The long-running patent dispute between Apple and Samsung isn't quite over yet, with both companies set to go before the highest US court tomorrow to hash out a conflict over additional money owed to Apple. Samsung has already handed over $548.2 million to Apple, and tomorrow the company will attempt to argue that it shouldn't have to pay out all of the $399 million it owes for design patent infringement.
We're just about a week away from finally getting a Galaxy Note 7 reveal, but a newly discovered Samsung patent shows that the Note 7 may not be the only thing on the horizon. The patent filing is for a variety of wireless chargers, which has been a big ticket feature for Samsung phones since the Galaxy S6 landed on the scene. With the Galaxy S7 and Note 5, Samsung rolled out new versions of its wireless charger, so it's not outside the realm of possibility that we'll see yet another one to accompany the Note 7.
Software and tech companies might have just scored a victory in their almost never ending battle against patent trolls and their often frivolous patent claims. The US Supreme Court has just handed down a ruling that upheld a new government process that allowed challenges to the validity of patents to be held before the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) instead of a federal court, significantly cutting down on trial costs. The process has been largely hailed by companies like Google and Apple in aiding them in fending off patent trolls.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.