patent

Skype is Microsoft's gem when it comes to communication services for both consumers and enterprise. Video calling enables folk to remain in contact when the only connection is a network and the company could well be looking to add live annotation capabilities to Skype. This would enable users who are conferencing over supported devices to make live annotations that can be exchanged with the recipient.

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Microsoft has filed a lawsuit against Acacia Research Corp on Wednesday for breaking a contract to license various smartphone and mobile computing technologies. The litigation has been filed in the U.S. District Court in New York, but is currently under a seal. There are not a lot of details available, but this follows a number of patent infringement lawsuits brought by Acacia subsidiaries against Microsoft in October in Texas, Delaware and Illinois.

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Wearable devices are the next big thing in consumer electronics. We’re already seeing the beginning of the future with things like the Fitbit family of devices and Samsung’s recent “Galaxy Gear” smartwatch. Rumors of devices from both Microsoft and Nokia have picked up recently. Supposedly, we’ve even seen what is potentially an entry from Nokia in the smartwatch market. Now, a recent patent filed from Nokia adds more fuel to the fire for a future smartwatch.

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Finnish manufacturer Nokia has scored a victory against HTC today with a British court ruling in its favour over mobile telecoms technology. The judge concluded that HTC had infringed on a European patent held by Nokia - "Modulator structure for a transmitter and a mobile station." Nokia has been in a dispute against HTC in the past, as well as Apple and other tech giants.

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Smartwatches (or rather, wearable gadgets) have become the new thing to own.

From Fitbit to Google Glass, to Samsung's Galaxy Gear, companies are also looking at ways to improve the watch. Numerous smartwatch concepts have popped up across the web, but now Nokia is looking to get in with all the action. An application from Nokia to the Patent and Trademark Office has been spotted, with a modular watch design.

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File this one under mildly interesting, but if you head to Nokia’s website and type in ‘2520’ the results reveal a new FAQ section entitled ‘What is a tablet?’. Clicking the link though doesn’t reveal much except a generic placeholder quote stating “The tablet lets you access internet, see movies and listen to music.”

Of course, Nokia has had a tablet-like device in the past, namely the Nokia N800. As a result, typing in just ‘tablet’ will bring up numerous links referencing that device. But it is interesting that something as specific as ‘2520’ will return a result with ‘tablet’, meaning this isn’t a coincidence i.e. typing in a random four-digit combo doesn't bring back the same result.

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Just over two weeks ago, Microsoft announced plans to buy the hardware and services division of Nokia. It’s the part of the company that actually makes all the hardware you’ve come to appreciate over the years. The remainder of Nokia will focus on three core businesses: location services (Here platform), Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN), and its advanced technologies division.

Nokia also keeps its patents portfolio, which Microsoft has licensed for 10 years. For others, they'll continue to need to pay royalties to use patents that Nokia owns and Nokia will continue to protect those patents. It’s happening right now in Germany. And according to one patent analyst, Nokia is closing in on one victory over a USB configuration patent against HTC.

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On modern email systems, there is method by which one can “flag” a message based on importance. Anyone who has used Exchange should be familiar with this concept. The point of it is of course to help users triage that which is important from that which is not. If a message comes in with a highly urgent flag on it, you’re more likely to read it and not miss it.

Why not have the same thing for phone calls? That’s what Microsoft is asking and they have evidently filed a claim on the patent to bring that feature to fruition.

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It has been revealed that Microsoft has delved into voice-controlled camera technology. The US Patent & Trademark Office has published a patent application filed by the company, which would introduce speech commands for camera operation on a smartphone. Just when you thought the handsfree approach couldn't go any more... well... handsfree.

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We’ve got quite the variety when you look at the sea of tablets, slates, ultrabooks, and convertibles we have now in the Windows 8 landscape. Crazy designs like the ThinkPad Yoga and Dell XPS 12 spring to mind when thinking of the different ways manufactures have differentiated themselves.

Microsoft threw a wrench into the traditional PC world last June when it announced the Surface family of devices. The Surface is also unique in its design and has recently been awarded a design patent for it's Touch keyboard cover and magnetic coupling.

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Nokia may be set to hop onto the train to join both Apple and Microsoft in signing patent deals with Android manufacturers. Nokia has put forward two patent infringement claims against ViewSonic and it's been confirmed that both parties are willing to strike a deal. This will prove to be yet another blow to Google with a hardware partner validating Nokia's claims that its platform has IP infringement issues.

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HTC and Nokia set for patent wars

HTC can't seem to catch a break. Having only recently just settled with Apple over patent disputes, the Taiwanese company is preparing to battle Nokia over 32 different issues around the globe. The patent allegations range from syncing databases within a time to solutions with antennae design. If you're interested in the whole list of complaints, head over here.

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Fan concept of a Nokia Tablet

The notion that Nokia may be working on a tablet is not really controversial—members of the company have said as much in recent months. Rumors go back that they had Meego tablet in the works before that whole Microsoft deal squashed the future of that platform for the company. Indeed, we’re not a 100% sure of what to make of the two patents filed by Nokia for tablets, just that they have them.

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Just don't whack it too hard...

What a way to round off the working week with a humorous patent that has been filed by Microsoft. If implemented into Windows Phone, we'll be looking to "whack off" our phones should they start ringing. Depending on what the term "whack" means in the society you belong to, it usually involves utmost satisfaction followed by intense drowsiness, or crying children - but please attempt to stay with us without chuckling while we check out how Microsoft will allow us to whack our phones.

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Next Windows Phone 8 device or just the Lumia 719?

We’ve already seen one Nokia patent application for a design of a new Windows Phone that looked a lot like the alleged ‘Phi’. Now a second design has come forward dated for August 21st, also revealing what maybe the next low to mid-range Lumia phone. Or is it just an old one?

Not much can be garnered from the images though it does look a bit like the leaked ALPS images for a recent screen bezel/digitizer. The phone to our eyes looks like a cross between the Lumia 610 and 710. (Update: Actually, it's a dead ringer for the Lumia 719).

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We're already aware of the result for the Apple versus Samsung US patent battle, which left Samsung with a $1 billion bill. It really couldn't have gone worse for the smartphone manufacturer who has interest in both Android and Windows Phone (the penalty phase returns on September 20th though). Google remained fairly quiet on the front, but has released a statement that details an expected stance on the court results.

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The Nokia Phi as seen by the USPTO

Adding to the earlier news about the new Nokia phone, codename ‘Phi’ coming to AT&T, the site Liveside have managed to uncover a new patent filing that appears to reveal the new device in submitted drawings.

At first brush, the device looks a lot like the Lumia 800 and 900 but upon closer inspection, it matches nearly to the ‘t’ the previous images of the Phi that were leaked out earlier this month.

One immediate item that we noticed is the screen is not curved. Although the Verge this morning mentioned this as a feature, from the images and bezel leak that we’ve seen, curved glass does not appear to be a feature and these drawings confirm that notion.

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