It seems the technology trial of the decade is not over yet: Apple has just requested a court order for a permanent ban of U.S. sales of all Samsung products that have been found to violate Apple patents, in addition to $707 million more in damages. This will bring the total from $1.05 billion in damages to $1.75 billion, an astronomical number even for a technological superpower such as Samsung. It looks like the patent war of the ages seems to be far from over as Samsung responded to Apple’s latest jab with their own request, this one for a completely new trial. Samsung claims that “the Court’s constraints on trial time, witnesses and exhibits were unprecedented for a patent case of this complexity and magnitude, and prevented Samsung from presenting a full and fair case in response to Apple’s many claims,” and thus, is worthy of a new trial. If Samsung is granted such a lofty request, they may be able to dodge not only the initial financial blow, but can request an entirely new trial.
Apple claims that both Samsung and Motorola infringed on their touch event model patent (EP2098948), but the Mannheim Regional Court just came down with a decision in favor of Samsung and Motorola. The touch event model patent shouldn’t be mistaken for multitouch. This one is a fairly broad patent (not like all the others aren’t) that covers the way the operating system reports or disregards touch events to applications. This could have been a mess for both Samsung and Motorola because if Apple had won, the result would be a need to rewrite, recompile, and reinstall a lot of apps since numerous applications rely on the operating system functionality.
The defense was based on the fact that Android does not store a multi-touch flag in association with each “view”, and this same argument was already successful in the UK and the Netherlands. I’m sure Apple will appeal this ruling just like they did with those.
The patent wars continue on as Apple and Samsung are in the middle of multiple disputes in numerous countries. The International Trade Commission has one on their desk as Samsung is suing Apple for infringing on four of their patents. In the preliminary ruling on Friday, Judge James Gildea ruled that Apple didn’t infringe on any of Samsung’s patents.
The ruling is not final until the commission decides whether or not to agree with their judge. That decision should come some time in January. Before that decision is made, the International Trade Commission will also decide if Samsung copied Apple’s iPhones and iPads, sound familiar. These patent wars have been going on since 2010, and with more cases coming up and appeals yet to be resolved, who knows when or if they will end.
Another day, another win for Apple versus an Android manufacturer. A Munich, Germany court recently ruled Apple can file for an injunction against Motorola phones and tablets, due to claims of a “rubber-banding” patent infringement. This “rubber-banding” patent is essentially an effect that can cause a page on a device to bounce back up after a user has swiped to the bottom of the screen, similar to the bounce back patent that was argued recently against Samsung. The unusual part of this story is Motorola actually acknowledged the alleged patent infringement back in April, but then backtracked and denied any sort of infringement later in August. As a result of this, Apple has a few options on the table for itself. The company can: 1) pay $32 million to enforce a ban which wouldn’t be permanent and would be open to an appeal, 2) pay an additional $12.9 million to force Motorola to get rid of any products named in the patent infringement or 3) pay an additional $12.9 million on top of the other fees in order to pursue a German recall of all Motorola products that infringe on Apple’s patents.
Naturally Motorola (and Google) can only shrug shoulders. A spokeswoman for Motorola is quoted as saying Motorola believes ” this will have a minimal impact on our business, if any“. This is because after all– Motorola doesn’t do major business in German markets, so in essence the potential of a sales’ ban would have minimal impact on its overall brand. Still, if you’re an Android manufacturer, there may be cause for serious concern. After all that’s happened recently, Apple is definitely not looking to let its foot off the gas anytime soon against anything and everything Android.
While Steve Wozniak had a public appearance in Shanghai, he held an interview fielding questions about the company he co-founded, Apple. He spoke about topics related to the newly unveiled iPhone 5 and the the Apple v. Samsung trial. In relation to the latter Wozniak was very clear that he hates all the litigation;
“I don’t think the decision of California will hold. And I don’t agree with it — very small things I don’t really call that innovative. I wish everybody would just agree to exchange all the patents and everybody can build the best forms they want to use everybody’s technologies.”
Google’s stance on patents has always been relaxed, as opposed to Apple’s much documented “war” style when it comes to defending their patents. Due to Apple’s constant bombardment of lawsuits against some of Android’s top manufacturers, mainly Samsung and HTC, Google has prompted themselves to change their stance on patents and how they plan on dealing with them. According to David Lawee, Google’s VP in corporate development:
“We actually didn’t invest in the patent ecosystem. We weren’t patenting things as aggressively as we should have been. We didn’t really believe rounded corners were patentable. We just didn’t buy into that notion of protecting your IP, and it (referring to Samsung’s landslide loss to Apple) was a wake-up call.”
While Google and Lawlee would much prefer peace than war, Apple has essentially given Google (or anyone for that matter) no choice but to strictly defend any patent they own. Lawlee also added:
“I’m hoping that we’re kinda over the hump in terms of how people value patents, and the ‘thermonuclear’ world is not the world we’re going to live in.”
It’s clear that Google and Lawlee wishes Apple would stop all of this nonsense, but at the same time realizes that it’s just wishful thinking when it comes to Apple and their patents. Let’s also not forget the power Google has with all of their patents, especially with the ones they acquired from the Motorola purchase.
