Architecture partly designed by Steve Jobs
The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted an Apple design patent on the most recent incarnation of the glass cube sitting over the Fifth Avenue Apple Store in New York City. The original cube -- paid for and partly designed by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs -- used 90 panes of glass. In 2011, however, Apple spent some $6.7 million on installing a redesigned, more visually-appealing version of the cube with just 15 panes, taking advantage of advances in glass technology.
Motion involved infamous 'slide to unlock' patent, others
The US District Court for the Northern District of California has again denied Apple a permanent injunction against Samsung products accused of violating three of its patents. Although the court and a jury found that Samsung did indeed infringe Apple IP -- including the famous "slide to unlock" patent -- the judge in the case, Lucy Koh, explains that Apple couldn't show that an injunction was warranted. The ruling is related to one of the post-trial motions stemming from the second Apple-Samsung patent trial. Koh also denied any injunctions on products found guilty of infringing from the first trial as well.
Ruling could have affected outcome of second Apple-Samsung trial
US Federal District Court Judge Lucy Koh has denied Samsung's post-trial request to invalidate two Apple patents, both of which were used successfully to convict Samsung of copying the iPhone maker's technology yet again in the second federal Apple-Samsung trial, held earlier this year. Samsung had filed the motion in early July, based on a recent Supreme Court decision, Alice vs. CLS Banks, which stated that software ideas that were just abstract representations of real-world concepts (such as turning a doorknob) were not patentable.
Apple argued some VirnetX claims were too vague
US District Judge Leonard Davis has issued pre-trial rulings blocking Apple attempts to preemptively invalidate some VirnetX patent claims, and in other cases use invalidity as a defense, reports say. For the former, Apple's argument had been that many of VirnetX's claims are too vague to justify patenting, including the use of terms like "secure name service," "secure name," or "unsecured name."
Finding unlikely to affect judgement or payout, will take years to resolve
A claim asserted against Samsung in the second Apple-Samsung patent trial in California, which had already received a summary judgement of infringement by US District Court Judge Lucy Koh, has been rejected alongside other claims in the same patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office -- the same body that initially granted the patent. The finding, which is a preliminary rejection that is part of a long process, has already been brought up by Samsung in an effort to get out of paying part of the $119 million judgement against it.
Bid for sales ban against 23 copying Samsung products had been denied twice
Two years after the first Apple-Samsung patent trial, the big winner in that case -- Apple -- has dropped a motion to cross-appeal a portion of Judge Lucy Koh's final verdict. The action means that the company has officially given up hope of seeing any product bans on the 23 Samsung products found guilty of copying Apple technology, though the matter is largely moot as none of the products are still offered for sale anyway. Despite the clear victory in the jury trial, Judge Koh twice refused to issue sales injunctions on the infringing Samsung products.
Patent lawsuit over notifications asked to be tossed based on Supreme Court ruling
Google has stepped into the ring for another patent dispute in East Texas, this time involving its Android operating system, Samsung and the Rockstar Consortium. Last November, the consortium filed a complaint with the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, claiming that Samsung phones using the Android operating system infringed on seven patents that Rockstar holds. The patents in question include messaging and notification systems found on mobile devices, but Google asked to have the case thrown out.
Suggests basic and rejected iWatch capabilities
The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted Apple a comprehensive patent titled Wrist-worn electronic device and methods therefor, which describes a number of the ideas the company has since integrated into its upcoming iWatch. The concept watch -- in diagrams referred to as the "iTime" -- would, for instance, be able to connect to devices like iPhones, iPads, and desktops. An unusual suggestion though is that it might be dependent on a special wristband, equipped with technologies such as accelerometers, GPS, haptic feedback, biometric sensors, and/or wireless receivers.
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.
Unlikely to be implemented in near future
The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted an Apple patent on a technique for fusing together all-glass housings for portable electronics, and even larger devices such as monitors and TVs. Apple notes that glass can actually be a heavy material, especially if it's layered to defend against damage. The patented fusing concept would allow Apple to cut down on weight by shifting the burden to strategic points of structural integrity, instead of bulking up the glass in general.
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.
