Motorola Avoids U.S. Import Ban Of Smartphones & Tablets



Looks like Motorola Mobility has recently been proactive in avoiding a ban of the imports of its various devices. According to reports, there was a recent International Trade Commission ruling that specified certain MOTO devices infringed on technology that makes it possible for MOTO device users to use the devices in order to generate meeting requests and schedule gatherings. The devices named are: the Atrix, Backflip, Bravo, Charm, Cliq, Cliq 2, Cliq XT, Defy, Devour, Droid 2, Droid 2 Global, Droid Pro, Droid X, Droid X2, Flipout, Flipside, Spice and the Xoom tablet. While Apple immediately comes to mind for most Android users, it’s actually Microsoft who believes MOTO infringed on certain patents, as highlighted by spokeswoman Becki Leonard:


“While we can’t share specific details, we have employed a range of proactive measures to ensure there is no continuing infringement under the ITC’s interpretation of this single Microsoft patent”.


For those of you unfamiliar, here’s a quick rundown to help refresh your memory: Microsoft accused Motorola Mobility of infringing nine patents in a complaint filed in October 2010. Both companies ended up in a quiet, but significant legal battle in which MOTO was found not guilty on infringement of all but one of the patents. Fast-forward to May and we find the ITC ruled that Motorola Mobility infringed on the one patent, which leads us to MOTO now trying to avoid a ban of imports for its different devices.

The infringement claim is indeed a serious one, MOTO at least knew there was an easy workaround in order to keep its devices on retailers’ shelves. The main option is simply removing the meeting-scheduling technology from its smartphones and tablets since Microsoft originally believed MOTO should have licensed the technology.

source: Latinos Post



Apple Issues Warning Letters To Retailers Regarding Samsung Galaxy Nexus And Galaxy Tab 10.1 Sales


There’s yet another development of the epic saga between two of the biggest manufacturing giants in the world. In some newly released documents, FOSS Patents has uncovered what is a mind-boggling move by Apple in order to deter any continued activity from Samsung. As Apple continues to go on the offensive towards the Korean giant, it has also set its targets on retailers. Yes, you read that correctly— Apple is now applying the pressure on retailers regarding the various Samsung “infringements”. Many of you have a perplexed look on your face, so let me explain: as Apple continues to press for court-ordered injunctions of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 sales, Samsung believes Apple is acting in what looks to be an unlawful manner. Samsung notes in a recent filing that Apple was actually sending out letters to third parties— otherwise known as retailers— about the court-ordered injunctions. In short, Apple sent do-not-sell letters to the various carriers and retailers that carry Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy Tab 10.1. The same letters sent by Apple include actual copies of the court-ordered injunction and a postscript suggesting that the same retailers or sellers are “acting in concert” with Samsung by selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Galaxy Nexus and effectively, must obey the court order.

Samsung wants the courts to see there is something significantly wrong with Apple’s latest tactics and goes so far as to call them “menacing”. More importantly– as long as there is no court ordered ban as of yet, Samsung believes the retailers should be able to sell the existing inventory of the Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy Tab 10.1 without any issue. While the various retailers are seemingly ignoring Apple’s warning, this is still a sad development in this ugly battle. Just when you think it couldn’t possibly get worse for both companies, it actually did.

You can see a sample transcript of Apple’s warning letters at the source links below.

source: FOSS Patents
via: The Verge



Judge Richard Posner: There Are Too Many Patents In America

Tired of all these various conflicts involving patents here in the U.S.? Well, you’re not alone. After dismissing a frivolous suit from Apple against Motorola and expressing his unhappiness on the matter shortly after, Judge Richard Posner recently wrote an opinion expressing his complete and utter disdain of the U.S Patent system. Posner argues:

“With some exceptions, US patent law does not discriminate among types of inventions or particular industries. This is, or should be, the most controversial feature of that law. The reason is that the need for patent protection in order to provide incentives for innovation varies greatly across industries.”

Posner believes there are indeed industries out there that serve as examples of actually needing patent protection— he names the pharmaceutical industry as the “poster child” for patent protection. The sole reason the pharmaceutical industry would need protection? Posner specifically argues “the invention of a new drug tends to be extremely costly–in the vicinity of hundreds of millions of dollars”. Conversely, there are “few industries that resemble pharmaceuticals” and “the cost of invention is low”, generally speaking. In fact, Posner adds “the product will be superseded soon anyway, so there’s no point to a patent monopoly that will last 20 years” and “most industries could get along fine without patent protection”. Looking at the bigger picture, Posner feels a patent:

“blocks competition within the patent’s scope and so if a firm has enough patents it may be able to monopolize its market” .

Posner doesn’t offer a specific solution, but he does outline a few preventative measures to fight defensive patents and patent trolls (we’re looking at companies like you Lodsys!). He cites examples like reducing patent terms for certain industries and completely eliminating jury trials by expanding the authority and procedures of the Patent and Trademark Office to make it the trier of patent cases. Nevertheless, Posner believes the problems and solutions of patents “merit greater attention than they are receiving”.

source: The Atlantic
via: The Verge

Samsung wins U.K. ruling over Apple; tablets not as simplistic

Samsung won a ruling in a U.K. courtroom today in one of its many cases against Apple. Judge Colin Birss ruled in London that consumers are not likely to mix up Galaxy tablets with the iPad. In the ruling, Birss indicates the Samsung products “do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity” of the Apple products. According to Birss, the Samsung tablets were thinner and possessed “unusual details” on the back. Apparently these qualities make the Apple products more “cool” according to the judge. Read more

Apple sued in China for patent infringement involving Siri [Video]

We don’t normally report what’s going on in the world of Apple, but since they have been a thorn in everyone’s side with patent lawsuits, we though you might find this interesting. Apple has been sued in China, but not by Samsung, Motorola, HTC, or another Android manufacturer. Zhizhen Network Technology is the culprit and they say that Apple’s Siri voice assistant infringes on their Xiaoi voice assistant.

