Apple on Monday filed litigation that narrows the number of patent infringement claims against Samsung by roughly half, and Samsung five hours later offered to drop five of its twelve asserted patents, FOSS Patents reported. The South Korean manufacturer has argued that Apple’s case is still far too big to go to trial later this summer, and wants the the iPhone-maker to drop additional claims. The Cupertino-based company has accused Samsung of being uncooperative, claiming the company became the number one smartphone vendor in the world by copying and infringing on its technology, and is seeking billions of dollars in damages. Samsung responded, stating that its smartphones and tablets contain “innovative, independently developed technologies.” If a settlement is not reached, a trial between the two companies is scheduled to begin in July. More →
During Google’s ongoing legal dispute with Oracle, the judge presiding over the case revealed the Internet giant’s Android mobile operating system was not profitable in 2010, Reuters reported. Google does not publicly report financial information regarding its Android operating system, however the judge did not disclose specific figures, but instead said it lost money in each quarter of 2010. “That adds up to a big loss for the whole year,” he said. Oracle argued that Google should not be able to deduct certain Android expenses for the purposes of copyright damages related to the case. More →
The United States Federal Trade Commission will fine Google for its breach of Apple’s Safari web browser security, Bloomberg reported on Friday. The Internet giant is currently negotiating with the Commission over an acceptable fine, which could amount to tens of millions of dollars. The fine would be the first time the FTC has ever punished a company for violating Internet privacy safeguards. Google in February was found to be bypassing the privacy settings of millions of unknowing Safari users by using a special code to install cookies on a user’s computer, even when such actions were supposed to be blocked by the browser. More →
Google earlier this month reported its earnings for the first quarter of 2012, topping Wall Street’s estimates. The Internet giant also announced plans to create a new class of non-voting capital stock that would effectively create a 2-for-1 stock split. As a result, Google would be able to issue new shares of stock for acquisitions and employee compensation without diluting the 56.3% voting stake the company’s co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin control. Not everyone is happy about the planned split, however, and a shareholder has sued the company and its board in an attempt to block the plan. The class action lawsuit is being put forward by the Brockton Retirement Board, which has accused Google of breaching its fiduciary duty to the company’s shareholders, Reuters reported on Monday. The complaint states that Page and Brin “wish to retain this power, while selling off large amounts of their stockholdings, and reaping billions of dollars in proceeds.” The Brockton Retirement Board asked a Delaware judge to block the plan and award unspecified compensatory damages. More →
Two years before the first commercial release of Android, Google shopped a device to carriers that contained a “basic phone user interface.” The Mountain View-based company approached T-Mobile and called the device a win-win when combined with the carrier’s unlimited data plan. The original designs surfaced during Google’s trial against Oracle over the use of Java in Android, The Verge reported. Additional documents revealed that Google was looking to change T-Mobile’s plan pricing structure, and offer unlimited data for $9.99 a month. To subsidize the reduced cost, the Internet giant would have agreed to not take the commission it might earn from the carrier when it referred Android buyers to its online store. Google’s original plan never became a reality, however, and the first commercial Android phone, the T-Mobile G1, was released with $25 and $35 data plans. A second image outlining additional details follows below. More →
The United States Patent and Trademark office recently published details surrounding a patent from Samsung regarding a technology that strategically implants electrodes into the human brain called Implantable Medical Devices (IMDs). The South Korea-based company states that an IMD may be implanted into a human body and be used to help monitor primary organs such as the heart and brain itself, PatentBolt reported on Wednesday. The IMD may also be used to monitor a patient’s physiological and pathological state, though Samsung notes that it may be difficult to control or change operation of the IMD because of the complex procedure involved with implanting it into the body. The IMD would also be accompanied by an external user device that could be used to display information to a patient’s doctor or to medical personnel in the event of an emergency. More →
Last week, Apple and Proview initiated talks in an attempt to resolve an ongoing legal dispute over the iPad trademark, and the Chinese company is confident that it will receive a settlement offer from Apple, the Associated Press reports. “It is likely that we will settle out of court. The Guangdong High Court is helping to arrange it and the court also expects to do so,” said Ma Dongxiao, a lawyer for Proview. “Actually Proview always expected to settle out of court from the beginning. I don’t know if Apple has changed its attitude, but I believe that the key point now is the price.” In a previous statement, Apple claimed it would never “knowingly abuse someone else’s trademarks,” and said that Proview “still owe a lot of people a lot of money, they are now unfairly trying to get more from Apple for a trademark we already paid for.” Fu Shuangjian, the Deputy Director of China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce, however, has already stated that Proview is still the legitimate owner of the iPad trademark in the country. If the companies cannot reach a settlement, the Guangdong High Court will rule over the matter.
