Euro Commission Takes Stand Against Patent Abuse
The European Commission today ruled that Motorola had broken the law by suing Apple over standard essential patents. Apple had agreed to license Motorola's patents, but when the two companies couldn't agree on a price, Apple used the patented technology anyway and was eventually sued by Motorola. Motorola sought to block sales of Apple's products in Europe. The EU has determined that if a company agrees to license a standard essential patent, the patent holder must do so at a fair and reasonable rate. Moving forward, companies that cannot agree on licensing terms will need to enter arbitration and can no longer file lawsuits against one another. The EU accepted a pledge from Samsung today also, which won't seek an injunction against Apple for standard essential patents. "The so-called smartphone patent wars should not occur at the expense of consumers," said EU Commissioner Joaquin Almunia. "While patent holders should be fairly remunerated for the use of their intellectual property, implementers of such standards should also get access to standardized technology on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms." Standard essential patents are those necessary for certain things, such as smartphones, to function properly. The European Commission did not fine either Motorola or Samsung, but it clearly wants patent abuse to end.
AT&T-Run FirstNet More Generally Available to First Responders
AT&T today said fire, medical, police, and other first responders now have more access to its FirstNet network. FirstNet has been available for purchase by agencies, but hasn't been directly sold in stores.
Unicode 11 with Dozens of New Emoji Arrives June 5
New emoji are coming to a phone near you, eventually. Unicode 11.0, which was finalized in February, will be released on June 5, according to Emojipedia.
Memoji Lets iPhone Users Make their Own, Self-Styled Animoji
iOS 12 will make iMessage more fun, says Apple, thanks to the addition of Memoji. Similar to the way Samsung's AR Emoji work, the iOS 12 Memoji will let people customize an animated emoji sticker that resembles their face.
Nokia, Apple File Dueling Patent Lawsuits
Nokia and Apple have this week filed patent-related lawsuits against one another in various jurisdictions. Nokia's claims, filed in Germany and the U.S., say that Apple is using Nokia's patented technology without permission.
Motorola Owes Microsoft $14.5 Million Over Patent Spat
An appeals court has sided with Microsoft and upheld a 2013 verdict that says Motorola has to pay Microsoft for refusing to license standard-essential patents at fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory rates. This particular case began in 2010, when Microsoft sued Motorola for failing to pay it patent-licensing fees for technology found in Motorola's Android smartphones.