That Didn't Take Long: Amazon Sued For Patent Infringement For New Kindle Fire Tablet

from the up-in-flames dept

The general rule continues to prove itself true: do anything interesting in the tech world, and you will get sued for patent infringement. Just weeks after Amazon announced its new Kindle Fire tablet, the company has been sued for patent infringement by well-known patent troll Smartphone Technologies, a subsidiary of patent trolling giant Acacia. Just a few months ago we noted that Smartphone Technologies/Acacia was buying up more smartphone related patents, as it looks to seriously cash in on anyone actually doing anything in the space.

The patents in question:
  • 6,956,562: Method for controlling a handheld computer by entering commands onto a displayed feature of the handheld computer (originally a PalmSource patent)
  • 6,466,236: System and method for displaying and manipulating multiple calendars on a personal digital assistant (originally a Palm Inc. patent)
  • 6,950,645: Power-conserving intuitive device discovery technique in a bluetooth environment (originally a PalmSource patent)
  • 7,506,064: Handheld computer system that attempts to establish an alternative network link upon failing to establish a requested network link (another PalmSource patent).
  • RE40,459: Method and apparatus for communicating information over low bandwidth communications networks (and, yet again, PalmSource)
So Palm may be dead and buried inside HP... but at least we know its patent legacy lives on in making products people want more expensive and less able to come to market.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Oct 12th, 2011 @ 12:09pm

    Yay!

    I love it that everyone is suing everyone, because as a consumer, there's nothing I love more than limited, artificially expensive options!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 12:23pm

    Come on, Mike, everyone knows that Amazon looked at a bunch of patents before developing the Kindle Fire and they said, "Gee, this patent is a good idea. I'll develop it and hope I don't get sued!" If it weren't for patents, the Kindle Fire would have never been developed. They copied the idea, plain and simple.

     

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      :Lobo Santo (profile), Oct 12th, 2011 @ 12:34pm

      Re: Mebbe

      Ya know, maybe we've been going about the whole 'patent licensing' thing in the wrong direction.

      The guys who get patents on vague word clouds which completely lack any potential of anybody being able to make something from such a patent should be paying those rare few geniuses who can take that jumble of nonsense--a vaguely worded patent--a turn it into a real world product.

       

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      rubberpants, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 12:35pm

      Re:

      4/10 A little too "stupid." Needs more epithets.

       

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    Mr Sarcasm to the rescue!, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 12:33pm

    Wow, those are some innovative and unique inventions. How typical of Amazon, stealing Smartphone Technologies's ideas and driving them out of the market.

     

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    Vincent Clement (profile), Oct 12th, 2011 @ 12:37pm

    "System and method for displaying and manipulating multiple calendars on a personal digital assistant".

    Seriously? WTF? How is this any different from displaying and manipulating data from multiple databases?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 12:57pm

      Re:

      Because calendars and databases are different, that's why they have those names.

       

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        Marcus Carab (profile), Oct 12th, 2011 @ 1:03pm

        Re: Re:

        Um, no. A calendar is a type of database. Databases are defined as any structured set of data held in a computer.

         

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          blaktron (profile), Oct 12th, 2011 @ 2:08pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          To be fair, a calendar is a db with a client component, and they don't necessarily have to be DBs, some are simply parsed csvs or tsvs. But regardless, theres no difference from displaying that info on a PDA or any other type of computer, which I'm pretty sure was first done by Lotus in the early 80s...

           

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          blaktron (profile), Oct 12th, 2011 @ 2:09pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          err, although if you consider a database as any structured set of data, then yes, they are all DBs. I tend to separate databases from data sets based on relational capabilities.

           

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    STJ, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 12:53pm

    Seriously,

    How do I patent putting meat/veggies/fruit between 2 objects, such as bread/leaves?

    I'll share 1/2 of my profits with anyone willing to go in with me.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 1:03pm

    How?!?!?!

