The United States International Trade Commission ruled late Tuesday that Motorola Mobility is guilty of infringing on one of Microsoft’s patents. The patent is related to calendar sync and how one might use a device to schedule a meeting, BBC News explained. Microsoft originally filed a suit against Motorola Mobility in August in an attempt to block sales of several Motorola Android smartphones, such as DROID 2, DROID X and several others, and accused Motorola Mobility of infringing on seven total patents. The ITC judge ruled that Motorola Mobility devices do not infringe on six of Microsoft’s patents, however. Microsoft recently filed a similar lawsuit against Barnes & Noble, and the company has already reached licensing agreements with HTC, Samsung, ViewSonic and several other firms. “The ones who can actually sit back and relax as they watch this are those who have concluded license deals with Microsoft (or other patent holders) and don’t have to worry about possible or actual import bans, possible or impossible workarounds, or further escalation,” patent expert Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents explained recently. More →
Shares of HTC’s stock closed down 3.9% at T$871 on Monday, just three days after the the U.S. International Trade Commission announced that the Taiwanese company was guilty of infringing on two of Apple’s patents. The patents were 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,” but the judge’s ruling is still awaiting the review of a 6-member Commission. “We are highly confident we have a strong case for the ITC appeals process and are fully prepared to defend ourselves using all means possible,” HTC’s general council Grace Lei said on Friday “We strongly believe we have alternate solutions in place for the issues raised by Apple. We look forward to resolving this case, so we can continue creating the most innovative mobile experiences for consumers.” HTC also has an ongoing patent lawsuit against Apple. The Financial Times attributed the sell-off to “investor fears that the legal battle could have wider implications for the competitive balance between Apple and Google Android-based phonemakers like HTC, Samsung, and Motorola.” More →
Former executive at Apple supplier Flextronics Walter Shimoon pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of security fraud in a Manhattan court on Tuesday. The charges stem from a crackdown on “expert networks,” which make money by connecting hedge funds and financial institutions with industry insiders such as Shimoon. The practice, which had gone widely unmonitored for years, is now said to be under the Securities and Exchange Commission’s microscope. Shimoon was arrested late last year and accused of leaking insider iPhone and iPod sales figures in the third and fourth quarters of 2009. He also leaked details surrounding the iPhone 3GS, which was unreleased at the time, and the still unannounced iPad. Shimoon is scheduled to be sentenced in July 2013 according to The New York Times. More →
Reuters is reporting that former Apple global supply chain manager, Paul Devine, has pled guilty to wire fraud, conspiracy and money laundering in a San Jose, CA federal court. Mr. Devine, who worked for Apple from 2005 to 2010, was accused of taking kickbacks and “using his position to pass confidential information to help suppliers negotiate favorable contracts with Apple.” As part of his plea, Devine forfeits $2.28 million in cash and property. ”Mr. Devine is a good man who made a mistake, and now he’s trying to make amends,” said his attorney. Sentencing is set for Monday, June 6th, when Devine will face a maximum sentence of twenty years. A civil lawsuit is also pending.
Today is a bad day to be a pirate. Early this morning, a verdict was reached in the trial of four men associated with The Pirate Bay, charged with assisting in making copyrighted content available. That verdict: Guilty of violating copyright law. TorrentFreak has been covering the trial since the beginning and those of you following along will know that the convictions aren’t exactly a surprise. We don’t want to call these men martyrs but things looked bleak for the four men from the start. This marks a huge victory for the music and movie industries in their ongoing efforts to deter people from sharing copyrighted content, and may also serve as a warning of sorts to those who facilitate illegal sharing. The four men — Pirate Bay founders Peter Sunde, Frederik Neij and Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, and financier Carl Lundstrom — were each sentenced to one year in prison and ordered to pay fines equaling $905,000 USD per defendant. All four men will likely file for appeals. On a sadly ironic note, the four men apparently learned of the verdict well before it was announced by the Swedish court — according to Peter Sunde’s lawyer, the court leaked the verdict to a journalist who informed Sunde of the conviction an hour before it was made public.