Patent wars between Apple and Samsung have been raging for years and there really is no end in sight. The most recent breakthrough is that Apple is demanding Samsung give up $380 million for infringing on Apple’s patents.
This demand comes over a year after Apple won $1 billion from Samsung, even though this figure was later reduced to $600 million.
During the many, many lawsuits and court battles that Samsung and Apple have engaged in, there have been some occasions where each company has had access to private documents and information from the other company. Of course, that information should only ever be used in the context of the legal battles, but apparently Samsung had a different idea.
In one phase of Apple and Samsung’s patent fight, Apple gave Samsung confidential documents explaining their patent agreements with companies like Nokia, Ericsson, Sharp, and Philips. The court issued a protective order that was supposed to prevent Samsung from doing anything with those documents that wasn’t related to the lawsuit. According to Apple, Samsung leaked that information to roughly 90 employees and 130 unauthorized lawyers, which is a pretty big leak. Samsung executive Dr. Seungho Ahn attempted to use the information to strong-arm Nokia into a licensing agreement, but now that Nokia has joined Apple’s side in a motion for sanctions, I’m sure Samsung regrets the idea. Read more
Remember a few years ago when Nortel’s enormous patent portfolio went up for auction and we had tons of tech companies bidding for it? Well, looks like we’re about to see the effects of it. The group of companies that won the patents – Microsoft, Apple, RIM, Sony, and Ericsson – banded together under a new company named titled “Rockstar” and have filed an extremely extensive patent suit against Google and several Android handset makers, including HTC, LG, and Samsung.
Originally, Google wanted to purchase those patents to prevent this from happening, but stopped bidding for them at $4.4 billion. Rockstar nabbed the patents for $4.5 billion, which is an astronomical sum of money for a patent portfolio. Some of the patents that are being used in the lawsuit include patents for things like an “associative search engine” and “an advertisement machine which provides advertisements to a user searching for desired information within a data network.” Vague? Yep.
Realistically, the ultimate goal for the Rockstar Consortium would be to strong-arm other companies into paying licensing fees for infringing devices. Microsoft already makes several bucks per Android phones sold because of patents and licensing agreements. It’ll be interesting to see how this suit plays out, but make no mistake, it’s probably going to get pretty messy.
source: Ars Technica
And so it begins. We can’t help but feel this is merely the beginning of what will be a long string of Google Glass hating but we’ll try to remain hopeful. Even before its initial launch, we’ve seen the innovative device pass through much dissection and scrutiny as bar owner Dave Meinert banned the device from his establishment stating “People want to go there and be not known … and definitely don’t want to be secretly filmed or videotaped and immediately put on the Internet“.
Well, now it appears the law is looking to put a pinch on the technology as well, alluding to the fact it’s a hindrance and a distraction to the driver. While I’m inclined to agree to an extent, one has to wonder how far will this go and what can be considered a distraction? The point of Glass was to allow the user to operate the device and get the info he or she needs hands-free which most users do with their cell phones anyway. However, even on a mobile device one has to pick it up, press a button, speak and then glance at the device to ensure speach to text was accurate.
As for the back story, Cecilia Abadie, a California resident received a ticket from a police officer for “driving with monitor visible to driver”. Cecilia certainly wasn’t ecstatic about the charge and wound up venting about it over on her G+ page, causing quite a buzz (see what I did there?). And while we’re sure she attempts to fight the fine we’re pretty certain the outcome won’t come out in her favor. This begs the question however, if this gets big enough will Google feel obligated to step in and offer its two-cents? Only time will tell. Our advice for now is to keep glass off the menu while driving from A to B. The fine is simply not worth it. Feel free to offer your thoughts in the comments below.
Apple just got a huge win that will result in continued problems for Samsung and Google. The “Steve Jobs patent” (U.S. Patent No. 7,479,949) was reaffirmed by the U.S Patent & Trade Office (USPTO). The patent has been referred to as the “Steve Jobs patent” because Jobs was named as one of the inventors when Apple applied for it in 2008. It deals with a “touch screen device, method, and graphical user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics.”
It was originally challenged by presumably Samsung and Google, but this reexamination result came down last month reaffirming all 20 claims of the patent. According to Florian Miller of Foss Patents, this is a “major strategic win” for Apple and a “massive setback for Samsung and Google”, as well as a threat to other Android device makers. Samsung must now work around this patent to avoid the U.S. import ban that was ordered in August. Apple is also going after Motorola for this same patent.
source: Foss Patents
They’re back at it again. Apple has requested the United States International Trade Commission to broaden the import ban on Samsung. If successful, it would include a larger amount of Samsung handsets banned. Currently, Samsung is able to workaround bans in order to sell certain phones in the U.S.; however, Apple wants the ITC to investigate three more patents after they found that Samsung was previously infringing upon two patents.
With the government just being brought back from the shutdown, Samsung is expected to file an appeal to Apple’s claim.
Source: ITC Notice of Appeal
Stung by a recent ruling by the Obama administration that struck down a potential sales ban of some Apple devices in the U.S., Samsung is smarting even more after the Obama administration declined to strike down a sales ban of some Samsung devices as ordered by the U.S. International Trade Commission. The ITC previously ruled that Samsung had infringed on Apple patents related to detection of headphone jacks and on a multitouch feature. If there is any silver lining, it is the limited number of devices that will be impacted as newer Samsung devices incorporate different designs that get around the Apple patents. Read more
According to an International Trade Commission judge, HTC infringed on two Nokia patents involving the enhancement of transmission and reception of phone calls. Since this is a preliminary ruling, HTC has a little time to rectify the situation before the final ruling takes place in January.
The chip involved in the patents is made by Qualcomm and could result in a U.S. import ban on the HTC One and other newer phones. According to the Wall Street Journal, HTC is working with Qualcomm to come up with an alternative before the final ruling. HTC could also opt for a licensing deal with Nokia if something can’t be worked out with Qualcomm.
HTC is just one of those companies that can’t do anything right lately. They do offer some of the best phones, but they continually fail to market them. With losses starting to pile on, and continued problems like this, one has to wonder if HTC is going to be able to survive much longer.
As if supply chain troubles are not enough of a challenge for HTC, on Monday a judge with the U.S. International Trade Commission determined HTC has infringed on two Nokia patents. In the preliminary ruling, the judge ruled HTC violated two patents owned by Nokia that relate to signals sent and received by mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. The next step in the process is for the full ITC panel to take up the judge’s preliminary ruling and make a final decision sometime in January 2014.
Mark Durrant with Nokia indicated the company “is pleased that the initial determination of the ITC confirmed that HTC has infringed two of our patents.” The products involved in the case, filed in 2012, include the HTC Amaze 4G, the Inspire 4G, Flyer, Jetstream, Radar 4G, Rezound, and the Sensation 4G. Nokia’s complaint asks the ITC to ban the products from the U.S. market.
In a move that would certainly boost competition, consumer choice, and overall happiness in the mobile device community, the Obama administration is pushing the FCC to mandate that US carriers must unlock some of their future devices. According to the Washington Post, activists devised a petition to garner support, and they were able to collect 114,000 signatures.
Lawrence Strickling, assistant secretary of the NTIA made a comment regarding the petition:
“Americans should be able to use their mobile devices on whatever networks they choose and have their devices unlocked without hassle.”
However, the move would likely only affect GSM devices, leaving CDMA phones alone in the dark. However, we’ll just have to wait and see.
Source: Washington Post