This afternoon Qualcomm has announced that they will acquire all of HP's remaining Palm-related patents. They will also be acquiring from Hewlett-Packard a number of other patents in the mobile sector, including those under the titles' iPAQ and Bitphone. This purchase will apparently also include both patents and patent applications.
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.