Apple is warring with Samsung yet again in Germany. The iPhone maker filed another suit against Samsung and this time is arguing that the slide-to-unlock feature on the Galaxy Nexus infringes on an intellectual property right called a “utility model,” patent expert Florian Muller wrote on his website FOSS Patents Friday. Apple reportedly registered the utility model in 2006 and said it wasn’t able to use its utility model against Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus in court yet because the phone is so new. Muller said the court will issue a ruling, a stay, or decide to appoint an expert to help the judges decide if Apple’s utility model is “obvious or non-obvious” on March 16th. Earlier on Friday, a German court cleared Apple of an accusation that it infringed on one of seven Samsung patents. More →
IPCom has reportedly moved to ban HTC from selling smartphones in Germany. HTC lost a patent lawsuit to IPCom in 2009 and recently decided not to file an appeal against the ruling, likely in an effort to avoid further litigation it might have faced from a ruling on two additional patent cases. HTC may ignore IPCom’s request to stop selling smartphones because it believes IPCom’s lawsuit is no longer valid. According to BBC, HTC has argued that the German Federal Patents court ruled that IPCom’s patent claim was invalid in December of 2010. Whether or not HTC faces a fine for ignoring IPCom’s request will be the court’s decision. “It’s up to the court and could go up to 250,000 euro per violation per phone,” IPCom managing director Bernhard Frohwitter said, noting that IPCom is still willing to settle with HTC if the two companies can reach a licensing agreement.
UPDATE: HTC supplied BGR with the following statement via email: 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.
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 promised to patch a security hole found in the iPhone and iPad following a report published by Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security. Reportedly, a PDF security hole could allow hackers to gain unauthorized access to personal data — such as messages and passwords — stored on an iPhone or iPad and could “infect the mobile device with malware without the user’s knowledge.” Apple’s PR team was quick to respond to the allegations. “[Apple is] aware of this reported issue and developing a fix that will be available to customers in an upcoming software update,” Bethan Lloyd, an Apple spokesperson told AFP on Thursday. Apple has not yet confirmed when it will push out the security update. More →
Yesterday, we reported on the Chevy Volt electric car and it’s $41,000 price tag. Now, we know some of you were probably thinking that a Chevy doesn’t exactly fit your personal steez, but we might have something for you. The Porsche supervisory board has green lighted the production of the 918 Spyder hybrid, complete with a 500-horsepower V8 and 109-horsepower electric motor. The new Porsche will allegedly net 78 miles per gallon and will retail for slightly more than the Volt, at around $650,000. We’re unclear as to how a 500-hp Porsche is going to get 78 mpg while a 140-hp Prius gets around 40 mpg… but hey, here’s to hoping those crazy Germans know something we don’t! More →