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Today Apple made it abundantly clear that they have noticed all those iPhone-esque smartphones, and filed a patent-infringement suit against HTC claiming the company has cribbed 20 of their iPhone-related technologies in their own Android and Windows Mobile phones.
Bottom line: Apple’s got a problem with Google’s Android, its strongest smartphone rival. While Windows Mobile phones are included in the suit, the majority of the disputed infringements are found in HTC’s numerous Android phones, from the original G1 to their current offerings.
Should Apple have a problem with Android? Of course, they should. The widening adoption of Google’s platform is a threat, and a real one–especially if companies like HTC keep creating attractive and highly customizable user interfaces like their Sense setup. Sure, Apple may have “reinvented the mobile phone,” as the press release announcing the suit boldly claims. But if one insists on being a trend setter, other companies are going to follow suit.
But the problem just isn’t with little ol’ HTC. Why not Motorola? Why not Google? Because when you want to make a point without picking a fight with the big kid, you aim your first shot as his scrawny friend to get the big kid to turn his head. “Watch out, pal; ’cause the next one’s comin’ at you!”
Smart money is that this is only the tip of the iceberg–that Apple is sharpening its claws for an eventual showdown with Google. Will future versions of Android borrow less from Apple? Or is The Goog ready for a fight? It may seem like legal trivializing, but the future landscape of the most important computing platform–smartphones–is most certainly at stake.
U.S. PATENT NO. 7,657,849
Unlocking a device by performing gestures on an unlock image A device with a touch-sensitive display may be unlocked via gestures performed on the touch-sensitive display. The device is unlocked if contact with the display corresponds to a predefined gesture for unlocking the device. The device displays one or more unlock images with respect to which the predefined gesture is to be performed in order to unlock the device. The performance of the predefined gesture with respect to the unlock image may include moving the unlock image to a predefined location and/or moving the unlock image along a predefined path. The device may also display visual cues of the predefined gesture on the touch screen to remind a user of the gesture.
U.S. PATENT NO. 7,362,331
Time-based, non-constant translation of user interface objects between states The present invention relates to a method for moving objects within the graphical user interface (GUI) of an operating system in a manner that provides a transitional effect between window states, which is pleasing to the user. This transitional effect includes changing the shape of a window while scaling and moving the window between two different sizes and positions. In one embodiment of the present invention, the transitional effect may be employed as a window is minimized into an icon, or restored from an icon. In another embodiment of the present invention, the transitional effect is employed as a window is minimized within its title bar, or restored therefrom. The rate of movement of objects is controlled in a non-linear manner, to further enhance the pleasing effect.
U.S. PATENT NO. 7,479,949
**Touch screen device, method, and graphical user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics ** A computer-implemented method for use in conjunction with a computing device with a touch screen display comprises: detecting one or more finger contacts with the touch screen display, applying one or more heuristics to the one or more finger contacts to determine a command for the device, and processing the command. The one or more heuristics comprise: a heuristic for determining that the one or more finger contacts correspond to a one-dimensional vertical screen scrolling command, a heuristic for determining that the one or more finger contacts correspond to a two-dimensional screen translation command, and a heuristic for determining that the one or more finger contacts correspond to a command to transition from displaying a respective item in a set of items to displaying a next item in the set of items.
U.S. PATENT NO. 7,469,381
List scrolling and document translation, scaling, and rotation on a touch-screen display In accordance with some embodiments, a computer-implemented method for use in conjunction with a device with a touch screen display is disclosed. In the method, a movement of an object on or near the touch screen display is detected. In response to detecting the movement, an electronic document displayed on the touch screen display is translated in a first direction. If an edge of the electronic document is reached while translating the electronic document in the first direction while the object is still detected on or near the touch screen display, an area beyond the edge of the document is displayed. In response to detecting that the object is no longer on or near the touch screen display, the document is translated in a second direction until the area beyond the edge of the document is no longer displayed.
