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Chrome for Android

Chrome for Android

Chrome and Android are certainly Google’s best products in the recent history. Chrome has gone to become the second largest browser next to Internet Explorer, and Android has become the largest smartphone OS. But its been a puzzle why Google never released Chrome browser on the Android. The default browser that ships with Android shared some code with Chrome, but was never as great as the desktop chrome. There were lot of guesses on why Google didn’t ship its top browser with its top mobile OS. Of all the guesses going around, the truth was that for a long time both the Chrome and Android development teams were working independently without any collaboration at all. When Google’s executives even thought about bringing chrome to Android, the thought that would have stuck them is the competition that could arise between the web apps and the native android apps. The desktop version of chrome ships with the web store that has hundreds of web apps. If Chrome was to come to Android, then the Android market and the Chrome’s Web Store could have lot of competing apps. Google should have a proper policy to prevent such competition, that could be a reason for why  Chrome has not yet arrived on Android. There are lots of third party browsers that have become top browsers in Android like Opera, Dolphin, Firefox, Skyfire etc. Android has few apps like Chrome to Phone and Phone to Chrome to integrate the mobile browser and the desktop chrome. If Chrome for Android was to come, then there will be no need for all these apps. Chrome will have a tight integration between its mobile and desktop browsers. Chrome for Android is certainly getting baked. But when is it going to show up ? We can only guess. Chrome is based on Chromium an open source project, primarily driven by Google. One of the tickets from a Google engineer surfaced to the public domain, which indicated that Chromium was built on the Android platform as well. Recently there has been few rumors on Chrome showing up on Google TV during the CES 2012. Whenever Chrome is going to come on Android, its certainly going to be a treat for Android...

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Apple sues Samsung for Slide to Unlock

Apple sues Samsung for Slide to Unlock

Apple has filed a complaint in Germany against Samsung claiming that its Galaxy Nexus infringes on the ‘Slide to Unlock’ patent. This complaint came within few hours after the court rejected Samsung’s claim on Apple infringing some of its patents. Apple’s complaint was on a ‘utility model’ type patent on the ‘slide to unlock’. Apple has now filed complaint against Samsung, HTC and Motorola in Germany on the same patent. There has already been an instance earlier when a Dutch judge rejected Apple’s claim that Samsung infringed into the ‘Slide to Unlock’ patent. Samsung was able to prove that ‘Slide to unlock’ existed in devices earlier to the IPhone. Neonode as Swedish manufacturer had a ‘Slide to unlock’ type of functionality in it Neonode N1m phone running Windows CE even before the first IPhone was released. The Dutch judge called the Apple’s slide to unlock patent to be ‘possibly invalid’. The new complaint from Apple comes after it was granted another patent (8,046,721) for the same to ‘Slide to unlock’ feature by the USPTO in October 2011. Meanwhile Apple’s previous patent (7,657,849) on the same function was granted by the USPTO in February 2010. With the first patent called ‘possibly invalid’ by the Dutch judge, the courts only will have to tell if the second patent can prevent Android using a slide to unlock. But since the second patent is based on the first patent it is a possibility that the second patent can also be invalidated. This complaint specifically targeting on the Galaxy Nexus, seems to be a surprise. The latest version of Android – Ice cream sandwich that runs on the Galaxy Nexus has a slightly different slide to unlock. It’s unclear if the Apple’s patents cover the new ICS’s ‘Slide to Unlock’. But to layman both the Apple patents look very similar. Meanwhile Google has also applied for patent on its Grid pattern lock that comes in the Android phones. All Android fans will hope that Apple’s patent are invalidated and we continue to have Slide to Unlock in Android...

