Now this is only a rumor, and to be perfectly honest, not one I really believe.  However, TechCrunch, which is owned by AOL, is reporting that Microsoft is considering buying Winamp & Shoutcast.  Winamp is media playing software for Windows and Android devices that AOL picked up through its $80 million acquisition of Nullsoft in 1999.  Nullsoft also developed Shoutcast which is a cross platform propriety streaming media software. AOL is currently in the process of shutting down both Winamp and Shoutcast.  With the increasing popularity of Spotify, Pandora, ITunes, etc is seems to make little sense that Microsoft would want either piece of software.  Spotify recently raised $250 million valuing the company around ~$4 billion, greater than AOL’s entire market cap.  However, it is important to remember Microsoft did buy over a billion dollars in patents from AOL CEO Tim Armstrong and then proceeded to sell some of them ...

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Microsoft has filed a lawsuit against Acacia Research Corp today, charging that Acacia broke a contract to license various smartphone and mobile computing technologies to Microsoft. The lawsuit, filed under seal in New York federal court, follows a number of patent infringement lawsuits brought by Acacia subsidiaries against Microsoft in October in Texas, Delaware and Illinois. In 2010, Microsoft agreed to pay an Acacia subsidiary to license a portfolio of patents related to smartphones and tablets ultimately owned by Tokyo-based web browser firm Access Co. In October, various Acacia subsidiaries filed lawsuits against Microsoft, charging that the software company had infringed more than a dozen patents. Microsoft’s lawsuit is a response to those actions.  “Acacia’s lawsuits are the worst kind of abusive litigation behaviour, attempting to extract payment based on litigation tactics and not the value of its patents,” said David Howard, Microsoft’s deputy general counsel, in an emailed statement. ...

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Another huge patent war is going to start soon. Rockstar consortium which is jointly owned by Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry, Ericsson and Sony has sued Samsung, Huawei, HTC and Google for patent infringement in U.S. District Court in Texas. Rockstar consortium was formed by Microsoft, Apple and others after they won the Nortel’s patents in a bidding for $4.5 billion. Google is accused of infringing seven patents. The patents cover technology that helps match Internet search terms with relevant advertising, the lawsuit said, which is the core of Google’s search business. In fact, Google tried its hand in bidding to buy Nortel’s patents but they eventually lost of Rockstar consortium. The lawsuit points out that, “Despite losing in its attempt to acquire the patents-in-suit at auction, Google has infringed and continues to infringe,”. Apple and Microsoft are already fighting patent battles against various Android OEMs in the courts. But this is the ...

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Microsoft today announced their participation in a cross-industry coalition dedicated to the creation of an effective European unitary patent system. This coalition includes 14 companies and users of the European patent system. Find the list of signatories below. adidas AG Apple Inc. BlackBerry Limited Bull SAS Cisco Systems Inc. Deutsche Post DHL Deutsche Telekom AG European Semiconductor Industry Association (ESIA) Google Inc. Hewlett-Packard Company Intel Corporation Microsoft Corporation Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. Syndicat de l’Industrie des Technologies de l’Information (SFIB) Telecom Italia S.p.A. Yahoo! Inc. Microsoft along with all the above member companies have been working collaboratively for several months to suggest solutions that support the creation of an effective, balanced and harmonized Europe-wide patent system. You can read the letter sent by this group to European policy makers on recommendations to those solutions. Read about it in detail here. ...

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Microsoft has won another the patent trial against Motorola yesterday. The Jury ruled that Motorola failed to maintain fair and reasonable licensing terms when it negotiated with Microsoft over the Wi-Fi and H.264 intellectual property used in various products like Xbox, Windows 7 and more. This is not the first time Microsoft won against Motorola in courtroom, previously the court ruled that the standard, essential patents of Motorola were not worth $4 billion as claimed instead suggested few million dollars. Also the court yesterday asked Motorola to pay $11 million for the costs of relocating a warehouse of Microsoft in Germany due to an injunction on certain Microsoft products brought by Motorola in that country along with $3 million for legal fees. Microsoft on this verdict, “This is a landmark win for all who want products that are affordable and work well together,” A Motorola spokesman on the verdict, “We’re ...

