Lucius Fox

Chief Executive Officer of Wayne Enterprises

Richard O’Dwyer, an enterprising 24-year-old college student from northern England, has found himself in the middle of a fierce battle between two of America’s great exports: Hollywood and the Internet.

At issue is a Web site he started that helped visitors find American movies and television shows online. Although the site did not serve up pirated content, American authorities say it provided links to sites that did. The Obama administration is seeking to extradite Mr. O’Dwyer from Britain on criminal charges of copyright infringement. The possible punishment: 10 years in a United States prison.

Posted at 10:10am and tagged with: Internet, Cyber Security, Piracy, Intellectual Property,.

Poor Research in Motion just can’t catch a break. The BlackBerry maker has been ordered to pay $147.2 million to Mfomation Technologies over a patent dispute regarding wireless device remote management, Reuters reports.

Yesterday a San Francisco federal court ordered RIM to pay an $8 fee for each BlackBerry device connected to its BlackBerry Enterprise Server, according to Mformation attorney Amar Thakur. A RIM spokesperson, meanwhile, said the company could overturn the ruling with pending legal motions.

Posted at 2:16pm and tagged with: Research In Motion, RIMM, Mformation, IP, Intellectual Property, Patents,.

A Texas shell company says Apple and others have infringed on technology for basic smartphone gestures like dragging and “double tap.” The patents were issued in 2007 to a Taiwanese maker of touchpad technology.

In lawsuits filed this week, a shell called “Touchscreen Gestures” claims devices like the iPhone, the iPad and the Blackberry Playbook are infringing on its technology. A related suit accuses Samsung’s Galaxy tablet of violating the same patents.

The patents are US  Patent 7190356 (“A method of identifying double tap gesture”), US Patent 7180506 (“A method for identifying a movement of single tap 7180506) and US Patent 7184031 (“A method identifying a drag gesture”).

Posted at 5:53pm and tagged with: Apple, Apple Inc., APPL, RIM, Research In Motion, RIMM, Patents, Law, Intellectual Property, IP,.

theatlantic:

Yep, Google Just Patented Background Noise

In 2008, Google applied to patent a system that analyzes the environments surrounding mobile phones — temperature, humidity, sound — by way of sensors embedded in those phones. The technology would be mainly used, Google said in its filing, for (yes) “advertising based on environmental conditions.” It would provide another information layer, beyond quaint little GPS, that would target ads based not just on users’ immediate locations, but on their immediate environments. So, the filing noted, detections of hot weather could serve up ads for air conditioners; or, inversely, winter coats. Or the phone sensors might detect, say, the distinctive sounds of an orchestra being tuned, and combine that information — the user is at a concert — with location data and local events data to figure out which concert the user is attending. And then serve ads (for nearby restaurants, orchestral CDs, local violin teachers) based on that intel.

Cool, no? And also totally creepy?

Well. This week, Google was granted its patent. The firm has officially patented background noise. (And also: cold. And also: warmth.)

There are huge privacy concerns here, obviously, one of them being that the ability to track devices’ background noises would seem to imply the ability to track all their noises. And “it is important to respect the privacy of users,” Google acknowledges in the patent, noting that monitor-tracking will be opt-out-able and that “a privacy policy” specifying which, and how, sensor-gathered information would be used “may be provided to the user.” One wonders about the legality of the hypothetical operation in the 12 states that require everyone recorded to consent to that recording. The sound the phone picks up may just be an advertising signal for an algorithm to Google, but the law could see it differently.

These might be moot points, anyway. There’s no indication, as yet, that Google has plans to implement the “environmental condition” technology, GeekWire points out. But it bears repeating nonetheless, both as a whoa and as an insight into how the firm is thinking about the role it’ll play in our digital future: Google has patented background noise.

And all for the purpose of serving you ads.

[Image: A rendering of Google’s latest patent. Note the lines: “environmental condition” and “ad server.”]

Posted at 5:55pm and tagged with: Google, Patents, Inventions, GOOG, Intellectual Property, Technology,.

theatlantic:

Yep, Google Just Patented Background Noise

In 2008, Google applied to patent a system that analyzes the environments surrounding mobile phones — temperature, humidity, sound — by way of sensors embedded in those phones. The technology would be mainly used, Google said in its filing, for (yes) “advertising based on environmental conditions.” It would provide another information layer, beyond quaint little GPS, that would target ads based not just on users’ immediate locations, but on their immediate environments. So, the filing noted, detections of hot weather could serve up ads for air conditioners; or, inversely, winter coats. Or the phone sensors might detect, say, the distinctive sounds of an orchestra being tuned, and combine that information — the user is at a concert — with location data and local events data to figure out which concert the user is attending. And then serve ads (for nearby restaurants, orchestral CDs, local violin teachers) based on that intel.
Cool, no? And also totally creepy?
Well. This week, Google was granted its patent. The firm has officially patented background noise. (And also: cold. And also: warmth.)
There are huge privacy concerns here, obviously, one of them being that the ability to track devices’ background noises would seem to imply the ability to track all their noises. And “it is important to respect the privacy of users,” Google acknowledges in the patent, noting that monitor-tracking will be opt-out-able and that “a privacy policy” specifying which, and how, sensor-gathered information would be used “may be provided to the user.” One wonders about the legality of the hypothetical operation in the 12 states that require everyone recorded to consent to that recording. The sound the phone picks up may just be an advertising signal for an algorithm to Google, but the law could see it differently.
These might be moot points, anyway. There’s no indication, as yet, that Google has plans to implement the “environmental condition” technology, GeekWire points out. But it bears repeating nonetheless, both as a whoa and as an insight into how the firm is thinking about the role it’ll play in our digital future: Google has patented background noise.
And all for the purpose of serving you ads.
[Image: A rendering of Google’s latest patent. Note the lines: “environmental condition” and “ad server.”]