U.S. PATENT NO. 5,920,726
System and method for managing power conditions within a digital camera device Digital cameras and methods that provide for a rapid camera power-on sequence. A warm-sleep state is defined in which the camera and nearly all of its internal components are shut down, yet just enough information is retained within high speed volatile storage and processing units to rapidly return the camera to full operating state. The warm-sleep state is managed to consume a minimum amount of power to keep the vital information intact. Upon receipt of a power-on indication, the camera then transitions from the warm-sleep state to full operation by simply activating the processing units, and continuing operation from the state it was in immediately prior to the power-off request.
U.S. PATENT NO. 7,633,076
**Automated response to and sensing of user activity in portable devices ** The various methods and devices described herein relate to devices which, in at least certain embodiments, may include one or more sensors for providing data relating to user activity and at least one processor for causing the device to respond based on the user activity which was determined, at least in part, through the sensors. The response by the device may include a change of state of the device, and the response may be automatically performed after the user activity is determined.
U.S. PATENT NO. 7,383,453
Conserving Power By Reducing Voltage Supplied To An Instruction-Processing Portion Of A Processor One embodiment of the present invention provides a system that facilitates reducing static power consumption of a processor. During operation, the system receives a signal indicating that instruction execution within the processor is to be temporarily halted. In response to this signal, the system halts an instruction- processing portion of the processor, and reduces the voltage supplied to the instruction-processing portion of the processor. Full voltage is maintained to a remaining portion of the processor, so that the remaining portion of the processor can continue to operate while the instruction-processing portion of the processor is in reduced power mode.
U.S. PATENT NO. 5,455,599
Object-oriented graphic system An object-oriented graphic system is disclosed including a processor with an attached display, storage and object-oriented operating system. The graphic system builds a component object in the storage of the processor for managing graphic processing. The processor includes an object for connecting one or more graphic devices to various objects responsible for tasks such as graphic accelerators, frame buffers, page description languages, and vector engines. The system is fully extensible and includes polymorphic processing built into each of the support objects. GMSK signal processors for improved communications capacity and quality A method and apparatus for separating and removing distortion from interfering co-channel signals and suppressing adjacent-channel interfering signals of the Gaussian Minimum-Shift Keyed (GMSK) or other MSK type with filtering structures that exploit the cyclostationarity of the received GMSK or other MSK signals in order to accommodate a greater number (or the same number, but with greater quality) of transmitted signals received by one or more antennas than can be accommodated by existing filters. The parameters in these filtering structures are adapted by either of two adaptation apparatus that exploit both the known training sequence that is transmitted in most wireless communications systems, and the constant modulus property exhibited by each of the transmitted GMSK or other MSK signals.
U.S. PATENT NO. 6,424,354
Object-oriented event notification system with listener registration of both interests and methods An event notification system for propagating object-change information. The notification system supports change notification without queues in an object-based application or operating system and can be scaled to propagate large numbers of events among a large plurality of objects. The event notification system interconnects a plurality of event source and event receiver objects. Any object, such as a command object, may operate as either an event receiver object, an event source object or both. A notification object is created by a source object to transport, from a source to a receiver, descriptive information about a change, which includes a particular receiver object method and a pointer to the source object that sent the notification. A receiver object must register with a connection object its “interest” in receiving notification of changes; specifying both the event type and the particular source object of interest. After establishing such connections, the receiver object receives only the events of the specified type for the source objects “of interest” and no others. This delegation of event selection avoids central event queuing altogether and so limits receiver object event processing that the invention can be scaled to large systems operating large numbers of objects.
U.S. PATENT NO. 5,481,721
Method for providing automatic and dynamic translation of object oriented programming language-based message passing into operation system message passing using proxy objects The present invention provides a method and apparatus for the distribution of objects and the sending of messages between objects that are located in different processes. Initially, a “proxy” object is created in the same process as a sender object. This proxy acts as a local receiver for all objects in the local program. When the proxy receives a message, the message is encoded and transmitted between programs as a stream of bytes. In the remote process, the message is decoded and executed as if the sender was remote. The result follows the same path, encoded, transmitted, and then decoded back in the local process. The result is then provided to the sending object. Object-oriented multitasking system An apparatus for enabling an object-oriented application to access in an object-oriented manner a procedural operating system having a native procedural interface is disclosed. The apparatus includes a computer and a memory component in the computer. A code library is stored in the memory component. The code library includes computer program logic implementing an object-oriented class library. The object-oriented class library comprises related object-oriented classes for enabling the application to access in an object-oriented manner services provided by the operating system. The object-oriented classes include methods for accessing the operating system services using procedural function calls compatible with the native procedural interface of the operating system. The computer processes object-oriented statements contained in the application and defined by the class library by executing methods from the class library corresponding to the object-oriented statements. The object-oriented application includes support for multi-tasking.
