[ATTACH=right]16954[/ATTACH]What's a billionaire to do when he's not in the spotlight so much anymore and maybe getting a little, well... bored? Sue everyone that people are paying more attention to than you, that's what! Interval Licensing, the company owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, is suing nearly every big name in tech - the lawsuit names AOL, Apple, eBay, Facebook, Google, Netflix, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Staples, Yahoo and YouTube as defendants, alleging violations of patents related to search, multimedia, database management and "screen activity" (e.g. pop-ups.) No specifics just yet on exactly how each company violated the patents, but a …

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[ATTACH=RIGHT]21961[/ATTACH]OK, so Apple has successfully [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/hardware-and-software/netbooks-tablets-and-mobile-devices/news/376700/1621471"]persuaded a German court to ban the sale of the Galaxy Tab Android tablet[/URL] on the grounds that Samsung has copied the design of the iPad. The legalities of which revolve around [URL="http://www.scribd.com/doc/61944044/Community-Design-000181607-0001"]certificate of registration number 000181607[/URL] in the Community Designs Register that protects the ownership of design within the boundaries of the European Union. DaniWeb can reveal exactly what it is that Apple thinks Samsung has copied, and we hope you are sitting down because the actual community design images contained within that certification are basic to say the least. In fact, we would …

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[ATTACH=RIGHT]16788[/ATTACH]If you’re a petty thief, an iPhone must look like a mobile Mona Lisa. Their sleek design, variety of features, portability, coveted ownership, and lofty price make for an appealing and readily available target. But scum of the earth pay heed: Apple filed for a patent yesterday (August 19th) to undermine iPhone theft by remote disabling of the stolen devices and sending you to the clink for your tomfoolery. The patent, titled "Systems and Methods for Identifying Unauthorized Users of an Electronic Device”, provides lost or stolen iPhone owners with peace of mind and employs a variety of methods to …

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A lawsuit filed against Facebook in 2008 has had its day in court -- and lost. [ATTACH=RIGHT]16247[/ATTACH]Ohio-based [URL="http://www.leader.com/"]Leader Technologies[/URL] filed suit against Facebook, charging that it had infringed on their 2006 patent for "a method and system for the management and storage of electronic information” developed by the company's founder, Michael McKibben and Jeffrey R. Lamb. It took six days to hear the trial in a Delaware court, but in the end the eight-member jury ruled in Facebook's favor, finding that although patent infringement had taken place, the original patent was invalid. The patent abstract describes the tool as: [QUOTE]A …

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"After years of pretending to be a friend of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), IBM now shows its true colors. IBM breaks the number one taboo of the FOSS community and shamelessly uses its patents against a well-respected FOSS project, the Hercules mainframe emulator." Those are [URL="http://fosspatents.blogspot.com/2010/04/ibm-breaks-taboo-and-betrays-its.html"]the words of Florian Mueller[/URL], the well known software developer and open source political lobbyist and founder of the NoSoftwarePatents campaign, who accuses IBM of betraying its promise to the FOSS community and claims the company has declared patent war in order to "protect its highly lucrative mainframe monopoly against Free and Open …

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So just how many great ideas did you have last year? IBM managed to come up with 4895 during the course of 2009 that were good enough to be granted patents from the US Patent and Trademarks Office, cementing the Big Blue reputation as being King of the Patents. That eclipses the [URL="http://www.itpro.co.uk/blogs/daveyw/2009/01/15/4186-ibm-patents-in-one-year/"]previous record breaking year[/URL] of 2008 when IBM were granted 4186 of the things. Amazingly this means that IBM has topped the US patents chart for 17 years now, and is showing no sign of slowing down when it comes to innovation and invention. Samsung finished second in …

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Sony Computer Entertainment America has filed a patent application, number [URL="http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=2&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PG01&s1=laugh&OS=laugh&RS=laugh"]20090195392[/URL], which could lead to a PlayStation controller that knows when you are happy, sad or just plain angry. The patent application is officially for a 'laugh detector and system and method for tracking an emotional response to a media presentation' has an abstract which reads "Information in the form of emotional responses to a media presentation may be passively collected, for example by a microphone and/or a camera. This information may be tied to metadata at a time reference level in the media presentation and used to examine the …

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A company that has been attempting to obtain licensing fees from adult companies, as well as other providers such as Internet radio stations and leading satellite and cable companies such Echostar, DirectTV, Time Warner Cable, and CSC Holdings, Inc., has had its [URL="http://www.eff.org/files/acacia-patent-invalidated.pdf"]patent thrown out[/URL] by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Acacia Research's patent on streaming media technology had been targeted by the [URL="http://w2.eff.org/patent/wanted/patent.php?p=acacia"]Electronic Frontier Foundation[/URL] as part of its Patent Busting Project for being overly broad. "Laughably broad patent would cover everything from online distribution of home movies to scanned documents and MP3s," the …

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A company has been awarded a patent for providing episodic media downloads, which essentially gives it a patent on all forms of podcasting. The company, VoloMedia, calls itself the "leading provider of advertising and reporting solutions for portable media, extending the reach of video and audio from the PC to devices such as smartphones (e.g., iPhone, Android, BlackBerry), media players (e.g., iPod, Touch) and set-top boxes (e.g., Apple TV, Vudu) whether connected or offline." The patent was filed in 2003. In a [URL="http://www.volomedia.com/blog/"]blog entry[/URL], company founder Murgesh Navar said it had filed a dozen patents since 2003 and this is …

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Kaspersky Lab has successfully [URL="http://www.itpro.co.uk/blogs/daveyw/2009/02/23/kaspersky-patents-malware-removal/"]patented yet another bit[/URL] of security technology. This time it is a new heuristic analysis technology which allows security ratings to be assigned to software based entirely upon behaviour patterns during emulation. Is this something to get excited about? Well, yes, if you look beyond the marketing spin and focus on what Kaspersky is actually doing here. The point being that with existing methods there are no 100 percent guarantees that new malicious programs can be detected, a typical chicken and egg situation which would require new technologies to detect and block potential new threats to …

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I've never made it a secret that I'm a big fan of Apple products. I love my Mac Book Pro and my iPhone, but I have to say that Apple has been pissing me off lately. The company has decided to throw its legal weight around to protect its market share instead of letting the products speak for themselves. Two cases in particular stand out: the multi-touch patent and attempting to criminalize jail-breaking iphones. [B]Multi-Touch Patent[/B] At the end of January, it surfaced that Apple had scored a [URL="http://news.zdnet.co.uk/software/0,1000000121,39605137,00.htm"]patent for multi-touch technology[/URL] and that it could, if it wished sue …

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Apparently the stinging failure of Windows Vista is a distant memory for Microsoft because they've cooked up yet another hair-brained idea to draw in customers: pay-as-you-go computing. [URL="http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-10129438-92.html?tag=newsEditorsPicksArea.0"]Cnet has the details[/URL] today of a patent application filed by the company and I'm having trouble believing it's not Bill Gates' attempt at an early April Fool's Day joke. Apparently, Microsoft plans to give customers a computer system, then charge them three different ways to use it. After a "one time" fee, you'll also have to pay for usage time and performance options. So far, it looks like there will price points …

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Many years ago, during a press visit to Microsoft HQ in Seattle, I was given relative freedom to wander around the Redmond campus. Of course, there were some areas that were strictly out of bounds. Areas like the one which was entered via the 'Cryogenics Lab' door for example. At the time I thought it a little odd that Microsoft should be investing in cryogenics, but wrote it off as the kind of thing you can get your company to play with when you are the richest man on the planet. More recently, in 2004 to be precise, I noted …

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The End.