Patents

iOS developers being threatened with patent infringement over in-app purchase system [Updated]

Developer James Thomson reported on Twitter this morning that he's been threatened with patent infringement for his use of in-app purchases in PCalc Lite.

Just got hit by very worrying threat of patent infringement lawsuit for using in-app purchase in PCalc Lite. Legal docs arrived via fedex.

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Latest Apple patent hints towards a social network for the retail world

The latest patent filed by Apple shows a possible Ping-like social networking tool for the retail world. It would allow for iPhone owners to share comments, opinions and recommendations for different products from different stores for their friends to view. Like any patent there's no telling when, if ever, this particular one will find its way into a real, shipping product, but it does hive us a glimpse at what Apple is working on.

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Are Apple and Google battling for Nortel patents?

According to Reuters Apple and Google might be in a battle for the once mighty Nortel Networks patent portfolio, an acquisition that could help either of the two companies gain an edge in the mobile industry.

Nortel filed bankruptcy back in January of 2009 and the vast majority of their business has been sold off with the exception of their large number of patents that could aide in the improvements of mobile communications. There is said to be over 4,000 patents with a suspected value of around $1 billion and sources are saying Apple and Google both want a piece of these patents to protect themselves from giants such as Nokia in the courtroom.

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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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