Ruling expected to impact May 31 Apple versus Samsung ITC ruling
A ruling yesterday in the Northern District of California may have repercussions on the smartphone patent battles raging across the US court landscape. A federal judge granted a user of a standards-essential patent a preliminary injunction against enforcement of a possible US International Trade Commission (ITC) sales injunction. This decision by Senior District Judge Ronald Whyte is the first time a US district court is preventing the ITC's only option to combat patent infringers in conjunction with standards-essential patents.
Trial centers on failure of Yellow Pages service
The Superior Court of Mexico has overturned a lower court ruling that found Yahoo liable for $2.75 billion in damages. Plaintiffs Ideas Interactivas and holding company Worldwide Directories sued Yahoo over breach of contract and lost profits on a yellow pages service.
Google believes FTC consent decree restrictions overstated
A Google-made appeal filing in the Motorola Mobile versus Apple smartphone patent trial in Judge Richard A. Posner's court has been made public. Controversially, the Google-owned Motorola claims that the still-pending FTC consent decree it agreed to does not prevent it from seeking an injunction against Apple products -- claiming that in refusing a 2.25 percent fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) license, Apple is unwilling to negotiate in good faith for use of the patent.
Says Apple was aware of issue but kept quiet
A Florida woman, Debra Hilton, has filed a class action lawsuit against Apple on behalf of iPhone 4 owners, says GigaOM. The case alleges that Apple knew about a flex cable defect that was causing problems with the phone's power button, but stayed quiet to sell phones without fixing the issue. A lawyer for Hilton points to threads on Apple's support forums, as well as a repair video on YouTube claiming that the issue is prevalent with the 4.
Could affect outcome of Apple v. Samsung battles
The US Patent and Trademark Office has issued a preliminary rejection of some claims in an Apple patent, Method and apparatus for providing translucent images on a computer display, says FOSS Patents. Claims 29-30 and 33-35 have been rejected. The USPTO says that aspects of the patent were obvious or anticipated in light of another patent, Method and apparatus for displaying simulated keyboards on touch-sensitive displays, as well as prior art.
Files statement opposing Google amicus curiae in first case
As a part of one of its lawsuits against Samsung, Apple is asking US Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal for access to Google's Android source code records, Bloomberg reports. The documents are being demanded as part of pretrial information sharing; Apple argues in a court filing that Android is used in all of the Samsung devices accused of infringing Apple patents, and "provides much of the accused functionality."
Will be restricted to 13 Samsung devices
US District Court Judge Lucy Koh has set a November 12th date for a trial to recalculate damages vacated from last year's initial, $1.05 billion Apple v. Samsung ruling, reports say. On March 1st, Koh issued an order vacating $450.5 million from the original judgment, owing to a questionable jury outcome which set only one damage figure per device despite multiple patents being involved in each instance. The $450.5 million figure did come down on Monday though, since Koh reversed a ruling on the AT&T edition of the Galaxy S II, returning $40.5 million back to Apple.
Ruling more in line with Microsoft claims, well short of $4 billion request
US District Court Judge James Robart of the Western District of Washington has issued a critical ruling in the Motorola Mobile versus Microsoft patent lawsuit. The judge has decreed that Motorola Mobility is entitled to nearly $1.8 million per year from Microsoft for use of its standards-essential H.264 video playback and 802.11 Wi-Fi patents, a far cry from the $4 billion annually Motorola and its parent company Google demanded at the beginning of the lawsuit.
Company liable for some third-party violations
Beijing's No. 2 Intermediate People's Court has fined Apple over 730,000 yuan, or about $118,000, for infringing on the copyrights of three Chinese writers, reports say. The judge in the case, Feng Gang, states in his ruling that although the writers' books were uploaded for sale on iTunes by third parties, Apple has the duty of checking whether those books are in line with Chinese law. "The writers involved this time include Mai Jia, whose books are often on bestseller lists across the country," Feng writes. "In this way, Apple has the capability to know the uploaded books on its online store violated the writers' copyright."
Stay likely indefinite, will result in lift of push injunction
The Karlsruhe, Germany appeals court has ruled as expected, staying an Apple versus Motorola Mobility patent battle over the Google-owned push notification patent. According to the official announcement by the court about the stay, both parties agreed to the action, with Apple lowering its own expectations for a complete dismissal, and Google changing its position on the matter after an appellate hearing. Today's ruling will ultimately result in restoration of push notifications to Apple iCloud email users in Germany.
