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.
Patent trolls are like the obnoxious cousins of domain squatters, their confrontational methods being inversely proportional to the passive coat tail riding of those who take advantage of popular URLs. The scheming of the patent troll is simple: buy up a patent portfolio or two, then start tossing around lawsuits in an effort to make some money. The ITC has grown weary of this, and has made it harder for such trolls to succeed.
While Google Wallet hasn't made its way to the mainstream quite yet, the concept is such that we could see digital money replace physical money slowly over time at some point. According to a patent recently filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office, Apple is looking to get into the digital wallet market themselves.
A few days ago, the Obama administration announced that they would be cracking down on patent abusers by making some changes to the US Patent and Trademark Office, as well as get the International Trade Commission involved to help fight against frivolous complaints by tech companies to get import bans on competitor products. Several lawmakers are joining the war as well, urging the Federal Trade Commission to crack down on patent trolls.
In the world of patent wars, Apple has enjoyed quite a few victories, something that may make the latest ruling by the International Trade Commission a little extra painful. According to a ruling posted by the ITC, Apple is staring down the barrel of an import ban in the United State against several of its older - yet still popular - devices, among the being the iPhone 4.
We're pretty familiar with patent trolls around here, mostly because the technology industry is filled with them. However, President Obama wants to take executive action in order to cut down on patent abuse in the system. It's reported that the White House will reveal its plans tomorrow that includes some changes being made to the Patent and Trademark Office.
The recently-announced Xbox One is coming with new ways earn achievements playing your favorite games, but TV achievements might be coming as well. Microsoft applied for a patent that details a feature that would give users achievements for watching television. Yes, according to Microsoft, sitting on the couch with a dumb look on your face while watching a TV show is considered an "achievement."
As we reported on March 22, a judge with the U.S. International Trade Commission took Microsoft's side in a legal battle that has been going on since 2010, saying the company did not infringe on Motorola Mobility patents. While Microsoft was pleased with the ruling, Google obviously was less enthusiastic, and said it would have the finding reviewed by the Commission. As of today, things have once again been found in Microsoft's favor.
Kim Dotcom, the Internet maverick behind the now-defunct Megaupload, went on to replace his government-squashed file hosting website with the newly launched service Mega. All of this followed the police raid on his home in 2012, prompting a legal battle and eventual lawsuit against New Zealand's Government Communications Security Bureau, also known as GCSB, for illegal spying. Now he has taken to Twitter, claiming that many big-name companies, including Google, Twitter, and Facebook , have infringed on his two-step verification patent, and in return he is asking for help funding his legal defense.
Twitter announced today that they have been granted a patent for the popular pull-to-refresh gesture that you see in many mobile apps. However, as a part of the company's new Innovator's Patent Agreement, Twitter agrees only to use the patent for "defensive purposes." Otherwise, the company will need Loren Brichter's permission, the man who invented the gesture.