Apple fails to win permanent ban of Samsung products

Apple has lost the latest round in the ongoing patent war with archrival Samsung.

In the long-running feud between the two companies, Apple had filed a renewed request to permanently ban 23 Samsung devices found to have infringed on its patents. But early Thursday, Judge Lucy Koh denied Apple's request, ruling that the iPhone maker "has not established that it is entitled to the permanent injunction it seeks," according to a court document.

Still, all is not rosy for Samsung. Koh also upheld the $290 million in additional damages awarded to Apple by a jury last November. … Read more

Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker friends Silicon Valley

The US Department of Commerce wants to friend Silicon Valley. That's the message from Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, who made her first official visit this week to what she called a "place of majestic beauty" and a "dynamic and innovative ecosystem that is envied not just across the United States but throughout the world."

Pritzker met with Silicon Valley executives from Facebook, Google, and eBay, and with startup entrepreneurs. "With the country moving at warp speed toward the 'Internet of Everything,' our goal at the Department of Commerce as a service organization is … Read more

Apple, Samsung reportedly fail to reach truce in patent wars

Apple CEO Tim Cook and Samsung Mobile head JK Shin reportedly met last week to hammer out an agreement to their long-running patent feud. The result? No agreement.

Neither company has fessed up to such a meeting. But ZDNet Korea and other sources claim the two execs met in the US after being ordered by the court to try to settle their legal differences amicably. The court reportedly wanted to see a settlement by February 19, but the bad blood between the two companies seems to have been too much of an obstacle.

The court could reveal its final verdict … Read more

Apple to defend itself against $2 billion patent infringement suit

Apple is facing yet another lawsuit accusing it of patent infringement.

In a suit filed in Germany, patent owner IPCom GmbH claims that Apple is illegally using a patented technology that gives priority to emergency phone calls on overcrowded cellular networks, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. As such, IPCom wants Apple to pay 1.57 billion euros ($2.12 billion) in damages.

The suit against Apple goes to court on February 11, according to Foss Patents. Munich-based IPCom has been busy the past few years filing lawsuits against the likes of Nokia and HTC, winning some cases and … Read more

Google, Cisco sign deal to avoid future patent squabbles

Google and Cisco have formed a new agreement to ward off potential patent trolls.

The agreement gives each company a license to the other's patent portfolio and covers a wide range of products and technologies, Cisco said in a news release on Tuesday. The deal was set up as a countermeasure to the act of "patent privateering," which transfers patents to so-called patent assertion firms.

Some holders of patented products try to avoid legal battles by signing deals with patent assertion firms that file lawsuits in their own names, The Wall Street Journal explained. These assertion firms … Read more

Qualcomm buys 2,400 mobile patents, applications from HP

Qualcomm has acquired 2,400 patents and patent applications relating to Hewlett-Packard's mobile technology, the companies announced Friday.

The acquisition includes about 1,400 patents and applications from the United States and about 1,000 from other countries. The patents are from ill-fated mobile efforts at HP -- the iPaq handheld device, the Palm business it bought in 2010, and the Bitfone mobile device management software.

"The company may be looking through its assets to determine those that may be non-core," said Wells Fargo Securities analyst Maynard Um in a research note. "We believe HP will … Read more

IBM defends US patent crown in 2013

IBM takes the US patent crown again for 2013, but Qualcomm debuted in the top 10 and Google nudged out Apple as they cracked the top 20.

According to data from IFI Claims Patent Services, IBM had a record 6,809 patents and has been the top dog for the last 21 years. Samsung was No. 2 and Canon was No. 3.

Qualcomm had a 62 percent jump in patents awarded in 2013 compared to 2012 and landed in the No. 9 spot. Microsoft was No. 5.

Among the top 10 rankings there were three US companies, four Japanese companies … Read more

How to filter Google image searches by usage rights

Looking for an image online that you can legally and safely use on your own Web site? Google now makes it easier to find one.

A new Usage Rights filter is now easily accessible on your search results page, as tweeted by Google software engineer Matt Cutts. Here's how you can tap into it:

Run your search at the Google Images page, or just use Google's default search page and then filter the results by image. Click on the Search tools menu and then select the dropdown menu for Usage Rights. That menu offers five choices: Not filtered … Read more

Google deepens involvement in open-source patent effort

Expanding its involvement in an open-source legal defense effort, Google has joined the board of the Open Invention Network, an organization that cross-licenses patents to try to reduce the risk of lawsuits against those using Linux and another open-source software projects.

Google previously was an Open Invention Network associate member but now joins Sony, Red Hat, Novell, IBM, Phillips, and NEC with the higher level of involvement.

"Linux now powers nearly all the world's supercomputers, runs the International Space Station, and forms the core of Android. But as open source has proliferated, so have the threats against it, … Read more

InterDigital execs threatened with arrest in China

Executives from patent licensing firm InterDigital have been threatened with arrest should they try to attend a proposed meeting in China.

What's behind this threat? The story starts with InterDigital, a wireless R&D company that licenses patents for its inventions.

As outlined by Reuters on Monday, InterDigital filed a patent infringement complaint with the US International Trade Commission against certain Chinese companies, including ZTE and Huawei Technologies.

That complaint clearly upset China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), an agency that holds much power over the Chinese economy. As a result, the NDRC launched an investigation … Read more