Will solve complaints made in 33 states and territories
Apple has agreed to pay $450 million to settle a class-action lawsuit over e-book price fixing, brought against it by states and consumers, according to New York's Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman. The payment will settle allegations made in 33 states and territories, including New York. Schneiderman says that of the total amount, up to $400 million could reach consumers, depending on whether Apple wins its appeal.
Appeal already in works
Beijing's No. 1 Intermediate People's Court has upheld a 2006 Zhizhen patent challenged by Apple, says China's official Xinhua news agency. Zhizhen filed suit against Apple in 2012, accusing it of violating a patent used for its "Little I Robot" voice-controlled assistant with Siri, the voice command system used in iOS. Apple though sued Zihizhen and China's Patent Review Committee late last year, with the hope that the court would render Zhizhen's patent invalid.
Attempt at reducing jury prejudice, confusion
Apple must avoid using terms like "patent troll," "privateer," or "bandit" in its defense against a patent lawsuit from GPNE Corp., according to a pre-trial ruling by US District Judge Lucy Koh. The company will also be blocked from using terms like "shakedown" or "playing the lawsuit lottery." Koh argues that such expressions could potentially confuse or bias the jury, which is set to decide whether Apple violated data transmission patents reaching back to 1996.
Services like MLB At Bat, WatchESPN under the gun
Apple pushed organizations like Major League Baseball and ESPN to adopt its HTTP live streaming (HLS) technology, and in so doing caused them to infringe on an Emblaze patent, a lawyer for the latter party claimed today at the start of a federal trial. The patent in question was issued in 2002; Emblaze says that it covers delivering live-streaming video over wireless networks. Apple began work on HLS "no earlier than 2007," according to the Emblaze attorney, and asked services like MLB At Bat and WatchESPN to switch to the format to improve sales of iOS devices, since they can't handle other standards like Flash.
Samsung may remain core Apple supplier
Apple and Samsung are negotiating towards "common ground" and looking to trim down the number of legal issues they're in conflict over, according to sources for the Korea Times. The two companies have been engaged in lawsuits for years over various smartphone and tablet patents. While Apple has been victorious overall, collecting significantly more in damages, it hasn't collected as much as expected, and its actions have done little or nothing to slow the advance of Android-based devices while costing millions in legal fees.
Ruling may set precedent for legal relationship between Apple, developers
The Patent Trial and Appeal Board has sided with Apple and mostly invalidated two software activation patents being used in a lawsuit by Achates Reference Publishing, says The Recorder. Achates filed suit against an iOS app developer, QuickOffice, over a year ago; recently it argued that Apple had a "substantive legal relationship" with QuickOffice, and that the two businesses were trying to circumvent rules and time limits for inter partes review defined in the America Invents Act. The PTAB ruling states that Apple didn't wait too long to file for inter partes review, and that QuickOffice's apparent contract to indemnify Apple for third-party patent infringement claims didn't represent legal privity between the two entities.
Explanation used to fight lawsuit over unpaid hours
Apple is asking for a summary judgment in a lawsuit over unpaid retail labor on the premise that the bag checks it institutes aren't mandatory, says The Recorder. Apple Store workers who bring in bags and Apple gear are forced to undergo screening when they leave at the end of their shifts, which consumes potentially billable time. In a Thursday hearing, though, lawyers for Apple claimed that the screenings aren't mandatory if workers don't bring in bags or electronics.
Apple insists promise was 'too vague'
A judge for the Santa Clara County Superior Court, Carol Overton, has given the go-ahead for a lawsuit targeting Apple over job promises. The plaintiff, Wayne Goodrich, says that he reported directly to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs for over 20 years, including not just time at Apple -- where he spent 17 years -- but also at Pixar and NeXT. His role involved preparing Jobs' public presentations, which have often been a huge draw for the media and helped to sell products like the iMac, iPod, and iPhone.
Companies fighting over conditions for further talks, expressing animosity
Contrary to a recent report in the Korea Times, court documents filed on Monday by both Apple and Samsung show that the two companies are still far apart on the issue of settlement. The update on progress, required by Judge Luch Koh, presents two separate statements from the two parties, with each accusing the other of having no interest in genuine negotiations.
Agreement could end all lawsuits
In the wake of Apple's recent court victory and truce with Google's Motorola division, Apple and Samsung have entered into a new round of lawsuit settlement talks, according to sources for the Korea Times. The two companies are said to be in "working-level discussions," where the goal is "how to dismiss all lawsuits." The primary impetus is said to have been the recent US trial; while Apple did win, it was also found to have infringed some Samsung patents.
