On Friday, the Mannheim Regional Court of Germany announced that Motorola’s patent lawsuit against Apple had been dismissed. The patent in question was considered essential to the 3G/UMTS wireless telecommunications standard and was used as a “method and system for generating a complex pseudonoise sequence for processing a code division multiple access [CDMA] signal.” Judge Andreas Voss claimed that Motorola failed to present conclusive evidence that Apple infringed upon its patent, however, according to FOSS Patents. Rather than demonstrating Apple’s infringement, Motorola argued that any implementation of 3G/UMTS must then inevitably infringe on the company’s invention. Last December, the manufacturer won an injunction against the Cupertino-based company to ban the sales of iPhones and iPads. The ruling was upheld earlier this month and Apple’s devices were temporarily pulled from shelves, before returning soon after. More →
A German court affirmed a preliminary ruling on Thursday that determined Samsung’s reworked tablet does not look so much like the iPad that it should be banned. The ruling comes as another blow to Apple, which is in the midst of several other lawsuits with rival smartphone and tablet makers over intellectual property. The court said that there were “clear differences” between the Galaxy Tab 10.1N and the iPad, reports Reuters. Apple and Samsung have been tangled in what seems like an endless patent battle in Germany, the Netherlands, the United States, Australia, Japan and Korea. Thus far, courts in several countries including the Netherlands, the United States and Australia have decided to allow Samsung to continue selling its Galaxy smartphones and tablets despite Apple’s continued efforts. More →
The Munich Regional Court in Germany on Wednesday rejected Apple’s request to ban Samsung’s local subsidiaries from selling the Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone and Galaxy Tab 10.1N tablet. “Samsung has shown that it is more likely than not that the patent will be revoked because of a technology that was already on the market before the intellectual property had been filed for protection,” Judge Andreas Mueller said. In September, Samsung’s local retailer arm was banned from selling the original Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet but the South Korea-based company skirted the ban by released a tweaked device called the Galaxy Tab 10.1N. Apple felt the new tablet still infringed its patents, however, and asked the court to ban that device as well in November. In late December the presiding judge over the case said Apple was unlikely to win a ban on the Galaxy Tab 10.1N and a Dutch court rejected a similar request from Apple on January 24th. More →
Australian Federal Court Justice Annabelle Bennett has ruled that Apple must show Samsung its contracts with Vodafone, SingTel and Telstra if it cannot reach an agreement on Samsung’s accusations that the iPhone maker contractually forces the carriers to subsidize the iPhone. Samsung has also argued that the Apple iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPad 2 and iPhone 3GS infringe on its patents, and has sought to ban sales of the devices in Australia. Apple, however, has already successfully banned Samsung’s Australia-based subsidiaries from selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet. “We will resist any attempts by our friends to push us into a corner,” Apple lawyer Andrew Fox said. “This is quite clearly a fishing expedition.” Earlier this month, Samsung requested the iPhone 4S source code and, according to Bloomberg, Apple provided the company with 220 pages of code, but left out one file. Samsung also has ongoing lawsuits with Apple in Japan, Germany, France and the United States.
AT&T has asked a federal judge to toss a lawsuit brought against it by Sprint, Reuters reported on Friday. Sprint filed its lawsuit on September 6th and said it was fighting “on behalf of consumers and competition.” Sprint also argued that AT&T’s planned acquisition of T-Mobile USA is “illegal.” As one might expect, AT&T does not see eye-to-eye with Sprint on those allegations. “Sprint cannot wrap itself in the cloak of wireless service consumers’ interest because Sprint is not a consumer but instead a competitor in the sale of wireless services,” AT&T said in its court filing, noting that Sprint’s argument has a “lack of standing.” AT&T also responded to Sprint’s lawsuit earlier this month when it said: “This simply demonstrates what we’ve said all along – Sprint is more interested in protecting itself than it is in promoting competition that benefits consumers.” Sprint is not alone, however. The United States government filed a suit against AT&T in an attempt to block the merger in late August. More →
Google asked a federal judge to secure “competitively sensitive data” that may be revealed during the Justice Department’s investigation into AT&T’s proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday. Google said the data it provided to the investigation is related to its Android operating system and it fears the information could be leaked to the press or its competitors. “Without such additional protection, Google and other non- parties could find their confidential information — such as Google’s business plans related to Android — in the hands of competitors (or their competitors’ consultants), or even in newspapers, without having had prior notice of its disclosure,” Google said. The U.S. government filed a lawsuit in opposition of the merger on August 31st, noting that the merger would “remove a significant competitive force from the market.”
