Samsung suffers a setback in German court, Legal costs now at $60 million

Samsung received some bad news this week from a Germany court. The Mannheim court ruled against one patent out of three mobile technologies Samsung claims Apple infringed. The other other two will be decided on January 27 and March 2. Samsung hasn’t decided if they will appeal the decision.

“We are disappointed that the court did not share our views regarding the infringement by Apple of this specific patent in Germany,” Samsung said in a statement.

We reported last month that Samsung was setting aside $200 million for these Apple-related legal battles which are in 10 countries, including the U.S., France, Australia, and Japan. So far Samsung has already spent $60 million since April 2011 for just Apple-related legal battles.

Clearly there’s no end in site to these legal battles. Money will continue to be burned up which could go towards innovation or better prices. It’s sad, but unfortunately this is the current state of mobile, and it’s here to stay for now.

[via reuters]

 

Android and iOS continue to gain while Android continues to dominate

Nielsen just reported numbers for the 4th quarter and there are no surprises to report. Both Android and Apple continue to increase their market shares at the expense of RIM, Windows, and others. Android came in a 46.3%, which is a gain of 3% from the previous quarter and Apple’s iOS came in at 30%, which is a gain of 2% from the previous quarter.

For this period, Nielsen broke down the “other” category and showed Windows Mobile and Windows Phone, which is 4.6% and 1.3% respectively. The entire “other” category adds up to 8.7% while the previous quarter, they totaled 11%. In the other no shocker category, RIM continued further declines as they went from 18% to 14.9%.

Even with the iPhone 4S launch in the fall, Android still showed a decent increase which is great news.

[via nielsen]

 

 

Apple Files Another Lawsuit Against Samsung, This Time Targets Galaxy S II and Nine Handsets In German Court

In another turn of events with the never-ending drama between Apple and Samsung, Apple has decided to go on the offensive… again, this time in the Dusseldorf Regional Court in Germany. In this chapter, Apple is seeking to you guessed it— ban a total of 10 handsets, including the Samsung Galaxy S II.

The Cupertino giant isn’t stopping there either. Apple also started a separate suit against five Samsung tablet computer models related to a September ruling banning the Galaxy 10.1. All of this despite Samsung making changes to the Galaxy Tab 10.1 after the original German court ruling. It’s starting to get difficult to keep tabs on all of the various suits between the two companies. There’s always another twist to the heated fight, then another, then another… and then another

The new lawsuit is still developing, so stay tuned with Talk Android for any updates.

[via Bloomberg]

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak on the iPhone: “I wish it did all the things my Android does”

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak may have waited in line for the release of new iPhones, but he says there are ways Android has leapt ahead of iPhone. His calm and collected perspective on the two platforms is a breath of fresh air between typically warring parties and definitely in stark contrast to that other founder. That is whats so great about Steve Wozniak, the branding doesn’t matter, it’s all about the tech itself, a staple of a true blue, and I say this admiringly, geek.

Woz recently attended an interview with Dan Lyons of the Daily Beast. During the interview he compares iPhones with Android phones, and ultimately the Woz laments the limitations of Apple’s smartphone. Check out excerpts from the interview after the break.

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Apple Patent Dispute Ruled in Motorola’s Favor

Add this to the Motorola win over Apple column because according to the Administrative Law Judge appointed by the International Trade Commission in the Apple v. Motorola case, Motorola Mobility has not violated three patents held by Apple. Senior VP and general counsel of Motorola Mobility, Scott Offer issued a statement following the ruling:

“We are pleased with today’s favorable outcome for Motorola Mobility.  Motorola Mobility has worked hard over the years to develop technology and build an industry-leading intellectual property portfolio. We are proud to leverage this broad and deep portfolio to create differentiated innovations that enhance the user experience.”

Interacting with the screen, including tapping, sliding and pinching with one or multiple fingers (multi-touch) were the disputed patents and Apple claimed that devices from the original Droid to the Charm were specifically in violation. While we don’t have all the details we have the press release which you can read after the break.

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Google and IBM Continue To Grow Google’s Patent Lineup, Brings 217 New Patent Filings To The Table

Google continues to gain major ammunition for its various patent battles with competitors. According to Bill Slawski of SEO by the Sea, Google acquired 188 granted patents and 29 published pending patent applications from IBM in the last week of 2011. The patents cover a broad area too, ranging from presentation software and email administration to internet, phone and mobile phone technologies. Nothing wrong with Google obtaining added protection for itself and its allies in case certain corporations try to slow down Google’s momentum again. Let’s see how this further impacts the patent war between Google, Microsoft and of course, Apple.

