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15 Aug 2011 10:04


Biz, Tech: Google to buy Motorola Mobility: More on the blockbuster deal of the day

  • $12.5 billion to buy a key seller of Android phones
  • 17,000 number of issued patents the mobility side of Motorola owns, which would now be Google’s; Motorola split in half back in January
  • 7,500 number of patent filings made under Motorola Mobility’s name; these patents are almost as valuable to Google as the phones source
  • » Google stocks didn’t react well: While an argument could be made that this is a great move for Google, investors appear to be at least somewhat spooked, with Google’s stock currently down despite the more positive market at large. Is it because the company has never really had any sort of success in the hardware business? And what does this mean for HTC or Samsung or all the other big Android makers?

28 Jul 2011 20:00


Tech: Patent lawsuit-o-rama: Spotify sued just weeks after going stateside

  • Once again, we see patents being used as a tool to shakedown companies who were actually innovative in how they executed, with a ridiculously broad patent that contributed zippo to the actual state of the art.
  • TechDirt’s Mike Masnick • Offering a spot-on take regarding the patent lawsuit filed against the finally-in-the-U.S. Spotify. The company suing, PacketVideo, specializes in mobile streaming solutions, but did not develop the patent, which dates back to 1994. Instead, they bought it a couple of years ago. Masnick, in his argument about patent law, rightly points out that it’s easy to patent an idea (especially one that was already floating around the ether in 1994, like audio streaming), but it’s very hard to do what Spotify does — which is, corral the cats into a room and get them all working in unison. Fact of matter: PacketVideo didn’t put any of the work into getting the labels on board, creating an innovative distribution model, or making it a cinch to use. Spotify did. And it’s another example of how patent law fails to protect real innovation, but instead punishes success. source

22 Jun 2011 09:55


Tech: Samsung’s legal ploy to see the new iPhone early fails miserably

  • lawsuit A while back, Apple sued Samsung, claiming that they basically ripped off the iPhone’s designs for their phones, a charge Samsung denies.
  • evidence In an effort to defend itself, Samsung’s lawyers requested that they get access to the new iPhone and iPad before their release. No, really.
  • denial Unfortunately for them, the court ruled against Samsung; if you want to see the new iPhone, you have to find it in a bar like Gizmodo did. source

19 Apr 2011 11:23


Tech: Microsoft’s patent case hits an unsympathetic Supreme Court

  • It’s a bad thing not to give protection to an invention that deserves it; and it is just as bad a thing to give protection to an invention that doesn’t deserve it. Both can seriously harm the economy. What we’re trying to do is we’re trying to get a better tool, if possible, to separate the sheep from the goats.
  • Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer • Offering a very smart insight during yesterday’s arguments in the Microsoft/i4i patent case which has been floating around the ether for a couple of years. Microsoft’s pushing to make obvious patents a little less patentable, and they have a lot riding on the case. See, i4i owns a key patent involving custom XML in a document — something Microsoft used heavily in Word until the patent case came up. They could end up owing hundreds of millions otherwise. Other justices, particularly Antonin Scalia and Elena Kagan, weren’t so kind to Microsoft’s case. Fun fact: Chief Justice John Roberts recused himself from this case because he owns Microsoft stock. If the vote goes 4-4, the lower court ruling stands and Microsoft loses. source

25 Mar 2011 13:09


Biz: Once-powerful Kodak now raising money by patent trolling

  • $1 billion — the amount Kodak wants to shake out of RIM & Apple source
  • » Wait wait, how sad is this? Kodak, one of the great companies of the 20th century — and probably the one most deserving of a Paul Simon tune — has been relegated to patent troll status. Kodak claims that they hold the patent to an image-preview feature commonly used in cameraphones. The company has lost half of its market value in the past year.

16 Dec 2010 11:15


Tech: Nokia fires fresh salvo in ongoing patent war with Apple

  • 13 new patent claims made by Nokia against Apple source
  • » Whiny babies on both sides: Nokia, which hasn’t exactly been doing all that great in the market lately (but created a lot of fundamental technologies for mobile devices), sued Apple over a bunch of patents last year. Then Apple countersued. Nokia then went as far as asking the U.S. International Trade Commission to halt imports of Apple products. You know, how much does suing the hell out of one another solve? Nothing.

12 Dec 2010 12:14


Tech: Best news ever: Paul Allen’s patent troll lawsuits thrown out

  • whatThe patent-troll lawsuit Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen filed against every major technology company in the world failed in court on Friday. Good for everyone but Paul Allen.
  • whyHis company wasn’t specific about how the many companies he was suing violated the patents. They have until December 28 to refile to prove specific damages. source

30 Oct 2010 12:27


Biz, Tech: Does the U.S. think companies should patent genes?

  • NO they think that genes are part of nature and shouldn’t be source
  • » Why this is a big deal: Well, among other things, this is a change of policy for them, one that could make it harder for the biotechnology and medicine industries to keep innovations unique. We wish that the government would make this distinction on software patents over trivial things. See, that’s where a change in decision is necessary.

31 Aug 2010 21:42


Offbeat: Deep-fried beer from Texas: Because, well, why the hell not?

This little chunk of ravioliesque bread includes a little lump of beer. It’s been fried inside for 20 seconds – just long enough to keep it alcoholic. It’s not cheap, though, at $5. source

27 Aug 2010 21:40


Tech: Patent troll: Paul Allen is a jerk who hasn’t been relevant in 20 years

  • Why do patents exist? Apparently so a multi-billionaire can choose to be a jerk and sue the entire Internet over obvious ideas he isn’t even using. Paul Allen, who’s giving away most of his fortune to charity anyway, is the head of Interval Licensing, which appears to be a patent-trolling firm based around patents that an old company of his, Interval Research Corp., created in the ’90s but never used. Now he’s suing Google, Facebook, eBay, Apple, Yahoo, Netflix and Youtube over what seem to be obvious patents. Our patent system is pretty much the worst thing ever, it’s being used to screw people over on obvious technologies, and it’s getting worse. If you really thought these patents were so bad, Paul, why did you choose not to sue Microsoft, which you own a stake in, or Amazon? source