Displaying items by tag: patent
The UK’s Supreme Court unanimously dismissed appeals by China's Huawei and ZTE in patent disputes over mobile data technology with Unwired Planet International and Conversant Wireless.
The first appeal concerned an action brought by Unwired against Huawei for the infringement of five UK patents, which Unwired had acquired from Ericsson and were said to be essential in mobile telecoms.
An English court had previously ruled that two of the patents were valid and essential, and in a subsequent trial found Unwired's licence terms were justified and enforceable.
The second appeal concerned action brought by Conversant against Huawei and ZTE for infringing four of its UK patents, which had been acquired from Nokia and related to LTE standards used by 4G handsets to download and send data.
Huawei and ZTE argued that the English Courts did not have jurisdiction to determine the validity of foreign patents. But the trial judge had ruled against them, saying the court had jurisdiction under an international patent framework agreed by the mobile industry.
Conversant's CEO Boris Teksler said he was "very pleased" by the outcome, which the firm said would have "significant implications worldwide" for standard-essential-patent (SEP) licensing.
"It confirms Conversant Wireless' approach, that as a holder of cellular standard-essential patents, we can seek proper value for our patents without having to resort to what the UK courts themselves called the 'madness' of country-by-country licensing and related litigation," he said.
"This helps level the playing field when small companies are trying to license SEP portfolios to global giants with seemingly limitless litigation resources."
A Los Angeles jury ordered Apple and Broadcom to pay $1.1 billion to a university in California for infringing on four Wi-Fi technology patents. Apple was ordered to pay $837 million and Broadcom must pay $270 million to the California Institute of Technology, in what is thought to be one of the largest patent verdicts ever.
Caltech University had sued both tech giants in 2016, alleging that Apple products including iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches used Broadcom components that infringed on Caltech patents related to wireless data transmissions. Both Apple and Broadcom indicated they planned to appeal the verdict.
“As a nonprofit institution of higher education, Caltech is committed to protecting its intellectual property in furtherance of its mission to expand human knowledge and benefit society through research integrated with education”, the university said.
In court documents, Apple and Broadcom had said that Caltech's claims “are based solely on the incorporation of allegedly infringing Broadcom chips in Apple's iPhone, Mac, and other devices.”
“Broadcom manufactures the accused chips, while Apple is merely an indirect downstream party whose products incorporate the accused chips,” according to court filings. “Accordingly, the claims that Caltech has against Apple depend on establishing that the accused Broadcom chips infringe the patents and that the patents-in-suit are not invalid.”
Broadcom was the main target of the lawsuit but Apple was also named as it is one of Broadcom's biggest customers.
On Tuesday, a US trade judge has called for a ban of some iPhone imports as Apple was found to have violated a Qualcomm chipmaker patent.
International Trade Commission administrative law specialist MaryJoan McNamara recommended a “limited exclusion order together with a cease and desist order” against the tech ginat.
Since the iPhone does not compeet with Qualcomm products, Apple will not be required to post a bond while US President Donald Trump and a panel of judges review the order.
Qualcomm released a statement which read: "We appreciate Judge McNamara's recognition of Apple's infringement of our hardware patent and that she will be recommending an import ban and cease and desist order.”
Apple has not replied to a request to post a comment on the matter as of yet.
The patent which is being investigated involves extending power and battery life. The issue at hand constitutes for one of the two complaints that Qualcomm officially issued against Apple to the commission.
Qualcomm shares went up by 2.4 per cent while Apple’s shares were down by at least 1 per cent as soon as the ruling was released.
The California-based tech giants have been involved in a long-term battle over patents and royalties which have taken to the courts and other administrative bodies on a global scale.
Last week, Qualcomm won a case against Apple over patented technology which was found to be used in iPhones and won $31 million. These chips were found to have been used on the iPhone 7, 8 and X.
Other patents at issue were “flashless booting” which allows for devices to connect to the internet quickly as soon as they are switch on and allows smartphone apps to move data online in an efficient manner.
