U.S. Patent Office To Decide Whether Patent Troll Company Actually Owns Podcasting

U.S. Patent Office To Decide Whether Patent Troll Company Actually Owns Podcasting

Podcasts are simply the done thing, in 2014: everyone’s taking their modern update on the radio show with them on the go. One company out there, seeing all the dollar signs, now claims that they invented and patented podcasting 18 years ago, and is suing anyone not paying them license fees. But consumer tech advocates are fighting back, and hoping to get regulators to make the patent trolls crawl back under their bridge. [More]

Apple Patents System To Prevent Dropped iPhones From Landing Face-Down

Apple Patents System To Prevent Dropped iPhones From Landing Face-Down

Most of us have been there, watching in horror as a pricey smartphone falls toward the ground, doomed to be dented, cracked and damaged by the force of impact. A newly awarded Apple patent details how a small vibrating motor could possibly be used to minimize the damage when that device goes into freefall. [More]

(Louis Abate)

FTC Takes First Action Against Patent Trolls For Deceptive Sales, Phony Legal Threats

For the first time in its history, the Federal Trade Commission has brought action against a patent assertion company that allegedly used nefarious tactics in trying to pry money from other companies accused of violating patents it owned. [More]

(Mrs. Gemstone)

Disney’s Search Engine Patent Lumps Movie Piracy In With Child Porn

The folks at Disney have patented a search engine that ranks and filters out results based on “authenticity” metrics, allowing it to exclude “undesirable” results, which it describes only as “results referencing piracy websites, child pornography websites, and/or the like,” lumping in people trying to watch Finding Nemo for free with dangerous sexual predators. [More]

Inflatable Sock Patented By eBay Could Change How Consumers Shop For Shoes Online

Inflatable Sock Patented By eBay Could Change How Consumers Shop For Shoes Online

Have you ever ordered a pair of shoes online only to receive them and they don’t fit? Well, to rid consumers of the hassle that is ordering, returning and reordering, eBay has invented an inflatable sock to fit every shoe shape. [More]

Airbus: Pilots Don’t Need Windows In Cockpit, Or Even A Cockpit

Airbus: Pilots Don’t Need Windows In Cockpit, Or Even A Cockpit

All those windows in the cockpit of your jumbo jet? They’re expensive to maintain and just slow the plane down, but they’re necessary for the whole “seeing” thing. The folks at Airbus disagree. [More]

You Can’t Just Patent An Idea — You Actually Have To Make A Thing, Supreme Court Rules

You Can’t Just Patent An Idea — You Actually Have To Make A Thing, Supreme Court Rules

The Supreme Court today issued rulings on a handful of cases. One was about two companies nobody’s ever really heard of, arguing over patents for software to manage banking transactions. The details of the patents themselves, and the transactions they deal with, are kind of complicated and insidery — but they’re also not necessarily that important. The broader implications of the ruling, and the legal precedent the Court set with it, though, will have an impact for years to come. [More]

Tesla Opens Patents For Rivals To Use In Attempt To Speed Up Electric Car Adoption

Tesla Opens Patents For Rivals To Use In Attempt To Speed Up Electric Car Adoption

For the most part inventors hold their patents near and dear to their hearts, not allowing others to cash in on their ideas. That’s not the case for Tesla CEO Elon Musk. [More]

Amazon Snags Patent For Taking Photographs Of Stuff Against A White Background

Amazon Snags Patent For Taking Photographs Of Stuff Against A White Background

You there, with the camera, the seamless white background and the subject you’re prepared to shoot — halt! Or at least stop to ponder the reality that Amazon has apparently been granted a patent for taking photos of stuff against a white background. [More]

Eyes on the road while you're in the hot seat.

New Apple Patent Seeks To Prevent Drivers From Texting While Behind The Wheel

Apple’s already got a patent in the works for technology to keep distracted pedestrians from hurting themselves while texting and walking, and now the company’s got its eyes on the road. Because you should too, instead of texting and driving. [More]

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]