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Posts Tagged: "smartphones"

Patent Trend Study Part Twelve: Mobile Phone Industry

Yesterday, we discussed patenting trends in the cleantech industry. Today, we turn to the mobile phone industry, which has matured with fewer reasons for frequent consumer upgrades while standards drive toward better efficiency and data rates to find even more uses for the platforms. The mobile phone industry has exploded over the last decade with nearly all U.S. consumers owning a smart phone. Additionally, many Internet of Things (IoT) devices have gained cellular modems, along with modern heavy equipment having a data connection for telemetry. The wireless standards have innovation that comes in waves, with 3G and 4G/LTE reaching maturation, while 5G has a solid upward trend. The supply chain for mobile phone manufacture has largely moved overseas and many brands have disappeared or moved overseas. Even though the two mobile operating systems are just over a decade old, we are seeing the pace of software innovation plateau with a couple million apps in the respective platform stores. The ubiquity of cellular data will bring the underlying technology to many different industries in the years to come, as the maturity of the industry allows the focus to move away from the platform itself.

Nokia Inks Patent Licensing Agreement With OPPO, A Rising Star in China’s Smartphone Industry

Nokia Corporation announced it entered into a patent licensing agreement with Chinese mobile consumer electronics firm OPPO. Although terms of the deal weren’t disclosed by Nokia, the company did state that under the agreement, OPPO would make payments over a multi-year period… OPPO may not receive the same kind of attention that its domestic rivals Xiaomi and Huawei receive, but it has become a major competitor in the Chinese smartphone market in recent years. OPPO had the greatest market share of smartphone makers in terms of Chinese sales during 2016 when the company shipped 78.4 million units to achieve a 16.8 percent market share within the country.

Apple’s Declaratory Judgment Backfires, Turns Into $145.1M Damages Verdict Wi-LAN

On August 1st, a jury verdict entered in the Southern District of California awarded $145.1 million in reasonable royalty damages to Canadian IP licensing firm Wi-LAN in a patent infringement case against Cupertino, CA-based consumer device giant Apple Inc. The jury determined that Apple infringed upon claims of two patents owned by Wi-LAN.

Ericsson and LG Enter into Global Cross-Licensing Agreement for 2G, 3G and 4G Mobile SEPs

Swedish multinational telecommunications company Ericsson and South Korean consumer electronics firm LG Electronics announced that they had entered into a global licensing agreement to cross-license patent portfolios held by both companies. The patents in these portfolios include standard-essential patents (SEPs) related to various cellular technologies, including those related to second generation (2G), third generation (3G) and fourth generation (4G) cellular standards.

For Design Patent Owners (and Alleged Infringers), The Third Time is Not a Charm

Ultimately, the jury’s large damage award might not be the lasting storyline of this case. Apple’s “victory” here shows that well-crafted design patents can offer broad protections against even slight infringements by competitors, and that a well-written design patent and a well-argued case can provide tremendous benefits to the patent owners. Given the relatively inexpensive design patent process and what will only be continued speculation as to how these damages should be calculated, a design patent remains a great defense in the face of even limited infringement by market competitors.

Oracle America v. Google, Free Java: Fair or Unfair?

The Federal Circuit recently decided the case of Oracle America v. Google Inc. To “attract Java developers to build apps for Android,” Google copied the declaring code, but wrote its own implementing code for the 37 Java API packages. Id at 1187.  Previously, the Federal Circuit held that “[the] declaring code and the structure, sequence, and organization (‘SSO’) of the Java API packages are entitled to copyright protection.” .  On the other hand, the Federal Circuit also recognized that a reasonable jury could find that “the functional aspects of the packages” are “relevant to Google’s fair use defense.” In this key decision that has the potential to rock the software industry, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit rejected the jury verdict and found that “Google’s use of the 37 Java API packages was not fair as a matter of law.

USAA Asserts Mobile Check Deposit Patents Against Wells Fargo

USAA alleges that Wells Fargo Mobile Deposit remote deposit capture system, which was released years after either of USAA’s remote deposit services were first offered, infringe upon the asserted patents. Wells Fargo Mobile Deposit has been downloaded more than 10 million times from the Google Play Store alone and by February 2018, Wells Fargo had 21 million users who were actively using a mobile banking account. Wells Fargo mobile check deposit system involves the use of alignment guides and feedback indicators which are designed to assist customers in orienting the camera, features covered by the USAA patents. Although USAA approached Wells Fargo last August to discuss the licensing of USAA’s remote deposit capture patents, Wells Fargo allegedly continues to practice the technologies without any compensation to USAA. Along with counts for infringement of each patent asserted, USAA is also seeking a finding of willful infringement to enhance the actual damages by three times.