Bug cutting off conversations for people switching from iPhone to Android
A new lawsuit -- filed through a federal court in San Jose, California -- is targeting Apple over problems with the delivery of SMS messages via iMessage, Bloomberg reports. The plaintiff notes that she, like a number of other people, suddenly stopped receiving texts from iPhone owners after personally switching from an iPhone to Android. Class action status is being sought in the case.
Says verdict was 'unsupported by evidence'
Samsung will appeal the nearly $120 million in damages awarded to Apple during the companies' second US trial, according to a lead attorney for Samsung, John Quinn. "Of course we're pleased that the jury awarded Apple 6 percent of what they were asking for," Quinn comments in an official statement. "But even that can't stand, because Apple kept out all the real world evidence and didn't produce anything to substitute for it, so you have a verdict that's unsupported by evidence - and that's just one of its problems."
Completes partial decision rendered on Friday
[Updated with news of extra adjustments] Following additional deliberations, the jury in the second Apple v. Samsung patent lawsuit has awarded Apple another $4 million in damages, reports say. In Friday's verdict, Apple was awarded almost $120 million, while Samsung received $158,400. The jury neglected to include damages relating to an Apple autocorrect patent though, and were asked by Judge Lucy Koh to correct the empty box on the form the group received. The jury chose to finish deliberations on Monday instead of staying late into the night on Friday.
New rulings make it easier for baseless claim filers to be penalized
The US Supreme Court has ruled in a pair of cases which will enable companies who win patent lawsuits to more easily collect fees from the filer. The rulings are aimed at non-practicing entities, also known as "patent trolls," and are aimed at recovering expenses from cases with little or no merit. Apple filed its own brief with the Supreme Court about the case. The Cupertino manufacturer noted in its filing that it settled 51 out of 57 filed cases, saying that "the opening line of many negotiations is some form of, 'What we're asking for is less than it will cost you to litigate this case to judgment.'"
Overturns ruling recommending licensing over injunctions
The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has reversed a ruling tossing out an Apple v. Motorola lawsuit over smartphone patents, says Bloomberg. Earlier, Circuit Judge Richard Posner scrapped a trial after ruling damage testimonies from the two companies inadmissible. In his decision he argued that even a victor wouldn't be entitled to an injunction against product sales; licensing was recommended instead.
Jobs' personality a potential controversy
Plaintiffs' attorneys in a class action lawsuit against Apple, Google, and two other companies are asking that evidence related to Apple CEO Steve Jobs be included in the case, Reuters reports. The case revolves around the anti-poaching agreements Apple and Google -- and later, other high-tech businesses -- forged to keep salaries low and talent in place. The accused parties settled a US Department of Justice investigation on the matter in 2010, agreeing to end barriers to competitive hiring.
Google evidence wins over judge
US District Court Judge Claudia Wilken has denied a motion by the Apple-led Rockstar Consortium to transfer a patent invalidation countersuit by Google from California to the Eastern District of Texas, Reuters says. The Eastern District of Texas is infamous for leaning towards patent holders in its court rulings. Wilken ruled, however, that Google was able to provide enough evidence to keep the case in California.
Record companies argue that state law protects older recordings
Following a similar lawsuits against Sirius XM radio, a group of record companies has filed suit in a New York court against Pandora, the top streaming subscription music service in the US. While songs made before February 15, 1972 are not subject to federal copyright protections, the labels argue that Pandora, like Sirius, should pay royalties to the tune of tens of millions of dollars because the songs are still protected under state laws.
Public assumed to be worried about Apple's prospects
Samsung decided to launch its "Next Big Thing" campaign -- parodying Apple -- in the wake of the death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, according to an email trail exposed during the ongoing Apple v. Samsung patent trial. Samsung America's VP of US sales, Mike Pennington, described Jobs' death as "the best opportunity" to run a campaign targeting Apple, since people would be worried about whether Apple could continue to come up with great ideas minus Jobs' influence. "Sorry to continue to push this issue, but I have seen this far too long and I know this is our best opportunity to attack iPhone," Pennington is quoted as saying.
Judge ignores Apple argument that states have suffered no harm
For observers in Apple's battle against the US Department of Justice over alleged e-book "price fixing," it will come as no shock whatsoever that Judge Denise Cote has ruled against the company on a connected legal matter -- but the fact that she actually cited a reasoning based in law this time may surprise some. The US District Court judge has refuted Apple's filing for a dismissal in the lawsuits brought by 33 states and territories based on the DOJ case ruling.