Each gains access to a 'broad range' of products and services under agreement
Software giant Microsoft and camera specialists Canon announced today that the two companies have signed into a cross-licensing agreement for intellectual property (IP) patents. The agreement gives each company the ability to license numerous patents, from mobile phones to digital imaging. Contents of the scope and scale of the agreement, as well as monetary considerations, were not disclosed in the announcement.
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.
Exhibit foreshadows opening of USPTO satellite office in Colorado capitol
A week or so ahead of the grand opening of a new US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) building in Denver, Colorado, the central library branch of the Denver Public Library is hosting a USPTO-created exhibit featuring life-size models of the some of the many inventions and patents that are jointly or solely credited to Steve Jobs, the co-founder and twice former CEO of Apple. "Patents and Trademarks of Steve Jobs: Art and Technology that Changed the World" will run through September.
Court rules Nintendo infringed on two of three patents in lawsuit from 2012
Nintendo lost its first court battle against Philips Electronics last week over its use of technology in Wii Remotes and associated consoles. The England and Wales High Court ruled that Nintendo infringed upon two of three patents from Phillips that are based on motion, pointing and gesture controlling. The third patent considered for a potential violation, which is for modeling a body in a virtual environment, was found to be invalid.
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.
Regulators reviewing Nokia deal find 310 patents Microsoft leverage against Android
After the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) approved Microsoft's purchase of Nokia's device and services business, Microsoft was found to have 200 patent families necessary to build Android phones. In the process of posting news on the merger approval, however, the MOFCOM posted a list of 310 Microsoft patents that Android could be infringing upon.
Samsung gives up appeal of import ban, Apple drops infringed-but-invalid patent
While the move should not be interpreted as the beginning of the end of the intractable Apple-Samsung patent disputes, the two companies have mutually agreed to drop their differing cross-appeals of aspects of last year's ITC decision on an Apple complaint against Samsung. While Apple won the overall ruling in that particular case, the headset-related patent it was pursing an appeal of has since been reaffirmed to be infringing but invalid. Meanwhile, Samsung has given up on appealing a moot import ban.
Could theoretically integrate with iWatch, Health app
The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted Apple a patent on a weightlifting tracking technology, says AppleInsider. The patent is actually titled Shoe wear-out sensor, body-bar sensing system, unitless activity assessment and associated methods, and was first filed in 2006, but since then Apple has removed claims related to the shoe sensor and unitless measurement concepts. The company appears to have made the most drastic changes after a version of its patent application was published in early 2013.
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.
Patent licensing includes royalties for 3G, 4G technologies up to 10 year term
A agreement between Samsung and InterDigital has been reached today over wireless patents, saving Samsung from facing a ban on the import of its phones into the United States. Samsung will license patents from InterDigital, bringing an end to the litigation between the two companies. Details on the agreement were outlined in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Patent applications hint at gesture recognition using both hands
Samsung's wearable devices could include gesture recognition in the future, according to one of a number of recently-published patent applications. Listings on the United States Patent and Trademark Office website suggest the company is looking into ways to add gestures to its smart watch, not only through the movement of the device, but also by recognizing actions close to it.
Could allow solar charging to be built into iPhone, other devices
The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted Apple a modified version of an existing patent on integrating solar panels into mobile devices. Under the updated patent, solar cells could be inserted into multitouch or even flexible displays, simply included as another layer in the the display's surface. Apple's design might require the cells to be facing back into the device however, meaning that they would need fiber optics or parabolic mirrors to channel light to them.
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.
Demand for sales ban and high royalties over SEPs deemed illegal
Samsung, which has often used Standards-Essential Patents (SEPs) or patents purchased from other companies in an effort to mount some kind of countersuit in cases where Apple has accused the Galaxy maker of stealing Apple's technology, was found guilty again in a Japanese appeals court of illegally using SEPs as legal weapons and not honoring its obligation under Fair, Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) guidelines.
Major obstacle is still cost of production
Apple, Samsung and Google are among the companies in a race to secure patents on graphene, according to Bloomberg. Graphene is based on a relatively common material -- graphite -- but distinguished by being transparent and just one atom thick, yet tough and highly conductive. This may make it ideal not only for touchscreens but flexible electronics in general, such as wearables or foldable tablets.
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.
What does the infringed patent cover technologically?
