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Microsoft and Dell Sign Patent Licensing Agreement

Microsoft Corp. and Dell announced a patent licensing agreement allowing the companies to share technology and build on each other's innovations. It is the continuation of a nearly 30-year business relationship between Microsoft and Dell to deliver world-class technologies to consumers.

"Our agreement with Dell shows what can be accomplished when companies share intellectual property," said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of the Innovation and Intellectual Property Group at Microsoft. "We have been partnering with technology manufacturers and vendors for many years to craft licensing deals, instead of litigation strategies."

Rambus and Nanya Sign Patent License Agreement

Rambus Inc., the innovative technology solutions company, and Nanya Technology Corporation, the industry leading pure-play consumer memory company, today announced they have signed a broad five-year patent license agreement. This agreement allows for the use of certain high-performance, low-power patented innovations developed by Rambus in Nanya DRAM products and enables future technology collaboration.

Under this agreement, Rambus and Nanya have settled all outstanding claims, providing Nanya with access to certain memory-related Rambus innovations through the second quarter of 2018. Other terms of the agreement are confidential.

Macronix Sues Spansion for Alleged Infringement of Seven Flash Memory Patents

Macronix International Co., Ltd. , a global leader providing non-volatile memory solutions, announced that it has filed a patent infringement law suit against Spansion LLC and Spansion Inc. in the United States for infringement of seven Macronix patents directed to numerous aspects of flash memory. Macronix has taken this step to address Spansion's rampant infringement of Macronix's patent rights.

The seven patents relate to manufacturing of flash memory chips, compact memory with serial interfaces, security of memory cells, and circuit designs for flash memory. The patents in suit represent only a small fraction of Macronix world-wide patent portfolio.

Swiftech Withdraws H220 CPU Liquid Cooling Kit from US Market

Rouchon Industries Inc., d/b/a/ Swiftech today announced the withdrawal from US sales of the H220 CPU cooling kit. On June 7 2013, Rouchon Industries Inc., d/b/a/ Swiftech received a letter from Asetek' s lawyers claiming that the H220 CPU cooler infringes on their US patents 8,240,362 (the '362 patent) and 8,245,764 (the '764 patent) and to cease selling, offering for sale and importing the H220 CPU cooler in the United States. Pending final disposition of this matter, Swiftech immediately placed a hold on shipments of the H220 CPU cooling kits into the USA.

On June 27, 2013 Swiftech's counsel responded to Asetek' s attorney by a letter stating that preliminarily, Swiftech does not believe that the H220 product infringes any valid claim of the '362 and '764 patents. Nonetheless, in an effort to avoid any unnecessary litigation Swiftech also asked whether Asetek would be willing to offer a nonexclusive license for the asserted patents. On July 12, 2013 Swiftech received a response from Asetek' s law firm stating that the company does not offer licenses.

Asetek Sues Cooler Master Over Multiple Patent Infringements

Asetek, which manufactures closed-loop liquid cooling solutions that are re-branded by several companies, filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against Cooler Master alleging infringement of multiple patents held by Asetek. Cooler Master's recently launched Seidon line of closed-loop liquid CPU coolers are points of contention for Asetek, as it claims the products infringe upon patent numbers 8,240,362 and 8,245,764, held by the company.

Seidon 120M and 240M may have been launched late January 2013, but had been pictured much earlier, in September. Ahead of its launch, Asetek claims it had contacted Cooler Master with a cease-and-desist order, but it claims the latter didn't respond satisfactorily, going ahead with the launch. The case (Civil Action No. 3:13-cv-00457-JSC) will now be heard by a US Court. Cooler Master's defense could stress on the point the essential design of a CPU liquid cooler hasn't changed for decades. Other liquid cooling makers, which aren't particularly as big as Asetek (which sells liquid cooling solutions to even the server and defense industries), will be closely following the case.

Source: eTeknix

Marvell Ordered to Pay $1.17 Billion in Damages to University for Patent Infringment

Storage and application processor maker Marvell Technology has been ordered by a Federal Jury in the US state of Pennsylvania to pay a local university $1.17 billion in damages for patent-infringement. Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) developed and patented a technology that "increases the accuracy with which hard disk drive circuits read data from high-speed magnetic disks," which Marvell has been found to be infringing. Why $1.17 billion? Because these chips are an indispensable component in modern mechanical hard disk drives, made by both Seagate and WD, among others.

If and when US District Court Judge Nora Barry Fischer agrees with the Jury ruling that Marvell's infringements of CMU's patents are "willful," the fine could triple, according to K&L Gates. The jury found that Marvell sold "billions" of chips carrying the University's technology. What makes this verdict important for the PC industry is that since Marvell's HDD components are widely incorporated in HDDs across various brands, should CMU seek a sales-ban, it could potentially affect HDD production the way last year's unfortunate floods in Thailand did.

