How much did ‘Locationgate’ cost Apple? Less than $1,000

By on July 14, 2011 at 10:00 AM.

How much did ‘Locationgate’ cost Apple? Less than $1,000

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 →

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Judge denies Apple’s request for expedited patent trial with Samsung

By on July 13, 2011 at 3:11 PM.

Judge denies Apple’s request for expedited patent trial with Samsung

A federal judge on Tuesday denied Apple’s request for an expedited trial in the company’s patent case against Samsung, FOSS Patents reports. “The Court agrees [with Samsung] that Apple has not established substantial harm or prejudice justifying a shortened briefing and hearing schedule for its Motion to Expedite,” Judge Lucy Koh of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California said. Judge Koh also pointed out that Apple “had been aware of its infringement claims for at least a year and engaged in negotiations with Samsung during that time,” so the company has had more than enough time to consider possible legal courses of action. Apple recently filed requests with both a U.S. district court and with the International Trade Commission seeking a preliminary injunction to block the import and sale of several of Samsung’s mobile devices. Apple calls the devices, which include Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the DROID Charge, “copycat” products that infringe on Apple patents and mimic Apple designs. More →

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Apple seeks preliminary injunction to halt sale of four Samsung devices

By on July 4, 2011 at 5:00 PM.

Apple seeks preliminary injunction to halt sale of four Samsung devices

Apple on Friday asked the U.S District Court in San Jose to issue a preliminary injunction that would halt the sale of four Samsung devices in the U.S. In its filing, Apple has asked the court to halt U.S. sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1, Infuse 4G, DROID Charge and Nexus S 4G, alleging that the devices copy Apple’s mobile products and make use of its patents and intellectual property without authorization. Specifically, Apple claims the devices collectively infringe on three of its design patents and one utility patent. “The message that Samsung conveys to consumers with its imitative smartphone design is simple: ‘It’s just like an iPhone.’ Samsung’s Galaxy 10.1 tablet sends a similar message: ‘It’s just like an iPad,’” Apple wrote in the filing. ” With the benefit of those messages, Samsung is seeking to take market share by trading off of the popularity of Apple’s products.” The move by Apple is the latest in a series of patent-related complaints Apple and Samsung have filed against each other in the U.S. and abroad over. More →

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Apple, RIM win big as ITC reverses earlier decision in Kodak patent case

By on June 30, 2011 at 8:20 PM.

Apple, RIM win big as ITC reverses earlier decision in Kodak patent case

The International Trade Commission on Thursday reversed an earlier decision in a patent case that could cost camera maker Kodak hundreds of millions of dollars from Apple and RIM. Kodak had filed suit against both firms, claiming that their mobile devices infringed on multiple patents owned by the Rochester, NY-based company. An initial ruling in favor of Kodak was under ITC review, and the commission on Thursday reversed parts of the decision that had previously been ruled in Kodak’s favor. Other parts of the original ruling were sent to be examined by a judge of administrative law, and a final ruling is scheduled to be made on August 30th. More →

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Apple sued for infringing ‘iBooks’ trademark

By on June 16, 2011 at 12:36 PM.

Apple sued for infringing ‘iBooks’ trademark

Apple’s strategy when it comes to much of its i branding has been pretty consistent to date: steal a name, wait for its trademark owner to complain, settle. The Cupertino-based company did it with “iPhone” and again with “iOS,” for example, and now it looks like “iBooks” will play out the same way. New York publisher John T. Colby purchased assets belonging to publisher Byron Preiss several years ago, and included in that buy were more than 1,000 books published under the “ibooks” name. Apple does own a trademark for “IBOOK,” but this trademark covers a PC the company used to sell — the “iBook” — and not books or electronic books. “Apple’s use of the mark ‘iBooks’ to denote the electronic library that can be accessed via its iPad tablet computer and its iPhone is likely to overwhelm the good will of plaintiffs’ ‘ibooks’ and ‘ipicturebooks’ marks and render them virtually worthless,” Colby’s lawsuit states. More →

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Class action suit against RIM refiled

By on June 15, 2011 at 6:16 PM.

