Two recent patent applications by Apple indicate the company is looking at developing a hydrogen fuel cell system to complement the rechargeable batteries in a "portable computing device" - which could refer to Apple's range of mobile iDevices, its MacBook range of notebooks - or both. The applications say the technology could potentially power portable electronic devices for "days or even weeks," which would be sure to silence critics and users who have long complained about the poor battery life of not just Apple's, but all mobile computing devices.
Google received some welcome news in its patent battle with Oracle, after the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a final rejection of one of the patents Oracle raised in the case. On 20 December the USPTO rejected patent number 6192476, which was up for re-examination at Google’s request, according to 9to5 Google, which referred to a citation from Groklaw. Oracle claimed Google had infringed on seven of its patents for Java technology that the database giant had acquired in its purchase of Sun Microsystems in January 2010.
Is this a bill to overhaul the patent system or one to get an influential law firm off the hook (for a possible $214 million malpractice payment?) The provision clarifies how much time pharmaceutical companies have to apply for patent extensions that can provide extra years of protection from generic competition.