The Great Mobile Patent War – Are your popcorn ready?

Thursday, 8 September, 2011

Bloomberg, Sept 7, 2011, “Google Hands HTC Patents to Use Against Apple

“HTC Corp. (2498), Asia’s second-biggest smartphone maker, is using nine patents bought from Google Inc. (GOOG) last week to pursue new infringement claims against Apple Inc.

Google had taken ownership of the patents less than a year ago, with four of the patents originating from Motorola Inc., three from Openwave Systems Inc. and two from Palm Inc., according to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office records. Jim Prosser, a spokesman for Mountain View, California-based Google, wouldn’t discuss reasons for the nine transfers to HTC.

HTC now has more ammunition in its fight to fend off multiple patent-infringement claims lodged by Apple that contend phones running Google’s Android operating system copy the iPhone. Google’s involvement in aiding HTC represents a new front in an industrywide dispute over smartphone technology that has also ensnared Android customers Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc., Barnes & Noble Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co.”

From ZDNet, Sept 8, 2011, “Mobile patent litigation: A game with too many playing cards – Summary: Patent litigation in the mobile space is out of control. It has become a game with too many playing cards for anyone to win.

From Fortune, Sept 8, 2011 “Google gets its hands dirty – Android’s purveyor crossed a line when it sold arms to be used against Apple

P.S. I tried, without success I have to say, to get a blog friend to share his insight re this patent war, he wisely declined and told me it would be more fun to watch from the sidelines!

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Colourful and durable carbon fiber devices

Thursday, 1 September, 2011

Interesting innovation from Apple.

Apple Insider, “Apple interested in creating colorful, durable carbon fiber devices

US Patent Application, published Sept 1, 2011, 20110210476, “Composite Laminate Having An Improved Cosmetic Surface And Method Of Making Same”


“New” Weapon in Apple-Samsung Patent War – Stanley Kubrick’s 2001

Thursday, 25 August, 2011

Over the years, I have actually tagged quite a few of my articles with the keyword “patent” and I am no fan of patent war. So I am happy to read “Samsung says Apple lifted iPad from Kubrick’s 2001“. Apparently Samsung is trying to use Stanley Kubrick‘s 2001, in particular the following YouTube video as an example of prior art!


Lytro Picture Revolution – In its founder and CEO Ren Ng’s words

Friday, 19 August, 2011

Highly recommend you read this dpreview article, “Lytro’s Ren Ng sheds some light on the company’s ambitions“. Here is an excerpt,

“Lytro’s announcement that it will be launching a plenoptic ‘light field’ camera that allows images to be re-focused after they’ve been taken, was met with equal amounts of interest and skepticism. Interested to find out more, we spoke to the company’s founder and CEO, Ren Ng, to hear just what he has planned and how far towards a product the company has got.”

***

Sept 7, 2011 update: Reuters video interview, “California company brings sharper focus to photography

Economist, “Cameras get cleverer – Consumer electronics: New approaches to photography treat it as a branch of computing as well as optics, making possible a range of new tricks


Leading Thinker Cory Doctorow’s Keynote Address at SIGGRAPH 2011

Saturday, 13 August, 2011

The following is one of Cory Doctorow‘s best speech. Cory is an editor of Boing Boing and one of the leading thinkers about Copyright. [HT my friend +Jan Rubak]

Leading Thinker Cory Doctorow’s Keynote Address at SIGGRAPH 2011

P.S. I can’t stop smiling when he starts talking, at ~12:49, about Canadian Heritage Minister [Twitter @JamesMoore_org].

Personal observation: Minister Moore believes in political debate and listening to citizen’s views as long as he can block you. See Twitter @no_mpjamesmoore


Consortium of Nortel patents purchasers: How much they paid and what they get (according to anonymous internal sources)

Monday, 4 July, 2011

After writing about Nortel gets $4.5 billion for 6,000 patents and patent applications, it is good to read some details. According to internal sources with promised anonymity by “I, Cringely” (emphasis added)

“Here’s the consortium participation as I understand it. RIM and Ericsson together put up $1.1 billion with Ericsson getting a fully paid-up license to the portfolio while RIM, as a Canadian company like Nortel, gets a paid-up license plus possibly some carry forward operating losses from Nortel, which has plenty of such losses to spare. For RIM the deal might actually have a net zero cost after tax savings, which the Canadian business press hasn’t yet figured out.

Microsoft and Sony put up another $1 billion.

There is a reportedly a side deal for about $400 million with EMC that has the storage company walking with sole ownership of an unspecified subset of the Nortel patents.

Finally Apple put up $2 billion for outright ownership of Nortel’s Long Term Evolution (4G) patents as well as another package of patents supposedly intended to hobble Android.

At the end of the day this deal isn’t about royalties. It is about trying to kill Android.”

Bob has been in the industry for a long time, so there are probably some elements of truth in his report and worth considering. [HT Digital Trends]


Nortel gets $4.5 billion for 6,000 patents and patent applications

Sunday, 3 July, 2011

I love patents. I love auctions (the strategies and its economic implications, etc). So I will try to spend some time to share my thoughts about the news of Nortel 6,000 patents and patent applications sold for $4.5 billion.

Here is some fun facts but more interestingly some details of the auction process itself. Note that the winning group of companies (see Apple, Microsoft, RIM) are not exactly friends, to put it diplomatically,

“A group of six companies — Apple, Microsoft, RIM, EMC, Ericsson and Sony — won the auction of 6,000 Nortel patents and patent applications with a $4.5 billion bid.”

Here is EuroNews report of the news.


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