U.S. PATENT NO. 5,566,337
Method and apparatus for distributing events in an operating system In a computer including an operating system, an event producer for generating an event and detecting that an event has occurred in the computer and an event consumer which need to be informed when events occur in the computer, a system for distributing events including a store for storing a specific set of events of which the at least one event consumer is to be informed, an event manager control unit for receiving the event from the event producer, comparing the received event to the stored set of events, and distributing an appropriate event to an appropriate event consumer, and a distributor for receiving the event from the control unit and directing the control unit to distribute an appropriate event to an appropriate event consumer.
U.S. PATENT NO. 5,929,852
**Encapsulated network entity reference of a network component system ** A network-oriented component system efficiently accesses information from a network resource located on a computer network by creating an encapsulated network entity that contains a reference to that resource. The encapsulated entity is preferably implemented as a network component stored on a computer remotely displaced from the referenced resource. In addition, the encapsulated entity may be manifested as a visual object on a graphical user interface of a computer screen. Such visual manifestation allows a user to easily manipulate the entity in order to display the contents of the resource on the screen or to electronically forward the entity over the network.
U.S. PATENT NO. 5,946,647
System and method for performing an action on a structure in computer-generated data A system and method causes a computer to detect and perform actions on structures identified in computer data. The system provides an analyzer server, an application program interface, a user interface and an action processor. The analyzer server receives from an application running concurrently data having recognizable structures, uses a pattern analysis unit, such as a parser or fast string search function, to detect structures in the data, and links relevant actions to the detected structures. The application program interface communicates with the application running concurrently, and transmits relevant information to the user interface. Thus, the user interface can present and enable selection of the detected structures, and upon selection of a detected structure, present the linked candidate actions. Upon selection of an action, the action processor performs the action on the detected structure.
U.S. PATENT NO. 5,969,705
Message protocol for controlling a user interface from an inactive application program Method and apparatus for a first process operative in a computer system controlling a user interface on a computer system display under control of a second process operative in the computer system. An event handler is installed for the second process, the event handler servicing events generated for controlling the user interface display under control of the second process. The first process may then perform a first set of functions in the computer system. The first process generates events for controlling the user interface display, the events related to the functions performed by the first process. The event handler receives the events generated by the first process and updates the user interface on the computer system display according to the events generated by the first process and received by the event handler.
U.S. PATENT NO. 6,275,983
Object-oriented operating system An apparatus for enabling an object-oriented application to access in an object-oriented manner a procedural operating system having a native procedural interface is disclosed. The apparatus includes a computer and a memory component in the computer. A code library is stored in the memory component. The code library includes computer program logic implementing an object-oriented class library. The object-oriented class library comprises related object-oriented classes for enabling the application to access in an object-oriented manner services provided by the operating system. The object-oriented classes include methods for accessing the operating system services using procedural function calls compatible with the native procedural interface of the operating system. The computer processes object-oriented statements contained in the application and defined by the class library by executing methods from the class library corresponding to the object-oriented statements. Real-time signal processing system for serially transmitted data A data transmission system having a real-time data engine for processing isochronous streams of data includes an interface device that provides a physical and logical connection of a computer to any one or more of a variety of different types of data networks. Data received at this device is presented to a serial driver, which disassembles different streams of data for presentation to appropriate data managers. A device handler associated with the interface device sets up data flow paths, and also presents data and commands from the data managers to a real-time data processing engine. Flexibility to handle any type of data, such as voice, facsimile, video and the like, that is transmitted over any type of communication network with any type of real-time engine is made possible by abstracting the functions of each of the elements of the system from one another. This abstraction is provided through suitable interfaces that isolate the transmission medium, the data manager and the real-time engine from one another.
