Archive for April, 2011

Apple Sues Samsung Over Galaxy Products

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

As reported by Reuters (“Apple sues Samsung over Galaxy products“), Apple, Inc. has sued Samsung Electronics, claiming that Samsung’s Galaxy line of mobile phones and tablet “slavishly” copies the iPhone and iPad, according to court papers. The lawsuit, filed last Friday, alleges Samsung violated Apple’s patents and trademarks.

According to the suit, the Galaxy products use Google Inc’s Android operating system, which directly competes with Apple’s mobile software. However, according to the Reuter’s article, Apple’s claims against Samsung focus on Galaxy’s design features, such as the look of its screen icons.

HTC buys patents from ADC Telecommunications for $75 million

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

As reported on www.softwaretop100.org, HTC, the Taiwan based smartphone manufacturer, has bought a portfolio of 82 patents and 14 pending applications related to mobile technology from US based ADC Telecommunications.  HTC is no doubt trying to improve its patent position in wireless technologies, and 4G technology in particular.  HTC makes both Windows Phone 7 and Android based smart phones.

It is believed these patents relate to use of orthogonal frequency division multiplexing for telecommunications, and have priority dates going back to 1994.  Here is one of the latest patents to issue from the family:  7912138

Walker Digital Files 15 Patent Suits Against More Than 100 Companies

Friday, April 15th, 2011

As reported by PC Magazine (Priceline Founder Goes on Patent Lawsuit Binge, Sues Apple, Google, More), Walker Digital filed 15 patent suits Tuesday against more than 100 companies, including Microsoft, eBay, Amazon, Facebook, WalMart, Groupon, Apple, Sony and Google.

Look for a post here soon describing the patents.  In the meantime, there is a list of the suits and the patents in each below:

Docket Number(All cases were filed in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware) Case Name Date Filed Patents
1:2011-cv-00311 Walker Digital LLC v. Google Inc. et al 04/11/2011 7801802
1:2011-cv-00315 Walker Digital LLC v. Amazon.com Inc. et al 04/11/2011 7236942
1:2011-cv-00312 Walker Digital LLC v. MasterCard International Incorporated 04/11/2011 60187186434534

7430521

6144948

1:2011-cv-00320 Walker Digital LLC v. American Airlines Inc. et al 04/11/2011 61381056601036
1:2011-cv-00314 Walker Digital LLC v. Citigroup Inc. et al 04/11/2011 61637717844550
1:2011-cv-00322 Walker Digital LLC v. Activision Blizzard Inc. et al 04/11/2011 59701435768382
1:2011-cv-00318 Walker Digital LLC v. Myspace Inc. et al 04/11/2011 58842705884272
1:2011-cv-00313 Walker Digital LLC v. Facebook Inc. et al 04/11/2011 78314707827056
1:2011-cv-00308 Walker Digital LLC v. Compasslearning Inc. et al 04/11/2011 59477476616458

7483670

1:2011-cv-00310 Walker Digital LLC v. Arrow Security Inc. et al 04/11/2011 67209907593033

7602414

7605840

7719565

7817182

1:2011-cv-00319 Walker Digital LLC v. e2interactive Inc. et al 04/11/2011 6381582
1:2011-cv-00316 Walker Digital LLC v. Avaya Inc. et al 04/11/2011 64872916222920
1:2011-cv-00309 Walker Digital LLC v. Apple Inc. et al 04/11/2011 6199014
1:2011-cv-00321 Walker Digital LLC v. Ayre Acoustics Inc. et al 04/11/2011 6263505
1:2011-cv-00317 Walker Digital LLC v. BuyWithMe Inc. et al 04/12/2011 62497726754636

7039603

7689468

1:2011-cv-00326 Walker Digital LLC v. Cannon U.S.A. Inc. et al 04/12/2011 7924323

PTO Issues Final Rule to Implement Prioritized Examination Track (Track I)

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

This just in from AIPLA:

The Patent and Trademark Office on April 4, 2011, issued a final rule to implement prioritized examination upon an applicant’s request and payment of a $4,000 request fee and other filing fees.  76 Fed. Reg. 18399.

Under a new 37 C.F.R. 1.102(e), prioritization is available only for an original and complete utility or plant nonprovisional application that contains or is amended to contain no more than four independent claims, no more than 30 total claims, and no multiple dependent claims.  The goal is to provide a final disposition within twelve months of an application’s receiving prioritized status.

The effective date of the new rule is May 4, 2011, and requests for prioritization may be submitted on or after that date. 

