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#Patentfun December 19 – 23

http://chainsawsuit.com/2011/12/19/sopa-rific/

[I know, the above cartoon from Chainsawsuit.com, has nothing to do with Android, but I think there's some good parallels going on with some of the judges in these Android case]

Okay, I know we were supposed to take the week off, but I’m typing most of this during the week, so I did take the appropriate time off.  And it seems like legal battles aren’t taking any time off for holiday spirit…

  • British Telecom sues Google

Not wanting to be left out of the whole “let’s sue people” party, British Telecom jumps on the bandwagon and brings suit against Google directly (rather than going after a manufacturer).  BT is claiming 6 patents are being infringed upon, and are “seeking damages — even triple damages for willful and deliberate infringement — as well as an injunction“.

http://fosspatents.blogspot.com/2011/12/british-telecom-sues-google-over-six.html

  • Apple now suing over in call app switching

I remember one of my first real ‘digital’ cell phones.  I remember being in a call and someone asking for a contact number that I had in my phone and said “oh, wait, I can do this…” and then bringing up the contact list. Why isn’t Apple suing Nokia, Palm (well, that I can guess).  Being able to do more with a ‘smartphone’ than just make calls is an obvious thing, and then making that crazy leap of being able to do that WHILE a phone call is going on is a natural next step.  But Apple being Apple – they will sue Google over it.  Why not sue Microsoft for multi-tasking.  I’m pretty sure my computer used to be able to take faxes while playing games.

http://phandroid.com/2011/12/21/apple-awarded-patent-on-in-call-app-switching-multitasking-smartphones-sound-familiar-to-you/

  • Motorola found to be infringing 1 of Microsoft’s 7 claims

This has been one of those ‘half empty / half full’ things.  Motorola is taking the ‘loss’ in great stride and doesn’t seem to be at all concerned.  Some will say “win some, lose some, but I feel that any loss is huge, and you know that companies like Apple will use any tiny crack or crevice to gain more leverage for more suits.

Especially when the patent they said they infringed upon was the ability for the phone to setup group meeting request and scheduling (sounds like something that any calendar app from the beginning of time can do)

http://www.talkandroid.com/80073-motorola-wins-and-loses-with-microsoft-on-patent-infringements/

  • Hasbro suing Asus over “Transformer Prime”

Remember when it was rumoured that the Galaxy Nexus was to be called “Nexus Prime” and we had all those mock-up Android Transformer’s Optimus Prime going around?  Well I guess Hasbro didn’t like that, and then when Asus called their tablet “Transformer Prime” that was a double stab at them so they wanted to get in on that lawsuit money.

Now, I’m no lawyer, but from what I’ve always been told by my legal friends, that in those kinds of cases, the 2 companies should be at least in somewhat of the same ‘product sphere’, where there would be some probable confusion.  I’m pretty sure a child looking for a toy from the latest Michael Bay robots and explosion movie will not get confused and grab a $500 tablet.  Good luck with not being laughed all the way to New Years Hasbro.

http://www.intomobile.com/2011/12/21/hasbro-sues-asus-over-transformer-name/

  • Oracle wants the courts to start NOW

Google and Oracle have been in a locked ‘poised’ mode for some time with delays, arguments, document leaks and requests for evidence (for discovery, etc…).

Well, Oracle sounds a little fed up and wants to be starting the court case now.  Which it is saying it is steadily losing ground in the Market because of Android, as developers and manufacturers are starting to use that platform, versus Java.  Also, we have heard that Google was looking to develop DART, which would replace even the need for javascript.

http://fosspatents.blogspot.com/2011/12/oracle-wants-google-trial-to-start-in.html

  • BBM Canada suing RIM over BBM name

Okay, this has NOTHING to do with Android, but I did it to point out that I too could eat crow.   Last week I pointed out that there were no real Canadian equivalent to all this patent litigation.  However, this just came across my newsfeed and I had to report on it.

Poor RIM, just taking a beating – and it’s just telling that when the company has been around for a long time, that a company now sees them as ‘weak enough’ (my supposition) to go after the term BBM.  BBM has been used since almost the beginning — why is the company only seeking suit NOW?  Do they also think the company is ready to disappear and it’s their only chance to go after that cash?  Actually there’s some legitimacy to the claim, which you can read in the source noted below.

This just after recently they had to rename BBX to BlackBerry 10 due to a previous company holding that BBX name.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/technology/tech-news/rim-faces-new-trademark-fight-over-messenger-service-name/article2262719/

  • Tab 10.1N to likely stay in Germany

Remember when Apple won a lawsuit in Germany to keep out the Galaxy Tab?  (because it was square, had an LCD etc…).  Well then Samsung redesigned it as the 10.1N, and Apple still balked?

Well, the 10.1N is under review right now by the courts in Germany to examine Apple’s claims, and it doesn’t look good for Apple.  I mean, come on!

  • EFF reverse engineers Carrier IQ – looking at data now

Spooky spooky Carrier IQ gets another look-through by the EFF (the group that helped back Trevor, who first helped bring CIQ to light).  This time they are reverse engineering the software and are asking people for their help to help try to interpret it to see if the claims they made recently to Senator Franken are correct.

http://www.theverge.com/2011/12/21/2653640/electronic-frontier-foundation-reverse-engineers-carrier-iq

Well, there’s a couple more for me to talk about, but hey… it’s Christmas.  I’ll report more next week.

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  • Stephen MacDougall

    “BBM has been used since almost the beginning — why is the company only seeking suit NOW?”

    My understanding of this is that,  until now, RIM wasn’t using BBM specifically in television commercials and other ads. Now that RIM is using BBM as a branding item, BBM Canada has decided to take action. Previous to this, BBM was merely users shortening “Blackberry Messenger”. As soon as RIM started to use BBM in advertising, it became a trademark issue.

    • Anonymous

      right – I had the same understanding, that because RIM themselves have started to use the term themselves.  Before, it was just a colloquial term used by the users, not the company.

      Talking with a friend in the legal field he recommends that RIM will not have to worry as it will be one of the cases where the brand has transcended the product (like fridge, or skidoo) and as such won’t have to worry.

  • http://www.amazeline.com/919 Nicky Bartson

    If ever I was an owner of a company going against Google, the question is: will I win?