Each year, Microsoft earns billions in patent royalties from Android device vendors
Microsoft is suing Samsung for breach of contract over the non-payment of Android patent royalties. The matter pertains to a 2011 patent licensing agreementrequiring the South Korean electronics heavyweight to make annual patent royalty payments to Microsoft in exchange for the right to use the latter’s patented technology in its Android-based smart devices.
Patent deal with IBM puts to rest previous litigation
Twitter, the popular microblogging service that's now a publicly traded company, no longer has to defend itself against patent infringement claims brought on by IBM. Rather than battle one another in court, Twitter went and purchased 900 patents and signed a cross licensing agreement with IBM. Financial terms of the agreement, which was inked last month and announced today, were not disclosed.
It's the end of the road for software firm Soverain Software LLC in a patent infringement case filed against Newegg. Rather than fork over funds to a company perceived as being a patent troll attempting to extort cash by enforcing weak and obvious patents. Newegg let the U.S. legal system run its course as the case went all the way up to the Supreme Court, which refused to listen to Soverain Software's claims.
Marvell hoped to have its $1.17 billion fine cut in half
U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer in Pittsburgh listened to Marvell argue why a jury verdict against the company to the tune of $1.17 billion should be cut in half, but was ultimately unmoved by the company's reasoning. The massive fine is to be paid to Carnegie Mellon University, which is also located in Pittsburgh, for infringing on two hard disk drive (HDD) patents issued in 2001 and 2002.
Over a dozen years of litigation finally comes to end
There's been no love lost between Rambus and Micron over the years. The two have been mired in litigation since 1990, which is when Rambus first sought license fees and threatened infringement lawsuits against memory makers who turned to the popular SDRAM standard over its own proprietary RDRAM spec. Rambus contended that its patents and inventions also applied to SDRAM, but as far as things are concerned with Micron, it's now a moot point.
Google's Android platform is a potential goldmine for whichever companies can harvest the most mobile mojo out of it, but would you have thought that the not-so-little green machine would be capable of lining Microsoft's pockets with dough? It's true, thanks to the wonder of patents. Squeezing even more money out of the open source platform, Microsoft and Hon Hai Precision (Foxconn's parent company) just inked a patent licensing agreement in which the Redmond outfit will receive royalties for devices running Android and Chrome OS that use technology for which Microsoft owns a patent.
IBM, Samsung, and Sony were awarded more than 14,000 patents in the U.S. during 2012.
IBM on Thursday announced it received a record 6,478 patents in 2012 in the U.S., which is nearly 1,400 more than the next busiest inventor, Samsung. The achievement also extends IBM's volume patent streak to 20 years. For two decades, IBM has topped the annual list of U.S. patent recipients, extending its streak by way of more than 8,000 inventions in the past 12 months.
Imagine if you woke up tomorrow and every online store and brick-and-mortar retail shop was barred from selling Samsung Galaxy S III and Apple iPhone 5 devices. Do you turn to the Galaxy Note as well? That's barred too. In fact, you can't even buy a Jelly Bean device in this made-up scenario, because it infringes on Apple's patents. None of this has happened, mind you, but it could in a worst case scenario now that everything mentioned has been added to an ongoing lawsuit between Apple and Samsung.
Just because Apple scored a sweeping victory against Samsung in its patent trial in the U.S., which led to the nine panel jury awarding the Cupertino company more than a billion dollars in damages, it doesn't mean the whole matter of Android versus iOS is settled. Far from it, in fact. Days before the verdict was reached, Google's recently acquired Motorola Mobility division filed a patent suit of its own against Apple, one in which it will try to ban Apple imports in the U.S. Interestingly, Apple appears willing to go to trial, especially with the Samsung case under its belt, but in Germany, the company caved and reached a licensing deal with Motorola.
Apple scored over a billion dollars in damages from Samsung in what can be considered a sweeping victory over patent infringement claims in the U.S. and was quick to gloat. In a statement provided to The New York Times, Apple spokeswoman Katie Cotton said her company was "grateful to the jury" that found Samsung guilty of ripping off the look and feel of iPhone and iPad devices. Samsung also provided a statement, saying the "verdict should not be viewed as a win for Apple, but as a loss for the American consumer." Google, meanwhile, was eerily quiet in the aftermath of the trial, until now.