Samsung acquires memory maker Grandis

By on August 3, 2011 at 3:00 AM.

Samsung acquires memory maker Grandis

Samsung announced on Tuesday that it has purchased Grandis, a maker of spin transfer torque random access memory (STT-RAM). Grandis will be wrapped inside Samsung’s existing research and development branch where it will continue to work on memory semiconductor technology. According to its website, Grandis “holds a unique, broad patent portfolio in STT-RAM, including key fundamental and practical implementation patents, and licenses its IP to technology companies that design, develop and manufacture a variety of products incorporating stand-alone and embedded STT-RAM memory,” so we wouldn’t be surprised if Samsung made the purchase in an effort to boost its patent portfolio as part of ongoing legal battles with Apple. Details of the acquisition were not revealed and Samsung said the purchase is effective as of late July. Read on for the full press release. More →

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ITC to investigate Samsung following Apple's patent complaints

By on August 2, 2011 at 2:20 PM.

ITC to investigate Samsung following Apple's patent complaints

The U.S. International Trade Commission on Tuesday announced that it will launch an investigation into whether or not multiple Samsung products infringe on Apple patents. “The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain electronic digital media devices and components thereof,” the Commission said in a statement. “The products at issue in this investigation include mobile phone handsets and tablet computers, in addition to components such as software, touchpads, and hardware interfaces.” Apple has filed multiple complaints with the ITC, U.S. courts and international agencies claiming that several Samsung devices are “copycat” products that infringe on Apple patents and copy its designs. Samsung struck back in nearly every case, though the South Korea-based manufacturer did agree not to sell its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in Australia for the time being following a patent complaint filed there by Apple. Apple is also currently at war with several other vendors over patents, including HTC. The ITC’s full news release follows below. More →

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Samsung comments on Apple's patent suit that blocked Galaxy Tab 10.1 sales down under

By on August 2, 2011 at 1:15 PM.

Samsung comments on Apple's patent suit that blocked Galaxy Tab 10.1 sales down under

As a result of a recent patent complaint filed in Australia by Apple, Samsung has agreed not to sell its Galaxy Tab 10.1 Honeycomb tablet in the region. The exact terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but we had a feeling that wouldn’t be the last we would hear on the subject. On Tuesday, Australian Android news site Ausdroid got Samsung’s statement on the matter and as expected, the South Korea-based company says its 10-inch tablet will soon see the light of day down under. “A Samsung GALAXY Tab 10.1 for the Australian market will be released in the near future,” a Samsung Australia spokesperson said in the statement. The spokesperson continued, “This undertaking does not affect any other Samsung smartphone or tablet available in the Australian market or other countries. Samsung will continue to actively defend and protect our intellectual property to ensure our continued innovation and growth in the mobile communication business.” Samsung Australia’s full comment on the matter follows below. More →

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Judge blocks patent holding firm from suing Apple

By on August 1, 2011 at 4:59 PM.

Judge blocks patent holding firm from suing Apple

A U.S. District Judge in Texas has ruled that patent holding firm Personal Audio cannot seek additional damages from Apple relating to a patent that the Cupertino-based company was recently found to be infringing. Personal Audio was awarded $8 million last month when Texas judge Ron Clark ruled that Apple’s iPod was infringing one of its patents covering playlist implementation. Following the win, the holding firm filed a second lawsuit alleging that additional Apple devices such as the iPhone 4 and iPad 2 also made illegal use of this patent. Judge Clark said Friday, however, that the $8 million in damages Apple paid in early July is all Personal Audio will see from Apple related to this patent. “The court finds that the jury’s selection of lump sum as the appropriate form of reasonable royalty clearly represents a damages award giving Apple a fully paid up license that covers all past and future use of the patented technology,” the Judge said in his decision. Personal Audio has not indicated how it will respond to the judge’s ruling. More →

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Google hates smartphone patent wars, but buys 1,000 new patents to go to war

By on July 29, 2011 at 8:15 AM.

Google hates smartphone patent wars, but buys 1,000 new patents to go to war

Google’s general counsel Kent Walker apparently doesn’t see eye to eye with the rest of his company. “The tech industry has a significant problem,” Walker said earlier this week. “Software patents are kind of gumming up the works of innovation.” According to SEO by the Sea however, Google purchased 1,030 patents from IBM just two weeks before Walker made those comments. According to the report, the patents purchased cover a wide rage of IP, “from the fabrication and architecture of memory and microprocessing chips, to other areas of computer architecture including servers and routers as well.” Still more patents cover specific database functions, various aspects of object-oriented programming and even some business processes. The terms of Google’s acquisition have not been disclosed. More →

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Microsoft sued for patent infringement over Kinect controller tech

By on July 25, 2011 at 3:40 PM.

