It’s not just Apple that is suing Samsung in the smart phone arena. Last Friday, the Penn State Research Foundation (the technology transfer office for Penn State) sued Samsung in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Case No. 4:14-cv-00124, for allegedly infringing the Foundation’s US Patent No. 6,720,572, entitled “Organic Light Emitters with Improved Carrier Injection.”
In the complaint, the Foundation contends that at least Samsung’s Galaxy SIII and Galaxy S4 products infringe the ‘572 Patent. The Foundation also contends that Samsung willfully infringed the ‘572 Patent because it knew of the patent at least as early as May 12, 2010, when it was referenced by the USPTO in a office action involving one of Samsung’s patent applications.
The ‘572 Patent relates to:
A light emitting device with improved carrier injection. The device has a layer of organic light emitting material and a layer of organic semiconductor material that are interposed between first and second contact layers. A carrier transport layer, may optionally be included between the semiconductor and light emitting layers. When used as a diode, the first and second contacts are functionally the anode and cathode. The device can also be a field effect transistor device by adding a gate contact and a gate dielectric. The first and second contacts then additionally have the function of source and drain, depending on whether the organic semiconductor material is a p-type or an n-type. Preferably, the organic semiconductor is formed with pentacene.
As the case was just filed, there has been little activity in it. We will monitor this case as it progresses.
iPhones and other smart phones are becoming ubiquitous among legal (and other) professionals. The ability to access your e-mail and documents outside the office is extraordinarily convenient. As attorneys, though, we must temper that convenience with our obligation to preserve our clients’ confidences. Most smart phones offer the ability to password protect the phone, often with a 4-digit PIN or passcode, before you can access the information on the phone. They also often have a feature that will wipe the phone’s data if a certain number of incorrect PINs are entered in a row (with the iPhone that number is 10). But just how secure is your phone?
In this blog post by Daniel Amitay, he looked at the most common 4-digit PINs from over 200,000 users for a program he wrote for the iPhone. Startlingly, the top 10 most common PINs represent 15% of all the PINs people actually use (instead of 0.1% if the PINs were uniformly distributed). While the PINs people use for a program on their phone, as opposed to the phone’s PIN itself, may not be the same, the findings are interesting nonetheless. If they were the same or even a large percentage were, this means that someone who finds (or steals) an iPhone would have around a 1 in 7 chance of unlocking the phone before it is wiped automatically! Smart phone users would be well advised to take a look at the list and consider whether the PINs they have chosen are really as secure as they should be given what information is on (or accessible from) their phones.
For a similar article about computer passwords, check out this NY Times article.
Update: There is another very interesting article on DataGenetics website that explores this issue in even more detail. It looks at not only 4-digits PINs, but also up to 10-digit PINs and identifies some of the more common ones used. It provides even more insight into common PINs to avoid, and it is well worth the read.
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