patents

TV That Watches You: Tech Giants Are Patenting a Creepy Future

How much privacy are you willing to give up? Imagine a gadget in your den that knows if you're arguing with your spouse. Or a device that blocks an R-rated show when a child enters the room. Based on their patent applications, Microsoft and Verizon have plans for just such technology.

How Patent Madness Is Killing Innovation and Costing Us Billions

Big creative companies like Apple are taking out patents on everything they can think of -- lest they develop an idea only to discover someone else claimed it first. That may sound sensible on the surface -- but the rules of the patent game are actually doing more harm than good.

What Apple's $1 Billion Victory Means for Consumers

Apple's $1 billion court victory over Samsung poses a lot of questions for consumers. Will Samsung phones still be available for sale? Will they be more expensive? Will owners of existing phones need to worry?

AOL Sells 800 Patents to Microsoft for $1.06 Billion

AOL said Monday that it would sell 800 patents and their related applications to Microsoft and grant it a license for its remaining patents for a total about $1.06 billion in cash. AOL plans to return some of the proceeds to its shareholders.

Kodak Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Photography icon Eastman Kodak has filed for bankruptcy, as it seeks to boost its cash position and stay in business. The move comes as the ailing company has failed to find a buyer for its multibillion-dollar trove of digital imaging patents.

The Five Best-Performing Biotech Stocks of 2011 -- So Far

Pharmaceuticals are facing big patent cliff problems this year, but several biotechnology stocks have been doing quite well: Their biologic drugs command high prices, tend become blockbusters, and -- perhaps most important -- are in far less danger from generic competition. Here are the big winners so far.

Sanofi-Aventis, Genzyme on the Brink of a Merger

It seems that months of merger talks between French pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis and U.S. biotech Genzyme have entered the home stretch. This week, Sanofi is expected to offer $74 per share for the rare disease drugmaker, with an option included potentially worth $5 to $6 a share.

Pfizer Joins Other Pharmas in Giving a Cautious Outlook

Pfizer reported fourth-quarter earnings on Tuesday that nearly quadrupled from a year ago as revenue rose 6%. But it also lowered its sales guidance for 2012, due to some of its bestselling drugs going off patent. What's ahead for the world's biggest drugmaker:

Motorola Targets Microsoft With Patent Infringement Suit

In the latest round of a fight between two technology giants, Motorola punched back at Microsoft Wednesday with a patent infringement lawsuit. Its subsidiary, Motorola Mobility, filed 16 infringement claims against the software giant over its Windows mobile software, as well as its PC and server software and Xbox products.

Will Amazon Start Charging to 'Look Inside' Books?

One of the key innovations Amazon implemented on its way to becoming the nation's largest online book retailer was to allow its customers to preview snippets of books. Now, a new patent granted to the online giant suggests they may want to start charging customers for the privilege.

Legal Briefing: Need a Job? Sue Over Patent Marking

In Wednesday's legal news, the Texas Attorney General has appealed a judge's decision to grant a divorce to two men who were married out of state; the SEC vows to pursue overseas ratings fraud; and companies that incorrectly claim their products are patented can be sued for $500 per product.

Sanofi-Aventis Opens Buyout Talks with Genzyme

French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi-Aventis sent a letter to major U.S. biotech firm Genzyme proposing a friendly takeover valued at $69 a share, or $18.4 billion. But that's significantly less than the offer of $80 a share, or $21.3 billion, that sources say Genzyme is looking for.

The Supreme Court's Murky Patent Ruling

Can business methods and similar intangible inventions be patented? At what point are inventors seeking to patent mere concepts and principles? Today's Supreme Court ruling didn't really tackle those big questions.