Marketing head rejected suggestions company needed scrutiny
In a series of early 2013 emails, Apple's marketing lead Phil Schiller delivered angry words to long-time Apple advertising partner TBWAChiatDay, and specifically its Apple-dedicated Media Arts Lab, according to documents exposed through the ongoing Apple v. Samsung trial. As was mentioned in court, Schiller was upset with a Wall Street Journal piece arguing that Apple had "lost its cool" to Samsung. He forwarded the story to TBWA, simply commenting that "we have a lot of work to do to turn this around."
Samsung attorneys claimed Apple doesn't practice patents on trial
Late on Thursday, District Court judge Lucy Koh denied an Apple motion regarding opening statements by Samsung in the ongoing Apple v. Samsung trial, reports say. A Samsung attorney was quoted as saying that "Apple admits that three of the five patent claims that it is suing on were not in that iPhone and have never been in any iPhone since. Apple doesn't consider it valuable enough to even use." In its motion, Apple insisted that it could show evidence it "has practiced and continues to practice the '414, '172, and '959 patents."
Company insists it continues to practice certain patents
As a part of the ongoing second Apple v. Samsung trial, Apple has filed a motion asking to show evidence Samsung was deceptive in its opening statements. During those statements, lawyers repeated a view that Apple doesn't actually practice several of the asserted patents. Apple insists that it "has practiced and continues to practice the '414, '172, and '959 patents," and that it can show evidence that will "correct the false impressions created by Samsung's counsel."
Intertrust backed by Sony, Philips
Apple has agreed to an out-of-court settlement for a lawsuit brought by Intertrust Technologies last year, court documents show. The two parties filed for a dismissal yesterday with District Court judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers. She has since agreed to the request, dismissing claims with prejudice, and ordering each side to pay its own legal fees. The terms of the settlement haven't been made public, however.
Samsung attorney claims Apple's Phil Schiller was 'obsessed'
During Monday's opening statements in the second Apple v. Samsung trial, attorney John Quinn -- representing Samsung -- revealed that Apple marketing head Phil Schiller was deeply concerned about Samsung's "Next Big Thing" ad campaign. One email from Schiller to his team specifically addressed a January 2013 Wall Street Journal story with the headline "Has Apple Lost Its Cool to Samsung?" Schiller commented that "We have a lot of work to do to turn this around."
Samsung says Google was already working on Apple-patented tech
Google's former Android head, Andy Rubin, may be asked to testify on behalf on Samsung during the second Apple v. Samsung patent trial beginning today, says the Wall Street Journal. Samsung is reportedly challenging Apple's assertion that the iPhone was completely groundbreaking by pointing out that Google was already working some of the contested technologies before the iPhone shipped. It notes that except for slide-to-unlock, all of the patents Apple is asserting -- related to hyperlinking, background sync, Siri's universal search functions, and auto-complete -- are Android features.
Security practices allegedly costing some workers thousands of dollars
Lawyers for the plaintiffs in a class action suit filed against Apple are seeking to delay the case until a US Supreme Court ruling is handed down, says The Recorder. The suit, filed in the Northern District of California last year, accuses Apple of failing to pay wages for time workers spend waiting in bag-check lines. The Supreme Court is currently reviewing a case called Integrity Staffing Solutions Inc. v. Busk, and deciding whether hourly workers must be compensated for work-related security screenings. Should the Supreme Court agree, the plaintiffs' attorneys in the Apple case suggest it will strongly influence their own progress.
Math for calculating credit unknown
Amazon has started issuing credit to Kindle e-book buyers as a part of the legal settlements agreed to by publishers Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Penguin, according to notices being sent to out to customers. The money is being deposited into shoppers' Amazon accounts, and is typically just a few dollars, depending on how many qualifying Kindle titles a person bought between April 1st 2010 and May 21st 2012. "We will automatically apply your available credit to your next purchase of a Kindle book or print book sold by Amazon.com, regardless of publisher," the company says. The credit is valid until March 31st of next year.
Samsung mulls appeal
Apple didn't infringe on Samsung data communications patents and won't have to pay any damages, a Tokyo District Court has ruled. Samsung had filed a lawsuit that brought Apple's iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, and iPad 2 into the crosshairs. "We are disappointed by the court's decision," an emailed statement from Samsung reads. "Upon a thorough review of the ruling, we will determine which measures to take, including an appeal."
Filing intended to stave off at least two lawsuits in US
As expected, following its Japanese bankruptcy disclosure, troubled Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox has filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy in the US. The filing will temporarily halt US-based lawsuits. The filing will allow potential investors to look at the exchange without legal ramifications, as well as give the exchange time to resolve some of the problems that cropped up over the weekend.