U.S. PATENT NO. 5,915,131
Method and apparatus for handling I/O requests utilizing separate programming interfaces to access separate I/O services A computer system handling multiple applications wherein groups of I/O services are accessible through separate application programming interfaces. Each application has multiple application programming interfaces by which to access different families of I/O services, such as I/O devices.
U.S. PATENT NO. RE39,486
Extensible, replaceable network component system An extensible and replaceable network-oriented component system provides a platform for developing networking navigation components that operate on a variety of hardware and software computer systems. These navigation components include key integrating components along with components configured to deliver conventional services directed to computer networks, such as Gopher-specific and Web-specific components. Communication among these components is achieved through novel application programming interfaces (APIs) to facilitate integration with an underlying software component architecture. Such a high-modular cooperating layered-arrangement between the network component system and the component architecture allows any existing component to be replaced, and allows new components to be added, without affecting operation of the network component system.
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Now less than a week away from Apple’s ‘See you on the 7th’ iPhone 7 event, there’s a lot we know about the device and other product announcements Apple has planned for next week. A dual-camera system for iPhone, a new and improved Apple Watch 2 with GPS, new wireless headphones, and much more. Here’s what we expect to see at Apple’s iPhone event next week…
Same design. iPhone 7 will mostly be the same physical design as iPhone 6s apart from repositioned antenna lines. As you can see in the image below, the antenna lines will be redirected along the edge of the device leaving a smooth backside free of the antenna lines visible on the back of current iPhone models.
Dual-camera system. One of the big hardware upgrades that Apple will surely highlight on stage is the dual-camera tech it’s expected to introduce with far better zoom capabilities. It looks like the new dual-camera could be limited to the larger 5.5-inch models, while one report claimed the 4.7-inch iPhone 7 models will get optical image stabilization, a feature previously limited to the larger 5.5-inch Plus models. Both models will get new 12 megapixel cameras according to the latest supply chain reports.
Redesigned Home button. We reported back in June that sources indicated Apple was working on a designed Home button, and since others have backed up our report that the new Home button with haptic feedback-like features could be included in the iPhone 7.
No headphone jack. Apple is removing the headphone jack and forcing you to use wireless or Lightning headphones or adapters.
32GB-256GB. It looks like most iPhone users will get a storage upgrade this cycle with several reports pointing to a 32GB base model and a new higher-capacity 256GB model on the high-end.
New Space Black color option. We reported previously on Apple’s considerations for a new darker color for iPhone 7. Now with some fresh component leaks adding to our report, it’s looking even more likely that Apple will offer a new color option. And if the part leaks are accurate, it will likely be a darker Space Black-like model. One recent report from supply chain analysts KGI noted both a darker space black and a glossier piano black finish will be offered making for five total color options alongside the current silver, gold, and rose gold.
iOS 10. Currently in beta, you can expect an announcement for the public release of iOS 10 at the event, which means the new and improved Messages features alongside a very long list of other new features will arrive for all. I’ll let Jeff walk you through 75 of them in the video above.
GPS. One of Apple Watch 2’s standout features will likely be the inclusion of a new GPS chip, offering more freedom from the iPhone by enabling the device to offer an enhanced standalone fitness experience and other GPS features.
Same design. Apple Watch 2 will include largely the same design according to the supply chain reports, but that doesn’t rule out some new strap and model configurations that could breathe some new life into the current lineup. Apple has reportedly experimented with titanium and other casing materials that could in theory be introduced without changing the overall design of the device, but it’s likely Apple won’t have any other major design changes in store for the second generation Watch.
Improved battery life. The watch is also said to include improved performance and battery life, according to the latest component leaks claiming to show a larger battery for the device and other tweaked parts.
watchOS 3. One thing we know Apple Watch will be getting is watchOS 3, with notable new features including improved performance, a new Control Center feature, quick access to watch face switching, improved messaging and more. Check out our hands-on with the beta release above.
Beats Wireless Headphones. Apple’s Beats PR team this week leaked what appeared to be plans for a new line of Beats headphones to launch alongside iPhone 7. That followed hints at three new wireless Beats models in the works from recent trademark filings.
