Google and some of the top makers of Android smartphones are now facing lawsuits over the technology used in their devices.
A few years ago a coalition of companies including Microsoft, Apple, and RIM (now known as BlackBerry) spend $4.5 billion to acquire patents from Nortel, a company that had gone out of business. Then they set up a company called Rockstar.
Now Rockstar is using those patents to try to sue their competitors into oblivion, alleging all kinds of patent infringement. Google, on the other hand, has access to plenty of its own patents (it’s one of the reasons the company spent $12.5 billion to acquire Motorola). So a series of countersuits seems possible.
Round and round she goes…
Here’s a roundup of tech news from around the web.
- The patent wars, they have begun… or intensified… or something
A company owned by Microsoft, Apple, BlackBerry, and others has unleashed a flurry of lawsuits against Google and makers of Android smartphones. [Ars Technica]
- Mozilla redesigns the start screen for Firefox Android beta
Now you have quicker access to your top sites, history, and other personalized data on the start screen. Remember when having virtually nothing but a search bar was state of the art in browser start screens? [Mozilla]
- PlayJam’s GameStick $79 Android gaming console reviewed, found… marginally useful
The GameStick is a game console small enough to fit inside its own wireless controller when you’re not using it. Unfortunately the selection of games available is pretty small at the moment. [The Verge]
- Google could be preparing to bring ads to the Android 4.4 phone dialer
Don’t panic just yet, but it looks like there are signs in the code of the new Android phone dialer app indicating that ads could be on the way. The good news is that they’ll likely be associated with local business searches… not random calls to your friends and family. [Android Police]
- Google has pulled the plug on iGoogle
We knew it was coming, but Google’s personalized, widgetized start screen for the web is no more. [TNW]
- Too bad Virgin put all this effort into a safety video which will be obsolete soon thanks to new FAA electronics regs
Virgin America has put together an amusing (and catchy) in-flight safety video. Unfortunately it’ll be out of date as soon as Virgin America’s planes are certified by the FAA as safe for passengers who want to use electronic devices throughout the flight. [YouTube]