Nokia suffers defeat after having settled with RIM, dealing with ViewSonic
Earlier today, the Mannheim Regional Court in Germany ruled on Nokia's assertion that HTC was infringing on its patent on "a communication network terminal for accessing Internet." Judge and Doctor Holger Kircher, presiding over the board of judges hearing the case, ruled that Nokia's case was dismissed based on a finding of non-infringement. The decision is appealable, but is unlikely to be overturned.
Says parties have 'no interest' in quick settlements
Apple and Google-owned Motorola Mobility are only using lawsuits as a business strategy and have no interest in solving their Florida patent lawsuit, says US District Judge Robert Scola. "The parties have no interest in efficiently and expeditiously resolving this dispute; they instead are using this and similar litigation worldwide as a business strategy that appears to have no end," he writes in a Tuesday court order discovered by Bloomberg. The case includes over 180 claims connected to 12 patents, and the two parties are even contesting the meaning of over 100 terms.
Comes shortly after invalidation of Apple patent
Germany's Federal Patent Court has ruled in favor of Apple, and invalidated the entirety of the German part of a Samsung patent on a "turbo encoding/decoding device and method for processing frame data according to QoS," says FOSS Patents. Samsung had declared the patent essential to the UMTS 3G standard. The ruling was handed down late Wednesday, and also discards any of Samsung's proposed amendments to the patent. Samsung still has the option of appealing the decision to the Federal Court of Justice.
Possible injunction waiting on full ITC commission
Samsung infringed on an Apple patent via a text-selection feature on some of its devices, the US International Trade Commission has ruled. Reuters reports that the decision was actually made on March 26th, but kept confidential until yesterday, so that Apple and Samsung could redact any sensitive business content. The patent specifically describes a "method and apparatus for providing translucent images on a computer display," and is related not only to the text selection in Android's web browser but translucent buttons in the OS' Photo Gallery app.
Decision may be reversed later on
US District Court Judge Lucy Koh has denied class action status for workers wanting to sue several major technology and film companies over anti-job poaching practices, Reuters reports. The plaintiffs have accused Adobe, Apple, Google, Lucasfilm, Intel, Intuit, and Pixar of conspiring not to poach workers from each other. While such practices might help stabilize corporate environments, they also reduce the need for employers to compete with each other on wages and benefits.
Ruling helps Samsung, Motorola cases
Germany's Federal Patent Court has ruled that all claims of Apple's slide-to-unlock patent are invalid as granted, according to FOSS Patents. The court has moreover ruled that none of the 14 amendments Apple has proposed can be used. The decision comes after a full-day hearing in front of five judges, led by Judge Vivian Sredl; two of the judges are said to have come from an engineering background.
Apple's intervention efforts unknown
Patent holder Lodsys had added Disney to the list of companies it is pursuing with lawsuits over in-app purchases, reports say. In a new court filing, Where's My Water? and other unspecified Disney apps are said to violate Lodsys' '565 and '078 US patents. "Prior to filing this complaint, Lodsys informed Disney of the patents-in-suit and offered to enter into a licensing arrangement that would allow Disney to continue practicing the inventions claimed in patents-in-suit," the filing continues. "Disney, however, chose not to enter into a licensing agreement. Instead, with knowledge of the patents-in-suit and disregard for Lodsys' patent rights, Disney chose to continue its infringement."
Apple faces new set back in patent wars with Samsung
Apple has been dealt a blow by the US Patent Office, which has reaffirmed its preliminary invalidation of Apple’s much publicized ‘rubber banding’ patent (‘381), reports FOSS Patents. The latest ruling has been labeled a ‘Final Office Action’ by the USPTO and was revealed in a court filing by Samsung’s lawyers to Judge Lucy Koh, who is presiding over the legal battle between the two companies. Although significant, the latest ruling by the USPTO can still be appealed by Apple and the Cupertino-based company will have two months to make its case.
Court rejects first-sale-doctrine defense
A federal judge has ruled against digital music reseller ReDigi, describing the company's business model as a form of copyright infringement. The decision, which was posted by Wired (PDF), rejects ReDigi's claims of protection under the first-sale doctrine, as initial buyers can simply make a duplicate copy of a digital track before offering it for sale through the resale system.
Claims animated movies sold without permission
A government-owned Chinese movie studio is suing Apple, charging that its animated movies are being sold on the App Store without permission, according to the South China Morning Post. Shanghai Animation Film Studio is best known for movies like The Monkey King, and is specifically accusing Apple Inc. and Beijing subsidiary Apple Electronics Products Commerce of violating intellectual property rights through unauthorized download services at the App Store. The two parties are accused of illegally selling over 110 SAFS movies, such as Calabash Brothers and Black Cat Detective. Demanded compensation is 3.3 million yuan, or about $531,000.