Class action suit against RIM refiled

An investigation launched last month by a law firm into whether or not Research In Motion had violated securities laws resulted in the filing of a class action lawsuit late last month. After the lead plaintiff in the suit voluntarily withdrew her complaint on May 31st, however, it was unclear if the suit would be refiled. This week, Atlanta-based law firm Holzer Holzer & Fistel, LLC indeed refiled its class action suit with a new lead plaintiff, Gerald Chatlin. The news comes just before RIM is scheduled to report earnings on Thursday for the first quarter of its 2012 fiscal year. More →

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Dolby sues RIM for patent infringement, looks to halt BlackBerry sales

By on June 15, 2011 at 1:20 PM.

Dolby sues RIM for patent infringement, looks to halt BlackBerry sales

Dolby announced on Wednesday that it has filed patent infringement lawsuits against Waterloo, Canada-based Research In Motion in the U.S. and in Germany. The suit seeks the recovery of financial damages resulting from RIM’s infringing products, and it also looks to halt sales of multiple BlackBerry devices. The patents in question cover “highly efficient digital audio compression technologies” that minimize storage space occupied by high quality audio files. Dolby claims that RIM uses these technologies in its BlackBerry smartphones and its PlayBook tablet, but it does not pay Dolby licensing fees as all other major manufacturers do. “Litigation was regrettably our last resort after RIM declined to pay for the use of Dolby’s technology,” Dolby EVP and general counsel Andy Sherman said in a statement. “We have a duty to protect our intellectual property.” Dolby’s full press release follows below. More →

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Samsung’s lawyers demand access to iPhone 5, iPad 3

By on May 30, 2011 at 12:40 PM.

Samsung’s lawyers demand access to iPhone 5, iPad 3

After a federal judge ordered Samsung to grant Apple access to several unreleased devices last week, the Korean electronics giant responded by demanding the same access to Apple’s unannounced iPhone 5 and iPad 3. Apple and Samsung are currently tied up in a legal battle surrounding Apple’s claims that several new Samsung devices “copy Apple’s technology, user interface and innovative style.” A judge granted Apple access to Samsung’s Galaxy S II, Galaxy Tab 8.9, Galaxy Tab 10.1, Infuse 4G, and DROID Charge in order to help the company determine whether or not to request an early injunction. In turn, Samsung’s lawyers on Friday filed a motion requesting access to Apple’s next-generation iPhone and iPad. Samsung claims it needs to examine the devices in order to evaluate any possible similarities so it can prepare for possible further legal action from Apple. The judge has not yet determined whether or not Samsung will be granted access to the devices. More →

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Android makes Microsoft more money than Windows Phone

By on May 27, 2011 at 10:15 AM.

Android makes Microsoft more money than Windows Phone

According to a report by Citi analyst Walter Pritchard, Microsoft may be making more money off Google’s Android operating system than it makes off its own Windows Phone platform — five times more, in fact. Pritchard states that as a result of a patent settlement, HTC is required to pay Microsoft $5 for every Android phone sold. Analyst Horace Dediu estimates that HTC has sold 30 million Android smartphones to date, which adds up to $150 million in the bank for Microsoft. Dediu notes that Microsoft has reported Windows Phone sales totaling 2 million licenses to date, and he estimates the company’s license fee to be $15 for a total of just $30 million. Pritchart notes that Microsoft is currently suing other Android phone makers for infringements on the company’s intellectual property, and is seeking between $7.50 and $12.50 per device sold. As much money as the company is making on sales of HTC’s Android phones, it’s easy to see why Microsoft is pursuing other cell phone makers with similar suits. More →

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Google sued by eBay, PayPal for stealing trade secrets

By on May 27, 2011 at 9:04 AM.

Google sued by eBay, PayPal for stealing trade secrets

Google on Thursday finally took the wraps off its Google Wallet and Google Offers services, which offer an NFC-based contactless payment system married with a location-based local coupon service. On the same day, eBay and its online payment arm PayPal filed a lawsuit against Google and two of its executives for stealing trade secrets relating to mobile payments. Osama Bedier and Stephanie Tilenius, both of whom were heavily involved in the development of the Google Wallet service, were named in the suit. Beider and Tilenius were formerly PayPal employees who left the company to join Google and help build Google Wallet. Both executives were with PayPal for the better part of a decade, and Bedier was most recently vice president of platform, mobile and new ventures. The suit accuses Bedier of having “misappropriated PayPal trade secrets by disclosing them within Google and to major retailers,” and it alleges that Tilenius broke a contractual agreement with eBay by recruiting Bedier once moving to Google. More →

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Samsung ordered by court to give Apple access to unreleased products

By on May 24, 2011 at 3:30 PM.