The Federal Register notice states that the Office is limiting requests to a maximum of 10,000 applications during the remainder of fiscal year 2011. The notice also states that the Office lacks statutory authority to extend the small entity fee to examination prioritization, but points out that such authority is contained in the patent reform legislation passed by the Senate (S. 23) and pending in the House (H.R. 1249).

To read the Federal Register notice, click here.

Google Seeks to Acquire Nortel Patents for $900M

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

As widely reported in the media, Google has tendered a $900M stalking horse bid for the Nortel patent portfolio.  Google, as it ventures outside of its traditional search business, which has a relatively sparse patent landscape, into other technologies like telecommunications infrastructure or devices, is finding that the absence of a patent portfolio makes it a prime target for not only trolls, but direct competitors, with whom Google has relatively little to trade in terms of patents.

Geekwire reports that acquiring the patents would do Google little good, however, against Microsoft.  Microsoft apparently already obtained a license to the portfolio as part of an earlier strategic alliance agreement. 

Here is the link to the Geekwire story:  Google bids $900M for Nortel patents, but Microsoft already has them in the bag

What is most surprising about all the recent patent suits is simply how many of America’s technology giants are aggressively asserting their patents — Microsoft, Apple, Oracle, and more.  Apparently its no more Mr. Nice Guy.

Microsoft v. Barnes and Noble: Take The Design-Around Challenge

Sunday, April 3rd, 2011

On March 21st, Microsoft Corp., filed patent infringement claims (Microsoft v Barnes and Noble) against Barnes & Noble Inc., seeking to block U.S. imports of the Nook e-reader.   As reported in a recent Business Week article, Microsoft said it filed complaints with the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington and in federal court in Seattle against Barnes & Noble and the Nook’s manufacturers, Foxconn International Holdings Ltd. and Inventec Co. Ltd., after year long licensing talks failed.  The Nook uses Google Inc.’s Android operating system.

Microsoft Corp., alleges infringement of the following four US Patents:

US Patent No. 5889522, entitled, “System provided child window controls,” involves API’s or classes for creating tabbed windows.

US Patent No. 5778372, entitled, ”Remote retrieval and display management of electronic document with incorporated images,” recites systems and methods for retrieving images or resources for display in an electronic document.

US Patent No. 6339780, entitled, “Loading status in a hypermedia browser having a limited available display area,” claims methods and systems for indicating the loading status of a downloading electronic document.

US Patent No. 6957233, entitled, “Method and apparatus for capturing and rendering annotations for non-modifiable electronic content,” involves methods and systems for annotating an electronic document.

US Patent No. 6891551, entitled, “Selection handles in editing electronic documents,” recites methods and systems for selecting text strings.

As reported in the Business Week article, Microsoft has established a patent- licensing program for Android device manufacturers, and at least two manufacturers have signed license agreements, including HTC Corp., which makes phones for both the Android and Windows systems,  Amazon.com Inc., which makes the Kindle, signed a license with Microsoft last year.

For those of you out there that are interested to know if your client may infringe one or more of these patents, or you or your client are considering the options for designing around the patents in issue, I invite you to test your proposed designs using the attached interactive claim map, created with assistance of the ClaimBot® claim mapping software available from Lucid Patent, LLC.  The claim map, which charts the claim limitations of the five patents listed above, recites 54 claim limitations extracted from and representing the cumulative claim limitations of all five patents.  By indicating whether a proposed design includes or does not include some or all of the mapped limitations, the spreadsheet determines, by the process of eliminating claims using the “all elements rule,” whether or not any particular claim is infringed.  While the chart represents the claims of all five patents, it can be used to determine the likelihood of infringement of any single one patent, by working only with the limitations for that particular patent, or for all patents, by working with all the limitations in the map.

Please note that the claim map is not intended to be a substitute for an opinion by a qualified patent attorney, but rather a tool for a rough evaluation of infringement.  In fact, even if the tool indicates possible infringement for any particular design, it is still possible that a closer inspection may reveal that no infringement exists, because the map may not contain each and every limitation of a particular claim.  On the other hand, if the map indicates that infringement is unlikely, and the determination of the missing claim limitation is clear and unequivocal, there is a very good chance that the proposed design does not infringe the patent or patents being analyzed.  Nonetheless, the patent map should not be relied on as a substitute for an opinion by a qualified patent attorney.   

Here is the map:  Microsoft Patents v. Barnes and Nobles – Claim Chart – April 3