    How is any of that actually patentable? The Patent office must be populated with technological imbeciles.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 8:27pm

      Re: How?!?!?!

      "The Patent office must be populated with technological imbeciles."

      Correct. The patent office is full of lawyers pretending to be technologists. The crucial phrase they use is "PHOSITA" -- person having ordinary skill in the art. Notice the word "ordinary", not "high" or "exceptional".

      So, when a lawyer is examining a patent application, they consider themselves as having ordinary skill, hence they see no need to call in an external expert. Then they grant the patent because that avoids them getting monstered by the big nasty lawyers who are running the patent office. Result: a huge pile of junk patents which should never have been granted.

      This process is inevitable. The answer is either to abolish the patent system or at least de-fang it by removing the monopolies. The monopolies are what is delivering the paydays to the trolls.

       

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        Willton, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 8:51pm

        Re: Re: How?!?!?!

        Correct. The patent office is full of lawyers pretending to be technologists. The crucial phrase they use is "PHOSITA" -- person having ordinary skill in the art. Notice the word "ordinary", not "high" or "exceptional".

        So, when a lawyer is examining a patent application, they consider themselves as having ordinary skill, hence they see no need to call in an external expert. Then they grant the patent because that avoids them getting monstered by the big nasty lawyers who are running the patent office. Result: a huge pile of junk patents which should never have been granted.


        Have you ever been the Patent Office? Have you met any of their examiners? Something tells me that if you had, you would not say something so head-slappingly ignorant.

         

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    Fickelbra (profile), Oct 12th, 2011 @ 1:39pm

    7,506,064: Handheld computer system that attempts to establish an alternative network link upon failing to establish a requested network link (another PalmSource patent).

    Completely original and patentable idea. However, do NOT under any circumstances look up the definition of failsafe.

     

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    Jimr (profile), Oct 12th, 2011 @ 2:22pm

    I am surprised they took action so quick. I though they would sit back let Amazon sell a ton of devices before hitting them up for cash and outrageous licensing fees.

     

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    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 3:00pm

    Is Time About Up?

    Methinks the time for expiration may be approaching, and someone needs to cash in while they can.

    http://www.inventionstatistics.com/Patent_Protection_Time_Periods.html

     

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    Dave Miller (profile), Oct 12th, 2011 @ 3:48pm

    Bluetooth?

    The Kindle Fire doesn't support bluetooth. That's one of it's documented downsides. It also doesn't support "low bandwitdh" networks, it's wifi only. And, given that it's wifi only, I'm not even sure where they're going with the whole network failover concept, unless they mean failing over from one wifi network to another.

    Overall, fishing in entirely the wrong lake.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 5:14pm

    Now I need to go see Mimi & Eunice to cleanse my eyes.

     

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    Willton, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 6:05pm

    What, no one cares about the claims?

    I find it interesting that the commentariat here is ripping the patents listed above based on their titles, yet no one appears to have actually looked at the claims of the patents. You guys do realize that the title of a patent is merely a title, right? Ever heard the saying, "Don't judge a book by its cover"?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2011 @ 4:46am

      Re: What, no one cares about the claims?

      OK - I read the calendar one.
      Some simple flow charts, a couple simple GUI pictures and an Entity Relationship diagram (kinda). Oh, and some needlessly opaque text. Ask any reasonably competent designer to come up with an approach to switching between two sets of ANY kind of data and it would look much like this (I'd skip the text). Actually looking at the patents just makes the whole thing worse.

       

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    patent litigation, Oct 24th, 2011 @ 8:44pm

    anti-competition

    "...do anything interesting in the tech world, and you will get sued for patent infringement." Very true, apparently. Of course, IP owners are legally entitled to enforce their intellectual property; after a while, however, it starts to become annoying to see the extent to which many companies use patent litigation as an anti-competitive tool to wield against their rivals, rather than settling such disputes in the marketplace, where they belong.

     

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