If you've already got yourself a music phone, you might wanna hold onto it for awhile, because some forthcoming patent "extortion" promises to jack up prices on any model with side-mounted speakers. You probably remember handset manufacturer Hop On from some of its low end wares that we've covered, and now the company has just received a design patent on an "MP3 Phone with speakers on the side, in addition to front and side buttons to activate its camera/video features." No big deal, except for the fact that Hop On plans to seek royalties for all past and future cellphones that it considers to be infringing on its IP -- in other words, millions upon millions of units. So keep your eyes open, because if the Moto's, Nokia's, and LG's of the world aren't down with Hop On's licensing proposals, it's likely we'll see a whole slew of lawsuits in an industry that already has more than its fair share of squabbling players.
Hop On promises aggressive defense of MP3 phone patent
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