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google inks patent deal with tencent


google has yet more news from china after the u.s. search firm announced a patent cross-licensing agreement with chinese tech giant tencent.the terms were not disclosed, but google said the tie-in with tencent, which is valued at over $500 billion, covers “a broad range of products and technologies” and is “long-term.” the two firms pledged to work together on future innovation and technology.“we’re pleased to enter into a patent cross-license with tencent. by working together on agreements such as this, tech companies can focus on building better products and services for their users,” google’s head of patents mike lee said in a statement.google’s core search service remains blocked in china, but this announcement follows a string of development that have seen the firm ramp up in other ar






google opens doors on android patent peace club


at the start of the year, the big android smartphone players got together and agreed to share patents under an undisclosed deal.google, samsung, and lg started out in january, with htc, foxconn, coolpad, bq, hmd, and allview joining a month later. it took until april for google to reveal the existence of the agreement that it has labelled pax."under pax, members grant each other royalty-free patent licences covering android and google applications on qualified devices," google business and operations vice president for android and google play jamie rosenberg said in a blog post."this community-driven clearinghouse, developed together with our android partners, ensures that innovation and consumer choice -- not patent threats -- will continue to be key drivers of our android ecosystem. pax






google inks $1.1 billion deal with htc, maker of pixel smartphones


htc already makes hardware for google's pixel phones.        






nintendo deal with tencent paves way for china push


for all its global popularity, nintendo co. has had relatively limited business in china. now a deal with tencent holdings ltd. has investors excited at the prospect that nintendo’s switch console and smartphone games could take off in one of the world’s biggest game markets.nintendo shares shot up by more than 7% to a nine-year high tuesday as investors welcomed its deal to put one of china’s most popular videogames—tencent’s...






apple and tencent reach deal to let wechat users dole out tips


beijing—apple inc. and chinese technology giant tencent holdings ltd. have settled their tiff over tips, allowing users of tencent’s popular wechat messaging app to resume giving monetary gifts to their favorite video-streaming stars and content creators.the tipping function was suspended last year after a dispute between apple and tencent on the terms. apple contended the tips amounted to in-app purchases, entitling it to a 30% cut of the amount transferred. tencent balked, saying it didn’t get any revenue itself and provided...






google founds pax to protect android ecosystem


why it matters to you google wants to protect android from litigation. pax might just help it do that.when it comes to patent infighting, google’s laying down the law. in a blog post yesterday, the search giant announced pax , a patent licensing group founded to “[promote] innovation and healthy competition.” its members will agree to the terms of an “android networked cross-license agreement.”pax, which google describes as a “patent clearing house,” counts google, samsung, lg, apple manufacturing partner foxconn, nokia device maker hmd global, htc, chinese smartphone company coolpad, bq, and allview among its founding members. it will grant royalty-free patent licenses that cover android and google applications on “qualified devices” — namely, smartphones and tablets that ship with google






google’s and intertrust’s new patentshield helps startups fight patent litigatio


google and intertrust today announced the launch of patentshield, a new program that aims to help defend startups from patent litigation — in return for a stake in those companies.the basic idea here is to give startups that join the program ownership of a selection of patents from google’s and intertrust’s portfolio that they can then use as a deterrent against potential patent litigation from established players in their fields. google is seeding the program with a selection of its own patents and intertrust, which itself has built up a patent portfolio around media streaming, iot, security and other areas, will also give these startups access to some of its own patents and its intellectual property team.if a startup gets sued, it can then choose patents from the patentshield portfolio t






google’s and intertrust’s new patentshield helps startups fight patent litigatio


google and intertrust today announced the launch of patentshield, a new program that aims to help defend startups from patent litigation — in return for a stake in those companies.the basic idea here is to give startups that join the program ownership of a selection of patents from google’s and intertrust’s portfolio that they can then use as a deterrent against potential patent litigation from established players in their fields. google is seeding the program with a selection of its own patents and intertrust, which itself has built up a patent portfolio around media streaming, iot, security and other areas, will also give these startups access to some of its own patents and its intellectual property team.if a startup gets sued, it can then choose patents from the patentshield portfolio t






