Lodsys continues targeting developers despite Apple’s defense

By on June 2, 2011 at 4:30 AM.

Lodsys continues targeting developers despite Apple’s defense

A firm called Lodsys has been targeting Apple and Android developers that it believes are using its in-app purchase technology illegally. Despite Apple’s efforts to argue that its developers are covered under the same license, Lodsys doesn’t appear to be letting up anytime soon — it’s giving developers 21 days to cough up licensing fees before it files lawsuits. In a few recent blog posts, Lodsys explained its position on the matter:

[Apple’s] letter was very surprising as Apple and Lodsys were in confidential discussions and there was clearly disagreement on the interpretation of the license terms of Apple’s agreement. Before, during and after these interactions, Lodsys has carefully considered this issue and consulted several legal experts to consider Apple’s claims. We stand firm and restate our previous position that it is the 3rd party Developers that are responsible for the infringement of Lodsys’ patents and they are responsible for securing the rights for their applications. Developers relying on Apple’s letter do so to their own detriment and are strongly urged to review Apple’s own developer agreements to determine the true extent of Apple’s responsibilities to them.

Lodsys is so confident that it has the upper hand in this legal battle that it’s offering developers $1,000 if courts rule that Apple’s license does, in fact, cover them. According to MacRumors, the developers currently being targeted include Combay, Iconfactory, Illusion Labs, Machael G. Karr, Quickoffice, Richard Shinderman, and Wulven Games. Google has yet to respond to Lodsys’ complaints against Android developers. More →

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Amazon tells record labels to back off, Cloud Drive licensing not necessary

By on April 12, 2011 at 2:41 PM.

Amazon tells record labels to back off, Cloud Drive licensing not necessary

Record labels seem to have a hard time understanding one, simple truth: after a consumer purchases a song — be it on a CD or digitally — the consumer owns that file. Period. It is, however, nice to know that at least one large corporation respects that fact, Amazon. In a letter penned to music labels, the online retail giant stated that its new Cloud Drive music service has boosted digital MP3 sales and goes on to explain why it does not need permission from record labels for its use. “There has been speculation that we are looking for licenses for Cloud Drive and Cloud Player,” reads the e-mail. “We are not looking for licenses for Cloud Drive or Cloud Player as they exist today — as no licensees are required.” Amazon continues, “Cloud Player is a media management and play-back application not unlike Windows Media Player and any number of other media management applications that let customers manage and play their music. It requires a license from content owners no more than those applications do. It really is that simple.” The company did mention that further improvements may require licensing, and that record labels can “expect to hear more” from Amazon on potential licensing “in the near future.” David Israeite of the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) called the move “troubling,” and added that Amazon was not creating “an environment of trust and cooperation.” More →

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Nokia to sell QT commercial licensing rights to Digia

By on March 7, 2011 at 11:11 PM.

Nokia to sell QT commercial licensing rights to Digia

In a recent press release, mobile device giant Nokia announced a tentative, signed agreement that will jettison the commercial licensing rights of the Qt development platform to Digia. “Through the proposed acquisition, around 3500 desktop and embedded customer companies from various industries are targeted to be transferred to Digia,” reads the announcement. “The transaction is expected to be closed by the end of March 2011.” Digia notes that Nokia will continue to “invest in the future development of Qt,” which has been under the LGPL license framework since 2009. The deal will hand control of commercial licensing and service operations over to Digia, who will broaden its global reach by opening offices in both the U.S. and Norway. The full release is after the break. More →

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Nokia to take over Symbian developement

By on November 9, 2010 at 5:44 AM.

Nokia to take over Symbian developement

Nokia and the Symbian Foundation announced Monday some major changes surrounding the open source Symbian OS. First and foremost, the Symbian Foundation will no longer be responsible for OS development as of March 2011. Instead, Nokia will take on the task, leaving the Foundation responsible for licensing the software to manufacturers and other partners. Nokia says the move will allow it to issue updates more efficiently. As other manufacturers continue to look elsewhere, Nokia says it is still committed to the Symbian OS, which is currently the most popular smartphone operating system in the world by a wide margin. Hit the break for the full press release. More →

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Throwback Thursday: Sega Dreamcast

By on October 28, 2010 at 3:17 PM.

