Fosspatents reports that after Nokia has succeeded in obtaining an injunction against HTC’s smartphones in UK (which was largely stayed pending an appeal) Nokia was bringing the same case with the same patent library to court in France.
In a statement Nokia said:
"Nokia was pleased that the UK High Court imposed an injunction on certain HTC products which it found in October to infringe a Nokia patent. The UK Court of Appeal has stayed the injunction until a full appeal hearing next year and Nokia welcomes the Court’s invitation for the parties to expedite this. It is unfortunate that the stay means that HTC can continue to benefit from its unauthorized and uncompensated use of Nokia innovations. We look forward to the Court of Appeal confirming that the patent is valid and infringed, lifting the stay on the injunction and awarding Nokia financial compensation for HTC’s infringement.
The same patent comes to trial in Dusseldorf, Germany next month and is also in suit in Paris, France; Rome, Italy[;] and its US counterpart is in Nokia’s second complaint against HTC at the US International Trade Commission. Nokia began its actions against HTC in 2012, with the aim of ending HTC’s unauthorised use of Nokia’s proprietary innovations and has asserted more than 50 patents against HTC in France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, UK and US. During 2013, HTC has been found to infringe Nokia patents in venues including the Regional Court in Mannheim, Germany, the UK High Court and the US International Trade Commission."
Nokia is currently suing HTC in 7 countries, as the Taiwanese company continues to refuse to take out a royalty-bearing license for Nokia’s non-standard-essential patents.
Yes, the patent battle between Microsoft and Google’s Motorola is still going on. Microsoft already won in the court that Motorola’s Android devices are infringing Microsoft’s patents. Motorola was trying to persuade the Federal Circuit to reverse lower court’s finding. However, The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit today ruled against Motorola’s appeal of an import ban Microsoft won from the United States ITC in May 2012.
From FOSS Patents,
The appeals court found that the ITC’s related determinations were based on substantial evidence. This is a rather difficult standard of review for appellants to overcome. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the appellate judges would have decided the case the same way with the same set of facts before them. It merely means that there were facts based on which one can’t blame the ITC for arriving at its conclusions, but the appeals court might have upheld the opposite decision as well.
Read more from the link below.
Source: FOSS Patents
Bloomberg reports that Nokia has won its patent infringement case against HTC in UK, resulting in the HTC One Mini being banned from the 6th December.
The HTC One is affected by the same patent, but as banning that device would cause “considerable” damage to HTC, that injunction bas been delayed by the court to allow HTC time to appeal the ruling.
Nokia is not satisfied with just the ban, but “… is also claiming financial compensation for the infringement of this patent,” the company said in a prepared statement.
Nokia settled a similar infringement case with Apple in April 2011 and was then paid regular royalties for its use.
While Microsoft is set to purchase Nokia’s handset division, the intellectual property part will remain with Nokia, and with its Here Maps and telecom infrastructure arm will be key to the continuing profitability of the company.
This is a really interesting patent that could make into future Windows Phone OS versions anytime soon. This could be the like the extension of the current Kids corner feature in the cloud that restricts people from accessing certain apps, etc,. Microsoft describes a great use case scenario for this feature, read it below.
Children and teenagers with connected mobile devices may have difficulty balancing the time that they spend in front of the many various devices, commonly referred to as “screentime”, with other activities, including spending time with their family and getting enough sleep. Parents often have to regulate the amount of children’s time with devices, such as texting, talking on the phone, watching television, and surfing the Internet. When children over use such devices, the parents may have to step-in and physically separate a device from a child, such as by taking a mobile phone or tablet computer away at bedtime.
So, parents can basically control their children’s mobile device whenever they want! This is just for an example, actually it can be applied to lots of other use cases. Take for example, your phone is restricted while you are driving, or some crazy situations you can imagine.
