With all the talk of Android and Apple lawsuits lately, we’re forgetting that Microsoft has played a part in this mess as well, forcing at least some Android partners into licensing agreements due to patent infringements.
Intellectual Property expert and Foss Patent guru Florian Mueller put together a list of the 11 patents, both from Apple and Microsoft that Android has been found guilty of infringing upon:
- Patent EP2059868 on a “portable electronic device for photo management.” Foss Patents calls this the “photo gallery page-flipping patent.”
- U.S. Patent No. 7,469,381 on “list scrolling and document translation, scaling and rotation on a touch-screen display.” This patent covers “over scroll bounce or “rubber-banding patent.” In other words, when checking your email and you pull down to refresh, the list bounces back up. Apple owns a patent on that and Samsung has copied it.
- U.S. Design Patent No. D 618,677 on an “electronic device.” A general patent related to the iPhone’s industrial design.
- U.S. Patent No. 5,946,647 on a “system and method for performing an action on a structure in computer-generated data.” When you tap on a phone number or email and it brings up the option to dial or email, Apple owns a patent on this.
- EP1964022 on “unlocking a device by performing gestures on an unlock image.” This is the slide-to-unlock patent that is now embroiled in the Galaxy Nexus injunction suit.
- U.S. Patent No. 6,370,566 on “generating meeting requests and group scheduling from a mobile device.” This is a Microsoft-based patent. This is when you send a mobile calendar invitation and it generates a meeting request.
- EP1304891 on “communicating multi-part messages between cellular devices using a standardized interface.” This is when you send a text message more than 160 characters and the phone breaks it up into multiple messages. Microsoft owns a patent that combines the multiple texts into one long message. Apple pays Microsoft a patent fee to license the technology.
- U.S. Design Patent No. D 504,889 on an “electronic device.” This general patent covers the iPad’s design. This is the patent that created an injunction on the Galaxy Tab 10.1.
- U.S. Patent No. 8,086,604 on a “universal interface for retrieval of information in a computer system.” Apple owns the right to Siri and this is a patent on Siri-style unified search. This ruling is why the Galaxy Nexus is now under injunction align with the slide-to-unlock.
- U.S. Patent No. 8,046,721 on “unlocking a device by performing gestures on an unlock image.” This is a second slide-to-unlock patent.
- U.S. Patent No. 8,074,172 on a “method, system, and graphical user interface for providing word recommendations.” This is an autocorrect patent.
If you want a complete rundown on the 11 patents, Foss Patents is the go-to place for learning more about the ongoing litigation among these matters. It seems like no matter what we hope for, every week finds another lawsuit in the mobile industry and it’s beginning to be a running joke. I’d just love to see all of this energy go to research and development and some Minority Report technology on.