AT&T Patents System That Could Charge File-Sharers Extra For Data

AT&T Patents System That Could Charge File-Sharers Extra For Data

While the Six Strikes alert system, in which Internet service providers send a series of notices to suspected illegal file-sharers before finally penalizing their accounts, is primarily a way for ISPs to placate Hollywood studios and the recording industry, it doesn’t do much to aid the ISPs in their ongoing war against consumers who use huge amounts of data, and doesn’t deal with wireless file-sharing. That must be why AT&T has filed a patent application for a system that would prevent what it deems “bandwidth abuse” by charging supposed data hogs more money. [More]

Amazon Patents Method For Shipping You Things Before You Order Them

Amazon Patents Method For Shipping You Things Before You Order Them

Regular Amazon shoppers are probably quite familiar with the e-tailer’s e-mail blasts that highlight things you might want based on previous purchases and the things you’ve searched for on the site. But what if Amazon went one step further and actually predicted the things you will buy and shipped them in advance? [More]

Lawmakers Aim To Stop Patent Trolls From Shaking Down Businesses For Using Basic Office Equipment

Lawmakers Aim To Stop Patent Trolls From Shaking Down Businesses For Using Basic Office Equipment

We’ve written before about the lowest level of patent troll, the kind that claims to have a patent on some widely used technology — like photocopying or scanning — and instead of targeting the companies that make products that allegedly violate those patents, they try to bully small businesses into paying thousands of dollars for the use of basic office equipment. [More]

PepsiCo Thinks Its Drinks Aren’t Smelly Enough, Wants To Add Scent Capsules

PepsiCo Thinks Its Drinks Aren’t Smelly Enough, Wants To Add Scent Capsules

Have you ever cracked open a bottle of Tropicana orange juice and thought to yourself, “I would drink so much more of this juice if it smelled even more orange-y”? Probably not, but the folks at PepsiCo are seeking to patent technology that would arouse the customer’s sense of smell from the moment the container is opened. [More]

(KitanaOR)

Apple, Amazon Looking To Sell Used Digital Content

When you purchase a digital download, do you actually own it? Some say yes, others say you’re just licensing its use from the copyright holder. This argument is only going to get more heated with news that both Apple and Amazon are looking into how to go about re-selling “used” digital content. [More]

(Great Beyond)

Patent Trolls Demanding $1,000/Employee From Businesses That Dare To Use A Scanner

Sick of going up against huge companies that have teams of experienced lawyers at their disposal, patent trolls are apparently turning to smaller companies and demanding bizarre royalty payments simply for using basic office technology on which the trolls claim they have the patent. [More]

(713 Avenue)

Patent Office Rejects Apple’s “Pinch To Zoom” Patent, Samsung Licks Its Chops

That sound you hear? That’s Samsung rubbings its metaphorical hands together in gleeful anticipation after the United States Patent and Trademark Office smacked Apple’s patent for “pinch to zoom” technology down. That same patent helped Apple win its case against Samsung and win it $1.05 billion as a result. So if that patent should never have been granted, Samsung thinks there should be a whole new trial. [More]

Google Ordered To Pay Computer Firm $5 Million For Patent Violation

Google Ordered To Pay Computer Firm $5 Million For Patent Violation

A small Texas computer company won a $5 million district court judgment against Google, which a jury found in violation of a Linux-related patent due to proprietary code for storing and retrieving information that was found in Google software. [More]

Appeals Court Gives Both Dish, TiVo Reasons To Be Happy, Sad

Appeals Court Gives Both Dish, TiVo Reasons To Be Happy, Sad

TiVo and Dish Network are locked up in a never-ending lawsuit over the satellite provider’s alleged violation of TiVo’s DVR patents, and a U.S. Federal Court of Appeals ruling Wednesday only served to muddle the picture. [More]

Help, The Price Of My Life-Saving Drug Went Up 2000%!

Help, The Price Of My Life-Saving Drug Went Up 2000%!

Colchicine, a drug primarily used to treat gout, is an old drug. Very old. Extracts from the plant it comes from, colchicum, have been used in gout treatment for thousands of years. In pill form as colchicine, it’s been on the market in the United States since the 19th century and predates the Food and Drug Administration. A few years ago, the company that makes one brand of the drug, Colcrys, obtained FDA approval for their version, and the exclusive rights to sell it in the United States for three years. Who cares? Reader Nick does. He works in retail, isn’t wealthy, and the colchicine he takes twice a day for a serious medical condition shot up in cost from about $20 per month to closer to $400. [More]

Microsoft Says Nook Infringed On Its Patents

Microsoft Says Nook Infringed On Its Patents

Believing the Nook e-readers are ripping it off, Microsoft is suing Barnes & Noble and the manufacturers over the devices, which it says infringe on several patents. [More]

Trade Agency Judge Shuts Down Kodak's Patent Claim

Trade Agency Judge Shuts Down Kodak's Patent Claim

This digital photography fad isn’t great for companies that built their empires on film, so Kodak seems to be grasping at legal straws to generate some revenue. The company filed a image-previewing patent claim to force smartphone makers such as Apple and BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Limited to pay it royalties. The United States International Trade Commission ruled that the phones don’t violate the patent. [More]

Amazon Patents Tech That Returns And Exchanges Bad Gifts Before You Get Them

Amazon Patents Tech That Returns And Exchanges Bad Gifts Before You Get Them

Call it “The Bad Gift Filter.” Amazon has patented a system that could intercept the yet another sweater Aunt Janice has sent you and automatically return it and exchange it for something you actually want. [More]

Motorola Tries To Stop Microsoft From Selling Xbox 360

Motorola Tries To Stop Microsoft From Selling Xbox 360

At the request of Motorola, which claims Microsoft is violating its wireless technology patents, the United States International Trade Commission is conducting an investigation that Motorola hopes ends with Microsoft forbidden to import Xboxes. [More]

Bank Of America Patents Method For Denying Refunds

Bank Of America Patents Method For Denying Refunds

Ah, innovation! Bank of America was just awarded a patent for a process that lets it make sure any teller at any branch will know not to give you a refund on a disputed overdraft fee. According to Techdirt, the idea is to prevent “refund shopping,” where a customer might visit multiple branches hoping to find a sympathetic ear. [More]

Judge Says You Can't Patent Human Genes

Judge Says You Can't Patent Human Genes

A judge just invalidated the patents on two human genes whose mutations have been linked to breast and ovarian cancer. The genes were isolated by a biotech firm called Myriad Genetics, which argued that because it figured out how to isolate the genes outside of the human body then they were patentable. The judge called that “a ‘lawyer’s trick’ that circumvents the prohibition on the direct patenting of the DNA in our bodies.” The company sells a $3,000 cancer screening kit and has maintained a monopoly on the test because of the patents. [More]

Microsoft Must Change Word Or Stop Selling It

Microsoft Must Change Word Or Stop Selling It

A federal appeals court has ordered Microsoft to remove custom XML functionality from any copies of Word 2007 that go on sale after January 11th. The ruling struck down Microsoft’s appeal of an earlier verdict that technology used in Office 2007 originated with the Canadian company i4i Software. [More]

Judge Tells Microsoft It Can't Sell Word In U.S.

Judge Tells Microsoft It Can't Sell Word In U.S.

Thanks to a Texas judge’s ruling earlier this week, Microsoft has been prohibited from selling or supporting any more copies of Word that can edit XML-based documents. A Toronto-based company, i4i, sued Microsoft in 2007 over its XML editing patent, and the judge ruled in i4i’s favor. The ruling kicks in 60 days from now, unless Microsoft decides to appeal. We have a feeling it will.