patents

Tim Bradshaw

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 >>

Tim Bradshaw

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 >>

Maija Palmer

The complexity – one is tempted to say complete muddle – of the European patent system was highlighted on Wednesday when Nokia and HTC won a key victory in their intellectual property battle with IPCom.

IPCom, which is based in Germany,  has waged a battle for several years to get mobile handset companies to pay it royalties for some technology it owns related to how mobile phones connect to 3G networks. Some handset makers have bought licences from IPCom, but Nokia and HTC strongly denied the validity of the patents and refused to pay up. Read more >>

Richard Waters

Microsoft just wrote the final chapter in a historic rivalry that defined the early years of the Web – and which became Exhibit A in its anti-trust showdown with the US government.

We hear that the legal remains of Netscape – along with its patents – have just been traded to Microsoft by AOL as part of a landmark $1.1bn deal. More than a decade after it was vanquished in the browser wars, Netscape really does seem to be worth more dead than alive. Read more >>

Richard Waters

Two researchers from Dutch electronics group Philips, a professor at New York University, an independent inventor in San Jose – and a certain Mark Zuckerberg.

These are some of the people whose assembled brainpower Facebook has drawn on to defend itself against Yahoo’s patent infringement case. If successful, it will count as one of the most effective legal defences mounted by a young internet concern that until recently had little in the way of patent reserves to draw on. Read more >>

Richard Waters

Six months ago, we called it the Great Patent Bubble: when wireless tech company InterDigital (almost all of whose value resides in its patents) put itself up for sale, it capped a threefold rise that saw $2.5bn added to its stock market value.

Monday’s news that the InterDigital sale has been called off suggests that the bubble is deflating. Read more >>

Joseph Menn

Apple had a bad week in its multi-front patent war, capped by the real possibility of an iPhone and iPad import ban in GermanyRead more >>

Richard Waters

The fortunes of Openwave, one of the early pioneers of mobile internet access, faded after the first burst of excitement over WAP technology passed nearly a decade ago. Amidst the mobile industry’s patent wars, though, it may still have a sting its tail. Read more >>

Maija Palmer

gemalto imageThe disruption suffered by companies in the recent spate of technology patent wars became apparent last week when Gemalto, the French smartcard company, revealed a €13.5m shortfall in its patents revenue, following a dispute with makers of Android smartphones.

The Paris-based company launched a suit against Google, Motorola, HTC and Samsung last October, alledging that they had used Gemalto’s smartcard technology in Android devices without a licence. Read more >>

Richard Waters

The mud-slinging between Microsoft and Google over Wednesday’s outspoken Google blog post about the patent wars has continued almost unabated. And as always in cases like this, both sides come out of it worse off. Read more >>