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We all know the power of research in medicine and allied applications are much more essential for healthy human life. As the exciting field of machine learning research progresses leaps and bounds, the researchers at Microsoft are also contributing to the innovation at a large propotion. Recently, Microsoft was awarded the prestigious  USPTO’s Patents for Humanity Award in Information Technology category for the work in advanced machine learning techniques. Microsoft researchers have been working on Infer.NET over the last 10 years to provide a framework that makes it much easier to apply advanced machine learning techniques to solve challenging problems. Microsoft provides Infer.NET free of charge for non-commercial purposes, such as scientific or medical research. Examples of joint research studies involving Infer.NET include: · An asthma study to investigate the early indicators of severe asthma in children and to try to shed light on the environmental and genetic causes of ...

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Microsoft recently got a patent related to mobile phone behavior under special circumstances. Microsoft describes it as “inconspicuous mode” of operation in which a reduced set of information is presented on a home screen of a display of the device in comparison to a set of information presented on the home screen in the normal mode of operation. Read the full abstract below. A communication device is configured to switch from a normal mode of operation to an inconspicuous mode of operation in which a reduced set of information is presented on a home screen of a display of the device in comparison to a set of information presented on the home screen in the normal mode of operation. In addition, other display properties such as contrast and brightness may be adjusted to make them less conspicuous. The home screen in the inconspicuous mode of operation is less obtrusive or ...

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Microsoft and Motorola are fighting against each other on patent cases in various courts. Microsoft and Motorola have asked the federal court judge in Western District of Washington to keep certain parts of their post-trial submissions as private. Since the submission details involves Motorola’s licenses with third parties and Microsoft’s business and marketing plans for future products, those details will be kept as secret. “For the same compelling reasons that the court sealed this evidence for purposes of trial, it would be consistent and appropriate to take the same approach in connection with the parties’ post-trial submissions,” the two companies argued in the court filing. Source: Reuters ...

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Yesterday, United States District Court for the Western District of Washington ruled a summary judgment in Microsoft Vs. Motorola patent case. Judge ruled that Google’s owned subsidiary Motorola is not entitled to injunctive relief against Microsoft over any patents essential to the H.264 (video codec) or IEEE 802.11 (WiFi, or WLAN) standards. “Because Motorola cannot show irreparable harm or that monetary damages would be inadequate, the court agrees with Microsoft that injunctive relief is improper in this matter and grants Microsoft’s motion.” This is a big blow for Motorola and the ruling was already expected by Microsoft and other FRAND patent supporters. Now, Motorola has a clear way to end this case by licensing their standard essential patents to Microsoft under reasonable terms. Source: FOSS Patents, Microsoft/Motorola court order   ...

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  Windows 8 has an interesting way to unlock your device called Picture Password. Instead of typing regular passwords and pin numbers, picture passwords will allow you to unlock your PC in simple and secure manner. This is how Picture Password works, At its core, your picture password is comprised of two complimentary parts. There is a picture from your picture collection and a set of gestures that you draw upon it. Instead of having you pick from a canned set of Microsoft images, you provide the picture, because it increases both the security and the memorability of the password. You get to decide the content of the picture and the portions that are important to you. Plus, you get to see a picture that is important to you just like many people do on their phone lock screen. Now, Microsoft is trying to patent this feature and below is the ...

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The landmark trial between Google subsidiary Motorola and Microsoft is over even before we realized it started. Much of the sensitive material the trial could have uncovered remains confidential, as the court was cleared for 2 hours of secret testimony. The stakes are high – Motorola contends Microsoft will make $94 billion from their Xbox game console by 2017, and that they deserve $4 billion of these, due to the use of their patents. Microsoft is only willing to pay $1 million per year. U.S. District Judge James Robart will deliver a decision by Spring next year of what constitutes a reasonable fee for a FRAND patent – the first time a judge had to rule on this, likely setting a precedent for the whole industry. If fees are set low enough it could result in an explosion of innovation as companies use standard-essential patents freely while paying nominal fees ...

