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Patent troll threatens Apple with court action over FaceTime

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Is FaceTime infringing on existing patents?

When you’re a company with the kind of bank that Apple has, it’s no wonder that you’d be a target for patent trolls.

Well, it seems that the trolls are out from under their bridge again, because Secure Web Conference Corporation based out of Melville, New York has filed a new patent infringement lawsuit against Apple, claiming that its FaceTime technology (and the hardware it’s currently running on) infringes on an earlier patent.

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Apple patents Samsung’s Galaxy Note-style radial menus for iOS

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Samsung’s Galaxy Note has used radial menus before. But don’t worry: Apple got there first. (Picture: TechnoBuffalo)

Apple has been awarded a new patent for adding moving radial menus to both Macs and iOS devices.

The use of radial menus would give Apple an alternative to the pull-down menus currently used in most applications – allowing context-specific menus and submenus to be created at optimal positions close to a user’s mouse cursor or, in the case of an iPhone or iPad, their finger.

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Apple patents a new kind of Lightning Cable and an iPhone superdock

iPhone-Superdock

This Apple dock has a hidden secret.

Have you ever cracked a Lightning connector, or — perish the thought — your iPhone itself when roughly yanking it out of a dock? Apple’s working on the problem. Cupertino’s patent department just filed an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a sort of super dock that will make docking your smartphone safer and easier than ever.

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Picture this: Apple granted historic patent for original iPhone camera

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We’re all so used to using our iPhones as our primary cameras these days that it’s difficult to remember what it was like in the dark days before the device came along.

Today the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a new series of Apple-related patents, including an historic 2008 filing for an Apple camera. While the patent covers both a standalone camera (something Apple hasn’t done since the QuickTake camera launched in 1994) and a camera integrated into a PDA, it is likely that this is the patent which covers the original iPhone.

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Apple and Samsung drop all patent disputes outside the U.S.

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple and Samsung have decided to drop all patent litigation in courts outside of the U.S. The decision ends cases that are open in Australia, Japan, South Korea, Germany, Netherlands, the U.K., France, and Italy.

Disputes over intellectual property related to the iPhone and Samsung phones will continue stateside, and neither party has agreed to a licensing arrangement of any kind.

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Apple is no longer trying to ban Samsung phones from first patent trial

Samsung-vs-Apple

Apple filed a motion with the U.S. Court of Appeals yesterday, dropping its cross-appeal of Judge Lucy Koh’s verdict in its lawsuit against Samsung, and officially ending Apple’s pursuit of a product ban for the rival company.

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Bose sues Beats over noise-cancelling headphone patents

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Beats just launched a legal assault against Chinese copy cats earlier this month, but it looks like the company just got hit with a legal bomb for copying another headphone maker itself.

Bose Corporation has filed a lawsuit against Beats for allegedly infringing on the company’s noise-canceling patents, according to CNBC’s Josh Lipton.

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Apple patent describes Pebble-style ‘iTime’ smart watch

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Apple’s long-awaited smart watch could be, appropriately enough, called iTime.

In what is quite possibly the strongest indication to date that Apple has been working on a smart watch for some time, on Tuesday the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published an Apple patent related to a “Wrist-worn electronic device” referred to as iTime.

The patent was first filed back in 2011, and describes a device reminiscent of the Pebble smart watch – which would act as a notifications system for other Apple devices such as your iPhone and iPad, with information communicated wirelessly between these devices by way of Bluetooth. Alerts such as phone calls, text messages, and push notifications could be sent to your watch, with the user then made aware of these by way of audio, visual, or vibration cues.

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Apple loses patent claim battle against Chinese Siri

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A Beijing court has ruled against Apple, upholding the validity of a patent for a “type of instant messaging chat bot system” held by a Chinese company.

Zhizhen Internet Technology sued Apple back in 2012, claiming that virtual assistant Siri was infringing on the Chinese company’s patented idea for a so-called Xiaoi Bot. The Chinese bot was patented in 2004 — two years before the first Siri-related patent filing was made.

Tuesday’s Beijing court ruling paves the way for Zhizhen to continue its case against Apple for intellectual property infringement. Apple’s defense? That it never heard of Zhizhen’s technology prior to creating Siri.

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Samsung enlists Alice to help with Apple patent theft charges

Samsung-vs-Apple

Everyone knows that the Apple vs. Samsung patent war has been raging for what seems like forever, but would you be any the wiser to hear that Samsung is invoking “Alice” to try and beat two Apple patents?

The patents in question are Apple’s “slide-to-unlock” patent, which describes swiping your smartphone’s home screen to unlock it — and “universal search,” which refers to a universal interface for retrieving information in a computer system.

In May, a jury found Samsung to be guilty of infringing on the first patent, but let it off the hook for the second.

But while Apple was only awarded an underwhelming $119.6 million (compared to the $1 billion it was awarded from Samsung in 2012) Samsung lawyers think they’ve come up with a way to invalidate the whole lawsuit: by taking advantage of a recent legal precedent called Alice v. CLS Bank.

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