News tagged ‘patent’
On Tuesday Kodak has filed lawsuits against Apple and HTC claiming infringement of patent violations regarding the sharing of digital pictures between various electronic devices. The claim accuses Apple of violating four digital photography patents Kodak said it obtained after "concluding it would be desirable for people to easily share pictures" from digital cameras without having to first upload them to a central PC. Apple and HTC are likely to cooperate with each other over the Kodak suit, although the companies are suing each other.
Essentially, any Apple product with a camera is affected by the proposed suit, but specifically cited examples include the iPad 2, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, and the iPod touch (4th generation).It is unclear whether software like Apple's Photo Stream, which allows digital images taken on one iDevice to be pushed to other devices through the company's iCloud, or other third-party apps that allow for image transfer over Bluetooth or WiFi are being targeted in the suit.
Italian news agency ANSA published on Thursday a report where it revealed that an the Milan-based Italian first-instance court for patent cases has denied Samsung's request for a preliminary injunction against the iPhone 4S, making it the third time the South Korean electronics maker has failed to obtain a ban on Apple's newest handset in Europe.
The Italian court's rejection marks the third straight loss for Samsung in its effort to curb Apple handset sales in Europe, and follows similar decisions by France's Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris in December 2011 and Dutch court Rechtbank's-Gravenhage's ruling in October.
Both companies are embroiled in a worldwide patent war, though thus far only Apple has seen success in its injunction requests and won bans against Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Germany, Australia and the Netherlands.
However, Apple is only slightly ahead of Samsung. The Cupertino Company will have to pay Samsung a significant amount in damages if courts in those states find that the preliminary injunctions were improperly granted. As you may remember, the patent war erupted when Apple filed a suit against Samsung in April 2011, alleging that the South Korean company blatantly copied the look and feel of the iPhone and iPad. The war now spans over 10 countries across four continents.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted Apple an original iPhone patent for editing lists by using touch gestures. Such technology gives an opportunity for inventions regarding use of the handset as a portable hard drive and a filing for the company's now defunct Bluetooth headset.
The original touchscreen patent, first filed for in June 2007, covers a method for displaying and managing lists on a portable multifunction device, and details a simple computer user interface controlled by finger gestures rather than a sequence of button presses and stylus touches. What the abstract describes is the basic list management system found on current iOS devices.
Included in the patent background is a look at the state of portable devices at the time, which Apple claimed "resorted to adding more pushbuttons, increasing the density of push buttons, overloading the functions of pushbuttons, or using complex menu systems to allow a user to access, store and manipulate data." A far cry from what the company eventually released in the original one-button iPhone.
The company explains that devices which rely on physical pushbuttons are inherently limited in their configurability, and that a conventional user may find it frustrating to operate such an inflexible interface.
Because such devices are designed to read the precise pinpoint contact of the stylus (when a user makes a selection on the touch screen with the stylus), making selections on the touch screen of the device without a stylus, for example, with a user's finger, can prove to be somewhat difficult.
United States Patent and Trademark Office published a series of patents (
According to Reuter’s
Like the controversial face unlock functionality in Google’s Galaxy Nexus, a new Apple’s patent application points out that the company is developing similar but more sofisticated face detection solution. As PatentlyApple reports, Apple said that these user detection system could be included in a future MacBook, iPad, iPod touch and iPhone.
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Kevin Rivette, managing partner at intellectual property firm 3LP Advisors LLC, said in an interview with Bloomberg that if Apple were to abandon its lawsuits against Android smartphone manufacturers and instead negotiate licensing fees for its patented technology, Apple could collect $10 for each Android device sold. But as far as we know Apple is not interested in licensing Apple's patented technology to Android manufacturers. Steve Jobs called the Android products as the “stolen” ones and wanted “to go thermonuclear war” against Android.
"A scorched-earth strategy is bad news because it doesn't optimize the value of their patents -- because people will get around them," Rivette told Bloomberg.
