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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Find some of the recent patent filings from Microsoft that became public. SPEECH RECOGNITION USER INTERFACE Speech recognition techniques are disclosed herein. In one embodiment, a novice mode is available such that when the user is unfamiliar with the speech recognition system, a voice user interface (VUI) may be provided to guide them. The VUI may display one or more speech commands that are presently available. The VUI may also provide feedback to train the user. After the user becomes more familiar with speech recognition, the user may enter speech commands without the aid of the novice mode. In this “experienced mode,” the VUI need not be displayed. Therefore, the user interface is not cluttered. 3D Vision On A Chip A 3D camera for determining distances to regions in a scene wherein gating or modulating apparatus for the 3D camera is incorporated on a photosurface of the camera on which ...

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Today Microsoft and AOL announced the patent deal between two companies. As a result of this $1 Billion deal, Microsoft will acquire more than 800 patents from AOL and also license more than 300 patents that AOL will currently own. This deal will help Microsoft to defend itself from the growing patent fights in technology industry. Press Release: AOL and Microsoft Announce $1.056 Billion AOL to sell more than 800 patents to Microsoft; Microsoft to license more than 300 additional patents and patent applications from AOL . Transaction is tax-efficient for AOL. Upon closing, AOL expects to return a significant portion of the proceeds to shareholders NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL) (the “Company”) today announced that the Company has entered into a definitive agreement to sell over 800 of its patents and their related patent applications to Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) (“Microsoft”) and to grant Microsoft a non-exclusive license ...

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Detecting finger orientation on a touch-sensitive device: The determination of an orientation of a finger touching a touch-sensitive device is disclosed. In one embodiment, a computing device comprises a display screen configured to display an image to a user, and an intensity-sensitive touch-sensing input mechanism configured to detect one or more objects touching the display screen. The device also comprises a controller configured to determine an orientation of a finger touching the screen from a direction between a center of a first set of touch data and a center of a second set of touch data, and to adjust an image on the display screen in response to a determined orientation of the finger. Wearable computer pointing device Described is a technology by which a computer pointing device (generally a mouse but alternatively a game controller or remote control device) may be worn on the hand and operated without needing ...

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Read some of the interesting recent patent applications from Microsoft that became public. LOCATION AND CONTEXTUAL-BASED MOBILE APPLICATION PROMOTION AND DELIVERY Apparatus and methods are disclosed for selecting one or more mobile device applications using context data describing the current environment of a mobile device and application metadata describing environment conditions where applications are more likely to be relevant, in order to improve the experience of discovering, downloading, and installing mobile device applications. According to one embodiment, a method comprises associating metadata with mobile device applications automatically receiving context data representing a current geographical location from a mobile phone, searching the metadata to determine which applications are likely of interest based on the current geographical location, and transmitting notification data to the mobile phone indicating the determined applications. Projection of Images onto Tangible User Interfaces The techniques described herein provide a surface computing device that includes a surface layer configured ...

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Read some of the interesting recent patent applications from Microsoft that became public. Achievement incentives within a console-based gaming environment A computer-implemented method is disclosed for encouraging downloads of a game. The method includes displaying an achievement advertisement and subsequently receiving input indicative of the achievement advertisement. The input is responded to by displaying a download component related to a game associated with the achievement advertisement. Game of chance A game of chance includes receiving a stake corresponding to a target game-item from a player. In each phase of the game, a random integer is selected and a game-item corresponding to that integer is removed from play. If the target game-item is removed from play, the player is awarded a return and the game of chance ends. If specific game-items or combinations of game items are removed from play, the player is defeated, and the game of chance ends. A ...

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Usually we post on interesting patents applied by Microsoft. For a change, I thought of publishing some recent interesting patent filings from Microsoft’s arch rivals Apple & Google. From Google, Live Wallpaper: (Android stuff) Display of on-screen elements is coordinated, which includes generating a graphical wallpaper representation in a first process on a first visual layer on a display of a computing device, generating one or more graphical objects in a second process on a second visual layer of the display, wherein the second visual layer is positioned visually on top of the first visual layer, receiving user interactions with the one or more graphical objects and generating information that reflects the user interactions, and communicating the generated information to the first process. Social Messaging User Interface (Android stuff) Hubs for social interaction via electronic devices are described. In one aspect, a data processing device includes a display screen displaying ...

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