Google has reached a settlement with the FTC agreeing to fully refund consumers charged for their children’s in-app purchases. The decision is hardly a surprise, considering Apple reached the same agreement in January, and Amazon did the same in July. The issue arises from Google’s requiring a password for purchases every 30 minutes and “blurring the lines” between real money purchases and virtual ones. The FTC’s issue arises from a few lawsuits filed by parents looking for retribution after giving their children free reign over their devices.
As the lawsuits between Apple and Samsung continue to slowly wind down, Samsung has prevailed in avoiding an injunction that Apple was asking for in the latest episode. Earlier this year Apple prevailed in a patent lawsuit to the tune of $120 million. The injunction request was related to that lawsuit as Apple hoped to stop Samsung from selling products that used the patents in question.
The latest news from Apple and Samsung’s never-ending court battles has to do with Apple’s hefty legal fees. Apple wanted Samsung to pay for the $16 million in attorney fees that Apple spent during four trade dress claims against Samsung relating to the iPhone, iPad, and iPad 2.
Legally, Apple would have only been reimbursed if the court found the case “exceptional.” Since Judge Lucy Koh decided that some of Samsung’s patent infringement was based on function, it wasn’t an “exceptional” case, and refused to make Samsung pay for Apple’s fees. She did, however, release Apple’s $2.6 million bond that was pending from a sales ban on the Galaxy Tab 10.1.
A Brazilian judge is demanding that Google remove the social networking app Secret from the Play Store and from all Brazilian phones that have the app installed. This comes after multiple cases of bullying and harassment carried out through the popular app. While the ruling sounds a little extreme, Google has the power to remove the app from devices remotely, though they reserve such measures for malicious or harmful apps.
The USPTO has issued a ruling on an Apple patent related to predictive text input declaring the patent invalid. The decision on US Patent No 8,074,172 centered on claim 18 of the patent which was defeated on the basis of prior art. The patent in question was one of two that a jury recently determined had been infringed upon by Samsung in a lawsuit brought by Apple.
Apple and Samsung have been duking it out in the courts for a couple of years now, but today’s news could be the beginning of the end. Both companies have jointly announced an agreement to drop all suits against each other in countries outside the U.S. This includes Australia, Japan, South Korea, Germany, Netherlands, the U.K., France, and Italy.
What’s interesting here is that not only is the U.S. excluded from this, but there is no cross-licensing agreement in place. So the current suits are no more, but how does this stop either company from filing new suits? It doesn’t, but I guess we can be thankful for this first step because these lawsuits do nothing but put money in the attorney’s pockets and stifle innovation.
It may come as a surprise, but Microsoft owns a lot of patents used in Android devices. In 2011 after a dispute over licensing fees, the tech behemoth entered a cross-licensing agreement with Samsung, allowing the allies to share one another’s intellectual property at a cost. Today, Microsoft has filed a lawsuit in an attempt to force Samsung to hold up their end of the bargain.
After years of battling in courtrooms around the world, it appears Apple and Samsung may be starting to grow weary of litigation. In the latest sign of this, Apple has filed a motion to drop a cross-appeal against Samsung on a matter related to the first California case decided a couple years ago between the two companies. The motion, filed with the Court of Appeals, ends Apple’s attempt to secure a permanent injunction against Samsung over multi-touch functions.
Some bad news for Motorola today, as the regional court in Mannheim, Germany has ruled that Motorola has infringed on an antenna patent owned by LPKF Laser & Electronics AG.
Because of the infringement, Motorola has been ordered to stop selling mobile phones in Germany which infringe on the patent. To get things going again, Motorola will have to adjust its devices to steer clear of the infringement.
According to the Korea Times Apple and Samsung may be close to a patent cease fire. An industry official —”familiar with the negotiations”— mentioned that neither company wants to continue fighting each other, nor spending their time fighting each other over patients. The source claims both companies are looking for a “common” ground.
Coming off two major wins, Apple and Samsung CEOs have already spent time in mediation talks with one of those times not ending well.