Apple on Friday filed a new patent infringement lawsuit in South Korea alleging that multiple Samsung products are infringing its patents. “It is no coincidence that Samsung’s latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging,” an Apple spokesperson said regarding case. The move is the latest in an ongoing legal battle in which each company claims the other is making unlawful use of protected IP. Apple struck first back in April when the Cupertino-based technology giant sued Samsung, claim it copied “Apple’s technology, user interface and innovative style in these infringing products.” Samsung responded just one week later by filing countersuits in South Korea, Japan and Germany, and then in the U.S. as well. Both companies are thought to have grounds for legal action, but their close relationship stands to take a hit as a result of the feud; Apple is currently Samsung’s largest buyer of LCD components. More →
Samsung on Monday denied Apple attorney Harold McElhinny’s claim that the two companies are currently holding high-level talks in an attempt to settle ongoing patent disputes. U.S. district judge Lucy Koh told the companies last week to meet and discuss possible amicable solutions to their disputes. McElhinny responded by saying executives from the two companies are “meeting and talking,” but Samsung is singing a different tune. “We are unaware of any meetings or discussions between the two sides over this matter,” a Samsung spokesperson said in a statement. It’s odd that Apple’s counsel would falsely claim the two companies are holding meetings if they are not, but we’re sure judge Koh will have a few choice words for McElhinny if it turns out his statement was not accurate. More →
Executives at Apple and Samsung are attempting to reconcile their differences and settle the numerous patent disputes each company has filed recently, FierceWireless reports. Despite their partnership, the two companies are locked in an ongoing battle over patents that has drawn tremendous media attention. Apple claims that various recent Samsung products such as the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Nexus S are copycat devices that make obvious use of Apple IP without license to do so. Samsung responded by filing a series of suits against Apple claiming that the Cupertino-based firm is infringing on 10 of its patents covering mobile devices. Harold McElhinny, Apple’s attorney, confirmed to the judge presiding over the case that executives from each of the two companies “are in fact meeting and talking.” Samsung did not confirm McElhinny’s statement. Apple is Samsung’s top display panel customer and several analysts have speculated that an ongoing legal dispute could cause tension between the two tech giants. More →
After a federal judge ordered Samsung to grant Apple access to several unreleased devices last week, the Korean electronics giant responded by demanding the same access to Apple’s unannounced iPhone 5 and iPad 3. Apple and Samsung are currently tied up in a legal battle surrounding Apple’s claims that several new Samsung devices “copy Apple’s technology, user interface and innovative style.” A judge granted Apple access to Samsung’s Galaxy S II, Galaxy Tab 8.9, Galaxy Tab 10.1, Infuse 4G, and DROID Charge in order to help the company determine whether or not to request an early injunction. In turn, Samsung’s lawyers on Friday filed a motion requesting access to Apple’s next-generation iPhone and iPad. Samsung claims it needs to examine the devices in order to evaluate any possible similarities so it can prepare for possible further legal action from Apple. The judge has not yet determined whether or not Samsung will be granted access to the devices. More →
According to a report by Citi analyst Walter Pritchard, Microsoft may be making more money off Google’s Android operating system than it makes off its own Windows Phone platform — five times more, in fact. Pritchard states that as a result of a patent settlement, HTC is required to pay Microsoft $5 for every Android phone sold. Analyst Horace Dediu estimates that HTC has sold 30 million Android smartphones to date, which adds up to $150 million in the bank for Microsoft. Dediu notes that Microsoft has reported Windows Phone sales totaling 2 million licenses to date, and he estimates the company’s license fee to be $15 for a total of just $30 million. Pritchart notes that Microsoft is currently suing other Android phone makers for infringements on the company’s intellectual property, and is seeking between $7.50 and $12.50 per device sold. As much money as the company is making on sales of HTC’s Android phones, it’s easy to see why Microsoft is pursuing other cell phone makers with similar suits. More →
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 →
Want to call your Facebook friends for free? Now you can. T-Mobile just took the wraps off of its “Bobsled by T-Mobile” brand, which the company says is its first big step into the IP communications business. The first application under the brand sports the same name — “Bobsled by T-Mobile” — and allows users to place free calls from their PC to Facebook friends. “Bobsled by T-Mobile takes our communications services innovation to a whole new dimension, bringing simple and cost-effective connections to more than half a billion people overnight, allowing people on Facebook to more easily connect and giving voice to social networking,” Brad Duea, senior vice president of T-Mobile USA said. “Our new Bobsled brand will evolve in the coming months to provide even more ways for people to connect, no matter what platform, device or mobile provider they are using,” Duea added, hinting at Mac OS X or possible mobile support in the future. You can download the free application by visiting http://apps.facebook.com/bobsledbytmo. Hit the jump for the full release. More →
