Posts Tagged 'patent'

Seagate in a legal pickle

I just found out about this but apparently it’s been going on for 9 years. The beef is between Seagate and Convolve over technology. The patent dispute goes back to 2000, noise reduction technology, and $800 million. Others dragged into the fray are Compaq, Dell, Hitachi, and Western Digital. An insider, Paul A. Galloway, ex Seagate employee claims to be an eye witness who worked on incorporating the technology to Seagate products. There’s also allegations of evidence tampering and if proven true could put Seagate in quite the pickle. The fact that it’s dragged on this long peaks my interest. If it was a minor issue why not just settle and pay the guy a fraction of the claim as hush money. Obviously $800 million is no small beans but it could be a landmark case that could impact hard drives going forward. Stay tuned.

Typhoon sues everyone

Typhoon Touch Technologies, which claims to own foundational intellectual property covering touch-screen computing, has filed suit against Apple, Fujitsu, Toshiba, Lenovo, Panasonic, HTC, Palm, Samsung, Nokia and LG alleging patent infringements.

The move represents the extension of a suit filed by Typhoon and its licensee and co-plaintiff, Nova Mobility Systems, against Dell in December 2007. Craig Weiner, a lawyer with New York based Hofheimer, Gartlir & Gross who acts as director of legal affairs and licensing for Typhoon, said: “Typhoon believes that numerous defendants are selling and/or offering for sale – what could be millions of devices – which may infringe Typhoon’s patents.” (link)

Is that a Wiimote in your pocket vibrating?

A company called “Immersion” holds a patent that allows them to claim royalties for things that vibrate or provide force-feedback. They’re the reason that Sony’s Playstation 3 controllers had no rumble features at first — it took losing an $82 million lawsuit before Sony capitulated.

But you know what else vibrates? Things you put inside yourself for sexual pleasure. (Including my personal all-natural pleasure generator: a jar of bees. Just be sure to keep the lid on tight or it won’t just be a colony that’s collapsing.)

Immersion didn’t want to enforce its patents on teledildonic gaming devices — the name is also the cleaning instructions! — so they licensed the rights to the blandly named “Internet Services, LLC”, who is in turn suing some other people and then the lawyer left so they sued him and oh I appear to be falling asleep. (link)

Seagate pussies go after small SSD company

Barely three weeks ago, Seagate CEO Bill Watkins simultaneously pronounced solid state drives (SSDs) to be toys for a niche market and then threatened to start suing people if it appeared that flash-based storage might become a threat to the magnetic storage industry. That date has apparently arrived. Seagate filed suit against US-based STEC today, claiming that the SSD manufacturer is in violation of four patents covering solid-state memory storage, memory backup, and a drive’s ability to scan/test itself in order to check for errors.

Watkins has already issued a statement “reassuring” the public that this is simply a case of Seagate moving to protect its unjustly infringed IP. STEC, unsurprisingly, has a somewhat different take on the situation. According to STEC, Seagate has never attempted to open communications regarding any patent infringement. Furthermore, as reported by CNET, STEC believes it can prove Seagate’s patents invalid and inapplicable. It’s all standard stuff in patent litigation. (link)

Gibson guitars goes after Activision’s guitar hero in patent dispute

Video game publisher Activision Inc. has asked a federal court to declare that its popular “Guitar Hero” game does not violate a patent held by real-guitar maker Gibson Guitar Corp.

Gibson’s 1999 patent covers a virtual-reality device that included a headset with speakers and that simulated participating in a concert, according to a complaint filed on Tuesday by Santa Monica, Calif.-based Activision in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

Gibson is trying to get Activision to stop selling “Guitar Hero” until it gets a license under the patent, according to the complaint. But Activision says it doesn’t want or need a license under the patent.

“We disagree with the applicability of their patent and would like a legal determination on this,” George Rose, Activision’s general counsel, said in a statement Wednesday.

No one answered an after-hours call to Nashville, Tenn.-based Gibson. (link)

Apple sued by some guy over call display

The five-page complaint by Romek Figa, who does business in the eastern US state as Abraham & Son, claims that “certain Apple telephones” use technology at the heart of a 1990 patent that describes a system which displays both the phone number of an inbound call. The technique matches up phone numbers with a contact list stored on the phone, allowing the device to associate a name with any incoming calls.

At least superficially, Apple’s iPhone recalls the patent through its software database of contacts. Inbound calls to an iPhone from a number associated with a contact display the caller’s name. However, the patent also references 1990s-era technologies, including a two-line LCD as well as a separate receiver.

Figa, who created and continues to own the patent, says that he has contacted Apple about licensing the patent. The California company, however, has reportedly declined the request “on the terms offered,” though these are not mentioned in the lawsuit. (link)

Laptop to take picture of thieves

A company in the UK has claimed a patent for a new high-tech version of exploding dye packs that are placed in banks in bags of cash. This new patented software will photograph the laptop thief remove any sensitive files, and not only that, will give away its position.

The system has had exhaustive tests in the county of Yorkshire, which followed a spate of well-publicised thefts of government laptops from cars or homes of government officials.

The company will charge a monthly fee of £10/$20 for a link to its main control centre, the staff at the centre can quickly take action if the laptop is switched on outside of a designated area, this can be outside of a government building or even a small area such as a specific desk.

If the computer is removed from a specified area, the computer will automatically connect to the Internet when it is switched on, and then commence to take multiple photographs of its surroundings and user, at the same time sending out a signal specifying its exact location to the company’s control centre. (link)


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