Apple (AAPL) and HTC (2498) shocked the tech world last week when the pair announced that they had agreed to a patent settlement and resolved all of their open disputes. The deal served as a ray of light for other Android vendors, and a sign that Apple’s “thermonuclear war” on Android might be coming to an end. Subsequent estimates from Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu suggested HTC agreed to pay Apple between $6 and $8 per Android device shipped to license its various mobile patents for the next 10 years, however company CEO Peter Chou has refuted Wu’s estimates, calling them “outrageous” according to Reuters. At $6 to $8 per device shipped, Apple would have pulled in as much as $280 million from the deal in 2013, as HTC is expected to ship as many as 35 million smartphones next year according to Sterne Agee’s estimates.
After a U.S. District judge in Wisconsin threw out Apple’s (AAPL) patent lawsuit against Motorola earlier this month, Bloomberg reports the two companies might consider arbitration to settle their patent disputes. According to Bloomberg, Apple said in a recent filing that it’s “interested in resolving its dispute with Motorola completely and agrees that arbitration may be the best vehicle to resolve the parties’ dispute.” The two companies have reportedly been exchanging proposals that would use arbitration to “lead to a global settlement of all of their patent disputes.” More →
A new study confirms what we’ve all suspected based on anecdotal evidence: Suits filed by patent trolls have gone way up over the past few years. As Ars Technica reports, the new study headed up by UC Hastings law professor Robin Feldman used data from Stanford Law’s Lex Machina intellectual property database and found that “the fraction of lawsuits filed by troll-like entities grew from 22 percent in 2007 to 40 percent in 2011.” More →
In another unwelcome development for Android OEMs, a German court has slapped the Google (GOOG)-owned Motorola with a sales ban for allegedly infringing upon patents held by Microsoft (MSFT). AllThingsD reports that the court banned a number of Motorola smartphones and tablets for infringing a patent that details “a method and system for receiving user input data into a computer system having a graphical windowing environment.” To make things worse, Microsoft is alleging that the patent in question covers a feature that is a core part of Android and can’t be easily designed around. Google has not yet appealed the verdict, AllThingsD says, but it likely will. More →
Rumors that Samsung (005930) had plans to file a fresh patent complaint against Apple (AAPL) following the launch of the new iPhone 5 have panned out. A new filing with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California confirms that Samsung is indeed preparing to file a complaint against Apple pertaining to LTE patents, which it alleges are being infringed by the iPhone 5. FOSSPatents reports that the Samsung filing is preliminary as the company has not yet had a chance to examine the new iPhone. Once the device becomes available, the South Korea-based company will file amendments along with an official complaint. Samsung expects its new lawsuit to cover eight patents, according to the report. More →
Apple (AAPL) on Friday scored yet another victory over rival Samsung (005930) in the ongoing patent war being fought by the two consumer electronics giants in numerous countries around the world. In this latest development, the International Trade Commission cleared Apple’s iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices of infringing four Samsung-owned patents, as Samsung had charged last year. The full ITC commission will decide in January whether or not to uphold this preliminary judgement Reuters reports. More →
Voice control is the way of the future, or at least that’s what Apple (AAPL) wants people to believe. With the launch of Siri on last year’s iPhone 4S, Apple opened up a new world of using a natural language user interface to the masses. Today, Siri is on the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 and iPad, and it will land on the new iPod touch, too. And with Apple’s rumored HDTV supposedly coming with a Siri-like interface, it seems fitting that the Cupertino-based company is also toying with the idea of a personal assistant on Mac computers. More →
Apple (AAPL) might be on the verge of announcing the biggest consumer electronics device of the year but according to one study, the buzz surrounding Samsung (005930) and its devices recently surpassed the Cupertino, California-based company. Polling firm YouGov recently released data from a study that compared public perception of Apple compared to that of chief rival Samsung. Samsung’s image took a hit following the crushing verdict issued in its patent case against Apple, but since then the company has rebounded and surpassed the iPhone maker in the eyes of both “early tech adopters” and the broader group of consumers aged 18 to 34. More →
One of the patents Apple (AAPL) successfully asserted in its case against Samsung (005930) caused some alarm in the tech media earlier this week when tech reporters mistakenly believed that it encompassed every single type of “pinch-to-zoom” touchscreen technology. But as The Verge explains, Apple’s ’915 patent — the so-called pinch-to-zoom patent — is actually fairly limited in scope and has reportedly already been worked around by Google (GOOG) with its latest Android 4.1 Jelly Bean software update. More →
Google (GOOG) CEO Larry Page and Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook have been conducting behind-the-scenes talks regarding the ongoing patent disputes between the two companies, unnamed sources have told Reuters. Page and Cook recently had a phone conversation to discuss various matters involving intellectual property, and according to Reuters‘ sources, they are expected to talk again soon. The two companies are “keeping the lines of communication open at a high level” after Apple’s recent victory over Samsung. Reuters speculates that the executives could be working on a truce involving disputes over the Android operating system, although it is unclear whether their chats might result in a broad settlement or a more limited one. Discussions involving lower-level officials have also been ongoing, the report claims.
Sony (SNE) has a lot on its plate right now. The Japanese consumer electronics giant’s profit plummeted last quarter despite revenue growth, and its Xperia smartphones have yet to gain traction in many key markets including the United States. It does have one thing going for it, though. As Apple (AAPL) batters Samsung (005930) and continues to chase other Android smartphone vendors such as HTC (2498) and Motorola, Sony says it’s doing fine. ”We don’t see much impact to our business as yet of today,” Sony Mobile boss Kunimasa Suzuki told Reuters on Thursday. The company doesn’t appear worried at all that it might step into Apple’s line of fire, and perhaps it’s right to feel safe — Apple recently singled out Sony’s Xperia arc during the San Jose Samsung trial as a smartphone that doesn’t copy the iPhone’s protected designs. More →
Did Apple’s (AAPL) huge win over Samsung (005930) in court last week send Galaxy device owners heading for the hills? According to new data from cell phone resale company Gazelle.com, Samsung smartphones are being dumped by users following a California jury’s declaration that 21 of Samsung’s Android devices infringe on Apple patents — the company reports a 50% increase in the number of Samsung smartphones sold over the past few days. “Consumers seem to be jumping ship,” Gazelle.com’s chief gadget officer Anthony Scarsella told MarketWatch. “We expect this trend to continue, especially with this latest verdict.” Scarsella also noted that the increase in sales has prompted a 10% average price drop on used Samsung devices, and MarketWatch adds that several experts believe prices will continue to fall. More →
OK, so maybe the Apple (AAPL) v. Samsung (005930) patent trial verdict is going to lead to progress in patent negotiations after all. FOSS Patents reports that Google (GOOG)-owned Motorola Mobility has agreed to license some of its standards-essential patents to Apple, although there’s no indication just yet of when this deal will take effect since the royalty rate Motorola will received from Apple has yet to be set by German courts. While there is no conclusion to the ongoing tech patent war in sight, moves such as this could certainly be an olive branch that marks the beginning of the end. More →