patent

Sony patents a contact lens that houses a camera

Sony patents a contact lens that houses a camera

OK, this is bound to raise some red flags among privacy advocates, even more than Google Glass ever did. It is also going to make sci-fi aficionados drool and wish they would still be alive, not to mention capable of wearing this smart contact lens, when it actually becomes a product. Smart contact lenses are nothing new to our ears, but what Sony has tried to patent is incredible in both senses of the word: a contact lens that crams enough camera hardware to make it both useful and dangerous.

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Fitbit wins court favor in Jawbone patent case

Fitbit wins court favor in Jawbone patent case

In May 2015, Jawbone slapped Fitbit with a lawsuit over what it claimed was the latter company’s systematic ‘plundering’ of confidential company data by hiring now-former Jawbone employees. Such was the start of a long-running legal battle between Jawbone and Fitbit, one Jawbone has been given the go-ahead to pursue. Yesterday’s ruling wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for Jawbone, though — Fitbit proved victorious in a spat that has resulted in some of Jawbone’s patents being invalidated, reducing the odds of Fitbit being hit with an import ban.

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Apple patent reveals MacBook with touchpad keyboard

Apple patent reveals MacBook with touchpad keyboard

A recently discovered Apple patent reveals a significant possible change to the ultra-thin MacBook: replacing the physical keyboard with a touchpad similar to the existing Force Touch trackpad for mouse inputs. As usual with patents, this may not be indicative of what Apple has planned for future products, nor may this design ever see the light of day, but it's interesting to what could be possible if Apple takes its Force Touch technology to the next level.

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Supreme Court will hear Samsung v. Apple design patent case

Supreme Court will hear Samsung v. Apple design patent case

In what is probably a historic decision, the US Supreme Court has agreed to take on Samsung's appeal in a patent design squabble it has been involved in with Apple for years now. Although Samsung agreed to pay the hefty million dollar sum Apple was awarded in damages, it said it reserved the right to reimburse that amount should a higher court, like the SC, overturn it. But more than just the specifics of this particular case itself, the the very fact that the Supreme Court will be hearing it is, in itself, a legal landmark.

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US bans all hoverboard imports except Segway’s

US bans all hoverboard imports except Segway’s

The US, through its International Trade Commission or ITC, has formally banned all hoverboard imports coming into the country. But no, this has nothing to do with their safety. In fact, only Segway's hoverboards are except from that import ban. That's because the issue at hand is the consequence of a patent infringement case that surface last year. Practically declaring all other hoverboards to be infringing on Segway's patent, the ITC has decided to block their entry into the US, regardless of their safety.

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German court says Apple infringed on OpenTV streaming patent

German court says Apple infringed on OpenTV streaming patent

You win some, you lose some. Apple has been both on the giving as well as the receiving end of patent infringement lawsuits. And it doesn't always win those. In Germany, the Dusseldorf District Court ruled that Apple infringed on patents held by Swiss company Kudelski and its OpenTV unit. These patents relate to video streaming technologies and, as such, Apple is being ordered not to use such software in its devices sold in Germany, including iPhones, iPads, and the Apple TV.

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Amazon thinks shopping by selfie is the password killer

Amazon thinks shopping by selfie is the password killer

Smile: you've just maxed out your credit card. Amazon is looking to patent shopping by selfie, replacing passwords with using the front-facing camera to do facial recognition before it'll ship your order. The patent application, currently being considered by the US Patent & Trademark Office, describes a new way of processing a checkout where, rather than entering your PIN or passcode, your device takes you through a game of Simon Says.

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Ford patent details a movie theater on (self-driving) wheels

Ford patent details a movie theater on (self-driving) wheels

Self-driving cars — the thought of relinquishing the wheel in favor of a passive presence in one’s car is a hard pill for some to swallow, but the technology isn’t without its upsides. You’ll get to nap on the ride to work, some argue. Or, for the parents out there, you’ll get to spend those blessed minutes swaddled in utter silence, free to daydream in peace. For those who find silence uncomfortable, Ford has a different idea: self-driving cars with integrated movie projectors.

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Samsung cleared of 2014 Apple patent infringement case

Samsung cleared of 2014 Apple patent infringement case

It might be less than a fourth of the hefty sum it had to pay Apple last year, but even a $120 million reprieve is a big break for Samsung. But more than not having to pay that amount, the US Appeals Court ruled that Samsung didn't infringe on one of Apple's patents that Cupertino sued it for nearly 2 years ago. To add insult to injury, at least for Apple, the court also declared that the other two patents in the lawsuit were, in fact, invalid. If that weren't enough, it also said that it was Apple who was infringing on one of Samsung's patents.

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Sony patent reveals PowerGlove-like VR gaming controller

Sony patent reveals PowerGlove-like VR gaming controller

You're not going to believe this, but the Power Glove — Nintendo's awful, wearable game controller released in 1989 — could be coming back, at least in spirit, and from Sony. Several patents have been discovered by a NeoGAF user that reveal the PlayStation maker is looking into a glove-based controller to be used with virtual reality gaming experiences. Not only would it allow hand movement tracking, but the ability to physically interact with items in a VR world.

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NVIDIA cleared of Samsung’s patent infringement suit

NVIDIA cleared of Samsung’s patent infringement suit

Sometimes it seems that justice can be as fickle as the wind, especially when it comes to patent cases. In the multiple infringement cases flung between NVIDIA and Samsung, the scales have finally tipped in favor of the famed graphics chip maker. At least for now. A federal jury court in Virginia declared that NVIDIA did not infringe on Samsung's patents related to memory used in its graphics cards. Somewhat amusingly, the case started with four patents hurled against NVIDIA but eventually ended up with only one.

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Galaxy Note S Pen might someday also function as a stand

Galaxy Note S Pen might someday also function as a stand

It seems that Samsung has been busy with more than just figuring out how to get the S Pen unstuck when pushed in the opposite way. A USPTO filing, made in the third quarter last year, reveals one idea to turn that stylus into more than just an input stick. Because, after all, you won't be using it to watch a movie. Instead, the S Pen can be folded and inserted in a such way that it doubles as a stand for propping up the Galaxy Note for some much needed video binging.

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