It’s time for Google to take the gloves off and finally fight back against Apple. They can’t continue to let some of their most powerful vendors such as Samsung get clobbered in court battles. What do you guys think?
source: All Things D
Android’s multitouch software is not as good as Apple’s multitouch software? That’s what Samsung is claiming in order to avoid a recall and sales ban of its Android smartphones in a patent suit in the Dutch Court of Hague. In this round of the Apple vs. Samsung saga, Apple argues Samsung infringes on a certain multitouch patent called the “touch event model”— which prevents users from pushing two buttons at the same time on the screen. So as a result of the alleged infringement, Apple believes the Dutch courts should intervene and enact a sales ban of Galaxy products that operate on Android 2.3 or higher. Of course Samsung respectfully disagrees with Apple’s notions. Samsung lawyer Bas Berghuis van Woortman believes “the Android based method is more hierarchical the system is more complex and therefore harder for developers to use”. Apple respectfully disagrees as Apple lawyer Theo Blomme highlights Samsung’s claim of having a lesser solution “is simply not true“, while adding the technique that Android uses essentially makes its software the same as Apple’s.
Samsung is seemingly living on the defensive, isn’t it? After losing its epic battle Stateside, it is doing its best to try and try and have the upper hand on Apple this time around. There won’t be too long of a wait however— as the Hague court will deliver a judgement and ruling on October 24th regarding this matter.
source: PC World
A new report suggests Apple may have a hard time invalidating HTC’s data transmission patents, potentially leading to an import ban on select iOS devices. The Taiwanese manufacturer recently accused Apple of infringing on two of its IPs related to wireless networking. Furthermore, the company reiterated that the patents in question “are critical” to the use of 4G LTE. HTC acquired the patents in April 2011 for $75 million from ADC Telecommunications Inc.
“I don’t care if they bought these patents to sue you or not,” Judge Thomas Pender told Apple’s lawyer. “They are a property right. Clear and convincing means something to me. I have to be pretty darn certain a U.S. patent is invalid.”
While testimonies were given in court yesterday, detailed information hasn’t been made available to the public yet. Although, HTC reportedly touted the fact that it was the first company to sell Android and 4G handsets, and was “one of the first with touchscreens”. HTC America’s vice president, Martin Fichter, pointed out the company’s prominent 4G strategy, saying “LTE products were particularly important to our strategy in 2011. We’re a pioneer in that field.” Apple is claiming that HTC doesn’t have proper ownership rights of the patents, which Judge Thomas Pender says is an invalid argument.
At this point, it’s unclear if these patents will fall under FRAND law, which would require HTC to license its technology to Apple for a “reasonable” fee. It does seem unlikely that Apple’s next iPhone will be banned from being sold in the US, though. All we know for sure is that these agonizing lawsuits aren’t going away anytime soon.
A story that sounds like the plotline from an industrial espionage thriller with hidden thumb drives, secretly taken photos, and corporate spies, entered the Seoul Central District Court when Samsung Mobile Display, a subsidiary of Samsung, filed a request for an injunction against LG Display. Samsung alleges LG used or passed “leaked” information on to third parties after Samsung’s own employees or former employees stole the information when given access to a plant to inspect for equipment defects.
The technology in question involves Samsung’s OLED screen technology, especially a forthcoming 55-inch AMOLED TV screen. Samsung alleges LG had access to 18 “confidential technologies” and 21 other items of detailed information related to the technologies. In addition to the injunction, Samsung is asking for 1 billion won (≈ $880,500 USD) for each instance where LG used the technology or passed it on to a third party.
Samsung currently controls about 99% of the world OLED market. LG claims they use a different technology for their display screens and therefore have no need or interest in Samsung’s technology. Neither Samsung nor LG Display provided any comment or response to the filing.
Following up on his television interview last week regarding the Apple v Samsung case, earlier today the jury foreman agreed to field live questions on the Gizmodo web site. In the course of the interview, he admitted the jury never considered the validity of the patents claiming Judge Koh instructed the jury not to consider the validity and instead to assume their validity.
A quick read of the jury instructions shows just how mistaken the foreman was. On line 7, page 35, Judge Koh’s instructions state, “the decisions regarding infringement and invalidity are yours to make.” Further, entire sections of the instructions deal with determining the validity of patents. Instruction No 33 involves utility patents and obviousness, while instructions 43, 48 and 52 all deal with the validity of design patents. Lengthy guidance is provided regarding the standards the jury should apply in deciding whether the patents are valid, since an invalid patent would provide a defense for either party against the allegations of infringement.
As the Groklaw site suggests, the foreman’s reasoning creates a never-ending circle of passing the buck on deciding whether patents are valid. The USPTO issues patents on the assumption their validity will be reviewed by the courts while courts would operate on the assumption the USPTO issued a valid patent. No one ever decides whether the patents are actually valid though, as appears to have happened in this case.
What Samsung can do with these statements now is unclear, but there is probably a good chance you may be seeing them again in future filings as part of Samsung’s appeal.