A court in the Hague in has denied Apple’s request to ban the Samsung Galaxy Tab in the Netherlands. In August a Dutch judge banned Samsung’s local subsidiaries from selling the Samsung Galaxy S and Samsung Galaxy S II, but the Hague court has reportedly now ruled that Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 is unique enough to be sold alongside Apple’s iPad. Samsung and Apple are currently locked in a number of legal battles around the globe including in France, Japan, the United States and Germany, among others. Samsung was forced to create a tweaked Galaxy Tab 10.1N tablet in Germany to gain the court’s blessing to sell the product in the country. Apple has repeatedly accused Samsung of creating “copycat” products that confuse customers into believing they are purchasing an Apple device. More →
T-Mobile USA has issued a statement in support of Samsung in the phone maker’s ongoing legal battles with Apple. T-Mobile said any court actions taken against Samsung preventing the South Korea-based company from selling its devices in the United States would “unnecessarily harm” the carrier. Specifically, T-Mobile is worried that a potential injunction could have an ill effect on holiday sales. “At this late date, T-Mobile could not find comparable replacement products for the 2011 holiday season,” T-Mobile said, according to Reuters. The carrier will begin to offer Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S II smartphone beginning on October 10th and has big marketing plans for that device and the Galaxy Tab 10.1. “While T-Mobile respects intellectual property rights and believes that owners of intellectual property deserve the right to present their arguments and evidence of infringement in court, a preliminary injunction is a drastic and extraordinary measure, and the courts should pay particular attention to its public consequences,” T-Mobile explained in a statement obtained by AllThingsD. Verizon Wireless took a similar stance on Wednesday when it said said an injunction against Samsung would “harm Verizon Wireless and U.S. customers.” More →
Steve Jobs made contact with Samsung in an effort to resolve a patent argument last year, Bloomberg reported on Thursday. However, Jobs did not participate in the discussions that eventually took place and deteriorated, Apple’s patent attorney Richard Lutton explained during a hearing in an Australian court. “Samsung is an important supplier with whom we have a deep relationship” Lutton said while being questioned by a Samsung lawyer. “We wanted to give them a chance to do the right thing.” Samsung and Apple are locked up in multiple patent battles around the globe. Samsung’s German arm has been banned from selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet, its Australian branch cannot sell the device until a judge rules whether or not it is infringing on Apple’s patents, and lawsuits are ongoing in the United States and Japan. Apple has accused Samsung of creating “copycat devices,” and has targeted Samsung’s Galaxy S family of smartphones, the Galaxy Tab, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and various other products in the United States. More →
Apple may invest $1 billion in a Sharp LCD factory to ensure adequate production of screens for its iPhone and iPad, according to MF Global FXA Securities analyst David Rubenstein. Apple typically buys its LCD displays from Samsung, LG and Chimei Innolux, although recent reports have suggested the iPhone maker has boosted its orders with Samsung after LG failed to meet iPad 2 display requirements. However, Apple’s recent legal battles with Samsung in the United States, the European Union and Australia could be why the company is looking to invest in other manufacturers. “If the situation escalates into a state of war, this could mean a huge shift in orders,” a source told Reuters, suggesting that Apple could give larger orders to Elpida Memory and Toshiba. Sharp is expected to provide the LCD displays for Apple’s sixth-generation iPhone, which is expected to launch next year. More →
Apple has inked an agreement with Samsung in Australia that prevents the South Korean company from selling its competing Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet there. According to Bloomberg, Samsung cannot sell the tablet until Australian courts rule whether or not the Galaxy Tab 10.1 infringes on 10 Apple patents. Apple alleges that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 copies the touchscreen tech found on the iPad and also has the same “look and feel.” Samsung agreed not to advertise the device and Apple said it will pay damages should Samsung win the case. The two companies also have a number of ongoing legal battles in the United States and elsewhere. In April, Apple filed a lawsuit against Samsung and claimed the South Korean company had created a number of “copycat” devices. A court ruling forced Samsung to show Apple its new line of phones and tablets, but a Samsung request to see the new iPad 3 and iPhone 5 was shot down. More →
