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July 26 2011

05:45

Nortel's 6,000 patents - Google's Ken Walker: patents are "government-granted monopolies"

Apple Insider :: Google Senior Vice President and General Counsel Ken Walker had indicated in April that Google was interested in a collection of 6,000 patents from bankrupt Canadian telecommunications equipment maker Nortel because "many of [Google's] competitors have larger portfolios given their longer histories." The search giant succeeded in placing the initial "stalking horse" bid, but ultimately lost out to a group consisting of Apple and other competitors, including as Microsoft, Research in Motion and Sony.

Shortly after the auction's results were announced, he posted a short statement describing the outcome as "disappointing for anyone who believes that open innovation benefits users and promotes creativity and competition," but declined to comment more on the matter.

Apple Insider interviewed Ken Walker calling for patent reform in the U.S. as he characterized patents as "government-granted monopolies".

Continue to read Josh Ong, www.appleinsider.com

July 10 2011

12:32

Patent lawsuits: Google vs Apple, Microsoft and Research in Motion - a legal bonanza

Washington Post ::  For years tech companies did not go after one another in patent lawsuits. But that has changed recently as the battle to dominate the mobile phone space has grown fiercer. Google’s Android operating system has rocketed to the top slot as the most popular in the world, just ahead of Apple’s iPhone and RIM’s BlackBerry.

The battle to beat Android has already turned into a legal bonanza. Apple is suing HTC, Samsung and Motorola, all makers of phones with the Android platform. Oracle is seeking up to $6.1 billion in a patent lawsuit against Google, claiming Android infringes upon Oracle’s Java patents. And Microsoft is suing Motorola over its Android line.

Continue to read Jia Lynn Yang, www.washingtonpost.com

July 03 2011

18:23

HP's Touchpad not an option to Apple's iPad: "we're going after the enterprise space"

Business Insider :: HP's TouchPad tablet launched to tepid reviews this week, and HP is already backing away from it as an answer to the iPad. Instead, HP is going after a much weaker competitor: Research In Motion, RIM. Developer relations head Richard Kerris told The Loop yesterday that the TouchPad is really an enterprise play: “We think there’s a better opportunity for us to go after the enterprise space ..."

HP's strategy - continue to read Matt Rosoff, www.businessinsider.com

 

July 02 2011

19:54

nielsenwire - Smartphones now majority of new cellphone purchases (US)

nielsenwire :: Apple iOS up, Android flat, Research In Motion, or RIM down among recent acquirers. Smartphones continue to grow in popularity. According to Nielsen’s May survey of mobile consumers in the U.S., 38 percent now own smartphones. And 55 percent of those who purchased a new handset in the past three months reported buying a smartphone instead of a feature phone, up from 34 percent just a year ago.

"In US, Smartphones Now Majority of New Cellphone Purchases" - Continue to read blog.nielsen.com

June 26 2011

20:02

Why the auction of 6,000 Nortel patents on Monday is interesting for Google, Apple, Microsoft & Co

paidContent :: One of the most pivotal events at the intersection of patent law and the mobile industry kicks off on Monday, when the fate of 6,000 Nortel patents will be put on sale before a who’s who of mobile industry giants. Google, Apple, Research in Motion, Ericsson, Microsoft, ZTE, and patent holding company RPX have all been rumored or confirmed to be interested in the patent portfolio. The winner of these patents could be poised to unleash a new wave of lawsuits against the mobile industry ...

Tom Krazit, paidContent on what you need to know about the historic auction.

Continue to read Tom Krazit, paidcontent.org

June 17 2011

22:00

Blackberry - Research In Motion's (RIM) astounding collapse in The U.S.

Business Insider :: Blackberry | Research In Motion (RIM)'s share of the U.S. market collapse right around the time Verizon decides to throw its weight behind Android. As RIM's marketshare in the U.S. collapsed, so did its average selling price per phone. Sure, RIM is proud of its expansion into other markets, but they're not as valuable to RIM.

The chart can be found here Jay Yarow, www.businessinsider.com

August 26 2010

18:06

Free Speech at Stake as India Demands Encrypted BlackBerry Data

Next week will be decisive for BlackBerry corporate users. BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) could provide a solution to help security agencies in India access corporate email by obtaining encrypted data in readable formats. If RIM does not offer a solution before the end of the month, India has warned that it will block BlackBerry Messenger service in the country for corporate users.

BlackBerry phones encrypt their services better than most smartphones do, and this has been one of the selling points for BlackBerry as a device for corporate users. RIM has to this point refused to provide access codes that would allow governments to monitor the content of encrypted messages. Should RIM provide the Indian government with access to the data, it would not only hurt freedom of expression -- it would likely also hurt the BlackBerry's reputation as the business device of choice.

About More Than The BlackBerry

The Indian government isn't the only seeking access to BlackBerry data. The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia claim that BlackBerry's services break their laws and threaten national security. The UAE's Telecommunication Regulatory Authority announced that it will suspend BlackBerry's instant messaging, email, web browsing and roaming services starting October 11. Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, is still allowing BlackBerry's instant messaging service to operate. Saudi authorities had planned to suspend it on August 6, but they only ended up blocking the service for a few hours. The company and government continue to work toward a compromise.

Reporters Without Borders is worried about the BlackBerry issue because the "national security" argument is just a pretext for these countries to take steps to restrict access to new technology and to tools that help with freedom of expression. In the UAE, some BlackBerry users were arrested for using BlackBerry Messenger to try to organize a protest against increased gas prices.

What really bothers these countries is their inability to monitor the communication flowing via BlackBerry's services. Indonesia, Egypt, Lebanon, Algeria and Kuwait have also voiced concern about BlackBerry's encrypted services, and it's no coincidence that some of these countries are home to a wide range of censorship measures. In Indonesia, for example, the government requires ISPs to filter out porn -- without providing them a specific list of offending sites. The inevitable result is that the ISPs cause collateral damage by blocking other websites with no direct link to pornography. This is also the case in Saudi Arabia. Filtering also slows down connection speeds throughout the country. Aside from censorship, these countries are also known for monitoring the communications and web usage of citizens.

It's therefore natural to question whether the requests for BlackBerry to offer access to its services are truly meant to fight terrorism, or if it's about finding another way to monitor the communications of citizens?

U.S. Perspective

These countries would do well to learn from an example in the United States. In 2003, the Department of Justice drafted legislation that would have lengthened prison sentences for people who used encryption in the commission of a crime. Defenders of encryption said it would do little to help catch terrorists, and would instead hamper the work of activists. The legislation never passed -- even though the fight against terrorism was a top priority of the government.

RIM's BlackBerry encryption isn't alone in being targeted. India plans on asking Google and Skype for similar access, which means this issue is about more than just one company's device. It's about the future of private communications in countries prone to censorship and other abuses.

Clothilde Le Coz has been working for Reporters Without Borders in Paris since 2007. She is now the Washington director for this organization, helping to promote press freedom and free speech around the world. In Paris, she was in charge of the Internet Freedom desk and worked especially on China, Iran, Egypt and Thailand. During the time she spent in Paris, she was also updating the "Handbook for Bloggers and Cyberdissidents," published in 2005. Her role is now to get the message out for readers and politicians to be aware of the constant threat journalists are submitted to in many countries.

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