Tag Archives: PATENT

Apple’s AirTag is reflected in the newly published patent application | Instant News

Two patent applications filed by Apple seem to reflect the company’s broad expectations Air tag Item tracker (via Apple patent).

The file contains a lot of pictures with the title “Mounting base for wireless locating label“with”Fastener with restraining ring“And described a wirelessly locateable tag that can be used to determine the absolute position of an object in a more precise way than GPS. These patents also reveal great potential Air tag feature.

The filing document outlines “labels for tracking physical objects”, that is, “small, easy-to-shape equipment that can be connected to objects”, and has “reliable structural design to ensure reliable use under various conditions and environments.” They suggested: “The label may be waterproof, or at least splash-proof, and may be able to withstand impacts, drops, or other general injuries caused by the normal use of the label.” It may also be able to provide tactile and audible output.

The image in the patent also depicts the potential design of the label, which coincides with Rumored design There is a metal plate on the back and a plastic shell on the top and sides. It is speculated that a leather pouch with a key ring is also shown.

The tag’s location tracking and orientation capabilities are said to be very accurate, so “smartphones may be able to determine the tag’s location to within three feet, or even within an accuracy of one foot or less.” These patents explain how the entire network environment, including tags, smartphones, computers and other devices, provide functions (presumably through an ultra-wideband connection).

In addition to locating misplaced objects, these tags can also be used to trigger actions on other devices when they are within a certain proximity or direction. The patent gives an example of placing a tag in the lobby of a building so that when an individual enters the lobby, their smartphone can detect the tag within the threshold distance, so that the map of the building becomes automatically displayed in the lobby. On the smartphone.”

The patent also explains that the tag can operate in multiple modes. In the “normal operation mode…, the tag can save power and establish instantaneous or intermittent communication with one or more other devices… to confirm the location, and can exchange certain information about the tag status or location., the tag In fact, other devices can be updated regularly.” Interestingly, this kind of communication can obviously run in a one-way system, although the tag is sent, but the tag has not received any information from other devices.

“In response to the unexpected interruption of communication between the tag and one or more other devices, a “lost mode” will occur, allowing the tag to route encrypted transmissions privately through a third-party device to send information to the owner’s device. In other words, when another person just enters the missing tag, he will quietly find the missing tag, so that the owner can see the location of the tag. Different modes can use the same system to report the status of the tags that have been left at home Location and status, for example, are reported through connections to other devices in the home.

The image also shows the label, which is located in a compact storage box, in the Apple Watch strap, wire or belt, and circuit that can be closed or disconnected. The patent also shows that the tag can be charged by being installed on the base, which may be similar to Apple’s tag. Magnetic safety Charging cable.

Strangely, the image also shows how to place tags on the user’s body to monitor posture, track body movements to control games or avatars, or monitor body movements during exercise.

Tags can also be used in augmented reality and AR games. For example, since the position of the tag can be determined with high accuracy, the tag can be used as an AR chess piece. They can then be replaced visually with computer-generated graphics in an augmented reality environment.

Although the patent does not prove that “AirTags” will have all these functions when it is announced, the length and breadth of the application is shocking.At least, they enhance Apple’s Commitment to UWB technology. However, the close association between these files and various “AirTags” rumors may not be just a coincidence.

For more information about “AirTags”, see our Comprehensive review.


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The Australian livestock industry has noted another disadvantage in an attempt to invalidate US-controlled livestock genome patents | Instant News

There are concerns that research into breeding cattle in Australia could be stopped following another failed attempt by the Australian cattle industry to block a controversial genome patent from the US.

In rulings handed down this week, the Full Court of the Federal Court rejected Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) ‘s appeal against the two previous decisions, handed down in 2018 and 2019.

At the heart of the dispute is the patent, which was filed in 2010 by US firm Branhaven LLC MLA is claimed to have a terrible impact on livestock genome research in Australia.

Patents are defined using common scientific techniques to identify valuable genetic traits in cows, such as the marbling of fat or the production of milk.

And MLA is concerned that in its original form, the patent is so broad that it could cover nearly two-thirds of the livestock genome.

