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 lawsuits in the mobile industry are nothing new, and Samsung is surely one of the more prominent initiators of said lawsuits, as mostly evidenced by its ongoing volley against Apple, which Apple returns in kind.
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. Read more
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. Read more
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.
According to a report published by DigitTimes this morning, Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi is facing major difficulties selling its devices outside of China despite its belligerent marketing techniques.
The ongoing saga regarding the OnePlus One in India continues to chug along and it’s not getting any better for OnePlus. It all started when it was revealed that OnePlus One units in India will not receive software updates because Cyanogen has an exclusive deal with Micromax. Now after 15 days of the phone being available in the country through Amazon, it’s no longer available. Since Micromax has an exclusive deal with Cyanogen, it won’t be a surprise to you that they weren’t to fond of the Cyanogen logo on the OnePlus One.
Samsung and Apple are back in court again as Samsung looks to appeal the $930 million jurors awarded to Apple for intellectual property infringement. During the oral argument hearing yesterday, discussions were technical in nature, and discussed whether or not portions of the iPhone’s design was functional or ornamental. But that wasn’t the only aspect that the three-judge panel discussed.
The music and video streaming applications from Samsung are called Milk Music and Milk Video, respectively. The somewhat strange names, though, are not as unique as one would think. Multimedia company Milk Studios has filed a lawsuit against Samsung regarding trademark infringement. The complaint specifically goes after the music streaming service, claiming that Samsung did indeed know of Milk Studios’ existence.
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Things are not exactly friendly between Samsung and NVIDIA. In September, NVIDIA launched a lawsuit against Samsung and Qualcomm alleging patent infringement. Samsung returned by saying that NVIDIA has falsely advertised its Tegra K1 processor. This is swiftly responded to by proof of actual benchmarks. The false advertising response was issued nearly two weeks ago, but now things are getting serious once again. Samsung filed a complaint with the United States International Trade Commission. What is the goal of this complaint? To block NVIDIA from providing its graphics chips in the United States. While it does sound unlikely to happen, it is certainly a possibility.