In addition to this, another patent would be using rich graphics in games whilst still maintaining battery life.
Apple sued Qualcomm a couple of years ago over payments for a preliminary ruling which involved Qualcomm owing Apple around $1 billion in patent royalty rebate payments which has not been paid yet. The judge’s decision is still to be determined.
A German court ruled in favor of US chipmaker Qualcomm in a patent dispute case against Apple, which could lead to a ban on sales of iPhones in Germany. This marks a second major win for Qualcomm in a month after a court in China on December 10 ordered a prohibition on iPhone sales over a separate patent dispute there.
Social networking colossus Facebook has announced that it is attempting to make a ‘technical ‘breakthrough in relation to developing and manufacturing futuristic ‘smart glasses’ specifically designed to allow you see to see virtual objects in the real world.
It has emerged that Facebook published a patent application for a ‘waveguide display with two-dimensional scanner’ which was compiled by three members of its advanced research division of Facebook’s VR subsidiary Oculus.
It has been reported that the display may augment views of a physical, real-world environment with computer generated elements. In addition to this, the patent filing also suggested that the display being developed may be included in an eye-wear comprising a frame and a display assembly yhat presents media to a user’s eyes.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has previously expressed his belief that virtual and augmented reality - represents the next major computing platform which is capable of replacing smartphones and traditional PCs. Facebook acquired Oculus in 2014 for $2 billion and has announced its intentions to continue to invest billions on developing more revolutionary technology.
The ‘smart glasses’ currently being developed by Oculus will use a waveguide display in order to project light onto the wearer’s eyes instead of a more traditional display. However, it has also been claimed that the ‘smart glasses’ would be able to display images, video and be compatible with connected speakers or headphones to play audio when worn.
Facebook has thus far declined to comment on the patent application, but analysts have suggested that the social networking firm have adopted a similar approach to Microsoft, when they launched its HoloLens AR headset. Oculus’s ‘smart glasses’ have also drawn comparisons with glasses being developed by Google start-up Magic Leap.
Interestingly, one of the lead authors of Facebook’s patent application is optical scientist Pasi Saarikko who joined Facebook two years ago, after he spearheaded the optical design of HoloLens at Microsoft. However, despite the announcement being made in relation to work commencing on Facebook’s ‘smart glasses’, analysts have claimed don’t expect to see the device anytime soon.
Chief scientist of Oculus, Michael Abrash said AR glasses won’t start replacing smartphones until 2022. He said, “20 or 30 years from now, I predict that instead of carrying stylish smartphones everywhere, we’ll wear stylish glasses. Those glasses will offer VR, AR and everything in between, and we’ll use them all day.”
Ericsson sued smartphone maker Wiko, in the regional courts of Düsseldorf and Mannheim in Germany, for infringement of patents essential for 2G, 3G and 4G cellular technology, as well as implementation patents. Wiko is a French smartphone manufacturing company majority-owned by Chinese technology group Tinno Mobile and its phones are manufactured in China.
Wiko has been infringing Ericsson’s intellectual property rights for six years without any license or compensation, Ericsson claims. The Swedish telecom vendor has “tried to establish a fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) license agreement with Wiko since May 2013, but has not succeeded,” it said. Ericsson has now decided to exercise its legal rights to enforce its patents against Wiko’s infringing products.
“Global sharing of technology and open standards are the force behind the smartphone revolution and have allowed new entrants, such as Wiko, to quickly build successful businesses,” said Gustav Brismark, Chief Intellectual Property Officer at Ericsson.
“This ICT eco-system only works, however, if all market players respect the basic rules of FRAND licensing,” he added. “It is unfair for Wiko to benefit from our substantial R&D investment without paying a reasonable license fee for our patented technology. Our ambition has always been to reach a mutually fair and reasonable license agreement with Wiko, just as we do with all of our licensees.”
Ericsson has a large intellectual property portfolio, which includes more than 42,000 granted patents worldwide. Ericsson’s patent portfolio covers 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE technologies, and the company plays a key role in the global organizations that are developing standards for 5G technologies.