Although MLA failed to remove the patent, MLA managed to make it more specific.

“The overall case decision means that Branhaven LLC and SelecTraits Genomics LLC have been forced to return the broad range of their original Australian patent applications,” MLA said in a statement.

Farmers and scientists fear a patent granted in 2010 could limit their access to genomic testing.(ABC Countryside: Clint Jasper)

The next step

Organizations are considering the impact of the new, narrower form of patent.

“While MLA remains concerned about the cryptic nature of the amended patent application, we are conducting research to map the scope of the reduced patent to the entire Australian cattle genome,” the statement said.

MLA has not yet explained whether to bring the matter to the High Court.

Ashurst’s intellectual property law expert and partner Nina Fitzgerald said the reasons for the appeal were limited.

Full Court The Federal Court was asked to consider two issues selected from the previous two decisions by Justice Beach.

“MLA needs to argue that either or both of these conclusions are wrong as a matter of law and it is necessary in the public interest and for the administration of justice that the High Court intervene,” said Fitzgerald.

“MLA should not be allowed to make new arguments about other invalidity reasons it chooses not to appeal before the Full Court.”

a close-up of a short hair from a cow's tail pinned to a small rectangle of paper, covered with clear tape.
DNA testing kits like this one are used to help cattle breeders select the best stocks for breeding.(ABC News: Roxanne Taylor)

A wider range of problems

Queensland University of Technology’s intellectual property professor Dr Matthew Rimmer shares MLA’s concerns about the patent.

“I am concerned that a broad patent covering the use of genetic markers in cattle breeding impacts the freedoms of Australian researchers and scientists working on Australian agriculture,” he said.

In 2015, the Australian High Court ordered to a Brisbane grandmother which sued US biotechnology company Myriad Genetics in a case that determined that human genetic information that occurs naturally and has not been “created” by human action cannot be patented.

An initial equation was drawn between the two things when an MLA dispute hit the Federal Court.

MLA used the Court of Appeal’s decision in its original argument, but it rejected it, according to Fitzgerald.

“In this case, the discovery is for methods that have to be carried out by humans and with certain criteria that need to be analyzed by humans,” he said.

“Also, when the method is carried out, it allows prediction of whether the cow will have certain commercially significant and valuable traits.

“Therefore, the court concluded it could be patented.”

Dr Rimmer said the decision could have lingering effects on this issue, if it were to continue.

“In my opinion, there are some tensions between the different layers of the courts in Australia regarding their approaches to patent law and biotechnology,” he said.

“So I wonder if the High Court itself thinks that Myriad’s decision should have wider operations or whether it only applies in exceptional circumstances.”

Reform is needed

Although patents can be continued by awarding in an altered form, during the legal process researchers, breeders and politicians have all expressed caution that the patent was granted in the first place.

In 2018, former LNP Queensland senator Barry O’Sullivan offered Federal Government resources to help MLA solve the problem, describing patents as an ‘attack’ on the livestock and dairy industries.

Dr Rimmer said the “very recent” dispute raised bigger questions about whether legislative changes were needed in the agricultural biotech space.

“So when this dispute is resolved, I think there will be further pressure within the Federal Government to consider some policy options, to better balance the patent system with the way it deals with agriculture,” he said.

“And vice versa, in terms of plants – there is a very specific intellectual property system to deal with plant breeding, but we don’t always have the equality when it comes to animal breeding.”


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Sonos uses its speaker technology to file another lawsuit against Google | Instant News

The illustration of the article titled Sonos once again caused a lawsuit against Google with its speaker technology

photo: Adam Clark Estes/Gizmodo

Due to the accidental leakage of Wal-Mart, we can be sure New Google Nest speakers At tomorrow’s meeting Launch night event. Do you know anyone who is not satisfied with this? Sonos.

Earlier today, Sonos submitted a litigation A company in the West End of Texas accused Google of infringing on five of its patents.Especially relevant patents involve features We have gained expectations from smart speakers: fOr, for example, the ability to transfer music playback from a mobile phone to a speaker, control music in different rooms in the house, and adjust the speaker according to the specific acoustic characteristics of the room.

