There’s been a lot of chatter in recent days about Nortel’s auction for its more than 6,000 patents and patent applications, with Apple one of the interested parties. With the auction now closed for $4.5 billion, the winner has been revealed -- and it’s a consortium of six tech companies, including Apple.
Patents are important for technology companies because they help protect their rights to promote and defend their brands. In an industry in which cheaper knockoffs are always just around the corner, a patent can make a huge difference in any legal battle. Apple knows this, which is why they constantly patent their ideas, even if they never actually come to market with said concepts. However, when a patent is won for something particularly market-transformative, the benefits are immediately obvious.
Although they announced it at this year's WWDC, Apple's upcoming OS X Lion AirDrop feature wasn't officially theirs to name until June 17, when the company legally acquired the use of the trademark from Urban Airship. The DropBox-like service will allow users to share files with each other wirelessly.
Unless you're someone who's surgically bonded your iPhone to your hand, chances are that sooner or later you might misplace or have stolen your lovely iDevice. When it happens, your concerns will likely be with the safety and accessibility of your private information. Your whole life is on that iPhone! What if someone unscrupulous gets access to your personal data? Take heart, users, Apple's looking into further ways to prevent that from happening.
Well, would you look at that: Those big kids in the mobile phone playground can play nice together after all, especially when cash money is in play. After nearly two years, the patent disputes between Apple and Nokia have come to a close, with Cupertino throwing a pile of money at the problem to make it go away.
Between Lion, iOS 5, and iCloud, we certainly learned about a plethora of upcoming features that will make their way down the Apple pipeline. It also appeared as though Apple may have been busy solidifying iCloud, having filed eleven iCloud trademark applications with the US Patent & Trademark Office.
Apple files hundreds of patents each year -- just last year, they filed a whopping 563 different ones. Everytime you've used anything manufactured by Apple, there's been a much-speculated about patent for that. Some of these patents have seemed frivolous, but many of them reflect Apple's amazing skill for invention and innovation. Check out our gallery which features some of the most interesting and relevant patents Apple has filed in the last month or so.
After having its patent case against Apple thrown out back in March, cell phone giant Nokia is back for more, having been granted a partial review of two of their five patent claims with the U.S. International Trade Commission.
Lodsys recently attempted to get a percentage of transactional income from a number of iOS developers, citing a patent on in-app purchases. Apple has subsequently -- and loudly -- told Lodsys to go home, but the whole ordeal's left us with patents on the brain. Patent applications are filed for every single thing that could possibly be patented, so they can give you a glimpse into the future plans of your favourite company. This is done for a number of reasons, not the least of which being that if they don't patent it, a competitor -- or patent holding company/troll -- might file for, and be awarded, the patent, leaving a company in the unfortunate position of having to pay to use their own invention. When they announced the iPhone in 2007, Apple proudly boasted of filing for 200 patents for the device, promising to aggressively defend them.
By now, it should be obvious that Apple has eyes on cloud-based media, particularly for iTunes music. After acquiring the iCloud.com domain and now reports that two of the big four music labels have signed up, along comes a new patent discovery dating back to late 2009 that starts to bring Cupertino’s plans into focus.