Tag: us patent office

Lodsys Patent Troll Hits First BlackBerry Developer – Will RIM Step Up?

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Lodsys has been making headlines over the past few months as it has been sending letters to developers across iPhone, Android and now BlackBerry, saying the developers are infringing on its patents by using in-app payments. Let’s be clear about something before we continue: Lodsys does not design, code, build or engineer a single product. Lodsys simply owns a small number of vague patents and has been sending demand letters to dozens of large and small companies. Click through to continue reading about the first BlackBerry developer hit with a demand letter from Lodsys.
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iOS Developers Targeted With Patent Lawsuits For In-App Payment Use

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lawyer dbags

The Internet is on fire lately after several indie iOS developers received notices of infringement giving them 21 days to respond. The patent that these developers are being accused of infringing is US Patent 7222078 and it vaguely covers the in-app purchase or upgrade process. This sort of patent lawsuit is really worrying because mobile developers in general don’t make a lot of money and cutting into these revenues could stifle the software market. According to the patent firm Lodsys, they would be seeking 0.575% of US revenue. Here is the official statement:

In the case of an Application doing an in-application upgrade (and only this scenario), Lodsys is seeking 0.575% of US revenue over for the period of the notice letter to the expiration of the patent, plus applicable past usage. So on an application that sells US$1m worth of sales in a year, the licensee would have an economic exposure of $5,750 per year.

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US Patent Office Issues Both Poynt and Where Similar Geofence Patents

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geofence

Today, Poynt announced that Poynt Corp. has been issued a patent for delivering location-based offers and coupons to smartphones based on GPS location and user profile. The patent, which Poynt says was originally claimed in 2000, enables Poynt to match users with relevant deals and coupons within any pre-defined geographic area (a geofence). The patent number is 7,870,229, and is described as:

“A network adapted to target an individual operating a microcomputer that is linked to an Internet to offer this individual goods or services appropriate to his needs that are available at a place within reach of the individual’s present location.”
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RIM Files Patent for Visually Impaired BlackBerry Interface

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Patent filing doesn’t really mean anything as RIM files patents on a constant basis. The company has an incredibly inflated legal department, and if you’re an employee working on anything relatively unique, you will surely be submitting patents. That being said, RIM has filed a very relevant patent recently: a “multi-tap keyboard user interface” that will provide auditory feedback to BlackBerry users who are visually impaired.

With this auditory feedback system, a user can invoke applications by pressing a specific set of keys. Each key has a specific audio message, allowing a visually impaired user to navigate the device effectively.

We have seen a few software solutions that are geared towards helping the visually impaired use a BlackBerry and they’re very expensive. It would be really interesting if RIM gave the OS this software natively as it would save the visually impaired a great deal of money.

RIM Re-Files Patent for New Conference Call Interface

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We’ve said it a million times, but filing a patent doesn’t prove RIM is going to implement, but at least it puts it a little closer in the realm of possibility. RIM recently re-filed a patent for a conference call interface that looks very much in line with the sort of uber-visual interface we’ve seen with BlackBerry 6. From the patent drawings, we can see the conference call interface displays avatars of those in the call, along with some information about the person such as name and phone number.

While there isn’t much to see here other than some design mockups, it looks like a great start. A more visual conference call experience is something I would love on my BlackBerry, and would add a little more functionality to the experience. I’m going to assume this new conference call feature allows you to select those on the call and interact with them over email, BBM etc.

What would you like to see improved in conference calls on BlackBerry?

More patent information available here.

New RIM Patent Aims To Speed Up Your Internet Connection

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BBproxy

RIM have filed a patent with the US Patent and Trademark office that seeks to speed up your Internet connection by setting up a proxy server on the device. The patent is titled “SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR ENHANCING NETWORK BROWSING SPEED BY SETTING A PROXY SERVER ON A HANDHELD DEVICE.”
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