HTC’s CEO Peter Chou spoke with investors recently and promised that its ongoing patent battles with Apple will not hurt the company. “Many lawsuits nowadays are results of being successful; it’s part of the business,” Chou said. “We will not bring the company to a dangerous position.” Earlier this month the United States International Trade Commission ruled that HTC was infringing on two of Apple’s patents related to a “system and method for performing an action on a structure in computer-generated data,” and a “real-time signal processing system for serially transmitted data.” In addition, the ITC ruled that Apple’s Mac OS X operating system is infringing on patents owned by S3, which HTC acquired on July 6th. The ruling against HTC could spell danger for Android makers, as the patents are believed to be largely important to the operating system. Google has said that it is standing behind HTC and its other Android partners, however, and it was revealed on Friday morning that it recently purchased 1,030 more patents to help it go to war with competitors. More →
Apple, Google, HTC, Samsung, Microsoft… it’s hard to name a technology company that’s not currently involved in a patent battle with another firm. Google’s general counsel Kent Walker thinks the legal battles could actually hurt consumers and the landscape of today’s ever changing smartphone market. “The tech industry has a significant problem,” Walker said. “Software patents are kind of gumming up the works of innovation.” Google chairman Eric Schmidt recently said that his company will stand behind HTC, one of its Android partners, in an attempt to ensure it doesn’t lose an ongoing patent battle with Apple. “We have seen an explosion of Android devices entering the market and, because of our successes, competitors are responding with lawsuits as they cannot respond through innovations,” Schmidt said. According to Bloomberg, Walker said that Google is looking to purchase patents that will allow it to compete better against its rivals, such as Apple. It is unclear what acquisitions Google will pursue in an effort to bolster its patent portfolio, but there is speculation the search giant will buy Kodak’s InterDigital arm. “Each side can blow the other up on some level –everybody can block the other’s products from coming to market,” Walker said. “You create this mutually assured destruction scenario, but it’s very expensive to get all those munitions. Buying patents so you can hit the other guy, it’s not good form. You hate to unilaterally disarm here, but we haven’t in our history.” Walker said that he’s confident Google has the muscle to “balance the scales” against the likes of Microsoft and Apple. More →
The U.S. International Trade Commission said on Tuesday its May ruling that Kodak did not infringe on Apple’s patents will stand. The two companies have been locked up in two separate legal battles for the better part of this year. Here’s how it started: Kodak first filed lawsuits against Apple and Research In Motion and accused both firms of infringing on its camera patents. That case was called “In the Matter of Certain Mobile Telephones and Wireless Communication Devices Featuring Digital Cameras, and Components Thereof.” A judge has already ruled in favor of RIM and Apple in that lawsuit, and it could end up costing the camera maker millions of dollars. Shortly after that case was filed, however, Apple responded with own suit against Kodak titled: “In the Matter of Digital Imaging Devices and Related Software.” That’s the suit that Kodak won in May and the one ITC ruled today will stand. “We are pleased that the commission has confirmed the ALJ’s finding that there is no violation by Kodak,” David Lanzillo, a Kodak spokesman, told Bloomberg. More →
During Google’s Mobile Revolution conference in Tokyo, Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt reaffirmed his company’s support of HTC and its other Android partners, ZDNET Asia reported on Tuesday. HTC is currently in the middle of multiple patent battles with Apple, and the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled on Friday that the Taiwanese firm was in violation of two of Apple’s patents. When asked whether Google would help HTC pay any fees associated with a guilty ruling, should the company’s appeal be shot down, Schmidt replied “We will make sure they don’t lose, then.” Schmidt attributed the lawsuits to Android’s massive global growth and restated that there are now more than 550,000 Android smartphone activations daily. “We have seen an explosion of Android devices entering the market and, because of our successes, competitors are responding with lawsuits as they cannot respond through innovations,” Schmidt said. “I’m not too worried about this.”