Throwback Thursday: Sega Dreamcast

Who doesn’t remember the 9-9-99 launch date? What about the VMU controller accessory which never took off? Sega’s Dreamcast console was the first to enable Internet connectivity through what was called SegaNet, and it was pretty mind blowing to play a multiplayer game with a friend in a completely different location over the internet (via a 56k dial-up line nonetheless). A couple of the launch titles were Sonic Adventure, Hydro Thunder, and Soul Caliber. As far as specifications went, the Dreamcast featured a 200MHz CPU, a PowerVR2 graphic chipset, 16MB of RAM, and was capable of outputting video at 480p. Unfortunately, Dreamcast was short lived and was Sega’s last foray into the home console business. It launched in September of 1999 for $199.99 and was discontinued in March of 2001 in the U.S. Following the end of Sega’s home console production, Sega has gone on to license and develop new and existing game titles for other platforms including their previous competitors.

BGR Throwback Thursday is a weekly series covering our (and your) favorite gadgets, games, and software of yesterday and yesteryear.

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Stiff competition forces Roku to license its software? [Updated]

By on October 27, 2010 at 9:35 PM.

Stiff competition forces Roku to license its software? [Updated]

Following Netgear’s announcement Tuesday that it would offer a $90 set top box powered by Roku’s software, it looks as though Roku is playing with alternative models in an effort to stay competitive. Roku gained notoriety in 2008 by providing an easy solution for streaming Netflix Watch Instantly video content to television sets. The company has since expended its product through partnerships that brought additional content from the likes of Amazon Video On Demand, MLB.TV and Hulu. With a growing content library and three new hardware products starting at just $59.99, Roku still finds in the precarious position of having to compete with the likes of Google, which recently launched Google TV, and Apple, which refreshed its Apple TV offering last month.

In an effort to combat the aforementioned giants, Roku is licensing out its software. The first taker, Netgear, announced the Netgear Roku Player NTV250 earlier this week, which is already available at Best Buy, Radio Shack, Fry’s, Amazon.com and Buy.com. Roku hopes that by letting larger hardware partners do the heavy lifting, it can spread its net as wide as possible and let the simplicity of its software carry partner offerings. There’s no question Roku has a great product, but Google has shown that it plans to be very aggressive with Google TV and Apple sold a quarter-million Apple TVs in just six weeks. Roku tells BGR that its business couldn’t be better right now but with competition like Apple and Google, Roku has its work cut out for it. More →

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Apple licenses liquid metal technologies, amorphous metals coming to iDevices?

By on August 9, 2010 at 6:01 PM.

Apple licenses liquid metal technologies, amorphous metals coming to iDevices?

In a recent SEC filing, Liquidmetal Technologies — a company that develops and commercializes amorphous metals — signed an agreement with Apple, Inc. that granted the iDevice maker licensing to all of Liquidmetal’s intellectual property. The filing reads:

On August 5, 2010, Liquidmetal Technologies, Inc., a Delaware corporation (“Liquidmetal”), entered into a Master Transaction Agreement with Apple Inc., a California corporation (“Apple”), pursuant to which (i) Liquidmetal contributed substantially all of its intellectual property assets to a newly organized special-purpose, wholly-owned subsidiary (the “IP Company”), (ii) the IP Company granted to Apple a perpetual, worldwide, fully-paid, exclusive license to commercialize such intellectual property in the field of consumer electronic products in exchange for a license fee, and (iii) the IP Company granted back to Liquidmetal a perpetual, worldwide, fully-paid, exclusive license to commercialize such intellectual property in all other fields of use (together with all ancillary agreements, the “Master Transaction Agreement”).