If it sounds familiar, it should be done. This is the second lawsuit filed by Sonos against Google for patent infringement.the first is January. Sonos accused Google of “blatantly and deliberately” copying its speaker technology.A few months later, Google Counterattack, which one It’s equivalent to the tech giant filing his nails and saying: “Hey, I don’t know why you have to accept our dispute. Listed But my dear, don’t forget who helped you integrate your smart assistant into the speaker. ”

Patents themselves are not always so exciting, but you can bet on the ins and outs of who is stealing from whom among high-tech companies Yes.In an emailed statement, Sonos claimed that Technology is the core element of Google’s smart speaker, which is cheaper than any other product Sonos-tick. Sonos is not limited to smart speakers. The lawsuit also lists Google’s various smart home devices, such as Chromecast Audio and Chromecast with Google TV, as well as Pixel phones, Pixel Slate and Pixel Go laptops. Sonos also Previously indicated It believes that Amazon deprived of its technology in the same way.

“This lawsuit illustrates the depth and breadth of our intellectual property rights, and ofWe continue to innovate and show that we believe that Google has copied our innovation,” a Sonos spokesperson told Gizmodo in an e-mail statement. “Google chose to ignore intellectual property rights and smaller American inventors. Important It is important that Sonos, whether for the benefit of itself or other small companies, must stand up against monopolists who try to imitate and fund its further governance. “

As far as the official statement is concerned, come on!Damn the lens Fired.Indeed, Google is in a state of intensive Antitrust Review, Especially more about it Ham-Boxing And dominate the search.Although Google is a larger company, Sonos is a well-known brand and often ranks first on critics’ lists of the best smart speakers, soThe Avengers who dress themselves up as little ones are also…a lot of.Although, Sonos’ This is still worthwhile in an era when big technology has no doubts about it. Promote the company Roads large and small.

In any case, Google will not let Sonos The barb slides.

Google spokesperson Jose Castaneda told Gizmodo: “Sonos made misleading statements about our history of cooperation.” “Our technology and equipment are independently designed. We firmly deny their claims and will defend them.”

It is difficult to say which company will prevail in this legal action. That being said, we love Sonos to continue to sprinkle tea before Google’s “big day” arrives.


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Column: Bitter questions at the core of the German chocolate war | Business | Economic and financial news from a German perspective DW | Instant News

This month, Germany’s highest court passed a verdict that ended a decade-long dispute between two of the country’s favorite chocolate brands: Ritter Sport and Milka.

At the heart of this case are questions that seem better placed in philosophical textbooks than in court: What is the value of the box?

DW Business columnist Kate Ferguson

In 1996, Ritter Sport placed a patent on a square package. This move angered competitors, who considered themselves unfairly limited to rectangles. Milelez’s Mondelez steps in to fight.

Under German consumer law, companies can patent the form. But there is an important unclear caveat attached: the form cannot, by itself, provide value to the product. In other words, the square of the Ritter Sport bar can’t be the reason people buy it.

Milka believes that the square of Ritter Sport is inherent in its value. Moreover, the slogan: “Quadratisch, Practisch, Gut” (Square, Practical, Good) explicitly celebrates its form.

The square shape of the Ritter Sport has nothing to do with its taste

The square shape of the Ritter Sport has nothing to do with its taste

One for history books

This square is also an important part of the corporate story of Ritter Sports. When I first visited the company’s cafe and museum in central Berlin, the story of how Clara Ritter came up with the idea of ​​making chocolate that fits in the pockets of sports fans was proudly displayed on a panel on the wall.

But is the square shape the reason you take the bar and bring it to the cashier? German lawyers spend 10 years debating the question.

Read more: Germany’s best chocolate rating

At this point I must say that I have no horses in the race. There are days when nothing but rum and raisin Ritter Sport will satisfy me and others when only Milka’s bars hit the place.

The German people as a whole show a preference for Milcah. Last year, 36% of Germans surveyed had eaten a Milka in the last four weeks. That compared with 28% for Ritter Sport. Although the difference may seem small, in the country with the highest level of chocolate consumption in Europe – the average German eats 11 kilograms (24 pounds) a year – even a relatively small difference in market share has a large impact on income.

