A U.S. judge has ordered Google and Motorola Mobility to turn over information about the development of the Android operating system and Google’s pending $12.5 billion acquisition of the manufacturer to Apple, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday. Motorola opposed Apple’s request, arguing that Google isn’t a party to the lawsuit. “Google’s employees and documents are not within the ‘possession, custody, or control’ of Motorola, and Motorola cannot force Google to produce documents or witnesses over Google’s objections,” the vendor’s lawyers said in a court filing on Monday. Apple’s attorneys argued that “the Android/Motorola acquisition discovery is highly relevant to Apple’s claims and defenses.” Judge Richard A. Posner has scheduled back-to-back trials before two separate juries starting June 11th. The first trial will address six Apple patents while the second will cover three Motorola patents. More →
A German court has thrown out a third lawsuit Samsung recently filed against Apple regarding a 3G patent, along with one of two slide-to-unlock suits Apple filed against Samsung, FOSS Patents reported on Friday. Judge Andreas Voss of the Mannheim Regional Court ruled that Samsung’s standard-essential patent covers a method of computing a certain mathematical result, however the specifications of 3G/UMTS don’t require a phone to perform said computation. Therefore, a handset merely uses the result and while Samsung may own the path to get there, it doesn’t necessarily own the destination. Judge Voss has previously dismissed two other 3G/UMTS suits filed by Samsung. Read on for more. More →
Apple on Thursday won an injunction in Germany against all of Motorola Mobility’s Android devices, according to FOSSPatents. The ruling comes on the heels of another victory Apple scored in a German appeals court on Monday. Judge Dr. Peter Guntz ruled that Motorola infringed Apple’s patent for a “portable electronic device for photo management.” Motorola smartphones apparently use Apple’s patent for page-turning in zoomed-in mode — but not zoomed-out mode — in the photo gallery app. If Apple enforces the injunction, it can require Motorola to destroy any infringing products in its possession in Germany and recall, at the company’s expense, any infringing products from German retailers, which will then be destroyed as well. The Cupertino-based company previously attacked Samsung over the same feature, however Samsung modified its code to avoid a ban in the Netherlands — a move Motorola may follow.
UPDATE: Motorola issued a statement to BGR in response to Judge Guntz’s ruling. The company’s response now follows below in its entirety. More →
A Florida firm has filed a claim alleging that Google and Apple are both infringing on its mapping technology, PaidContent reported on Monday. PanoMap Technologies filed the complaint in an Orlando federal court, stating the use of Google Maps “Street View” feature in the iPad and iPhone violates U.S. Patent No. 6,563,529. The patent covers an “interactive system for displaying detailed view and direction in panoramic images.” The company wants Apple and Google to pay triple damages, asserting that the two tech giants knew about the patent but had ignored it. To support its allegations, PanoMap claims that Apple visited a website that showcased the patent in 2007 and Google cited the patent in its own recent patent application. The Google Maps Street View function allows users to zoom in and see an interactive photograph of houses, street corners and more. The patent was issued in 2003 and transferred to a shell company called Empire IP last year. In early February it was again transferred to PanoMap Technologies. The patent describes a technique to adjust a camera position from place to place and include it in a map image. More →
Apple on Monday won a ruling over Motorola Mobility in a German appeals court over a recent patent infringement suit, reports Bloomberg. The Karlsruhe Higher Regional Court ruled in Apple’s favor, stating that Motorola cannot further enforce its standard-essential patent injunction against the Cupertino-based company. The ruling allows Apple to continue to offer its products in its online store while it appeals a ruling that temporarily banned the company’s iPhone and iPad. “At the current state of the proceedings, it is to be assumed that Motorola Mobility would violate its duties under antitrust rules if it continues to ask Apple to stop the sales,” the court said in a statement. More →
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 →
Earlier this week, Apple filed a new patent lawsuit against Samsung in San Jose, California according to PaidContent. The complaint covers two patents, the first relating to spelling and autocorrect on its iOS devices, and the second concerning “universal interface for retrieval of information in a computer system.” The company revealed it is using two new patents that were granted in December by the U.S. Patents and Trademark Office. The full scope of the case is not yet clear, however, since most of the court documents have not been made public. The Cupertino-based company has been in a constant battle with Samsung and a number of other rival vendors over numerous claims of patent infringement for more than a year. More →
Barnes & Noble on Monday received some potentially good news following the rejection of its antitrust suit against Microsoft earlier this month. Microsoft is looking to halt the import of the bookseller’s Nook slates, claiming the devices infringe three Microsoft patents. Barnes & Noble argued that the patents in question are invalid because they do not cover new inventions, and the company has a new ally. Jeff Hsu, a staff attorney at the U.S. International Trade Commission, told Bloomberg he recommended that ITC Judge Theodore Essex rule that there is no violation by Barnes & Noble. Microsoft said the recommendation was made before evidence was presented, and it believes Hsu’s opinion may change once the trial gets underway. Bloomberg notes, however, that the ITC staff acts as a third party in the case and there’s no requirement that the judge follow any recommendations. Microsoft claims the Android operating system found on Barnes & Noble’s Nook eReader utilizes its protected technology, and the software giant has signed agreements with roughly 70% of Android vendors in the United States to license the technology in question. Judge Essex is expected to release his findings on April 27th.
