Apple takes Lodsys patent fight to court

By on June 10, 2011 at 4:30 PM.

Apple takes Lodsys patent fight to court

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 →

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Google to acquire Modu patents for $4.9 million

By on May 19, 2011 at 11:30 AM.

Google to acquire Modu patents for $4.9 million

Google was recently granted permission to purchase a patent portfolio previously held by Modu, a now defunct Israeli cell phone maker that couldn’t find a market for its minuscule mobile phones. Modu emerged in 2008 touting a peculiar modular cell phone that could be placed in a variety of sleeves to perform different functions. The unique phones, while certainly interesting, lacked mass appeal and were only picked up by a few carriers. Modu would later unveil several new tiny cell phone models as it prepared for an IPO, but the company would instead be forced to shutter its operations when it ran out of cash. Proceeds from Google’s $4.9 million IP purchase will be used to pay back Modu’s creditors and former Modu employees who are still due wages. Google is likely eyeing future Android functionality that might be made possible by its acquisition of Modu’s patent portfolio, though the company has not revealed any plans related to Modu’s former patents. More →

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Google did nothing illegal in blocking Skyhook-Motorola deal, company claims

By on May 19, 2011 at 10:45 AM.

Google did nothing illegal in blocking Skyhook-Motorola deal, company claims

Google told the Superior Court in Boston last week that it did nothing illegal with regard to blocking Skyhook’s contract with Motorola. Skyhook wireless, a private Boston-based LBS company, filed suit against Google in September 2010, alleging that the Internet giant interfered with a contract the company had recently been awarded by Motorola. The deal would see certain location-based services from Google replaced by Skyhook’s solution, which, according to Google Group Project Manager Steve Lee, were better and more accurate than Google’s own offering. Email chains made public as part of the hearings clearly show that Google took action to get its services back on Motorola phones, but Google contends that its actions were all legal. “To the extent Google took any action that affected Skyhook, those actions were the lawful exercise of legitimate rights of Google and therefore are not actionable,”Google said in a court filing. “If Skyhook suffered any damages, which is denied, then any such damages resulted solely from its own acts or omissions.” More →

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Record labels, LimeWire working on settlement ahead of jury award, report suggests

By on May 13, 2011 at 2:22 AM.

Record labels, LimeWire working on settlement ahead of jury award, report suggests

According to a report filed by The Wall Street Journal, peer-to-peer networking site LimeWire and several major record labels may be working on an out-of-court settlement in a copyright infringement case from 2006. “Lawyers for several major record labels have held at least three settlement conferences with representatives of a file-sharing service that they sued for copyright infringement, according to a federal court docket entry, indicating that the two sides may reach an agreement on a financial penalty instead of waiting for a jury award,” reads the report. LimeWire was found guilty of allowing users to upload and share unlicensed, copyrighted materials over its network. Arista Records, Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group, and EMI Group are all named plaintiffs — LimeWire and its founder, Mark Gorton, are named as defendants. Representatives from the two camps did not respond to the WSJ’s request for comment. More →

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Android users file class action lawsuit against Google for location tracking

By on April 29, 2011 at 1:31 PM.

Android users file class action lawsuit against Google for location tracking

Last week, the public was up in arms after O’Reilly revealed that Apple was recording and storing the location of its iPad and iPhone users. Not long after that, The Wall Street Journal reported that Google was also tracking and storing the locations of Android users. Even though Google has said all location sharing is opt-in and that all location data is anonymized, Bloomberg is reporting that two Oakland County Michigan residents have filed a lawsuit against Google with the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Detroit. The class-action suit asks Google to stop saving smartphone location data, and it also seeks $50 million in damages. The plaintiffs argue that the level at which Google tracks their AT&T HTC Inspire 4G phones would ordinarily require a court-ordered warrant. The case is “Julie Brown v. Google 11-11867, U.S. District, Eastern District of Michigan (Detroit),” but we’re not so sure this will end in the favor of the plaintiffs — after all, they did give Google permission. More →

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Apple sued over iPhone location tracking scandal

By on April 25, 2011 at 3:13 PM.

Apple sued over iPhone location tracking scandal

It was only a matter of time. Apple, Inc. has been named as a defendant in a federal district court suit over the iPhone and iPad 3G location tracking scandalat this point we think it’s safe to refer to it as such. The Cupertino company’s silence over the past week has only intensified rumors and speculation that Apple is, somehow, using this harvested data in a clandestine or nefarious manner. Bloomberg notes that the lawsuit was filed in Tampa, FL by two consumers and, at this point, it is unknown if the duo will seek class action status. Details on the case are scarce at the moment, but we’re sure this isn’t the last we’ll be hearing about this one. More →

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Samsung bites back at Apple in intellectual property lawsuit

By on April 19, 2011 at 12:41 PM.

Samsung bites back at Apple in intellectual property lawsuit

On Monday The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple filed suit against Samsung for intellectual property violations in its Galaxy S, Galaxy Tab, Nexus S, and Epic 4G devices, and now, Samsung is fighting back. “Samsung will respond actively to this legal action taken against us through appropriate legal measures to protect our intellectual property,” the company said in a statement obtained by Korea’s AFP. “Apple is one of our key buyers of semiconductors and display panels. However, we have no choice but respond strongly this time,” one Samsung official explained. Furthermore, the Korea-based firm may file a lawsuit of its own. “We think Apple has violated our patents in communications standards,” Chung Jae-woong, a spokesperson at Samsung Electronics, told Yonhap News. “We are considering a counterclaim.” Apple said on Monday that Samsung’s aforementioned Galaxy family of products copied its user interface and “innovative style.” More →

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Apple sues Samsung over Galaxy S, Galaxy Tab, and more

By on April 18, 2011 at 4:14 PM.