Milka special purple wrapper, protected by patents since 2004

Milka special purple wrapper, protected by patents since 2004

See the value in the form

So: What is the box value?

Nothing, the highest German court in Karlsruhe ruled. Consumers buy Ritter Sport for its content, not its shape. Clothing might make men, but boxes don’t make chocolate. Quadrilateral monopoly can continue.

Of course, it was a heavy blow for Milka. But the company might have empathy. In 2004, he successfully defended his patent for the purple mixture that had adorned the packaging since 1901. More than a century ago and with German tastes of chocolate showing no signs of abating, there may be more bitter disputes in the future.


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Decision of the German High Court Sets the Standard for Negotiations FRAND – Intellectual Property | Instant News

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In a decision written in Sisvel International SA v. Haier Germany GmbH, Germany’s highest court – the Senate Cartel of the German Federal Justice Court (“FCJ”) – stated that, during
pre-suit negotiations, before the patent expires, the executor of the essential-standard patent (“SEP”) must clearly and expressly state their willingness to complete the licensing agreement on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms (“FRAND”). If not, the FCJ believes, the implementers may not be able to hold accountable SEP holders in Europe for anti-competitive behavior. The court also provides guidance on the obligations of SEP holders to avoid misuse of dominance fees, including in the context of filing requests for licensing of SEP portfolios worldwide. Ultimately, this decision provides important guidance for alleged perpetrators and violators of the steps needed to avoid abuse of allegations of dominance and to request the right to FRAND license in Germany.


Sisvel, a notoriously aggressive European non-practice entity, first sent Haier a letter of infringement notification in 2012, which identified hundreds of patents as important to the GSM standard (and, thus, in passing, SEP). Haier initially remained silent in response to Sisvel’s notice, but finally signaled “hope” to enter into formal negotiations, and then a willingness to enter a license with FRAND requirements if (but only if) the court found against Haier. In 2014, Sisvel sued Haier for patent infringement in Germany, requesting (inter alia) orders and destruction of infringed products. In response, Haier filed a defense of compulsory licenses under the EU antitrust laws (Article 102, Treaty on European Union Functions (“TFEU”)). After further proceedings, in 2015, a regional court ordered the defendant’s offense and rejected Haier’s anti-trust defense. On an antitrust dispute appeal, the appeals court concluded in 2017 that Sisvel’s lawsuit was an abuse of a dominant position because Sisvel only offered a discriminatory rate (not the FRAND level), although Haier expressed willingness to take a license for Sisvel’s SEPT. Sisvel appealed, and the FCJ overturned the decision of the appeals court. Sisvel won, with the court concluding that Sisvel was not involved in anticompetitive behavior by, inter alia, seeking the destruction of certain infringing Haier products.

Federal Court Decision

While the FCJ decision touches on a number of points, perhaps the most informative regarding the question of how the negotiating parties must proceed in the FRAND context without violating (or, if the violator is suspected, threatens the claim below) Article 102 of the TFEU.

As a preliminary matter, the Court affirmed Sisvel’s ownership of a dominant position, on the basis that non-standard phones that practiced Sisvel’s patents would not be competitive in the market. The court reasoned that simple patent ownership, even the SEP, was not enough to show market dominance, and that the deciding factor was the economic power granted by certain patents in relation to the related market as a whole. The court explained that the delay in implementing negotiations until after the end of the SEP would remove this dominance. However, the Court concluded, the limits on the ability of SEP owners to seek compensation – such as FRAND obligations or tactics of delay by implementers – depend on whether the behavior of SEP owners is rude, not on whether SEP owners occupy a dominant market position.

After finding Sisvel’s SEPS to occupy a dominant position, the Court continued to overturn the appeal court’s conclusion that Sisvel’s behavior was an abuse of that position. Specifically, the FCJ explained that the FRAND obligation only requires that SEP owners offer implementers
chance to agree to the FRAND requirements, and therefore there is no antitrust obligation in which the executor refuses to agree to take the FRAND license.

