Just like that, out of nowhere, Google was found guilty of five claims of U.S. Patent No 7,025,914 involving push notification services. The patent in question is owned by SimpleAir, an inventor-owned technology licensing company that holds eight issued U.S. patents. The Google services involved are Google Cloud Messaging (GCM) and Android Cloud to Device Messaging (C2DM). These services are used to send instant notifications for Android apps such as Gmail, Facebook, and Twitter.
The verdict took place this past Saturday, January 18th after a week-long trial in Marshall, Texas, and was presided over by the Honorable Rodney Gilstrap. Although the jury found Google guilty on all five claims, they weren’t able to reach a unanimous decision on the amount of damages. It will now be decided by a new separate jury that will hear a limited second trial. SimpleAir is seeking over $125 million in damages.
Last month we told you about Rockstar, which is a company formed by Apple, Microsoft, RIM, Sony, and Ericsson. They are using the patents won from the Nortel bid to attack Android manufacturers. Rockstar is essentially a patent troll with its only function being litigation. They filed a suit against Google and other Android manufacturers last month, but Google is fighting back in an attempt to not only protect themselves, but all of Android and the manufacturers.
Google’s complaint, filed this past Monday, claims that Rockstar’s patent campaign is attacking hundreds of tech companies and it has “placed a cloud on Google’s Android platform,” especially Nexus devices. Google also stated that Rockstar’s CEO said that Facebook, LinkedIn and every other tech company is infringing on these old Nortel patents.
In the ongoing string of court battles between Samsung and Apple, Samsung has come out the loser in the latest round. This battle took place in South Korea where Samsung alleged Apple violated patents related to short message display methods and messaging group features. Samsung had asked the court to put a sales ban on the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 and iPad 2 in place and they had asked for 100 million won ($95,000 USD) in damages. The judge in the Seoul Central District Court threw out the damages claim and refused to institute the sales ban.
In response to the latest ruling, Apple’s spokesman in Korea, Steve Park, said the company is “glad the Korean court joined others around the world in standing up for real innovation and rejecting Samsung’s ridiculous claims.” Apparently Park was not referring to a case last year in which Apple was found to have infringed on two of Samsung’s patents for wireless technology.
Patent wars between Samsung and Apple continue to rage on, with both sides presenting their closing arguments for the current retrial on Monday. The matter is very complicated, but essentially in the original trial between Apple and Samsung, the jury found that multiple Samsung devices did indeed infringe on Apple’s patents. Despite the fact that multiple Apple patents were infringed upon, damages were only awarded for one patent, and what should have been awarded to Apple was miscalculated.
Samsung has paid $400 million of the original $1.05 billion that Apple was awarded, and Apple is now seeking a further $380 million on top of the remaining $650 million that Apple is owed. Samsung, however, believes that they are only responsible for a further $52 million.
As part of Apple and Samsung’s latest lawsuit, one of Apple’s top marketing executives, Phil Schiller, took to the stand to discuss the damage Samsung actually did to Apple through technology and design patent infringement. According to Schiller, he was “quite shocked” when Samsung released their original Galaxy S smartphone, since it was a direct copy of the iPhone. He claimed that it weakened the world’s view of Apple, and that it caused consumers to “question our innovation and design skills in a way that people never used to” because it was so similar.
During the many, many lawsuits and court battles that Samsung and Apple have engaged in, there have been some occasions where each company has had access to private documents and information from the other company. Of course, that information should only ever be used in the context of the legal battles, but apparently Samsung had a different idea.
In one phase of Apple and Samsung’s patent fight, Apple gave Samsung confidential documents explaining their patent agreements with companies like Nokia, Ericsson, Sharp, and Philips. The court issued a protective order that was supposed to prevent Samsung from doing anything with those documents that wasn’t related to the lawsuit. According to Apple, Samsung leaked that information to roughly 90 employees and 130 unauthorized lawyers, which is a pretty big leak. Samsung executive Dr. Seungho Ahn attempted to use the information to strong-arm Nokia into a licensing agreement, but now that Nokia has joined Apple’s side in a motion for sanctions, I’m sure Samsung regrets the idea.
It wasn’t a huge win for Samsung, but at least it was something. Back in June, the U.S. International Trade Commission awarded Samsung a sales ban on AT&T models of the iPhone, iPhone 3GS, iPad 3G, and iPad 2 3G. Yes, I know these are older devices, but it was one of the very few wins for Samsung.
Apparently the Obama Administration seems to be fans of the Romper Room style iOS because they just vetoed the ban. Hit the break for the full text.
Samsung scored a point today in their ongoing legal volleys with Apple as the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled Apple violated a Samsung patent. In prevailing, the ITC awarded Samsung an import and sales ban on AT&T models of the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 3G and iPad 2 3G. You may recall a while back when ads were running showing Apple device owners using their iOS powered devices performing several functions at one time, like talking on the phone will placing an online order via the web browser. It was this ability to stream multiple data streams that triggered Samsung’s action.
Patent suits involving Motorola and Apple have been relatively quiet lately, but that doesn’t mean they’ve ceased entirely. The latest comes from a German court that has ruled Apple’s infamous slide-to-unlock patent invalid in their case against Motorola. Apple tried to show 14 different amendments to the patent to keep it valid, but the German court disagreed.
While this is technically a win for Motorola, most Android manufacturers have put workarounds in place to avoid infringing on Apple’s slide-to-unlock patent. Had Apple been able to continue using that patent, it wouldn’t have given them any notable advantage over other manufacturers. Still, we can chalk this one up as a win for common sense and call it a day.
source: FOSS Patents
In case you missed it among the seemingly constant back and forth between Samsung and Apple in the world’s courtrooms, there is a patent case about to get underway between HTC and Nokia regarding some alleged patent infringements. The bad news for Android fans is that Judge Thomas Pender has issued a ruling that could negatively impact any Android devices that make a tethering feature available. Nokia has asserted that HTC is infringing on U.S. Patent No 5,884,190 describing a “method for making a data transmission connection from a computer to a mobile communication network for transmission of analog and/or digital signals.” The court case between Nokia and HTC is scheduled to start in a couple months, but this ruling regarding the interpretation of the 190 patent makes it difficult for HTC to deny infringement.
The case between the two companies involves about 40 patents that Nokia has asserted HTC infringes. Google is involved in the case as a third-party intervenor supporting HTC. Both HTC and Google had hoped to narrow the scope of the 190 patent, but failed to do so. The two companies will now have to somehow prove the patent is invalid, such as due to prior art. Proving the existence of prior art could be a challenge since Nokia obtained the patent in 1995, a time when the web was still in its infancy and mobile devices were closer to bricks than what we have today. If HTC fails to make their case during the trial, they may also try to sway the ITC commission to overrule the judge.
If Nokia succeeds during the trial in showing HTC has infringed on the 190 patent, one of the likely results will be an import ban on all HTC devices into the U.S. Nokia will also be in a strong position to pursue other Android device manufacturers, much like they have already done against Apple and Blackberry. In the end, most companies will probably opt to pay a royalty to Nokia in order to keep the feature available.
source: FOSS Patents