"It's like a dam. Using their patents to keep rivals out is like putting rocks in a stream. The stream is going to find a way around. Wouldn't it be better to direct where the water goes?"
Such approach makes mobile devices manufacturers to modify their infringing products and work around Apple's intellectual property. For example, earlier this month, the U.S. International Trade Commission found that HTC was in violation of an Apple patent related to "Data Detectors," but only a day later HTC said it was testing new devices that work around Apple's patent.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office published on Tuesday that Apple won a core multitouch patent that describes how touch events are recognized by a touchscreen device. The patent blog Patently Apple also noted that this patent was one of the "200+ Patents for new inventions" Jobs lauded when the iPhone first debuted in 2007.
The newly granted patent focuses on the oscillator signal and circuit of a touchscreen-equipped device, an integral invention directly related to how users interact with their multitouch products.
Apple states in the filing: "In general, multi-touch panels may be able to detect multiple touches (touch events or contact points) that occur at or about the same time, and identify and track their locations."
One way to record multiple touches is to generate an oscillating signal circuit that can power and clock inputs over a substrate as in a capacitive touchscreen display. But it is difficult to create a precise circuit-based oscillator. According to Apple's patent, the solution to capacitive touchscreen problem is to calibration logic circuitry which compares the signal oscillation against a reference signal and tunes the clock frequency accordingly. The invention provides for an accurate capacitive display that can not only sense multiple touches, but also detect hover or near touches which are also recognized as "touch events."
According to Hebrew-language newspaper Calcalist, Apple finalized its acquisition of flash memory maker Anobit, which is said to have been recently informed their employees about the finalized deal. The final price remains unknown, but could be in between $400 million and $500 million.
The reported goal of Apple's acquisition of Anobit is to increase the amount of memory in its portable devices, like the iPhone, iPad and MacBook Air, as well as to improve the reliability of solid-state memory. Apple is now expected to build a development center in Haifa, where Intel, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Qualcomm also have facilities. The Anobit purchase is believed to be the first acquisition for Apple with Tim Cook as CEO.
Anobit is a 200-employee Israeli fabless semiconductor company that specializes in flash storage. Anobit has about 100 pending and granted patents, and was first founded in 2006. Apple is said to be particularly interested in the company's proprietary memory signal processing technology and planning to build a semiconductor development center in Israel.
Apparently, Apple and Samsung are not going to stop their war involving numerous lawsuits related to alleged patent and design infringement in their tablet and smartphone products. According to Bloomberg, this time Apple has sent a notice of infringement to Samsung over the company's tablet and smartphone cases. The company plans to pursue legal action
Apple Inc., which on Dec. 9 lost a bid to keep Samsung Electronics Co.’s Galaxy 10.1 tablet out of Australia, claims the case for the device and cases for Samsung phones infringe its patents and registered design.
Apple issued the notice of infringement to Samsung in Australia over the cases, and will file a statement of claim, Apple’s lawyer Stephen Burley said at a hearing in Sydney today. Samsung’s lawyer Katrina Howard said at the same hearing the company was served with the notice that the cases infringe at least 10 patents.
To be honest, Samsung’s "Smart Case" for the Galaxy Tab 10.1 closely resembles the iPad 2 Smart Cover. The company quickly clarified that the product was not in fact approved by Samsung and was immediately pulled before it had begun selling. Though Samsung offers several styles of cases for the Galaxy Tab 10.1 at that moment, it is not clear which one Apple is considering to infringe its case designs.
The new report claims that Apple has transferred several patents to the patent-licensing firm Digitude Innovations and accuses the company of aiding a so-called "patent troll." Digitude Innovations filed suit against tech giants this week, including Research in Motion, HTC, LG, Motorola, Samsung, Sony, Amazon and Nokia. Having investigating the lawsuit, TechCrunch found out that two of the patents mentioned in the lawsuit had belonged to Apple earlier this year.
