Apple on Thursday was granted an injunction on multiple Motorola devices that make use of its slide-to-unlock patent, FOSS Patents reports. The ruling came from Judge Peter Guntz of Munich’s Regional Court in Germany, and it allows Apple to enforce a permanent injunction against a number of Motorola’s Android devices at anytime. The court evaluated three different embodiments, two of which Apple won. The Cupertino-based company was unsuccessful on the third embodiment, which involved the Motorola XOOM. Both companies are expected to appeal the court’s ruling. More →
Sales of Apple’s iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G and iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G resumed on Friday after a permanent injunction had gone into effect early Friday morning. “All iPad and iPhone models will be back on sale through Apple’s online store in Germany shortly” an Apple spokesperson told SlashGear in a statement. “Apple appealed this ruling because Motorola repeatedly refuses to license this patent to Apple on reasonable terms, despite having declared it an industry standard patent seven years ago.” Apple’s iOS devices with embedded 3G were deemed to being infringing on a Motorola patent this past December. A judge ordered an injunction at that time that went into effect on Friday, forcing Apple to remove the infringing devices from its German website. Motorola filed a separate complaint against Apple’s new iPhone 4S last month. More →
HTC now has the upper hand in a legal battle with German patent firm IPCom. IPCom won a lawsuit in 2009 related to UMTS technology under which it believed it had the right to ban German retailers from selling HTC smartphones. HTC, however, argued that IPCom’s case was no longer valid and ignored the injunction entirely. As a result, IPCom recently tried to take the law into its own hands by suing more than 100 retailers that continued to sell HTC phones. “Since this deadline has passed without any of the retailers complying, IPCom has sued them for infringement of patent #100A themselves,” IPCom said, noting that it issued cease and desist letters to each retailer on December 6th asking them to stop selling HTC phones by December 20th. According to Taiwan Economic News, the German Dusseldorf court recently granted HTC an injunction that forces IPCom to stop harassing HTC’s retailers with lawsuits. The injunction should be a relief for HTC, which could have faced fines of up to €250,000 for each handset sold under the terms of the original injunction. More →
HTC’s chief executive officer Peter Chou recently said his company has already developed a solution to dodge an ITC injunction, which was issued after a ruling that found HTC guilty of infringing two of Apple’s patents. “It’s actually quite rarely used,” Chou said of the feature that violates Apple’s patents, suggesting that the company isn’t afraid of the ban that is set to take effect on April 19th. HTC issued a statement following the ITC’s decision and explained that the patent ” is a small UI experience and HTC will completely remove it from all of our phones soon.” In other words, don’t worry too much if you have your heart set on buying HTC’s upcoming Elite flagship device set to launch on AT&T early next year. More →
A judge with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled Monday that HTC is guilty of infringing Apple’s patents in several devices. The ITC also ordered a ban on the import of several of HTC’s smartphones although it is unclear which models are affected. The ban will take effect on April 19th. “Notice is hereby given that the U.S. International Trade Commission has found a violation of section 337 in this investigation and has issued a limited exclusion order prohibiting importation of infringing personal data and mobile communications devices and related software,” the ITC said in its determination. “The Commission has determined that exclusion of articles subject to this order shall commence on April 19, 2012.” Raed on for more.
A ruling handed down on Friday by the Mannheim Regional Court in Germany could see sales of Apple’s iOS devices banned across Europe. The judgement relates to a patent infringement complaint filed by Motorola last April, when the company accused Apple of infringing a Motorola-owned patent covering “a method for performing a countdown function during a mobile-originated transfer for a packet radio system.” Friday’s ruling is preliminary, however, and according to Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents, it is only enforceable against Ireland-based Apple subsidiary Apple Sales International. The injunction formally pertains to the iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad and iPad 2, though the iPhone 4S is likely covered as well. Apple must now remove the infringing functionality from its iOS devices or successfully appeal to Karlsruhe Higher Regional Court in order to avoid the ban.
UPDATE: A press release from Motorola Mobility has been added below.
