Lucius Fox

Chief Executive Officer of Wayne Enterprises

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,.

One of the biggest trials in the recent history of the tech industry is in full swing, as Oracle and Google confront each other in downtown San Francisco over whether or not Google improperly used technology from Oracle’s Java when developing Android.

Posted at 9:06am and tagged with: Oracle, Oracle Corporation, ORCL, Google, GOOG, Android, Sun Microsystems, Java, Law, Legal, Patents, Technology,.

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.”]

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,.

Intel has purchased 190 patents and 170 patent applications from RealNetworks for $120 million.

The patents include technology invented to create next-generation video codecs, which encode or decode video so that it can be sent over networks efficiently. It’s one more example of a giant company “armoring up” to deal with potential patent wars in the future.

As part of the deal, Intel will acquire RealNetworks’ foundational streaming media patents, expanding Intel’s diverse portfolio of intellectual property.

Intel said the deal enhances its ability to “continue to offer richer experiences and innovative solutions to end-users across a wide spectrum of devices, including through Ultrabook devices, smartphones and digital media.”

RealNetworks will retain certain rights to continue using the patents in current and future products.

Posted at 1:10pm and tagged with: Intel Corporation, RealNetworks, Patents, Intellectual Property, IP, Technology, Codecs, Video, Devices,.