Firm claims Xiao voice recognition tech predates Siri
Lawyers for Apple appeared in a Shanghai court earlier today at the start of a lawsuit over the company's Siri voice command system, according to Agence France-Presse. Zhizhen Network Technology alleges that Siri violates a patent on voice recognition, used in the company's Xiao i Robot software, that dates back to 2004. Siri is said to have been first developed in 2007. After buying out Siri's creator, Apple folded the technology into iOS in October 2011.
Reversal would put intact damages at $685 million
Judge Lucy Koh made a significant mistake in vacating part of the damages from an Apple court victory against Samsung last year, the former party alleges in a filing submitted yesterday. The court document suggests that part of the damages were vacated based on a disallowed theory related to "disgorgement of profits for design patent infringement" and an "aggressive notice date for all of the patents" presented by Apple, according to FOSS Patents.
Jury finds Cisco owes XpertUniverse $70 million
A jury on Friday evening hit networking technology giant Cisco with a $70 million damages verdict for patent fraud. Reuters reported Friday that the jury found Cisco to have fraudulently obtained technology developed by XpertUniverse. Cisco was also found to have violated two XpertUniverse patents, with an additional $34,000 in damages awarded due to those claims.
Apple, Samsung increasingly split on trial's outcome
Samsung has asked for court permission to exceed a page limit in response to Apple's demand to accelerate a retrial for vacated damages, but has made some more significant demands in the process, says FOSS Patents. "[I]f the Court declines to enter the partial final judgment and stay that Samsung has requested, and instead sets the case for immediate new trial [as Apple requested], the Seventh Amendment would require that the new jury retry certain liability issues along with the damages issues that are subject to the Court's new trial order," Samsung's filing says, claiming precedent in two other lawsuits.
Security, distributed computing patents at stake
Research and development firm Intertrust has filed a lawsuit against Apple, claiming violation of 15 patents connected to "security and distributed trusted computing," according to an announcement. The company doesn't go into specific detail about the patents, but identifies numerous Apple products as infringing, including Macs, the iPhone, the iPad, and the Apple TV, along with services such as iTunes, iCloud, and the App Store.
Calls earlier concealment of documents 'unacceptable conduct'
US Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal has invited plaintiffs to file for sanctions in their ongoing lawsuit against Apple over location tracking, Bloomberg reports. The company was recently chastized for not showing compliance with a November order to turn over demanded documents in the case. Grewal has called Apple's behavior "unacceptable conduct," and notes that after he began overseeing the case earlier this month, Apple has "more than doubled" the amount of documents produced.
Apple court filings claim retrial should be speedy, Samsung wants stay
As expected, Apple has filed a motion with Judge Lucy Koh in the Northern District of California to request a April 3 case management conference in order to expedite the ordered repeat of the damages phase of the first smartphone patent trial between Apple and Samsung. A competitive motion from Samsung was filed after Apple's, with the Korean manufacturer requesting a partial final ruling which Samsung will then appeal -- and based on that, it is requesting a stay of the damages retrial indefinitely.
Says iPhones, iPads and iMac infringe on sound boosting tech
THX, the pro-audio company originally founded by Star Wars creator George Lucas, has sued Apple in federal court in California. The company alleges Apple is infringing on patents for a type of speaker unit that can boost sound output, granted to the company in 2008. It says the infringement is occurring in the iPhone, iPad and iMac products -- though how other iOS and Mac products are not guilty of the alleged infringement as well isn't explained. THX is seeking a sales injunction, royalties and damages.
Apple CEO asked to provide four hours of information
CEO Tim Cook has been ordered to testify in the Department of Justice's antitrust case against Apple, Reuters reports. US District Judge Denise Cote has asked Cook to provide four hours of testimony, fulfilling requests by prosecutors, who have argued that the executive likely has relevant knowledge of Apple's 2010 entry into e-books with the iBookstore. Apple opposed involving Cook, claiming that the deposition of 11 other executives made the CEO's participation "cumulative and duplicative." Cote, though, has taken the position that the passing of Steve Jobs -- in charge of Apple at the time the iBookstore was introduced -- means the DoJ is "entitled to take testimony from high-level executives."