A ban that prevented Samsung’s local subsidiaries from marketing and selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in Australia was lifted on Friday, marking another victory for Samsung in its ongoing legal battles with Apple. An Australian High Court ruled that Samsung’s 10-inch tablet does not “slavishly rip off” Apple’s iPad, and sales of the slate will resume next week according to The Sydney Morning Herald, in time to catch the tail end of the holiday shopping rush. Read on for more. More →
A French court on Thursday decided against issuing an injunction that would have barred Apple from selling the iPhone 4S in France, Bloomberg reports. The decision was part of a patent infringement complaint recently filed against Apple by Samsung, but Judge Marie-Christine Courboulay denied Samsung’s request. “The disproportionate character of the ban sought by Samsung against Apple is clear,” Judge Courboulay said in today’s decision, ruling that Samsung must pay Apple €100,000 for legal fees. The claim will move forward to be tried as a standard patent suit. Samsung filed a suit in October seeking to block sales of Apple’s iPhones in France and Italy, alleging that Apple’s smartphones infringe on Samsung’s protected intellectual property. “Apple has continued to flagrantly violate our intellectual property rights and free ride on our technology,” Samsung said in a statement at that time. “We believe it is now necessary to take legal action to protect our innovation.” Apple and Samsung have now filed a combined total of at least 30 lawsuits against each other across 10 different countries. More →
A United States judge has denied Apple’s formal request for an injunction against Samsung’s Galaxy family of smartphones and tablets. “It is not clear that an injunction on Samsung’s accused devices would prevent Apple from being irreparably harmed,” San Jose U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh said. Samsung was pleased with Koh’s decision. “This ruling confirms our long-held view that Apple’s arguments lack merit,” Samsung lawyer Jason Kim said. Apple has accused Samsung of “slavishly copying” its products and could still come out as the winner in the patent infringement lawsuit. The two companies have similar cases underway around the world. An Australian judge recently lifted a ban on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia after ruling the initial injunction was “not terribly fair” to Samsung. Samsung released a tweaked Galaxy Tab 10.1N after the original model was banned in Germany, though the new model is now the target of an Apple complaint as well, and lawsuits are going on in Japan and France, too. More →
Samsung’s tweaks to the original Galaxy Tab 10.1 weren’t enough to satisfy Apple’s legal team. Apple successfully banned Samsung’s German subsidiaries from selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 after it accused the South Korea-based company of patent infringement. Samsung responded by releasing a modified Galaxy Tab 10.1N tablet it believed had addressed all of Apple’s concerns. Unfortunately, Apple isn’t satisfied with the changes and it wants to ban Samsung from selling the new tablet as well. A hearing for Apple’s request for an injunction is scheduled for December 22nd, Dow Jones Newswires said. The two companies have been locked in patent-related legal battles around the globe and currently have similar ongoing cases in the United States, Japan, France and Australia. More →
HTC’s German subsidiaries may soon be barred from selling smartphones in the country following HTC’s recent decision to forgo an appeal to a patent lawsuit won by IPCom in 2009. The ban could spell trouble for HTC smartphone sales during the holiday season. “We will likely use the right awarded by the courts, likely resulting in HTC devices disappearing from shops during the crucial Christmas season,” IPCom said, noting that it hopes to enforce an injunction against HTC’s devices as soon as possible. HTC did not specifically say why it decided to pull its appeal, although The Guardian said HTC has previously indicated that its appeal argument was redundant. “While HTC can try to oppose the enforcement of the injunction, my research shows that the odds are very long against HTC on this one,” patent expert Florian Müller of FOSS Patents said, noting that HTC likely withdrew its appeal to avoid a court ruling on two additional IPCom patents HTC was accused of infringing on. The company recently warned that its revenue could fall 8% this quarter after its Android smartphones were met with tough rival devices from competitors Apple and Samsung. More →
Samsung relaunched the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in Germany with a few changes that it hopes will help it steer clear of additional legal troubles with Apple. The first tweak is its name: the company is now calling its tablet the Galaxy Tab 10.1N, FOSSPatents said. It appears the tablet may also have additional metal framing on the front bezel, which is likely a tweak from the company’s product team to help further distinguish the device from the iPad. Samsung’s German-based subsidiaries were banned from selling the original Galaxy Tab 10.1 after a court-ordered injunction was levied against the product. As FOSSPatents explains, the Galaxy Tab 10.1N could result in further litigation, since Apple was fighting to protect “a set of characteristics and the overall impression” the iPad makes, and it’s unclear if the Galaxy Tab 10.1N addressed every concern. The tablet is currently on sale from local online retailer cyberport.de for €549.00. More →
Samsung will not fight for an injunction against the Apple iPhone 4S in South Korea, The Chosun Ilbo, a local newspaper, recently reported. “We concluded that we should engage in legal battles with Apple only in the global market, but not in order to gain more market share in Korea,” a senior Samsung executive reportedly told the paper. Samsung is tangled up in legal battles with Apple around the globe, including in Australia, Japan, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United States. Samsung’s Germany-based subsidiaries are currently banned from selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1. Despite its decision to not seek an injunction locally, the South Korea-based company is seeking to ban the iPhone 4S in Japan and in Australia; it most recently won access to Apple’s contractual agreements with Australian wireless carriers and 220 pages of the iPhone 4S source code.