The Open Invention Network Aims to Protect Linux and Open-Source Software with a Patent Non-Aggression Pact

When we covered Alibaba XT910 RISC-V processor earlier this week, the company confirmed working with open-source companies to make the source code is available for the chip, but that there were legal challenges to do so for a high-performance core. The company did not expand on what legal challenges there were, but I’m pretty sure it’s about patents and potential lawsuits. But there may be a solution, or at least a way for companies to protect themselves to some degree against patent trolls, thanks to the Open Invention Network (OIN) which I discovered in a press release about UNISOC recently joined the organization. So what does the Open Invention Network does exactly? We enable freedom of action for Open Invention Network community members and users of Linux/OSS-based technology through our patent non-aggression cross-license in the “Linux System,” which defines the commitment. We will continue to grow our community and the […]

Your Smartphone Could Become The Brain and Touchpad of Your Laptop (Dock)

Mobile desktop convergence is likely to happen sometimes in the next few years, at least for some users, when your smartphone will be the brain of your laptop or desktop computer. So far I imagined the smartphone would fit into a dock powering the phone – potentially wirelessly – and connects it to a large monitor, extra storage, and a keyboard and mouse. But based on a patent filled by Apple, it may also take another form: a laptop dock where your smartphone fits right where the touchpad is supposed to be. The patent for an “ELECTRONIC ACCESSORY DEVICE” describes “various embodiments of systems and methods for providing internal components for portable computing devices having a thin profile. More particularly, the present application describes an electronic accessory device available to extend and expand usefulness of a portable computing device”. The patent does not appear to describe the interfaces, but presents […]

Dolby Digital (AC3) US Patent Has Expired on February 1, 2017

Many TV boxes cannot play videos with Dolby Digital (AC3 ) audio because they lack the license, except if you use software like Kodi that downmixes the audio, but most apps won’t, and MX Player developers had to remove AC3 support from the Android app previously. But based on a forum post by Popcorn Hour, Dolby Digital AC3 US patent (that one?) has expired at the beginning of this month, so they can legally enable AC3 downmixing in their TV box that previously lacked the license including Popcorn Hour A410U/VTEN-U/A-500U/A-500 PRO-U. That’s probably good news for other TV boxes too, as going forward, there’s no need to have Dolby Digital license to play AC3 content. Hopefully, apps and firmware images will be updated to reflect this change. You’ll still need a license for newer formats like Dolby True HD and Dolby Atmos however. Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft)Jean-Luc started CNX Software in […]

Technology Patent Wars Infographic

You may have heard of patent fights between Samsung and Apple with ensuing delays in product launches, or even the recent Oracle vs Google patent fight. Visual.ly has created an infographic about the rampant patent wars in the US Tech Industry which shows just how messy patent fights in US courts are. This must really be a boon for lawyers. The external ring of the chart shows the alliances or patent purchases between companies. The busiest companies on the patent war front seem to be Apple, ZTE and Microsoft. Google is by far the company who bought the most existing patents mainly from Motorola Mobility (17,000 patents) and IBM (2,094 patents). Via visually. Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft)Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011. www.cnx-software.com

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