Apple is claimed to transfer a dozen of patents to the company called Cliff Island LLC earlier this year. Noteworthy, the company's address is the same as Digitude investor Altitude Capital. Cliff Island apparently transferred the patents to Digitude.
In June Forbes reported that Digitude Innovations was established by Altitude founder Robert Kramer. Digitude is in the business of acquiring patents to sue others, the company has been labeled a "patent troll." The company is utilizing a new investment strategy of allowing investors to contribute patents instead of money. Participating companies would then receive a license for all of the firm's patents.
It is not clear whether Apple entered into an agreement with Digitude, but Apple may use the company as a "hired gun" in its patent battles.
"The idea that the company didn’t have any options other than handing over valuable patents to a patent troll — knowing full well that it would then use those patents to sue other tech companies — seems ludicrous."
According to Reuters, on Tuesday the first-instance court for all French patent litigation ruled against Samsung's request for a preliminary injunction against the iPhone 4S because the court found that Samsung's arguments against the iPhone 4S, so-called FRAND patents, were exhausted. That means that the South Korean company's use of 3G-essential patents against Apple will see worldwide failure.
"The court furthermore held that Samsung's request for an injunction was "disproportionate" and stated that this fact was apparent, without citing particular reasons for this finding," Reuters says. "Some of what the French ruling says indicates that Samsung's use of 3G-essential patents is going to fail everywhere at least as far as the iPhone 4S is concerned."
The French judge who rejected to issue the ban on Apple’s iPhone 4S made clear that Samsung was mishandling its FRAND obligations, noting that a holder of standards-essential patents is not allowed to capitalize on its "necessarily dominant position." "The French ruling makes it clear that there's every indication that Samsung's patent rights are exhausted and Apple is, therefore, effectively licensed," Reuters writes.
Now Apple and Samsung's global disputes over patent infringements have seen more than 30 filings in at least 12 courts in 9 countries that span over 4 continents. And it seems that the battle is far from the end, because patent cases are complex, and courts prefer not to make such decisions on the fast track.
Early today, we have reported that the U.S. judge declined to issue a preliminary injunction barring Samsung from selling several of its Galaxy smartphone and tablet devices in the United States. We have also mentioned the court order that had been redacted and which revealed that Apple had licensed one specific iOS interface patent to both Nokia and IBM. Now Reuters reports how this court order came to light.
In her 65-page ruling denying Apple's request for a preliminary injunction against Samsung, Koh attempted to redact nearly two dozen sentences or short fragments. But because of a formatting characteristic in the prior electronic version, the redacted material can be viewed by copying text from the PDF and pasting it into another document.
Late last week, a U.S. judge Lucy Koh declined to award a preliminary injunction over Galaxy line of smartphones and tablets in the United States. The Judge admitted that Samsung infringed some of Apple's patents, but she declined to issue a ban, because of a lack of evidences.
In her ruling, Koh wrote that for some of the smartphones, "Apple has established a likelihood of success on the merits at trial."
Koh added that Apple would likely prove Samsung infringed one of its tablet patents. However, Apple had not shown that it was likely to overcome Samsung's challenges to the patent's validity, Koh wrote.
Apple must demonstrate both infringement and validity to succeed in its lawsuit.
Interestingly, Apple has licensed to third parties one key iOS patent covering the "scrollback" feature displaying the linen texture when elastically scrolling beyond the end of a document or webpage. Licenses for the patent were obtained by Nokia and IBM, and Apple offered a license to Samsung.
Apple asserted this patent against Samsung as part of its failed attempt to get an injunction against Galaxy devices, and the court order denying the injunction includes general discussion of how past licensing behavior affects the decision of whether or not to grant an injunction. The discussion is nestled among two redacted statements shown to The Verge that confirm the '381 patent was licensed to IBM and Nokia, and that Apple offered a license to Samsung in November of 2010 as part of settlement negotiations.