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 →
A judge with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled Monday that HTC is guilty of infringing Apple’s patents in several devices. The ITC also ordered a ban on the import of several of HTC’s smartphones although it is unclear which models are affected. The ban will take effect on April 19th. “Notice is hereby given that the U.S. International Trade Commission has found a violation of section 337 in this investigation and has issued a limited exclusion order prohibiting importation of infringing personal data and mobile communications devices and related software,” the ITC said in its determination. “The Commission has determined that exclusion of articles subject to this order shall commence on April 19, 2012.” Raed on for more.
The United States International Trade Commission recently said that it would review a judge’s decision from earlier this year, which cleared Apple of violating four HTC patents. An ITC judge ruled in October that Apple’s iPhone, iPad and iPod touch did not violate HTC-owned patents related to phone dialing and power management. The ITC announcement came just ahead of a decision in a separate case surrounding a complaint filed by Apple alleging that HTC’s smartphones violate several of its patents. Apple is seeking an injunction that would bar HTC from selling its infringing products in the U.S., and the ITC’s ruling is expected on Monday.
A judge with the United States International Trade Commission has ruled that Apple is not infringing on four of HTC’s patents related to phone dialing and battery power management, Reuters said Monday. HTC originally filed the lawsuit in May of last year when it sought a ban on the import of Apple’s iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The final ruling in the case will occur in February when the verdict of a full commission is revealed. Apple and HTC have been locked in a number of legal battles. Apple first sued HTC in March and a U.S. ITC judge found HTC guilty of infringing on two of Apple’s patents in July. HTC has said it will appeal that ruling. More →
The Düsseldorf regional court in Germany announced on Tuesday that it is partially lifting its original injunction that banned Samsung from selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in all of the European Union except for the Netherlands. Samsung is now allowed to sell the tablet in the whole of the European Union except for Germany. According to The Wall Street Journal, a court spokesperson said that it was unclear if it was even possible for the German court to stop Samsung from selling its tablet outside of Germany. Despite the ruling, which allows Samsung Electronics to sell the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in most of Europe, Samsung’s German arm still cannot sell the tablet in Germany or anywhere in the European Union. Samsung is presumably still scheduled to appeal the ban on August 25th. Apple also recently blocked Samsung from selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia until a court there rules whether or not the tablet is infringing on 10 of Apple’s patents. On Monday, reports surfaced suggesting that Apple has doctored its evidence in is patent case about Samsung, although the legitimacy of those claims remains unclear.
Apple has been fined by South Korea’s telecommunications regulator following the “Locationgate” scandal that caused public outrage earlier this year, Dow Jones reports. This marks the second time Apple has had to pay penalties resulting from the iOS location-tracking snafu. A South Korean lawyer sued Apple and was awarded $1 million won, or approximately $945 at the time, by a court this past June. It was discovered in April that the iPhone and some iPad models were secretly tracking users and storing their locations in a local file. Apple determined that a software bug was responsible for the collection of location data, and it promptly issued a fix. The damage had already been done, however, and lawsuits were filed. Apple’s prompt attention to the matter likely limited the damage, and Wednesday’s fine levied by the Korea Communications Commission is the first penalty we’ve seen issued by a regulatory body. So what’s the damage this time around? $3 million won, or approximately $2,829. 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 →
Last week, the FCC ruled in favor of AT&T in a complaint it filed against VoIP home-phone service provider magicJack. For those of you that don’t own a television, magicJack advertises — relentlessly, via infomercial — that its VoIP service will provide unlimited calls to the U.S. and Canada for just $19.95 per year. Users are instructed to plug the USB dongle (pictured above) into their computer, connect any touch-tone phone to the dongle’s opposite end, and start dialing. AT&T has, however, taken exception to one way in which the company generates revenue and keeps consumer costs down. The U.S. wireless carrier’s gripe stems from the fact that magicJack, through its subsidiary YMax, has been charging “call termination fees” when its customers make calls to AT&T customers or AT&T owned toll-free numbers. The FCC has rendered a decision, and found that magicJack is not entitled to these fees. “While the ruling applied specifically to Ma Bell, you would think other carriers would follow the ruling and stop paying those same fees to YMax, which as the FCC ruling notes generates basically all of its traffic from magicJack users,” writes Forbes‘ Eric Savitz. The company has yet to publicly comment on the government body’s ruling. In the meantime, hit the jump to check out one of those awesomely bad infomercials we mentioned More →
The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday voted in favor of a new set of rules that will force larger cellular carriers such as Verizon Wireless and AT&T to provide roaming access to their data networks at prices set by the FCC. The move will allow smaller regional carriers to take advantage of the large investments made by national carriers at a mere fraction of the cost of building out their own data networks. Immediately following the FCC’s vote, Verizon Wireless’ executive vice president of public affairs, policy and communications Tom Tauke issued a statement. “Today’s action represents a new level of unwarranted government intervention in the wireless marketplace,” Tauke said. “By forcing carriers that have invested in wireless infrastructure to make those networks available to competitors that avoid this investment, at a price ultimately determined by the FCC, today’s order discourages network investment in less profitable areas. That is directly contrary to the interests of rural America and the development of facilities-based competition and potential job creation. Therefore, it is a defeat for both consumers and the innovation fostered by true competition.” Hit the jump for Tauke’s full statement. More →
A federal judge ruled on Monday that Apple, Inc. did not infringe upon the patents of company Mirror Worlds in the creation of its Cover Flow interface. Mirror Worlds filed its initial lawsuit in 2008, claiming that Apple copied technologies protected by its “document stream operating system” filing from 2004. Back in 2010, a U.S. District Court ruled in the plaintiffs favor and awarded Mirror Worlds $625.5 million in damages. Apple appealed, and the ruling was overturned by a federal judge citing a “lack of foundational support” for the charges. “In this case, Mirror Worlds may have painted an appealing picture for the jury, but it failed to lay a solid foundation sufficient to support important elements it was required to establish under the law,” reads the ruling. “Accordingly, the Court rejects Mirror Worlds’ case as to infringement and damages, while affirming it as to validity and inequitable conduct.” More →
An International Trade Commission panel on Friday ruled on a patent infringement suit filed by Nokia against Apple in May 2010. In the suit, Nokia alleged that Apple’s iPhone infringed on multiple Nokia patents covering wireless data transmission, data encryption and other related technologies. The ITC found that Apple did not infringe on any of the five patents named by Nokia in its complaint. The suit was one several patent-related suits exchanged by Nokia and Apple in recent years in the United States and in Europe. More →
Remember how Kodak filed suit against Apple and RIM a year ago alleging patent infringement? Well, late yesterday, a U.S. International Trade Commission judge ruled that Kodak’s case — which related to low resolution previews of videos that are displayed on-screen while recording full resolution video — is invalid. Kodak had previously won claims against LG and Samsung, after which it was able to put a licensing deal in place worth a reported $864 million. Things might not turn out that well this time around, however. RIM has filed a federal suit challenging other Kodak patents and Apple is suing Kodak for patent infringement of its patents. More →