Apple has been ordered to pay damages to rival Samsung Electronics by a court in the Netherlands.

The court said that Apple had infringed a patent held by Samsung relating to the way phones and tablet PCs connect to the internet.

Apple, which recently became the world’s most valuable firm, has been facing various legal issues.

In a separate case, it was fined $2.3m (£1.5m) in Australia for its claims on 4G capabilities of the iPad.

And it is still not clear how much it may have to pay to Samsung in damages.

The Dutch court did not specify any amount, but the damages will be calculated based on sales of Apple’s iPhone and iPad in the Netherlands.

“Samsung welcomes the court’s ruling, which reaffirmed Apple’s free-riding of our technological innovation,” the South Korean manufacturer said in an emailed statement to the BBC.

“In accordance with the ruling, we will seek adequate compensation for the damages Apple and its products have caused.”

Samsung had claimed that Apple had infringed four of its patents. However, the Dutch court said that only one of those had been breached.

Artificial blood vessels made on a 3D printer

Artificial blood vessels made on a 3D printer may soon be used for transplants of lab-created organs.
Until now, the stumbling block in tissue engineering has been supplying artificial tissue with nutrients that have to arrive via capillary vessels.
A team at the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany has solved that problem using 3D printing and a technique called multiphoton polymerisation.
The findings will be shown at the Biotechnica Fair in Germany in October.
Out of thousands of patients in desperate need of an organ transplant there are inevitably some who do not get it in time.
In Germany, for instance, more than 11,000 people have been put on an organ transplant waiting list in 2011 alone.
To make sure more patients receive these life-saving surgeries, researchers in tissue engineering all over the globe have been working on creating artificial tissue and even entire organs in the lab.
But for a lab-made organ to function, it needs to be equipped with artificial blood vessels – tiny and extremely complex tubes that our organs naturally possess, used to carry nutrients.
Continue reading the main story

Start Quote

The individual techniques are already functioning and they are presently working in the test phase”

Dr Gunter TovarFraunhofer Institute, Germany

Numerous attempts have been made to create synthetic capillaries, and the latest one by the German team seems to be especially promising.
“The individual techniques are already functioning and they are presently working in the test phase; the prototype for the combined system is being built,” said Dr Gunter Tovar, who heads the BioRap project at Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB in Stuttgart.

Elastic biomaterials

3D printing technology has been increasingly used in numerous industries, ranging from creating clothes, architectural models and even chocolate treats.
But this time, Dr Tovar’s team had a much more challenging printing mission.
To print something as small and complex as a blood vessel, the scientists combined the 3D printing technology with two-photon polymerisation – shining intense laser beams onto the material to stimulate the molecules in a very small focus point.
The material then becomes an elastic solid, allowing the researchers to create highly precise and elastic structures that would be able to interact with a human body’s natural tissue.
So that the synthetic tubes do not get rejected by the living organism, their walls are coated with modified biomoelcules.
Such biomolecules are also present in the composition of the “inks” used for the blood vessel printer, combined with synthetic polymers.
“We are establishing a basis for applying rapid prototyping to elastic and organic biomaterials,” said Dr Tovar.
“The vascular systems illustrate very dramatically what opportunities this technology has to offer, but that’s definitely not the only thing possible.”

The single-atom transistor

Shrinking transistors has been an obsession in the semiconductor world, but researchers Purdue University and the universities of New South Wales and Melbourne in Australia appear to have finally hit the limit of shrinkage. They’ve created a single-atom transistor that is just 0.1nm in width.

This comes on the heels of a development three months ago when the same research team developed a phosphorus and silicon wire that was one atom tall by four atoms wide, which they said behaves like copper wire.

The big challenge now is to control the electrons. At this size, quantum effects become the overriding issue. But the flip side is researchers are targeting this approach for quantum computing, where ones and zeroes are relative rather than fixed.

Custom Electrons

Designer molecules have revolutionized everything from medicine to modern warfare, but as atoms become observable they pass out of the realm of theoretical physics. That has led to the next step—designer electrons.
At the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, jointly run by Stanford University and the U.S. Department of Energy, scientists are now tuning electrons to behave in different ways. Working with graphene—sheets of carbon atoms—teams were able to change the symmetry of the electron flow, making them act as if they had been exposed to a magnetic field even though there was no magnetism involved.

What ultimately can be achieved with electrons is unknown. This is new research that most people never even considered five years ago. But the fact that it’s under way marks a significant shift in what ultimately could have a big impact on future semiconductors.
–Ed Sperling