Barnes and Noble is spinning off Nook into a subsidiary business after a $300M deal with Microsoft which gives the Redmond company a 17% stake, bringing an end to a patent dispute between the two companies and sending shares skyrocketing. Commentary from John Scalzi and Tobias Buckell. Meanwhile the Kindle Fire, Amazon's competitor to the Nook tablet, has grabbed over 50% of the Android tablet market.
Apple has adopted new tactics in its patent war against the handheld industry. Last summer, Apple has transferred patents to the patent troll Digitude Innovations, using a shell company operated by Digitude's primary investor, Altitude Capital Partners. In December, Digitude filed suit with the International Trade Commission alleging patent infringement by almost every mobile manufacturers except Apple. (pdf filing) [more inside]
The New Yorker's James Surowiecki writes about patent creep. With eBay losing one court case and being threatened by another, Spike Lee trying to stop his first name being used, Amazon owning the concept of threaded discussions, the never-ending Un*x wars, and bands trying to protect certain chord progressions (OK that one's a hoax), is this a worrying pattern that needs to be reversed, and is it just the beginning of an anti-competitive trend that will see our own genes being patented?
Amazon can't patent 1-Click after all Finally somebody realizes the obvious; now if they can get BT to give up on patenting hyperlinks we can all go back to enjoying the Internet.
Amazon is approved for a patent on the technology behind their affiliate program. Wow, this really has the potential to shake things up a bit. Will software patents like this destroy internet commerce?