Apple vs Google- This Time for Kodak’s Patents

We here at Mobile Sports Report often talk about the issues related to patents, and all of the lawsuits that have resulted in the current turf wars. The reason is that it can and is having an impact on what types of technology your mobile devices can use and their cost.

The net result of this is the enhance the value of companies, and even ones that are fading away find that in their dusty vaults they might have some that are worth a mint, one such case being Eastman Kodak Co., which recently declared bankruptcy.

Now two groups are bidding for its 1,100 patents, and to the surprise of no one, they have members that have been some of the most aggressive in defending their patents against each other. In one corner we have Apple along with Microsoft, an earlier ally in patent purchasing, and Intellectual Ventures Management LLC, a patent aggregation firm.

In the other corner is Google, patent aggregation firm RPX Corp and three of Google’s Android smartphone hardware manufacturers, Samsung, HTC and LG Electronics according to a piece in the Wall Street Journal. It is reported that Kodak is seeking $2.6 bn for the patents.

While the Apple and Microsoft team paid $4.5 bn for Nortel patents some time ago, it is questionable if Kodak’s will go for any such sky high figure due to some disputes over the validity of some of its patents, yet the importance of owning patents seems to have never been more important in high tech.

The Apple vs Samsung lawsuit that opened in San Jose yesterday is an example of how potentially important the patents are as Apple is claiming billons in damages from Samsung infringing on its patents. There were dozens of articles on the start of the case yesterday and at least one paper was live blogging the case, starting with jury selection.

But there are plenty of other examples, the Oracle vs Google case that was at one time expected to bring billions to Oracle and Motorola winning some against Microsoft and potentially banning the Xbox and asking for sizable compensation is another case in point. All of these costs will get passed on to the consumers at some point.

Friday Grab Bag: Too Many Penguin Texts? Free Wi-Fi for Intel.

Barry Bonds was interviewed last week and it seems that the former Pirates and Giants slugger is interested in taking a role in baseball. He met with Giants team executives about a role for himself with the squad.

Bonds has a personal service contract with the team that has apparently been inactive while he went through his trial and now that it’s behind him is looking for it to become active. I guess if Mark McGwire can return why not Bonds? I think sports reporters cringe at the idea.

The Patent Wars — A visual representation
The number of patent lawsuits seems to be increasing geometrically in the last few months as company after company either sues or countersues rivals. It has gotten so big that it is almost impossible to stay on top of all of the suits, lower and up court rulings along with alliances and patent sell-offs.

Now a site called has set it out in a graphic format that sets out the details much clearer. It shows who is selling patents to whom, and how many. It shows the back and forth suits between players such as Microsoft and Motorola. Head over and see if you can figure it out.

Technicolor seeks to enforce 40,000 patents
Remember Technicolor? You still occasionally see its logo on older movies, particularly many of the early classics that were filmed in color. Well the company has apparently been working to enforce a range of patents that it owns and its prime target appears to be mobile devices such as handhelds and smartphones.

The company said that the patents are in areas such as video, audio and optics and it has a team of 220 people that are dissecting products to see if and how they might violate its patents. The licensing division at the company represents a growing revenue and profit stream.

The Mariners erupt for lots of runs — and Twitter fans celebrate
I know from experience that it is always hard to stay positive about your favorite baseball team when they are playing poorly and it looks like it will be a very long season of poor play and lots of losses. The Mariner fans have seen their team flounder a bit but it certainly rose to the occasion when the Texas Rangers came to town this week.

Two high scoring games by the team, with one final score more closely resembling a football score had the teams’ fans sharing their enjoyment on Twitter. I do not follow the team on Twitter but was surprised to see the results when MLB pointed it out and directed users over to its Twitter Hub, a site I had previously missed. Interesting place.

Intel/Devicescape a Boon to Mobile Devices Owners with Intel Inside
Intel has reached a deal with a company called Devicescape that will enable users of ultrabooks and tablets that are using select Intel technology to gain free access to a network of 7 million public Wi-Fi spots. Using a feature called ‘enhanced connectivity’ that is in some Intel-powered devices a use can connect to Devicescape’s Curated Virtual Network (CVN).

The CVN has the ability to update a wide range of apps such as Facebook, email and Twitter on the device even if that device is in sleep mode. It even has the ability to log in to select networks that require that.

Cisco claims 2.5 web connections for each person on earth by 2016
In an annual survey conducted by Cisco Systems it predicted that by 2016 the number of Internet connections in the world would grow to 18.9 billion, a growth that is being driven by the demand and deployment of mobile devices.

The survey said that last year there was a mere 10.3 billion connections and that the biggest traffic growth would come from India, Brazil and South Africa. Sounds like a good time to be a networking company.

Pittsburgh Penguins abuse fan via Text
A fan is suing the Pittsburg Penguins hockey team over disregarding the terms of an agreement that he signed with the team and claims that it is sending him too many text messages. The agreement limits the team to three text messages a week and in the first week it sent 5 and the following week 4. He is seeking class action suit status and wants unspecified damages. The horror, the horror.

