Judge rules for Kodak in Apple patent dispute

By on May 13, 2011 at 5:33 PM.

Judge rules for Kodak in Apple patent dispute

An International Trade Commission (ITC) judge has ruled that Kodak did not infringe upon camera patents held by Apple. Reuters is reporting that an administrative law judge rejected the Cupertino-company’s claims, with a final decision by the ITC due on September 19th. Kodak, although not as prominent as it once was when film reigned supreme, still holds a treasure-trove of patents. “Many investors see Kodak’s value in its lucrative portfolio of intellectual property,” reads the report. “It has more than 1,000 patents and it made an estimated $630 million in 2010 from its licenses. But analysts have said this revenue from licenses is unpredictable and the portfolio might eventually dwindle.” Kodak has a pending suit filed against both Apple and Research In Motion, again surrounding smartphone camera technology, that is set to be decided upon on May 23rd. More →

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Internal emails from Google manager suggest Android isn’t so open

By on May 9, 2011 at 11:00 AM.

Internal emails from Google manager suggest Android isn’t so open

The “is Android open?” question is one that constantly fades in and out of focus on blogs and in the tech media. The latest snippet that will undoubtedly reinvigorate the argument was revealed this past weekend, and this time it’s not a pretty one for Google. As part of Skyhook Wireless’ lawsuit against Google, which alleges that the company interfered with a contract that placed its services on Android phones sold by Motorola, several internal emails have been made public by a Massachusetts state court. Collectively, the emails provide various insights into the business strategies employed by Google’s Android team. One email in particular, however, is attracting a great deal of attention. In it, Android Open-Source & Compatibility Program Manager Dan Morrill writes, “we are using compatibility as a club to make them do things we want.” In other words, we’re brought right back to the earlier revelation that Android partners can do whatever they want with the platform, but only those that play ball with Google’s compatibility requirements get preferential treatment, such as early access to new Android builds. Of course this time, the sentiment comes straight from the horse’s mouth in a relatively gruff manner, which doesn’t exactly do a service to Google’s repeated “open” claims. More →

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Wozniak: Paul Allen should be investing, not patent trolling

By on May 4, 2011 at 9:15 AM.

Wozniak: Paul Allen should be investing, not patent trolling

During his Embedded System Conference Silicon Valley keynote recently, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak took some time to rag on Paul Allen’s decision to sue Apple, Google, and other companies over patent infringement. “Paul Allen should be out there investing in companies that are doing something, making products, actually making a new future for the world, and not ‘I’m going to sue people, and get in bed with the lawyers to make my money.’ That’s not the right way,” Wozniak said, according to The Register. Wozniak referred to Allen’s strategy as a “patent-troll thing,” and said “any fifth grader could come up with the same approach.” Woz also said he was so perturbed by the Allen’s lawsuit binge — and the big company strategy of paying engineers to file for patents long before the tech is actually available – that he decided to bail on the Microsoft co-founder’s speech at the Computer History Museum to instead indulge in some Marie Callender’s pea soup with friends. More →

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Samsung files countersuit against Apple in U.S.

By on April 29, 2011 at 10:19 AM.

Samsung files countersuit against Apple in U.S.

Apple sent a shock wave through the technology community when it announced it was suing Samsung — a company that supplies the Cupertino-based iPhone maker with over $5 billion worth of components each year. Now that the gloves are officially off, Samsung is doing a little legal posturing of its own, this time Stateside. Reuters is reporting that Samsung Electronics has filed a lawsuit against Apple, claiming that the company has violated no fewer than ten patents held by the Korean company. “Apple copied many of Samsung’s innovations, according to Samsung’s U.S. lawsuit,” reads the report. “For instance, one of the patents Samsung accuses Apple of violating involves the ability for mobile phones to display the time.” The case will be heard at a date to be named in U.S. District Court, Norther District of California. Samsung has already filed complaints against Apple in Japan, Korea, and Germany. More →

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Amazon responds to Apple's 'baseless' app store lawsuit

By on April 26, 2011 at 3:43 PM.

