Microsoft has closed a patent licensing deal with ZTE, one of the top five manufacturers of Android smartphones.
The deal is Microsoft’s first with a leading Chinese company, marking an important milestone in the software giant’s multi-year campaign to squeeze licensing revenues out of smartphone vendors and manufacturers.
“Experience has taught us that respect for intellectual property rights is a two-way street,” said Horacio Gutierrez, general counsel for Microsoft, “and we have always been prepared to respect the rights of others just as we seek respect for our rights.” Read more
Nevermind superfast broadband – the British government is lining up “superfast patents”. Inventors could be awarded a patent in just ninety days, under a government consultation published on Tuesday. That’s a fraction of the usual two to five years, and only a little longer than the ticketing process for the 2012 London Olympics.
Observers may see anything that makes patents easier as a bad idea, given the smartphone wars. Hence the UK is proposing an extra fee of £3,500-£4,000 for the fast-track service. The hope is that will strip out less credible claims, while allowing serious investors to get their patent – and then some venture capital. Read more
In a move that has raised eyebrows in legal and technology circles, Samsung has hired a former British appeals-court judge, who reprimanded the electronics giant’s patent opponent Apple last year, to be its expert witness in another intellectual property trial. Read more
When Apple filed suit against HTC for patent violations in 2010, it was the first time the California-based company had turned its legal arsenal on an Android phone-maker.
Two years, and many more lawsuits later, Apple and HTC’s decision to settle those disputes is likewise the first time that Apple has agreed a settlement with an Android-based rival. Read more
Peace has broken out in one corner of the multilateral patent war between smartphone makers, with Apple and HTC signing a global settlement and licensing agreement. Read more
Interesting commentary from around the Web on the tech story that made headlines this week.
Apple’s patent win against Samsung in the US courts last week prompted a wave of reactions from across the tech sphere. While some found that Apple’s victory would slow down technology development, others argued it could be the driving force behind a push to innovate more in the smartphone industry. Read more
Apple’s victory over Samsung in the patents dispute shone an interesting light on the murky world of patents. For one thing it demonstrated clearly that there are two different types of patents around mobile devices that operate very differently.
On the one hand you have patents that are to do with how the phone actually operates, how it connects calls and handles data. These are the standards essential patents and they are the things that companies like Samsung, Nokia and Motorola have a lot of, as they have been in the business of making phones for a very long time. Read more
The first day of the high-profile court case in California between Samsung and Apple over smartphone patents began and ended with an irate judge berating the Korean tech giant.
Samsung’s lawyers started proceedings, before the jury entered the courtroom, by – in their own words – begging Judge Koh to allow them to submit evidence which they argued provided “indisputable evidence” that it came up with its black-rectangle touchscreen smartphone designs before 2007’s release of the iPhone.
“In 36 years, I’ve never begged the court. I’m begging the court now,” said John Quinn of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, an LA law firm. “What’s the point in having a trial?” Read more
It is a hazard of holding a patent trial in the San Francisco Bay Area that many potential jurors have links to Silicon Valley companies. It took the full first day in a San Jose court to select a fair and balanced jury for the patent case between Apple and Samsung, dashing hopes that the court might have heard the two companies’ opening arguments on Monday afternoon. Read more