A class action lawsuit has been filed against Google by a New York mother who alleges Google is unfairly profiting from in-app purchases by permitting minors to make them without parents’ knowledge. The action is similar to an issue that Apple just recently resolved over a similar business model. According to one of the attorneys representing the plaintiff, Google has failed to incorporate reasonable controls that results in minors racking up excessive charges for “worthless in-game currency.” » Read the rest
It’s time for another episode of the Samsung vs Apple war. If you remember, back in December, Apple asked Judge Lucy Koh for a permanent injunction againt Samsung that would ban the sale of over 20 phones and tablets in the U.S. This was after Apple was finally awarded a total of $930 million in damages from the original landmark verdict back in August 2012. Judge Koh denied the injunction, but the future doesn’t look all that bad for Apple.
The two giants will face each other in court again later this month, but it’s on a different set of patents that involve newer devices such as the Galaxy S III. Many industry experts think more damages will be awarded to Apple since these newer products were bigger sellers. Apple and Samsung did try to settle things with a mediator, but unsurprisingly, that didn’t go so well.
Will this war ever end?
Google’s Andy Rubin will be on the list of people that Apple plans to bring to the stand during its upcoming court battle with Samsung. Rubin, who left the Android team almost a year ago, would be cross-examined about the development of Android, specifically the features that Apple claims are in violation of their patents. Among the numerous Apple v. Samsung battles, this will be the first time that Rubin has been called to the stand.
Of course, he’s not the only one from Google to be called to the stand. The list includes, Google’s head of Android Marketing, Kenzo Fong; VP of engineering, Hiroshi Lockheimer; User Experience researcher, Ann Hsieh; software developer, Fred Quintana; and a former employee Helena Roeber.
According to reports out of Korea, Samsung CEO J.K. Shin met with Apple CEO Tim Cook last week. The subject matter was of course their ongoing intellectual property dispute. Reportedly nothing came out of the meeting and the companies will be heading right back to court in March.
Should anyone be surprised by this outcome? Not really. Both companies want to and will hold their ground while waiting for the other to budge. And as we have seen before, that just does not happen. Mediation yields almost nothing positive, thus relying upon the court system. In the meantime, have a look at what Tim Cook had to say about Google and Android last week.
Queen’s University in Canada and a related non-for-profit entity, PARTEQ Innovations, have filed a lawsuit against Samsung alleging the company’s “Smart Pause” technology infringes on a patent filed by the university back in March 2003. The patent was for a technology called “Attentive User Interface” (AUI) which would track the eyes of a user and cause a device to perform certain actions based on detected eye movements. For instance, if a user looked away from a screen, a video being played on the device would pause. You may recognize this as being similar, if not the same, as Samsung’s Smart Pause feature found on the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3. » Read the rest
Yep, more Samsung/Apple patent news. Judge Lucy Koh, who has been the judge over this enormous patent lawsuit since the very beginning, has denied Samsung’s motion for a retrial based on some particularly unsavory comments made by one of Apple’s lawyers. Apple tried to argue that letting Korean-based Samsung continue to “infringe patents” owned by American companies would destroy American companies’ ability to make quality products. » Read the rest
It seems the patent fight between Nokia and HTC hasn’t ended yet. Nokia once again won another German patent lawsuit filed against HTC. A German court ruled that HTC violated Nokia’s patent EP 1578613 B1 related to a “method and apparatus for enabling a mobile station to adapt its revision level based on network protocol revision level.” The patent relates to how newer devices are compatible with older technology networks. HTC has already licensed Nokia’s Standard-Essential Patents (SEPs) but this patent is not a Standard-Essential Patent.
The court found HTC infringing on this Nokia patent and ordered an injunction to prevent the import and sale of all HTC devices in Germany that violate the patent. HTC will also have to pay for damages, which will be determined in a separate proceeding.
Back in October, Rockstar Consortium launched a fierce patent lawsuit against Google and Android. Then in December, Google decided to fight back and stated Rockstar’s own CEO said that every tech company is infringing on their patents. Google, rightfully so, was sticking up for their Android OEMs. But now Rockstar has made one of them give in. Rather than going through a legal battle with a group that has much more power, Huawei has decided to pay off Rockstar.
Had Huawei stood up to Rockstar, they would have faced a group led by Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Sony, and Ericsson. Since Huawei filed a joint motion with Rockstar, the group will now likely push harder against the remaining OEMs they previously sued — Samsung, LG, HTC, ASUS, Pantech, and ZTE. If history means anything, we know one of them will put up a good fight.
Source: FOSS Patents
Just like that, out of nowhere, Google was found guilty of five claims of U.S. Patent No 7,025,914 involving push notification services. The patent in question is owned by SimpleAir, an inventor-owned technology licensing company that holds eight issued U.S. patents. The Google services involved are Google Cloud Messaging (GCM) and Android Cloud to Device Messaging (C2DM). These services are used to send instant notifications for Android apps such as Gmail, Facebook, and Twitter.
The verdict took place this past Saturday, January 18th after a week-long trial in Marshall, Texas, and was presided over by the Honorable Rodney Gilstrap. Although the jury found Google guilty on all five claims, they weren’t able to reach a unanimous decision on the amount of damages. It will now be decided by a new separate jury that will hear a limited second trial. SimpleAir is seeking over $125 million in damages.
With a new patent trial scheduled to start on March 31, 2014 between Apple and Samsung, Judge Lucy Koh has entered a summary judgment order on some motions from the two parties. Judge Koh denied some requests from Apple, but did rule that Samsung infringed an Apple patent on “word recommendations” aka autocomplete. At this point, Samsung will now have to argue at trial that the patent itself should be ruled invalid. Considering the ubiquity of autocomplete on any smartphone, this ruling could be a problem for manufacturers of other Android devices. Reportedly, Google is involved with an anonymous reexamination request of the patent. As the parties prepare for trial, Apple still has five patents at issue with one of them ruled as being infringed upon by Samsung even before the jury starts to hear the case. » Read the rest