Lawyers representing the six major Hollywood studios, the United States government and Megaupload met in District Judge Liam O’Grady’s courtroom on Friday, CNET reported. The appearance pertains to digital files belonging to as many as 60 million people throughout the world that are stored on Megaupload’s 1,100 servers. The files are currently located on servers owned by Carpathia Hosting, which is now housing them at its own expense, however the company is looking to delete the information or possibly sell off the servers. Carpathia claims the cost of hosting the data is a financial burden and has asked the court for relief. The U.S. government in January arrested and charged Megaupload’s founder Kim Dotcom, along with six others, with racketeering, copyright infringement and money laundering. But before the trial even starts, the first order of business will be to determine whether Megaupload’s lawyers will be allowed to address the court. More →
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 →
AT&T has asked a federal judge to toss a lawsuit brought against it by Sprint, Reuters reported on Friday. Sprint filed its lawsuit on September 6th and said it was fighting “on behalf of consumers and competition.” Sprint also argued that AT&T’s planned acquisition of T-Mobile USA is “illegal.” As one might expect, AT&T does not see eye-to-eye with Sprint on those allegations. “Sprint cannot wrap itself in the cloak of wireless service consumers’ interest because Sprint is not a consumer but instead a competitor in the sale of wireless services,” AT&T said in its court filing, noting that Sprint’s argument has a “lack of standing.” AT&T also responded to Sprint’s lawsuit earlier this month when it said: “This simply demonstrates what we’ve said all along – Sprint is more interested in protecting itself than it is in promoting competition that benefits consumers.” Sprint is not alone, however. The United States government filed a suit against AT&T in an attempt to block the merger in late August. More →
On August 15th, Google announced its intentions to acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion and Motorola’s competitors all voiced support for the deal, suggesting the acquisition would help each company fight in patent battles against Apple and Microsoft. FossPatents, however, recently revealed a document that suggests Motorola Mobility could soon have the upper hand when it comes to new Android builds. An internal document that was released by a judge in the Oracle vs. Google case says Google should provide Motorola Mobility with the latest versions of the Android operating system ahead of its competitors:
- Do not develop in the open. Instead, make source code available after innovation is complete
- Lead device concept: Give early access to the software to partners who build and distribute devices to our specification (ie, Motorola and Verizon). They get a non-contractual time to market advantage and in return they align to our standard.
As FossPatents points out, it is unlikely the above information is simply about Google’s Nexus line of products. As we’ve exclusively reported, Google’s first Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich” phone will be made by Samsung. In addition, Google typically markets its Nexus products under its own name, not that of other handset manufacturers, so Motorola’s brand wouldn’t get the benefit. Either way, we can’t say we’re surprised by the proposed strategy to give Motorola the lead. Read on for an image of the court document. More →
The Düsseldorf regional court in Germany announced on Tuesday that it is partially lifting its original injunction that banned Samsung from selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in all of the European Union except for the Netherlands. Samsung is now allowed to sell the tablet in the whole of the European Union except for Germany. According to The Wall Street Journal, a court spokesperson said that it was unclear if it was even possible for the German court to stop Samsung from selling its tablet outside of Germany. Despite the ruling, which allows Samsung Electronics to sell the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in most of Europe, Samsung’s German arm still cannot sell the tablet in Germany or anywhere in the European Union. Samsung is presumably still scheduled to appeal the ban on August 25th. Apple also recently blocked Samsung from selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia until a court there rules whether or not the tablet is infringing on 10 of Apple’s patents. On Monday, reports surfaced suggesting that Apple has doctored its evidence in is patent case about Samsung, although the legitimacy of those claims remains unclear.
