Displaying items by tag: patent
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.
South Korea-based Samsung is fighting a battle with Chinese smartphone manufacturer Huawei over patent deals. Samsung has taken Huawei to court over allegations that Huawei has infringed its patents, seeking $24.1 million in damages. According to Samsung, some of Huawei’s products, such as the Honor lineup and its pricey Mate 8, are illegitimately employing Samsung patents.
This war between the Chinese and Korean tech giants isn’t new. It’s an ongoing battle between Huawei and Samsung, continuing on from May, when Huawei filed lawsuits against Samsung in the United States and China, seeking compensation for alleged unlicensed use of its 4G tech, as well as other unspecified infringements related to its OS and system software.
The aggressive lawsuits, according to a report by Phone Arena, suggest that there is a trend emerging of Chinese technology companies gaining confidence and asserting their intellectual property rights. Shortly after Huawei filed its allegations against Samsung, the Korean company hinted that it would be doing the same against Huawei, which seeks to block Huawei and Beijing Hengtongda Department Store Co. from producing and selling Huawei devices.
In an official e-mail statement, Samsung said: “We have faithfully negotiated with other patent holders for the fair licensing of technology. However, despite our best efforts to resolve this matter amicably, it has regrettably become necessary to take legal action in order to defend our intellectual property.”
Samsung continues to progress with foremost technology breakthroughs, recently announcing a new planned venture into smart contact lenses. According to the Samsung-centric blog SamMobile, South Korea officially granted the leading smartphone maker a patent for contact lenses with a display that can project images directly into the user’s eye.
Reports suggest that the contact lenses will be equipped with a built-in camera and sensors that could be controlled by blinking. Content gathered by the miniature camera would then send the information to the user’s smartphone via embedded antennas, where the content would be processed and ready for viewing.
It has been suggested that Samsung developed the smart contact lenses as an alternative to creating improved augmented reality experiences over the current expanse of wearables. Instead of creating smart glasses, Samsung plans to develop a way for consumers to enjoy augmented reality without it being too obvious.
To keep the experience subtle, the contact lenses will have the option of controlling the interface through a smartphone, instead of blinking to control an ocular interface which could lead to awkward situations and accidental input.
The patent deal given to Samsung by South Korea means that Samsung now joins Google which currently owns two patent deals for smart contact lenses. However, Google reportedly plans to use its smart contact lenses for medical purposes, using sensors and flexible electronics to read tear fluid chemicals to determine blood sugar levels.
Samsung fans around the world are excitedly anticipating more updates about the smart contact lenses, which are still only in the concept stage, as opposed to developing a prototype. The concept has been around for a few years now; both Google and Samsung filed for smart contact lens patents in their respective countries (United States and South Korea) back in 2014.
Even though smart contact lenses would be amazing and groundbreaking, people shouldn’t get too excited about the idea just yet. Remember: a patent agreement does not prove that the concept will be developed successfully.