The patent battle between Apple and Samsung has resurfaced thanks to a new amicus filing by some of the tech industries heavyweights who are lining up behind Samsung. In the friend of the court briefing, companies like Google, HP, Facebook and others, make an argument we have heard from Samsung in the past. Read more
In a ruling issued by the Supreme Court this week, Los Angeles saw an ordinance overturned in which they sought to give their police force the ability to seize information from hotel registries on demand and without a warrant. Justice Sonia Sotomayor, writing the majority opinion in the 5-4 ruling, deemed the ordinance unconstitutional and importantly, found the ordinance as written could have been extended to apply to any business, not just hotels. It was on that point that Google had jumped into the case via an amicus brief. Read more
The developers behind XBMC, the entertainment and media center software, have announced a change in name for the platform. XBMC has started the process to be renamed Kodi as part of the upcoming release of version 14. This is not the first time the group has changed the name, the last time being in 2008. However, all of the previous name changes have been variants of the original “Xbox Media Player” which was coined in 2002. Two years after that it was renamed “Xbox Media Center” and then four years later it was shortened to the current XBMC. The change to Kodi is a radical change taking things in a whole new direction. Read more
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. Read more
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.
If you recall: the UK courts recently found that Samsung actually didn’t infringe on various Apple iPad patents and subsequently ruled Apple had to give Samsung some satisfaction. Well Apple didn’t take too kindly of that and demonstrated its defiance to the courts’ decision and issued an arrogant apology. Apple’s legal team took some time to highlight the uniqueness of Apple products, while highlighting that Samsung’s products are “simply not as cool” as Apple products. In addition, Apple is quick to point out that all other major courts in the world recognized Samsung’s infringement of iPad, while the UK thought otherwise. As a result, Apple had this to say about the manner:
“So while the U.K. court did not find Samsung guilty of infringement, other courts have recognized that in the course of creating its Galaxy tablet, Samsung willfully copied Apple’s far more popular iPad.”
Talk about being completely defiant to UK law. So while Apple technically admits that Samsung didn’t infringe on its product, Apple also is quick to point out that well— Samsung did infringe per other courts. We’re not sure of how Samsung and/or the UK courts will react to Apple’s statement, but you really have to hand it to Apple— it won’t back down even if it’s wrong.
You can find the full statement from apple.com/uk when you hit the break.
Android app developers who are registered with Google may be receiving what appears to be a worrisome e-mail from Google’s legal staff today regarding a subpoena from the FBI. No need to be alarmed says the FBI. The e-mail from Google’s legal team reads:
Google has received a subpoena seeking information related to Android applications that may have been made available on alternative markets without the consent of the developer. The subpoena seeks information about those Android applications, including contact information for the developers of the applications. Our records show that your Android developer account will be included in the information Google will provide in response to this subpoena.
Google is not in a position to provide you with legal advice or discuss the substance of the process in our possession. For more information about the subpoena, you may wish to contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation — Atlanta Field Office at (404) 679-9000, reference #2011R00320/FBI/ORKIN.
Google Legal Investigations Support
You might note the language, “available on alternative markets without the consent of the developer.” This seems to imply the FBI is investigating instances of app piracy. The e-mail appears to be Google’s attempt to notify developers that their information is part of what is being turned over to the FBI in response to the subpoena and not to be surprised if the FBI contacts them. According to the FBI, developers will only be contacted if they are a victim.
As a developer, would you be concerned with your information being turned over to the FBI?
It’s no surprise that the recent Apple vs. Samsung verdict drew massive ire and certainly no secret that Samsung not only disagrees with it, but plans to fight Apple to the very death. It now appears that Samsung has the additional ammunition needed to contest the court’s ruling and be granted a retrial. During the jury selection process (also known as voir dire), a foreman who happened to be part of the jury selection pool as a prospective juror was originally asked if he will set aside all that he knew of patent law from his personal experience, while following the court’s instructions and make an objective judgment based off evidence alone. The prospective juror who was eventually selected to be part of the jury answered yes to the questions, as he promised to follow the law and not use what he knew from previous cases.
As a precaution, lawyers on both sides extensively check and analyze the responses based off the participants of the voir dire. But naturally, the foreman did the complete opposite and broke his promise to follow the law and not have any sort of bias— based off his responses and interviews to the media after the verdict was handed down. Now that this is out in the open, this observation paints a bigger picture. Seeing the different legal experts present these facts and information again gives Samsung a reason to aggressively contest and appeal the recent verdict. However as Groklaw points out, there is “The tendency is for jury verdicts to stand, even if there is a problem“. Samsung will have a long battle ahead if it wants to win.
Boy, this legal stuff can get confusing. Let’s take it from the beginning and walk through it. First, we know that the HTC One X and the Evo 4G LTE are currently held up in customs while they check whether the devices violate an ITC exclusion order Apple was granted last December.
Then we heard the ITC has decided to ban the import of Motorola Android phones for infringing on patents by Microsoft, joining HTC in the “import ban” club. FOSS Patents said this order could likely go into effect in 60 days. It’s also possible Motorola could tweak the software to comply with the ITC’s rulings during those 60 days.
As more details were revealed, we now learn that Motorola was found NOT to infringe on 8 patents in the Microsoft case, and only infringed on one specific patent for “generating meeting requests and group scheduling from a mobile device“. This verdict is now under Presidential review, and is subject to appeal. Motorola said in a statement to ArsTechnica:
Remember how Apple tried to obtain a preliminary injunction against Samsung to stop them from selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 (and some phones) from being sold in the U.S.? If you’ll recall, Samsung won that battle as the district court denied Apple’s request, questioning the validity of a couple of Apple’s patents. The court couldn’t see how Apple would be “irreparably harmed” if Samsung were to continue selling its products.
Apple, of course, appealed that decision. And it looks like the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) has granted Apple another chance at getting that injunction. Three of the four patents in dispute were upheld by the CAFC, but they found fault with the lower court’s ruling that Apple’s tablet design patent was potentially invalid.