The last couple of years have seen a rapid escalation in the number of patent disputes in the telecoms sector, prompting many big names to call for changes to software patent law to better allow the industry to break out profits derived from patents.
Companies looking to produce LTE equipment now have more options as intellectual property firm Sisvel has made a patent pool offering available under license. The portfolio includes patents that the company picked up from Nokia in late 2011 as well as some from Cassidian, an EADS company, the China Academy of Telecommunication Technology, the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute, France Telecom, TDF, and KPN.
Against the background of Oracle and Google’s big legal ruckus over the latter’s usage of Java, a platform developer has decided to sidestep the whole argument and ported Android to C#.
It is impossible to open the business pages without some reminder of the huge importance of patents to the telecoms industry. The government’s proposal to introduce a ten per cent rate of corporation tax for patent-related profits is designed to encourage investment in innovation in the UK, and further highlights the opportunities for those who get patent value right. This could mean that some businesses should now take a greater interest in filing patents, and others will want to review their established arrangements to make the most of the proposals.
Apple has had to admit defeat in its efforts to ban sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia, after an Australian High Court has rejected an appeal to keep the device off shelves. Samsung, meanwhile, has also lost out in its attempts to ban sales of Apple’s iPhone 4S device in France, as the patent war between the two manufacturers drags on.
The USA’s International Trade Commission (ITC) has ruled that Apple did not violate rival vendor HTC’s patents for technology used in its mobile devices. HTC had filed the complaint with the ITC last year seeking a ban on the import of Apple devices into the USA as part of an ongoing patent dispute between Apple and Android device manufacturers.
Samsung is seeking to block the sale of Apple’s iPhone 5 in South Korea, when it launches. The company recently lost the rights to sell its Galaxy S Tab in Germany, after Apple won an injunction to block the sale of the product, alleging that the device infringes patents held by Apple.
Apple has scored a victory in the patent wars this week, convincing a German court to grant a pan-European injunction against Samsung, preventing sales of its flagship Galaxy Tab 10.1 across Europe with the exclusion of the Netherlands.
Taiwanese handset developer HTC has made another acquisition to beef up its patent portfolio as technology companies around the globe prepare to fend off legal disputes. HTC is reported to have spent $18.5m on the purchase of Dashwire, a mobile cloud platform developer.
The race to bolster patent portfolios continued apace in Taiwan this week as burgeoning device vendor HTC snapped up a graphics processor firm and long term partner.
There’s a cold breeze blowing past the Informer’s typewriter and, unfortunately, it’s not the air conditioning. It’s the icy wind drag created by a telecoms industry hurtling back to the future by re-creating the glory days of the Cold War.
Fading giant Nortel has postponed the sale of its extensive patent portfolio, due to a “significant level of interest”. The company had planned to flog the assets this coming Monday, June 20, but has delayed the auction process until June 27, as it assesses considerable interest in the 6,000 or so patents and applications.
Microsoft has joined HP, Motorola Mobility and Nokia in a growing line of tech companies opposed to Google’s proposed $900m purchase of Nortel’s patent assets. According to Redmond, a 2006 deal means that Microsoft has a “worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free licence to all of Nortel’s patents” and that this agreement is binding regardless of who buys the intellectual property.
Having recently earned its spurs proving the Streisand Effect for its banning of the use of the terms Twitter and Facebook on national television, the French government is now looking to take on the role of National Patent Troll. Last week, government ministers Valérie Pécresse, Eric Besson and commissioner general for investment Rene Nicol launched France Brevets (‘Patents France’), a €100m project that will see the state buying up locally generated patents before turning broker and sub-licensing them on a global basis.
As interest in defunct kit maker Nortel’s patent portfolio heightens, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) is reported to be taking a close interest in the bidders. Apple is the latest company reported to be interested in making a purchase after Google opened bidding with a $900m offer in April. Now the DoJ is said to be concerned that the patents will be used to stymie competition in the telecoms sector.