Apple is currently preparing for its second patent infringement trial against Samsung scheduled for spring 2014, and plans to present 22 products that it believes infringe iOS user interface patents. Unsurprisingly, yesterday Apple announced that it has analyzed the Samsung Galaxy S 4 after its release and has since “concluded that it is an infringing device and accordingly intends to move for leave to add the Galaxy S 4 as an infringing product.”
In order to add the Galaxy S 4 to this list, Apple will be forced to eliminate another Samsung product from the list, as Judge Lucy Koh has ordered the company to limit the number of patent claims and infringing devices ahead of the trial.
There really isn’t any specific information pertaining to why exactly Apple believes the Galaxy S 4 infringes upon their own UI patents, but we’re sure some more information will be released as we come closer to the beginning of the trial.
Source: SB Nation
It looks like Google’s Motorola unit may be in some potentially hot water because of Motorola abusing some of its advantages and power over Apple. According to some objections made the European Commission, Motorola may be abusing some of its extensive patent portfolio, not allowing Apple to have a fair opportunity or chance to at least agree on some sort of licensing terms. Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia highlights:
“I think that companies should spend their time innovating and competing on the merits of the products they offer – not misusing their intellectual property rights to hold up competitors to the detriment of innovation and consumer choice.”
So in other words, the EC believes that Motorola is well… “pulling an Apple” and abusing its patent portfolio so that Apple can’t get any bigger in Europe than it is now. What’s unknown at this point is which exact patents are identified as ones where Motorola is exerting its heavy hand and power, but we’re sure we will see more details of this potentially serious case soon. Naturally this is in the early stages now, but it will be interesting to see how the EC will move forward based off of its investigation and findings.
T-Mobile launched new “no-contract” service plans last month in an effort to differentiate themselves in the U.S. market. As we noted when examining the plans, the new hardware financing options could lead consumers to pay an even greater amount to get out of the non-existent contract than what they would have paid under the old system that used early termination fees. That possibility led Washington’s Attorney General Bob Ferguson to pursue an agreement to get T-Mobile to disclose these new terms in their advertising and offer customers a chance to cancel with no penalty if they were an early adopter of the new plans.
It seriously seems like HTC can’t catch a break with the HTC One. While we’ve seen delays roll in already, the latest news isn’t any better. According to a court filing in Amsterdam, Nokia has won a preliminary injunction over HTC in its use of the same high-amplitude microphones also found in the Lumia 720. According to the filing Nokia has an exclusive 12 month contract with STMicroelectrionics to use these dual-membrane microphones as they co-developed them. Apparently the chip maker thought the exclusivity was only for 6 months rather than a full year.
But fear not as current HTC One shipments in stores will remain unaffected as the court stated that HTC was “blameless” and unaware of exclusivity between Nokia and STMicroelectronics. So far this is only affecting HTC in the Netherlands but its implication could be worse as this isn’t the first manufacturing delay the Taiwanese company has seen with its new flagship. HTC, while disappointed in the ruling, remained optimistic as they released the following statement after the decision:
It just seems like the “minor disagreement” between Samsung and Apple will never end. News has surfaced that the two manufacturing giants filed a joint case management document with the Northern District of California court which aims to regulate what is presented and argued against in the upcoming trial, such as the number of patents identified involved in select devices. For now, each company agrees that the case will be limited to 5 patents each, though Apple wants a maximum of 12 claims, while Samsung slightly disagree and wants to limit the claim to 8 instead. Additionally, the upcoming trial currently indicates there are 16 devices involved, with Samsung arguing it should be far fewer, of course.
But regardless of what disagreements Samsung and Apple will make clear in court, we’re sure that Judge Lucy Koh will be eagerly awaiting to hear them.
source: FOSS Patents
Germany’s Federal Patent Court (GFPC) ruled in favor of Apple Wednesday when it invalidated the German part of Samsung’s European Patent Specification, “turbo encoding/decoding device and method for precessing frame data according to QoS” (EP1005726, including proposed amendments), which Samsung stated was essential for UMTS, the 3G wireless standard.
As is the case in most of these rulings, Samsung has the opportunity to appeal the decision to the German Federal Court of Justice. Samsung has sought injunctions against Apple over this, as well as other numerous SEPs.
Looks like Google might be in the hot seat again because competitors filed a new antitrust complaint against them in the EU alleging that the Android OS gives an unfair advantage for Google apps. The complaint was filed by Fairsearch Europe, which consists Microsoft, Nokia, and Oracle. Lead lawyer for Fairsearch said that Google is using Android “as a deceptive way to build advantages for key Google apps in 70 percent of the smartphones shipped today,” He is referring to the fact that Android OEM’s have a contractual obligation to place Google-branded apps such as Maps, YouTube, and Drive in “prominent default placement on the phone.”
Apple and Samsung are still going at it! On the road to innovation and market domination, Samsung has managed to infringe on a piece of an Apple patent. While they skirted the line on an infringement dealing with auto-detection of microphones or other devices plugged into its handset’s microphone jacks, an International Trade Commission (ITC) judge has found Samsung guilty of crossing that line with one of their other “innovations”.
The decision, issued back on March 26, was released Thursday and revealed that Samsung’s “text-select” feature on its smartphones and tablets is in fact an infringement on a key portion of Apple’s patent. Although the decision is not final, the full commission is expected to make a final decision sometime in August.
Patent suits involving Motorola and Apple have been relatively quiet lately, but that doesn’t mean they’ve ceased entirely. The latest comes from a German court that has ruled Apple’s infamous slide-to-unlock patent invalid in their case against Motorola. Apple tried to show 14 different amendments to the patent to keep it valid, but the German court disagreed.
While this is technically a win for Motorola, most Android manufacturers have put workarounds in place to avoid infringing on Apple’s slide-to-unlock patent. Had Apple been able to continue using that patent, it wouldn’t have given them any notable advantage over other manufacturers. Still, we can chalk this one up as a win for common sense and call it a day.
source: FOSS Patents
I’m sure you’re all too familiar with the huge patent battle between Samsung and Apple that ended with Apple being awarded $1.05 billion in damages. Then, the damages were reduced to about $600 million, and then Apple claimed mistakes were made in calculations, etc… It’s been a long, drawn out process.
Now, the second trial concerning 14 devices that infringed on Apple’s patents will be opened up again for a second verdict. Samsung wants the jury to review whether or not those devices infringed on Apple’s patents in the first place to attempt to reduce the damages, but by doing so, Samsung admitted that Apple could “seek even more damages on these products in the new trial.” So that $600 million could come way down… or it could back up to $1 billion in damages again. Obviously Samsung’s lawyers feel pretty confident they can make a better case this time around.
As a side note, Samsung also said Apple’s claims for reinstating the $85 million Judge Lucy Koh took away were “procedurally improper and substantively incorrect.” Like with all the other patent trouble, we’ll be sure to keep you updated as soon as anything else comes out of the courtroom between these two.
source: FOSS Patents