US tech giants Apple have seen a ban prohibiting the company from selling its iPhone 6 phones in China overturned following a legal hearing. A Chinese court ruled in its favor in a patent dispute between the Californian based company and a domestic phone-maker. The legal row began in May last year, when a Beijing based patent regulator took the decision to order Apple’s Chinese subsidiary and local retailer Zoom-Flight to immediately stop selling iPhones after Shenzhen Baili Marketing Services lodged an official complaint with the regulatory authority.
The company claimed that the patent for the design of its mobile phone 100c was being infringed by the iPhone sales. Apple strongly objected to both the claims and subsequent decision to ban the sale of iPhone 6 devices by the regulatory authorities. Management at Apple and Zoom-Flight launched legal proceedings and took the Beijing Intellectual Property Office’s ban to courts.
At the hearing, the court decided to revoke the ban imposed on Apple and Zoom-Flight and declared that both organizations did not violate Shenzhen Baili’s design patent for 100c phones. The court said that the regulator did not follow due procedures in ordering the ban. In addition to this, the court said there was a distinct lack of sufficient proof to claim the designs constituted a violation of intellectual property rights.
It has not yet been disclosed whether or not representatives of Beijing Intellectual Property Office and Shenzhen Baili will appeal the decision by the court, and a spokesman representing both organizations said they would take time before making a decision in relation to the legal ruling. In addition to this, the same court denied Apple’s demand to strip Shenzhen Baili of its design patent for 100c phone.
Apple first filed the request to the Patent Reexamination Board of State Intellectual Property Office. The board rejected the request, but Apple lodged a lawsuit against the rejection. The Beijing Intellectual Property Court on Friday ruled to maintain the board's decision. It is unclear if Apple will appeal.
UK telecommunications company EE Limited, which is a division of the BT Group has unveiled new ‘balloon drone technology’ which has been specifically designed to provide 4G connectivity in disaster hit areas and underserved parts of the UK.
EE, the largest mobile network operator in the UK that boasts over 30 million customers, is also the largest operator of 4G services in Europe. At an EE technology showcase the company expressed its desire to bring connectivity to rural parts of Britain –highlighting not only how important it is to bridge the connectivity gap – but how much of a challenge it will be.
EE CEO, Marc Allera, unveiled a patent pending helium balloon named ‘Helikite’ which comes equipped with mobile mini-sites that can provide 4G coverage where permanent sites have either been damaged or there is no 4G coverage.
The EE CEO said that whilst rural areas of the UK are less attractive because there are naturally less customers which will subsequently result in lower returns – he explained how the organization was ‘obsessed’ in addressing coverage gaps in the UK.
The charismatic CEO said, “We cover 75 per cent of the UK geography, and 15,000 of our 18,000 sites nationwide have been upgraded to 4G,” he said. “There are just 10 towns with a population of 10,000 people where we don’t cover with 90 per cent of our geographic coverage. But we are coming.”
EE’s CEO then spoke about the operator’s long-term plan in which it will provide ‘coverage on demand’ – disclosing details of EE’s plans to deploy a balloon solution within a rural environment this year which will use aerial solutions to provide additional coverage and capacity in three years.
He added, “Looking ahead, I see innovations like this revolutionizing the way people connect. In the future, why couldn’t we offer what we’re calling ‘coverage on demand’ - what if an event organizer could request temporary EE capacity in rural parts of the UK?”
In relation to EE’s work in the UK’s new Emergency Services Network – EE said it would deploy a fleet of Rapid Response Vehicles in forthcoming weeks and months ahead in order to support the infrastructure. Allera refuted suggestions that EE were behind on the project and stated the EE ‘was on track’ with its obligations.
Qualcomm has fired back at Apple after it sued the company on Friday, 20 January, over allegations of monopoly abuse. Some analysts suspect Apple is taking advantage of the monopoly abuse lawsuit filed against Qualcomm by the US Federal Trade Commission, to pave the way for other mobile chipset makers, in order to forge more deals. Analyst Patrick Moorhead said he believes Apple “is not comfortable in feeling that they have only one [chipset] source and are taking this opportunity to go after Qualcomm.”
