If you're a Bitstrips aficionado or a fan of flicking open an old-school newspaper funnies section, a patent Google has been awarded might be right up your alley: turning conversations into digital comic strips. The information turned up in a patent detailing a process that, in terms of the social element, at least, sounds very similar to the aforementioned Bitstrips: the ability to share on social networks, with at least two users being involved in the comic.
Following the long Nortel Networks patents saga from yester-year, Rockstar Consortium, which outbid other big players to grab the portfolio, sued Google, Samsung and others over alleged infringements. That hasn't been the end of recent dealing with the intellectual property, however, if sources that spoke to Bloomberg are correct, and it may be the collective has had second doubts about the value of purchase.
Apple has been bulk-granted 51 new patents, Patently Apple reports, and one of them is a computer with an extreme-angle projector built-in. The patent describes a "desk-free" computer wirelessly connected to all peripherals and using any available vertical surface as a display screen. The computer would, alas, require some presumably non-desk surface to sit on, dashing the hopes of gravity-defying computer aficionados everywhere.
AT&T has been awarded a patent that would let the company track subscriber browsing behavior, assign them a "reputation score", and then block "high-risk" subscribers from being able to access file-sharing services. The patent is called "Methods, devices and computer program products for regulating network activity using a subscriber scoring system". In other words, the blocking system could rely on tracking software installed on subscriber computers. The patent was spotted by TorrentFreak and relayed by Gigaom.
Patent reform could well be on its way. Last week the US House passed the "Innovation Act", a bill that would make it harder to win overly broad patents and force claimants to present more detailed evidence when suing for infringement. That bill awaits the Senate. This week, it was revealed that former Google top patent lawyer Michelle Lee is to lead the US Patent and Trademark Office starting in about a month.
There are a massive number of Apple vs Samsung and Samsung vs Apple court cases going on in the world today, and more still having appeared in the recent past. What we're seeing this week is a single South Korean case ending with Apple winning over Samsung, the Galaxy smartphone maker not able to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the iPhone maker violated a number of technology patents. This ruling took place in a Seoul Central District Court and showed that at least three Samsung patents were not violated.
Apple has been granted a patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office for a pair of portable media viewing goggles. The patent says they "may resemble ski or motorcycle goggles." The device would likely allow for a 3D viewing experience reminiscent of that found in the Oculus Rift VR headset.
Earlier this year, Nokia sold the majority of its handset business to Microsoft, but held on to its roster of patents. Because of this, a European regulator has warned Nokia to avoid becoming a patent troll, something that has been an issue for companies in increasing numbers. The warning came from the European Commission's head of competition.