The court applied this reason for the behavior of SEP owners and implementers during the negotiations as follows:

According to the Court, where the executor is not aware that he is practicing SEP, the owner of the SEP has an initial obligation to notify the implementer of the patent being violated and the act of infringement (for example, certain technological standards and embodiments). The FCJ notes that graphs of claims, although often adequate, are not mandatory. Importantly, if the SEP holder demands that implementers take portfolio licenses or worldwide licenses for SEP, notification must be addressed to the entire portfolio.

After the SEP holder makes this initial notification, the Court concludes that the SEP owner may have no further obligations unless and until the implementer clearly and expressly states his willingness to finalize the licensing agreement on the FRAND requirements. Here, the FCJ refuses because it does not have a conditional willingness to enter a license under FRAND provisions. In particular, the Court observed that a statement that “we hope to have formal negotiations with you” is not enough. Instead, the Court concluded that “honest” negotiating partners were expected to increase and discuss any uncertainty regarding the validity or infringement of patents offered for licenses. The FCJ further indicates that SEP owners can also be exempt from further obligations if the implementer fails to participate in the next negotiation in a goal-oriented manner. In particular, the FCJ also expressed his view that the alleged offender remained silent “for several months” after the notification of the violation generally indicated that he was not interested in getting a license under FRAND provisions.

Focusing on the owner of the SEP, in the event that the implementer clearly and expressly agrees to enter the FRAND license, the SEP owner must then make sufficient efforts to enable the executor to enter the licensing agreement under FRAND. Although the Court noted that the efforts considered sufficiently depended on the circumstances, the Court gave a number of examples of explanations. Especially:

  • If the executor unconditionally offers to conclude the license agreement on condition that the owner of the SEP cannot refuse without violating his FRAND obligations, the owner of the SEP cannot ignore or reject the offer and request the order.
  • If the implementer states the intention to take a license for the SEP, but cannot easily formulate the FRAND terms themselves, the SEP owner may have an obligation to engage with violators who are accused of negotiating these terms.
  • The SEP owner must also prove the license claim in detail to allow the alleged offender to verify that the conditions are FRAND. In this case, the Court notes that this obligation is very important for portfolio licenses and for licenses for users with products for geographically limited territories. (The FCJ suggests, however, that obligations may not be demanded, noting that the patent owner must inform the alleged infringer that, by applying the technical solutions required by the standard, he is illegally using the teaching of the patent. Accordingly.) The FCJ also notes that the FRAND provisions do not needs to be uniform, and can vary depending on the circumstances of a particular licensee without violating European law, as long as the owner of the SEP has an objective justification. As an example of such justification, the FCJ points to pressure from foreign authorities.

Importance and Implications

Along with the decision expected from the British Supreme Court in England Unwanted planet and Good case, which is
Sisvel the decision of the FCJ is one of several important decisions currently or expected that will likely shape the FRAND Europe doctrine for the foreseeable future, and can have implications in the United States and elsewhere as well. That Sisvel
this decision is very important because it shows that SEP holders and implementers, especially those present in Germany, may have to take certain steps at certain times during licensing negotiations to maintain all rights to FRAND requirements and avoid violating European antitrust laws. . While much remains for future litigation, the decision makes at least the following clear about SEP litigation in Germany:

  • SEP holders can request SEP portfolios or licenses worldwide without having to abuse their market dominance.
  • To avoid anti-competitive behavior, SEP holders who seek licenses must provide adequate notice to implementers that implementers violate certain SEPs or portfolios. The notice notifies the offender who is alleged that, by applying the technical solutions required by the standard, he is illegally using appropriate patent teaching.
  • After receiving notification, in order to retain the rights to the FRAND requirements and the ability to increase the defense of Article 102, an implementer must clearly and expressly indicate a willingness to take a license on the FRAND requirements to be considered a “willing licensee.” The executive must not delay in responding, because the unreasonable delay itself can indicate such lack of willpower.

We can expect the FCJ general guidelines to translate into actual guiding guidelines in future litigation.

Originally published July 23, 2020

The contents of this article are intended to provide general guidance on this issue. Specialist advice should be sought about your particular situation.

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