ip

The Samsung Focus or ZTE Orbit?

The US Congressional Intelligence Committee has labeled Huawei and ZTE as security threat to the US and is advising firms to not do business with them. This follows after an 11-month investigation into both companies where their cooperation on certain matters was, according to the committee, sufficiently lacking.

The charges (at least for Huawei) go back a few years here in the US where they were accused of high-level espionage of Nortel, with some even alleging that their IP theft helped destroy the company (see the excellent CNBC documentary on it here).

Cisco and Motorola have also accused Huawei of either stealing IP or their own employees to gain knowledge of those companies. In addition, charges of bribery, corruption and discriminatory behavior have been alleged too.

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Nokia has recently sold 450 patents to Sisvel, an italian Intellectual property manager. Of those, 350 patents spanning across 33 families encapsulate key wireless technologies like GSM, UMTS/WCDMA, and LTE. Although Nokia nor Sisvel are going into details of the deal, it's expected that Nokia will retain the rights to use these patents, and likely collect on some of the ongoing royalties, but Sisvel will likely get a cut of royalties in exchange for actively protecting the patents in the courtroom. 

It might seem natural that Nokia hold onto these patents with an iron fist and squeeze every penny-worth of royalties out of them, but legal costs can add up; by incentivizing an outside source to do the trolling while possibly still getting some of the royalties themselves, Nokia will be able to focus their resources (both legal and monetary) on Windows Phone. It will be interesting to see how aggressive Sisvel is in protecting the patents, and if they're able to lock down any big licensing deals that Nokia wasn't able to. The last big case Nokia won was against Apple, so I have a hard time imagining that Nokia has left any stone unturned. 

Source: IntoMobile

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Update: Mango does support IPv6

A few days ago, it was rumored that IPv6 (see Wikipedia), the upcoming network protocol was currently not supported in Windows Phone 7.0 (evidently started because our browser cannot connect to a IPv6 website).

Fast forward today and now there's information through Microsoft that suggests that this is "fixed" in WP7 Mango. If you head to MSDN, you'll see listed under 'Fields' what appears to be full-support for IPv6 on board in OS v7.1 aka Mango.

What that all means of course is there's nothing to see here, don't worry, our new OS does not have an Achilles heel when it comes to web-browsing--assuming nothing major happens in the next 6 months.

Source: MSDN; via Plaffo

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Intellectual property is a tough area in software and game development--often the lines are blurred and depending on how fierce the IP owner is, enforcement has a huge ranged from nothing too stringent.

Windows Phone developer Marios Karagiannis who has published the popular 'Monster Up' game has another in the Marketplace called 'Tetrada' which yes, is very much a Tetris clone. He just received a C&D letter from "Norris McLaughlin & Marcus, P.A. Attorneys at Law, on behalf of the Tetris Company asking us to remove Tetrada from the Marketplace because they say it looks too similar to their game and violates the copyright of Tetris (TM)."

Marios, being an indie, student developer is of course complying as he has no resources to take on such a company--who has been vehement about enforcing their IP of the Tetris brand on other platforms. The question is, of course, what does the Tetris company have a claim on? The name? The logo or the actual game play? We're not sure, but Marios is under the impression it is just the name/logo, not the game play itself, in which case his game does not violate their copyright.

The game is being pulled as we speak from the Marketplace and had fetched for $0.99. We bought it anyways, because hey, these things are now like collector items. Having said that, it's actually a darn nice game--outstanding graphics, good UI and a pleasure to play. And that's probably the rub here: this game was better than the Tetris brand on Windows Phone (see review).

Either way, consider this fair warning for other Tetris clones in the Marketplace, of which there seem to be quite a few.

While we won't take a position on the merits of the IP dispute here (you can do that in comments if you wish) you can read the developer's thoughts here on his blog. (And if you want to try and snag Tetrada while you can, it's here).

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