In the back-and-forth patent battles between Apple and Android manufacturers, Apple was recently the latest victor when the German courts ruled in favor of the fruity-monikered empire, with Motorola being the casualty, and slide-to-unlock caught in the middle. This time, Google may be firing the next shot by getting a patent published that was filed in 2010. This patent clearly states it’s a slide-to-unlock concept. An excerpt from the abstract reads:
Add this to the back and forth and the ever growing battles between Apple and whomever they’re suing the pants off of this month. This month the lucky company to lose their pants is Motorola. While Motorola won one of their battles back in November, Apple has skated off with the most recent of victories. Judge Dr. Peter Guntz of the Munich Regional Court ruled in favor of Apple which means that Motorola is now faced with a permanent injunction regarding its use of the slide-to-unlock feature in their smartphones.
Judge Gruntz sided with Apple in its claims that Motorola’s UI element violated patent EP1964022. This is Apples patent regarding its slide-to-unlock software element. You know, the one that they were awarded last year. By losing this battle, Motorola could see certain devices of theirs banned in Germany. Even though this is a big win for Apple it wasn’t perfect. Only two out of the three, the ones pertaining to smartphones, were awarded. The third one was in regards to the XOOM tablet which in his ruling, Guntz felt that this fell outside of the patent’s realm.
There isn’t word on if Motorola will make an attempt to appeal this ruling and we will have to wait and see. This is certainly a big blow to Motorola and anyone else faces similar lawsuits. Like Samsung currently is. As Apple continues its quest to sue anyone that develops anything rectangular and resembles a smartphone it will be interesting in seeing what they’ll pull out of nowhere next time. Who knows maybe they’ll be awarded a patent for their use of the power button. If so, look out world.
Fresh off the recent approvals by both the US and European Commission for the Motorola acquisition, Google could very well face increased scrutiny over possible patent misuse. There are concerns that Google could use its upcoming received patents to possibly penalize rival companies. Google’s view on patent licensing is what has regulators worried. The Department of Justice antitrust division had this to say in a statement in comparison to both Apple and Microsoft, “Google’s commitments were more ambiguous and do not provide the same direct confirmation of its SEP [standard essential patent] licensing policies”
Google’s proposed $12.5 billion buyout of Motorola Mobility took two steps closer to completion after both the European Union and US Department of Justice announced that the deal has been given their final approval. Speculation had been rising that the deal may be challenged, citing anti-competitive behaviour however, the EU commission has stated that they do not feel the merger impedes competition. The EU has noted that they will be reviewing how Google uses Motorola’s patents to ensure they comply with antitrust guidelines.
In only a few hours following the EU Commission’s all clear this morning, the US Department of Justice followed suit as expected however, there are several other hurdles to clear before the deal can be concluded. A statement from the official Google Blog stated “This is an important milestone in the approval process and it moves us closer to closing the deal. We are now just waiting for decisions from a few other jurisdictions before we can close this transaction.” Google is still awaiting approval from China, Israel and Taiwan.
So what say you, fair Android followers? Is Google’s strategy for Motorola all about the patents or is the dawn of Google as a hardware manufacturer upon us?
Do I have a surprise for you! Well no, not really. Just another Apple vs. Motorola lawsuit, and this time Apple claims that Motorola’s German lawsuit against them breaches terms of a patent licensing agreement between Motorola and Qualcomm. Details are scarce at the moment, as both Motorola and Apple have declined to comment on the case and Qualcomm representatives can’t be reached.
In the coming weeks (or even days) Google is expected to receive approval of their multi-billion dollar takeover of Motorola. Google also announced earlier this week its intent to licence Motorola patents on fair and reasonable terms if the deal goes through. This could mean that not only is Apple picking a fight with Motorola, but in the grander scale, another fight with Google itself. Seems like Apple is a bully in the playground and Google is the kid that plays all their moves right to gain the upper hand.