AirPods? Will new Beats wireless headphones be the only thing Apple has for the first iPhone without a headphone jack? We reported earlier this year that it has truly wireless, cord-free earbuds in the works, and later leaks have speculated that hints at “AirPods” branding could be connected to the product. Whether to not Apple will have these ready in time to launch with the iPhone 7 remains to be seen.
Lightning EarPods or an Adapter? Another thing we’re expecting to see is either an adapter or Lightning EarPods bundled with the iPhone 7. Even if Apple has its cord-free earbuds ready for launch, it will likely sell those at a premium and offer an adapter or new EarPods with a Lightning connector in the box.
macOS Sierra: Apple will announce the release of macOS Sierra next week, currently in developer and public beta. What can you expect? Above Jeff walks us through a ton of new features in the release that Apple will possibly briefly highlight on stage when announcing availability. The highlight feature of the release is the debut of Siri on the Mac, but it also introduces a new universal clipboard, redesigned Apple Music features, and more.
tvOS 10: Along with macOS Sierra, iOS 10, and watchOS 3, Apple will likely release GM seeds of tvOS 10 for the fourth-generation Apple TV next week. Zac gave us a preview earlier this year showing us the new Dark mode feature, YouTube Siri search, HomeKit, & more.
There have been several reports that Apple is continuing behind the scenes work on a new video service with the most recent report claiming it was developing a universal TV guide feature for Apple TV, iPhone, and iPad. But there hasn’t been any indication yet Apple will have anything beyond tvOS 10 to show next week.
New MacBook Pro? (Wildcard) Apple is planning new thinner MacBook Pros for release in the coming months. We’ve reported extensively on the leaks surrounding the new models, which feature a new OLED touch screen panel above the keyboard.
Is Apple planning another event between now and the holidays to announce the new MacBook Pro, or could it possibly be planning to give us a glimpse at the new Macs next week ahead of a release later in the year?
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It’s Fall. That means it’s time for changing leaves, overly complicated Halloween decorations from Target, and a new iPhone. We’re buckling down to watch the Apple Fall 2023 product announcement event and would love for you to watch along with us.
The new iPhone tends to steal the show during these Fall events. This year, we’re expecting iPhone 13 to follow last year’s iPhone 12 lineup. Rumors suggest we could also get a new Apple Watch 7 to replace the Apple Watch 6 at the top of the lineup. We also may get a new AirPods update since the vanilla version of Apple’s super-popular earbuds, which went into version 2 back in 2023.Let’s start the event
We’re kicking things off with a very elaborate musical tribute to the state of California. It’s jaunty. Now we’re digging into the upcoming content on Apple TV+. Ted Lasso’s big smiling face is there along with some prestige dramas and sci-fi action. Billie Eilish was in there for some reason, too. Now it’s time for the hardware.
We’re starting with the iPad, which is unexpected. Cook says iPad has grown more than 40 percent since last year.iPad
The base level iPad gets an update. Apple
The new base-model iPad now has an A13 Bionic chip up from the A12 in the previous model. That translates into a 20 percent speed boost according to Apple. The company doesn’t miss the chance to mention that it’s faster than the vast majority of Chromebooks out there. The front-facing camera has gotten a big update to 12-megapixels and 122-degree field of view. It also has the iPad Pro’s Center Stage feature, which tracks people in the frame to make calls feel more dynamic.
The iPad display now has True Tone so it changes color balance depending on the ambient light in your surroundings. It still only supports the first-generation Apple Pencil.
The old connector port and the legacy Pencil compatibility might seem outdated, but for schools that have already invested in accessories for their iPad hardware, upgrading can be tricky.
The new iPad starts at $329 for the base 64 GB model. If you’re a school, it starts at $299. It starts shipping next week.iPad Mini
The new Mini looks great Apple
The screen is now 8.3-inches and the TouchID feature lives in the button on the top right of the device. It really does feel just like a mini version of the iPad. It’s a Liquid Retina display with True Tone, too.
Compared to the old Mini, it’s 40 percent faster when it comes to CPU performance and 80 percent faster when we’re talking GPUs. Apple keeps talking about how pilots can use it to do fancy things during flights, which must be a big market I didn’t know about.
It connects to a computer via USB-C instead of Lightning. Is that foreshadowing for the new iPhone?