In implementations of automatically quieting mobile devices, a mobile device includes a communication interface for communicating with other devices that are associated with the mobile device, and the other devices correspond to respective users of the devices. A device quiet service is implemented to initiate a device quiet control that quiets one or more of the other associated devices that are controllable by the mobile device, and the device quiet service initiates communication of the device quiet control to the associated devices. A device quiet control can be initiated to restrict communication functions of the other associated devices, such as for a designated time duration. Alternatively or in addition, a device quiet control can quiet the other associated devices at a designated location, during an event, within a designated quiet zone, and/or quiet the associated devices that are proximate the mobile device at a location.
What do you think of this patent from Microsoft?
Smartphone OEMs like Samsung and LG have already started making devices with curved displays. Recently, Samsung even promised to release fully foldable displays in 2015. To make a foldable mobile device, you need foldable battery technology. LG revealed their foldable battery tech few months back. In a recently revealed Nokia’s patent, Nokia’s design of foldable batter technology was revealed. The battery pack will be made of ‘foldable cells’ that can curve and bend with the shape of a phone. The same technology can be used to fill in battery between the free spaces available in small devices. This could lead to super-thin and foldable devices.
‘Even though the internal components are becoming smaller and smaller, batteries generally lag behind other technological advancements, consistently consuming a large portion of the portable electronic device.
‘In current portable electronic devices, to have a curved and aesthetically pleasing form factor, space is generally wasted between the battery and a case making the portable electronic device seem larger and a result may be less appealing,’
‘Additionally, there may also be wasted space between the internal components and the case and/or between certain internal components.’
Read more from the source links below.
Nokia today announced that Samsung has extended the patent licensing agreement with Nokia for another five years. Read the full press release below.
Espoo, Finland – Nokia announced that Samsung has extended a patent license agreement between Nokia and Samsung for five years. The agreement would have expired at the end of 2013. According to the agreement, Samsung will pay additional compensation to Nokia for the period commencing from January 1, 2014 onwards, and the amount of such compensation shall be finally settled in a binding arbitration which is expected to be concluded during 2015.
“This extension and agreement to arbitrate represent a hallmark of constructive resolution of licensing disputes, and are expected to save significant transaction costs for both parties”, said Paul Melin, Chief Intellectual Property Officer of Nokia.
Nokia will retain its industry-leading patent portfolio following the proposed transaction to sell substantially all of its Devices & Services business to Microsoft and sees further opportunity to create value by investing in innovation, and by actively managing its patent portfolio and licensing activities.
The Financial Times reports that Nokia has won a major patent fight against HTC in UK and said it would seek an injunction against the import and sale of HTC’s products in Britain.
The patents were related to a technology used to transmit voice and text messages and is just one of several similar cases against HTC in Germany, Italy, Japan and the US.
Nokia said “Today’s judgment is a significant development in our dispute with HTC,” while HTC said “Naturally HTC is disappointed by the decision that the UK court has reached in this case and we will be seeking to appeal the finding immediately.”
After Nokia divests itself of its handset division it will retain control of its patents, and its litigation is expected to intensify.
Analysts at Berenberg said that it had been a “masterstroke” of the Nokia board to maintain its patent assets. The bank said that net royalty income this year will be about $600m but forecast that this could rise sharply after Nokia forge licensing deals with Samsung and other OEMs.
Read more at the Financial Times here.
Microsoft announced a record quarter yesterday, earning $5.24 billion on revenue of $18.53 billion.
Part of that success story, despite decreasing Windows revenue, there was growth in Windows Phone licensing, which grew by $102 million last quarter.
Microsoft unfortunately does not break out Windows Phone itself in the Devices and Consumer Licensing segment, so we do not know exactly how much Windows Phone is earning for them at present.
The $102 million increase also includes Android patent licensing, making it difficult to say it if represents growth for Android or Windows Phone.
On the other hand having Android patent revenue assigned to Windows Phone means Samsung, HTC and LG are all paying for the development and marketing of Windows Phone, which is somewhat ironic in the end, given the level of support they give the OS in general.