As almost a footnote to the second Apple versus Samsung smartphone battle, Apple was found to be infringing Samsung's patent number 6,226,449, covering an "apparatus for recording and reproducing digital image and speech." Samsung was awarded $158,400 for Apple's infringement of the patent, as it was seen to be non-willful by the jury. At the same time, Apple was found to not be in violation at all of Samsung's other claim, patent number 5,579,239, which covers a "Remote Video Transmission System." What do the rulings mean for Apple, and what do the pair of patents cover?
Samsung guilty on two key patents, avoids serious damages
A jury comprised largely of self-described "non-technical" users of modern technology has delivered a mixed verdict in the latest Apple-Samsung patent trial, with Samsung found not guilty of infringing two of Apple's five contested patents, guilty as charged of copying Apple's "data detector" and auto-correct technology, and a mixed result on the controversial "slide to unlock" patent. Apple was, for the first time outside of South Korea, found guilty of infringing a (purchased) Samsung patent, but neither side saw significant damages awarded.
Samsung definitely didn't copy Apple's cool closing style
As reported earlier, it's all in the hands of jury now. The final day of the second Apple-Samsung trial consisted of two of the most contrasting closing arguments quite possibly ever seen in a courtroom: Samsung's mad dash to the finish line, a relay race of four lawyers, too many exhibits and not enough time; Apple's cool, relaxed and compelling storytelling, and a devilishly clever finale as its defensive closing argument offered multiple layers of meaning.
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.'"
Jury begins deliberations a day early as lawyers wrap up
The trial portion of the second Apple-Samsung patent lawsuit is over, with lawyers for both sides giving final closing arguments both offensively and defensively in a case that saw Apple suing Samsung for copying five of its patented inventions, while Samsung countered that Apple had infringed on two patents it bought from others. The jury began deliberations immediately, and will work on the complex jury form assigning guilt and damages from 9:30AM to 4:30PM each day until it arrives at a conclusion.
Could allow for cheaper, faster, more power-efficient cameras
Apple has today won a US patent on a micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) that could significantly improve the cameras in future iOS devices. Most mobile devices rely on a voice coil motor (VCM) method to handle autofocus, but this is said to have high power consumption and low force. Apple's MEMS is claimed to be faster and more power-efficient, and cheaper to mass-produce.
Expert witness barred from changing testimony on '647 patent
The last day of testimony in the second Apple-Samsung patent dispute -- which only became necessary due to an Appeals Court ruling that changed the definition of one of Apple's contested patents -- was intended to be fairly quick. The two sides were allowed just one hour each to put back on the stand some experts to explain how the new interpretation might affect jurors' deliberations , then there were to be some judgements on legal matters, and jury instruction.
New ruling complicates trial, may change outcomes
What had started off with all parties thinking it was the final day of testimony turned into a protracted and difficult legal exercise, as US District Court Judge Lucy Koh and attorneys for both sides wrestled with the surprise ruling from the Federal Court of Appeals, which resurrected a previously-dismissed lawsuit between Apple and Motorola that involves one of the patents being fought over in the Apple-Samsung trial.
Federal court ruling on Apple's 'data detectors' patent could complicate case
A ruling in a completely different Federal court regarding one of Apple's patents at issue in the current Apple-Samsung patent trial will require extra testimony from experts on Monday, after both sides rested their evidence cases on Friday. Apple's "data detector" patent, and specifically the portion of it that deals with a "server analyzer" to interpret user actions, was reinstated in a different case against Motorola, resulting in a different interpretation of what that means, which will need to be explained to the jury.
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.
Phone maker will likely have to drop injunctions
Lenovo-owned Motorola Mobility will probably avoid an antitrust fine when the European Commission rules on a dispute with Apple, which should happen as soon as next week, two sources tell Bloomberg. Motorola has been accused of using patents simply to block sales of Apple products, but it's believed that the Commission will only order it to drop injunctions over standards-essential patents. The European Union's antitrust head, Joaquin Almunia, recently promised that a decision would be made in the Motorola case by the end of April.
Splits difference between what each side wanted, aims to avoid damages retrial
[Update: both sides file arguments against the form] On Wednesday, US District Court Judge Lucy Koh published a draft form that jurors in the second Apple-Samsung patent trial will fill out to assign damages and royalties due -- if any -- to both Apple and Samsung as warranted by their findings of infringement. Apple is suing Samsung over its alleged copying of five patents, while Samsung is countersuing over claims Apple infringed on two patents the Galaxy S5 maker purchased after the first Apple-Samsung patent trial.