this google patent is both a camera hat and odd headphone-free personal audio


why it matters to you if this google patent comes to life, tech support may look a whole lot different.tech support of the future could look a bit more like google glass and a bit less like a frustrating phone call.  a recent google patent details a camera hat designed for live interactive sessions and emergency assistance, with a social media hint and a few odd quirks.the hat includes a camera system, data storage, and a wireless connection. like snap’s spectacles or the camera inside google glass, the hat would record and transmit a first-person point of view through the brim of a hat instead of a pair of glasses.google / u.s. patent 9,584,705more: you can nab a pair of snap’s video-equipped spectacles for $130but unlike a pair of camera glasses, the patent, filed back in 2013 but only p






wechat owner tencent snapped up another 12% of snap this month


we already knew that tencent, the owner of china’s messaging behemoth wechat, was an investor in snap when the company was still a startup going by the name of its flagship app, snapchat. now, as snap’s stock price buckles under the weight of slow user growth and missed revenue expectations, tencent is deepening its hold on the company.in a 10-q sec filing for its quarterly results that were announced yesterday, snap disclosed that tencent has acquired another 145,778,246 shares of class a common stock in open-market trades, which works out to roughly 12 percent of the company.this is non-voting stock, and so it means that we will not get much visibility from tencent and snap when and if these shareholdings change further, as they will not need to be reported to the sec.“tencent and snap a






google files patent for a motion-activated led-bedazzled power cord


why it matters to you patents don't always lead to products but google presents an elegant solution to an everyday problem.big tech firms file weird patents all the time and google is no exception. recently, the mountain view, california, company filed a patent for a particular kind of power cord — one with an accelerometer and motion-sensing lights.filing a patent doesn’t necessarily mean a product will end up on store shelves, sometimes it’s just a preventative measure to get a leg up on the competition. but the patent published on thursday describes a device that solves a common and pernicious problem some of us face on a daily basis.you’re in bed, the lights are off, you’re about to fall asleep and you remember you forgot to plug in your phone. wonderful. now you have to fumble for you






china’s tencent buys 12% stake in snap


less than a day after snap inc. posted weak results that sent its shares plunging, the struggling social-media and camera company disclosed that chinese internet giant tencent holdings ltd. recently bought a 12% stake, becoming one of its largest shareholders.tencent, an early pre-ipo backer of snap, acquired roughly 146 million of its shares in the public market, snap said in a filing wednesday. the purchase adds to an investment tencent made in snap in 2013 during a fundraising round before the company went public. tencent’s...






google and major android phone makers gather in a patent peace agreement


google announced pax today - an android networked cross-license agreement, signed between the alphabet company and major android phone manufacturers to exchange patents freely for android and google applications. the deal “ensures that innovation and consumer choice […] will continue to be key drivers for the android ecosystem.”members of the pax agreement (which means peace in latin) are google, samsung, lg, foxconn, hmd, htc, coolpad, bq, and allview. they will be able to exchange patents without charging each other and will hopefully, bring patent peace in the smartphone world.google points out that android is already distributed under open-source licenses that allow anyone to use them for free. such ecosystem, the company adds, includes more than 400 partner manufacturers and 500 carri






tencent earnings: what to watch


chinese gaming and social-media giant tencent holdings ltd. reports its third-quarter earnings after the market closes in hong kong on wednesday. here’s what you need to know. earnings forecast: analysts polled by s&p global market intelligence expect tencent to report earnings of 15.7 billion yuan ($2.36 billion), a 48% increase over the 10.6 billion yuan earned during the same period last year. tencent hasn’t provided earnings guidance....






pax: android patent protection consortium formed


linux and open-source software have had to content with intellectual property (ip) legal challenges for years. now, google has started a new effort to bring peace to potential android ip sore points: pax.the new android and google software patent protection group may help crush patent trolls.the android networked cross-license, which the members call "pax" for short, is a royalty-free, community-patent cross-license. it covers both android and google applications pre-installed on devices that meet android's compatibility requirements. cashless payments: how one city has made electronic transactions pay off to counter a national aversion to digital payments of any kind, the northern italian city of bergamo has taken matters into its own hands, with some beneficial results.pax is starting wi






tencent is reportedly testing its own autonomous driving system


tencent is making progress on its own autonomous driving system, according to bloomberg. the report says that tencent, one of china’s largest tech firms and the maker of wechat, already has a prototype and is testing the system internally.if tencent’s autonomous driving tests goes well, that would help it catch up with fellow chinese tech giant and rival baidu, which recently launched a $1.5 billion investment fund as part of apollo, its autonomous vehicle initiative, and plans to mass produce level 4 self-driving cars by 2021 with baic group.tencent has signaled its interest in autonomous driving technology for a while now. about three months ago, it announced an alliance to work on artificial intelligence technology for autonomous cars, with members including sebastian thrun, the stanfor