Megaupload, the popular file-hosting site that the U.S. government shut down in mid-January, may have had many users in the U.S. government, according to new interview with founder Kim Dotcom.

Dotcom and several other Megaupload employees were named in a 72-page indictment issued in January. It alleged that Dotcom and his colleagues facilitated $500 million in damages to copyright owners.

In a new interview with TorrentFreak, Dotcom said that Megaupload has been “negotiating” with the Department of Justice to get back files that were lost when Megaupload was shut down. At the time of the shut down, many users were vocally upsetthat they lost legal files that were hosted on Megaupload.

Posted at 4:48pm and tagged with: Megaupload, Internet, File Sharing, Security, IP, Intellectual Property, DMCA, Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Senate, DOJ, Department of Justice, United States, Kim Dotcom, Law,.

The copyright fight is alive and well — not that there was ever any doubt.

After the high-profile shutdown of Megaupload, the Motion Picture Association of America is going after another file-sharing service, according to TorrentFreak. Panama-based Hotfile has been fighting Hollywood in court for a while, and this week the MPAA filed a motion for a summary judgment. The MPAA likens Hotfile to Megaupload, the “cyberlocker” site that was shut down in January, a day after the Internet-blackout protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act. (See In the World Wild Web, Anonymous, Megaupload, SOPA all play a part. By the way, the United States is reportedly seeking the extradition of Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom.) Hotfile is being accused of enabling infringment; on its website, Hotfile says it complies with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and that it takes down content that infringes on copyright.

The news about the MPAA’s latest action comes on the same week that the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), the international treaty that aims to standardize anti-piracy rules, was opened to the public. Rep. Darrell Issa, R.-Calif., put the text of ACTA on his website Tuesday, inviting public comment. ACTA has inspired online and offline protests in Europe, with opponents criticizing the lack of transparency over its negotiation, and saying it could harm tech innovation and lead to censorship. In a statement from Issa’s office emailed to GMSV and many others, Issa claims “ACTA was negotiated in secret by the Bush and Obama Administrations and attempts to regulate the Internet with potentially serious consequences for consumer privacy, e-commerce and digital innovation.”

Issa also was a critic of SOPA and PIPA and has proposed alternate legislation in the House called the Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade (OPEN) Act. The OPEN Act is supported by GoogleYahoo and other tech companies that were opposed to SOPA and PIPA, and has received a somewhat warmer reception from other observers of the ongoing fight against copyright infringement. (See Quoted: the day after SOPA protests, talking OPEN.)

(Source: blogs.siliconvalley.com)

Posted at 4:15pm and tagged with: MPAA, Motion Picture Association of America, Copyright, Intellectual Property, IP, Hotfile, File Sharing, Torrents, SOPA, ACTA, Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, PIPA, OPEN, DMCA, Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act, Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade, Protect Intellectual Property Act, Piracy, Internet,.

Xie Xianghui, the lawyer for Shenzhen-based Proview International Holdings (0334.HK) subsidiary Proview Technology, said today that despite Apple’s US announcement today of the third-generation iPad, Proview has already contacted customs authorities at more than ten port cities around China to request a block on imports and exports of the tablet.

Posted at 10:55am and tagged with: Proview, iPad, Patent, IP, Intellectual Property, Apple, Apple Inc., China, Asia, 0334.HK, Proview International Holdings, Business, Technology, Mobile, Device,.

Article One Partners (AOP), a patent research firm that works with the U.S. patent office, announced today it has closed its second round of funding for $7 million.

Patent lawsuits are more common than product launches these days, especially thanks to litigation from AppleSamsung, and Motorola that has happened over the last year. But because so many patents are being issued to huge companies that are in fierce competition, there isn’t a lot of research that goes into whether a patent is valid or not. Instead of feeding the squabble over whether one company’s technology infringes upon another company’s patent, AOP determines whether the patent was ever valid in the first place.

Posted at 1:50pm and tagged with: Patents, Article One Partners, Business, Venture Capital, Series B, AOP, Intellectual Property, IP,.

In the wake of the uproar among the technology and entertainment industries over the House’s Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Senate’s Protect IP Act (PIPA), the search for common ground and a way forward is more urgent than ever. NBCUniversal’s Richard Cotton and Union Square Ventures’ Fred Wilson have an open conversation on imagining a digital world in which content creators and tech innovators can thrive and flourish.

Posted at 10:24am and tagged with: SOPA, PIPA, Internet, Policy, Technology, Richard Cotton, Fred Wilson, Intellectual Property, IP, Stop Online Piracy Act, Protect IP Act, United States, Congress,.