Apple defends against Samsung charges, discloses secret deal
The biggest news in today's Apple vs Samsung patent trial was the previously-reported revelation of a secret deal between Google and Samsung in which the search and advertising giant not only agreed to indemnify Samsung if it lost on two of the patent claims in this trial, but that Google -- not Samsung -- was to "direct and control" litigation and defense on Samsung's behalf. The revelation, which Samsung had previously denied in court, will be used to diminish the Samsung claim that the case is really about Android.
Google's Mobile Application Distribution Agreement spells out defense aid
Google attorney James Mccoun testified today that the search engine giant agreed to defend Samsung at least in part against some of the claims against it in the ongoing Apple versus Samsung trial. Apple played pre-recorded testimony from the attorney, who confirmed emails that said that Google would provide some level of indemnity over four patents held by Apple if Samsung was sued, or would possibly take over defense of the claims.
Samsung rests its defensive case, says it didn't infringe but Apple did
On Monday, Samsung -- which has devoted some 21.5 hours of its 25-hour limit to defending itself against charges that it copied five specific Apple patents -- finally rested its defensive case and began its offensive case late in the day, alleging that Apple is infringing on two patents it owns (but did not create -- they were purchased from others). Several expert witnesses for Samsung had to walk a strange line of saying Samsung had not infringed any of Apple's patents -- but even if it did, they were only worth a total of $38.4 million, not almost $2.2 billion.
Experts say conjoint studies flawed, patents worthless as Samsung begs for time
The eighth full day of the Samsung-Apple patent trial went through another raft of witnesses as Samsung struggles to make its case inside its allotted limit of 25 hours -- a problem that hounded the company in the last trial as well. Lead attorney for Samsung John Quinn was forced to read transcripts of declarations to save time, hustle through witnesses and plead with Judge Lucy Koh for more time. An expert that the Galaxy S5 maker paid $1,000 an hour for refuted a colleagues' studies as "kind of biased."
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.
String of Samsung witnesses find that Apple's patents are all invalid
Not only did Samsung not infringe on Apple's patents, a parade of witnesses for Samsung told the jury today in the Apple-Samsung trial, those patents aren't valid even if Samsung did copy them. With some help from Apple's very light cross-examination, Samsung again flew through a lengthy list of experts who testified on the relative worthlessness of Apple's patents for "data detectors" (also referred to as "quick links"), universal search, autocorrection and the "slide to unlock" concept.
Patent filing in South Korea shows display mounted by earpiece
Samsung may be working on a wearable display in a similar vein to Google Glass, based on patents uncovered at the Korean Patent Office. Described as an "Earphone" in the filing, the device appears to provide a small display in front of one eye, with the attached earpiece being used not only for sound, but also to hold the entire apparatus on the head by clipping around the ear.
Tweet: 'Both sides relying on stories to sell jury, Samsung borrowing Google's'
At the end of the twelth day of the Apple-Samsung trial, and fifth day of testimony, Apple rested its case against Samsung following a detailed presentation from "microeconomist" and PhD Chris Vellturo in which he explained for the jury exactly how he calculated the $2.191 billion in damages Samsung should owe Apple for its infringement. Samsung, which has admitted in an earlier damages retrial that it copied from Apple, began presenting its defense -- by borrowing a Google software executive.
Microsoft, Sony agree to providing more cash for patent buys
Two previous investment partners, Apple and Intel, have declined to put money into Intellectual Ventures' latest patent acquisition fund, says Reuters. IV is dedicated exclusively to buying intellectual property, and has so far acquired about 70,000 patents and other forms of IP. It has raised about $6 billion from investment partners in the past, but is looking to pick up another $3 billion. Microsoft and Sony have agreed to participate in the new round of funding.
Apple reveals total damages and royalties sought from Samsung
The fourth day of testimony in the second Apple vs. Samsung trial has ended, with various Apple-hired experts and employees going over the nature of the patents at stake in Apple's part of the case. The jury also got a dose of history borrowed from the first patent trial, details about Apple's manufacturing process, and finally heard the full, exact amount that Apple is seeking from Samsung in terms of both damages due to lost sales as well as what it owes in royalties for its infringement: $2.191 billion.