Well, Apple is at it again! This time, the fruit giant has its sights set on the Galaxy Nexus. On Thursday, the public redacted version was made with the United States District Court for the Northern District of California and became available on Friday. Apple’s motion against the Galaxy Nexus relates to four patents:
A word completion patent that provides major speed enhancements to text input
It’s said to be that number 1 is of the most danger to Samsung, based on precedent in the HTC case as well as the fact that Android actually infringes on this at the operating system level (opposed to implemented by OEMs like Sense and TouchWiz). Although some of these new filings will actually hold a strong case against Samsung and Google, hit the break for my spin on the Apple patent circus.
I hope the Execs at Samsung and Apple have a nice discount for hotel bookings in Germany as the 2 tech giants are in the docks overseas yet again.
The case for the prosecution on this occasion is Apple’s claim that the reworked Galaxy 10.1N tablet is still not significantly different from the iPad. The original 10.1 tab has been banned from sale in Germany since September 2011 after the courts backed Apple’s campaign to ban the device. In the latest chapter, the state court in Düsseldorf has ruled in Samsung’s favour stating that the redesigned 10.1N should not be banned as there are “clear differences” between the two tablets.
Apple and Samsung are currently locked in courtroom battles in several countries across the world and the recent string of rulings against Apple doesn’t seem to be deterring the Cupertino giants. Are you tired of reading about litigation instead of innovation? Let us hear your thoughts.
In June of last year, the Taiwanese government issued a complaint to multiple companies including Microsoft and Apple, defending a certain law they have in place that details anything downloaded from the internet must be subject to a mandatory seven-day trial period in which the user can request a complete refund. Both Apple and Microsoft yielded, complying with the Taiwanese law. Google however, argued that users have ample time – even within the 15 minute window Google allows – to use the app and determine whether or not they want a refund.
As a result, Google was fined NT$1,000,000 (about $34,000 US), which they appealed. Google’s final appeal ended yesterday, and it didn’t bear any good news for the internet giant. The Taiwanese government gave a statement, saying “We urge Google to respect Taiwan’s laws and the rights of our consumers to resume sales of its Android Market paid apps.”
Google’s been fairly quiet thus far, but it’s only been a day. I don’t believe they’re necessarily too worried about it, though. Do you?
Well it appears Motorola is growing some stones in regards to its injunction against Apple’s iCloud and MobileMe software. Motorola is apparently looking into receiving 2.25% of Apple’s sales in return for licensing FRAND (fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms) patents. Right now Apple is currently battling in its use of the Qualcomm-Mot0r0la license agreement for its defense. They are trying to show the court that the patent has already been exhausted, which would safeguard Apple from also being sued by Qualcomm. They just happen to be its supplier and a license already exists between the two. They are also trying to disclose terms of the agreement in order to prove that 2.25% is an exaggerated amount.
They are also asking for documents that contain the agreements between Motorola and other manufacturers, like Ericsson, HTC, LG, and Nokia. Apple hopes that these agreements show the court that 2.25% is exaggerated as was said before and that it exceeds the amount agreed upon with those other OEMs. The ruling could go either way. One thing is for certain, Apple isn’t steam rolling over Android OEMs anymore in their patent suits.
It was only yesterday we wrote about Apple’s claims against Samsung in Germany and just as one would expect, the saga continues.
This time it’s Motorola’s turn to go up against the Cupertino giants although, just to break the usual trend, it’s Apple’s turn in the dock. The groundwork for this case was actually laid back in November when Motorola won an injunction against the sale of Apple products in Germany.
In an unexpected twist, a German judge has ruled in Motorola’s favour, granting two permanent injunctions. Motorola has really gone for the jugular on this one too, dealing two major blows to Apple’s products in Germany :
Injunction passed preventing the sale of various iOS products
Apple has already removed the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, as well as all 3G-enabled iPads from its online store. The iPhone 4s is the only device still available online. All devices are still for sale at retail outlets.
Injunction passed preventing the use of push e-mail services
The Mannheim Regional Court has granted a permanent injunction preventing the use of the iCloud and MobileMe push e-mail services on German devices. Whilst users in Germany will still be able to use e-mail services, there will be no push option. They will need to set their device to check for new e-mail at pre-defined intervals.