Company failed to prove harm caused by Samsung patent infringement
A California court has denied Apple a renewed motion it sought for a permanent injunction against Samsung, according to reports. In December 2012, US District Court Judge Lucy Koh made the initial denial of a permanent injunction against 23 Samsung devices. Apple won a partial appeal of the ruling at the Federal Circuit, which affirmed the denial of trade dress (design) patents, but handed back an injunction over software patents to Koh for review.
System prevents visually impaired from entering own PINs
A recent class action lawsuit -- filed last week in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida -- charges that the point-of-sale devices used by Apple Store workers discriminate against the visually impaired. Because shoppers can't enter a debit card PIN by themselves, plaintiff David New argues, Apple is in violation of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Other retailers use POS devices with "tactiley discernible keypad surfaces," the complaint remarks, meaning that there's no fundamental reason why Apple Stores should be different.
Court filing points out double-standard in allegations
At the same time as it was accusing Samsung of leaking the same information, Apple publicly exposed the terms of its patent licensing terms with Nokia and NEC, Samsung remarks in its latest Apple v. Samsung lawsuit filing. In October, Apple filed a motion against Samsung as part of the original Apple v. Samsung case, alleging that Samsung's counsel -- Quinn Emanuel -- had inadvertently leaked licensing terms to Samsung executives, giving them an edge in corporate negotiations. In January the the District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that the latter was never sufficiently proven, and denied sanctions against Samsung, pinning the blame on counsel.
One Apple suit valued at almost $2.2 billion
Germany's Mannheim Regional Court has dismissed two lawsuits against Apple and one against HTC, all of which were brought by IP holding firm IPCom, reports say. The cases revolved around a set of standards-essential 3G patents IPCom bought from Bosch after the latter exited the carphone industry. One of the suits, had it been successful, would have have demanded almost $2.2 billion in damages from Apple.
Claims verdict was a 'radical departure from modern antitrust law'
Apple has filed an official appeal with the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, seeking to overturn District Court Judge Denise Cote's verdict in July, which found Apple in violation of antitrust laws through its handling of e-book deals. "The district court's ruling that Apple, in the very act of launching the iPad, inventing the iBooks Store, and entering the e-books market, violated the Sherman Act is a radical departure from modern antitrust law and policy. If allowed to stand, the ruling will stifle innovation, chill competition, and harm consumers," the company claims in its appellate opening brief.
Alleges government failed to invalidate Zhizhen voice recognition patent
Apple has filed a lawsuit against China's State Intellectual Property Office, as well as Shanghai company Zhizhen Network Technology, according to news agencies Xinhua and Agence France-Presse. Zhizhen owns a voice recognition patent which Apple previously asked the SIPO to invalidate. The lawsuit is due to reach the Intermediate People's Court on Thursday.
Android co-creator may be asked to explain development of certain features
During next month's Apple v. Samsung trial, Apple may call Google's Andy Rubin to the stand to testify, according to court documents. Rubin was one of the creators of the Android platform, and would be asked to explain the development of Android features Apple claims infringe on patented content. He may also be asked to speak about "Google documents relating to such development." In March 2013 Rubin left the Android team to work on Google robotics projects.
Says 'reasonable consumer' wouldn't expect Siri to work perfectly
A judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of California, Claudia Wilken, has dismissed a lawsuit claiming that Apple ads for the iPhone 4S were deceptive about the capabilities of Siri. In her ruling Wilken writes that the plaintiffs' claims depended on "non-actionable puffery," and failed to show evidence of fraud. A "reasonable consumer," she says, would not expect Siri to work perfectly all the time; the plaintiffs charged that Apple gave the impression Siri could handle any request instantly.
Trial due to begin at end of March
Apple CEO Tim Cook and the head of Samsung's mobile division, Shin Jong-Kyun, are said to have met last week in a failed attempt to negotiate an out-of-court settlement, Korean reports say. The meeting came about because of a US court order mandating the two sides meet ahead of next month's trial. Lawyers are said to have met on January 6th to set a framework for the negotiation, which included a Feburary 19th deadline, and the presence of each side's CEO along with three to four in-house attorneys.
Companies want easier time recouping legal fees
A collection of companies -- including Apple, Google, Yahoo, Intel, Cisco, and Facebook -- are asking the US Supreme Court for measures to help deter frivolous patent lawsuits, Bloomberg reports. In particular, the companies are seeking to change the language used to determine when a defendant can claim coverage of legal fees from a plaintiff. The current standard allows coverage only if a suit is ruled "objectively baseless" and filed in bad faith.
