With a new patent trial scheduled to start on March 31, 2014 between Apple and Samsung, Judge Lucy Koh has entered a summary judgment order on some motions from the two parties. Judge Koh denied some requests from Apple, but did rule that Samsung infringed an Apple patent on “word recommendations” aka autocomplete. At this point, Samsung will now have to argue at trial that the patent itself should be ruled invalid. Considering the ubiquity of autocomplete on any smartphone, this ruling could be a problem for manufacturers of other Android devices. Reportedly, Google is involved with an anonymous reexamination request of the patent. As the parties prepare for trial, Apple still has five patents at issue with one of them ruled as being infringed upon by Samsung even before the jury starts to hear the case.
In a ruling issued by the International Trade Commission, HTC was found in violation of two patents belonging to the Cupertino company; a ban will go into effect for all affected HTC devices on April 19, 2012. The patents cover a UI feature of sorts that basically turns computer text data into a link or other usable interaction in another place, like for dialing a phone number through a link in an email.
The victory for Apple was accompanied by some losses however, with rulings that found HTC did not violate more crutial patents involving real-time signal processing that would have caused the most severe blows to HTC’s ability to make brisk changes and avoid major losses.
Wasting no time at all, HTC released a statement deflecting from their minor defeat and focusing more on the their decisive wins. They also lay out their next course of action and outwardly express a sense of gratification for the end results:
“This decision is a win for HTC and we are gratified that the commission affirmed the judge’s determination on the ’721 and ’983 patents, and reversed its decision on the ’263 patent and partially on the ’647 patent. We are very pleased with the determination and we respect it. The ’647 patent is a small UI experience and HTC will completely remove it from all of our phones soon.”
Hit the break for full ITC ruling in PDF.
Things are really getting juicy between Apple and Samsung in Australia as Federal Court Justice Annabelle Bennett ruled that Apple must now provide Samsung with copies of contracts with Australian cellphone carriers.
If you wil remember, Samsung has sued Apple in Australia claiming that the iPhone and the iPad infringe on patents that the company holds for various wireless technologies. Samsung asserts that Apple forces carriers to subsidize iPhone sales and is requesting contracts from Vodafone, SingTel, and Telstra if the two mobile giants can’t come to an agreement on said accusation. Apple’s lawyer Andrew Fox told the judge that “We will resist any attempts by our friends to push us into a corner,” and “This is quite clearly a fishing expedition,” and that Apple will do its best to prove that this is just another way for Samsung to find other damaging evidence.
However, Apple has already managed to ban Australian sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the two continue ongoing lawsuits in Japan, Germany, france and the United States. Earlier this month, Samsung also requested the iPhone 4S source code and was given 220 pages of code, but was mysteriously missing one file.
In the ongoing Apple vs. Samsung war, it looks like Apple has put a nail in the coffin one more time, this time in Australia. A little over a week ago Apple rejected a proposal from Samsung to end this tablet battle. What’s even more crazy is right before the ruling was to go down to possibly ban the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia, Samsung set up a temporary store two doors down from the Sydney Apple Store. Yesterday, the Federal Court granted Apple’s injunction to ban the Tab 10.1 in Australia until a trial is had to resolve the patient disputes between the two companies. Samsung has stated they would kill the release of the 10.1 if the injunction was granted as, without holiday sales, the tablet would be “dead” by the time it actually hit stores. The two players will be returning to court today to see if Samsung will be allowed to sell a modified version minus the technology that Apple sited in the complaint on two patents. Well, there you have it folks. I know this is getting old, but news is news. Take it as you will.
I don’t know about you but I’m a little worn out in regards to the Apple vs Samsung saga. However, we’re here to do a job and that is to report the news to our readers. So, without further ado, the latest on the forefront regarding the two handset giants coming to an agreement went south when Apple rejected an offer by Samsung to settle once and for all the dispute in regard to their alleged smartphone and tablet infringements. The refusal could subsequently cause great harm in the race for Samsung to plant a viable seed to kick off sales of their Tab 10.1 in Australia if not settled by the holiday season. Despite efforts on Samsung’s part, a lawyer for Apple explained to the Federal Court in Sydney that the offer proposed last week would simply not do and the company is still seeking for the court to rule on its behalf in that Samsung’s touch display technology is without a doubt infringing upon an Apple patent. Steven Burley, a lawyer for Apple had this to say in response:
“[The proposed deal] is one we don’t accept and there is no surprise. The main reason we are here is to prevent the launch (of the Galaxy 10.1) and maintain the status quo,”
As stated earlier, it’s no wonder Samsung is hard pressed to settle matters as quickly as possible. If Apple can halt or eliminate altogether the sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia they can squash any chance that Samsung had of catching up and cornering the market. An official court ruling is expected to take place next week some time.
Samsung has expressed their concern by stating to the court that if a ruling cannot be secured within an estimate of about two weeks time a certain lost opportunity will occur in attempts to get the device out before Christmas and that the company might as well takes its time arguing over the matter directly into 2012.
Neil Young, a lawyer for Samsung reiterates:
“If we can’t get a decision out by mid-October, there is no urgency”
This battle has currently reached suit in nine different countries in over 20 cases all with the hopeful outcome that Samsung will be able to move forward with sales its popular Galaxy Tab 10.1. It’s no wonder Apple isn’t letting this one go. Samsung’s smartphone and tablet sales have grown exponentially and it’s expected that Samsung may pass Apple up in regards to units sold, making it the number one handset vendor in the US. Stay tuned as the battle rages on in hopes that a settlement will come soon and/or those patiently waiting for a Samsung product to hit shelves this Christmas will be able to receive their stocking stuffer sooner than later.
T-Mobile has recently issued a press release commenting on the recent proposition for the AT&T-T-Mobile acquisition. T-Mobile’s Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, Tom Sugrue had this to say:
“The opponents of the AT&T-T-Mobile merger have had their final say as part of the FCC’s formal pleading cycle and, not surprisingly, they have failed to offer any credible arguments to support their view that the Commission should deny the transaction. What is surprising, however, is their repeated head-in-the-sand insistence that no spectrum crisis exists. As part of their application, AT&T and T-Mobile provided a compelling showing of their need for more spectrum to continue to provide quality service to customers and roll out new technologies in the future. And the two companies have demonstrated that a combination of their networks and spectrum holdings is by far the best way to solve this problem and ensure improved service and enhanced innovation. The FCC has long acknowledged the harmful consequences of ignoring the spectrum crunch, and we are confident it will approve our proposed market-based solution.”
As far as “failed to offer any credible arguments to support their view”, goes, we’ll let the judge be the judge of that. T-Mobile is sticking to their guns by stating this could possibly be the answer to the “spectrum crisis” while also accusing all opposing parties of not even acknoledging that there is one. We’ll be paying close attention to the proceedings and will report back with any news that becomes of it. Feel free to tell us how you feel about it all in the comments below. HIt the break for the full press release.