patents

NASA makes 56 patents public domain, launches searchable database

NASA makes 56 patents public domain, launches searchable database

NASA has released a bunch of patents for its technologies so that anyone can use them. A total of 56 “formerly-patented” technologies developed by the government are now available in the public domain, meaning they can be used for commercial purposes in an unrestricted manner. To make it easier to find these technologies and others like them, NASA has also created a new searchable database that links the public to thousands of the agency’s now-expired patents.

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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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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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Apple blocks (some) Samsung phone sales in court case

Apple blocks (some) Samsung phone sales in court case

In a court case that seems to have been going on since the dawn of time, Apple and Samsung remain at legal war with one another. As a result of that case - the same one we've been talking about for several years - Apple has won an injunction to block the sales of several Samsung phones. Lucky for Samsung, the lot of these phones are... essentially out of rotation. There's almost no possible way you'd be buying these phones in a store today anyway, and if you were, it probably wouldn't be direct from Samsung.

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Ford patents electric unicycle that uses your car’s tire

Ford patents electric unicycle that uses your car’s tire

Just imagine: you work downtown and you're not shelling out for the ultra-expensive parking decks. Usually you can find a nice cheap spot on the curb a reasonable distance from your company, but not today. You've had to park many blocks away and you know you'll be sweaty and late if you walk the full distance. What's the solution? With the new Ford contraption revealed in a patent, you could just pop a tire off your car and ride it like a unicycle.

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ITC judge rules that NVIDIA infringed on Samsung patents

ITC judge rules that NVIDIA infringed on Samsung patents

In a tragic - for NVIDIA - reversal of fates, NVIDIA was found guilty of infringing on some of Samsung's patent related to graphics technology. This is the latest slap on the graphics chip maker's face after the ITC also ruled that neither Samsung nor Qualcomm infringed on NVIDIA's own patents. In a worst case scenario, the ITC could impose an import ban against NVIDIA's products, like its already very limited mobile and gaming devices. That is, if no settlement is reached in a few months pending a full review by the commission.

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Google, Microsoft call truce on patent squabbles

Google, Microsoft call truce on patent squabbles

It seems that finally, the tech industry is waking up to realize that patent litigation isn't exactly the best way to move forward. We've heard of companies putting down their arms in favor of more amicable resolutions, and now two of the industry's largest names are doing likewise. Microsoft and Google jointly announced that they are ceasing all patent litigation against each other, especially those revolving around Motorola Mobility. In addition, the tech giants have announced willingness to cooperate on patent matters, thought not exactly sharing their portfolios.

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ITC clears Microsoft in 8 year old patent case, Lumias safe

ITC clears Microsoft in 8 year old patent case, Lumias safe

It would have been a devastating blow if Microsoft was blocked from importing its next batch of Lumia smartphones even before its Windows 10 Mobile OS got out the door. That crisis, however, has been just averted when the US International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled in favor of Redmond in a patent case that InterDigital brought against Nokia way back in 2007. According to the ITC, Microsoft did not infringe on InterDigital's patents, which saves it from a potential import ban that could affect its Lumia smartphones.

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USPTO invalidates Apple design patent used against Samsung

USPTO invalidates Apple design patent used against Samsung

If you thought the patent squabble between frenemies Apple and Samsung was over, better wake up and smell the coffee. Or in this case, read the US Patent and Trademark Office's latest finding. According to the Central Reexamination Division of the USPTO, Apple Design Patent number 618,677 is invalid on grounds of "obviousness" and prior art. This D'677 was one of the more important patents used by Cupertino to sue Samsung for infringement, a case that would have awarded it half a billion dollars if not for this recent ruling.

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Nintendo patent app hints at ceiling projector sleep monitor

Nintendo patent app hints at ceiling projector sleep monitor

Nintendo has steadfastly stayed with making game consoles and video games over the years, but it looks like the company is thinking about branching out. A new patent application has surfaced that shows a sleep monitoring system Nintendo is working on. Like any other patent application, there is no guarantee that this device will ever be made.

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iPhone 7 may look more like iPhone 4 than 6

iPhone 7 may look more like iPhone 4 than 6

Today we're having a peek at the possibility that the iPhone 7 could return to its slightly more retro "4" roots in look and feel. A refined look that worries more about fashionability than it does about falling to the ground, breaking into a million pieces. We're talking about glass on the back of this next iPhone, not just sides that are (once again) flat. In the following patent, Apple speaks about methods and means for cutting into a "highly reflective and smooth surface" on the iPhone.

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Seriously, Google wants to put remotes on your eyes and teeth

Seriously, Google wants to put remotes on your eyes and teeth

A patent revealed this week suggests that not only is Google still working on smart contact lenses, they've got all kinds of body-mountable devices on the books. While we've not heard from Google about this Google X project since March - and even then just inside another patent - it's clear that there's work being done behind the scenes. This particular patent doesn't concentrate so much on the health-monitoring aspects of the lens, instead focusing on the user interface. Instead of working on your glucose, these devices will change the channel on your television.

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