The back camera now has a faster lens and a built-in flash. You get an ultra-wide camera and stereo speakers. It also supports Apple Pencil 2, unlike the base model iPad. This seems like a solid option for people who want a small screen.
The iPad Mini starts at $499.Apple Watch Series 7
The new larger screen can handle up to 50 percent more text at once. Apple
The Apple Watch has gotten a bigger screen. It now has a thinner bezel and a much larger actual display. The screen on the front is curved to make the device feel more cohesive.
Apple Watch Series 7 also has IP6X durability ratings, which makes it tougher than its predecessors. It charges up to 33 percent faster thanks to a new fast-charging USB-C cable.
It will come in aluminum, stainless steel, and titanium, just like its predecessor.
Series 3 stays in the current lineup for some reason. The SE is sticking around for $299, and the new Series 7 will start at $399. Apple is updating Fitness+, which it sees as a big selling point for the Apple Watch. This part of the presentation feels passive aggressive since I’m eating pizza while watching it.iPhone 13
Hello new iPhone Apple
Now we’re getting to the main event.
The new camera system has the diagonal lens arrangement from the leaked images. The camera system on the front is smaller now to interrupt the screen less. The notch is 20 percent smaller.
There’s a regular version and a Mini version, both of which have a screen that 28 percent brighter than its predecessor. It does P3 wide color and has a max brightness of 1200 nits in HDR mode.
Inside, the new A15 Bionic chip will handle the computing. It has 15 billion transistors, which sounds like a lot.
The new CPU has six total cores, two of which are performance and four of which are high-efficiency. A15 Bionic also has a four-core GPU and a 16-core Neural Engine. These numbers are hard to parse and act as a nice reminder of why people stopped paying attention to hard specs when it comes to phones.
A look at the specs. Apple
The camera system now has bigger pixels and a new f/1.6 lens to let in more light. iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini are both getting sensor shift image stabilization from the old iPhone 12 Pro Max. The new Ultra Wide camera has also gotten an image quality bump.
For video, iPhone 13 is getting a new Cinematic Mode. It’s about rack focusing. It can tell when a subject is going to enter the frame, which is very cool. The blur creates weird halos around people, though, especially around their hair.
You still get MagSafe, but the new leather MagSafe wallet also supports Find My, so you can locate it if you misplace it. That’s smart.
iPhone 13 starts at $699 for the Mini or $799 for the iPhone 13. The base storage option checks in at 128 GB and goes up to 512 GB.iPhone 13 Pro
Gaming is a big emphasis for the new 13 Pro. Apple
Now we’re into the high-end hardware. 13 Pro comes in four shiny colors with stainless steel bands around the outside. The True Depth camera system is 20 percent smaller as with the iPhone 13.
Inside, it has the new A15 Bionic, which isn’t much of a surprise. You get a 5-core GPU up from four in the non-Pro version. Apple keeps referring to the Snap Dragon 888 as “the competition” in case you were curious about that.
The new display now supports 1,000 nits peak outdoor brightness. The screen now gets Pro Motion, which means it can go from 10 Hz to 120 Hz depending on what you’re doing. That 120 Hz framerate promises smooth motion and scrolling. This is something we’ve been waiting for from Apple for a while. The screens come in 6.1 and 6.7-inch options.
The new cameras include a 77mm telephoto camera with a 3x optical zoom, a new main sensor with more real estate, and a wider aperture for the super-wide.
The ultra-wide camera now offers “macro” photography. It can focus down to 2cm thanks to its super-wide focal length.
Photographic styles now let you customize the editing applied to your images. It’s like preset image settings that come in many cameras.
When it comes to video, it shoots Dolby Vision HDR footage. Apple is big on Cinematic Mode. Coming down the line, the iPhone 13 Pro will shoot 4K 30p ProRes. If you don’t know what that means, you don’t need it. 13 Pro starts at $999 and 13 Pro Max starts at $1,099. You can now get up to 1 TB storage in the Pro models.
That’s a wrap on the event! Look for more coverage in the coming weeks!
Apple and more than a dozen other titans of technology have written to European Union officials, expressing concern that a unified patent court system could encourage patent trolls to expand their lawsuits overseas.