google just dropped some of its patent claims against uber


image: gettywaymo quietly dropped several of the patent claims in its explosive lawsuit against uber last night, admitting in a new court filing that although it stands behind its allegations of trade secret theft and may pursue new patent claims later, it isn’t moving forward with its current patent infringement claims against one of uber’s lidar devices.advertisementwaymo, the autonomous driving unit that alphabet spun out from google, sued uber in february for patent and trade secret infringement. waymo says its former engineer, anthony levandowski, stole 14,000 confidential documents related to lidar development, and used them to create eerily similar systems for its competitor, uber. waymo was tipped off when a circuit board manufacturer used by both companies accidentally cc’ed a way






spotify and tencent agree to swap stakes in their music businesses


tencent’s overseas investment splurge continues after the company confirmed a deal with spotify that will see the duo make investments in each other’s music businesses.tencent music entertainment (tme), the chinese firm’s subsidiary that manages its music streaming and karaoke services, will make an undisclosed minority investment in spotify through new shares, while spotify will buy a similar undisclosed stake in tme. further to that, tencent will make its own investment in spotify by purchasing secondary shares from existing backers.“following these transactions, spotify will hold a minority stake in tme, and both tencent and tme will hold minority stakes in spotify,” the companies said in a joint statement.spotify’s ipo is hotly anticipated and it has been tipped to take place as soon a






china sides with emmanulle charpentier and jennifer doudna in crispr patent war


continuing the patent dispute internationally, china has now given the charpentier/doudna side a patent to edit genes in the country.crispr pioneers emmanuelle charpentier and jennifer doudna lost a patent case to the broad insititute earlier this year when the court determined the broad insititute had an application markedly different than charpentier’s and doudna’s overall patent. uc berkeley and charpentier’s team are fighting that decision in the u.s.undaunted, doudna told techcrunch at the time that outcome was a positive, “i’m actually delighted to know the claims of our original patent have been allowed by the patent examiner and can now move forward towards issuance,” she said, describing the difference between the two patents with a tennis ball analogy.“the broad institute’s paten






u.s. patent and trademark office director michelle lee resigns


michelle lee, director of the u.s. patent and trademark office, resigned on tuesday, a move that could be a potential blow to the tech industry.lee, who used to work at google before joining the agency in 2012, has been praised by tech firms for her efforts to reduce abusive patent lawsuits.patents can be unclear and overly broad, but the agency has been working to improve the quality of patents that it issues.lee is also the first woman to lead the u.s. patent and trademark office.“michelle has worked tirelessly to serve our stakeholders and the american public. we wish her well in her next endeavor,” u.s. secretary of commerce wilbur ross said in a statement.the patent office is an agency within the u.s. department of commerce. a reason for lee’s resignation and where she was headed to n






u.s. patent and trademark office director michelle lee resigns


michelle lee, director of the u.s. patent and trademark office, resigned on tuesday, a move that could be a potential blow to the tech industry.lee, who used to work at google, before joining the agency in 2012, has been praised by tech firms for her efforts to reduce abusive patent lawsuits.patents can be unclear and overly broad, but the agency has been working to improve the quality of patents that it issues.lee is also the first woman to lead the u.s. patent and trademark office.“michelle has worked tirelessly to serve our stakeholders and the american public. we wish her well in her next endeavor,” u.s. secretary of commerce wilbur ross said in a statement.the patent office is an agency within the u.s. department of commerce. a reason for lee’s resignation and where she was headed to






google files patent for edge-to-edge tileable displays


why it matters to you google's edge-to-edge displays could end up in your home or office before long, eliminating bezels once-and-for-all.google appears to be exploring the world of big, massive, wall-mounted screens according to a patent filing published today. the patent aims to improve on an earlier patent granted to the mountain view, california company, by eliminating bezels between tiled displays.all right, so what will that mean in practice? as it stands, there are really three methods for creating a giant wall-mounted display. one, you can just buy a giant screen, or several giant screens and panel them together. two, you can panel together smaller, cheaper screens, but you have unsightly seams where the bezels meet. or three, you can just use a projector.more:google fiber will do






china’s tencent buys 12% stake in snap


less than a day after snap inc. posted weak results that sent its shares plunging, the struggling social-media and camera company disclosed that chinese internet giant tencent holdings ltd. had recently bought a 12% stake, becoming one of its largest shareholders.tencent, an early pre-ipo backer of snap, acquired roughly 146 million of its shares in the public market, snap said in a filing wednesday. the purchase adds to an investment tencent made in snap in 2013 during a fundraising round before the company’s initial public...