Samsung withdrew injunction requests but not damages actions
A German court has accepted Samsung's plea and scheduled a retrial of a case against Apple for allegedly infringing a 3G standards-essential patent (SEP) after the Korean electronics maker presented a new theory to the court that allowed it to sue Apple for damages. Samsung had been forced to withdraw all European lawsuits involving SEPs that asked for injunctions due to a ruling from the European Commission that such a practice was illegal and anti-competitive, however it is still free to sue for damages from potential infringers.
Plaintiffs say Apple withholding previously-ordered documents
Apple must show how it's complying with earlier court orders to turn over evidence in a lawsuit over iOS location tracking, US Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal has ruled. Plaintiffs have accused the company of withholding documents; either way, Grewal states that it's "unacceptable" that Apple waited over three months to show compliance with a November order. "Luckily for the plaintiffs, Apple has provided more than enough evidence itself to suggest to the court that it has not fully complied with the court’s order," he writes. "In light of Apple’s performance in this case, the court cannot rely on its representations that this time it really has or will produce all responsive documents."
Claims lawsuit 'must proceed now' to stop Samsung
Apple on Thursday filed an objection to putting its second US lawsuit against Samsung on hold while the verdict in the first is reviewed, Bloomberg reports. In February US District Judge Lucy Koh said she was dubious about whether it was important for both cases to proceed, especially since the first's outcome is being appealed. "This case must proceed now, in order to stop the ongoing sales -- and relentless launch -- of Samsung’s latest infringing devices, which have caused, and every day continue to cause, continuing harm to Apple," the Thursday filing reads.
Legal tide so far in Apple's favor
A judge in a London court has ruled against a Samsung claim that Apple is violating a standards-essential 3G data patent. "We are disappointed by the court's decision," says a Samsung spokeswoman in an official statement. "Upon a thorough review of the judgment, we will decide whether to file an appeal. For decades, we have heavily invested in pioneering the development of technological innovations in the mobile industry, which have been constantly reflected in our products."
Claims nothing wrong with 'creating a system that is closed in a sense'
Apple has asked a US District Court judge to dismiss a lawsuit claiming it has a monopoly over iOS apps, Bloomberg reports. The case dates back to 2011, when the seven plaintiffs complained that people who don't want to pay what developers are charging for apps at the App Store don't have a legal alternative. The plaintiffs also argue that Apple's mandatory 30 percent cut of app revenues raises prices, and excludes competitors from the app aftermarket.
Injunction accomplishes firm's goal
Greenlight Capital has withdrawn its lawsuit against Apple over a proxy proposal that was meant to be voted on at this week's shareholders' meeting, says AllThingsD. Before the meeting Greenlight had managed to secure an injunction against the vote from a federal judge. Regarding the withdrawal, a Greenlight spokesman explains that the company managed to achieve its aims with the lawsuit. "Apple removed the bundled proposal from the shareholder meeting therefore resolving the issue."
Claims suit fails to show harm
Apple has asked US District Judge Lucy Koh to block a motion to turn an iPhone and iPad location tracking lawsuit into a class action, Bloomberg reports. The company says that the plaintiffs haven't shown that any personal information was collected by apps, and hence that any harm was caused. On top of this Apple alleges that the plaintiffs' lawyers have abandoned damage claims because they can't show any injury, and are just trying to recover legal fees.
Company promises to take 'measures necessary'
Samsung has lost an important ruling in its Japanese lawsuit versus Apple, according to Reuters and The Times of India. The company has been barred from asserting several data transmission patents against the iPhone. "We are disappointed by today's court decision," Samsung responds in an official statement. "Following a thorough review of the ruling, we will take the measures necessary to protect our intellectual property rights."
Apple must pay additional $330K per day until case details settled
A US District Court has upheld an earlier judgment which awarded VirnetX over $368 million in its patent infringement lawsuit against Apple, Seeking Alpha reports. Apple has been denied a request for a new trial, and must now moreover pay VirnetX $330,211 per day until royalties and other details are settled. The two parties have 45 days to come to their own royalty agreement before Judge Leonard Davis intervenes.
Marks a first in Australian legal history
The Australian Apple vs. Samsung lawsuit has switched to a two-judge system as of Monday, says the Australian Financial Review. The situation is said to represent the first time the Federal Court of Australia has had two judges handling an initial case, but necessary because of the sheer number of patents consolidated into the lawsuit. Apple alone is reportedly asserting 19 properties on 120 infringement claims, directed against nine Samsung phones and two tablets. Samsung is asserting seven wireless patents as counterclaims.
