German Authorities raid at CeBIT

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Police and customs officials investigating suspected patent violations seized mobile phones, navigation devices and other gadgets in raids at a technology fair in Germany, with many Chinese exhibitors among those searched, authorities said Thursday.

Police in Hanover said that more than 180 officials were involved in the searches Wednesday at the annual CeBIT trade and technology fair in the central German city.

They said they filled 68 boxes with gadgets, documents and advertising material. The material included cell phones, navigation devices, electronic picture frames and flat-screen devices, a police statement said.

The alleged patent violations largely concerned devices with MP3, MP4 or digital video broadcast functions, as well as DVD players and blank CDs and DVDs, police said.

Sprint phone first to use fast network

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Sprint Nextel Corp. is upgrading one of its cell phone models so that it can connect to a faster data network, doubling its download speeds and boosting upload speeds by about eight times.

Both Sprint and Verizon Wireless operate so-called EV-DO Rev. A networks, but have used them only for laptop cards. Their fastest phones have used the older and slower EV-DO Rev. 0 network.

Sprint said Monday it was releasing a software update for the Mogul phone, made by HTC Corp. of Taiwan, that will enable the phone to connect at Rev. A speeds. Downloads speeds should be 600 kilobits per second to 1,400 kbps, up from a range of 400 kbps to 700 kbps with Rev. 0. It will be capable of uploads of 350 to 500 kbps, up from 50 kbps to 70 kbps.

Sprint said its broadband network now covers 234 million people, and the vast majority of it has been upgraded to EV-DO Rev. A, short for Evolution-Data Optimized Revision A.

The Mogul is a smart phone that runs Windows Mobile software and can be used as a modem for a laptop. It costs $199.99 with a two-year contract and went on sale in June. The software update will be available immediately from HTC’s site.

Software Companies Want Patent Reform by Congress

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The Business Software Alliance wants the U.S. Congress to pass a patent reform bill and executives at the trade group say they’re optimistic that the legislation will move forward in the Senate soon.

Patent reform heads up a list of five legislative priorities the trade group released Thursday. The BSA wants Congress to approve the Patent Reform Act, which the House of Representatives passed back in September, but the legislation has been stalled in the Senate due to objections from inventors, pharmaceutical companies and some small tech firms.

Facebook App Lets Users Send Movie Clips

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Paramount Pictures will become the first major studio to make clips from thousands of its movies available for use on the Internet.

The unit of Viacom Inc. is teaming with Los Angeles-based developer FanRocket to launch the VooZoo application Monday on Facebook.

The service gives Facebook users access to footage from thousands of movies, ranging from “The Ten Commandments” to “Forrest Gump,” to send to others on the popular social networking site.

“The short clips for a movie that you’ve already seen before helps you relive the moment,” Paramount senior vice president of entertainment Derek Broes said.

The clips last from a few seconds to several minutes and cover the gamut from Eddie Murphy’s guffaw in “Beverly Hills Cop” to Audrey Hepburn’s pleas over her “no-name slob” cat in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”

The studio will market DVDs of the movies through a button that appears after each clip is played. It eventually wants to use the application to virally market upcoming releases.

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