December 30, 2011 - Apple announced that it has been granted a U.S. patent on the Multitouch technology that is integral to the iPhone. The new patent covers the oscillator signal and circuit necessary for sensing multiple touch events on a touch display.
December 29, 2011 - Two months ago, Oracle scored a win in its patent infringement suit against Google when a judge allowed an unsent email written by a Google engineer to be used as evidence (see our blog entry "e-Dirty Laundry").
December 28, 2011 - M-Edge, a company which makes e-reader accessories such as a case for the Amazon Kindle, sued Amazon for trying to alter the terms of a 2009 contract.
What do you think of when you hear the phrase "Transformer Prime"? If you grew up in the 80s, you probably immediately think of the Transformers cartoon and the character Optimus Prime. (Admit it: Now you're trying to get the Transformers theme song out of your head.)
Hasbro holds the trademark for "Transformer" for its line of toy robots that change into vehicles and back into robots. The brand is still going strong, fueled by a recent series of live-action movies, more toys and, of course, a new generation of little boys to collect them.
December 21, 2011 - A judge with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has delayed ruling on the patent lawsuit filed by Eastman Kodak against Apple and Research in Motion until the fall of 2012.
The ITC's ruling on the Apple/HTC patent litigation narrowed an earlier ruling, finding that some HTC smartphones using Android infringed only two claims of one Apple patent rather than multiple claims of two separate patents. However, Alexander Poltorak explains that this is still not good news for HTC. ("Apple Ruling Hits Android", The Wall Street Journal, December 20, 2011)
December 19, 2011 - Kyocera Corp. had filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Eastman Kodak Co. in San Diego federal court. Kyocera alleges that Kodak infringes its patent that covers the "recording head structure" used in inkjet printers.
Kyocera seeks unspecified damages and an injunction on manufacturing and selling printers that use the patented technology.
As a public service, we present Apple's handy guide to not infringing the iPad or iPhone with your tablet PC or smartphone (Hat tip to ITworld.com):
(UPDATED December 30, 2011)
We thought it was interesting when we read that PIEtech, Inc., a company in Powhatan, Virginia, actually asked to be a defendant in a patent infringement lawsuit that involved one of its clients.
In August, PIEtech's competitor (and neighbor in Richmond, Virginia) Wealthcare Capital Management, sued the large Wall Street firm UBS Financial for infringement of patents for a “Method and System for Financial Advising”. Both patents were issued last summer.
GPC's Alexander Poltorak was one of the patent experts interviewed by The New York Times regarding the International Trade Commission's recent ruling in the Apple-HTC litigation. ("U.S. Backs Apple In Patent Ruling That Hits Google", The New York Times, December 19, 2011)
The International Trade Commission (ITC) is scheduled to issue a ruling on the patent dispute between Apple and smartphone manufacturer HTC. HTC appealed a July ruling by an administrative law judge that it had infringed two of 10 patents that Apple brought before the court. In a recent interview, GPC's Alexander Poltorak commented on the case and whether Apple will settle with HTC.
December 19, 2011 - British Telecommunications, better known as British Telecom or simply BT, recently became the fifth large publicly-traded company to sue Google Inc. for patent infringement related to Android. (The other four are Apple, Oracle, Microsoft and eBay.)
Wireless Service Provider and Cell Phone OEMS Take a License for Digital Technology Licensing’s Key Cell Phone Patent
By David Ziskind, IP Counsel - In a December 12, 2011 PatentlyO blog entry, Patent Law Analysis by Professors Dennis Crouch and Jason Rantanen, the authors notice a trend that average patent application pendency has leveled off (and in fact has begun to recede to a time period of three years or less) in the years between 2010-2011.
December 12, 2011 - Apple has signed a cross-licensing deal with a company called Digitude Innovations, a non-practicing entity (NPE) that recently filed suit against several of Apple's competitors at the International Trade Commission. The deal gives Apple immunity from a Digitude lawsuit while providing Digitude with more ammunition to pursue Apple's rivals.
Normally this blog isn't known for keeping up with any of the (many, and seemingly interchangeable) Kardashians, but we couldn't pass this one up: A resident of Beverly Hills has filed for a trademark on the name "KardashianLash," and the Kardashian clan is not amused.
Sarah Ehrlich applied for the trademark for use with a "medicated liquid eyeliner for the purpose of enabling eyelash growth." She plans to use the proceeds from the sales of this product to send Honduran orphans to cosmetology school.
As if the news weren't already sufficiently preoccupied with Occupy Wall Street stories, we bring you another one. But instead of featuring the exploits, arrests or debauchery of bored college kids living off their capitalist pig parents, let us tell you the tale of some good old American opportunists making a beeline for the Trademark Office.
December 6, 2011 - The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts has initiated a patent litigation pilot program designed to keep patent cases from dragging on for years and incurring outrageous expenses. Fourteen federal district courts in ten states were chosen for the program, which aims to help judges develop expertise in patent litigation and help courts adopt local rules to speed cases along.
Filing a patent infringement lawsuit against Facebook had a happy ending for WhoGlue, a "relationship-management-software developer" recently acquired by the social networking giant.
WhoGlue sued Facebook in September 2009 for infringment of U.S. Patent No. 7,246,164, which was awarded to WhoGlue in 2007 for a “Distributed personal relationship information management system and methods.”
December 4, 2011 - In part of their ongoing, worldwide legal battle over smartphones and tablets (referred to by this CNET blogger as "an around-the-world-in-80-lawsuits scenario"), Apple requested a preliminary injunction which would have banned the U.S. sale of four Samsung products.
The European Commission has asked Samsung for information on the enforcement of "standards-essential patents" in an effort to determine whether there are antitrust issues at play in the ongoing patent infringement battle between Samsung and Apple. In a recent article, GPC's Alexander Poltorak explains why this litigation is part and parcel of having patents - and why enforcement is the right of every patent owner.("Europe Weary of Apple, Samsung Patent War", TechNewsWorld.com, November 28, 2011)
December 1, 2011 - Asset management company Research Affiliates LLC filed a patent infringement lawsuit against WisdomTree Investments, Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Research Affiliates claims that WisdomTree infringes three patents related to methods and systems for index-based investing.
December 1, 2011 - For years, Pfizer Inc. has depended on the cholesterol drug Lipitor to produce almost one-fifth of its income. But the patent for Lipitor expired in late November, and as the world's best-selling prescription drug goes generic, Pfizer is looking for ways to retain at least some of their market share.