patent

Google granted creepy eavesdropping patent for keyword-based ads

Google is watching you. So is everyone else, of course, and it's not like Google is trying to hide the fact - their controversial new privacy policy was plastered over every single web service for the better part of a month. But the USPTO has just granted them a patent on a piece of technology that actually listens to you - and I don't mean in the helpful Voice Actions sort of way. United States Patent 8,138,930 lays the groundwork for a system that actually listens for keywords in phone conversations and stores the triggers in a database, to serve contextual advertisements later.

Google patent points at search-specific Android gestures

Never one to settle for the status quo, Google seems to be investigating in never-before-seen methods of gesture control for Android or other touch-based systems. A newly published patent from 2011 indicates that software engineers have come up with a unique method of highlighting and searching for various types of content using a system that recalls Palm's old Graffiti input. Essentially you draw a lowercase "g", then continue the trail of movement around whatever it is on the screen that you want to search for. This in turn automatically searches the relevant Google service for the text, photo or video in question.

New Google patent points toward Android desktop mode

Tired of hearing about Android on the desktop? Too bad. Just days after rumors started spreading about a dockable desktop mode in Android 5.0 "Jelly Bean" Patently Apple (which really needs a new name, by the way, since Apple's "spirit of invention" has devolved into copying then suing absolutely everyone) found patent filings pointing towards trackpad gestures in future versions of Android. You can take this one of two ways: that Google intends the smartphone/tablet to work as a trackpad in docked mode (as it can now) or that these features are aimed at full laptops or desktops running Android.

Google applies for patent, brings voice controls to Google TV

Google has some big plans for Android and our homes. With lots of discussion lately of a Android@Home project under way and more we are now seeing some information that Google has applied for a patent to bring Voice actions and Siri-like voice controls to our living rooms and Google TV. Put down that remote, let Google and Android do everything for you.

Google’s Motorola buyout approved by EU, will be vigilant

The acquisition of Motorola Mobility by Google has been given the green light and thumbs up from the European Union today. This unconditional regulatory approval will allow Google to purchase the device maker and patent holding company for a grand total of $12.5 billion USD. We knew the day was today, February 13th and now the official OK has just been approved.

Apple attacks Samsung over Galaxy Nexus slide-to-unlock feature

Oh this looks like fun. Apple is at it again this month and we have just learned they are taking another stab at Samsung in court over their new Samsung Galaxy Nexus and its slide-to-unlock feature. While the filing clearly is going after Samsung this is an Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich feature -- more aimed at Google than Samsung, only they get the trouble.

Apple up to its old tricks: calls for a ban on 10 Samsung phones in Germany

Stop me if you've heard this one before. After battling nearly every major Android OEM for the better part of 2011, Apple seems to be wasting no time in bringing its litigious streak into 2012. Bloomberg reports that it's petitioning German courts for an outright sales ban on 10 Samsung smartphones, including the popular Galaxy S II. Apple's objections have to do with its design patents, which won it an injunction against the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 last year.

Apple applies for “Face and Presence Detection” patent — Android laughs

I'm not really sure where to start on this one other than oh wait -- Android already has the feature. It's called "Face Unlock" and is available on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus within Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Just like our friendly source over at Phandroid I don't really want to simply sit here and bash Apple but I can't help but do so a little bit with this latest "innovation" and patent they've applied for.

HTC fights back against IPCom in harassment case

A month ago corporate patent troll intellectual property specialist IPCom won a major case against HTC in Germany, which seems to be a downright patent hotbed lately. The court ruled that IPCom's 3G technology patent was being illegally used in HTC's phones (and by extension, pretty much every cell phone in Europe) and and now a sales ban against HTC devices looms. But IPCom jumped the gun a bit on the ruling, and started harassing retailers for selling HTC phones immediately. HTC countersued and (wait for it) secured an injunction, keeping the trolls from further bothering retailers.