While Apple can always appeal the latest ruling, this latest decision has a major impact on Apple and its competitors. For Apple, this decision shows it won’t always have a favorable ruiling in order to have an edge in the marketplace for its devices. For its competitors— namely the Samsung Galaxy S III, it paves a clear path for Apple’s biggest fear: “Samsung’s Galaxy S III phone is set to launch in the U.S… and Apple fears blockbuster sales”.
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.
It looks like Google is going on the offensive by filing an antitrust suit against Microsoft and Nokia in Europe. Google is actually calling this a defensive measure, and their complaint is that both Microsoft and Nokia are using proxy companies like Canada-based Mosaid Technologies to enforce their patents and share the revenues derived from them.
As you know Nokia is now making phones based on Microsoft’s Windows Phone software. Because of this, Microsoft and Nokia formed a cross-licensing deal for their patents. Shortly after that was in place, Mosaid bought an entity called Core Wireless, which owned 2,000 patents and patent applications originally filed by Nokia. Google is alleging that Nokia colluded with Microsoft and Mosaid, and as a result, reversed course on their commitment to open-source software.
Last week the jury found that Google didn’t infringe on Oracle’s patents, but there was still a big issue at hand. Were Oracle’s Java API elements copyrightable? Judge William Alsup made the ruling yesterday and he found that the API’s aren’t covered under copyright law so basically this dismisses the previous infringement claims outright. The Judge said the following:
In closing, it is important to step back and take in the breadth of Oracle’s claim. Of the166 Java packages, 129 were not violated in any way. Of the 37 accused, 97 percent of the Android lines were new from Google and the remaining three percent were freely replicable under the merger and names doctrines. Oracle must resort, therefore, to claiming that it owns, by copyright, the exclusive right to any and all possible implementations of the taxonomy-like command structure for the 166 packages and/or any subpart thereof – even though it copyrighted only one implementation. To accept Oracle’s claim would be to allow anyone to copyright one version of code to carry out a system of commands and thereby bar all others from writing their own different versions to carry out all or part of the same commands. No holding has ever endorsed such a sweeping proposition.
At this point Oracle’s only options are to leave it alone or appeal. They most certainly will appeal, but things look dismal. At this point they will only receive $300,000 for statutory damages. We have statements from both Google and Oracle after the break.
Apple and Samsung’s battles in the courts have been so heated that Judge Lucy Koh ordered them to meet on May 21st and 22nd to settle their differences. In the no shocker news of the day, there was no agreement. The festivities were led by Magistrate Judge Joseph C Spero, and company representatives included Samsung CEO Choi Gee-sung, Samsung’s Head of Mobile Division Shin Jong-kyun, and Apple CEO Tim Cook.
Samsung did express interest in a cross-licensing deal, but it looks like both parties are just too damn stubborn. One thing they do agree on is they would like avoid trials. Apparently not all that much. It looks like the case will be back in the courts in July unless they decide to meet again and come to an agreement.
It looks like we’re about to have a major snafu in regards to the anticipated arrivals of the AT&T HTC One X and Sprint EVO 4G LTE smartphones. HTC recently confirmed the imports of both devices have been delayed at the U.S. border due to a “customs review”. The reason for this hints in the direction of none other than Apple. Apparently, the cause may come from the ITC exclusion order Apple was granted last December over hyperlinks in the messaging app and browser. HTC claims the issues raised by Apple in front of the ITC were more or less silly and would be removed from their various products. Unfortunately, customs must review the shipments coming in after the April 19 deadline set in place by the ITC whether HTC likes it or not. HTC added an official statement regarding the matter:
“The US availability of the HTC One X and HTC EVO 4G LTE has been delayed due to a standard U.S. Customs review of shipments that is required after an ITC exclusion order. We believe we are in compliance with the ruling and HTC is working closely with Customs to secure approval. The HTC One X and HTC EVO 4G LTE have been received enthusiastically by customers and we appreciate their patience as we work to get these products into their hands as soon as possible”.» Read the rest
Apple has taken yet another major blow in its neverending war against competition Android, this time seeing Motorola see sweet victory. Apparently federal judge Richard A. Posner has ruled that Apple’s “finger-swipe” patent infringement claim against MOTO was not the same as tapping an item on screen. His decision addresses Apple’s claim that six applications available on Motorola Mobility-made devices, including those used for browsing photographs, musical album covers and YouTube Inc. videos, infringe its touch-screen finger-tap functionality patent. Apparently, Posner didn’t want to hear any of it and shared the following:
“Apple contends that the finger swipe is equivalent to a finger tap because the two gestures are interchangeable. If consumers distinguish between the two, they are not interchangeable”.
Another day, another frivolous claim tossed out the door. Here’s hoping this is another step towards seeing the end of ridiculous lawsuits from Apple.
Apple and Samsung have battled and battled, and yes, battled in the courtroom for a while now. It would be nice if they called a truce. Now with Tim Cook in charge I guess it’s a possibility now as he doesn’t feel like going thermonuclear war on Android the same way Steve Jobs did. According to Foss Patents, the two smartphone giants are scheduled to meet on May 21 and 22 for mediation to settle this war once and for all. Nothing is guaranteed, but this is a start. I say lets end this war and get on with innovation.
Sprint Nextel may be as successful as they come and is the 3rd-largest mobile carrier in the United States, but they may be in a heap of trouble. Reuters reports that the State of New York has filed a suit against the mobile carrier citing major mispractices carried out. Among the major accusations are Sprint failing to bill its customers $100 million for its wireless services over seven years according to the complaint filed by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Schneiderman has his reasoning for this too as he states:
“Sprint’s decision not to collect and pay taxes was part of the Overland Park, Kansas-based company’s nationwide effort to lure customers from rivals such as AT&T Inc and Verizon Wireless, and make its service $4.6 million less expensive per month”.