Patents

VirnetX's $368 million FaceTime patent lawsuit against Apple dismissed

The U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington has dismissed VirnetX's patent claims against Apple's FaceTime technology, and along with it their claim to $368 million in royalties. Apple has been fighting against against this patent holding company for over two years.

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Motorola found in breach of EU competition law, ordered to drop injunction against Apple

The European Commission has found Motorola Mobility guilty of breaching EU competition law over its use of standards-essential patents (SEPs), according to reports. PC World and Reuters are reporting that the Google-owned smartphone maker was found to have broken the law by bringing injunctions against Apple in Germany over SEPs it had agreed to license.

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Apple v. Motorola brought back from the dead for another round

A U.S. appeals court has revived previously-dismissed patent cases which Apple and Motorola Mobility had brought against each other. The cases had originally been consolidated in the Northern Illinois District of the U.S. District Court before being thrown out in June 2012 due to lack of evidence on both sides. Despite reviving Motorola's case, the appeals court ruled that Motorola could not press for a sales ban on Apple's products despite any patent infringement, due to the patent being standards-essential. Apple had been pursuing a case against Motorola Mobility involving the potential infringement of four patents.

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Apple elects not to help bankroll patent buyer Intellectual Ventures

Patent buyer Intellectual Ventures can count Microsoft and Sony among its latest investors, but previous participants Apple and Intel aren't so in. Intellectual Ventures has previously taken substantial investments from many of the giants of the tech industry, and took that money to buy up patents and then offer a significantly reduced licensing fee to its investors for those patents. Those that didn't opt in to Intellectual Ventures' investment scheme could instead find themselves in the cross-hairs of a patent litigation suit if there was the slightest whiff of infringement. All of this even though Intellectual Ventures doesn't make anything or even patent things itself. You might call them a patent troll, and according to Reuters both Apple and Intel (companies with plenty of cash on hand) have decided that the cost-benefit analysis of additional investment wasn't in their favor.

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Apple and Microsoft team up to slow patent reform

Tech giants like Apple and Microsoft have pushed for reform of the US patent system after being involved in a multitude of legal actions over patents, but now they're pushing to slow reform. Apple and Microsoft are teaming up with Ford Motor Company, DuPont, General Electric, Pfizer, and IBM for the Partnership for american Innovation, which aims to convince members of the United States Congress to dial back some of their proposals on patent reform in order to protect their own patents.

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German court denies patent troll $2.15 billion of Apple's money

A German court has dismissed a €1.57 billion ($2.15 billion) patent-infringment case against Apple from IPCom GmbH, a patent-holding company. The patents at issue describe technology for giving priority access to certain mobile on a cellular network, for instance, during emergancies that might congest cell traffic.

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Indistinguishable from evil

I like to riff on Arthur C. Clarke by saying any company, sufficiently large, is indistinguishable from evil. I've used it before when Google failed to respect copyrights, trademarks, and, through their Motorola subsidiary engaged in a horrendous violation of the very spirit of standards-essential patents. And I'm using it again now to describe the actions of the Rockstar consortium - the entity that purchased Nortel and Novell patents, bankrolled by Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry, and others. They've now sued Google over search-related patents, which is an attack against the heart of Google's business, and it smacks of patent trolling, which is a fairly revolting practice.

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Apple is number one in the world! (At getting patent trolled..)

Over the course of its long, storied existence, Apple's been number one in many things, in many ways, from customer satisfaction to profit share to mainstreaming technology itself. Being the world's number one target for patent trolls, however, is likely a distinction they wish they didn't hold. John Paczkowski on AllThingsD:

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ITC once again slapped down on Apple ruling, this time by Federal Appeals Court

Back in 2012 the ITC (America's International Trade Council) dismissed Apple's claims that Motorola infringed on a couple of iPhone multi-touch patents, and the Federal Court of Appeals has not only overturned that decision, but pretty much pantsed the ITC for the error. Here's what the court had to say, along with Philip Elmer-DeWitt's plain language summation, from Fortune:

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Former Star Wars audio company THX sues Apple over speakers

THX, the audio company founded by George Lucas to ensure the audio quality of the Star Wars films, has filed a patent infringement suit against Apple for the speakers used on the iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Independent since 2001, THX holds a 2008 patent for a sound-boosting speaker. Karen Gullo & Joel Rosenblatt of Bloomberg report:

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