Microsoft sued for patent infringement over Kinect controller tech

Microsoft is being sued for patent infringement over motion-sensing technology used in its blockbuster gaming accessory, the Microsoft Kinect. Ohio-based Impulse Technology has filed a complaint alleging that Microsoft’s Kinect controller infringes on seven of its technology patents. One patent referenced in the lawsuit covers “wide variety of games where the movement of a player is tracked in three dimensions…and certain exercise games where the motion of the player is tracked to effect movement of a virtual avatar, and the exertion of the user is monitored, including where the tracking of the player is done by the use of a camera.” A separate patent describes an “education system challenging a subject’s physiologic and kinesthetic systems to synergistically enhance cognitive function.” Impulse Technology is seeking a permanent injunction to block the import and sale of Microsoft’s Kinect, and it is also suing Electronic Arts, Konami and Sega for developing Xbox 360 games that utilize Kinect and infringe on its patents. Impulse is seeking damages, treble damages, interest, and attorney fees from Microsoft as well. The Kinect motion-based video game controller has been a smash hit for Microsoft, having set numerous sales records since its launch. This past March, Microsoft announced that it had sold 10 million Kinect controllers since the device’s launch just before the holidays last year. More →

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Personal Audio goes for round 2 after winning patent decision against Apple

By on July 22, 2011 at 11:45 AM.

Personal Audio goes for round 2 after winning patent decision against Apple

Patent holding firm Personal Audio LLC is suing Apple for patent infringement surrounding IP covering playlist implementation on multiple Apple devices. The firm was recently awarded $8 million from Apple by a Texas judge who found that the Cupertino-based company’s iPod made unauthorized use of Personal Audio’s IP. Now, the firm’s new suit alleges that additional Apple products are infringing on the same patent. Devices covered in the new complaint include the iPhone 4, the fourth-generation iPod touch, the iPad 2, the fourth-generation iPod shuffle and the sixth-generation iPod nano. Apple has made headlines countless times over the past few months as a result of suing nearly all of its major mobile competitors for patent infringement. While some companies believe Apple should focus on building innovative products instead of suing all of its competitors, Apple seems to think its IP is being used illegally and therefore must be protected vigorously. Apparently, Personal Audio holds a similar belief. More →

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Judge denies Apple’s request for expedited patent trial with Samsung

By on July 13, 2011 at 3:11 PM.

Judge denies Apple’s request for expedited patent trial with Samsung

A federal judge on Tuesday denied Apple’s request for an expedited trial in the company’s patent case against Samsung, FOSS Patents reports. “The Court agrees [with Samsung] that Apple has not established substantial harm or prejudice justifying a shortened briefing and hearing schedule for its Motion to Expedite,” Judge Lucy Koh of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California said. Judge Koh also pointed out that Apple “had been aware of its infringement claims for at least a year and engaged in negotiations with Samsung during that time,” so the company has had more than enough time to consider possible legal courses of action. Apple recently filed requests with both a U.S. district court and with the International Trade Commission seeking a preliminary injunction to block the import and sale of several of Samsung’s mobile devices. Apple calls the devices, which include Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the DROID Charge, “copycat” products that infringe on Apple patents and mimic Apple designs. More →

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HTC says Apple should compete fairly in the mobile market, not sue every vendor in its way

By on July 12, 2011 at 9:45 AM.

HTC says Apple should compete fairly in the mobile market, not sue every vendor in its way

HTC on Tuesday responded to Apple’s new round of patent infringement claims by dismissing them publicly and suggesting that Apple should focus on competing in the mobile market instead of suing all of its competitors. Apple filed a new patent complaint with the International Trade Commission earlier this week that asked the Commission to block the import and sale of HTC’s mobile devices that it claims infringe on Apple patents. The move was the latest in a series of complaints filed by each company against the other over the past 16 months. “HTC is disappointed at Apple’s constant attempts at litigations instead of competing fairly in the market,” HTC general counsel Grace Lei said of Apple’s latest filing. “HTC strongly denies all infringement claims raised by Apple in the past and present and reiterates our determination and commitment to protect our intellectual property rights.” HTC has consistently denied Apple’s claims of IP infringement since Apple filed its first claim in March 2010, and an ITC lawyer said earlier this year that siding with HTC in this series patent disputes would be best for the public. More →

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Apple looks to block sale of HTC devices with new patent complaint

By on July 11, 2011 at 9:30 AM.