Twitter use slowly growing, survey says
The Pew Internet & American Life Project takes a look at Twitter use and finds that its adoption rate is stable and slowly growing, from 11% of US adults last May 2011 to 15% one year later. The study found that daily usage had increased to 8% of Internet users.

The biggest growth area, probably not too surprising, was in younger Internet users, in the 18-24 year old space, which tripled in the last year.

Google files antitrust complaint against Microsoft/Nokia
Google is claiming in an antitrust complaint that Microsoft and Windows phone ally Nokia use of patents has been done in such a way as to disrupt Google’s Android business. The complaint, filed with the European Commission, claims that the two plaintiffs, and others, are conspiring to enforce their patents in relation to smartphones and then splitting the resulting revenue.

Friday Grab Bag: Digitized Swimsuit Issue-Where do I sign up?

Ford to show at Mobile World Congress

At the Mobile World Congress there will no doubt be an array of interesting products and technologies introduced, and there will be at list one show first- Ford plans to launch a car at the show. The B-MAX to be exact.

Ford has one of the keynote speeches at the show and it has been revealed that it will take the wraps off of the car that has what it calls Easy Access Door System, but it claims that as yet unrevealed technology in the car is what it will be touting at the show.

ESPN to increase soccer coverage?
After ESPN lost in its bid to broadcast the upcoming 2018 and 2022 World Cups it seemed that all of the progress the network had made in its coverage of soccer would all go down the drain. However the Big Lead reports that in an interview with the World Wide Leader major changes are in the works to improve its coverage.

It reported that after this summer’s European Championships there will be a major effort to massively overhaul ESPN’s presence online. It currently has two separate sites that cover the sport so simply consolidating them would be a positive step forwards.

BlackBerry takes a hit as Government agency moves to rivals
Research in Motion, reeling from a bad year just got more unpleasant news as the U.S. Government’s General Service Administration, its primary procurement agency, has started issuing smartphones that run both the Android and Apple iOS operating systems.

Until recently RIM’s BlackBerry had been the only option available from the GSA. However it is not all dire news as the BlackBerry is still the most widely used device among the RSA’s 17,000 employees and currently the rivals’ only account for approximately 5% in a trial program that is just now starting. However once the camel’s nose is in the tent watch out for the rest of the beast.

Apple seeking blood from a stone?
Apple has asked a bankruptcy court for permission to sue Kodak for infringement. That is just the tip of the iceberg according to Cnet, which reports that Apple is also seeking to file a patent infringement claim with the International Trade Commission and plans to file a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Manhattan.

Apple is already a two time loser in regards to taking Kodak in front of the ITC, which has ruled that Kodak did not infringe on Apple’s patents. Kodak has returned fire and last month filed a suit against Apple saying it violated some of Kodak’s patents.

Apple wins round in Germany vs Motorola
Apple has won a major round in its ongoing patent disputes with Motorola Mobility when the Munich I Regional Court ruled in favor in regards to patent # EP1964022. Not familiar with that one, are you? Well it has to do with unlocking a device using a gesture on an unlock image.

Apple will now have the opportunity to defend the side and lock patent as Motorola has already appealed the decision. The court looked at three different implementations of the technology and Apple won on two, losing on the third, which is used by Xoom tablets.

Apple is also asserting the same patent against Samsung sop expect to hear more about this issue going forward.

Looking for a more digital Sports Illustrated? It is here.
One of the coming of age items for high school students was squirreling away the annual Sports Illustrated Swim Suit issue before the parental units could confiscate it. Well now you can view it, and all of the magazines content, in a growing array of digital formats.

The latest is available for iPads, with horizontal and vertical views available as well as for the iPhone for the Apple fans and then it’s also available for Android smartphone and tablet users. All for the low, low price of $6.99.

However there is also a range of video options as well including much that is exclusive to the tablet market. Then a user could simply also head over to for additional video, as well as YouTube and Facebook.

Google fixes Wallet Security Hole
Your digital pocket can no longer be picked, according to Google, which has issued a fix for the security flaw that was reported in its Google Wallet. While there are still threats to the security, the simply method that required almost no hacking skill has been resolved.

Along with putting in a fix for the security gap Google has made some additional enhancements to the Wallet, head over to Pocketnow for a run down.

Camping stove boils water and charges smartphones
Looking forward to the backpacking season but worried that your smartphone’s battery will not handle three days in the great outdoors? Well BioLite has just the tool for you, a stove that burns wood for cooking and can also generate electricity.

The CampStove does both by using the thermal energy created when a fire is kindled in it to run a thermoelectric module that is built into the side of the stove. The module runs a fan that blows air onto the fire to improve combustion but also has excess energy available.

That energy can be used to charge small electronics devices such as a mobile phone, a GPS or lights. Of course if you backpack with back to nature types the stove might not help you stave off attack from your friends for using your phone.