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
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
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
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
Apple had a bad week in its multi-front patent war, capped by the real possibility of an iPhone and iPad import ban in Germany. Read more
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
The 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
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
David Drummond, Google’s top lawyer, has just issued the search company’s most outspoken denunciation yet of rivals who have laid legal siege to Android.
The barrage of lawsuits is nothing less than “a hostile, organized campaign … by Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and other companies, waged through bogus patents,” he says. Read more