See the relevant results at Microsoft here.
In a preliminary ruling the ITC has found that HTC infringes two Nokia patents to do with sending and receiving signals. The move could block 7 older HTC handsets in the US, including the HTC Amaze 4G, Inspire 4G, Flyer, Jetstream, Radar 4G, Rezound and Sensation 4G, most of which are no longer on sale.
Despite Nokia choosing the ITC as a rapid venue for action, the full ITC is scheduled to make a final decision on the matter only January 23, 2014, by which time I doubt any of the handsets will have any market relevance.
Once divested of its handset division next year, Nokia may become more aggressive in pursuing patent litigation, as as a non-practicing entity they will no longer be vulnerable to countersuits from the companies it is suing.
In the mean time however there is a bigger threat looming for smartphone makers from the rapidly fading Blackberry, which may itself soon exit the handset market. The company owns around 5,135 patents, most related to now obsolete features like keyboards, but others still fundamental given the company was around at the start of the smartphone market.
Wikibon analyst Scott Lowe notes there is a risk some-one could buy Blackberry’s patent portfolio and “start suing everyone.” Even Fairfax holdings may be looking to leverage the asset for a return on their investment.
Ultimately Blackberry’s death throes may present a bigger risk to its competitors than when it was alive.
Samsung has won a a limited ban and cease & desist order on a number of older Apple AT&T products, including the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3, iPad 3G and iPad 2 3G.
Apple was found to have violated a Samsung patent on encoding and decoding cellular data.
While a cease and desist has been issues the order will be sent to President Barack Obama, who will have 60 days to veto the ruling before it goes into effect. Apple will also have the opportunity to appeal the ruling in federal court.
Of the devices affected most are pretty irrelevant, but the iPhone 4 is actually a rather large part of Apple’s sales on AT&T, being the handset that is being offered free on contract.
It is however likely by the time this issue is resolved Apple will have a new low-cost iPhone in place, and given than around 80% of smartphone sales on AT&T are iPhones, the breathing space this would have created for Windows Phones and smartphones from other operating systems it appears will not materialize.
It seems Nokia is more than happy to go after HTC while they are down. The company has confirmed to the Inquirer that they have launched a new patent litigation offense against the Taiwanese smartphone OEM.
"Nokia has filed further cases in the United States alleging that HTC products infringe additional Nokia patents,” a Nokia spokesperson said.
"Nokia’s new actions include a second complaint to the US International Trade Commission and a complaint to the US District Court for the Southern District of California in San Diego, US. These cases cover nine Nokia patents new to the dispute, bringing the total Nokia patents asserted against HTC in one or more of our actions around the world to 50."
The patents in question relate to hardware features such as enhanced speech and data transmission, efficient component layout in compact unibody designs and worldwide roaming capability, application data sharing between phones, permissions management in applications, video encoding and decoding, and expanding a device’s capabilities with new applications.
It seems Nokia is still sore about HTC using their HAAC microphones in the HTC One. A court has recently said HTC con continue to use the microphones they already purchased, supposedly in good faith, from ST Microelectronics, but needed to find a new supplier from then on.
"HTC has shown no intention to end its practices, instead it has tried to shift responsibility to its suppliers,” the spokesperson said. “We have therefore taken these further steps to hold HTC accountable for its actions.”
HTC can ill afford to be distracted or have the HTC One disrupted at present, with rumours of the company being in disarray, with numerous top level executives leaving and its finances threatening to dip into loss-making territory.
One wonders if Nokia is intent in killing off its only real Windows Phone competition, and owning 100% of that small pond.
What do our readers think? Let us know below.
Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Thomas B. Pender has thrown out the Google and HTC’s patent exhaustion defense against Nokia in the ongoing patent case in US. Here is the title of the judgement, “(1) Granting Complainants['] Motion for Summary Determination that HTC and Google Cannot Establish Their Exhaustion Defense and (2) Denying Respondents['] Motion for Summary Determination on Patent Exhaustion”.
