Tags patents

Amazon patent proposes drone perches atop streetlights and other protruding infrastructure

chargestation Pop quiz, hot shot: You’re a delivery drone with a flight duration of 20 minutes with your current payload, but because of delays (use your imagination) you’re never going to make it in time. What do you do, hot shot? What do you do? You land on a streetlight that’s been converted into a drone charger! Thank goodness Amazon patented those. Read More

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Devin Coldewey

July 21st

Gadgets

This Website Is Using Math to Create Every Possible Patent

It’s widely accepted that the United States patent system is broken . Alexander Reben agrees, and his response has been to create a website that aims to make it harder for people to patent new ideas.

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Jamie Condliffe

April 11th

Uncategorized

East Texas court orders Apple to pay $625M in damages to patent troll VirnetX

iMessage iPhone 6 21

Last month, it was reported that patent troll VirnetX is seeking $532 million in damages from Apple, claiming that the company has taken its intellectual property without permission. The suit focused on a variety of VirnetX patents relating to technology used in creating Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs. VirnetX said that Apple’s own VPN technology, as well as its iMessage and FaceTime services, infringe on its patents. After another week of hearing, the East Texas Federal District Court has now unanimously ruled that Apple owes VirnetX $625 million in damages.

All the way back in 2012, VirnetX was awarded $368.2 million in damages from Apple, but an appeals court threw out that ruling and ordered a new trial. VirnetX then went into the new trial requesting $532 million from Apple. Accounting for willful infringement and royalty calculations however, the court ruled that Apple actually owes VirnetX $625 million.

The ruling was unanimous by the East Texas Federal District, with it ruling that Apple’s VPN on Demand feature, FaceTime, and iMessage all infringed on a handful of different VirnetX patents, coming out to the grand total of $625 million (via AI). The location of the court is notable as East Texas district tends to favor the patent owner in patent-related suits.

At the beginning of the trial, VirnetX explained that Apple had “not played fair” when it came to licensing intellectual property, while Apple argued that it believes in fairness and protecting IP, but that VirnetX kept “moving the boundary, asking for more and more.”

Apple has yet to comment on the ruling, but it will likely seek an appeal. This isn’t the first time Apple has fallen victim to a patent troll, though. In 2015, it was ordered to pay $532.9 million for infringing on gaming patents of SmartFlash LLC. Not satisfied with that amount, SmartFlash then came back again looking for more, saying Apple had released products too late to be included in the initial trial. In 2014, Apple voiced its displeasure with patent trolls, saying that it is the subject of more patent-related lawsuits than any other company.


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Apple, FaceTime, iMessage, intellectual property, patents, VirnetX, VPN

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Chance Miller

February 3rd

Apple

Mac

Apple Wins Highly Relevant Lawsuit Against Samsung to Stop Sale of Four-Year-Old Smartphone

Apple Wins Highly Relevant Lawsuit Against Samsung to Stop Sale of Four-Year-Old Smartphone

Apple’s team of well-paid lawyers really showed Samsung’s team of highly-paid lawyers who’s boss, thanks to a recent court order banning the sale of Samsung’s leading flagship phones from 2012.

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Chris Mills

January 20th

Uncategorized

Apple finally gets US sales ban on some Samsung phone features, but the ruling is practically meaningless

Men are silhouetted against a video screen with Apple and Samsung logos as he poses with Samsung S3 and Samsung S4 smartphones in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica, August 14, 2013. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic (BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA - Tags: BUSINESS TELECOMS) - RTX12L6W

Apple has finally managed to secure a sales ban over some Samsung phone features that infringe on its patents and intellectual property. However, the victory is effectively meaningless despite the milestone in its continuing patent litigation suit with Samsung in ever-longer court battles.

Apple’s ban resides over three features encumbered by its patents: the controversial ‘slide to unlock’ patent, predictive text technology and autocorrect. Getting a ban is a huge symbolic achievement, but the effect it will have on day-to-day business of the two companies is minor. The ban is effectively useless as FOSS Patents explains …

Primarily, the ban only applies to older models of Samsung phone. Most of the affected devices are outdated in the US and no longer sold. It’s nowhere close to a ban on Samsung’s flagship Galaxy phones, that’s for sure. A good example is the slide-to-unlock patent — no ‘721. The wording of the patent is such that it only affects certain visual types of unlock patterns, it doesn’t encapsulate wording for wider applications. Even at the original trial in 2014, Apple was only claiming infringement on a select number of Samsung’s devices. The Galaxy Nexus is notably affected by this, but who is buying a Galaxy Nexus nowadays? It’s a five-year old phone.

Another amusing wrinkle for the quick links patents is that its set to expire at the beginning of February. The enforcement of the injunction has a 30 day leeway period, where Samsung is given some time to make necessary adjustments to its products. However, because the patent expires within that 30 day window, the ban is literally meaningless.

Unsurprisingly, Samsung is still disappointed with the conclusion, as it would with any decision that favoured Apple. In a statement to Bloomberg, Samsung said the ruling creates a bad precedent for future patent cases.

