HTC technically infringing, but patent likely seen as not valid
The Mannheim Regional Court has stayed one chapter of the ongoing Nokia versus HTC trial in Germnay. Judge Andreas Voss ordered the stay over a feature proving supervisory remote permission management to employees' Android-based phones and tablets. While HTC is infringing on the patent, the court believes the patent itself to be invalid.
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.
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."
Motorola suffers major setback in FRAND patent case against Apple
Motorola has been issued a formal warning by the European Commission for potential FRAND patent abuse against Apple in a case underway in Germany. The EU Commission has formed a preliminary view that Google-owned company’s case against Apple violates the EU’s antitrust rules and that its misuse ‘could ultimately harm consumers.’ The development is a major blow to Google, which purchased Motorola for $12 billion in large part to use Motorola’s patents as a defense against Apple’s legal attacks on its Android partners.
Motorola blocked from having appeal dismissed outright
In the ever-more-complicated legal wrangles between Apple and Google (through its subsidiary Motorola), Apple has won the right to proceed with an attempt to appeal a case between Apple and Motorola in which the iPhone maker was suing Motorola for failing to adhere to FRAND guidelines, while Motorola was suing Apple for alleged infringement of standards-essential patents (SEPs) it holds. Rather than rule on the merits of each company's argument, US District Court Judge Barbara Crabb surprisingly dismissed both complaints outright.
Service would automatically select best contact method
Apple has won a pair of new patents from the US Patent and Trademark Office, says AppleInsider. One, Method and system for facilitating contacting people using electronic devices, describes a software system in which a person can be automatically informed of the best way to contact someone, and on the receiving side, pick what the best contact method for a given time is. In an example provided by Apple, the contacting party might want to talk to someone who's currently driving, but email or a text message might be more appropriate.
Patents for image sharing, wireless camera networking pass to Apple
A number of patents owned by Kodak have been transferred into Apple's name, according to recent filings at the US Patent and Trademark Office. The patents form part of Apple's haul from the photography firm, and covers a number of different camera-related actions, including the display and sharing of digital images, as well as sharing images over a network wirelessly.
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.
Patent management firm had claimed infringement on 3G patents
Apple, Amazon and a host of other technology firms scored a win in a suit brought by patent licensing firm Golden Bridge Technology. The firm sued the two tech giants and a long list of other tech firms (including Lenovo, Dell, Motorola Mobility, Sony Ericsson, Pantech, LG, HTC and HP) over two patents for 3G network communications. In the court's summary judgement, US District Judge Sue Robinson found that "the record evidence remains consistent with the finding of non-infringement," and cancelled a jury trial set to begin on April 29.
Recent backtrack on VPN change could indicate talks or appeal
Apple's recent "partial backtrack" on a plan to deprecate the "always on" feature in its implementation of VPN could indicate possible negotiations with VirnetX, which won a $368 million District Court ruling that Apple was violating its patents. However, new information discovered by Computerworld in an SEC Form 10-Q filing suggest that Apple is also be preparing to appeal the ruling. Documents filed by the iPhone maker say it will not yet record the court's award as a loss, because the company "is challenging the verdict."
May be sign of behind-the-scenes talks with VirnetX
Apple has partially reversed course on its decision to change the way iOS 6 handles VPN connections, a modified Apple support document reveals. "Apple no longer plans to change the behavior of the VPN On Demand feature of iOS 6.1 for devices that have already been shipped. The 'Always' option will continue to work as it currently does on these devices," the company says.
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.
Koh again forcing the two companies to focus, summarize
As she did in the first Apple vs. Samsung patent trial, Judge Lucy Koh is again requiring the companies to narrow their claims and limit the scope of their arguments against each other as both firms prepare for a second patent trial on different patent infringement arguments than those in the first trial, which Apple won handily but is currently on appeal. The order, which was issued late on Wednesday, comes ahead of some possible summary judgement rulings that could leave either Apple or Samsung with fewer patents to argue over.
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.
Neither patent used in shipping products
Apple has won rights to two more US patents, says AppleInsider. The first covers a "digital handshake" between mobile devices, using an image to generate an authentication key. One device takes a photo of the other, capturing either a dynamic key from an app or information permanently embedded within a device's housing or bezel. Filters, flash, or infrared might be needed to register key data, or even a specialized chip integrated into the camera.
