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Qualcomm accuses Apple of stealing its technology and handing it over to Intel

The court battle between Qualcomm and Apple has just won yet another chapter. The chip maker accuses the Cupertino company of stealing its wireless technology to provide it to Intel in order to increase the speed of the competitor’s modems.
According to a publication from The Verge, Qualcomm claims that for years Apple has stolen its confidential information and trade secrets through an “intricate plan” to improve the performance of solutions that do not have Qualcomm chipsets, including iPhones.
The site points out that in the action Qualcomm says that Intel engineers even complained to Apple at one point about not being able to open Qualcomm’s secret files they had received, so they created new documents using Qualcomm’s own tools.
The company does not specify a date, but the document submitted states that this alleged Apple practice would have started “for at least several years” and continues to this day. Among other things, the company is asking the courts for financial damages and punitive measures for Apple, in addition to wanting the company to be forced to stop using the Intel modems.
According to The Verge, Apple declined to comment on Qualcomm’s new allegations, pointing to the statement it issued in June last year that it was “taxing” its innovation and damaging the market overall.
In the past, Qualcomm had already made claims in this regard against Apple in a lawsuit in late 2017, but in a milder tone than the adopted in this new action.


Samsung's new patent envisages method of inserting braille into smartwatches

Samsung filed in South Korea in March last year the patent application “Electronic apparatus for inputting braille and operating method thereof”. The patent, self-descriptive, describes a method for blind people to input text through braille, using the rotating bezel on a smartwatch.
It enables braille input by allowing the user to control the input position in the six-point braille character by rotating the bezel. The patent is surprising to go beyond the market’s trend to invest in voice-based interaction models to make products and services more accessible to people with disabilities. As it seems the company is exploring other approaches as well.
No other major brand is currently offering a bezel-based navigation option on its smartwatches. Samsung’s rotatable bezel is considered useful and convenient by many users since the smartwatch screens are very small. Using the same mechanism for innovative features like the braille input will make it more unique and desirable. Despite the fact that ideas like these may not be Moneymakers for the company, it is encouraging to see that Samsung is trying to make its latest gadgets more accessible to users.
It is not clear yet if Samsung is planning to incorporate this technology into its future smartwatches since not all patents turn into commercial products.


Facebook is suing BlackBerry for patent infringement

Facebook has begun a new chapter in the legal battle with BlackBerry. The first legal confrontation between the two companies started in March 2018, when the mobile device maker accused Facebook and Whatsapp of copying the messaging technology originally used by BlackBerry Messenger (BBM).
Now it is Facebook’s turn to accuse the manufacturer of infringing its patents.
According to the Bloomberg publication, Facebook has filed a lawsuit against BlackBerry for infringement of at least 6 patents, including technology related to voice messages.
Other allegations claim that BlackBerry would also have copied specific graphics display technologies and a system that performs the centralization of tracking data and analyzes obtained through GPS. So far, neither company has come out on the case.


PPH PROSUL Pilot Program enters on its second phase

The Brazilian PTO published on September 4, 2018, the Rule #224/2018 implementing the second phase of PPH Pilot program with the National Institute of Industrial Property of Chile (INAPI), the National Institute of Industrial Property of Argentina (INPI-AR), the Colombian Superintendence of lndustry and Commerce (SIC), the Ecuadorian Institute of Intellectual Property (IEPI),the National Directorate of Intellectual Property (DINAPI), the Peruvian Institute for the Defense of Competition and Protection of Intellectual Property (INDECOPI) and the National Institute of Industrial Property of Uruguay (NCPA), named PPH PROSUL Pilot Project.
To be accepted on the PROSUL PPH Pilot Program, the application must:
i) Have been filed for more than 18 months or published by the WIPO (when applicable);
ii) Have the corresponding technical exam duly paid;
iii) Have to belong to patent families whose earliest application has been filed at a Patent Office from any of PROSUL countries or, in case of a PCT application, any of these offices was the receiving office.
iv) Have the favorable opinion from any of the PROSUL Institutes, clearly indicating which claims to meet the requirements of novelty, inventive step, and industrial applicability.
In the case of divided patent applications, they must request priority procedure to all of them.
The participation of the application in the PROSUL PPH Pilot Program shall be requested by any or all the applicants.
The priority examination request can be filed up to June 30, 2019.
Amongst other documents requested by Rule #224/2018, the applicant must submit with the application, documents proving that the application meets the requirements and a table including the correspondences between the BR application claims and the PROSUL allowed claims and a copy of non-patentary prior art documents.
The program will be extended until all eligible applications are decided.
The BPTO will evaluate the applications according to its request date, and applications that do not meet the requirements will either be given the opportunity to correct any irregularity, case in which the BPTO will issue an office action which must be replied to within 60 days, or be denied participation in the PPH Pilot Program, case in which it will return to the regular line of examination.
The original Portuguese version of Rule #224/2018 is available here