Sources: CNN, arstechnica, Image Credit: The Register

GE Cooling Technology, As Thin As A Credit Card, Enables Ultra-thin Tablets, Laptops

Adapted from technology that GE researchers originally developed for commercial jet engines, GE (NYSE: GE) has announced a major technology breakthrough, called DCJ, which adapts this technology for the cooling of consumer electronics. DCJ will support the next generation of thinner, quieter and more powerful tablets, laptops and other electronic devices.

GE's DCJ (Dual Piezoelectric Cooling Jets), behave as a micro-fluidic bellows that provide high-velocity jets of air to cool electronic components. The turbulent air flow of the DCJ increases the heat transfer rate to more than ten times that of natural convection.

Microsoft and Hoeft & Wessel AG Sign Patent Agreement

Microsoft Corp. and Hoeft & Wessel AG have signed a patent licensing agreement that provides broad coverage under Microsoft's patent portfolio for Hoeft & Wessel devices running the Android platform. Hoeft & Wessel manufactures handheld devices and terminals for the public transportation, logistics and retail industries in Europe. While the contents of the agreement have not been disclosed, the parties indicate that Microsoft will receive royalties from Hoeft & Wessel.

"This agreement with Hoeft & Wessel is another example of how industry leaders address intellectual property," said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of the Intellectual Property Group at Microsoft. "We are proud of the continued success of our licensing program in resolving IP issues surrounding the Android platform in a variety of industries."

Creative to License Technology and Patents to Intel in a $50 Million Deal

Creative Technology Ltd today announced it has entered into an agreement with Intel Corporation for Intel to license certain technology and patents from ZiiLABS Inc. Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Creative, and acquire certain engineering resources and assets related to its UK subsidiary ZiiLABS Limited (formerly known as 3DLABS Limited).

The US$50 million deal includes US$20 million to Creative for the licensing of certain technologies to Intel relating to ZiiLABS' high performance GPU technology. The second part of the deal is US$30 million to Creative for the transfer of certain engineering resources and assets in the UK subsidiary to Intel. The UK subsidiary is a design entity engaged in, primarily on behalf of ZiiLABS Inc. Ltd, the development of various silicon solutions, including the ZMS chips for Creative. The transfer of engineering resources and assets will be through the divestment of the UK subsidiary by Creative.

AMD Looking for a Buyer?

AMD is consulting with JP Morgan Chase & Co., to explore options, that could pull it out of its grim financial situation. These could include a sale. The company is struggling to find itself a role in an industry that's increasingly focused on mobile, away from PCs. On hearing the news, the company stock surged 18 percent before closing for the day at 5 percent up, at $2.09, on the NYSE. Some of these options could include a sale of its portfolio of patents to raise cash. With the emergence of ARM SoC industry, AMD finds itself holding valuable IP that could fetch cash.

In a statement to Reuters, a company spokesperson said: "AMD's board and management believe that the strategy the company is currently pursuing to drive long-term growth by leveraging AMD's highly-differentiated technology assets is the right approach to enhance shareholder value. AMD is not actively pursuing a sale of the company or significant assets at this time." Some analysts believe that AMD will not be able to reverse its decline in time, given the rate at which it's laying off engineers, others add that it might be difficult to buy AMD as a whole, since it's considered to be a "legacy company."Source: Reuters

Apple and HTC Settle Patent Dispute

HTC and Apple have reached a global settlement that includes the dismissal of all current lawsuits and a ten-year license agreement. The license extends to current and future patents held by both parties. The terms of the settlement are confidential.

"HTC is pleased to have resolved its dispute with Apple, so HTC can focus on innovation instead of litigation," said Peter Chou, CEO of HTC. "We are glad to have reached a settlement with HTC," said Tim Cook, CEO of Apple. "We will continue to stay laser focused on product innovation."Source: Apple

Microsoft Signs Licensing Agreements for exFAT with Five Companies

Microsoft Corp. announced today that it signed patent licensing agreements for the use of the latest Extended File Allocation Table (exFAT) with five companies, spanning industries including high-end camcorders, digital cameras and Android tablets.

The agreements cover Sharp Android tablets, Sigma and NextoDi high-end cameras and accessories, and Black Magic and Atomos Global broadcast-quality video-recording devices.

Apple Posts "Samsung Didn't Copy iPad" Statement

Apple finally got around to complying with a recent judgement by a UK court, which told it to make a statement asserting that Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, Tab 8.9, and Tab 7.7 do not violate design patents claimed by Apple. In addition to linking to the court order, the statement claims that the judgement is in effect throughout the European Union, and was upheld by the Court of Appeal of England and Wales, on October 18, 2012. The judgement is expected to set a significant precedent in favor of Samsung in other parts of the world where the two companies are locked in similar legal disputes.