The International Trade Commission on Tuesday ruled in favor of Motorola Mobility in its patent infringement claim against Apple. The Cupertino-based company’s iPhone and iPad were found to be in violation of Motorola’s Wi-Fi technology patent, however they did not infringe on three other patents that Motorola asserted against the iPhone-maker. “We are pleased that the ALJ’s initial determination finds Apple to be in violation of Motorola Mobility’s intellectual property, and look forward to the full commission’s ruling in August,” Motorola told CNET in a statement. The ruling is preliminary and still must be approved by the ITC’s six-member commission. More →
Apple and Proview have initiated talks in an attempt to resolve an ongoing legal dispute over the iPad trademark, IDG News Services reported on Friday. Earlier this week, a Chinese high court recommended the two companies find a way to mediate the ongoing dispute. The mediation talks were voluntary, however both companies agreed to meet. “I think there is some hope the talks will lead to a resolution,” Zhao Zhanling, a legal expert on China’s information technology law, said, adding that if the negotiations were to fail, the higher court will be forced to move ahead and make a ruling. Apple and Proview have been locked in a high-profile legal dispute over whether or not Apple has the right to use the use the iPad name in China and elsewhere. If Apple were to lose the case, the Cupertino-based company could be banned from selling the iPad in China. Apple maintains that it licensed the trademark from Proview in 2009, however the Chinese company claims the transaction in question is invalid. More →
The United States Patent and Trademark Office recently published details on a Microsoft patent relating to a two-sided smart device display system for phones and tablets, PatentBolt reported on Friday. The invention features an integrated second low-power, possibly E Ink, display on the back side of a smartphone or tablet that would contain certain types of information. The secondary display could provide vendors with an opportunity to move standard items like a clock off of the main display to free up space, or it could display a variety of other information that might otherwise not be shown. The second display would use its own low-powered processor and may reduce the power load from a device’s primary display. The patent appears to be similar in intent to Samsung’s “smart-device-skins” invention — a technology that may allow users to change the appearance of a handset using chameleon-like technology — and it could be used to display images or animations on the back side of a device. More →
Despite Samsung and Apple’s chief executives scheduled settlement talks, the Korean manufacturer has asserted eight additional patents against the Cupertino-based company. Two of the patents are part of the fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory licenses (FRAND) because they are essential to ETSI standards, according to FOSS Patents. Five of the patents, including the two FRAND patents, were originally applied for and granted to Samsung, while three others were acquired from different owners. The two battling companies have been in a bitter patent war since last April that includes dozens of complaints across 10 countries. A trial regarding the eight new Samsung patents is scheduled for July in the United States. More →
New York on Thursday filed a lawsuit against Sprint Nextel Corp looking to collect more than $300 million, Reuters reported. The wireless company is accused of tax fraud for deliberately not collecting or paying more than $100 million in taxes over the past seven years. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed the complaint in the New York State Supreme Court on Thursday. The tax suit, which is the first filed under the state’s False Claims Act, could require Sprint to pay triple the amount it is accused of underpaying. Since 2002, New York state has required mobile phone companies to collect and pay sales taxes for their mobile services. Schneiderman claims Sprint has underpaid and submitted false records since 2005, however, in an alleged effort to undercut its competition and offer cheaper rate plans.
UPDATE: Sprint has issued a statement, which can be found after the break. More →
According to Google CEO and co-founder Larry Page, the Android mobile operating system is an important asset for Google, but it is not critical. Page made the claim during courtroom testimony as he took the stand for a second day in the company’s legal dispute with Oracle. The CEO’s testimony is rather puzzling — Page has previously claimed the company’s Android platform was “on fire” and a “tremendous example of the power of partnership” that “gets better with each version.” During an earnings call in October, Page said the company was “seeing a huge positive revenue impact from mobile, which has grown 2.5 times in the last 12 months to a run rate of over $2.5 billion.” Furthermore, Google’s $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility was meant to protect Android and further its mobile dominance according to statements the CEO made when the deal was announced. More →