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
We’re pretty familiar with Samsung’s constant legal battle with Apple all over the world, and especially in the US. Samsung, having quite a bit of extra cash to play with, upped their legal spending on US lobbyists last year to $900,000, up from just $150,000 in 2011. That’s a pretty significant jump. The extra spending is an attempt to sway the federal government on many legal issues, including IP copyright and telecommunication infrastructure. Samsung also hired former Sony veteran Joel Wigington to run a Washington office.
The mobile market is expected to be worth $847 billion in 2016, so this is obviously a really sweet pie that everyone wants a piece of, Samsung included. The lawsuits aren’t likely to let up, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see other companies beef up their legal presence to defend against (or initiate more of) those lawsuits.
Back in 2000, 7 years before Apple debuted the infamous iPhone, a local Brazilian company called Gradiente Eletronica registered a phone with the same name. As you might expect, Apple has been in courts with the company attempting to claim exclusive rights to use the name internationally. As it turns out, the regulators handling this case ruled in favor of Gradiente Electronica and denied Apple the rights to hold the name exclusively in Brazil. However, the ruling did give Apple exclusivity rights for the iPhone name on items such as clothing, software and various publications.
It’s no secret that many of us believe that Apple’s ongoing attack against Samsung is a waste of time and is shameful to say the least, but the ongoing attack can be considered as something even worse. While speaking at the opening night of D:Dive Into Media 2013, Samsung EVP David Eun did not dabble into specifics regarding the continuing litigations that are a waste of time, money and resources— but rather he made it very clear that the ongoing dispute is “a loss” for innovation and more importantly— us, the consumer. So it’s pretty cool finally hearing something that we can all agree upon from such a high-ranking official at Samsung.
Hopefully Apple will realize sooner than later that it’s probably not worth it to keep going on with the petty and meaningless battle.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Apple and Samsung have been in a patent war since 2011. Current CEO Tim Cook has been on record as saying that he does not like to participate in what he calls “patent litigation” and apparently he wasn’t lying. According to a lengthy article provided by Reuters, Cook claims that the late Steve Jobs, Apple’s co-founder and former CEO, opposed and overruled him on the decision to go after Samsung in court for patent infringement.
CyanogenMod recently introduced an awesome new Chronus clock widget that was certainly welcome with open arms. But just as quickly as the clock widget was introduced, Chronus was taken down thanks to a friendly cease & desist letter from those who have the “Cronus” name trademarked. What this means is that the CM team just wanted to avoid any costly and unnecessary trouble by getting into a legal battle, so it took the entire clock widget down… despite the clock being unique in design compared to the general design of “Cronus”.
So while the widget is down for now— fear not gang: all the CM team needs to do is simply rename the app and it should be available again without issue. In order to rename the app, it has gone out to its Facebook page and ask you the people to do the dirty work and come up with an awesome replacement name. Hopefully the CM team will have this done sooner than later.
source: CM Facebook
Chalk one up for Samsung in the epic (and ongoing) cat fight it has has against Apple. In a sudden turn of events, Judge Lucy Koh recently ruled that Sammy did not willfully infringe on various Apple patents in question, despite the original jury panel finding that seven patents were infringed in the landmark decision late last year. Judge Koh asserted that there was an “objectively high likelihood that its [Samsung's] actions constituted infringement of a valid patent“. Essentially what this means is that Samsung and its legal team had a reasonable understanding and belief that it could go into its legal fight against Apple knowing it hasn’t done anything wrong… at least willingly.
So what this means is that Apple won’t get any additional damages for the willful infringement, though it still does get its big prize in the form of a $1.049 billion check. Judge Koh’s decision only applies to the fact that Samsung did not infringe Apple patents willfully, the original patent infringement ruling still stays intact. Then again— on the flipside, Judge Koh could hypothetically reduce the damages that Sammy owes, though nothing has been said or decided at this time. Still— Samsung can’t help but be happy at this recent outcome as it looks to move past the issue and have unprecedented success to rub in Apple’s face and all.
source: The Verge
The holidays have slowed down the news about Samsung and Apple trying to litigate each other out of existence, but now that we’ve got CES and Christmas out of the way, it’s sure to pick back up. The latest ruling comes from a Dutch court that ruled in Samsung’s favor; according to this ruling, Samsung did not infringe on Apple’s patented design of a rounded square shaped tablet. Samsung agreed with the ruling, naturally, saying “We continue to believe that Apple was not the first to design a tablet with a rectangular shape and rounded corners and that the origins of Apple’s registered design features can be found in numerous examples.” At least we know common sense still exists somewhere.
While Motorola and Apple have had their fair share of courtroom drama in the past, today may finally see some of it put to rest. The two have been engaged in a heated legal battle over the past couple of years, with the most recent of which centered around a touch-related UI intellectual property.
Today, Judge Pender of the International Trade Commission ruled that, while Apple did infringe on said patent, there would be no legal ramifications because Motorola’s claim is ‘invalid.’ The reason behind the decision stems from the fact that Motorola holds another, older touch patent very similar to the one in question, yet it was not included in the original filing.
So, it appears the Apple legal team will be celebrating a successful year in the courtroom over Christmas. Although, its entirely possible to prolong the ordeal if Motorola chooses to appeal the ruling over the coming weeks.