Federal Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle set a hearing for the Department of Justice’s lawsuit against AT&T for September 21st, The New York Times reported on Wednesday. “The parties shall be prepared to discuss the prospects for a settlement” on that date, Huvelle said. The U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit in an attempt to block AT&T’s proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA on August 31st and said “AT&T’s elimination of T-Mobile as an independent, low-priced rival would remove a significant competitive force from the market.” AT&T responded and said it would ask for an expedited hearing and that the DOJ has the “burden of proving alleged anti-competitive affects and [AT&T intends] to vigorously contest this matter in court.” AT&T, Deutsche Telekom and the Department of Justice have been asked to file the initial paperwork for the hearing by September 16th. More →
District Judge Howard Riddle released 18-year old alleged LulzSec hacker Jake Davis on bail Monday morning. Davis hacked under the name “Topiary” online and served as the public face of LulzSec, often publishing press releases and status updates on the group’s Twitter account, before he was arrested on July 27th. The news debunks earlier reports that authorities had been duped into arresting an the wrong man. Authorities in the U.K. said they discovered personal information for more than 750,000 people on Davis’ computers. Davis has been charged with hacking the Sun, Times, Sony and the Serious Organized Crime agency. Davis’ lawyers are highlighting his role as a press secretary for LulzSec and have argued that Davis did not participate in the attacks directly. Davis was released on bail but cannot access the Internet from any device, including from smartphones, The Financial Times said.
United States International Trade Commission judge James Gildea has ruled that Apple’s Mac OS X operating system infringes on two patents owned by S3. Judge Gildea also ruled that the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch do not infringe on S3’s patents, however. The patents in question are related to NVIDIA graphics chips used in Apple’s Mac computers, but it is unclear which devices exactly are infringing on S3’s technology. HTC purchased S3 for $300 million in early July, and a different ITC judge recently ruled that the Taiwanese company is guilty of infringing on two patents owned by Apple 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.” HTC’s chief financial officer Winston Yung said on Tuesday that his company was willing to bury the hatchet with Apple and that the two companies have to “sit down and figure it out.” More →
A judge with the U.S. International Trade Commission on Friday ruled that HTC’s Android phones infringe on two of ten Apple patents covered in a complaint filed by the Cupertino-based company last year. “We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it. We’ve decided to do something about it,” Apple CEO Steve Jobs said in a statement at that time. “We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours.” The ITC’s decision is an initial determination however, and it will now need to be reviewed by a six-member Commission. Apple’s complaint in this case covered a total of ten patents, and the two HTC has been determined to be infringing are numbered 5,946,647 and 6,343,263. These patents cover 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,” respectively. Both patents are said to be hugely important to the core Android OS, and if upheld, the ruling could be incredibly damaging to the rest of Google’s Android partners. Apple is also in the process of suing Motorola and other Android partners for infringing on these and other patents. HTC has already stated that it plans to appeal the ITC’s determination, telling reporters it will “vigorously fight” the ruling. A final determination in the case is due on December 6th, 2011.
UPDATE: HTC has issued a response to the ITC’s judgement, which can now be read below in its entirety. More →
Following the “Antennagate” scandal that cost Apple zero sales last year, a new “Locationgate” scandal took the media by storm earlier this year that ultimately cost Apple zero sales. It was discovered in late April that the iPhone and 3G-equipped iPads were secretly tracking and storing users’ locations. Apple issued a statement seven days later, claiming the culprit was a bug that would be addressed as soon as possible. Apple also said that it does not track its users or their locations. Some people tend to take things more personally than others — or perhaps they’re out for a quick buck — so lawsuits were inevitable. Thus far, just one single complaint related to Locationgate has resulted in a payout from Apple, and it was awarded to South Korean man Kim Hyung-suk this past May, Reuters reports. What was the damage? 1 million won, which translates to a whopping $945. Kim, a lawyer, said Apple sent the payment last month. More →
A U.S. judge has shot down Apple’s request that Amazon stop using the word “Appstore” to describe its mobile application marketplace. Apple originally filed a lawsuit against Amazon in March of this year arguing that Amazon’s “Appstore” infringed on Apple’s “App Store” trademark. Amazon immediately responded calling the claims “baseless,” and now the court has taken its side. “The evidence does show that Apple has spent a great deal of money on advertising and publicity, and has sold/provided/furnished a large number of apps from its App Store,” Judge Phyllis Hamilton, said. “However, there is also evidence that the term ‘app store’ is used by other companies as a descriptive term for a place to obtain software applications for mobile devices.” Hamilton argued that Apple’s use of the phrase “App Store” was “more descriptive than distinctive.” Microsoft and Apple are also fighting over the term — and Microsoft has said that the term “App Store” is “generic for retail store services featuring apps.” Apple’s case against Amazon is currently being heard by an appeals board. More →
According to FOSS Patents, a judge in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California has ruled that Samsung cannot view Apple’s next-generation iPad and iPhone products. The whole debacle started when Apple began accusing Samsung of creating copycat products — as such, it asked the Korean firm to produce its next-generation devices inside a court room. The court took Apple’s side and Samsung was forced to show Apple the Galaxy S II, Galaxy Tab 8.9, Galaxy Tab 10.1, Infuse 4G, and DROID Charge. In an effort to prepare for further legal battles with Apple, Samsung wanted the same access to Apple’s next generation products. For now, that won’t happen. The reasoning behind the judge’s decision appears to be that Samsung had already showed off its products to members of the press and others. Apple, as usual, has kept its products close to the vest. More →