Courts in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware have granted Verizon Communications injunctions against striking union workers who are picketing outside of its corporate offices and retail locations. Specifically, the injunctions are against members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Last week, Verizon filed lawsuits against the Communications Workers of America in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Massachusetts and accused the union workers of sabotage and harassment. 45,000 Verizon Communications employees, about 25% of the company’s workforce, went on strike on August 7th after the company failed to reach an agreement with labor unions over health benefit premiums. Managers are currently filling in for the strikers until a deal is reached, although at this point it appears negotiations could take a while. More →
Apple has managed to block sales of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia and in the European Union, but new evidence from Computerworld’s Dutch sister site Webwereld.nl suggests the iPad maker may be tampering with evidence. According to the report, Apple is using an image of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 that is purposely distorted to look more like the iPad. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 is presented with an aspect ratio of 1.36 (the proportions of the device itself, not the display) while the iPad is shown with a 1.30 aspect ratio. However, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet itself actually has a 1.46 aspect ratio. “This is a blunder,” Klos Morel Vos & Schaap lawyer Arnout Groen told Webwereld.nl. “That such a ‘mistake’ is made in a case about design rights can scarcely be a coincidence. The aspect ratio of the alleged Galaxy Tab is clearly distorted to match the iPad more closely. Inasmuch as this faux pas will have consequences for the case is of course up to the judge. But at least a reprimand by the German court seems to be in order,” he added. Samsung is set to appeal the European Union ban on August 25th. Read on for a comparison image of the alleged doctored Galaxy Tab 10.1 next to the real one. More →
Apple has requested a court briefing in addition to its motion for an intervention against Lodsys, a company that has been chasing after iOS and Android developers and accusing them of infringing on its patents. Here’s a quick back story: Lodsys argues that developers who use its in-app payment technology aren’t covered under Apple’s license. Instead, Lodsys believes that each developer needs its own license. Apple disagrees and has said that developers are covered under an umbrella license. Lodsys has argued that Apple simply has an “economic” interest in the lawsuit but the Cupertino-based company has fired back and said developers are “precisely the type of supplier-customer relationship courts have found sufficient to permit intervention.” Most recently Lodsys added Electronic Arts, Atari, Square Enix and Take-two Interactive to the lawsuit. More →
District Judge Howard Riddle released 18-year old alleged LulzSec hacker Jake Davis on bail Monday morning. Davis hacked under the name “Topiary” online and served as the public face of LulzSec, often publishing press releases and status updates on the group’s Twitter account, before he was arrested on July 27th. The news debunks earlier reports that authorities had been duped into arresting an the wrong man. Authorities in the U.K. said they discovered personal information for more than 750,000 people on Davis’ computers. Davis has been charged with hacking the Sun, Times, Sony and the Serious Organized Crime agency. Davis’ lawyers are highlighting his role as a press secretary for LulzSec and have argued that Davis did not participate in the attacks directly. Davis was released on bail but cannot access the Internet from any device, including from smartphones, The Financial Times said.
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 →
According to FOSS Patents, a judge in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California has ruled that Samsung cannot view Apple’s next-generation iPad and iPhone products. The whole debacle started when Apple began accusing Samsung of creating copycat products — as such, it asked the Korean firm to produce its next-generation devices inside a court room. The court took Apple’s side and Samsung was forced to show Apple the Galaxy S II, Galaxy Tab 8.9, Galaxy Tab 10.1, Infuse 4G, and DROID Charge. In an effort to prepare for further legal battles with Apple, Samsung wanted the same access to Apple’s next generation products. For now, that won’t happen. The reasoning behind the judge’s decision appears to be that Samsung had already showed off its products to members of the press and others. Apple, as usual, has kept its products close to the vest. More →
Nokia has lost a patent battle with a Germany-based IPCom that took place in a U.K. court, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. ”As far as we know, this is the first time that an essential telecoms 3G patent was ever upheld and judged infringed in the U.K.,” Bernhard Frohwitter, IPCom’s Managing Director, said. Nokia sees the ruling a bit differently, however, and has argued that IPCom’s claims “[reflect] a severe misunderstanding” of the U.K. High Court’s ruling. IPCom originally alleged that Nokia had been infringing on a tech patent that “allows mobile telephony networks to assign priorities to users.” The German company was seeking damages and an injunction to halt the sale of certain Nokia phones in the U.K., but Nokia said it is confident it can continue selling all of its current devices legally. Nokia believes IPCom’s tactic is to try to trap it into “unrealistic licensing terms,” and that it will “continue to defend itself vigorously.” More →
Two Hon Hai employees and a MacTop Electronics executive have been found guilty of leaking information about Apple’s iPad 2 ahead of its release. The trio was arrested in December last year following an investigation by authorities in Shenzhen, China. Xiao Chengsong, general manager of Shenzhen MacTop Electronics Co., former Hon Hai employee named Hou Pengna, and Lin Kecheng, a Hon Hai research-and-development employee, were all sentenced on Tuesday in a Chinese court. Hou was sentenced to one year in prison and fined 30,000 yuan, Lin was sentenced to 14 months and fined 100,000 yuan, and Xiao was sentenced to 18 months in prison, and fined 150,000 yuan. More →