Stung by a recent ruling by the Obama administration that struck down a potential sales ban of some Apple devices in the U.S., Samsung is smarting even more after the Obama administration declined to strike down a sales ban of some Samsung devices as ordered by the U.S. International Trade Commission. The ITC previously ruled that Samsung had infringed on Apple patents related to detection of headphone jacks and on a multitouch feature. If there is any silver lining, it is the limited number of devices that will be impacted as newer Samsung devices incorporate different designs that get around the Apple patents.
The International Trade Commission ruled in favor of Apple yesterday in regards to Samsung infringing on Apple patents. With this ruling, a ban on importing some older Samsung devices will go into effect. Of course there is a 60 day time frame where President Obama has the chance to veto such a decision. Some of the devices in question include:
- The Galaxy S 4G
- Galaxy Tab
- Galaxy Tab 10.1
Other devices released in 2010 and 2011 fall into this category as well. Each device is said to violate scrolling behaviors and another patent involving the headphone jack. While Samsung’s import ban request on Apple was vetoed by the President it’s highly unlikely that he will do the same with this case. The reason for this is that these patents are considering non-essential. Both companies released a response to this decision:
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.
Among the myriad of patent cases between Samsung and Apple, one has reached a critical decision. In 2011 Apple brought a case up against Samsung to the International Trade Commission for seven patent violations. Today ITC Judge Thomas Pender made the decision that Samsung violated four of those patents. The patents that Samsung were found to have violated include one for scrolling up and down, a variety of UI interactions, and displaying a semi-transparent image over another image. As for the other three patents, Apple dropped one and the other two were dismissed by the judge. The final decision will be made by a panel of ITC Judges in February on whether or not Judge Pender made the right decision.
On the bright side, Samsung was cleared of violating an Apple mutli-touch patent in a Dutch court so they continue to have friends in the Netherlands. So with a victory going to both corners today this very long and drawn out boxing match between Apple and Samung may be headed to an end, but only time will tell.
Looks like we’ve got ourselves a follow-up to Motorola going on the attack against the boys from Cupertino. After previously seeing Motorola file its initial complaint to the International Trade Commission (ITC) against Apple, the ITC is now beginning its formal investigation into the complaint and Motorola’s claims. While the suit would not affect the iPhone 5, iPhone 4S or iPad with 4G LTE, the overall hope for Motorola is this: the ITC recognizing the patents involved in Motorola’s claims aren’t standard-essential ones. What this means is Googlorola would actually have a slim chance to see the ITC grant an import ban of some sort courtesy of the ITC.
You can bet that after seeing what happened to Samsung last month and Motorola’s full arsenal of 17,000 patents, Google will certainly not sit idle and quiet moving forward when it comes to anything threatening its ecosystem. But then again, this ever-growing spat between MOTO and Apple will be far from over. You can count on that.
After losing its ITC complaint against Apple a few months ago HTC immediately appealed the decision to a higher court. HTC has now decided the case isn’t worth pursuing further, and has filed a motion to dismiss the case. This doesn’t mean that the war between HTC and Apple is anywhere near a resolution though. As both companies have complaints filed against each other all over the world, you can be sure the war will continue on for the foreseeable future.
source: FOSS Patents
Last year, HTC “borrowed” patents from Google in order to go on the offensive with Apple. Of course, Apple filed a motion against the use of these patents, and now Administrative Law Judge Thomas Pender has granted Apple that motion. Pender ruled that HTC cannot use the patents since they failed to properly acquire all the necessary rights.
If this decision remains after the inevitable appeal by HTC, it effectively cuts HTC’s legal arsenal by more than half, leaving only three of the original eight patents they can use in the ITC dispute against Apple.
Not great news for HTC.
source: foss patents
Just when you think the storm had passed with the HTC One Series fiasco (which caused significant delays of anticipated devices), Apple has slapped HTC with yet another International Trade Commission complaint. Apple’s claim: HTC hasn’t done enough to avoid patent discrepancies and is still violating patents. The complaint identifies 29 devices which not only include the One Series smartphones, but devices dating back to 2 years ago including the EVO 4G, Amaze 4G, Rezound and Thunderbolt. In short– Apple is seeking “an emergency proceeding and enforcement action to prevent further infringement”. Essentially— if Apple gets its way, the ITC would essentially force HTC to modify its existing devices within a specific timeframe, while causing additional delays for devices that still have yet to be released.
Ladies and gents, be prepared for another round of the waiting game for the HTC One Series smartphones… whether or not Apple’s cause is heard or not.
source: FOSS Patents
Boy, this legal stuff can get confusing. Let’s take it from the beginning and walk through it. First, we know that the HTC One X and the Evo 4G LTE are currently held up in customs while they check whether the devices violate an ITC exclusion order Apple was granted last December.
Then we heard the ITC has decided to ban the import of Motorola Android phones for infringing on patents by Microsoft, joining HTC in the “import ban” club. FOSS Patents said this order could likely go into effect in 60 days. It’s also possible Motorola could tweak the software to comply with the ITC’s rulings during those 60 days.
As more details were revealed, we now learn that Motorola was found NOT to infringe on 8 patents in the Microsoft case, and only infringed on one specific patent for “generating meeting requests and group scheduling from a mobile device“. This verdict is now under Presidential review, and is subject to appeal. Motorola said in a statement to ArsTechnica:
Don’t you hate it when you drop $300 million to buy S3 Graphics to get a hold of its patents only to find they won’t help you against the sue-happy Apple? Well if you’re HTC then yes, you hate it when this happens. While at heart it was a good idea, considering that Motorola and Samsung are also having problems with their respective handsets being fodder for patent litigation, the plan was for not. The ITC felt that Apple didn’t infringe on any of these patents in the first place back in November.
HTC made an attempt at a repealing the ruling however the ITC is standing firm in their decision. Although HTC could make an attempt at repealing this second ruling they probably won’t considering the amount of resources they could potentially waste given their first two defeats. However as all of Apple’s federal lawsuits have been stayed against the Taiwanese company by the US District Court for the District of Delaware, we may not see any rulings on Apple’s US claims against HTC in 2012.
It appears that HTC is going to have to go back to the drawing boards in their battles against the sue-happy, iDevice making Apple. Given that Motorola recently suffered a defeat against Apple as well and Samsung is battling a new suit by Apple regarding its new Nexus, having FOSS patents in your bookmarks may be a good idea if you’re curious as to how these legal battles are shaping up. Even though HTC promised that these suits wouldn’t affect profits, they will surely take their toll on the company. It will be interesting to see just how HTC will come back from this legal loss.
source: FOSS Patents