The entire future of the internet may now depend on some plastic retainers. Specifically, two competing versions of those clear plastic alignment systems adults sometimes get instead of braces. And if that sounds weird — which to be fair, it really is — well, welcome to the strange, utterly pervasive world of IP law in a digital century.
Apple products are popular, but they’re not cheap. There’s a certain cachet that goes with them, a projection of status and class. And Apple’s newest patent isn’t for another high-cost, high-popularity product… it’s for tech that will only advertise stuff to you that they think you can afford.
A few months after a jury ordered Apple to pay almost $533 million after finding that the iPhone giant had infringed on three patents held by a rival company, a judge has thrown out that award and ordered a new trial to determine damages in the case.
After another round of fighting over whether keyboard company Typo Products’ was infringing on BlackBerry’s patents, the two sides have decided to settle their dispute. Typo will still get to sell slip-on keyboards — as long as they’re of a certain size.
“Podcasting” might as well have been the word of the year in 2014, when “Serial” shot the form straight to the top of the pop-culture buzz charts for a few months. But while everyone in America was plugging in earbuds and trying to decide whodunit, the U.S. Patent Office had the more important end of the challenge: deciding who actually owns the patent for the idea of podcasting.
After pitting loved ones and enemies alike against each other for what feels like all of human existence, it seems we may finally have a definitive winner in the “over vs. under” toilet paper draping debate.
Another day, another lawsuit against Apple: This time around, the company’s facing a lawsuit from Ericsson that seeks to ban imports on all iPads and iPhones amidst a dispute about licensing fees for several patents.
There can be a lot of worry over getting a package from Amazon delivered successfully — but what if your item never had to travel farther than the distance between the curb and your door? Amazon has filed a few patent applications in an effort to perhaps make curbside 3D printing a reality for the future.
When you think of companies that specialize in deodorant, names like Old Spice, Suave, Axe, Dove and maybe Febreze spring to mind. But according to recently awarded patents, there’s a surprise player with a nose for the odor-removing business: Google. [More]
Patents are intended to protect the developers of specific concepts. That’s why you don’t see a patent for “thing that can treat diseases,” but for individual medicines and devices. Last summer, the Supreme Court confirmed you can’t simply patent a generic idea just because you apply it to a computer. But a small photo-sharing site is being sued for infringing on a patent that arguably covers a vast range of vote-for-your-favorite competitions. [More]
BlackBerry has a bone to pick with Typo, the makers of a slip-on iPhone keyboard that the mobile phone company already sued once with claims that the case infringes on its patents, and it’s not ready to let that bone go anytime soon. A new lawsuit against Typo is now on the books, this time aimed at the company’s second iteration of slip-on accessories
The iPhone 6 caught a lot of heat for being a bit more prone to bending than other phones before it. But in the future, iPhones might be super flexible on purpose. The Apple Insider blog reports that this week, Apple won a patent for “a flexible electronic device” that can fold up like a trifold wallet. In the future, perhaps bendiness will be a feature, not a bug. [Apple Insider]
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.
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]