Patents

Paul Allen sues Apple, Google, Facebook, puppy dogs, all things good and decent (not Microsoft)

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has dropped the patent suit hammer on Apple, Google, Facebook, AOL, eBay, Netflix, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Staples, Yahoo, and YouTube, accusing them of violating his lab's innovations in internet commerce. According to the Wall Street Journal:

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Regarding Apple including 3rd party app screens in 1st part app patent filings

Apple has begun filing patent applications for 1st party (i.e. Apple produced) iOS apps that include screen drawings of well known 3rd party (i.e. independently produced by developers for the App Store) apps.

Is Apple trying to steal the hard work and shatter the good will of App Store developers? Is Apple merely showing how App Store apps could hook into future Apple apps/hubs? Is it something in between?

Let's take a look after the break...

[Venomous Porridge, Thanks Dev for the tip!]

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Facebook integration into iPhone OS - Apple patent watch

Patently Apple discovered a recently published Apple patent detailing an "Add Contact" workflow and "Social Networking" workflow that specifically uses Facebook as it's main example. Now that does not mean this patent will not work with other social networks, but Facebook is the current king of the mountain and it makes sense considering that it was just last week heard Apple was looking to integrate Facebook into iPhone OS 4.

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HTC counter-sues Apple, claims 5 patents infringed

HTC has just announced that they're counter-suing Apple for infringement, claiming Apple treads on 5 specific HTC patents.

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Nokia adds iPad, more iPhone to lawsuit again Apple

Nokia has just filed a second patent infringement suit against Apple, adding the iPad into the mix. The new suit covers:

five patents related to "enhanced speech and data transmission, using positioning data in applications and innovations in antenna configurations that improve performance and save space, allowing smaller and more compact devices." [...] by our count, Apple and Nokia now have some five pending legal actions between them, including one that's been placed on hold pending an ITC decision.

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Apple gets patents for iPhone 2G, iPhone 3G/iPhone 3GS design, applies for iPhone/iPad icon trademarks

Big week for Apple patent pr0n, as in addition to getting a patent for the original 2007 iPhone 2G design, Steve Jobs, Jonathan Ive, et al are not being granted a patent for the 2008/2009 iPhone 3G/iPhone 3GS design as well. And not content with hardware alone, Apple has filed for patents on almost all their Home Screen and App Store icons (we couldn't find Calendar, which means its either too generic or we just couldn't find it).

So fair warning to all the iClone manufacturers without prior art or $40 billion in the bank -- start visual differentiation plans now.

As to the icons, at almost 1000x1000 pixels and with detail to match, it shows just how obsessive Apple is when it comes to their products and while other OS and devices may use the same app-launcher paradigms, they don't seem to be slaving over every last detail -- in art, consistency, multitouch panel quality, and touch detection software quality -- Apple is putting in. Just amazing. (Except for those diagonal stripes).

Gallery after the break!

[Patently Apple, GoRumors via Engadget]

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Microsoft says Android violates its patents as well, HTC pays up

Apple has sued HTC for patent infringement with Android almost certainly being the target, now it turns out Microsoft believes Android also infringes on their patents and HTC has just paid up.

That means the free-as-in-Google smartphone OS isn't free anymore -- it's just Microsoft who's getting the money for it, and from the maker of the Nexus One, Desire, Legend, and Droid Incredible no less. That hurts Android.

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Beyond Apple vs. HTC: Who's Suing Who?

While Apple vs. HTC is getting a ton of press this week (TiPb a culpa!) the New York Times blogs provides the above graph to show us it's just another strand in the growing web of mobile patent pugilism.

Although patent litigation is not new in the technology world, these suits, specifically around mobile, point to the drastically changing mobile landscape. Lawyers I spoke with explained that mobile technology was still in its infancy and these large computing companies were trying to stake their claim to the future of computing.

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More on Apple vs. HTC (Read: Android?) Patent Lawsuit

While precious little new information is coming to light about Apple's just-announced lawsuit against HTC, a lot more specu-nalysis has been hitting the blogsphere, ranging from "Apple is seeking a cross-license to get HTC's patents" (shades of the accusations facing Nokia about their lawsuit against Apple), to "Steve Jobs feels personally betrayed by Eric Schmidt and is using HTC to get at Google's Android".

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Apple Returns Fire, Requests US Import Ban on Nokia Phones

Previously, on Patent Wars, Nokia escalated their lawsuit against Apple by requesting a US import ban on virtually every product Apple makes with the International Trade Commission (ITC), and now Apple has responded in kind against Nokia phones.

Yes, phasers and disruptor fire is criss-crossing the legal heavens and photo torpedos are exploding in the silence of judicial space.

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