There are so many patent infringement accusations in the air right now that if you were trying to keep track, you’ve likely either lost track or given up. Reuters, however, has made an info-graphic to help keep it straight. Even so, the diagram is still a bit convoluted by the patent chaos so hope it helps! Please note the graphic was produced August 17th, no doubt with the rate at which things are going there are plenty more patent claims not factored in.
A few weeks ago we reported that the Department of Justice (DOJ) was going to investigate the pending sale of over 6,000 Nortel patents to a consortium led by Apple and Microsoft. If approved, the deal would be completed sometime during this quarter.
Keith Bergelt, CEO of the Open Invention Network is asking for help. He wants developers and users to step up to the plate and share their views with the DOJ with the hopes that the sale will be denied or altered. The Open Invention Network was formed in 2005 to promote Linux by using patents to create a collaborative environment. These patents are available royalty-free to any company, and is currently backed by IBM, NEC, Novell, Philips, Red Hat and Sony.
Here we go again. We have more news about Apple possibly tampering with image evidence against Samsung, this time pointed at the Samsung Galaxy S. Just this past Monday we reported that altered images were submitted to a German court by Apple. The image showed the Galaxy Tab 10.1 dimensions were changed to match the iPad. In this new report, an image submitted to a Netherlands court by Apple presents the Galaxy S as the exact same height as the iPhone 3GS (though the image of the Galaxy seems to be only reduced in size).
If all the tampering is true, it’s completely ridiculous in 2011 to think altering images would go unnoticed. As our own Robert Nazarian mentioned in his post linked above, there is no question the physical devices themselves will be presented. I would hope that the courts will not stand for any of this, but I’m sure there will be plenty of BS to cover the reasons behind the images. What do you think the repercussions will be for this if any? Hit us up in the comments.
Last week we reported that Apple and Samsung had it out in a Dutch court. Apparently Apple is asking the court to stop Samsung from selling ALL Galaxy branded phones and tablets in Europe. They even asked them to recall units that are already in stores.
In case you are not up to speed, a German court gave Apple a preliminary injunction on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 for all of Europe, except the Netherlands. Samsung was never given a chance to argue, but they will on August 25th. For now, the same German court reversed the injunction for all of Europe except Germany.
The case in Germany only involved community design which basically means that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 looks similar to the iPad. The Dutch court battlefield is different because Apple finally brought patent infringements into the mix.
HTC Corp says it has filed complaints against Apple Inc. with the U.S. International Trade Commission and the U.S. District Court in Delaware alleging patent infringement. HTC seeks to halt U.S. imports and sales concerning Macintosh computers, iPads, iPods, iPhones and other devices. Of three patents in particular, (obtained in 2008 and 2010, relating to WiFi capabilities and similar functions), HTC is seeking compensatory damages as well as triple damages for willful infringement. HTC’s General Counsel Grace Lei said in a statement:
“We are taking this action against Apple to protect our intellectual property, our industry partners, and most importantly our customers that use HTC phones.”
Unfortunately, these developments are far from rare lately in the recent patent wars. Apple is perhaps more comfortable on the other side of such litigation though, having filed suit on many competitors including HTC over several smartphone related patents in the same Delaware courthouse. Statements from Apple regarding the HTC suits have amounted to the same old tune, Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet merely repeated a recent statement made by Apple CEO Steve Jobs: “Competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours.”
Here’s a switch for you: The same German court which last week ruled in favor of Apple to ban sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 throughout Europe has now lifted that same ban on all EU countries except for Germany. The court was concerned it did not have the authority to prevent a South Korean company from selling their product beyond their own borders with a preliminary injunction.
Samsung may now begin shipping there tab elsewhere as they wait for that August 25th hearing to decide further on this new limited ban. All the while, more muddy watered accusations are flying over whether Apple may have tampered with evidence in the case.
Image from: http://computrend.blogspot.com/2011/06/samsung-galaxy-tab-101.html
It’s quite possibly the biggest mobile news of the summer. Google is coughing up $12.5 billion in order to buy out Motorola Mobility. The move is so controversial, even the great economists of our country have wildly differing opinions. Now, I’m not saying by any means that I have even close to the knowledge of the people picking this development apart, but I’m going to take a crack at it anyway. What I lack in formal education, I make up for in ability to research. I’ve spent all day combing through reports, websites, financial forums, and lord knows where else in hopes to present our readers with the possible benefits and pitfalls of this new “merger” as well as my own opinion. Let’s see what in the world Google has gotten themselves into.
What happens to cowards? They get slaughtered, and that is what Google did to Apple today when they announced their acquisition of Motorola. Before today the media was declaring Google a crybaby because they complained that Apple and Microsoft overpaid for the Nortel patents in an attempt to slow down Android with the courts rather than with innovation.
Apple and Microsoft did not “beat” out Google for the Nortel patents, they simply overpaid. Companies like Google, Microsoft, and Apple don’t “lose” deals like this. Each one of these companies has the money to buy whatever they want, but of course they set their own limit of what they are willing to pay. It is no different than the Yankees and Red Sox when they bid on a high priced free agent. A limit is set, and if the other team wants the player more, they will get the player. Sometimes both bidders are close, and someone loses by a small margin, but in this case there is no indication that Google’s final bid was that close. The fact of the matter is Google wasn’t interested in paying four times the value of those patents just to be a patent troll.
It’s huge news: Google and Motorola, joining forces to take over the mobile world. Okay, okay, it was also for the patents; there’s no denying the fact that any mobile company needs to have a good patent shield, thanks to our lovely, broken patent system. Back a number of weeks ago, we saw a huge bidding war over Nortel, mainly for their patent portfolio.Google threw their hat in the ring briefly, only to be almost immediately outbid by Apple. No shock there; what was surprising, however, was the fact that Google seemed to be going after these patents with minimal vigor. Why? I think our answer came today.
Google was, most likely, already in talks with Motorola on the merger we saw come to fruition today. Why on earth would Google want to spend precious time and effort going after a company that every mobile player in the industry was after, when they could quietly knock on Motorola’s back door and come in for tea? Everyone else was across the street, prying for the attention of the Nortel case; nobody even saw Google slip away.
With the patent wars heating up, this was, ultimately a smart move for Google. Not only does this gain them the patent portfolio of the company that gave Android one of the boosts it needed with their wildly popular Droid line, but it gives them exclusive access to a manufacturer, which has been the big thing missing from Google’s repertoire. There’s one thing this writer knows for sure: he’s excited to see what comes of the merger. Motorola’s days of locked bootloaders and anti-development (as of late) will more than likely be coming to an end, and there’s some really cool stuff on the horizon. We’ll just have to wait for sunrise to see what it is.
Last week in Germany, Apple was successful in getting a preliminary injunction on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 for most of Europe, excluding the Netherlands. Samsung wasn’t able to defend themselves and the injunction was granted based on community design (the products look similar). Samsung gets their chance to defend themselves on August 25th.
I am not going to come out and say Apple tampered with evidence, but there is an interesting development that needs to be noted.
A Dutch website called Webwereld compared images (above) of the court documents and found that the Samsung Galaxy 10.1 was shown as having an aspect ratio of 1:36. It actually has an aspect of 1:46, while the iPad is 1:30. You will also notice that the Samsung logo was removed and the image is of the app drawer and not the normal homescreen.
I am no fan of Apple, but I find it hard to believe they would attempt to do this. Forget the pictures, I am sure the physical devices were (or will be) presented to the court. There is no way Apple could alter the physical devices. I just don’t think that Apple could be that naive to think that Samsung would not catch this. Trust me when I say that I hope I am wrong.