Apple has been defending itself against a patent infringement suit file by Google. The bone of contention was Google’s patent to make the popular iPhones. The matter was pending before the US International Trade Commission that ruled that Apple did not violate Google’s patent.
Google alleged that apple has violated six patents for iPhone-related technology that range from reducing signal noise to programming the device’s touchscreen so that a user does not accidentally activate it while talking on the phone.
If Apple had been found guilty of violating Google’s patent, its devices could have been banned from being imported into the United States. Google has now the option to appeal against this decision to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. As on date, Google is exploring all available options in this regard.
It seems Google would not be able to successfully pursue Android’s wide-scale patent infringement issues through litigation over Motorola’s patents, which have given it no real leverage so far. Google has been unable to deter third-party patent holders such as Apple, Microsoft and Nokia from enforcing their rights.
Recently the Mannheim Regional Court decided that Google’s Motorola Mobility is not entitled to an injunction against Microsoft over its push notification patent because Google owes Microsoft a license under an ActiveSync license agreement.
It seems Google has to revisit its intellectual property rights protection and licensing arrangement so that it may not face any more defeats in the patent infringement suits.
Apple has been very active in protecting its intellectual property rights. Recently, USPTO granted Apple trademarks for its retail outlets designs and layout. However, Apple is also on the receiving end via-a-vis other’s intellectual property violations. For instance, Apple was recently fined in Beijing Court for unauthorised e-book sales.
Patent litigations are on rise around the world. Japanese company Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) accused Chinese company CSR Sifang of stealing its Shinkansen bullet trains. Similarly, Novartis lost the patent claims of Novartis AG’s cancer treatment drug Glivec in Supreme Court of India.
Intellectual property has become a policy matter as well. A proposed U.S. legislation would target companies using stolen intellectual property of U.S. The Copyright Amendment Act, 2012 of India has strengthened digital rights protection of copyrighted works in India. Similarly, the idea of conferring utility models protection in India is also under consideration.
The coming time would be really tough for those who wish to enforce their intellectual property rights around the world.