I <3 PATENTS

What would a week in the mobile arena without legal drama be like?  We have no idea, and probably never will.  Today there's so much that we're just going to round it all up in one easy spot, then take a couple aspirin and chase the headache away.  Without further adieu:

Motorola v Apple

Motorola will likely win another injunction against Apple in Germany.  This time, it's a method describing how a mobile device synchronizes data with a server, and Moto seems pretty confident that iCloud and MobileMe violate their patents.  This time the patents in question aren't covered under a FRAND defense, so Apple and Moto may have to fight this one out -- a move which Apple feels will cost over 2.7 billion (with a B) dollars.  Read more at Phone Arena

BN v Microsoft

Barnes & Noble have filed more than 45 pages worth of links to prior art in their defense against Microsoft.  Things ranging from Mosaic, Netscape, Unix man pages, and even work shown by Microsoft themselves.  All these examples pre-date the patents Microsoft is using in their suit, and it looks like B&N is pretty damn serious about fighting back.  Take a few aspirin of your own and check out Groklaw for the full details.

Samsung's redesigned German Galaxy Tab

Samsung has skirted their way around the ban of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Germany.  A slight redesign where the metal bezel now wraps around the front of the device and is visible was all the German courts needed to allow the tablet to be sold.  Personally, I would have redesigned it with rotating spikes designed to maim and cripple competitors (yes, I just watched Mad Max again), but there's a reason I'm not in charge of anything.  I wonder how many millions were wasted on this one?  See PCMag for more details.

Google's unlock patent

Google was granted a patent on the pattern unlock method they use for Android smartphones.  And patents of ideas are still just as wrong as they ever were, even when it's Google getting them.  In addition, Google was granted a patent on the method to use lockscreen based gestures to control other phone functions (think gesture based app launching).  Could this mean Google has plans to add some new features to the lockscreen?  Hurry up Android 5.0!  Read more at 9 to 5 Google.

Is it happy hour yet?  Thanks everyone who tipped us about these!

 
There are 22 comments

I'm not sure what that toilet graphic is supposed to be, but its gotta be close to the most disgusting thing I've ever seen. O.o

snype09 says:

United States Patent 4,320,756:

This invention provides an economical device and method for ensuring a life-saving supply of fresh air to a person entrapped in a burning hotel room or the like, when the person is subjected to toxic smoke inhalation.

acey_zero says:

Hehe, I think I think I might just breath the toxic smoke

wraith404 says:

Based upon the source of the supply of 'fresh air', i'm not so sure that it's life saving... :D

hmmm says:

Yeah really, lol. The vent pipe will allow the toilet to flush properly but to breathe from the pipe would be breathing in the fumes coming up from below...

davidr521 says:

I just threw up in my mouth. A lot. X-#

Ummm thanks but I think I'll just die in the fire.

The last thing I need is to have to explain how I survived the fire by snorkeling in a hotel toilet.

dcreed says:

I think Apple owns the patent on that.

snype09 says:

I'm with you, so I had to look it up.

hmmm says:

Didn't Apple just win a slide to unlock patent too?

ts0cha0tik says:

Apple won the Slide to Unlock patent. Google won the Gesture Unlock patent. Correct me if I'm wrong.

wraith404 says:

With some luck, Google will get a patent on the facial recognition unlock as well.

vinny jr says:

Looks like sue happy Apple is getting a little of their own medicine thrown right back at them. With more of these lawsuits coming at Apple every week that reserve cash fund they brag about having will dwindle very fast.

gdbjr says:

Motorola actually has to put that amount of money up as a bond in case they would lose. So I am sure apple is fudging the numbers to try and get Moto to drop the case.

BSG75 says:

If I were Samsung, I would have slapped a "Samsung Galaxy Tab" sticker on the bezel (using the boot animation logo) and called it a day.

Yeah, the courts probably wouldn't accept it, but I'm sure no consumer would ever be confused in the store, so doesn't that solve the problem?

And if someone takes off the sticker, and some other person in a coffee shop assumes it's a iPad, isn't that just free advertising for Apple?

I would say google is going to lose the Gesture unlock due to prior art from Cyanogenmod 7.

hmmm says:

But isn't the new patent system such that whoever pays the price and applies for the patent gets it no matter what was out there previously? I thought that was one of the flaws of the new system was that people can invent things but if they don't pony up the money then too bad for them? Did someone in the CM team actually patent that? I use the gestures too and they are nice :)

RETG says:

I hate these lawsuits, they only make lawyers rich and consumers end up paying. But I get a kick out of Motorola beating Apple into a sauce.

davidr521 says:

The fecal reference here is 100% appropriate. :D

frettfreak says:

Man.. i REALLY HATE all this legal CRAP!! Just innovate and move on! However... this looks like all fairly good news for the Android community!! So yay... i guess?

Evil Hamster says:

It's stupid, but the only way to defend against crap patents is to have your own stockpile of crap patents.

throwbot says:

I really don't enjoy saying this bc I am an EXTREMELY open person, but quite frankly, steve jobs was an asshole and he screwed a lot up for everyone. Yes, he had an uncanny ability for innovation (even tho more and more stuff keeps surfacing proving that a lot of it wasn't his own ideas), but never the less it was steve jobs that made apple "sue-happy". All their lawsuits have done is inhibit product innovation. It really just makes them looks like jerks, too. It's like wanting to have the tallest building in town-- you could either build your building up so thats its bigger than any other building around, or you could take the apple approach and then build a pretty big building and tear down all the other ones that are taller than yours.