Filed in 2008 and granted by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office this week, Apple has been awarded a patent for filtering text message content.
The patent is titled “Text-based communication control for personal communication device.”
It is unclear whether the patent will ever find its way into an iOS product but it seems Apple’s intention is to cut down on “offensive” texts sent from consumers using Apple devices.
Reads the patent: “One problem with text-based communications is that there is no way to monitor and control text communications to make them user appropriate. For example, users such as children may send or receive messages (intentionally or not) with parentally objectionable language.”
Additionally, the patent proposes a way to encourage better grammar in texts. The filtering system can not really work without proper grammar, as many phone users write in shorthand or use words that may not necessarily be in a dictionary, like “LOL.”
Apple’s patent would disallow the use of non-dictionary words.
Result for: objection
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has denied Google’s application to trademark “Nexus One.”
For Google, the rejection is not yet final, giving the search giant a chance to submit more evidence as well as new arguments.
“Registration of the applied-for mark is refused because of a likelihood of confusion with the mark in U.S. Registration No. 3554195,” wrote the USPTO.
No. 3554195 is a trademark of the word “Nexus” that was registered years ago by Integra Telecom, an 11-state wireline phone provider.
For their part, Integra thanked the USPTO for protecting its trademark and says they hope to work out a deal with Google. Adds John Nee, Integra’s vice president of corporate communications: “Google hasn’t contacted us since the PTO issued its objection but we hope we can work together to achieve our respective business goals.”
Result for: objection
The European Commission (EC) is set to approve a merger between Orange and T-Mobile, which will create the largest mobile phone company in the United Kingdom. A request from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to the Commission to launch its own independent investigation spurred both operators into action to alleviate any concerns that regulators might have with the merger.
Among the concerns were the dominant share the new company would have over the scarce wireless spectrum and what the merger would have meant to the UK’s smallest mobile phone network; 3. Despite being the smallest network in the UK, 3 can be credited with driving price competition in the UK in recent years.
In order to fend off a lengthy competition-probe in the UK, T-Mobile and Orange came to a deal with 3, which is owned by Hong Kong conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa.
Under the new deal, 3 will get access to 3,000 more mast sites across the UK. This would bring its total access to 16,000 sites and give it the largest 3G network in the United Kingdom. As for concerns about the wireless spectrum, T-Mobile and Orange agreed that the new mobile network would give back a quarter of the spectrum allotted to it for use by rivals to provide wireless broadband services.
The OFT’s main concern appeared to be the effect the merger would have on the 3 network, and so it would appear the European Commission has resolved all major concerns from a competition stand-point. The EC had until March 1 to respond to the OFT request.