Says chip violates university-developed patent
The University of Wisconsin's patent licensing arm -- the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation -- is suing Apple for violating a university patent through the A7 processor found in the iPhone 5s, iPad Air, and iPad mini. The patent is titled Table Based Data Speculation Circuit for Parallel Processing Computer, and credited to several computer scientists who were at UW Madison. It describes a way of improving "the efficiency and performance of contemporary computer processors."
Judge states that participation in swarm is too imprecise
In December, an Iowa judge dealt a heavy blow to the multiple-party anonymous "Doe" lawsuits involving piracy when she ruled that defendants couldn't be joined together due to the nature in which BitTorrent works. District Judge Stephanie M. Rose ruled that the cases, in which three independent films were pirated, couldn't have defendants lumped into single cases and must instead be limited to one party each.
Company aims for longer stay, monitor's eventual removal
The Second US Circuit Court of Appeals has granted Apple an "administrative stay," temporarily relieving it of scrutiny by antitrust monitor Michael Bromwich, Reuters reports. The stay is short-term only, and in fact Apple is pursuing a longer stay while it also seeks to suspend Bromwich entirely. A three-judge panel is due to hear a motion for the longer stay as soon as possible. The Department of Justice has until January 24 to file opposition; it didn't, however, oppose the administrative stay.
Court says anonymized data can still be used to identify people
Privacy activists have won the right to sue Google in England over fooling Safari into accepting cookies, according to reports. Some time ago, Apple updated Safari to allow people to block cookie-based tracking. Google developed a workaround, but was discovered, and punished with multiple fines by the US government. An American class action lawsuit was tossed out of court in October because the judge ruled no one could prove they'd been harmed.
Lawsuits launched over soon-expiring blue LED patent
A spate of lawsuits launched in 2012 over a patent held by a Boston University engineering professor have largely been settled, with a number of big-name tech firms -- including Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Samsung, Nokia and others -- agreeing to a licensing deal through "defensive intellectual property firm" RPX rather than continue litigation. The patent in question covers blue LED, essentially used in all LED-base tech devices, and which was due to expire soon.
App Store loopholes must be closed by April
Apple must pay out at least $32.5 million in refunds to settle a lawsuit brought by the US Federal Trade Commission over in-app purchases, the two parties have announced. Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, states in a memo to workers that while it "doesn't feel right for the FTC to sue over a case that had already been settled" -- something he calls "double jeopardy" -- the "consent decree the FTC proposed does not require us to do anything we weren't already going to do, so we decided to accept it rather than take on a long and distracting legal fight."
Second case still ongoing
VirnetX is seeking to add Apple's most recent slate of products to a lawsuit against FaceTime devices, according to an announcement. The patent holding firm says it has submitted a petition to the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, one which would add the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPad Air, Retina iPad mini, fifth-generation iPod touch, and the latest Mac notebooks and desktops to the list. VirnetX has accused Apple's FaceTime of violating a patent for peer-to-peer VPN technology.
Apple not working to 'change its corporate tone'
Apple has "chosen a campaign of character assassination over a culture of compliance" with regard to court-appointed monitor Michael Bromwich, and is missing an opportunity to "change its corporate tone," the US Department of Justice complains in a new letter to the court handling the DoJ v. Apple e-book case. Bromwich was appointed by US District Judge Denise Cote last year to ensure that Apple followed imposed pricing and contract terms. Apple has accused Bromwich of immediately launching a roving investigation, despite having a narrower task set to start 90 days after his appointment; the company also objects to his $1,100-an-hour billing rate, and having to pay for a second lawyer hired by Bromwich due to his own inexperience with antitrust cases. Last week, Apple filed a formal request to remove him.
Tech used is similar but different, court finds
The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has upheld an International Trade Commission ruling that found Apple didn't violate a Motorola patent on communications between devices and data networks, reports say. The ruling, issued in May, specifically dealt with Claim 12 of the patent, and whether or not it covered the deletion of apps capable of receiving push notifications. The ITC determined that Apple's implementation of status updates to halt notifications was non-infringing.
Samsung and Apple get back to patent negotiations
After being roundly defeated in a partial damages retrial last month, Samsung has reportedly returned to the patent negotiations table with Apple. The Korea Times reported on Sunday that the two companies have resumed negotiations to resolve their ongoing patent disputes, with officials at the Fair Trade Commission saying the firms are looking to hash out issues surrounding royalties.