patent

Apple is playing patent royalty hardball, and Qualcomm is furious

Apple is playing patent royalty hardball, and Qualcomm is furious

The patent fight between Apple and Qualcomm is getting uglier, with the chip-maker now outraged that its legal foe - and customer - is now withholding cash while the two clash in court. Tensions were cranked up to eleven back in January, when Apple accused Qualcomm of forcing unfair licensing fees onto it. Suing the company, it accused it of having "unfairly insisted on charging royalties for technologies they have nothing to do with."

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The robot war has started! iRobot’s robo-vac patent war, that is

The robot war has started! iRobot’s robo-vac patent war, that is

It's robot wars, but not quite like the Terminator movies warned it would be. iRobot has launched a salvo of litigation against a whole host of rivals, alleging that collectively they infringe on a total of six patents the company holds around robotic vacuum cleaner technology. While warring robo-vacs might sound comical, the stakes are high.

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Qualcomm to refund BlackBerry $815 million in patent royalties

Qualcomm to refund BlackBerry $815 million in patent royalties

Qualcomm just can't seem to catch a break. Which is probably the price to pay for being such a successful and high-profile company. While it is still in a tug of war with Apple, it has just announced its loss to BlackBerry in a different but eerily similar case. The two companies have announced that an arbitration panel is requiring Qualcomm to pay BlackBerry $814.9 million. All because BlackBerry says it has actually overpaid Qualcomm some patent royalties.

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Google PAX patent alliance to keep Android enemies at bay

Google PAX patent alliance to keep Android enemies at bay

The patent system was formed in order to foster innovation but, unsurprisingly, some enterprising people have been able to turn it into a business. To be more specific, some have the business of suing others for patents they never created or never use. Yes, these are the patent trolls that threaten even giants like Google, Apple, Samsung, and Microsoft. In order to protect its often-targeted platform, Google has formed the "Android Networked Cross-License Agreement" with its hardware partners. And to give it a catchier name, Google is calling it "PAX", the Latin word for "peace".

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Microsoft patents a tablet with dynamic e-ink keyboard cover

Microsoft patents a tablet with dynamic e-ink keyboard cover

Like it or not, it seems that companies are beginning to rethink the venerable keyboard, especially when it comes to mobile devices, both laptops and tablets alike. Microsoft started it with the Surface covers and then Apple jumped on board with the cloth-like Smart Keyboard. Things came to a head with the Lenovo Yoga Book's "Halo Keyboard". Now it seems that Microsoft might be on the verge of yet another invention, one that combines a few of those ideas together into one e-ink keyboard cover.

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Samsung Gear smartwatch rotary dial could also have a screen

Samsung Gear smartwatch rotary dial could also have a screen

Samsung has yet to prove that it can do flexible and foldable devices, but it seems to already be dreaming up of something different yet also ambitious already. A recent patent application reveals that Samsung has an idea for a rather interesting and almost literal twist to its Gear smartwatch. Instead of a plain, boring rotating bezel, future Gear watches might have dials that not only rotate but also display data at the edges. This way, you can take a glance at information whether you're viewing the smartwatch from the top or from the sides.

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Apple patent turns iOS devices into laptops

Apple patent turns iOS devices into laptops

We can discover a lot of interesting stuff by looking at patent filings, and a new patent from Apple definitely falls within that category. At first blush, the drawings in the patent seem to show a device that looks just like a regular old laptop. The major difference, though, is that the laptop can't operate without some kind of host device attached - in this case, an iPhone that's slotted in where the laptop's trackpad would traditionally be.

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Sony patent lets devices leech power off others wirelessly

Sony patent lets devices leech power off others wirelessly

Despite years of promises, wireless charging has yet to really took root in the consumer’s mind. It is still not an in-demand feature in smartphones the way waterproofing or, to some degree, microSD card slots, have become. In a chicken or egg situation, wireless charging pads, especially in public places, aren’t as common as well, making it inconvenient to rely on wireless technology? But what if topping off your smartphone means simply just placing it nearby another? That is the interesting, and partly scary, scenario that Sony’s latest patent paints, where one device can recharge itself by sucking out power from another. Wirelessly, of course.

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This Google hat is an all-in-one camera broadcasting system

This Google hat is an all-in-one camera broadcasting system

The latest patent oddity comes from Google, which has detailed a wearable baseball hat/camera/broadcasting system that would, in theory at least, make it easy to share your world with the rest of the world. The camera system involves a battery-toting baseball cap with a camera and microphone clipped onto the brim, a bone conduction speaker tucked away somewhere near the wearer's skull, and Bluetooth connectivity for pairing with a smartphone.

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Dyson patent details ‘high-velocity’ brush that can dry and curl hair

Dyson patent details ‘high-velocity’ brush that can dry and curl hair

Dyson has patented a new device described as a ‘high-velocity’ hairbrush that can dry and curl hair as well as untangle it. The patent shows a long cylindrical brush with rows of bristles on one end and what appears to be a power cord on the other. This would essentially be a hot brush with the ability to blow air through small slots to also double as a hairdryer, cutting down grooming time and only requiring one hand.

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How a new MacBook could reinvent the laptop

How a new MacBook could reinvent the laptop

Today we're taking a real Apple invention and hypothetically applying it to a real Apple product. What we're doing is having a look at a patent made by Apple - a new sort of hinge design for the MacBook. This new hinge could change the way you and I use a notebook and, potentially, blow the rest of the industry away completely.

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Amazon patent details delivery drone drops using parachutes

Amazon patent details delivery drone drops using parachutes

Amazon has been testing its drone technology for a while now, and we’ve seen some demonstrations and patents related to this testing. The latest patent to surface details one method by which Amazon delivery drones may get packages directly to customers — via a parachute, allowing the package to be dropped from the sky. This would prevent the drone from having to land, though it would monitor the package’s descent before taking off.

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