The patent in question is ZL200410053749.9 and it relates to a “type of instant messaging chat bot system,” which happens to be called Xiaoi Bot. The Xiaoi patent was applied for by Zhizhen back in 2004 and was granted in 2006. What really has Zhizhen ticked off the most is the way Apple marketed Siri on their Chinese website. They said, “It (siri) can understand what you say and what you’re asking for, and it can find the answer that you are looking for on the web”. It’s no longer on the website.

Read more

Apple v. Motorola judge speaks out about software patents

In a recent ruling, Judge Richard Posner with the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (Chicago) effectively ended the case of Apple v. Motorola before it ever got to a courtroom by dismissing the claims in the case. In his ruling, Posner indicated specific claims for damages could not be shown by either party which left him no choice but to dismiss the case.

Posner is a judge who is not scared to speak out on a variety of issues. Just last week he wrote a critique of Supreme Court Judge Scalia’s dissent in the Arizona immigration lawsuit. Posner is a prolific writer as evidenced by a row of books in his office that he has authored, including one on the topics of economics and intellectual property laws.

Posner indicates in a recent interview about the Apple v. Motorola case that he questions whether we really need software patents. He mentions the benefit that software companies receive by being first to market with a new “gadget”, a benefit he thinks will exist whether patents are granted or not. He also has some concern with the fact that smartphones and similar devices are composed of thousands of components, yet a patent on any one of those components effectively confers legal protection (or liability) on the entire device, even the components not covered by the patent.

To read more about Judge Posner and the topic of patents, head on over to the source article. It provides a unique glimpse into one judge’s perspective on the continuing software patent wars.

source: Reuters

U.K. Judge: HTC Doesn’t Infringe Apple Patents


Sure Apple has recently seen its fair share of legal victories, but it’s just been dealt a major blow— courtesy of the U.K. courts. Judge Christopher Floyd recently ruled that HTC is not in violation of four Apple patents used for its touchscreen technology, which includes Apple’s slide to unlock feature. In addition, not only does HTC not infringe on Apple’s patents, but three of the four patents identified are actually invalid. The court only ruled that while Apple’s photo-management patent is valid, HTC didn’t infringe upon it.

While this is a significant victory for HTC, this is perhaps far from over. After all before his death, Steve Jobs did pledge Apple will “destroy Android” because ummmm you know… it was a stolen product and all.

source: Bloomberg

Samsung Denied Request to Lift Galaxy Nexus Ban; Software Update From Google Could be a Workaround

Despite Samsung’s best efforts, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus will, at least for now, remain banned from any future sales. The Galaxy Nexus is already unavailable in the Google Play Store and is listed as “Coming Soon.” Judge Lucy Koh denied the Korean company’s motion to have the preliminary injunction overturned, which Apple was granted last week. All Apple needs to do now is post the $96 million bond and the injunction will be all set. Google and Samsung will now most likely go the same route that HTC did when Apple went after their One X and Evo4G LTE. A software update for the Galaxy Nexus will likely be made as a “work-around” to the patent that Apple claims Google and Samsung are infringing upon with the Galaxy Nexus.

Read more

Apple denied emergency ban on HTC phone imports

Remember when the HTC EVO 4G LTE launch was delayed because it was held up at customs thanks to Apple? It wasn’t just the EVO 4G LTE with issues as Apple claims other phones, including the One X, infringed on a patent order issued in December. After a short delay, the phones were accepted in the U.S., but as expected Apple is fighting back. Apparently they made an emergency request to have HTC phones denied at the U.S. border. Thankfully the U.S. International Trade Commission denied that request.

The patent in question was related to a pop up that appears when clicking on certain links. For example, if you click on an email address, a pop up would appear letting you choose if you want to send it via Gmail, the stock Email application, or some other email application you might have installed on your device. Back in December it was found that HTC violated this infringement and was issued an order to fix it. The interesting thing is they did fix it as you can see in our previous post. Apple is still not pleased and continues to try to block sales of HTC products here in the U.S.

I seriously don’t get it. Why does Apple continue to stoop to these levels? Eventually the mainstream press has to start looking at Apple in a more negative light.

source: businessweek



Apple Files Counterclaim Against HTC, Claims Abuse Of 4G/LTE Patents

Apple has launched yet another offensive against its Android counterparts, this time filing a counterclaim in the Eastern District of Virginia court. This counterclaim lawsuit was filed in response against HTC, which recently filed a complaint in the ITC against Apple. According to FOSS patents, Apple claims HTC has abused two specific patents important to the 4G/LTE wireless standard and using them in a legal attack against Apple. By using abusing the two patents, Apple argues HTC breached its FRAND licensing obligations.

We’re sure you all are wonder what this means for both Apple and HTC, right? Well… no one knows just yet. But you can bet this will be a serious situation to keep an eye on because of the fact “there will probably be more cases in the future in which companies try to use 4G/LTE-essential patents as strategic weapons or for hold-up” and the government may not take too kindly for that. All eyes will be on this case in the meantime and any further developments that will arise.

source: FOSS Patents
via: Engadet