Apple and more than a dozen other titans of technology have written to European Union officials, expressing concern that a unified patent court system could encourage patent trolls to expand their lawsuits overseas.
New rules now being developed could create “significant opportunities for abuse” allowing patent owners to “extract substantial royalties,” according to the letter obtained by the New York Times.
Starting in 2024 trolls could take infringement cases to non-member countries or nations without much experience, creating a European version of the Eastern District of Texas. Courts in that U.S. district are notorious for rulings favorable to companies suing tech firms, according to the letter…
After looking at the EU’s plans “companies now fear that the new system could be vulnerable to what they call patent assertion entities, less politely known as patent trolls, which make a business of filing patent-infringement lawsuits,” reports the New York Times.
The EU’s proposal would create a unified patent court, replacing the current patchwork quilt of countries all with differing levels of experience handling patent-infringement claims.
Along with Apple (the favorite target of patent trolls), Google, Samsung, BlackBerry, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Intel, Yahoo and Cisco signed the letter of concern sent Thursday. European firms such as Deutsche Telekom and Telecom Italia also signed, according to the report.
Ironies abound on both sides.
Google, which signed the letter warning of European patent abuse, recently found its Motorola Mobility the first convicted patent troll. The Times also notes than many of the people helping the EU draft the unified patent court “work for law practices or lobbying firms” which count as clients the signatories of today’s letter.
Spain and Poland are also raising objections, while Italy has some reservations about the proposal.
Spain is suing the EU over the plan, saying the Spanish language is not among those within the court system. Poland believes the proposal could hurt its economy, while Italy is unsure about so-called pan-European patents. At least 13 of the 25 EU member states must approve the court proposal for it to go into effect.
Chief among the worries by U.S. companies is that patent trolls could shop for a European country either with little experience handling patent issues or a nation that has not signed onto the unified court plan.
Another problem is the new system would split the question of whether infringement occurred from consideration of if the patent is even valid. While the procedure is common in German courts, the division on questions opens up “significant opportunities for abuse,” the letter writers explain.
In 2012 signatory Microsoft moved operations from Germany to the Netherlands due to what it said was a patent lawsuit filed by Motorola Mobility in Germany. Germany’s Deutsche Telekom was forced to pay a patent-infringement settlement to IPNav, which owns more than 1,000 patents, according to the Times.
Over the last half-decade, IPNav has sued over 1,600 U.S.-based companies, a record. Defendants have included Google, Adobe and Hitachi.
IPNav has written that the proposed change in how Europe handles patent challenges is “a great benefit to innovators” and the new setup “is going to cut the cost of litigation down significantly.”
The proposed change in Europe comes as patent trolls become a front-burner topic in the U.S. The FTC has launched an investigation into patent-infringement claims as the Obama administration orders agencies such as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office take a closer look at patent applications and their owners.
The enterprise apps partnership between Apple and IBM has reached the goal the two companies set of bringing 100+ MobileFirst apps to the business and professional sectors. Many enterprise customers of course use these in conjunction with existing consumer apps.
The companies plan to make future apps even more powerful …
IBM will integrate many future MobileFirst for iOS apps with the capability of its Watson cognitive computing system, enabling the apps to continuously learn about the needs of employees and customers over time — effectively building on data with more use.
Among the companies using the apps are Air Canada, AXA, Bosch, Coca-Cola Amatil, Japan Post, Rimac, SAS Airlines and Vodafone. As examples, Bosch equips field engineers with an app designed to enable them to more quickly diagnose issues with home appliances, while SAS gives flight attendants and app that provides “a 360-degree view of each passenger’s past preferences, interests and purchasing decisions to deliver a more personalized flying experience.”
IBM is, of course, working on apps for the iPad Pro, including ones that use the Apple Pencil for tasks as diverse as room designs and annotating maintenance logs.
The partnership was extended back in the summer to include IBM distributing and supporting enterprise Macs for other companies. IBM employees were also offered the option of Macs for the first time earlier in the year.
Image: Bidness etc
Each app combines IBM’s big data and analytics capabilities with Apple’s legendary consumer experience to help companies achieve new levels of efficiency, effectiveness and customer satisfaction — faster and easier than ever before.
