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Jury Finds Apple and Samsung Infringed Each Other's Patents 49

An anonymous reader writes "A U.S. jury concluded Friday that Samsung had infringed on two of Apple's patents and that Apple had infringed on one of Samsung's patents. Prior to the trial, the judge had ruled that Samsung had infringed on one other Apple patent. Samsung will receive $158,400 in damages, although they had requested just over $6 million. Apple will receive $119.6 million in damages, although they had requested just over $2 billion and a ban on certain Samsung phones. Some say that a sales ban is unlikely to be approved by the judge. The jury is scheduled to return on Monday to resolve what appears to be a technical mistake in their verdict on one of the patents, and Apple may gain a few hundred thousand dollars in their damages award as a result."

Apple Again Seeks Ban On 20+ Samsung Devices In US 235

An anonymous reader notes that Apple has renewed its patent attack against Samsung, asking U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh to prohibit Samsung from selling over 20 different phones and tablets. Apple made a similar request after it won a $1 billion judgment in 2012, but Koh did not allow it. An Appeals court later ruled that Apple could resubmit its request if it focused on the specific features at the center of the 2012 verdict, and that's what we're seeing today. Apple's filing said, "Samsung’s claim that it has discontinued selling the particular models found to infringe or design around Apple's patents in no way diminishes Apple’s need for injunctive relief. ... Because Samsung frequently brings new products to market, an injunction is important to providing Apple the relief it needs to combat any future infringement by Samsung through products not more than colorably different from those already found to infringe."

Pinch-To-Zoom Apple Patent Rejected By USPTO 110

freddienumber13 writes "In another patent surprise, a patent application by Apple for pinch-to-zoom has been rejected by the USPTO on the grounds that its claims were either anticipated by previous patents or simply unpatentable. This will be welcome news for Samsung, who back in April asked for a stay of the trial. However, Apple has a short period of time in which they can appeal this finding."

Microsoft Sues US Customs For Allowing Imports of Banned Motorola Phones 87

SmartAboutThings writes "Microsoft filed a lawsuit on Friday accusing the United States Customs of secretly meeting with Google representatives to allow imports of Motorola devices that are infringing on Microsoft's ActiveSync technology and therefore should be banned." The article lists 18 (older) Android devices that are named in the complaint; Xoom owners just got some street cred.

Google and Apple Spent More On Patents Than R&D Last Year 119

parallel_prankster writes "NYTimes has an interesting article about how patents are really stifling innovation in the tech industry. Today, almost every major technology company is involved in ongoing patent battles. Of course, the most significant player is Apple, industry executives say, because of its influence and the size of its claims: in August in California, the company won a $1 billion patent infringement judgment against Samsung. Former Apple employees say senior executives made a deliberate decision over the last decade, after Apple was a victim of patent attacks, to use patents as leverage against competitors to the iPhone, the company's biggest source of profits. At a technology conference this year, Apple's chief executive, Timothy D. Cook, said patent battles had not slowed innovation at the company, but acknowledged that some aspects of the battles had 'kind of gotten crazy.' It is a complaint heard throughout the industry. The increasing push to assert ownership of broad technologies has led to a destructive arms race, engineers say. Some point to so-called patent trolls, companies that exist solely to sue over patent violations. Others say big technology companies have also exploited the system's weaknesses. 'There are hundreds of ways to write the same computer program,' said James Bessen, a legal expert at Harvard. And so patent applications often try to encompass every potential aspect of a new technology. When such applications are approved, Mr. Bessen said, 'the borders are fuzzy, so it's really easy to accuse others of trespassing on your ideas.'"

Intellectual Ventures Settles Lawsuits With Asian Memory Companies 30

curtwoodward writes "Intellectual Ventures, the controversial patent middleman company headed by former Microsoft CTO Nathan Myhrvold, has settled one of the first lawsuits it ever filed. This legal spat was with two Asian firms: South Korea-based Hynix and Japan-based Elpida. It also involved a complaint to the International Trade Commission, which roped in downstream customers including Dell and H-P because they used components from the two manufacturers. The terms weren't disclosed, but it seems quite likely that Intellectual Ventures was able to get the licensing fees it always wanted: The company's head lawyer is quoted praising the two former adversaries, and explaining once again that the company wants to license its patents instead of heading to court."