Apple’s aggressive litigation strategy against Android vendors over the past year has seen precious little return considering the huge investment it reportedly requires, and on Friday things took another turn south for the Cupertino, California-based technology giant. A court in Germany has issued a permanent injunction against the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G and iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G, upholding a ruling issued in December. Online sales of the phones have been banned in the country, and Apple has removed the devices from its German website. All iPhone models and iPad 2 models are still available for sale at local retailers, FOSS Patents reports. The ban is the result of a patent complaint filed against Apple by Motorola Mobility in Germany, claiming Apple’s iOS devices with embedded 3G connectivity infringe a Motorola patent related to UMTS technology. Late last month, Motorola filed a new complaint in Germany targeting Apple’s latest smartphone, the iPhone 4S. More →
One week after dismissing Samsung’s first German patent infringement lawsuit against Apple, a German court has also rejected a second suit, reports Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents. Judge Andreas Voss of Germany’s Mannheim Regional Court on Friday addressed Samsung’s argument that certain 3G and UMTS technology in Apple’s iPhones infringes the South Korean company’s patents. The Judge dismissed these claims early Friday morning, however he did not immediately offer an explanation for his decision. Mueller, who attended the pronouncement, says the outcome of Samsung’s suit may be based on the validity of the specific patent in question, in which case Samsung could still prevail in any of its three other 3G/UMTS-related patent complaints it filed against Apple in Mannheim. Samsung originally brought five suits against Apple in Germany, claiming Apple’s mobile devices infringe various 3G/UMTS wireless standards patents it holds. More →
Apple is said to have spent as much as $100 million on its first round of legal battles with HTC, and the company has precious little to show for it. Newsweek’s well-sourced Dan Lyons cited “a rumor going around among the lawyers” in reporting the staggering figure on his personal blog, and he noted that Apple’s onslaught of lawsuits around the world have yielded precious little for the Cupertino, California based technology giant. Meaningful wins have been few and far between for Apple in its ongoing legal battles against Android vendors. The company did score a victory last month when the International Trade Commission banned the import of several HTC smartphones it deemed to be infringing on one Apple patent, but HTC responded the same day and said a simple workaround was already set to be rolled out. Apple’s aggressive strategy with regard to technology patents could fueled by lost sales or perhaps even by its former CEO’s vow to destroy Android, but it doesn’t seem to be paying off for the time being. Whether or not that will prompt Apple to pump the brakes, however, remains to be seen. More →
The United States International Trade Commission on Friday issued a prliminary ruling stating that Motorola Mobility smartphones do not infringe three Apple patents. “It is held that no violation of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, 19 U.S.C. § 1337, has occurred in the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, or the sale within the United States after importation of certain mobile devices and related software by reason of infringement of one or more of Claims 1, 2, 10, 11, 24-26, and 29 U.S. Patent No. 7,812,828 (“the ‘828 Patent”), claims 1-7 and 10 of U.S. Patent No. 7,663,607 (“the ‘607 Patent”), and claims 1, 3, and 5 ofthe U.S. Patent No. 5,379,430 (“the ‘430 Patent”),” the ITC said in its ruling. Apple filed a formal complaint against Motorola in October 2010 alleging that its Android smartphones infringe multiple Apple-owned patents, and it asked the Commission to ban the import and sale of the infringing devices.
UPDATE: Motorola’s comments on the ITC judgement follow below. More →
Kodak is going through a financial nightmare, with reports claiming the camera company is preparing to file for bankruptcy. In what seems like a last effort to license the company’s patents, Kodak has filed patent lawsuits against HTC and Apple. Kodak claims that both smartphone manufacturers are infringing upon some of the company’s digital imaging patents. The complaint targets the iPad 2, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, and the iPod touch (4th generation), claiming Apple’s devices infringe upon four patents. Obviously, the patents all relate to digital images, ranging from capturing them, to transferring photos over email, cellular networks, or wireless LAN networks.
HTC is being sued for the same four patents as Apple, with the addition of a patent that covers capturing still images while previewing motion images — the same patent is being asserted against Apple and RIM in a concurrent ITC investigation. Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents speculates that the lawsuit is part of a last effort sales and marketing strategy to sell the company’s patent portfolio. Lastly, Mueller believes that even though Apple and HTC are suing each other, they will most likely team up to fight off Kodak. At the very least, the two companies could conduct a joint prior art search, or look to narrow the scope of patent claims to avoid liability for infringement. More →