Apple sues Samsung over Galaxy S, Galaxy Tab, and more

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Cupertino-based iDevice manufacturer Apple, Inc. has filed a lawsuit against Korea’s Samsung Electronics for intellectual property violations on a host of devices. “Rather than innovate and develop its own technology and a unique Samsung style for its smart phone products and computer tablets, Samsung chose to copy Apple’s technology, user interface and innovative style in these infringing products,” reads the complaint. Apple has taken exception to the technologies used by Samsung’s popular Galaxy S, Nexus S, and Epic 4G smartphones as well as the Galaxy Tab tablet. Neither Apple nor Samsung has publicly commented on the freshly filed suit, but we’re sure this isn’t the last you’ll be hearing about this particular case. More →

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Microsoft employee charged with stealing over $500,000 from company

By on April 13, 2011 at 10:31 AM.

Microsoft employee charged with stealing over $500,000 from company

Charges have been filed by federal prosecutors in Seattle against a Microsoft employee accused of wire fraud. Robert D. Curry was arrested Tuesday morning and charged with stealing $515,000 from Microsoft using a series of wire transfers sent from Microsoft to Curry’s bank account. According to Curry, the transfers were payments for services rendered but prosecutors contend that Curry provided no such services. According to the charges, Curry created a shell company and used one of Microsoft’s vendors, which was unaware of Curry’s actions, to funnel money into his account between April and November last year. The FBI claims Curry collected a series of fraudulent payments from Microsoft, having misled the company by claiming the payments were being made to Microsoft vendor Pentad Solutions. Prosecutors say Curry used the stolen funds to pay for high-end audio equipment, credit card bills and a ski vacation. More →

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Apple exonerated in Cover Flow patent case

By on April 5, 2011 at 11:40 AM.

Apple exonerated in Cover Flow patent case

A federal judge ruled on Monday that Apple, Inc. did not infringe upon the patents of company Mirror Worlds in the creation of its Cover Flow interface. Mirror Worlds filed its initial lawsuit in 2008, claiming that Apple copied technologies protected by its “document stream operating system” filing from 2004. Back in 2010, a U.S. District Court ruled in the plaintiffs favor and awarded Mirror Worlds $625.5 million in damages. Apple appealed, and the ruling was overturned by a federal judge citing a “lack of foundational support” for the charges. “In this case, Mirror Worlds may have painted an appealing picture for the jury, but it failed to lay a solid foundation sufficient to support important elements it was required to establish under the law,” reads the ruling. “Accordingly, the Court rejects Mirror Worlds’ case as to infringement and damages, while affirming it as to validity and inequitable conduct.” More →

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Nokia reloads, files new suit against Apple with ITC

By on March 29, 2011 at 7:26 AM.

Nokia reloads, files new suit against Apple with ITC

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. That’s the adage we remember from our youth, and that’s the attitude Nokia is taking when it comes to Apple, its patents, and the International Trade Commission (ITC). Just last Friday, an ITC judge ruled that Apple, Inc. did not infringe upon five patents held by Finnish mobile giant Nokia. Unsatisfied with and undeterred by the outcome, Nokia has regrouped and refiled suit against the Cupertino company, claiming infringement on seven patents related to “multi-tasking operating systems, data synchronization, positioning, call quality and the use of Bluetooth accessories.”

“Our latest ITC filing means we now have 46 Nokia patents in suit against Apple, many filed more than 10 years before Apple made its first iPhone,” said Paul Melin, Nokia’s vice president of intellectual property.

Now that’s something to be proud of… right? Nokia and Apple also have court cases pending in Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United States. More →

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Clearwire to face lawsuit over WiMAX throttling, false advertising

By on March 10, 2011 at 9:33 PM.

Clearwire to face lawsuit over WiMAX throttling, false advertising

WiMAX network operator Clearwire is the target of a new lawsuit that has been filed out of a Seattle district court. Lawyers representing the plaintiffs allege that Clearwire “throttles down the speed of its Internet service to speeds similar to dial-up telephone modem speeds,” and likens the company’s business practices to “a bandwidth Ponzi scheme.” Customers who are not satisfied with the speeds provided by Clearwire’s self-proclaimed high-speed internet are forced to pay early termination fees. “Clearwire made materially false, misleading, and/or deceptive representations and omissions about the speed and capacity of its Internet service,” reads the court filing. “Rather than limiting its subscribers to a number that its broadband infrastructure can accommodate — such that Clearwire can make good on its representations regarding high-speed service and capacity — Clearwire signed up many more subscribers than it could handle so as to maximize revenue and profit.” The embattled network operator now faces false advertising claims from fifteen plaintiffs seeking class action status. Clearwire has been in news headlines over the past several months as it tries to negotiate a usage agreement with WiMAX network partner Sprint.
More →

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Microsoft objects to Apple’s ‘App Store’ trademark application

By on January 12, 2011 at 8:27 AM.

Microsoft objects to Apple’s ‘App Store’ trademark application

Microsoft has asked the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to deny a trademark request by Apple, Inc. on the name “App Store.” The Redmond software giant called the term “generic” and thinks “competitors should be able to use it.” The trademark application for “App Store” is currently listed as pendingin the USPTO’s system; the Cupertino company has already been granted trademark protection on its App Store slogan “there’s an app for that.”

“‘App store’ is a generic name that Apple should not be permitted to usurp for its exclusive use. Competitors should be free to use ‘app store’ to identify their own stores and the services offered in conjunction with those stores,” said a Microsoft representative.

The opposition was filed on January 10th; Apple has yet to publicly comment on Microsoft’s appeal. More →

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