china sides with emmanulle charpentier and jennifer doudna in crispr patent war


continuing the patent dispute internationally, china has now given the charpentier/doudna side a patent to edit genes in the country.crispr pioneers emmanuelle charpentier and jennifer doudna lost a patent case to the broad insititute earlier this year when the court determined the broad insititute had an application markedly different than charpentier’s and doudna’s overall patent. uc berkeley and charpentier’s team are fighting that decision in the u.s.undaunted, doudna told techcrunch at the time that outcome was a positive. “i’m actually delighted to know the claims of our original patent have been allowed by the patent examiner and can now move forward towards issuance,” she said. “the broad institute’s patent is for green tennis balls but the patent we will have is for all tennis bal






tencent: big in china, looking abroad


tencent holdings ltd. is the most valuable company in china, but its $1.8 billion investment in tesla inc. highlights ambitions beyond its home turf and the social-media and videogame businesses for which it is best known.in china, tencent is a behind-the-scenes fixture of daily life. the company’s wechat, known in the country as weixin, has 889 million monthly active users who trade messages, order and pay for meals, book...






tencent reportedly invests $150m in cinema ticketing startup maoyan


tencent announced another impressive quarter of financials yesterday, but the chinese internet giant — which is creeping towards a $500 billion market cap — made other financial moves this week.reuters reported that the firm invested $150 million chinese cinema ticketing startup maoyan, which was created from a merger between dominant players maoyan and tencent-backed weiying this summer.spokespeople from tencent and maoyan did not confirm the investment when asked by techcrunch.the deal is a significant one because, like so many verticals in china, maoyan-tencent are taking on alibaba, which operates rival service taopiaopiao. the alibaba unit works closely with sister company alibaba pictures, and the combination it helped the latter secure a 313 percent revenue jump in its recent earnin






google patents an energy manager that could help you save energy


why it matters to you saving energy can be a tall order, but google wants to help with a new device suggested by its patent.your home could soon be getting a healthy dose of intuition. on thursday, google filed a patent for a system that would provide “intelligent temperature management based on energy usage profiles and outside weather conditions.”as our homes become smarter and smarter, they are being exposed to an increasing number of information sources, which in turn create their own feedback loops. google is hoping to add to that list of sources the outside environment as well as individual devices’ energy usage. the data provided by these two factors could then be used to tell customers how best to save energy in their homes, allowing for more efficient energy management.more: the n






patent trolls take it on the chin in new supreme court ruling


sad! patent trolls, who’ve benefited from a 30-year-old legal standard that made it possible for patent holders to sue companies in almost any u.s. jurisdiction — including a federal district in east texas that’s notorious for serving as a favorable venue for patent holders — just lost their ability to bring infringement lawsuits in such plaintiff-friendly places.in a unanimous ruling, the court ruled instead that companies can be sued for patent infringement only where they reside or where they have a regular and established place of business.the ruling is a blow to companies that hold patents almost solely so they can sue companies into financial awards.law school academics now expect many cases to move to delaware, where many companies are incorporated, as well as to tech hubs like cali






google, intertrust launch patentshield to defend startups from patent litigation


google and intertrust technologies corporation announced tuesday they've teamed up to launch patentshield, a program designed to help startups defend themselves against patent litigation.by building up a large collection of patents that can be used defensively, patentshield aims to "level the playing field" and deter larger companies from suing startups. "as startups expand, larger companies - with sizeable budgets and patent portfolios - often use patent litigation to create an uneven playing field to threaten them in response," the companies said in a release. "these lawsuits often drain startups of their funds and threaten to put them out of business. while startups can be very innovative, they seldom possess a material patent portfolio of their own, thus making it difficult to defend a






carter names butch inks as st. paul's interim fire chief


st. paul mayor melvin carter announced friday that butch inks is his choice to lead the st. paul fire department as interim chief.inks will succeed acting fire chief matthew simpson, who took the helm when former chief tim butler resigned in october after a city reprimand against him went public.inks started in his role saturday. he began with the fire department in 1994 as a firefighter and before that worked for the city’s parks and recreation department. he’s a retired air force veteran.the st. paul city council has created a 20-member committee to pick the next fire chief.inks is “well positioned to lead the department as interim fire chief,” carter said in a news release. he has held positions including rescue squad captain, fire equipment operator and community relations chief, and h






