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.
On the same day that Samsung received mixed news regarding the Apple v Samsung fight here in the U.S., the company announced they are dropping their requests for injunctions barring sales of Apple products in several European countries. In courtrooms in the U.K., Germany, France, Italy, and the Netherlands, Samsung is withdrawing requests for injunctions “in the interest of protecting consumer choice.” That statements sounds like Samsung has decided to start walking the walk and not just talking the talk when it comes to letting the market, and not the courts, decide which technologies will prevail with consumers.
In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a little bad blood between Apple and Samsung. On this episode of ‘As the Smartphone World Turns,’ Apple attempts to permanently ban the sale of 26 Samsung devices in the U.S. However, a judge denied this latest attempt of Apple to derail Samsung.
Judge Lucy Koh, who has presided over the entire trial, ruled that any infringing features on Samsung’s devices are just part of a larger feature set, and wouldn’t fit into the broad ban that Apple was seeking. She added that it ‘wouldn’t be equitable’ to deprive Samsung consumers of the infringing devices when only ‘limited features’ have been infringed upon.
It would also seem that Samsung has already been punished for the infringements and that Apple is just finding ways to keep their lawyers busy these days. I’m no lawyer, but it may have been helpful to request the ban back in August. When will it stop, Apple?
‘Tis the season to be grateful for all sorts of possibilities and Apple is grateful for the ability to file yet another patent dispute against you guessed it— Samsung. According to Foss Patents, Apple would like to add additional variations of popular Samsung devices including the Jelly Bean-powered Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note II, Galaxy Tab 8.9 WiFi, Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, Rugby Pro and Galaxy S III mini, to its ever-growing list of devices accused of patent infringement. The thought is that Apple didn’t want to stand idle and be passive because well… Samsung recently went on the offensive and naturally Apple isn’t used to being pushed around and all.
Of course the recent filing was done during holiday hours, so we’ll need to wait to wait and see what the courts decide to do with this recent turn of events. Nevertheless, this should make for an exciting holiday season for Judge Lucy Koh, right?
source: Foss Patents
Last week it was announced that HTC and Apple entered into a 10-year global patent agreement. Various media sites (including yours truly) reported that as part of that agreement, HTC would pay Apple $6 to $8 per Android phone, but chief executive Peter Chou is said those estimates are outrageous.
“I think that these estimates are baseless and very, very wrong. It is a outrageous number, but I’m not going to comment anything on a specific number. I believe we have a very, very happy settlement and a good ending,” said Chou at a KDDI Corp product launch in Tokyo.
Where these estimates came from, I don’t know because the details of the agreement were never released. Furthermore, HTC won’t change it fourth-quarter guidance number based on the agreement. This is good news because HTC is one of the better Android manufacturers, and I would hate to see them get stuck paying Apple ridiculously high rates per device.
The Samsung-LG rivalry is back at it again. Samsung is retaliating for LG’s September lawsuit with a suit of their own. This time, Samsung is seeking to have seven patents granted to LG rendered invalid based upon previous infringement with some of their own. Samsung has long been producing Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) displays, and many of their current gen Active-Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode displays (AMOLED) are being used is products around the world. This type of screen is immensely popular because of its ability to function without a backlight that many other kinds of displays require.
While both LG and Samsung produce similar displays. The function of them is quite different; LG uses their screens mainly for TV’s while Samsung focuses mainly upon mobile devices. Recently, with LG’s Optimus G line of phones and Samsung’s latest line of TV’s both companies have been stepping into each other’s territories. This dispute could potentially setting the boundary between these two markets for display technology and grant Samsung a strong monopoly in the mobile display market.
Source: Yonhap News
Our two favorite legal teams from Samsung and Apple have both been given the green light on adding more products to their newest patent lawsuit. This is the lawsuit that includes the iPhone 5’s LTE and Apple’s addition of the Galaxy Note 10.1, US Galaxy S III, and Jelly Bean, in case you lost track. According to this ruling Samsung and Apple will both be allowed to add those new devices to the patent suit. To clarify, when Apple added Jelly Bean to the lawsuit, that’s limited exclusively to the software on Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus. Although since that is still technically Google software and not Samsung software, I’m just as confused as you are.
This lawsuit is set to take place in 2014 and targets the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, as well as 19 Samsung products. Realistically, neither of these companies will be promoting these same products come 2014, assuming no more products are added over time, but it’s always disappointing to see this constant litigation.
Everyone’s favorite custom ROM maker, CyanogenMod, posted on their blog today that they will be changing their domain name and their email address due to an alleged extortion attempt by a once trusted member of their team. The new website will be temporarily hosted at www.cyanogenmod.org and the new email address has been changed to firstname.lastname@example.org
It is sad to see this type of corruption and greed in the typically friendly, team-oriented developer environment. CyanogenMod insists that it will be taking legal punitive action against the perpitrator, and will more than likely win the case. Yet we all know that in the end, everyone (including users) lose, since attention is taken away from the intensive task of developing ROMs and placed on unnecessary quarrels and disputes.
The issue shouldn’t interrupt users from downloading and installing thew new CM10 ROMS, however, which can be found at get.cm if you’re interested in that sort of thing. Just remember to flash at your own risk!
And just like that the problem with the extortionist has been resolved peacefully and CyanogenMod’s site has been moved back to www.cyanogenmod.com. Cyanogen himself posted on twitter a few minutes ago that they have resolved the problem amicably. He encourages everyone to “just forget about this”.
source: CyanogenMod Blog
updated source: Twitter
Remember that pathetic attempt at an apology that Apple published a little over a week ago regarding Samsung and the Galaxy Tab? Apparently the UK courts didn’t find it too amusing and has ordered Apple to pay Samsung’s legal fees. While it’s not that rare that the loser in a UK case has to front the legal fees for the other party, slapping the “Indemnity” title to it certainly makes it stand out. In such instances the company will have to pay more under the Indemnity basis vs. the “Standard” basis.
I’m sure money won’t be a problem but the intent of the Indemnity tag is to humiliate Apple even more so than what they’ve already experienced. Don’t think they’ve been humiliated during the process? Just read their attempt at the apology. Kind of reminds you of the little kid you make apologize to the other kid, yet they don’t actually use the word “sorry.” Little embarrassed there, Apple? Or just arrogant? Well, that arrogance will now cost even more. The UK courts have not taken too well to that half-assed apology and called them on it even going so far as saying Apple was criticizing the courts decision in the “apology” verbiage – thus now the Indemnity basis. Only Apple would make something more out of a given situation. Any publicity is good publicity, right Apple?
source: The Verge
I think we can all agree the endless patent lawsuits aren’t good for consumers. Well, hopefully Apple and HTC have seen this light, as they confirmed they’ve settled their patent disputes and have entered a 10-year licensing deal to avoid more lawsuits. The CEOs of both companies made statements that they are pleased to have reached an agreement and are ready to continue innovation, not litigation.
Apple has certainly abused the patent system lately, but this is a step in the right direction. No amount of patents and lawsuits are going to force consumers to buy your products, and I’m sure Apple knows that. Now we should all just hope for this kind of agreement to happen with some other Android OEMs as well. Hit the press release after the break for more about the licensing deal.