“We are very disappointed,” Samsung said in an e-mailed statement. “While this will not impact American consumers, it is another example of Apple abusing the judicial system to create bad legal precedent, which can harm consumer choice for generations to come.”

The start of these trials date all the way back to 2010, with Steve Jobs wanting to go ‘thermonuclear on Android’. Tim Cook has taken a very different stance, calling patent litigation a distracting ‘pain in the ass’. Apple has not filed further lawsuits since the initial bout leading most to believe that Apple will not ignite further litigation under Cook’s leadership. However, the residual fallout from the Samsung-Apple case will continue for some time yet.


Filed under: AAPL Company, General, iOS, iOS Devices, Tech Industry Tagged: Apple, Galaxy Nexus, Google, iOS, patents, Samsung

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Benjamin Mayo

January 19th

Apple

Mac

This Patented Method for Eyebrow-Shaping Uses the Golden Ratio

Beauty fads come and go, and eyebrow shaping is no exception. But what if there were a mathematical rule we could cite as hands-down the perfect shape? That’s the idea behind the patent recently awarded to inventor Anastasia Soare of Beverly Hills, California, for a “brow mapping technique” that hews closely to the so-called “golden ratio.”

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Jennifer Ouellette

January 16th

Uncategorized

This 1882 Patent for a 50-Caliber Mousetrap Is Probably Overkill

Ralph Waldo Emerson once advised, “Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.” The world would have been in for a bit of a shock if they’d found themselves at the door of one J.E. Bennett of Fredonia, Texas in 1882. That’s the year he patented the mousetrap pictured above.

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Jennifer Ouellette

December 24th

Uncategorized

Samsung takes five-year legal battle over infringed Apple patents to U.S. Supreme Court

Inside_the_United_States_Supreme_Court

Despite the $548M settlement reached earlier this month, Samsung has now asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear an appeal of its patent battle with Apple, reports the WSJ. The company is arguing that lower courts misapplied the law concerning Apple’s design patents.

Specifically, Samsung is asking the court to review rulings concerning “design patents” that cover the look and feel of a product. At trial, Apple convinced the jury that basic design elements of certain Samsung smartphones—essentially a rectangle with rounded corners and a touch-screen grid made up of smaller icons—borrowed too closely from Apple’s iPhone design.

Samsung argues that lower courts made two mistakes …

First, suggests the company’s lawyers, the judge failed to properly instruct the jury on the difference between ‘functional’ and ‘ornamental’ features. Samsung said that its smartphones had to adopt the same general form factor as the iPhone in order to perform the function of a smartphone.

“The jury could look at Apple’s patented designs, look at Samsung’s phones, see that both have rectangular shapes, rounded corners, flat screens and colorful icon grids, and decide, voilà, that there must be design-patent infringement—even though those shared features are…functional, not ornamental,” wrote Samsung’s lawyers, in the brief.

Second, the company says that the damages awarded were too high.

In Samsung’s eyes, according to Monday’s court filing, it was wrongly ordered to pay Apple all of its profit from infringing profits. Samsung says the 1887 law pertaining to design patents is outdated and too punitive for modern products such as a smartphone, which Samsung says contains about 250,000 design and utility patents.

The company likened the case to a car company being ordered to hand over all its profits on a car if the company was found to have copied a patented cupholder.

The U.S. Supreme Court will need to decide whether or not to hear the case. CNET quotes Stanford Law School intellectual property law professor Mark Lemley as stating that asking the court to take on a case “is always an uphill battle, but this is a very high-profile case.” The court may be influenced by the fact that Google, Facebook and others have sided with Samsung, though Apple has said that Google is not a disinterested party.

If the Supreme Court does agree to hear the case, it will be rather busy with Apple-related cases: Apple has asked it to hear the final appeal of the ebook trial. Apple recently got the backing of authors and booksellers, who argue that Amazon rather than Apple should have been investigated.

Photo: Wikipedia


Filed under: AAPL Company, iOS Devices Tagged: Apple Inc, Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., Apple vs Samsung, Ltd., patent battle, Patent trial, patents, Samsung patent trial

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Ben Lovejoy

December 15th

Apple

Mac

Apple Found Guilty of Using University of Wisconsin Patent in Its Chips


Apple has been found guilty of using a technology, patented by the University of Wisconsin-Madison way back in 1998, in its chips without the proper permission — and it could cost it close $1 billion.

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Jamie Condliffe

October 14th

Apple

NASA offers its patent portfolio to start-ups with no up-front payment required

NASA Patents

While most people tend to view NASA solely in the context of space exploration, the famed government agency also has a surprising number of inventions to its name. From creating memory foam in the early 1960s to coming up with Cochlear Implants in the 1970s, the list of innovative products and advanced technologies with roots at NASA is rather extensive.

Now, in an effort to generate cash while at the same time encourage innovation, NASA will be soon be opening up its patent portfolio to the masses with no up-front payment required.

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Yoni Heisler

October 11th

Uncategorized
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