Apple v. Samsung Retrial: An Opportunity to Finally Clarify Design Patent Law

On May 14th the next chapter in the Samsung v. Apple smartphone design patent dispute will commence in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California with a retrial to determine a new award in the case. The most notable moment in this long winding history was the unanimous Supreme Court decision where the Supreme Court sided with Samsung in its appeal in late 2016. But while the Supreme Court’s ruling should have modernized our antiquated law governing design patents to fit into the modern 21st century world, that important outcome is still in doubt pending the retrial. A key question remains – namely, how to determine the “article of manufacture” and appropriate remedy for infringement of multifaceted products. And could this open up potential grounds of consideration for utility patent interpretation?

Samsung Galaxy Smartphones Targeted in Infringement Case Over Secure Device Authentication Patents

Texas-based patent owner PACid Technologies filed a complaint alleging patent infringement committed by South Korean consumer electronics giant Samsung (KRX:005930). The case, filed in the Eastern District of Texas, focuses on authentication protocols utilized by Samsung devices which allegedly infringe upon a pair of patents owned by PACid.

FTC can Proceed Against AT&T for Throttling Data Speed of ‘Unlimited’ Data Users

AT&T Mobility argued in a motion to dismiss that they were exempt from the jurisdiction of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) because they qualify as a “common carrier.” Specifically, Section 5 of the FTC Act gives the agency enforcement authority over “unfair or deceptive acts or practices,” but exempts “common carriers subject to the Acts to regulate commerce.” 15 U.S.C § 45(a)(1), (2). AT&T Mobility’s motion to dismiss the action was denied… The en banc Ninth Circuit agreed with the district court and overruled the previous three judge panel. The en banc Ninth Circuit ruled earlier today that “common carrier” immunity only attaches when a company is engaging in common-carrier services.

Qualcomm enters into 3G/4G license agreement with Turkish smartphone firm

On Monday, October 9th, San Diego, CA-based fabless semiconductor developer Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM) announced that it had entered into a licensing agreement with Istanbul, Turkey-based General Mobile, a regional smartphone brand and a partner of the Android One smartphone project developed by Google. The royalty-bearing patent license grants General Mobile the right to develop, manufacture and sell 3G and 4G complete devices which incorporate technologies that are covered by patents in Qualcomm’s portfolio.

ITC opens patent infringement investigation after Qualcomm files complaint against Apple

On Tuesday, August 8th, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) announced that it was opening up an investigation on claims that Cupertino, CA-based consumer electronics behemoth Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is infringing upon patented technologies, specifically baseband processor modems, in its mobile electronic devices. The investigation follows a Section 337 patent infringement complaint filed on July 7th with the ITC by…

Kim Kardashian company sued in patent case over smartphone cases with LED lighting

San Marcos, CA-based consumer hardware developer Snap Light LLC filed a patent infringement complaint against Kimsaprincess Inc., a company owned by American reality television personality Kim Kardashian West. The patent suit targets West and her company over claims that she has endorsed a phone selfie case which infringes on a U.S. patent. The suit has been filed in the Central District of California.

Copyright Preemption in the Smart Phone Society: The Ninth Circuit Clouds the Picture in T3Media

There is no question that smart phones have transformed the social and economic structure of society, and the integration of increasingly effective cameras has helped spark the revolution.  It is now the norm for people to document their lives through images of themselves and those around them, and to share those images through social media, where others then copy, edit, and reuse them within the blink of an eye.  Just imagine all the ways that photos are now taken, posted and virally spread via social media.  For instance, I have taken selfies, asked strangers to take pictures of me with my hiking buddies, and asked friends to send me images of people from their camera rolls. I have taken photographs of well-known personalities at private gatherings, and snapped pictures of individuals when they had no idea I was even there.   Sometimes I decide to post these personal images on Instagram or Facebook, and then away they go… Unfortunately, the Ninth Circuit failed in T3Media to fully and accurately address the limits of copyright preemption on state law claims involving the personal rights of individuals appearing in photographs.

Huawei earns first victory against Samsung in China over smartphone patents

This is the first win in court against Samsung by Huawei, which currently places third in the global smartphone market with 8.9 percent market share as of last September. Huawei asserted a patent covering smartphone technology against the Korean tech company, reportedly seeking compensation for 30 million smartphone units which were sold for a total of $12.7 billion. These infringing smartphone units included the Galaxy S7, according to reports.