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The trial between Microsoft and Google/Motorola has kicked off today, and as an opening gambit Motorola has filed a brief demanding 2.25% of Microsoft’s Surface revenue. In a brief filed in advance of the trial, Motorola contends that 802.11 WiFi technologies are critical to Surface, because it doesn’t have an Ethernet port or cellular broadband, saying “Microsoft’s new Surface tablet will use only 802.11, instead of cellular or wired connections, to connect to the internet. Without 802.11 capability, the Surface tablet would be unable to compete in the market, because consumers can readily select tablet devices other than the Surface that have 802.11 capability.” Getting their claim in early, Motorola’s lawyers also noted that Microsoft “apparently is working on its own smartphone, which undoubtedly will have Wi-Fi capabilities,” citing a Wall Street Journal story as evidence. On the stand Windows executive Jon DeVaan acknowledged that Surface incorporates H.264 video technologies ...

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Microsoft and Google will be battling it out in U.S. District Court in Seattle this week starting Tuesday. At issue is Google’s subsidiary Motorola’s unreasonable license fees for FRAND-related patents. The trial stems from a lawsuit Microsoft filed in November 2010, claiming that Motorola breached its contract to provide, at reasonable rates, use of its patented technologies that have become part of industry standards in online-video viewing and wireless usage.I Microsoft claims that Motorola was asking too much for use of some of its industry patents: 2.25 percent of the sale price of each Xbox and Windows which would amount to Microsoft paying Motorola $4 billion annually. Motorola is seeking from the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) an import ban on Xbox consoles because the consoles contain some of the industry-standard patents under contention in the Seattle trial. Motorola had also sought — and won — an injunction from a ...

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Press Release: REDMOND, Wash. — Nov. 7, 2012 — Microsoft Corp. announced today that it signed patent licensing agreements for the use of the latest Extended File Allocation Table (exFAT) with five companies, spanning industries including high-end camcorders, digital cameras and Android tablets. The agreements cover Sharp Android tablets, Sigma and NextoDi high-end cameras and accessories, and Black Magic and Atomos Global broadcast-quality video-recording devices. exFAT is a modern file system that facilitates large files for audiovisual media and enables seamless data portability for an easy interchange of files between electronic devices. exFAT vastly improves on its predecessor, the FAT file system, and expands the size of files that flash memory devices can handle by more than five times. It also greatly increases the speed with which those files can be accessed. “Today’s agreements demonstrate the continued success of our licensing program and highlight the adoption of exFAT across multiple industries ...

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Forget double-sided tiles.  Microsoft thinks Windows 8 users should be able to twist and turn their tiles in up to 3 dimensions, and even have cylindrical tiles. In their patent the sides of the boxes could show more information about notifications, such as the subject line of a newly received email or a full text messages. The several sides of the boxes would allow more information to be shows. The rotating tiles can also be used to reveal menus e.g for a music controls. The patents were filed in Q2 2012 and granted in Q3 2012, so may show up in some future version of Windows. Read more detail at Patentbolt.com Thanks V4X22ndNov for the tip. ...

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AOL, Inc., today announced that it has completed the previously announced $1.056 billion patent transaction with Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) (“Microsoft”). The transaction includes the sale of over 800 patents and their related patent applications, and grants Microsoft a non-exclusive license to its retained patent portfolio for aggregate proceeds of $1.056 billion in cash. “The closing of this transaction represents another major step for AOL in increasing value for our shareholders,” said Tim Armstrong, Chairman and CEO. “As our track record has shown, you should expect us to continue our momentum of creating and unlocking shareholder value through continued operational improvements and executing on our strategy.” As a part of the transaction AOL also received a license to the patents being sold to Microsoft. AOL continues to hold a significant patent portfolio of over 300 patents and patent applications spanning core and strategic technologies, including advertising, search, content generation/management, social ...

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