Sources: Apple, Engadget

Apple Loses Design Patent Appeal Against Samsung Galaxy Tab in UK

A British court ruled that Samsung Galaxy Tab did not pose a copyright infringement of Apple iPad. Apple and Samsung are locked in design patent infringement lawsuits around the world, with the UK being an important market for both. In addition to its ruling, the court told Apple to issue a public apology to Samsung and its customers in advertisements, with a font size no smaller than Arial 14. The court of appeal upheld its judgement that and Samsung did not infringe Apple's design.


Source: Reuters

Intellectual Ventures Resolves Patent Disputes with SK Hynix and Elpida

Intellectual Ventures (IV) announced today that it has reached settlement agreements with SK hynix Inc. and Elpida Memory, Inc. and resolved all pending patent infringement litigation with both companies.

"Intellectual Ventures has reached amicable settlements with both SK hynix and Elpida in the three patent infringement actions we filed against the companies over the past two years," said Melissa Finocchio, vice president and chief litigation counsel for Intellectual Ventures. "IV has built a world-class portfolio of semiconductor patents, and our preference is to sign license agreements and form productive, long-standing relationships with innovative companies rather than to litigate."

Rambus Receives Decision in SK Hynix Case

Rambus Inc., one of the world's premier technology licensing companies, today announced that the judge for the Northern District of California (NDCA) has issued his decision in the matter with SK Hynix. The Honorable Ronald M. Whyte has found that the Rambus patents in this case are valid and infringed by SK Hynix and Rambus is entitled to receive royalty payments for past infringement based on reasonable and non-discriminatory (RAND) rates.

"This is a positive result as it is consistent with what we've been seeking all along - reasonable compensation for the use of our patented inventions," said Thomas Lavelle, senior vice president and general counsel at Rambus. "We appreciate the Court's extensive efforts in working through years of complex arguments. While this decision does not provide SK Hynix with a going-forward license, we are hopeful it will lead to putting this matter behind us completely and allow us to reach reasonable agreements."

MSI Launches the GeForce GTX 680 Lightning Graphics Card

Leading mainboard and graphics card maker MSI has just announced the release of the N680GTX Lightning, the new king of the graphics card world equipped with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 GPU. The N680GTX Lightning utilizes proprietary Unlocked Digital Power architecture to unleash the full performance of the graphics card without any extra modifications. The innovative patented GPU Reactor power supply back plate also reduces power supply noise and improves overclocking stability. the N680GTX Lightning is kept cool by the Twin Frozr IV cooling solution with Dust Removal technology, dual temperature-controlled fan setup and SuperPipe.

InterDigital Agrees to $375 Million Patent Transaction with Intel

InterDigital, Inc. and Intel Corporation today announced that certain of InterDigital’s subsidiaries have signed a definitive agreement to sell to Intel roughly 1,700 patents and patent applications for $375 million in cash.

The agreement involves patents primarily related to 3G, LTE and 802.11 technologies. InterDigital is an active developer of advanced wireless technologies including WCDMA (Wideband CDMA), HSDPA (High Speed Download Packet Access) and HSUPA (High Speed Upload Packet Access) 3G technologies as well as LTE (Long Term Evolution) and LTE-Advanced 4G technologies.

RotoSub and Noctua Announce Partnership for PC Fans with Noise Cancellation

Noise reduction specialist RotoSub and renowned quiet cooling fan manufacturer Noctua today announced a strategic partnership agreement for the development and commercialisation of PC fans with integrated Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). A first prototype of a Noctua fan with integrated RotoSub ANC technology will be shown at Computex Taipei next week.

Active Noise Cancellation (also referred to as Active Noise Control or Active Noise Reduction, ANC) is the technique of using sound waves to reduce noise by means of an effect called phase cancellation or destructive interference. Lars Strömbäck and Mårten Oretorp from RotoSub have invented a system (RotoSub Active Noise Control, R-ANC) that allows a fan to emit the sound signal that cancels out the original sound of the fan and thereby greatly reduces the overall noise emission.

Judge Recommends US Xbox 360 Ban in Motorola Dispute

Microsoft's legal battle with Motorola has taken another large step towards a console ban, but the company could still narrowly avoid that fate. Judge David Shaw recommended to the International Trade Commission (ITC) that Microsoft be given a cease-and-desist order on sales of the Xbox 360 slim model in the US. He also recommended ceasing Chinese imports of the systems, and a payment of 7% of the value of unsold systems in stores. Courthouse News Service (via Develop) reports that the ITC can now choose to let that determination stand, in which case it becomes the official stance of the ITC. Alternately, the commission could amend some terms, or send it back for a rewrite. If it does adopt Shaw's recommendation, President Barack Obama will have 60 days to review the decision, after which it would have to be appealed to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. This follows a one-two punch against Microsoft in this case, after Motorola won its patent ruling, and was subsequently hit with a German sales injunction -- which won't go into effect until the US case is settled. Motorola claims a technology used across several Microsoft devices, but Microsoft alleges that Motorola demanded an unreasonable licensing fee for the patents.