Samsung ordered by court to give Apple access to unreleased products

Samsung has been ordered by a federal judge to grant Apple access to a number of unreleased tablets and smartphones as part of an ongoing patent dispute. Apple filed a lawsuit against Samsung last month, accusing the Korean consumer electronics giant of infringing on a variety of Apple patents and trademarks. “Rather than innovate and develop its own technology and a unique Samsung style for its smart phone products and computer tablets, Samsung chose to copy Apple’s technology, user interface and innovative style in these infringing products,” Apple said in a court filing. Last week, a judge gave Samsung 30 days to deliver five of its forthcoming devices — the Galaxy S II, Galaxy Tab 8.9, Galaxy Tab 10.1, Infuse 4G, and DROID Charge — to Apple so the Cupertino-based company can determine whether or not it wishes to request an early injunction. “Apple has demonstrated good cause for some, limited expedited discovery,” said San Jose federal judge Lucy Koh. “While Apple has not yet filed a motion for preliminary injunction, courts have found that expedited discovery may be justified to allow a plaintiff to determine whether to seek an early injunction.” Samsung argued that the devices have not yet been released so granting Apple access to them would be inappropriate, but Koh dismissed the arguments, citing the fact that Samsung is already advertising the devices and giving samples to members of the press. More →

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AT&T accused of overcharging iPhone, iPad users for cellular data in latest lawsuit [Updated]

By on May 20, 2011 at 12:23 PM.

AT&T accused of overcharging iPhone, iPad users for cellular data in latest lawsuit [Updated]

An MSNBC investigative report, and related lawsuit, claims that AT&T has “systematically overstated” the data usage of iPhone and iPad customers. Lawyers for the plaintiffs, seeking class action status, hired an independent computer firm to compare the actual amount data used by iPhone and iPad customers with the amount that AT&T bills users for. “Did you find overcharges on every single transaction,” asked MSNBC’s Lisa Myers, speaking with the investigating firm’s representative. “Yes, every single one,” he responded. “Did you ever find an instance where the discrepancy worked to the benefit of the customer,” poses Myers as a follow-up question. “Never,” quipped the representative. “Always an overcharge; never an undercharge.” The study alleges that AT&T overstates customer data usage by 7% to 14% and, in some rarer cases, by up to 300%. To illustrate its point, the firm bought a new AT&T iPhone and line of service, “disabled everything that might trigger data usage,” and let the phone sit untouched for ten days. During that time period, thirty-five different data charges appeared on the virgin phone’s bill. AT&T responded to the report saying that the claims are “without merit” and that applications may auto-update or refresh in the background without a consumer’s knowledge or consent. Whatever the reasoning is for the purported up-charging, we’re sure this isn’t the last you’re going to hear about this one. A video clip of MSNBC’s report is waiting for you after the break.

UPDATE: An official statement from an AT&T spokesperson is after the break. More →

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Google did nothing illegal in blocking Skyhook-Motorola deal, company claims

By on May 19, 2011 at 10:45 AM.

Google did nothing illegal in blocking Skyhook-Motorola deal, company claims

Google told the Superior Court in Boston last week that it did nothing illegal with regard to blocking Skyhook’s contract with Motorola. Skyhook wireless, a private Boston-based LBS company, filed suit against Google in September 2010, alleging that the Internet giant interfered with a contract the company had recently been awarded by Motorola. The deal would see certain location-based services from Google replaced by Skyhook’s solution, which, according to Google Group Project Manager Steve Lee, were better and more accurate than Google’s own offering. Email chains made public as part of the hearings clearly show that Google took action to get its services back on Motorola phones, but Google contends that its actions were all legal. “To the extent Google took any action that affected Skyhook, those actions were the lawful exercise of legitimate rights of Google and therefore are not actionable,”Google said in a court filing. “If Skyhook suffered any damages, which is denied, then any such damages resulted solely from its own acts or omissions.” More →

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