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Scary Smartphone Motion Control Patent Granted 163

An anonymous reader writes "On March 16th, the United States Patent and Trademark Office issued a very broad patent on motion control in computing devices, one that seems to cover any smartphone that uses a built-in accelerometer. It was filed in July 2006 and preceded by a nearly identical patent granted in 2004 after a 2001 application. So it predates many of today's popular smartphones — the iPhone, the DROID, the Nexus One, etc. What will happen if the company that owns the patent asserts it?"
The Courts

Amazon Sued Over E-Book DRM Patent 84

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Discovery Communications, the parent company of the Discovery Channel, is alleging that Amazon's Kindle e-book reader infringes upon their patent for DRM-encumbered e-books (Discovery's complaint, PDF). The patent in question was filed back in 1999 and issued in 2007 — coincidentally one day after Kindle 1.0 went on the market — and has claims for DRM implemented with a great many particular symmetric key ciphers and key exchange algorithms, (the patent has 171 claims). Unlike most software patents, this one goes into quite a lot of detail about how the encryption is to be performed. But it will still be interesting to see if it can pass the 'machine or transformation' test now that In Re Bilski is being accepted as precedent. After all, it seems like all of these encryption and e-book distribution schemes could be run on a general-purpose PC, so is the 'invention' actually tied to a 'particular machine or apparatus' just because an e-book 'viewer' (not to mention 'home system', 'library', and 'kiosk') happens to be specified in the patent's claims? Or can the encryption of an e-book be claimed as some kind of 'transformation' when the law in that area is especially murky — when no one knows how In Re Bilski may affect the precedent of In Re Schrader?"

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