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.
It’s no secret that Microsoft owns quite a few patents that they license out to anyone wanting to make an Android device. Microsoft has revealed a handful of these patents since they’ve begun filing lawsuits, but there’s no definitive list of just how many patents Microsoft uses in licensing negotiations.
Earlier this month Apple managed to prevail in a case against Samsung over some patent violations in smartphones. However, the jury took much of the wind out of Apple’s sails when it awarded the company only $119 million in damages, much less than the more than $2 billion Apple was seeking. Apple seems to think the relatively insignificant amount of damages awarded in court is sufficient to justify a sales ban on Samsung products based on a recent court filing.
According to Korea Times, the legal battle between the tech giants of Apple and Samsung may be coming to an end. Of course we’ve seen that before, only to also watch it crash and burn, but according to the Korean news publication, both companies have resumed talks to settle patent disputes out of court and if all goes according to plan, will end the multi-year battle between the two companies as early as the end of summer. Both are discussing royalty payments and the possibility of cross-licensing to avoid future court battles.
This news does come of last week’s announcement that Apple would be dropping patent disputes with both Motorola and Google. Should the two companies come to an agreement in ending the great patent wars, this will bode a different direction for all companies involved as there are also discussions about a cease fire (cease litigation) for a certain period of time on future disputes.
source: The Korea Times