So, Microsoft spent over a billion dollars to out-bid Google on a bunch of patents from AOL. But WHY? AOL isn’t exactly a major player in the game anymore and the bulk of their patents haven’t been put into practical use for years.
Many in the industry are assuming that Microsoft did it out of their usual trying-to-beat-Google-to-the-punch philosophy, but it turns out that Microsoft (finally) had an ulterior motive (especially since Google never officially announced an interest in the patents).
Apple sure has given us a lot of funky and awesome tech. And the surprises certainly ain’t over, even after the untimely demise of Steve Jobs, Apple still has trick up its iSleeve. The future innovation from the innovation king is coming in the form of uber-chic, solar-powered Apple products (including laptops, tablets and smartphones). New patents filed with the US Patent and Trademark office clearly state plans to use an “apparatus and methods for harnessing external light to illuminate a display screen of an electronic device.”
These newest solar patents from Apple intend to use sunlight to light-up the screen of their Macs, iPhones and iPads (as the patent was filed for laptops, smartphones and tablets). The screens will be illuminated using one, or a combination of, light harnesses, reflectors and/or translucent surfaces.
It was about two months ago when the news of Google being sued by Oracle broke out. The row between the two technology stalwarts was with regard to Google’s violation of copyrights and patents related to Java; which was acquired by Oracle along with Sun Microsystems during the initial months of this year. The terse claimed that Google “knowingly, directly and repeatedly infringed Oracle’s Java-related intellectual property.”
The complaint (pdf), wherein the he U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, says that “Android (including without limitation the Dalvik VM and the Android software development kit) and devices that operate Android infringe one or more claims of each of United States Patents Nos. 6,125,447; 6,192,476; 5,966,702; 7,426,720; RE38, 104; 6,910,205; and 6,061,520.”