I’m ordinarily the first person in line to poke fun at our Apple owning friends however, on this occasion I have to say I take little pleasure in reading about cases like this. There are no real winners as these patent wars rage on and Android users have missed out on features over the years due to similar claims. In cases such as these, Apple may lose on the day but inevitably it’s the consumer who is losing out in the long run.
Well you have to give it to Apple. If anything, they are relentless. Rather than admit defeat in regards to their recent lawsuit in Australia against Samsung being overturned they’ve come at the Korean company a second time. This time, Apple is expanding its lawsuit to inclue 278 claims that spans across 22 patents and covers 10 new products.
This news was reported by The Australian and according to them, Apple has widened its claims in New South Wales Federal Court today. Samsung’s lead barrister confirmed that Apple expanded its patent lawsuit “enormously” from the three patents regarding features that were packed in the Galaxy Tab 10.1. Also the barrister, Neil Young, states that Samsung was only given a day’s notice of Apple’s legal bid against Samsung being amended to include over 200 claims against smartphones and tablets that haven’t even been seen in the country. Given the short notice Samsung won’t even be able file a defense against Apple until mid-May.
Another day, another failed Apple lawsuit. Samsung’s latest flagship models, the Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy Tab 10.1N, have escaped unscathed after the Munich Regional Court rejected Apple’s bid to block sales of the devices in Germany.
Our good friends from Cupertino seem hell-bent on causing complications for Samsung’s big German sales push. Samsung had already redesigned the original Galaxy Tab 10.1 as the 10.1N as a result of a previous Apple lawsuit.
The patent war really gathered a head of steam in 2011 with Apple as the real driving force behind it. Unfortunately, 2012 seems to be promising more of the same with Apple entangled in court room battles with many of the major Android manufacturers.
Perhaps if Apple spent as much time on innovation as they do trying to sue the competition they might have produced something more imaginative than the underwhelming upgrade that was the iPhone 4s.
If being in court every day over patent issues in 10 countries isn’t enough, now EU regulators are investigating whether Samsung Electronics breached antitrust rules by accusing rivals such as Apple of infringing its technology patents.
Last year, Samsung filed for injunctions in several EU countries againt competitors for infringing patents. Back in 1998 Samsung pledged to license its patents to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms.
“The (European) Commission will investigate, in particular, whether in doing so (seeking injunctions on patent infringements in 2011) Samsung has failed to honor its irrevocable commitment given in 1998 to the European Telecommunications Standards,” the EU executive said.
That’s why Google took some time and addressed concerns to Congress in a detailed letter. Anyone who is concerned about their privacy will definitely want to set aside some time and check out this letter. This is a long letter, so here are some quick bullet points you might want to focus on:
We’re still keeping your private information private — we’re not changing the visibility of any information you have stored with Google.
We’re still allowing you to do searches, watch videos on YouTube, get driving directions on Google Maps, and perform other tasks without signing into a Google Account.
We’re still offering you choice and control through privacy tools like Google Dashboard and Ads Preferences Manager that help you understand and manage your data.
We still won’t sell your personal information to advertisers.
We’re still offering data liberation if you’d prefer to close your Google Account and take your data elsewhere.
Kudos to Google for taking immediate action in addressing its users’ concerns. Be sure to make some free time and check out the video below in addition to checking out Google’s letter in its entirety at the link below.
And the Apple and Samsung news just continues to flow like water. In recent news the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court (an appeals court) is sticking to a preliminary injunction against the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and also states that the Galaxy Tab 8.9 may be in jeopardy of violating similar patents. However, unlike the original file claim, the appeals court is basing this conclusion on a violation of a German unfair competition law, Gesetz gegen den unlauteren Wettbewerb, UWG (you’re going to have rely on Google Translate for that one folks). And the lower court’s ruling was based on a “Community Design” which is equivocation to a U.S. design patent. We initially saw the injunction issued in early August of last year where in the following September it was upheld and quickly appealed by Samsung to the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court.