Little actual agreement on anything, Samsung on the defensive
Apple and Samsung have submitted a joint case management document to the Northern District of California court for the second omnibus smartphone patent trial, scheduled for 2014. Besides making clear that there has been no progress towards a settlement since December, the parties have narrowed the scope of the trial to 16 patents, with further winnowing expected at some point before the trial.
Apple decries quality of documents returned by search engine
As part of the 2014 Apple versus Samsung smartphone patent trial motions, Apple has filed a request to compel discovery from Google. In support of the motion, Apple filed a reply brief saying that the response from the search engine was poor, and that it "wants to work cooperatively with Google to correct these flaws," implying that Google has a broken automated search process, or that it is purposely using poor search terms to seek internal copyright documents which could be relevant to the upcoming trial.
One patent includes unused 'folder creation region' idea
Apple has won two US patents on the iOS folder system. The first is titled Device, method, and graphical user interface for managing folders, and specifically documents the way iOS users can create folders by tapping and holding an app icon, which triggers a "jiggle mode" that lets people rearrange apps. Dragging one app on top of another puts the two items into a new folder. Alternately, tapping X on an icon lets people remove an app from a device entirely, and icons can be dragged out of existing folders.
Holder claims Wi-Fi violates patent originally granted to AT&T in 1996
Apple has once again attracted the ire of a non-practicing entity. Patent troll Wyncomm claims that Apple is violating a patent that AT&T developed (that Wyncomm now holds) regarding simultaneous voice and data transmission. Patent number 5,506,866 covers "Side-channel communications in simultaneous voice and data transmission," and was filed by AT&T in 1993, with a granting of the patent in 1996.
Apple prevails in six constructions, loses one SEP term buildout
In pre-trial claim construction court filings for the 2014 Apple vs. Samsung trial, Apple has emerged victorious in all but one patent claim. Late Wednesday, Judge Lucy Koh of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California issued a claim construction order relating to seven of the patents involved in the next omnibus smartphone patent trial. While the order addresses how terms are used and little else, the background information provided by the claim construction can color how the rest of the trial proceeds.
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.
Purpose likely related to potential smartphone lawsuits
Apple has agreed to pay 1 billion yen, roughly $10 million US, to license patents originally devised by Palm and Palm OS creator PalmSource, among other companies, according to Macotakara. The patents are now owned by a Japanese company called Access. Beyond the Palm properties, Apple has also licensed concepts belonging to Geoworks and Bell Communications Research.
Offline iTunes purchases could use credit system
Apple has won the rights to two more US patents, notes AppleInsider. The first, titled On-device offline purchases using credits, describes a system in which credits stored offline on a portable device could be used to buy content from iTunes. The credits would be bought either through the device itself or the desktop version of iTunes, which would also let people manage transferring credit to and from devices.
Claims seven patents infringed by Red in cameras
Sony is fighting against high-end camera manufacturer Red's patent infringement lawsuit with one of its own. The new filing, claiming that Red has infringed seven of Sony's patents, has been filed in a Central District court in California, and seeks a number of sales injunctions as well as financial compensation.
New filings recently made public, affect only iPhone 4 and older
A pair of filings related to the contentious Apple versus Samsung worldwide patent battle made to the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) have become public. In one notable one, Apple noted that the widely reported 2.4 percent royalty Samsung demands for standards-essential patents was reduced in December of 2012. In the second, Samsung confirmed that any US import ban of Apple products would only apply to older products, with the most recent one being the iPhone 4.
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.
New firmware expected later this month
A forthcoming version of iOS will change the way the OS handles VPN connections, according to a support document on Apple's website. On devices with VPN On Demand, the "Always" setting will instead behave as if it were "Establish if needed." In essence, VPN On Demand will only be established if iOS can't resolve the DNS name of a host. The new firmware is scheduled to appear sometime this month.
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.
Automatic removal of blur, animations, downgrading resolution suggested
Google has been granted a patent that would change the quality of a display in order to extend the battery life of a device. The patent outlines how the device could disable certain display-related aspects to lower a smartphone or tablet's power consumption, with more visual deterioration as the remaining battery charge shrinks.
