Steve Jobs listed as inventor/designer on 313 of Apple’s patents……

21 09 2011

When people in the technology industry speak of  Steve Job’s knack for design, they often have Apple’s iconic products in mind: the early all-in-one Macintosh computers, the first iMacs with their brightly colored and translucent cases, and more recently, the various iPods, iPhones and iPads.

But what about the striking glass staircases in many of Apple’s stores? Mr. Jobs led their design — and has his name on two patents Apple received for that design. An interesting article showcasing Mr Jobs as a prolific inventor and technical designer was recently published by the New York times and is available here…..

Apparently, Mr. Jobs appears as the principal inventor or as one inventor among several on 313 Apple patents. Most are design patents that cover the look and feel of a product, rather than utility patents….

Still, the number of patents is far larger than those granted to most other technology company chiefs, including those whose technical breakthroughs and inventions were instrumental to their companies’ success. Only nine Microsoft patents carry the name of Bill Gates, a co-founder of the company who was its chief executive for more than two decades before stepping down in 2000. And little more than a dozen Google patents carry the names of the co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, according to a search of the United States Patent and Trademark Office Web site.

As Mr. Jobs steps down from the chief executive role, his deep involvement in so many aspects of Apple’s products also brings into sharp focus the question of whether the company’s streak of innovation can continue over the long-term without his hand to guide it….

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Google acquires Motorola patents and suits up for battle……

16 08 2011

After Google’s clear disillusionment with the patent world, as discussed here and evidenced by this recent Google blog post: “We recently explained how companies including Microsoft and Apple are banding together in anti-competitive patent attacks on Android…..” Google have decided to acquire Motorola Mobility, the spun-off phone manufacturing wing of the original Motorola.

In terms of the reasons proferred by Google for the acquisition, the following was said on their blogspot: “Our acquisition of Motorola will increase competition by strengthening Google’s patent portfolio, which will enable us to better protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies.”

By grabbing Motorola, Google has certainly gained access to more patents to beef up its Android patent portfolio and this will enable it to counter (and respond with counter suits of their own) to any future IP threats……

Therefore, it seems as though, as much as this transaction it is about getting some really, really cool Android hardware out on sale, it is also about protecting the Android phone from further IP battles….clearly their previous patent vulnerability has promted them to prepare more on the patent front and suit-up properly for any potential battles on the horizon…. but in the mean time they are becoming armed and dangerous themselves…..





Google disenchanted with patenting world

8 08 2011

After my previous post regarding the proposed acquisition of Nortel patents by Google, it seems that their bid was largely unsuccessful. This has clearly left Google feeling bitter and disenchanted with the patenting world  and they are now alleging that Microsoft and Apple are only acquiring technology patents in a bid to stem the advent of the Android phone (full article here). In my view, that seems a bit rich coming from the company who had it not been unsuccessful in its attempt would have right now been using the Nortel technology patents for the exact same purpose: to stem the technology developments of its rivals…… could this be a case of the pot calling the kettle black? I certainly think so…….. 

This brings me to an interesting point: is this where the world of technology patents is moving to? Of course, the scale of magnitude of this patent war can never be rivalled in a country such as South Africa…….However it would still seem wise for technology companies to acquire as many patents of their own as they possibly can…….if consistent development and innovation is a key to the success of a technology company then Google’s position is not  a good one to be in: stunted by its competitors… (and clearly very embittered as a result of it……)





Competition authorities OK Nortel patent sale and generate bidding war

15 07 2011

The competition authorities in theUS have granted approval for Nortel Networks to sell its significant IP portfolio to rival companies for an estimated $4.5 billion… Read more about it here.

Players that have shown an interest in the 6000 or so patents and applications include: Research in Motion, Apple and surprisingly Google….in so far as these patents seem to predominately relate to wireless technology Google either just acquired these patents to prevent the competition  from getting them or they are planning to use these to litigate against their rivals…..this should get interesting….