Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL), for being the largest tech company in the world, certainly had a hard time being in the background when it comes to tech news. If something is happening in the tech world, Apple (AAPL) is somehow mentioned, even when it doesn’t intend to be. Why? Because it is so big, most every piece of tech news involving a company inevitably gets compared to Apple one way or another. But on this day, Apple is busy even by its own standards when it comes to intellectual property news. The reports involving Cupertino have to do with one IP lawsuit being closed, another one being initiated, and the company adding two more patents to its robust portfolio. Let’s take a quick look at the IP news items, which all will likely be digested by investors like billionaire fund manager Bill Miller of Legg Mason Capital Management over the coming days and weeks and how these might affect future fortunes of Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL).
HTC v. APPLE – LET’S CALL THE WHOLE THING OFF!
HTC, a struggling handset company, has been going back and forth in courtrooms with claims and counterclaims of patent infringement with Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL), and the two companies have now met over a conference room table and reached a 10-year licensing deal in exchange for the dismissal of all pending lawsuits. No further details about the deal are forthcoming at this point, but with HTC market share cut in half over the last year (11 percent down to 5 percent), it would seem that the deal would keep HTC viable for at least a while longer.
TWO NEW PATENTS
Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been awarded a couple of new patents, both of which have to do with touch sensors and touchscreen technology. One patent allows for multiple items to be selected (similar to holding down the “Ctrl” button and the mouse on a keyboard) and activated at the same time, which would save energy to the device in terms or processing these requests. The other patent is a bit more broad and complex, but it has something do with eliminating a lot of unnecessary information when a user selects a category of interest in a particular location. While finding information has been made easier, apparently the challenge has been for the user to cut through all of the information that is outdated or irrelevant and get to what the user specifically needs.
APPLE SUED AGAIN
As what does seem to happen often when a company is the top dog, others try to knock it down. The new attack on Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) comes from a Texas company called NovelPoint, which is claiming that the iPhone 4S and other Apple devices infringed on its patent, which is described as a “Method and Apparatus for an Automatic Vehicle Location, Collision Notification, and Synthetic Voice.” But this lawsuit has a bit of a twist to it, in that NovelPoint is not only suing Apple Inc (AAPL) for its own infringement, but it is also going after the company for “enabling” or “abetting” third-party location-based services to allegedly infringe the same patent. Sort of like, the OS of an iPhone is the gateway to future infringements by other vendors. That is something that has not been handled by the courts yet, so it would be one to watch.