Measure must now be excluded from shareholder meeting
[Update: Apple pulls measure, issues statement] US District Judge Richard Sullivan has ruled in favor of Greenlight Capital, and issued an injunction against an Apple shareholder vote on issuing preferred stock, Reuters reports. The proposal was to have been brought up at Apple's annual shareholder meeting on February 27. Greenlight is pursuing a lawsuit against Apple in the belief that if passed, the measure would prevent a preferred stock plan it wants from being considered.
IPCom dispute continues to heat up
German customs officials have reportedly held HTC device shipments as part of the company's ongoing legal battle with 3G patent holder IPCom. Patent analyst Florian Mueller notes that the incident is not an actual import ban ordered by a body such as the International Trade Commission, and it remains unclear if the shipments were eventually allowed to pass into the country ahead of a damages hearing held Friday in Mannheim courts.
Suit alleges Zynga copied The Sims Social, EA poached employees
According to a filing in the US District Court of Northern California, all lawsuits related to Electronic Arts' and Zynga's lawsuit were dismissed. Electronic Arts claimed that Zynga's game The Ville was an "unmistakeable copy" of Electronic Arts' The Sims Social. Zynga's countersuit accused EA of unlawful actions, including anti-competitive business practices.
California patent suit may be delayed, pending appeals court
Judge Lucy Koh of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California asked Apple and Samsung in a hearing today if Apple's suit over Siri search technology should wait until an appeals court rules on a separate suit. Koh told attorneys for both companies that the appeals court would cover both lawsuits. Apple believes that the cases should proceed, as they both involve Apple's Siri voice-enabled search technology, but different patents. Samsung attorney Victoria Maroulis claims that there is substantial overlap between the two trials.
Formal Apple response due by end of Wednesday
Judge Richard Sullivan of the US Court for the Southern District of New York has approved a request by both Apple and Greenlight Capital to speed up lawsuit proceedings, says the Wall Street Journal. Apple is hoping to file a formal response by the end of Wednesday, and Greenlight will reply by Friday. The two parties are hoping for a hearing early next week.
Cook was keen to defend supply chain
Tim Cook was opposed to suing Samsung in a lengthy patent battle over its products, according to a report. Cook is said to have been against the lawsuits in the first place due to Samsung's important role as a component supplier for the iPad and iPhone, with analysts estimating around $8 billion in parts were bought by Apple from Samsung.
Says preferred stock not prevented by ballot measure
Apple has released a public statement in response to a new lawsuit by Greenlight Capital. "Contrary to Greenlight's statements, the adoption of Proposal #2 would not prevent the issuance of preferred stock," Apple writes. "Currently, Apple's articles of incorporation provide for the issuance of 'blank check' preferred stock by the Board of Directors without Shareholder approval." With Proposal 2 in effect, the company suggests, shareholders would have the right to approve an issuance of preferred stock.
Claims Apple idea would shortchange shareholders
Investment firm Greenlight Capital has filed suit against Apple over a proxy proposal for its stock, reports AllThingsD. The proposal would eliminate preferred stock from Apple's charter, but in a statement, Greenlight argues that shareholders should vote against it since it wouldn't maximize their profits. "Apple is a phenomenal company filled with talented people creating iconic products that consumers around the world love," claims Greenlight's David Einhorn. "But Apple has a problem, we think. It has a cash problem."
Could result in Samsung product ban by October
The US International Trade Commission has pushed a final decision in an Apple v. Samsung patent infringement case to August 1, says FOSS Patents. A rescheduling by Administrative Law Judge Thomas Pender was necessary because of a remand and review notice the ITC issued on January 23, when a final decision might otherwise have been heard. A remand initial determination must now be made by April 1.
Apple must wait for three-judge panel before full examination
The Federal US Circuit Court of Appeals has turned down an Apple attempt to fast-track a ban on several Samsung phones, Reuters reports. A judge ruled against the pretrial ban last December, but Apple chose to appeal that ruling alongside one from October. Because of today's events, the appeal of the December decision will have to be considered by a three-judge panel before going to the full appeals court.
Companies can require addresses, phone numbers in California
Apple and other online retailers aren't breaking state law by requiring people to submit their address and phone number when making credit card payments, the California Supreme Court has ruled. The decision at least temporarily ends a proposed class action brought by David Krescent, who charged that Apple should not be able to require the extra information for iTunes purchases. Reuters reports that eBay and Walmart submitted briefs in support of Apple.