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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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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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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