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Archive for May, 2008

Apple Settles iPod Patent with Burst

Apple agreed to settle a patent dispute with Burst.com, ending two years of litigation. Burst agreed not to sue Apple over current or pending DVR patents.

Under the agreement, Apple will pay Burst.com $10 million and get access to Burst.com’s patent portfolio, with some exceptions. Apple won’t have access to four of Burst.com’s current and pending patents, including three pending patents relating to digital video recorder (DVR) technology. Court costs, expenses and attorney’s fees will reduce the proceeds to Burst.com to $4.6 million.

Burst alleges that Apple infringed four patents for transmission of compressed audio and video files in iTunes, iLife, QuickTime and the iPod.

Apple was asked by Burst in 2004 to license some of its patents, saying they were at the pioneering heart of the iPod. In January 2006, Apple sued Burst.com in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, seeking a judgment that the Burst.com patents were invalid and not infringed upon. Burst.com countersued in April 2006, alleging that Apple infringed four of its patents.

Bust also won a $60 million financial settlement from Microsoft in 2005 after a patent dispute over the transmission of music and video with its Windows Media Player.

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CSIR’s polymer gets US patent; USV to license know-how

Mumbai, May 18 The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has received a United States patent on an innovative process to make sevelamer, a generic polymer that treats toxic excess of phosphate in the body caused by chronic renal failure.

The patent is a culmination of work done by CSIR’s constituent lab in Pune, the National Chemical Laboratory, on a mandate initially given by Mumbai-based drug company USV Ltd.

USV had acquired the patent rights from CSIR last year, following which it further undertook the prosecution of the application.

Dr Kulkarni’s team developed the alternative process that received the patent.

As per the agreement, USV had the first right to license the know-how and acquire the patent rights, and USV exercised this option.

USV had approached NCL in mid-2003 to develop an innovative process to manufacture the polymer. NCL developed the process and CSIR filed the patent application in India, and the US.

NCL’s scientists developed a cost-effective process to manufacture sevelamer, the phosphate-absorbing polymer. The process NCL reduces the manufacturing time and the process chemicals requirements and is easy to scale up. USV has made a one time payment, and no further milestone payments are involved, he said, citing confidentiality for not giving details.

This development is significant as a technologically novel process received a US patent and has been found commercially attractive by a pharma company.

The recent patent success comes against the backdrop of the Centre’s efforts to get more public-funded institutions to file patents and work with the industry to commercialise research efforts.

With 128 patents in 2006-2007, the CSIR accounts for about 47 per cent of the total US patents granted to Indians, excluding non-resident Indians and foreign assignees, said Mr R.K. Gupta, Head of CSIR’s IP Management Division.

Final patent

The final patent on the CSIR-developed innovative polymer will be issued by the US Patent Office in approximately four months, said Pharmaceutical Patent Attorneys, LLC, the New Jersey-based firm who prosecuted the patent for its Indian client.

Vonage settles patent battle with Verizon

Vonage has agreed to settle partially on a patent suit with Verizon after the company was faced with possible interruption of its service. Verizon alleges that Vonage is infringing on seven of its patents on voice-over-IP technologies. A joint statement read succinctly “The parties are pleased to have resolved this matter.”

In March of this year, a jury found that Vonage is infringing on three of the seven patents, awarding Verizon with $58 million in damages. The judge issued an injunction which was stayed pending an appeal. Nevertheless in September, the U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the earlier court decision. Vonage then filed a petition for a rehearing.

If Vonage wins a rehearing on either the ‘574 or ‘711 patent, or if the injunction is vacated as to the ‘574 or ‘711 patent, Vonage will have to pay Verizon $80 million. If Vonage does not win a rehearing on either the ‘574 or ‘711 patent, or if the stay is lifted reinstating the injunction, Vonage will pay Verizon $117.5 million.

Things got more interesting as AT&T filed a lawsuit against Vonage on October 17 for a patent on connecting a traditional telephone to the Internet. The suit was filed after two years of unsuccessful negotiations, however Vonage said they would resolve the matter with AT&T to prevent court proceedings.

Novell and Red Hat Face Patent Infringement Lawsuit

Red Hat Inc. and Novell Inc. are being sued by IP Innovation LLC. and Technology Licensing Corp. for patent infringement. The court filing claims that Novell and Red Hat infringed on the plaintiff’s patent for User Interface with Multiple Workspaces for Sharing Display System Objects as well as two other similar patents. This is the first patent infringement lawsuit involving Linux.

According to the lawsuit filed with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Novell and Red Hat are accused of infringing on the patents by selling the Red Hat Linux system, the Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop, and the Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. IP Innovation LLC. and Technology Licensing Corp. further further contend that the defendants “deliberately and willfully” infringed on the patents, stating that the defendants were previously notified of the infringement.

