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
With a new patent trial scheduled to start on March 31, 2014 between Apple and Samsung, Judge Lucy Koh has entered a summary judgment order on some motions from the two parties. Judge Koh denied some requests from Apple, but did rule that Samsung infringed an Apple patent on “word recommendations” aka autocomplete. At this point, Samsung will now have to argue at trial that the patent itself should be ruled invalid. Considering the ubiquity of autocomplete on any smartphone, this ruling could be a problem for manufacturers of other Android devices. Reportedly, Google is involved with an anonymous reexamination request of the patent. As the parties prepare for trial, Apple still has five patents at issue with one of them ruled as being infringed upon by Samsung even before the jury starts to hear the case.
For many years, Apple has been the envy of every other tech company, but kinks in the armor are starting to appear. Forrester Research just posted the results of their third study regarding customer experiences for electronics companies, and things didn’t go so well for Apple this time around.
For the first time, Apple fell below Samsung, Sony, and Microsoft. Interestingly enough, Amazon has led this category for the Kindle line of tablets since 2012. This year, they got their highest score ever of 91, which lands them in the “Excellent” category. Second place went to Sony with a score of 83, and Samsung and Microsoft tied for third with a score of 82. Apple wasn’t far behind at 81. All four of these companies are in the “Good” category.
Now these scores are all pretty darn close, but it is the first time that Apple is this far back. Are you guys surprised with the results?
There is probably nothing better an Android fan can hear from someone surrounded by Apple. Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs’ biographer, did an exclusive interview with CNBC Wednesday morning on “Squawk Box.” Isaacson started off by talking about Apple’s expansion into China and an anchor asked if it was a bigger move than Google buying Nest. Shockingly, he went on to say the Nest acquisition was bigger.
Isaacson said it “shows an amazingly strong, integrated strategy that Google has to connect all of our devices, all of our lives … the Internet of things is actually real, there are these devices we’re gonna want to have and Google’s going to get ahead of that game.” The biographer followed this up by praising Tony Fadell, one of the men who helped create the iPod, for joining Google. Isaacson said Fadell’s tenure was “when Apple was so innovative.”
If you haven’t heard of Nextbit, we won’t blame you. However, you might want to keep an eye on the up-and-coming company in the future.
Supported by a team of former tech giant employees including Google, Apple, Amazon and Dropbox, the company just received an $18 million dollar investment from Accel and Google Ventures as it looks to “build something bigger.”
The Samsung vs. Apple battle is truly never going to end until one of the two companies agrees to leave the tech industry forever. But this time, the two sides were able to come to a mutual agreement…to meet at a mediation session before battling in court once again in March over smartphone patents.
The session will be attended by Apple CEO Tim Cook and Samsung CEO Oh-Hyun Kwon along with their in-house lawyers.
The past has been rough for these two companies, and don’t expect anything to clear up anytime soon either.
As 2013 draws to a close, what better way to remind us that life marches on despite the numbers on the calendar than a new development in the never-ending story of Apple versus Samsung. Apple has yet again filed a request in Federal District Court with Judge Lucy Koh asking for a sales injunction on more than 20 smartphone and tablet devices produced by Samsung. More accurately, they were produced by Samsung a few short years ago, but currently none of the products are on the market.
As Samsung and Apple continue to dominate the smartphone market share, other companies like LG and HTC continue to slide. LG was hopeful the G2 would put a dent into Samsung’s armor, but consumers didn’t buy in. According to DigiTimes, LG projected to sell 10 million units, but so far they have only reached 2 million globally. HTC, on the other hand, has gotten a lot of praise for their HTC One, but their financial results continued to slide throughout 2013. Huawei might be in the best position of the three, but even they aren’t doing so well. They were hoping to sell 10 million Ascend P6 smartphones, but they only reached 3 million.
Motorola wasn’t mentioned in their report, but there might be hope for them with the very reasonably priced Moto G, and if they continue to sell the Moto X at lower prices.
The bottomline is that there really isn’t room for more than 2 or 3 flagship phones. Consumers like to stay loyal, and they don’t have the attention span to learn about “other” so-called up and coming phones.
Last month we told you about Rockstar, which is a company formed by Apple, Microsoft, RIM, Sony, and Ericsson. They are using the patents won from the Nortel bid to attack Android manufacturers. Rockstar is essentially a patent troll with its only function being litigation. They filed a suit against Google and other Android manufacturers last month, but Google is fighting back in an attempt to not only protect themselves, but all of Android and the manufacturers.
Google’s complaint, filed this past Monday, claims that Rockstar’s patent campaign is attacking hundreds of tech companies and it has “placed a cloud on Google’s Android platform,” especially Nexus devices. Google also stated that Rockstar’s CEO said that Facebook, LinkedIn and every other tech company is infringing on these old Nortel patents.
The Samsung vs Apple war is one of those wars that may never end. Last year’s famous copycat trial ended with a $1.05 billion reward for Apple, but $410 million of it was dropped by judge Lucy Koh after some mistakes were found in the jury’s calculations. A retrial took place in which Apple was awarded $290 million of that $410 million bringing the total damages to $930 million.
Samsung is now seeking a retrial of the retrial. Samsung is claiming racial bias because Apple compared Samsung to other Asian manufacturers that flooded the market with low-cost TVs that forced several U.S. companies into bankruptcy. It’s unlikely Koh will agree with this argument, and if so, Samsung will most likely take it to the Supreme Court and appeal the decision.