Apple Adds Samsung Galaxy SIII To Its Ban List 553

After its big win against Samsung, Apple named 8 Samsung products it wanted an injunction to ban from sale in the U.S. Apple wasn't content with that, though; USA Today reports on the state of the expanded list: "The new list of 21 products includes Samsung's flagship smartphone Galaxy S III as well as the Galaxy Note, another popular Android phone. If the court finds those devices are infringing Apple's patents and irreparably harming the U.S. company, it could temporarily halt sales in the U.S. market even before the trial begins."

Nokia: Google's Nexus 7 Tablet Infringes Our Patents 183

walterbyrd writes with a story at The Inquirer outlining the latest volley in the patent wars surrounding mobile hardware, this time aimed at the new Aus-built Nexus 7 tablet from Google by Nokia, in which the company's spokesman says, "Nokia has more than 40 licensees, mainly for its standards essential patent portfolio, including most of the mobile device manufacturers. Neither Google nor Asus is licensed under our patent portfolio. 'Companies who are not yet licensed under our standard essential patents should simply approach us and sign up for a license.'"

B&N Sought DoJ Inquiry Over Microsoft Patents 162

Meshach writes "There's an interesting story at the WSJ about how Barnes & Noble lobbied the Justice Department to open a new antitrust probe against Microsoft regarding their abuse of the patent system. B&N saw Microsoft filing a slew of frivolous patents in order to stop the development of handheld devices, potentially affecting their Nook reader. The article mentions how Microsoft has a similar racket going with various Android device manufacturers, but B&N does not have the cash reserves to support similar licensing, and is fighting back." Reader qantr points out related news: Chinese telecoms firm Huawei has confirmed that Microsoft is demanding royalty payments over products running Android.

Jobs Wanted To Destroy Android 988

hype7 writes "It's clear Steve Jobs didn't pull any punches from the interviews for his forthcoming biography. In the latest release from the book, hosted over at AP, 'Isaacson wrote that Jobs was livid in January 2010 when HTC introduced an Android phone that boasted many of the popular features of the iPhone. Apple sued, and Jobs told Isaacson in an expletive-laced rant that Google's actions amounted to "grand theft." ... "I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this." ... In a subsequent meeting with Schmidt at a Palo Alto, Calif., cafe, Jobs told Schmidt that he wasn't interested in settling the lawsuit, the book says. "I don't want your money. If you offer me $5 billion, I won't want it. I've got plenty of money. I want you to stop using our ideas in Android, that's all I want." The meeting, Isaacson wrote, resolved nothing.'"

Ask Slashdot: Dealing With the Business Software Alliance? 519

Kagetsuki writes "We've just gotten a letter from an attorney representing the Business Software Alliance stating someone (we're certain it's a disgruntled former employee) submitted information we are using illegally copied software. The thing is... we're not using illegally copied software. We have licenses for all the commercial software we are using. Still, according to articles on the BSA, that's irrelevant and they'll end up suing us anyway. So we now need a lawyer to deal with their claims and we don't have the money — this will surely be the end of the company into which I've sunk all my savings and three years of my life. Has anybody dealt with the Business Software Alliance before? What action should I take? Is there any sort of financial recourse, or at least a way cover our legal fees?"

Microsoft's Hottest New Profit Center: Android 276

jbrodkin writes "One of Microsoft's hottest new profit centers is a smartphone platform you've definitely heard of: Android. Google's Linux-based mobile operating system is a favorite target for Microsoft's patent attorneys, who are suing numerous Android vendors and just today announced that another manufacturer has agreed to write checks to Microsoft every time it ships an Android device. Vendors paying off Microsoft for the right to use Android now include HTC, Velocity Micro, General Dynamics, Onkyo Corp. and Wistron. Microsoft likely makes more money from Android than its own Windows phone platform, and its latest patent agreement announced Tuesday indicates Microsoft is also going after Google's Linux-based Chromebooks."

Is Microsoft About To Declare Patent War On Linux? 204

Glyn Moody writes "Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft's Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, has just published a piece called 'Apple v. HTC: A Step Along the Path of Addressing IP Rights in Smartphones.' In it, he notes that today's smartphones are all about the 'software stack,' not the 'radio stack,' and that 'as the IP situation settles in this space and licensing takes off, we will see the patent royalties applicable to the smartphone software stack settle at a level that reflects the increasing importance software has as a portion of the overall value of the device. In the interim, though, we should expect continued activity.' That 'activity' obviously means lawsuits against those producing those software stacks, and Gutierrez seems to be hinting strongly that Microsoft intends to join in. So where does that leave all the Linux-based stacks such as the increasingly-popular Android? Is this just a clever way for Microsoft to start a patent war on Linux without appearing to do so?"

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"