In case you haven’t heard, Apple and HTC have reached an agreement that will finally end their ongoing patent battle. The new 10 year agreement will cover all current, pending and future patents. Upon the contract, it’s estimated that HTC will pay Apple between $6-$8 per Android device that they ship.
While that may look bad on paper, HTC China’s President Ray Yam believes the move could actually benefit the company in the future:
“The settlement with Apple will start to pay off next year, and the fourth quarter of this year is still going at a set pace. The biggest benefit to us is that we can put more energy into innovation, which is more important than anything else for a technology company.”
I can see where Yam is going with this. With the numerous patent fights against Apple finally behind them, HTC can now focus their resources on “innovating” and making a quality product rather than wasting time and money fighting against a losing battle against Apple. HTC is poised to make drastic changes in this coming year in how they market and create their products. With their over all market share quickly dwindling down and taken over by Samsung, I’m sure they need all the help they can get.
I for one would love for HTC to make a comeback and stay in the game, thus we’ll see how it turns out for them this year.
Back in September 2012, U.S. International Trade Commission Judge James Gildea issued a ruling in one of the many Samsung v Apple cases, finding Apple had not infringed on four Samsung patents being contested in the complaint. Judge Gildea also found Samsung had engaged in a pattern of patent abuse in using their FRAND patents to stifle competition by seeking sales injunctions as part of their legal strategy. Since then, Judge Gildea has been working on finalizing the ruling, including presenting it to the full commission for approval. Until recently, the date for that final action was thought to be January 14th. A notice from the ITC indicates the commission will not take up the matter until February 6th.
The battle between Apple and Samsung has been going on for quite some time now, and we already know that Apple won a significant case against Samsung regarding patent infringements earlier this year. Well, recently a redacted document from the court case made its way to the public, and in it we find Judge Pender’s recommendations for punitive action against Samsung. Let’s just say it’s not looking pretty for the Korean company. According to FOSS Patents, an blog dedicated to software patent suits, Judge Pender made the following recommendations:
Apple has decided to drop the litigation it has against Samsung’s Galaxy S III Mini smartphone due to the fact that Samsung isn’t planning on selling the device in the US market. With Apple’s raging pen war against Samsung’s other top devices, this is hardly a win for Samsung. At this point, I’m sure Samsung will take what they can get.
Apparently Apple didn’t see the need in including the S III Mini in the fight as long as the sales wont affect the much important US market.
The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California is Apple Inc. vs. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd et al., 12-630.
French electronics powerhouse, Archos, has long proven that it can consistently build quality Android tablets at affordable prices, but this time around it appears as though the company has gone too far. The manufacturer announced today a brand new entrant into its luscious tablet offering, effectively bringing its portfolio full circle.
Despite just being announced, the Archos 97 Premium is nothing new. The device’s sole purpose is undoubtedly to compete head-to-head with Apple’s popular iPad. And while competition is a good thing, the 97 Premium is almost a direct copy of Cupertino’s slate, something you could only expect from a Chinese manufacturer selling $50 tablets on eBay.
Apple has acquired a reputation for being overly-aggressive in taking its competitors to court over patents (as demonstrated by this awesome video called “Apple Kills Star Trek”). In fact, it was just a few months ago that Apple took Samsung to court and won a whopping $1 billion dollars for supposed patent infringements. Well, today it seems the tables have turned for the Cupertino company. In a strange role reversal, Samsung is suing Apple in Korea over IOS 5′s Notification Center. If your not up on Apple lingo, the Notification Center is a blatant rip off of Android’s intuitive notification bar, which pulls down from the top of your screen to reveal your most recent notifications. It is not apparent which specific feature Samsung is suing for, but it’s more than likely something that Samsung has added to the notification bar, since the original code was created and is owned by Google. Since the court case will be in Korea, Samsung will have the home court advantage and may even win back a portion of its hard earned 1 billion dollars. Apple has some good lawyers though, so we’ll see how this pans out. While we wait, feel free to kill some time by watching Apple Kills Star Trek after the break.
Just last month Apple managed to retake the number one position in terms of mobile OS market share in the US, overtaking Google’s Android in the process. Today, it appears that trend has continued through the month of November, with Apple reaching its highest ever smartphone market share in the United States.
Figures released today show Android falling to 41.9%, a decline of nearly 11% over the previous year. On the other end of the spectrum, Apple now sits at a staggering 53.3%, a rise of 17.5% year-over-year. While Android has managed to reach nearly 60% at one point, this is the first time in the Cupertino company’s history that it has passed the 50% mark. For comparison, Microsoft’s Windows Phone is having a tough time reaching 3%, having been stuck in limbo since last year. RIM, on the other hand, has all but fallen completely off of the map, dropping nearly 6 points in just 12 months.
While Motorola and Apple have had their fair share of courtroom drama in the past, today may finally see some of it put to rest. The two have been engaged in a heated legal battle over the past couple of years, with the most recent of which centered around a touch-related UI intellectual property.
Today, Judge Pender of the International Trade Commission ruled that, while Apple did infringe on said patent, there would be no legal ramifications because Motorola’s claim is ‘invalid.’ The reason behind the decision stems from the fact that Motorola holds another, older touch patent very similar to the one in question, yet it was not included in the original filing.
So, it appears the Apple legal team will be celebrating a successful year in the courtroom over Christmas. Although, its entirely possible to prolong the ordeal if Motorola chooses to appeal the ruling over the coming weeks.
On the same day that Samsung received mixed news regarding the Apple v Samsung fight here in the U.S., the company announced they are dropping their requests for injunctions barring sales of Apple products in several European countries. In courtrooms in the U.K., Germany, France, Italy, and the Netherlands, Samsung is withdrawing requests for injunctions “in the interest of protecting consumer choice.” That statements sounds like Samsung has decided to start walking the walk and not just talking the talk when it comes to letting the market, and not the courts, decide which technologies will prevail with consumers.
In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a little bad blood between Apple and Samsung. On this episode of ‘As the Smartphone World Turns,’ Apple attempts to permanently ban the sale of 26 Samsung devices in the U.S. However, a judge denied this latest attempt of Apple to derail Samsung.
Judge Lucy Koh, who has presided over the entire trial, ruled that any infringing features on Samsung’s devices are just part of a larger feature set, and wouldn’t fit into the broad ban that Apple was seeking. She added that it ‘wouldn’t be equitable’ to deprive Samsung consumers of the infringing devices when only ‘limited features’ have been infringed upon.
It would also seem that Samsung has already been punished for the infringements and that Apple is just finding ways to keep their lawyers busy these days. I’m no lawyer, but it may have been helpful to request the ban back in August. When will it stop, Apple?