Other clients selecting IBM MobileFirst for iOS apps include:
Bosch BSH, the largest manufacturer of home appliances in Europe, is using the Fast Fix app to put powerful, analytic-based guidance in the hands of field service engineers via iPad, enabling them to resolve home appliance issues faster while improving customer satisfaction. BSH’s new mobile strategy aims to enhance customer service by connecting field service engineers with customers in real time.
SAS, the largest airline in Scandinavia, will provide its flight attendants with the Passenger+ app, allowing them to access a 360-degree view of each passenger’s past preferences, interests and purchasing decisions to deliver a more elite and personalized flying experience.
IBM MobileFirst for iOS Passenger+ App Enhances Traveler Experience
IBM MobileFirst for iOS Apps to Integrate Watson Cognitive Capabilities
IBM will integrate many future IBM MobileFirst for iOS apps with the cognitive capability of Watson, enabling the apps to continuously learn about the needs of employees and customers over time — effectively building on data with more use.
“Our apps — which currently represent an exclusive level of business value — are evolving to deliver cognitive capability that refines insights to the most relevant information, enhancing the quality of decision making,” said Fred Balboni, general manager Apple partnership, IBM. “Marrying the simplicity of Apple’s product design with IBM’s unmatched security, analytic and cognitive expertise is the leading edge of mobile-led business transformation.”
Suites of Apps Connecting Teams of Colleagues
As the roster of industry-specific apps grows, full suites of IBM MobileFirst for iOS capabilities are taking shape to streamline job roles in healthcare facilities, financial institutions and retailers. Information can now be shared across entire teams, empowering colleagues with the ability to work collaboratively from the same set of data on their mobile devices.
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Apple iPhone 4: Where to Pre-Order, White Model May Not be Included
Time certainly does catch up with you, doesn’t it? Hopefully you were all having fun, so it flew by and what not. Just feels like yesterday that we all sat here, and brought you the announcement of Apple’s latest iPhone iteration, the iPhone 4. And in all the hub-bub, we also told you that Walmart, RadioShack, and Best Buy would be part of the third-party retailer brigade offering up their own models for pre-order and sale. Well, tomorrow’s the big pre-order day, so jump after the break to find out where you can go to pick one up, and what you need to do to make it happen.
First and foremost, and probably the easiest way to do it, would be to get on your computer, head on over to Apple’s website, and get your pre-order on right then and there. You won’t have to worry about lines, crazy customers or employees, and you’re guaranteed delivery on its release date. So, again, no lines or general craziness. Though, you will have to sit at home and listen to all those people who got it before you, because they did brave those lines and what not. But, we’re sure you can handle it. You could also head into an Apple Store, but they’ll just put you at a computer, where you’ll pre-order it from Apple’s website. So, pick your poison.
Now, the other “direct” option would be to go into an AT&T shop and pre-order that way. However, here’s something to consider: you’ll have to pay the full amount for the iPhone 4 right then and there. Furthermore, you’re not guaranteed launch day arrival at all. In fact, some AT&T employees are reporting that you might even have to wait until June 25th, anyway. So, we’ll just go ahead and say it: probably not the way to go.
As for third party retailers, we’ll start from the bottom of the pile. Walmart is going to sell the iPhone 4 on June 24th, that much is a given. However, there doesn’t seem to be a clear, concise, confirmed approach to the whole pre-order business. Basically, no one knows. So, unless you absolutely need to be at Walmart at 5:30am tomorrow morning, we suggest if you’re going to go to a third party retailer, you head somewhere else.
RadioShack is offering up the same pre-order deal they were for Sprint’s EVO 4G. You’ll need to drop $50 right there on the spot to make sure that you get a launch day device, and that $50 will also come off the total price of the handset. RS is also throwing in an accessory credit, too, so you basically get a free gift for stopping into their stores. That’s awful nice of them. Some RadioShacks around the nation will be opening for launch day.
And finally, Best Buy. They’re doing the same deal as RadioShack more or less. You’ll need to put down $50, and you’ll be guaranteed a handset when it hits store shelves on June 24th. You’ll be able to enter some Best Buy locations early, as most will be opening their doors before normal opening hours to handle all the hustle and bustle. However, on pre-order day, stores won’t be opening early.
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