In what is probably the most interesting patent lawsuit we've seen in a while. Boston University is suing Apple over claims that the company is infringing on a patent that the university obtained in 1997 dealing with a method of making thin and compact semiconductors that can produce blue lasers on the cheap.
A series of patent infringement claims have been filed by Apple this month surrounding both the Samsung GALAXY S 4 and the Android-centric Google Now system. Two "Siri" patents have been pulled up by Apple surrounding unified search, each of them originally attached to a suit that filed against the Android Quick Search Box in devices running Android 4.0 and lower. Apple has also claimed in a similar document this week that claims against past Samsung Galaxy devices continue to hold true with the Samsung GALAXY S 4, the company asking that this device be included in a suit they've already got on the books.
It's well established that Apple and Samsung have been in a legal cat fight for a while now, and while things seemed to have settled down for a bit, both companies are at it again. Apple and Samsung will be going to court next year in the spring for what will be the second patent trial between the two companies, and the Cupertino-based company is looking to add the new Galaxy S 4 to the mix.
The tango between Samsung and LG is starting back up again. LG is accusing Samsung of infringing on one of its eye-tracking patents. Specifically, the dispute deals with Samsung's "Smart Pause" on the GALAXY S 4 and "Smart Video" on the Optimus G Pro, both of which automatically pause video when your eyes stray away from the screen.
Remember when a court ruled that Samsung owed just a tad over $1 billion to Apple back in August? Yeah, that was a lot of money. However, it turns out that Judge Lucy Koh has voided almost half of that award down to 598.9 million. Plus, she's ordering up a new trial involving 14 of Samsung's products. Why? Koh says that "the Court identified an impermissible legal theory on which the jury based its award."
You personally may not have heard of Soverain Software, but the company is well-known to many online retailers. While Soverain owns several patents, they're not a legitimate company, but rather a patent troll. They've been suing online retailers left and right for the past few years, claiming that their patent entitles them to 1% of every shopping cart transaction on the internet, but computer parts retailer Newegg.com finally took them down.
This year we got wind of a company by the name of Project Paperless, a group of "patent trolls" whose goal it was to target companies who didn't have legal means to defend themselves with patent claims for items such as scanning and emailing PDFs. In short, this means that you, as a business, would receive a legal threat from P.P. demanding $1,000 USD per employee for their actual physical use of a scanner device in your office because they own the patent that describes the device's use. Through the year they've been targeted themselves by some rather angry business owners who decided that, "no, we're not going to freak out and pay you this absurd amount of cash, we're going to see first if you actually have the rights to request such a sum!"
Mark one in the win column, folks. Apple has dropped Samsung's latest device, the Galaxy S III Mini, from its patent case against the Korean-based company. Apple agreed in a court filing to drop its infringement claims against the Galaxy S III Mini. Apple initially included the device because it was available for sale through Amazon.com, but Samsung argued that the device had not been officially released in the US, and therefore shouldn't be covered.
It looks like Apple isn't the only company that Samsung is after. It turns out that the Korean-based company is seeking a sales ban in the US on some of Ericsson's products. Samsung has filed a complaint against the Swedish company with the US International Trade Commission (ITC), requesting a US import and sales ban on Ericsson.