HTC will appeal the U.S. International Trade Commission’s ruling that it is infringing on two of Apple’s patents. “Now the course of action is to appeal, we believe we have a very strong case, the attorney agrees with us, and therefore we will appeal,” HTC’s chief financial officer Winston Yung told The Wall Street Journal on Monday. On Friday, a U.S. ITC judge said that HTC was guilty of infringing on two of Apple’s patents that cover a “system and method for performing an action on a structure in computer-generated data,” and a “real-time signal processing system for serially transmitted data.” Apple originally filed the complaint last year, and HTC has filed its own lawsuit against Apple in which it argues that Apple is infringing on patents owned by its subsidiary S3 Graphics. Yung also said that HTC is open to discussing the lawsuit with Apple. “If the parties want to talk, we can talk anytime…I think in cases like this, you should keep in touch,” he said.
Apple is taking its fight to own the “App Store” moniker to a new opponent, and this time it’s GetJar. The Cupertino-based firm, which has filed similar lawsuits against both Amazon and Microsoft, sent the company a cease-and-desist letter asking it to stop using the name “App Store,” The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday. Apple believes that it owns the “App Store” trademark. Amazon responded and called the lawsuit “baseless.” Last week, a U.S. judge agreed and said that many other firms use the moniker as a descriptive term and that Apple’s use is “more descriptive than distinctive.” “GetJar has been in the business of offering apps to consumers since 2005, well before Apple, and helped to pioneer the model that the general public understands as an app store today,” GetJar CEO, Ilja Laurs, said. “We have built a strong, global and growing business around this model, and plan to continue to use the phrase ‘app store’ to describe what we do. This move by Apple is yet more proof that the company tends to act as if it is above the law, and even as one of the smaller players in the space, we won’t be bullied by Apple.” In a blog post on the company’s website, GetJar CMO Patrick Mork explained that GetJar simply redirects users to Apple’s own store and that GetJar won’t stop using the term anytime soon. “GetJar won’t be subject to this kind of bullying,” Mork said. “We’re not going to ‘Cease & Desist.’ We were here long before Steve & Co. We were built by developers, to help developers. Not to help sell handsets or search results. In the words of Twisted Sister: We’re not going to take it! Steve Jobs isn’t our Dad.” More →
Last week Samsung filed an official complaint with the International Trade Commission (ITC) asking the government body to block the import of Apple’s iPod, iPhone, and iPad. Apple flipped the tables on Samsung and has filed its own complaint with the ITC asking that it block the import of Samsung’s tablets and smartphones, Bloomberg said. The move follows Apple’s request to a U.S District Court in San Jose to block the import of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1, Infuse 4G, DROID Charge and Nexus S 4G. The legal battle has been ongoing since Apple filed a lawsuit against Samsung in April and accused the Korean phone maker of creating copycat devices that infringed on its intellectual property. Samsung bit back later in April and said that it will do everything it can to protect its own intellectual property. Meanwhile, U.S. courts have granted Apple access to Samsung’s most recent products, but have denied Samsung the same access to the Apple iPhone 5 and iPad 3. The legal battle could place strain on Samsung’s component business, which is expected to struggle during the second half of this year — Apple is the largest buyer of Samsung’s LCD products. More →
A few weeks back, a patent-holding company called Lodsys began contacting developers and asking them to cough up money for using their in-app purchasing technology without a license. Apple intervened briefly and said that its developers are covered under its own license, but now the company has taken the matter to court with an official movement to intervene. The motion officially states:
Apple Inc. hereby respectfully moves to intervene as a defendant and counterclaim plaintiff in the above-captioned action brought by plaintiff Lodsys, LLC against seven software application developers for allegedly infringing U.S. Patent Nos. 7,222,078 and 7,620,565. Apple seeks to intervene because it is expressly licensed to provide to the Developers products and services that embody the patents in suit, free from claims of infringement of those patents.
Hit the jump for more of the back story. More →