Apple looks to block sale of HTC devices with new patent complaint

Apple on Monday filed a new patent complaint with the International Trade Commission looking to block the sale of several HTC devices it claims infringe on Apple patents, Bloomberg reports. Apple recently filed a similar complaint with the ITC looking to block the sale of several Samsung smartphones and tablets that Apple feels copy the iPhone and iPad. The move was the latest in an ongoing legal battle between Samsung and Apple surrounding multiple patent disputes. Apple’s patent disputes with HTC date back even further, however — Apple first filed a patent complaint against against the Taiwan-based smartphone maker early in 2010. HTC responded by denying claims that it was infringing on Apple patents, and the company later filed a countersuit in May 2010 alleging that Apple was in fact infringing on five of its patents. An ITC lawyer said earlier this year that siding with HTC in the patent disputes was best for the public, but today’s filing suggests that Apple is undeterred by the lawyer’s recent comments.

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Major ISPs target pirates with ‘six strike’ copyright enforcement plan

By on July 7, 2011 at 6:50 PM.

Major ISPs target pirates with ‘six strike’ copyright enforcement plan

AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon have reached an agreement with music and movie publishers that will help enforce copyright infringement while giving the ISPs a chance to level with their customers. According to Ars Technica, copyright owners will continue to scour the dark corners of the net looking for anyone downloading and illegally sharing their content. If an IP is found to be downloading or sharing illegal content — likely via P2P networks — the music and movie companies will alert the ISP directly. ISP’s will then send a note to the offending customer, without passing off private information unless there is a court order to do so. Users may get up to four alerts from the ISP, but after that the ISP can choose to start implementing “temporary reductions of Internet speeds, redirection to a landing page until the subscriber contacts the ISP to discuss the matter or reviews and responds to some educational information about copyright, or other measures that the ISP may deem necessary to help resolve the matter.” If a user believes he or she has been targeted without merit, an appeals process can be started for a $35 fee but, as Ars Technica notes, it’s unclear who will be the judge in that process. Read on for the full details on the six strikes. More →

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Apple seeks preliminary injunction to halt sale of four Samsung devices

By on July 4, 2011 at 5:00 PM.

Apple seeks preliminary injunction to halt sale of four Samsung devices

Apple on Friday asked the U.S District Court in San Jose to issue a preliminary injunction that would halt the sale of four Samsung devices in the U.S. In its filing, Apple has asked the court to halt U.S. sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1, Infuse 4G, DROID Charge and Nexus S 4G, alleging that the devices copy Apple’s mobile products and make use of its patents and intellectual property without authorization. Specifically, Apple claims the devices collectively infringe on three of its design patents and one utility patent. “The message that Samsung conveys to consumers with its imitative smartphone design is simple: ‘It’s just like an iPhone.’ Samsung’s Galaxy 10.1 tablet sends a similar message: ‘It’s just like an iPad,’” Apple wrote in the filing. ” With the benefit of those messages, Samsung is seeking to take market share by trading off of the popularity of Apple’s products.” The move by Apple is the latest in a series of patent-related complaints Apple and Samsung have filed against each other in the U.S. and abroad over. More →

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Samsung asks ITC to block import of Apple iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

By on June 29, 2011 at 1:35 PM.

Samsung asks ITC to block import of Apple iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

Earlier this week Samsung filed a complaint with ITC against Apple and asked the government agency to block the import of Apple’s iPod, iPhone, and iPad. The battle between Apple and Samsung has been long drawn out. In April Apple sued Samsung over the Samsung Galaxy S, Galaxy Tab, and other products, alleging that Samsung was infringing on its intellectual property by creating copycat devices. Samsung bit back later that month and sued Apple in its own intellectual property lawsuit. Both Apple and Samsung requested that the other company show its upcoming products, but the court forced Samsung to show its new devices and denied access to Apple’s next iPhone and iPad. Apple filed another patent lawsuit against Samsung last week, again alleging that the company making unlawful use of protected IP. According to FOSSPatents, a decision on the import band could be reached in 16 to 18 months. The legal battles could take a toll on Apple and Samsung’s relationship; Apple remains the largest buyer of Samsung’s LCD products, and FOSSPatents said there are reports that Apple is planning to drop Samsung from its list of component suppliers. More →

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