Microsoft has argued that banning consoles would not serve the public interest, but Shaw claimed that enforcing property rights takes precedence. Though Microsoft could still potentially appeal, the threat of a ban is more real now. Either way, this likely isn't something Microsoft wants hanging over its head as we approach E3.Source: Shacknews

NVIDIA and Intellectual Ventures Partner to Acquire Portfolio of Wireless Patents

NVIDIA and Intellectual Ventures today announced that they have jointly acquired a set of patents developed and owned by IPWireless. The portfolio comprises approximately 500 patents granted and pending in the wireless communications area, including essential concepts in LTE, LTE-Advanced and 3G/4G technologies.

Terms of the acquisition, which closed on April 30, 2012, were not disclosed. Ownership of the patents was split between NVIDIA and IV, with NVIDIA licensing the rights to those patents that it did not acquire. As part of the acquisition, IPWireless retains perpetual, royalty-free access to these patents.

Microsoft Patents Pressure-Sensitive Controller

Since Nintendo pushed the envelope, hardware manufacturers seem intent on making new controller types. Now that each of the big gaming companies have at least dabbled with motion controls, biometric feedback seems to be the next big thing. Sony is looking into biometric controllers to measure factors like sweat and heart rate. Not to be outdone, Microsoft is apparently considering a pressure-sensitive controller. The company has registered a US Patent (8,172,675) for a controller with a "pressure-sensitive exterior surface." The patent suggests that device memory could store the output signatures to identify users simply by how they grip the controller. And confirming that these plans relate to gaming, the patent also mentions the device as "a game controller that interacts with a game console service."

The patent makes repeated mention of the controller being used for identification, but doesn't go much deeper than that. Microsoft could potentially find gaming utilities, but doesn't seem to be going in that direction with the initial patent application. As always, a patent doesn't mean a product will ever come to market.

Source: Shacknews

Samsung Electronics Purchases CORE Flash Portfolio License

Alliacense today announced that Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. has purchased a license for its CORE Flash Portfolio Licensing Program. The agreement resolves the ITC Investigation and District Court lawsuit recently filed against the Korean electronics giant. Samsung joins a rapidly growing list of CORE Flash Portfolio licensees, including Lexmark, ASUStek, Philips and Lenovo.

In order to protect the investments of the CORE Flash licensee community, the successful CORE Flash Licensing Program has been dramatically enhanced with aggressive enforcement activities -- including the filing of two separate waves of patent infringement complaints with the US International Trade Commission (ITC) and US District Court against nearly 40 companies in the past 9 months.

Motorola Wins Sales Injunction in Germany Against Windows 7 and Xbox 360

Earlier this morning, Mannheim Regional Court in Germany granted Motorola a sales injunction against Microsoft's Xbox 360, Windows 7, Internet Explorer, and Windows Media Player. It's no more a question of "if", but "when" the judgement will be enforced. When that happens, Motorola can insist on pulling those products off the German market. Motorola holds two technology patents this case is built around: EP0538667 and EP0615384, which are key to getting the H.264 video compression format to work. Motorola is obliged to license these patents to other under "fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory" (FRAND) terms, however, it demanded royalties from Microsoft that would amount to an excess of US $4 billion annually. Microsoft did not accept Motorola's terms, and knocked the doors of regulators claiming Motorola was being unfair and unreasonable with its patents. A case of patent infringement by Motorola is pending against Microsoft, but it is held up as authorities in the US are yet to ascertain Microsoft's allegations (of Motorola being anti-competitive).

Sources: FOSS Patents, Slashgear

Microsoft and Pegatron Sign Patent Agreement Covering Android and Chrome Devices

Microsoft Corp. and Pegatron Corp. have signed a patent agreement that provides coverage under Microsoft's patent portfolio for a broad array of Pegatron products including eReaders, smartphones and tablets running the Android or Chrome platforms. Although the contents of the agreement have not been disclosed, the parties indicate that Microsoft will receive royalties from Pegatron under the agreement.

"We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Pegatron and proud of the continued success of our Android licensing program in resolving IP issues surrounding Android and Chrome devices in the marketplace," said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel, Intellectual Property Group at Microsoft. "With this agreement, Microsoft has now licensed four of the top five Taiwanese ODMs."
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