You may not be familiar with Hop-on, a company based in both Irvine, CA, and China, but you're going to hear a lot about them soon. Why? Because they've just been granted a patent for an "MP3 phone with speakers on the side, in addition to front and side buttons to activate its camera/video features." Doesn't that describe just about every phone that plays MP3s? Yes. Yes it does.
Hop-on is now saying they are going to seek payment from all cellphone manufacturers that are within their patent's scope. Which to us, sounds like just about everybody. Plus, they're going to be suing the four major carriers—Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile—as well. Fantastic.
Best-case scenario? Their suits get thrown out with a minimum of fuss and won't affect development of new phones very much. Worst case, everyone needs to pony up and prices of MP3-playing phones go up. Sucks to be everyone but Hop-on.
Hop-On Claims MP3 Phone Patent [Digital Trends]
Image courtesy Calahouston.org