IP Innovation LLC. and Technology Licensing Corp. are seeking an injunction from the District Court plus damages including other relief that the court might find proper. Novell withheld comment until their attorneys could further review the court filing.
Red Hat Inc and Novell Inc are accused of violating three patents.

Another Apple Lawsuit

Apple Inc. is being sued by Klausner Technologies that has claimed that Apple iPhone has infringed on the Klausner patent for visual voice mail. Klausner is seeking $360 million in compensation and damages for its patent numbers US5572576 and US5283818 which basically describe a system that allows for the visual retrieval and sorting of voice mail by way of a display.

Patent #: US5572576
Title: Telephone answering device linking displayed data with recorded audio message
Assignee: Klausner Patent Technologies
Filind Date: March 15, 1994
Abstract: A telephone answering device (TAD) which includes a means of intelligently organizing voice messages, associated entered codes such as personal IDs and home telephone numbers, and information stored in the memory of the TAD. These codes or numbers are decoded by means of the caller entering DTMF signals into the telephone which are recognized, recorded and processed by the TAD. When processed with codes and personal information previously entered into the device’s memory, the TAD displays the identity of the callers for each message, thus providing a menu of choices, i.e., a list of callers. This enables the user to access messages in a selective manner based on the identity of the caller. The need to listen to the actual voice messages to determine the caller’s identity and the need to listen to the messages sequentially or chronologically is obviated, saving both time and effort. Additionally, because the voice message is also linked to pre-stored additional data in the data base, when hearing a message, one also can view relevant associated information, such as a fax number, etc., that might not have been left in the audio message but might be important. A remote access device is also provided that allows the user to retrieve and display the callers’ identities and select a message to be played back from a remote location.

Patent #: US5283818
Title: Telephone answering device linking displayed data with recorded audio message
Assignee: Klausner Patent Technologies
Filind Date: March 31, 1992
Abstract: A telephone answering device (TAD) which includes a means of intelligently organizing voice messages, associated entered codes such as personal IDs and home telephone numbers, and information stored in the memory of the TAD. These codes or numbers are decoded by means of the caller entering DTMF signals into the telephone which are recognized, recorded and processed by the TAD. When processed with codes and personal information previously entered into the device’s memory, the TAD displays the identity of the callers for each message, thus providing a menu of choices, i.e., a list of callers. This enables the user to access messages in a selective manner based on the identity of the caller. The need to listen to the actual voice messages to determine the caller’s identity and the need to listen to the messages sequentially or chronologically is obviated, saving both time and effort. Additionally, because the voice message is also linked to pre-stored additional data in the data base, when hearing a message, one also can view relevant associated information, such as a fax number, etc., that might not have been left in the audio message but might be important.

There are several other companies that have paid Klausner to license these technologies mentioned in these patents including AOL which is featuring the technology in its AOL Voicemail service. Vonage also pays for the use of this technology for its Voicemail Plus service. Thus far, Apple and AT&T have not made any comment on this issue.

Klausner is also filing against Comcast for their Digital Voice Mail, Cablevision for its Systems’ Optimum Voicemail, and Ebay’s Skype. The second suit filed in a different court on the same day seeks $300 in damages for patent infringement. Klausner Technologies is an avid patent seeker and was founded by Judah Klausner who invented and patented the PDA and electronic organizer. Klausner has been well known for its aggressive patent mongering.

Satyam faces $1 b damages

Satyam Computer Services, India’s fourth-largest software exporter, could be staring at penalties in excess of $1 billion if it loses a case to one of its former customers, Upaid Systems, in the US federal court in Texas.

On Wednesday, the Court of Appeal rejected a Satyam request that the case be heard in the UK, asking it to pay up the legal charges, too.

Satyam and Upaid, a UK-based online and mobile payments service company, are locked in a legal battle in the UK and the US on what the latter calls “forgery, breach of contract.”

Simon Joyce, chief executive, Upaid, told DNA from London : “The sum involved is large and would be determined ultimately by the jury. However, there are a number of documents in the public domain, which make it clear that the damages could be over $1 billion.”

Satyam closed FY08 with revenues of Rs 8,473 crore, or little in excess of $2 billion. Its reserves and surplus stands at about Rs 7,100 crore or about $1.8 billion.

The case is not an intellectual property dispute or something pertaining to the patentability of a product or ownership of patent. It is about agreements on the transfer of intellectual property.

Daddeln with Apple TV

For the set-top box Apple Apple TV could be a 3D remote control in the pipeline. On November 2006 submitted patent with the title’3 D remote control system employing absolute and relative position detection ‘describes a remote control, the controller of the Nintendo Wii comparable. As a U.S. patent application 20080106517, it was now.

Acceleration sensors detect the position in space and their change. Everything you need to make a game situation. As such sensors in the iPhone and iPod touch exist, it would be conceivable that Apple these devices via WiFi as a game controller zuführt new applications.

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