Even though HTC and Google can appeal against this judgement in the higher courts, FOSSPatents reports that such a move will not make any difference.
Google and HTC can appeal Judge Pender’s order by asking the Commission, the six-member decision-making body at the top of the U.S. trade agency, for a review. I doubt that this would change the outcome. Its patent exhaustion (and related) theories in Germany also failed to get any traction with the courts there.
Source: FOSS Patents
Microsoft won an injunction against Google Motorola in Germany May 24, 2012 for violating its patent EP1304891 on “communicating multi-part messages between cellular devices using a standardized interface”. Google appealed against this judgement and this morning the German Higher Regional Court rejected Google Motorola’s appeal.
As a result of this ruling by appeals court, Microsoft’s injunction of not allowing Motorola to sell Android devices in German market stays in force. Google can again appeal in Federal Court of Justice, which I think is not going to happen. Recently, Microsoft hinted that Android OEMs who have not yet licensed Microsoft’s patents will do so in the near future.
Source: FOSS Patents
One of the HTC One’s numerous features was an “HDR Microphone” which sounded suspiciously like Nokia’s High Amplitude Audio Capture Microphones found in most of their Lumias.
It turns out when Nokia popped the cover on the HTC One it was not just similar, but exactly the same component, which was invented and developed by Nokia for their exclusive use.
Nokia has applied and was granted a preliminary injunction in Amsterdam against the HTC One, noting it was just another example of HTC’s unauthorized use of Nokia’s inventions, with the company asserting more than 40 Nokia patents against HTC.
Engadget believes ST Electronics may be the one who sold Nokia’s component to HTC, but I am sure HTC was fully aware who was doing High Amplitude Microphones first.
Now if only Zoe’s were patented…
See the full press release after the break.
The Mannheim Regional Court in Germany has just ruled that a patent claim by Motorola, Google’s subsidiary, was invalid due to a contractual obligation arising from an ActiveSync deal between Google and Microsoft.
The deal, which presumably allowed Google to use ActiveSync with Gmail, also granted Microsoft a licence to Google (and therefore Motorola’s) applicable patents.
Fosspatents notes that this is not the first time Google has forgotten about their grant-back obligations, most recently again when they attacked Microsoft regarding their MP4 usage on the Xbox 360.
Microsoft could be hit with infringement claims for the period before Google purchased Motorola, but both Microsoft and Apple are pursuing invalidation claims regarding the patent, which is for "multiple pager status synchronization system and method" on the grounds that the push technology described was already well described as part of the IMAP standard in 1994, an argument which has already been accepted by courts in UK.
The win comes at the back of Microsoft announcing successfully adding FoxConn to their list of Android licensees, meaning while Google’s £12.5 billion purchase of Motorola is still to buy them anything but losses, Microsoft is currently reaping license payments from more than 50% of Android OEMs in the market.
Read much more detail at Fosspatents here.
It seems Microsoft is set to solve one of my minor Windows Phone annoyances. We tend to scan QR codes a lot to download apps, and Windows Phone of course has that feature built-in. However to access the feature one has to first press the Search button and then the Vision button. It always seemed to me that the Search app should be able to scan QR Codes without any further intervention.
Microsoft has now applied for a patent that uses the intuitive gestures we use to access various input methods to automatically activate these functions. In the search app, tilting the phone up steeply will activate the camera for scanning QR Codes, tilting it steeply down, so the bottom with the microphone would be higher than the top, would activate voice search (the image above), while keeping it roughly level would presumably keep the phone in text search mode.
As mentioned earlier, the gestures appear to be pretty intuitive, and I hope the patent, which was applied for in 2011, will become more than a research project and actually end up on our handsets.
See more illustrations and detail at Patent Bolt here.