[via SEO by the Sea]

Apple Applies For Facial Recognition Patent, Sticks Tongue Out At Google’s Attempt Of Facial Unlock Feature

Leave it to Apple to try to outdo anything Android. An Apple patent application was just released today describing a facial recognition system and works whether you’re indoors or outdoors. Here’s how it works: the technology compares a current image of yourself to a reference model user profile made using “high information” portions of the human face, like eyes and mouths. In other words– the technology takes any picture or image of you, compares it against other images or pictures affiliated with user accounts on the device and decides if the two images or pictures are similar enough to allow you access to your device. It’s definitely an interesting and exciting concept because it will ultimately force Google to improve the Facial Unlock feature now in Android 4.0… especially considering how there’s that little potential security flaw we’re aware of.

There’s one major thing to note though: Apple submitted the paperwork for this patent in June of 2010– it’s only now being disclosed to the public. That means Apple was ahead of the curve long before Google introduced the Facial Unlock technology.

[via Engadget by Apple Patent Blog]

ITC Rules In Favor Of Apple; Bans Some HTC Devices, But HTC Feels “Gratified” In New Statement

 

 

In a ruling issued by the International Trade Commission, HTC was found in violation of two patents belonging to the Cupertino company; a ban will go into effect for all affected HTC devices on April 19, 2012. The patents cover a UI feature of sorts that basically turns computer text data into a link or other usable interaction in another place, like for dialing a phone number through a link in an email.

The victory for Apple was accompanied by some losses however, with rulings that found HTC did not violate more crutial patents involving  real-time signal processing that would have caused the most severe blows to HTC’s ability to make brisk changes and avoid major losses.

Wasting no time at all, HTC released a statement deflecting from their minor defeat and focusing more on the  their decisive wins. They also lay out their next course of action and outwardly express a sense of gratification for the end results:

HTC:

“This decision is a win for HTC and we are gratified that the commission affirmed the judge’s determination on the ‘721 and ‘983 patents, and reversed its decision on the ‘263 patent and partially on the ‘647 patent. We are very pleased with the determination and we respect it. The ‘647 patent is a small UI experience and HTC will completely remove it from all of our phones soon.”

 

Hit the break for full ITC ruling in PDF.

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Motorola poised to ban iOS devices in Europe

Big news for Android this morning, and perhaps a lesson in karma. Motorola has successfully sued Apple in Germany and thereby blazed the trail for a sales ban on all iOS devices for the entirety of Europe.

This is Motorola’s first win in two patent infringement cases brought up against Apple in April, and it grants them injunction against all infringing products including the iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, the original iPad 3G and iPad 2 3G. The iPhone 4S isn’t specifically mentioned but this is likely due to the filing being made in April.

The patent in the suit relates to core cellular technology and is described in the court document as “method for performing a countdown function during a mobile-originated transfer for a packet radio system”. So long as thee ruling is upheld, Apple has to either remove this technology from their devices or pay Motorola a hefty licensing fee, and they may even have to provide payment for past infringement.

Motorola Mobility is now in the prime position of deciding whether or not they will enforce this ban immediately. Apple will of course appeal, but Moto can proceed with injunction right now if they so choose. A $134 million bond is all that stands in their way, in case the verdict is overturned in appeal. Apple wanted the bond set at whopping $2.7 billion, citing the massive losses they would take, but  the judge sided with Motorola.

You know what they say. What goes around comes around.

thanks Johannes
[via Gizmodo]

 

Another blow for Apple, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 sales ban in Australia is no more

The Holiday season is treating Samsung good this year as they just scored a second major victory over Apple. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 will go back on sale in Australia thanks to a decision by an Australian court lifting the 4 month ban.

Apple has accused Samsung of “slavishly” ripping off its designs, and the two giants have been involved in a bitter battle that has visited 10 countries.

Last week, Samsung had another major victory when a U.S. court denied Apple a preliminary injunction blocking the Tab 10.1 in the U.S. Even with this early success, Samsung still set aside $200 million for legal battles thanks to Apple. Of course, this will end up stifling innovation and cost the consumer.

Recently, Samsung has taken this battle outside the courtrooms with a marketing campaign mocking iPhone fanboys and fangirls.

The war is far from over, but it’s refreshing to see Samsung winning a few.

[via reuters]