FCC proposes $100 million fine of AT&T

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The FCC announced today a proposed $100 million fine of AT&T over allegations the carrier was improperly throttling data speeds for unlimited plan customers and in particular that the company failed to adequately disclose the throttling consumers may face. The plans in question were offered between 2007 and 2010 by AT&T. Although the carrier no longer offers unlimited data plans, subscribers who had such a plan could continue to renew them. The FCC contends AT&T falsely labeled plans subject to the company’s maximum bit rate policy as unlimited and failed to adequately inform customers of the maximum speeds they would have available.

Apple’s billion dollar patent victory over Samsung gets partially overturned

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Apple and Samsung’s legal back-and-forth has been going on for years, with the original case resulting in Apple winning over 1 billion dollars in damages. Over multiple appeals and retrials, the settlement has been notched down just over $900, but according to the most recent ruling, it looks like Apple will only end up winning it’s design patent claim, but not the trade dress claim. That ruling should knock the total damages down nearly $400 million for Samsung.

OnePlus settles lawsuit, confirms Cyanogen to continue OTA support for the One in India

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In an ironic twist on its #NeverSettle motto, it would appear that OnePlus has indeed settled its dispute with Micromax that saw the OnePlus One briefly banned from sale in India back in December. OnePlus announced that it and Micromax have agreed to mutually withdraw the cases and cease legal proceedings via its blog earlier today.

Samsung patent battle may help Apple avoid $533 million judgment

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In what may be one of the most unusual legal twists witnessed in recent memory, a move by Samsung to have some patents invalidated may end up helping Apple avoid a $533 million judgment. This curious result is because both Apple and Samsung have been sued by the same company, Smartflash LLC, over the same set of patents. A win by either of the tech giants in their respective lawsuits will end up helping the other, even though Apple and Samsung have been huge rivals in recent years carrying on their own patent legal battles against each other.

Motorola ruled to have infringed on Intellectual Ventures patent

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A US Jury in Delaware has found Motorola guilty of infringing on one of Intellectual Venture’s patents, while clearing the company of a second potential infringement. The infringed patent in question deals with multimedia text messaging, while the non-infringing patent dealt with wireless bandwidth. Damages will be figured up later.

Android patent lawsuit between Samsung and Microsoft settled

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In what has to be one of the quickest resolutions to a patent lawsuit between tech giants in recent history, Microsoft and Samsung have announced a settlement over patent royalties for some code included in Samsung’s Android devices. The lawsuit stemmed from an agreement reached between the two companies in 2011 that flared up in August 2014 when Microsoft accused Samsung of breach of contract.

LG could sue Qualcomm if they give Samsung a modified version of the Snapdragon 810

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Yesterday’s report that Qualcomm will deliver an updated version of the Snapdragon 810 to Samsung has fueled speculation that LG might sue Qualcomm.

LG has contended that there is no overheating issue with the said chip, but there is also a belief that LG has made certain modifications on the G Flex 2. Now the Korea Times is reporting that LG will sue Qualcomm if they update the 810 because it’s basically admitting the overheating issue exists.

USPTO stays busy in 2014, Samsung awarded 4925 patents for the year

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IBM, Samsung, and even Google made it onto the top 10 list for patents awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). While IBM and Samsung take the top two spots (IBM dominated Samsung with 7534 patents awarded), Google comes in on the leader board at number 8, which is the first time the Mountain View search giant has appeared in the top 10.

The past few years have been a total pain for Samsung when it’s come to patents. In a near-constant state of being bogged down by infringement lawsuits, Samsung may be attempting to prevent such legal actions in the future by dutifully applying for as many patents as it can. Compared to 2013, Samsung’s patent awards increased 5.9% in 2014.

Google, HTC, LG Back Samsung in Patent Melee with Apple

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The enemy of my enemy is my friend. The old proverb has resulted in such unlikely alliances as the United States and the Soviet Union vs Germany, or the former aligned with China (yet-to-be-communist) against Japan. This is the nature of international relations. It’s sometimes also the nature of business, when two or more rivals put down their gloves to turn their sights on a bigger fish.

This is what’s transpiring in Samsung’s ongoing patent feud with Apple.  Though they are competitors in the Android market, HTC, LG, and Samsung all have a united interest in fighting Apple on intellectual property. Google itself is also deep in the mix, having been in Samsung’s corner for a bit longer already.

Patent portfolio sale sign of détente for smartphone industry?

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In another sign of the continuing end of hostilities between the world’s smartphone manufacturers, Rockstar Consortium, Inc. has announced the sale of 4,000 patents to RPX Corp. The portfolio was originally obtained by Rockstar in a bidding war that took place during 2011 between Rockstar and Google to obtain the intellectual property from Nortel Networks. Rockstar is a consortium made up of Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry, Ericsson and Sony. RPX licenses patents to companies that join their syndicate, including Google and Cisco Systems.

Top 6 Reasons Why Android OEMs Should Expect Dismal Growth In 2015

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As we close on 2014, and approach 2015, it doesn’t hurt to take a step back and reflect on what was accomplished and what didn’t work out so well during the year. 2014, without a doubt, showed off some great new tech like Android Wear, and virtual reality is finally showing tangible signs of life. Even Apple decided to finally do something new (for itself) and make a reasonable phone size.

2014, as it’s winding down, is also showing some rather dangerous indications of what might be in store for Android OEMs in 2015. Sharp declines in sales, market stagnation and ridiculous patent warfare may bleed over into the new year, and I doubt anyone is going to come out victorious in the end.

T-Mobile, FTC reach $90 million settlement over ‘cramming’

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When a carrier surprises customers with unauthorized (or unknown) charges on their monthly bills, it is known as cramming. Over the last few months, the largest carriers in the United States were exposed for doing so. The government is coming down on them with little remorse. On Wednesday, Sprint was served with a $105 million fine from the FCC. And on Friday, T-Mobile reached a settlement with the FTC to avoid any further potential damage.