Having Been Attacked by Battery Life Patents in Europe, Google Pursues Battery Life Software Patents
Summary: After a patent attack from the Microsoft-led Nokia, Google is getting awarded a software patent in a similar area; Spain sues to impede the unitary patent in Europe
Microsoft boosting sites continue to parade for Microsoft’s spinning of extortion as transparency — an issue we covered here days ago. Google continues to receive positive coverage after making this pledge, but in the mean time we learn about Google getting a patent on software, which even Android sites are baffled by. To quote Phandroid‘s post about software patents: “When a person uses Google Wallet to pay for purchases at a McDonald’s or a 7-Eleven, the tapping motion and the payment are not the most important aspects of the invention in the eyes of the law. It is what happens during the brief moment between those two actions, detailed within valuable documents. However, it is not simply just what happens when you tap to pay, but what happens when it does not work. Some examples to elaborate on this are: What if your account cannot be verified? What if your account balance is insufficient? What if in the process of paying, the power goes out – on your device, or in the store? What if your account balance is deducted, but the store’s system says you have not paid? What happens next? What is the process that takes place?”
“Google continues to receive positive coverage after making this pledge, but in the mean time we learn about Google getting a patent on software, which even Android sites are baffled by.”This is grounds for business methods and software patents. Very iffy indeed. We’ll cover that in the next post.
Here is another report about Google’s new software patent. It says that “Google has been granted a patent for reducing the quality of a mobile device’s display in order to preserve battery life as it dwindles, according to a report from DroidLife. The patent describes a system that disables animations or even reduces the resolution of the screen in service of reducing the display’s battery usage.”
Speaking of Europe, The FFII’s president calls Uniloc “a Luxembourg-based patent troll,” citing the contact page. Uniloc is a patent troll with international ambitions (sometimes it calls itself Uniloc USA) and it contacted Techrights in an effort to whitewash its name. The software patents debate in Europe is still not a resolved one. Spain was being blackmailed to let the unitary patent go forward and Spain is now suing. As lawyers in London put it:
Spain takes Parliament and Council to Court over “Unitary Patent Package”
The battle between David and Goliath is entering the second round. Spain has brought two last minute actions before the Court of Justice (Cases C-146/13 and C-147/13) against Regulations 1257/2012 of 17 December 2012 implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of the creation of unitary patent protection (OJ 2012, L 361/1) and 1260/2012 on the applicable translation arrangements (OJ 2012, L 361/89). There is no parallel action against the Regulations to be expected from Italy, which already signed the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court.
The pleas in law of the Spanish action are not yet accessible, but the chances of success do look promising. The mutation from an autonomous patent for the European market to the hitherto unknown schizophrenic creature of a “European patent with unitary effect” has left deep scars, and every one of them could be taken up before the Court.
“Thank you Spain,” the FFII’s president writes.”As a result, the CJEU is confronted with a patent which is in fact just an empty shell” (we sure hope so).
We’re at an important crossroad where software patents can either implode internationally or spread everywhere. Google’s actions are not helping. █