As we noted yesterday, Samsung and Apple locked horns once again in court today. Samsung’s opening arguments were presented today and no time was wasted. Rather than talking about Apple’s issue with the company, Samsung very clearly stated that Apple has an issue with Android.
Apple and Samsung were scheduled to return to the courtroom today in the latest round of legal disputes between the two smartphone giants. Unlike the first trial that focused heavily on hardware issues, this new round will emphasize software, especially features found in the Android and iOS operating systems. That focus on software features found in Android means Google will play a much larger role this time around.
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.”
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.
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.
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