China and South Korea plan to enact patent policies that will force Apple, Qualcomm, Microsoft and other tech companies to make their technology more easily available to rivals via licensing, a move that could help domestic firms better compete against the foreign giants. India and Brazil may pursue similar actions.
Samsung Electronics is appealing a pair of U.S. patent rulings involving Smartflash technology that could save Apple $533 million if its South Korean rival succeeds. In February, a jury ordered Apple to pay a $533 million fine for violating Smartflash's patents.
The owners of Nortel's former patents have sued Google and seven makers of Android-based smartphones, alleging patent violations related to Internet search technology. The patent owners -- Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Ericsson and Sony -- named handset-makers including Samsung Electronics and HTC in the suit. "Despite losing in its attempt to acquire the patents-in-suit at auction, Google has infringed and continues to infringe," the suit alleges.
Rovi filed a patent infringement lawsuit in Delaware against Hulu alleging the video content streaming service is violating three program guide patents. Rovi's licensees include Apple, Comcast and Microsoft.
Smartphone-makers are facing more litigation over alleged patent violations. NTP, which forged a $600 million settlement with Research in Motion, on Thursday sued six more companies in federal court -- Apple, Google, Microsoft, HTC, LG Electronics and Motorola -- alleging that e-mail systems on their handsets violate the company's patents. Also, the U.S. International Trade Commission has begun an inquiry into complaints from FlashPoint Technology against RIM, LG, Nokia and HTC over patents covering digital cameras.