Patents has always been big trouble factor in new technology.
The only people who are rejoicing is the law firms in Seattle, Silicon Valley, New York and few other places.
These law suits are not easy to follow and many juries and judges probably don’t know what they are dealing with.
I find most of these patent infringement law suits to be just ridiculous.
Last year, this patent trolling, as some journalists put it, started with Samsung Vs. Apple over in EU.
The law suit is over who has the rights to lock screen. Ya Apple apparently hold the patent for “Unlocking a phone by dragging an image:, and Samsung made witty counter attacks with a scene from 2001 : A Space Odyssey.
Both companies are still in courts, in Germany, although the initial ban of sales of Galaxy line of products has been lifted somewhat, its long way from settlements in any shape or form.
Speaking of last year law suits. Google and Oracle is about half way or little less done with their case.
Oracle has claimed that Google has used some of its Java APIs to create Android platform. Now to some this doesn’t seems important since the OS is written in Linux kernel, and Java Oracle has some jurisdiction over this OS, if and only if Android has used a part of API that is not for public use. Today jury has decided that Google has infringed copy right protects Java API, but hasn’t decided on the damage Google caused by Android OS.
All this trouble for 9 lines….. But I understand that Google is creating lot of revenues from Ads, Apps, Music, Books, and Movies that its selling through the Google Play store (formerly known as Android Market). Oracle would get a lot of settlement money from this law suit.
These two are only major ones, I estimate about 5 to 10 more law suits that probably was behind door and settled quietly.
This is no different, Motorola and Microsoft began the year with law suits.
Motorola has claimed that its patent that allows Wi-Fi streaming has been infringed by Microsoft’s Windows 7 Media Center and XBOX 360. Now you might be asking yourself how did Motorola have these patents in first place? Motorola is not just failed Mobile device company, it also controls a lot of cable box that we use today.
Just like most law suit Motorola and Microsoft is going to be like a cry baby in front of the court until they get tired and settle for few million pay out.
These patent trolling isn’t helping new technology to emerge, because patents laws weren’t fitted out for this century.
1. The number of patents over lap each other
2. The use of patents are clear enough but if any similarity is found law suit can be initiated
3. Many patents are ridiculous as “Unlocking a phone by dragging an image”
Here is few links to few ridiculous patents
We need new laws to govern the emerging technology. patent can do that, but we need new laws to govern the use of patent and copy rights.
Last Time I heard anything about reformation of Patent law was last summer, UK has worked on new patent laws to stop the trolling.
Here is overview of all things patent
- A Kinda-Sorta Verdict in Oracle v. Google (betabeat.com)
- Microsoft Xbox faces potential ban over Motorola patent infringement (telegraph.co.uk)
- Why Tech Vendors Fund Patent Trolls (yro.slashdot.org)
- Patent Troll Sues Amazon, Mobile Industry Over Battery Charger (paidcontent.org)
- Facebook fights off Yahoo’s patent trolling with some fresh patents (shortformblog.com)
- Patent Wars! Why tech titans are fighting over intellectual property (4l2012.wordpress.com)
- Patent Trolls Are Preferable to “Practicing Entities” (c4sif.org)
- Patent Troll Targets Samsung and RIM With Emoticon Button Patent (entertainment.slashdot.org)
- Apple forced to deal with patent troll? (news.cnet.com)
- RIM reportedly considers patent trolling to boost business (bgr.com)
P.S. – If these law suits are ridiculous enough for you. Hasbro (The owners of Transformer franchise, as far as I know or care) has sued Asus for naming its tablets Transformer, Transformer Prime, and Transformer Pad. I have no idea what is going on with these two companies, so leave a comment if you know anything about it. I’m too lazy to look it up.