Ericsson asks ITC to block iPhones from U.S. market in patent negotiating tactic

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Ericsson, an early pioneer in cellphone technology, has upped the ante in a patent dispute with Apple by asking the U.S. International Trade Commission to block the import of iPhones into the country.

Ericsson owns patents to a number of fundamental technologies used in all cellphones, including LTE, and Apple had been paying royalties for these up until mid-January when the license fell due for renewal, reports Bloomberg …  Read more

Apple ordered to pay out $532.9 million for gaming-related patent infringement

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A Texas jury has ordered Apple to pay out just under $533 million in a patent infringement case brought by Smartflash LLC regarding technology that the company said iTunes used without permission. Apple had attempted to argue that the patents were invalid. The court ruled in Smartflash’s favor, but chose not to award the entire $852 million the software maker was seeking.

The patents in question were related to “data storage and managing access through payment systems,” according to Bloomberg. Several game developers who took advantage of the tech settled out of court last year, leaving Apple to stand against Smartflash alone.

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Samsung appeal against Apple’s $930M award for patent infringement begins today

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

The latest court battle between Apple and Samsung begins today, with Samsung appealing against the $930M it was ordered to pay Apple for patent infringement in the first trial between the two companies. Samsung is arguing that the amount awarded was “excessive and unwarranted.”

It’s of course not the first time that the sum awarded has been disputed. Apple was initially awarded $1B in damages, with $450M of that later cut and a retrial required to determine a revised sum. The retrial awarded Apple $290M instead for that element of the case, giving Apple a revised total award of $930M …  Read more

MIT looks back at Steve Jobs patents, including the 141 approved since his death

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Steve Jobs may have passed away more than three years ago, but he is still having patents awarded today as applications work their way through the system and old patents are renewed with updates. MIT Technology Review notes that of the 458 patents credited to Jobs, almost a third of them have been awarded since his death in October 2011.

Since his death in 2011 from pancreatic cancer, the former Apple CEO has won 141 patents. That’s more than most inventors win during their lifetimes.

His patent documents act as a record of Apple’s history, says the site …  Read more

Google reaches agreement to settle patent litigation with Apple-backed consortium Rockstar

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Google, according to a report out of Reuters, has agreed to settle all of its patent litigation with the Rockstar consortium, which consists of a variety of tech companies including Apple, Sony, BlackBerry and Microsoft. The Rockstar consortium paid $4.5 billion for Nortel Network Corporation’s huge patent portfolio in 2011, outbidding Google at the time. The Rockstar consortium originally sued Google and a handful of Android manufacturers in October of 2013, claiming that the companies infringed on seven Nortel patents.

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Apple patents smoke detectors in iDevices that can call 911, activate sprinklers and locate building occupants

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The Nest smoke detector may look decidedly old-fashioned if one Apple patent ever makes it into production. Apple has patented the idea of embedding smoke detectors into “electronic devices” and using those devices to provide a comprehensive response to a fire.

In response to detecting smoke with the smoke detector, the electronic device may issue an alert or take other suitable action. The electronic device may transmit alerts to nearby electronic devices and to remote electronic devices such as electronic devices at emergency services facilities. Alerts may contain maps and graphical representations of buildings in which smoke has been detected. Motion detectors and other sensors and circuitry may be used in determining whether electronic devices are being used by users and may be used in determining where the electronic devices are located. Alerts may contain information on the location of detected smoke and building occupants.

In other words, your Apple Watch, iPhone, iPad or Mac could detect smoke, alert you, alert other devices within range, activate sprinklers, call emergency services and use the fact that an iDevice is moving or in use to tell fire crews where in the building you and your family members are …  Read more

iPhone 6: Will it bend?

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Some iPhone 6 owners have found that Apple’s latest and greatest phone comes with an unexpected (but patented!) new feature: flexibility. According to reports, the iPhone 6 is slightly bending beyond repair while in pockets. Some users say that the bending occurred after normal sitting, while other people have had more active lifestyles. Unfortunately, it does not appear that Apple will replace these more fragile-than-expected units at no cost. Some users are reporting that replacement costs are in the hundreds of dollars range. Additional bending pictures below:

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USPTO rejects parts of Apple’s auto-correct patent, $119M payout by Samsung likely to be reduced

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In a new twist to the second Apple vs Samsung patent trial, the United States Patent and Trademark Office has rejected the specific part of Apple’s auto-correct patent that Samsung was said to have infringed, reports FOSS Patents. This effectively means that Samsung was ruled to have infringed a patent that is no longer valid.

The trial found that Samsung infringed three of the five patents Apple claimed, including a specific element of its auto-correct patent which described a particular method of offering corrections or completions. Samsung had unsuccessfully argued at trial that this approach had been used by others before Apple, and therefore could not be patented. The court rejected this argument, but the USPTO has now agreed with Samsung …  Read more

Apple patent granted today shows dockable ‘iTime’ watch concept as well as conventional smartwatch

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A patent application filed by Apple three years ago and approved today illustrates a new twist on the iWatch concept: a sensor-packed strap acting as a dock which allows a range of interchangeable modules to be snapped into place.

9to5-image 2014-07-22 at 10.49.53 AMIt’s not anything we’re likely to see make it into production: the docking concept dates back to 2011, and was probably intended by Apple to house an iPod Nano, converting it into a smartwatch in a more sophisticated version of the watch-straps sold in Apple Stores since way back in 2010. But the patent does tell us two things …  Read more