If you thought the lawsuits between OEMs were over, you’d be mistaken. Huawei Technologoies has just filed a lawsuit against Motorola claiming that the company illegally transferred Huawei’s intellectual property to another company, Nokia Siemens Networks, in the acquisition of Motorola’s wireless network business. Huawei is claiming irreperable commercial damage as Motorola has not assured Huawei that proprietary confidential information won’t be transfered or disclosed. “Since 2000, Huawei and Motorola have had a cooperative relationship in the radio access network and core network businesses, where Motorola has resold Huawei wireless network products to customers under the Motorola name,” Huawei notes in a statement. “During this period, Motorola was provided with products and confidential Huawei IP developed by Huawei’s team of more than 10,000 engineers. Since the July 2010 announcement by NSN of its purchase of Motorola’s wireless network business, Huawei has tried to ensure that Motorola does not transfer this confidential information to NSN. Motorola, however, has not responded with assurances that it will prevent disclosure of that information to NSN.” Hit the the jump for Huawei’s full statement to the press. More →
Apple blog Patently Apple is reporting that Cupertino’s fruit company has filed two separate lawsuits against Motorola for patent infringement, specifically around multi-touch IP. The infringing products? The Motorola DROID, DROID 2, DROID X, CLIQ, CLIQ XT, BackFlip, Devour, Devour i5, and Charm 1. That is just about every Android Motorola handset in the United States. Apple’s lawsuits cover six specific patent infringements, and we have them listed out after the break. Someone needs to tell all these tech companies to hide their kids, hide their wives, and hide they husbands, too, ‘cuz everybody gettin’ sued out here.
Boost Mobile might have the Motorola i1 as a ruggedized Android handset, but we’ve just been informed that T-Mobile will be upping the stakes. A new Motorola Android phone, codenamed Jordan, is set for a November launch on T-Mo. The interesting thing about the Motorola Jordan is not that it is just a ruggedized handset, bur rather that we’ve heard the phone will actually be completely waterproof down to 10 meters (that’s just shy of 33-feet for those of you who are metrically challenged). Even IP67 certified. So, the phone will be swimming with the fishes at launch then?
Thanks, Daddy G.!
In a recent SEC filing, Liquidmetal Technologies — a company that develops and commercializes amorphous metals — signed an agreement with Apple, Inc. that granted the iDevice maker licensing to all of Liquidmetal’s intellectual property. The filing reads:
On August 5, 2010, Liquidmetal Technologies, Inc., a Delaware corporation (“Liquidmetal”), entered into a Master Transaction Agreement with Apple Inc., a California corporation (“Apple”), pursuant to which (i) Liquidmetal contributed substantially all of its intellectual property assets to a newly organized special-purpose, wholly-owned subsidiary (the “IP Company”), (ii) the IP Company granted to Apple a perpetual, worldwide, fully-paid, exclusive license to commercialize such intellectual property in the field of consumer electronic products in exchange for a license fee, and (iii) the IP Company granted back to Liquidmetal a perpetual, worldwide, fully-paid, exclusive license to commercialize such intellectual property in all other fields of use (together with all ancillary agreements, the “Master Transaction Agreement”).
Amorphous metals could be desirable to mobile electronics makers for their overall durability and flexibility in manufacturing. Plus, who could forget that high-end luxury cell phone manufacturer Vertu used Liquidmetal Alloy in their Ascent series (and even demonstrated them being run over by a Porsche to showcase their durability). More →
The Internet is going to run out of IP addresses in one year. That is what John Curran, President and CEO of the American Registry for Internet Numbers, and Vint Cerf, Google’s Chief Internet Evangelist, are saying. The 32-bit IPv4 system currently in use is limited to just over 4 billion unique addresses. With the explosion of mobile devices, internet aware products, and 4G integrated technologies the IPv4 system has a mere 234.37 million addresses left for allocation. The next generation IP address protocol — IPv6 — is a full 128-bits, and has enough allocatable addresses to provide “every person on the planet [with] over 4 billion addresses.” The move to IPv6 has been slow, however larger companies like Google and Facebook have already started implementing the new protocol. Some companies are claiming this impending IPcalypse is merely the next Y2K type scare, and 10 years from now we will still be using IPv4. What do you think? Hit the jump to watch Google’s Vint Cerf — a man who, to us, looks like The Architect from The Matrix — explain why he is concerned. More →
HP CEO Mark Hurd certainly stirred the pot yesterday when he said that “we didn’t buy Palm to be in the smartphone business” and that puring money into developing webOS smartphones “doesn’t in any way make any sense.” Well just like we predicted, HP’s PR machine went into damage control mode this evening. Here’s the statement they just sent out clarifying what it was Hurd meant.
When we look at the market, we see an array of interconnected devices, including tablets, printers, and of course, smartphones. We believe webOS can become the backbone for many of HP’s small form factor devices, and we expect to expand webOS’s footprint beyond just the smartphone market, all while leveraging our financial strength, scale, and global reach to grow in smartphones.
We’re certainly glad that’s settled.