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Patent

In what are very probably two patent lawsuit firsts, 3D Systems, makers of the Cubify 3D and other 3D printers, is suing 3D printing startup Formlabs over the design of its Form 1 3D printer. But in an eye-opening twist, Cubify 3D has extended the lawsuit to include Kickstarer, the crowdfunding site through which Formlabs raised almost US$3 million. It's a development that could have far-reaching implications for both Kickstarter and crowdfunding sites in general, beyond the sphere of 3D printing. It is believed to be the first patent infringement suit between two 3D printing companies as well as the first leveled at Kickstarter. Read More
Video game developers are always looking for new ways to give players a more immersive experience. But with several motion-controlled systems widely available and a viable virtual reality headset in the works, what else could be done to make games seem more realistic? Sony may have an unexpected answer with a recent patent that describes a controller that changes temperature between hot and cold to match in-game actions. With the controller giving "temperature feedback," the idea is that players would be able to more closely feel what their character feels, from getting hit with a fireball to traveling through a blizzard. Read More
It was not long ago that the internet was going crazy over Google's Project Glass, and now Google has our attention again with the patent of a "smart watch." This watch appears to use technology similar to the glasses, but with a flip-up touchscreen instead of lenses. Read More

The jury in a landmark intellectual property lawsuit has ruled that Samsung should pay Apple over US$1 billion in damages. After nearly 22 hours of deliberation, the jury found that Samsung willingly infringed upon Apple's patents with a number of its devices. Apple was not found to have infringed upon any of the South Korean firm's patents. Read More

A patent filed in November of last year shows plans for an eye tracking unlock system. The plans strongly suggest that the feature is intended for use with Google Glass, Mountain View’s hot-topic, wearable-tech product. Read More

The US Patent Trademark Office (USPTO) has made public an application for an iPad cover encompassing a flexible touch-screen display. The product detailed in the patent that Apple filed for nearly a year ago would aim to “greatly enhance the overall functionality of the tablet device.” Read More

Sony Computer Entertainment America has filed a patent that could see video games interrupted by compulsory advertising. The patent's abstract describes the suspension of "interactive content" in order to display an advertisement, after which interaction resumes. Read More

Apple has submitted an application to patent an "optical stylus" for use with future touch based devices, leading to speculation that the next iPhone or iPad could include stylus support. Competitors HTC and Samsung have both released devices featuring stylus control, but Apple's potential product is far more complex, featuring haptic feedback, an on-board speaker, and an optical sensor, all transmitting data back to the device via short range wireless communication. Read More

Last Friday, a German court found Apple in violation of a Motorola Mobility patent, ruling that Apple’s iPhone and 3G model iPads infringe on cellular communications patents owned by Motorola Mobility that relate to General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) data packet transfer technology. Although the court in Manheim, Germany granted Motorola’s requests for damages and an injunction banning the importation of iPhones and 3G iPads into Germany, because the ruling relates to the importation of new device shipments, Apple has said it already has sufficient existing inventory to ensure German shoppers will be able to purchase said devices in the all-important lead up to Christmas. Read More
While most people prefer using physical keyboards and only tolerate virtual keyboards on their mobile devices for the sake of portability, onscreen keyboards do potentially offer a flexibility that can’t be matched by physical keyboards. It’s this flexibility that IBM is looking to take advantage of with the company recently filing a U.S. patent application for a morphing touchscreen keyboard interface that would automatically resize, reshape and reposition keys based on a user’s typing style. Read More
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