or indirectly, and does not infringe any valid copyright rights of Oracle, either directly or indirectly,” Google wrote in its response.
"Any use in the Android Platform of any protected elements of the works that are the subject of the Asserted Copyrights was made by third parties without the knowledge of Google, and Google is not liable for such use."
The case will go to trial next October if the two parties fail to reach a settlement in the intervening period.
Have you heard? Suing a company for using Android is the new black; everyone is doing it. Microsoft has announced today that they are suing Motorola for patent infringement in their Android phones. Specifically, the software giant is claiming that Android, as implemented by Motorola, violates patents for, "including synchronizing email, calendars and contacts, scheduling meetings, and notifying applications of changes in signal strength and battery power."
Both Apple and Oracle are suing over patent infringement on Android, and Microsoft cited these cases as justification for this action. Motorola is concentrating on Android, and passing on Windows Phone 7, which could be part of the motivation here. Microsoft is always touting the relationship they will have with licensees of WP7. Anyone that uses WinPho7 will be indemnified by Redmond. It's rather like Microsoft is nudging Moto and saying, "See what you get?"
It's unclear if Microsoft is just looking to ruffle some feathers and snag a cross licensing deal, or if this is going to be dragged out in court for years. What's your take?