Amorphous metals could be desirable to mobile electronics makers for their overall durability and flexibility in manufacturing. Plus, who could forget that high-end luxury cell phone manufacturer Vertu used Liquidmetal Alloy in their Ascent series (and even demonstrated them being run over by a Porsche to showcase their durability). More →

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Rumor: Licensing is holding up cloud-based iTunes

By on July 2, 2010 at 8:23 PM.

Rumor: Licensing is holding up cloud-based iTunes

itunes-logo

According to tips sent in to Electronista, the reason that Apple’s planned iTunes streaming service yet to be released is due to the fact that the Cupertino-based company has yet to finalize licensing deals with major record labels. Apple currently has licensing deals which allow customers to stream music from their own computers to their devices, but streaming music directly from Apple’s servers — one of the features we mentioned in our exclusive on the service — would require a new deal be inked. Although Apple would like to get the deal finalized as soon as possible, allegations that many  record label executives have not have the service detailed to them indicates we may still have a ways to go. More →

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Microsoft and HTC announce a patent licensing agreement

By on April 28, 2010 at 1:06 PM.

Microsoft and HTC announce a patent licensing agreement

htc-logo

With Apple and its team of lawyers breathing down its back, HTC has been exploring opportunities to quickly bolster its patent library and provide protection for its Android efforts. HTC was rumored to be eyeballing Palm’s large treasure chest of patents, and its acquisition potential, but reportedly snubbed its nose at the ailing handset manufacturer after a closer look at Palm’s financial status. Rather than gamble on a sinking ship, HTC turned towards Microsoft and has signed a licensing deal with the software giant from Redmond. Under the agreement, Microsoft will provide broad coverage under it’s large patent library for HTC’s Android handsets while HTC, in exchange for this patent umbrella, will pay an undisclosed amount of royalties to Microsoft. Horatio Gutierrez, corporate VP and deputy general counsel of intellectual property and licensing at Microsoft had this to say about the deal:

Microsoft has a decades-long record of investment in software platforms. As a result, we have built a significant patent portfolio in this field, and we have a responsibility to our customers, partners, and shareholders to ensure that competitors do not free ride on our innovations. We have also consistently taken a proactive approach to licensing to resolve IP infringement by other companies, and have been talking with several device manufacturers to address our concerns relative to the Android mobile platform.

What do we make of this? Is this strictly business, or is Microsoft simply getting back at HTC for all of their Android efforts?

More →

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Sense UI definitely coming to the Magic, myTouch 3G users S.O.L.

By on August 16, 2009 at 2:04 PM.

Sense UI definitely coming to the Magic, myTouch 3G users S.O.L.

Good news: HTC’s Sense UI will indeed be made available to owners of the HTC Magic come October. Bad news: Owners of the T-Mobile myTouch 3G and any other “with Google” variants of the Magic are going to be left high and dry, as most have presumed. The reason for the lack of love is legal as the Android licensing agreement that T-Mobile and others signed forbids them from getting all cozy with Android’s hot new look. Lame, yes, but at least a few people are going to come out on top with this. For those who feel burnt, please take our advice: hit up the xda-developers forum.

[Via Giz]

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Patent Troll Klausner settles with Verizon

By on October 27, 2008 at 3:06 AM.

Patent Troll Klausner settles with Verizon

Before you get uppity about having us call Klausner Technologies a patent troll, consider what they’ve been doing since their invention of the PDA: Suing everyone under the sun who has used visual voicemail. What else can you do when you’re no more than a one-hit wonder and your cheap Flash website offers nothing more than visual voicemail licensing information (which does nothing but give you their email address for inquiries)? After being successful with their suits against AT&T, Apple, and Comcast in the past, it seems they’re out for a little more cash and have targeted Verizon. With the prior success (read settlements) of past lawsuits, their action against Verizon was pretty much guaranteed $$$. While financial details of the settlement haven’t been disclosed, it’s pretty clear that Klausner is going to get a pretty penny looking at their history. We really don’t have a problem when people get sued over using someone else’s product without proper licensing (Nokia + Qualcomm) but we take major issue with patent trolls; they do nothing but act as a large speed bump to companies who are putting out technologies and services we like.

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