google, intertrust launch patentshield to defend startups from patent litigation


google and intertrust technologies corporation announced tuesday they've teamed up to launch patentshield, a program designed to help startups defend themselves against patent litigation.by building up a large collection of patents that can be used defensively, patentshield aims to "level the playing field" and deter larger companies from suing startups. "as startups expand, larger companies -- with sizeable budgets and patent portfolios -- often use patent litigation to create an uneven playing field to threaten them in response," the companies said in a release. "these lawsuits often drain startups of their funds and threaten to put them out of business. while startups can be very innovative, they seldom possess a material patent portfolio of their own, thus making it difficult to defend






lego plans video games, social network for chinese children


london — toy maker lego is partnering with china's internet firm tencent to offer games, video and possibly a social network aimed at children.the privately-owned company based in copenhagen, denmark, said monday that the deal would combine lego's ability to create content with tencent's distribution reach."we've seen more and more chinese children engage with the world digitally, and the partnership will bring them safe and imaginative lego content," said jacob kragh, general manager of lego china.shenzhen-based tencent is one of china's most powerful internet companies, running the wechat messaging app as well as online payment platforms and games. because chinese authorities have largely shut out western companies like google and facebook, homegrown internet companies like tencent have






carter names butch inks as st. paul's interim fire chief


st. paul mayor melvin carter announced friday that butch inks is his choice to lead the st. paul fire department as interim chief.inks will succeed acting fire chief matthew simpson, who took the helm when former chief tim butler resigned in october after a city reprimand against him went public.inks started in his role saturday. he began with the fire department in 1994 as a firefighter and before that worked for the city's parks and recreation department. he's a retired air force veteran.the st. paul city council has created a 20-member committee to pick the next fire chief.inks is "well positioned to lead the department as interim fire chief," carter said in a news release. he has held positions including rescue squad captain, fire equipment operator and community relations chief, and h






tencent continues to snap up stakes in u.s. startups


tencent holdings ltd., the rapidly growing chinese internet giant, is proving a welcome source of capital to america’s fledgling companies, with snap inc. the latest beneficiary of its deep pockets.tencent, one of the world’s most valuable technology companies and best known in china for its wechat messaging app, recently purchased a 12% stake in snap in the open market, becoming one of its largest shareholders, snap revealed wednesday....






chinese internet giant tencent buys 5% of tesla


tencent, asia’s second highest valued tech firm, has bought a five percent share in tesla. according to a filing, the chinese firm scooped up 8,167,544 shares for around $1.7 billion to become one of tesla’s largest shareholders.the news itself sent tesla’s share price up three percent in pre-market trading. the purchase was arranged on march 17, and those now-tencent-owned shares are worth around $2.2 billion at current market value.tencent is a prolific investor. it holds equity in snap, this year’s hot tech ipo, among others following an early investment. while that interest in messaging makes sense since tencent’s operates china’s dominant chat app — wechat — it isn’t immediately clear whether the tesla investment has strategic undertones. others in its portfolio include didi chuxing,






melvin carter names butch inks as st. paul's interim fire chief


new st. paul mayor melvin carter announced friday that butch inks is his choice to lead the st. paul fire department as interim chief.inks will succeed acting fire chief matthew simpson, who took the helm when former fire chief tim butler resigned in october after a city reprimand against him went public.inks started in his role saturday. he began with the fire department in 1994 as a firefighter, and before that worked for the city’s parks and recreation department. he’s a retired air force veteran.the st. paul city council has created a 20-member committee to pick the next fire chief.inks is “well positioned to lead the department as interim fire chief,” carter said in a new release. he has held various positions in the department, including rescue squad captain, fire equipment operator






blackberry reacts to the gartner report that said it has 0.0% market share


yesterday market research firm gartner released its latest report on the state of the mobile world. one interesting tidbit in there was that for the fourth quarter of 2016, sales of devices running blackberry os reached an unflattering 0.0%.today the canadian company has sent us its official reaction to that report. here it is:as has been widely communicated, our current strategy focuses on providing state-of-the-art software and security for enterprise and devices. as part of this aggressive pivot to software, we have shifted away from hardware and toward a licensing model where partners develop hardware and distribute and market the blackberry brand. we are very excited about the new blackberry branded smartphones that our licensing partners - tcl, bb merah putih and optiemus - will soon