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.
Reissued patent builds computer into pen
Apple has won a US patent on a multi-touch interface that works even when a display is blank, notes AppleInsider. Titled Playback control using a touch interface, the patent documents using gestures such as a single tap for play/pause and a double-tap to skip tracks, up through more complex gestures such as a triple-tap-and-hold to rewind, and clockwise or counterclockwise motions to change volume. Diagrams depict a sixth-generation iPod nano; Apple comments that using such gestures allow a device to save power, save space on physical buttons, and work even if the screen is facing away from a user.
One patent remains to be heard by ITC in this battery of complaints
A change of heart by an administrative law judge with the US International Trade Commission (ITC) has resulted in a ruling that Microsoft has not violated a patent owned by Google's Motorola Mobility when it created the Xbox 360 video gaming console. The ruling by Judge David Shaw is a reversal of his own previous decision in April 2012, where he declared that Microsoft had infringed four patents and did not infringe a fifth. The ruling follows the unusual return of the matter by the ITC to the judge in June of 2012.
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.
BlackBerry also files amicus brief, takes no side in the conflict
Two of the industry's heaviest hitters on Wednesday filed amicus curae ("friend of the court") briefs with the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) in support of Apple's position in its appeal over the dismissal last year of a two-way lawsuit with Motorola over patents and FRAND licensing. Microsoft and Intel, who were not involved in the original case, have filed briefs with the court supporting Apple's position that companies should not be allowed to sue over possible infringement of FRAND-eligible patent use.
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.
Filing calls Ericsson a patent troll trying to extort licenses
In late 2012, Ericsson filed two complaints against Samsung, alleging patent violation by the Korean manufacturer. Late Monday afternoon, Samsung has responded to Ericsson's court filing with counterclaims of its own -- in addition to calling Ericsson a patent troll, Samsung is asserting eight patents in what is likely a defensive lawsuit.
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.
Whiteboard patent refers to Surface-like tables
Apple has won two new patents from the US Patent and Trademark Office, including one for what appears to be a form of digital whiteboard technology. Titled Collaboration system, the patent describes a mix of "large digital surfaces" and styluses, used to collaborate on projects. The styluses capture movements visually or through motion sensing, in some cases allowing people to write on paper, but have the data show up on a digital surface. A device like an iPhone could be used to bridge a pen to a server; in any case, the server would facilitate sharing collaborators' content, whether to a whiteboard or some other form of interactive display.
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.
Remark made in appeal brief before court in Apple v. Motorola suit
After the precedent-setting dismissal of the Apple versus Motorola case last year by Judge Posner in the United States Court for the Northern District of Illinois, both parties were expected to head to appeals court with the matter. Apple filed its brief in late November, and Google and Motorola Mobility filed its initial brief yesterday. Google is now -- for the first time -- declaring that Apple is an "unwilling licensee" of the patents that Judge Posner declared were standards-essential. Therefore, the Cupertino manufacturer wasn't subject to the protections afforded by it under litigation requirements for patents mandated to be subject to fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) licensing.
Demand for $258 million in damages rejected by jury
Cisco has won in a patent infringement trial against patent-licensing firm VirnetX. A jury in a Texas court found in favor of Cisco Systems, confirming that it did not infringe on VirnetX Holding Corp's patents relating to secure network communications, and rejecting a demand from VirnetX for $258 million in damages.
Would include stalking, spamming protections
Apple has won a new US patent on a social networking concept, says AppleInsider. Titled Apparatus and method for efficiently managing data in a social networking service, it mainly deals with a way of handling "friend" connections in a network. This includes the use of three databases: one for friends, one for out-of-network users, and a write-ahead log for detecting and solving any issues.
Judge had questioned whether it would proceed during appeal process
Judge Lucy Koh, who has been overseeing the primary US court battles between Apple and Samsung, ruled Friday to allow a second lawsuit against the Korean electronics giant to proceed -- despite expressing reservations on the idea while the appeal of the first Apple-Samsung trial is still being heard. Koh was apparently persuaded by filings from Apple's lawyers that the second case should go forward because of "ongoing" infringement and harm to Apple. The new case involves patents related to Apple's Siri voice assistant.
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.