Apple claims Qualcomm owes it a billion dollars and says the company is refusing to pay since Apple cooperated with South Korean antitrust regulators looking into antitrust claims against Qualcomm in the country. However, the iPhone maker is being accused of hypocrisy since the company is facing its own monopoly abuse accusations regarding its App Store.
A lawsuit filed against Apple, Inc. in 2011, seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in damages for monopoly abuse regarding Apple’s App Store, was revived recently. A US appeals court received the civil suit on January 12. Apple has been accused of creating a monopoly by making its App Store the only place to purchase iPhone applications.
Lack of competition has thus pushed App Store prices higher. Google now holds a considerable market share over Apple in terms of how many apps and users it has, according to a 2016 report by App Promoters; in fact, it’s estimated to be as much as 75% market share for the Play Store.
Qualcomm has rejected Apple’s monopoly abuse claims as baseless, and insisted the iPhone maker “intentionally mischaracterized” agreements between the two companies as well as the value of Qualcomm’s technologies.
“While we are still in the process of reviewing the complaint in detail, it is quite clear that Apple’s claims are baseless,” responded Qualcomm general counsel Don Rosenberg in a statement. “Apple has intentionally mischaracterized our agreements and negotiations, as well as the enormity and value of the technology we have invented, contributed and share with all mobile device makers through our licensing program.”
The statement continues, “Apple has been actively encouraging regulatory attacks on Qualcomm’s business in various jurisdictions around the world, as reflected in the recent KFTC decision and FTC complaint, by misrepresenting facts and withholding information. We welcome the opportunity to have these meritless claims heard in court where we will be entitled to full discovery of Apple’s practices and a robust examination of the merits.”
Some analysts suspect Apple is trying to pave the way for other rival chipset makers to flourish, by taking advantage of the monopoly abuse claims being made against Qualcomm. Apple relies on Qualcomm for chip-based modems that enable iPhones and iPads to communicate with telecommunication networks. By playing into the antitrust claims against Qualcomm, Apple could forge better deals with its competitors, says Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights and Strategy.
“I think Apple is not comfortable in feeling that they have only one source and are taking this opportunity to go after Qualcomm,” said Moorhead. “Qualcomm is being looked at on every continent on the planet; this is probably, strategically, the right time for Apple to do this.”
The discovery of an Amazon patent has shown the company’s incredible plans for the future of drone technology after it successfully secured a patent to produce ‘flying warehouses’ that would deploy drones from high in the sky to deliver goods to homes below.
The patent was granted by the US patent office in April, but it was only recently uncovered by tech analyst Zoe Leavitt. The ‘airborne warehouses’ will fly over cities at 45,000 feet which would then subsequently release fleets of drones tasked to deliver products on demand to customers residences.
It has also been disclosed that Amazon plans to save energy by performing this method of delivery -by dropping the drones using gravity before kicking in with their motors. Earlier this month Amazon announced it had made its first successful delivery by drone, when shipping a small parcel to a customer in Cambridge.
The patent describes a range of uses for the flying warehouses, including flying above a football game and loaded with sporting paraphernalia and food products that spectators at the game could order and get delivered instantly by drone. “Perishable items or even prepared meals can be delivered in a timely fashion to a user,” the patent says.
The abstract describes the system as having three components: the giant warehouses floating over the city; the fleet of delivery drones and smaller airships that are used to stock the warehouses and fly at a lower altitude to recover the drones.
Drone technology is becoming a key vertical for many tech businesses – and Amazon are continuing to invest a significant amount of time and money in their efforts to be a market leader in the sector. This was evidenced further following the announcement that another Amazon patent, revealed this week, describes a system for protecting delivery drones from hackers, lightning, and bows and arrows.
The existence of the patent does not mean the scheme will become a reality any time soon, but does indicate how Amazon is thinking of revolutionizing the delivery process.