In a rare example of bipartisanship, the US Congress passed a patent reform bill, and President Obama has just signed it into law. The America Invents Act is the most significant revamp of the patent system in decades. It aims to speed the review process, weed out bad patents, and ensure the right party gets the patent.
The Apple legal onslaught continues as the iPad maker files suit against Samsung in the UK. The case was brought before the High Court on Monday. Apple claims its case is a counter-claim to a Samsung case originally filed back in June, but no details on that case are known. This move bring the total number of patent cases between the two tech firms to about 20 worldwide.
It’s another wild twist in the ongoing legal dispute between HTC and Apple. Taiwanese handset maker HTC has just filed suit against Apple for patent infringement. HTC’s ammunition comes in the form of nine patents obtained from Google on September 1st.
Google is forging ahead with their quest to promote the WebM open video codec. To those ends, Google has announced that all new videos that are uploaded to YouTube will be encoded in WebM in addition to the other supported formats. Google is also working hard to get the entire 6-year backlog of YouTube videos converted to their preferred format.
It was probably inevitable. Samsung has responded to Apple's legal action with strong words, and the promise of retaliation. The South Korean technology giant has a broad and deep patent portfolio of its own, and insinuated that they believe Apple is infringing one several of their own wireless patents. Samsung also reminds us how insane the situation is considering Apple is Sammy's second largest component customer, to the tune of billion in annual sales.
You might remember a few months back when Apple went on the legal warpath and sued HTC and Nokia for violating its intellectual property and patents. Part of all these cases tends to be a duplicate federal court and U.S. International Trade Commission complaint. Well the ITC just spoke up, and Apple's arguments haven't impressed them.
It wouldn't be a week in the technobubble without a new intellectual patent suit. This one is looking like quite the doozy, though. Apple has filed a patent and trademark infringement suit against Samsung. At issue are Samsung's line of Galaxy phones and tablets. Apple claims the physical design and user interface borrow too heavily from Apple products.
It looks like Microsoft is taking the kid gloves off, and putting on the 'sue everyone gloves'. The software giant has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Seattle and the International Trade Commission alleging that Android, as implemented by Barnes and Noble in the Nook, infringes on Microsoft-held patents. This isn't Redmond's first volley against the little green robot, but it might be the start of a new trend.
IBM collects patents nearly as fast as the file clerk at the U.S. Patent and Trademark office can process them. In fact, the USPTO granted Big Blue an all-time high of 5,896 new U.S. patents in 2010, positioning IBM as the No. 1 patent assignee for the 18th consecutive year. In second place is Samsung, which added 4,551 patents to its portfolio last year. Now these two busy bodies will be able to license each other's patent portfolios after coming to undisclosed terms on a new patent cross-license agreement.
Technology licensing firm Rambus has gone to the International Trade Commission (ITC) to file a complaint asking for a very simple, even humble thing. They want the ITC to block the import and sale of any product infringing on its semiconductor patents. Sound reasonable? Well, it turns out that covers products from Broadcom, Freescale, NVIDIA, and more. As for the types of products Rambus thinks are infringing, that would be "personal computers, workstations, servers, routers, mobile phones and other handheld devices, set-top boxes, Blu-ray players, motherboards, plug-in cards, hard drives and modems." In case you haven't noticed, that's just about everything that makes us happy around here.
Rambus has been involved in a number of long running patent disputes with the likes of Nvidia. After trying in vain to work out licensing deals with everyone that's ever gone near a semiconductor, Rambus felt only legal action would get their point across. That's probably the real goal of this filing with the ITC. It is supremely unlikely that the commission would see fit to ban the sale of all these items. ITC complaints are a regular part of patent disputes, although they are not usually this expansive.
There is at least some validity to Rambus' claims. They won a partial victory over Nvidia last summer. But they do have quite the reputation at a patent troll these days. Should the world's technology companies just pay off Rambus, or is this just a lot of bluster?