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Oracle offers to drop out but the Judge rejects

Oracle offers to drop out but the Judge rejects

Oracle had recently offered to drop its case of patent infringement against Google, in the lawsuit against Android’s use of Java and wants to pursue the Copyright infringement trial. Oracle’s claim was that to get a speedy trail it would drop the patent case against Google for now and would consider filing a fresh infringement case on Google at a later stage. But the Judge who presides over this case rejected this offer, and has mentioned that if the trial goes according to the plan it should start by Mid-April. Oracle has been losing ground on the patent infringement part of the case, and sees no major value in pursuing it now. Oracle could have the feel that if it pursues the patent case now, it’s likely that it gets very little or nothing out of it. This could have been the reason why Oracle has offered to back out of the case and take a fresh attach on Google/Android. But the Judge considering the time already spent on this case would want to finish it off in a single trial. The main reason why the trail is getting delayed is because of Oracles baseless claim on the damages. Oracle had claimed a mammoth $6.1 billion initially and $2.6 billion in the later claim. The judge has asked Oracle to come up with a more reasonable claim on the damages. Oracle has been trying to make its acquisition of Sun Microsystems (the original owner of Java related IP) a profitable deal by trying to get damages from Google for using Java in its Android platform. Oracle bought Sun for $7.4 billion in April 2009. To support its case Oracle had recently predicted that Google makes $10 million each day in annual mobile advertising revenue. This number is purely based on number of activations that was recently released by Google. Oracle does not offer any suggestions on how it came up with this number. Many stock analysts are still not sure if Google’s venture into the mobile business is profitable, but to accept Oracle’s claim would be up to the Judge or the...

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ITC rules in favor of Motorola in a patent lawsuit against Apple

ITC rules in favor of Motorola in a patent lawsuit against Apple

Apple had filed a lawsuit with the US International Trade Commission against Motorola Mobility claiming infringement in three of its patents. ITC’s preliminary injunction has ruled in favor of Motorola, claiming that Motorola has not infringed any of the three Apple’s patents.  This preliminary injunction will not be final until it’s voted by the six member ITC committee.  The ITC has become a favorite battle ground for smartphone law suits as it has the power to ban the import of potentially infringing products. Companies can also fight legal battles outside ITC in parallel and ITC has been used as a fast track court to stop infringers. Steve Jobs had told his biographer that “I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong,” “I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.” Apple’s attack on the Android hardware partners has been largely motivated by Jobs anger, and this lawsuit is one of the small attacks on Google’s partners. This ruling could have impact on Apple’s attack on Android partners, as ITC has ruled against one of the key “multipoint touchscreen” patent that was in question. Apple is using the same patent against many Android products worldwide. As a result of this ruling other lawsuit’s happening worldwide will be influenced to rule against Apple. This will be good news to Google as it is soon expected to complete the acquisition of Motorola Mobility. Google has come out in full support of its hardware partners, by selling or licensing them with patents that they can use against Apple. If Motorola is able to shun off all the attacks from Apple it will be double boost to Google and other Android...

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Oracle losing ground against Google

Oracle losing ground against Google

Ever since Android started gaining prominence, there has been lots of targeted patent attacks on Android smartphone makers and Google. Of  all these patent battles the Oracle vs Google lawsuit has been considered a serious battle as it is an attack directly on Android. Google has been working hard  to protect the Android community from  all such attacks. Of all such efforts Google’s acquisition of Motorola to  bolster its patent Arsenal was a clear indication that Google is really serious about keeping Android free and open. Google is also constantly buying patents from  IBM and others to fend off any threat to Android. The latest news from the law suit happening between Google and  Oracle is that Oracle is losing its ground on key fronts. Oracle had accused Google of Copyright infringement and Patent infringement. Oracle acquired Sun  Microsystems which owned all the intellectual properties related to Java which is a key part of the Android framework in 2010.  Oracle has also accused Google of fragmenting Java, by breaking its ‘Write  Once, run anywhere‘ promise which was the key for its large developer base. Oracles claims in damages from Google has been sliding ever since the  law suit started. Oracle’s claims started off with $6.1 billion, then was  lowered to $2.6 billion and was recently at $1.16 billion. During this suit  Google had asked the US Patent and Trademark Office to validate few of the  patents that Oracle accused Google of infringment. Last month the USPTO  invalidated one of the key patents in this investigation delivering a  serious blow to Oracles claims. It’s likely that Oracle claim of $1.16  billion is going to come down. Though Google is not expected to walk clear of this lawsuit, the money it will have to pay Oracle will not be a big concern for the search giant.  Any outcome from this lawsuit is not expected until middle of this year,  but it is likely that Google will pay off any damages if any in an single settlement and will keep Android open, free and rocking....

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