Amazon responds to Apple's 'baseless' app store lawsuit

Amazon on Monday issued its response in court to a lawsuit filed last month by Apple alleging that Amazon’s use of the term “Appstore” infringes on Apple’s “App Store” trademark. Apple’s suit looks to bar Amazon from using the term alongside its new Amazon Appstore for Android. In its response, Amazon called Apple’s claims baseless and insisted that “app store” is a generic term. Amazon even cited Apple’s recent quarterly earnings call, where Steve Jobs himself uses the term to describe Google’s Android Marketplace. “So there will be at least four app stores on Android, which customers must search among to find the app they want and developers will need to work with to distribute their apps and get paid,” Jobs said while criticizing Android on the call. “This is going to be a mess for both users and developers. Contrast this with Apple’s integrated App Store, which offers users the easiest-to-use largest app store in the world, preloaded on every iPhone.” Amazon has also filed a countersuit in which it has asked the court to dismiss Apple’s claim, order Apple to reimburse Amazon for attorney’s fees, and decree that Amazon’s use of the term “Appstore” does not infringe on Apple’s trademarks. More →

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Apple sued over iPhone location tracking scandal

By on April 25, 2011 at 3:13 PM.

Apple sued over iPhone location tracking scandal

It was only a matter of time. Apple, Inc. has been named as a defendant in a federal district court suit over the iPhone and iPad 3G location tracking scandalat this point we think it’s safe to refer to it as such. The Cupertino company’s silence over the past week has only intensified rumors and speculation that Apple is, somehow, using this harvested data in a clandestine or nefarious manner. Bloomberg notes that the lawsuit was filed in Tampa, FL by two consumers and, at this point, it is unknown if the duo will seek class action status. Details on the case are scarce at the moment, but we’re sure this isn’t the last we’ll be hearing about this one. More →

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Samsung responds to Apple with multiple patent suits

By on April 22, 2011 at 7:30 AM.

Samsung responds to Apple with multiple patent suits

It didn’t take a crystal ball to see this move coming — Samsung on Friday filed multiple patent infringement suits against Apple. Just four days following Apple’s filing of a lawsuit alleging Samsung smartphones like the Galaxy S “copy Apple’s technology, user interface and innovative style,” Samsung has filed three separate suits alleging infringement of a total of ten patents. The suits were filed in Seoul Central District Court, Korea; Tokyo, Japan; and in Manheim, Germany. In a statement, Samsung said it is “responding actively to the legal action taken against us in order to protect our intellectual property and to ensure our continued innovation and growth in the mobile communications business.” Ebb and flow… yin and yang… suits and countersuits. More →

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Samsung bites back at Apple in intellectual property lawsuit

By on April 19, 2011 at 12:41 PM.

Samsung bites back at Apple in intellectual property lawsuit

On Monday The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple filed suit against Samsung for intellectual property violations in its Galaxy S, Galaxy Tab, Nexus S, and Epic 4G devices, and now, Samsung is fighting back. “Samsung will respond actively to this legal action taken against us through appropriate legal measures to protect our intellectual property,” the company said in a statement obtained by Korea’s AFP. “Apple is one of our key buyers of semiconductors and display panels. However, we have no choice but respond strongly this time,” one Samsung official explained. Furthermore, the Korea-based firm may file a lawsuit of its own. “We think Apple has violated our patents in communications standards,” Chung Jae-woong, a spokesperson at Samsung Electronics, told Yonhap News. “We are considering a counterclaim.” Apple said on Monday that Samsung’s aforementioned Galaxy family of products copied its user interface and “innovative style.” More →

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ITC staff: Siding with HTC and Nokia in Apple lawsuit is best for public

By on April 18, 2011 at 9:21 PM.

ITC staff: Siding with HTC and Nokia in Apple lawsuit is best for public

According to Bloomberg, a staff lawyer with the United States International Trade Commission (U.S. ITC) named Erin Joffre has recommended, on behalf of the public, that the ITC side with HTC and Nokia in a patent battle with Apple. HTC and Nokia have been locked in back-and-forth legal battles with Apple over the past two years, but this suit is particularly important. Apple filed the complaint on March 2nd, 2010 when it alleged that HTC was infringing on 20 of its patents related to both hardware and software technologies. The Cupertino based firm has urged the U.S. ITC to ban HTC’s Android smartphones from being imported into the United States, and it wants several of Nokia’s devices to be stopped at the border, too. In order for such a ban to take place, Administrative Law Judge Carl Charneski would have to side with Apple, and then suggest to another board that such an action be taken. Charneski will render his decision on August 5th. More →

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Apple sues Samsung over Galaxy S, Galaxy Tab, and more

By on April 18, 2011 at 4:14 PM.

Apple sues Samsung over Galaxy S, Galaxy Tab, and more

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Cupertino-based iDevice manufacturer Apple, Inc. has filed a lawsuit against Korea’s Samsung Electronics for intellectual property violations on a host of devices. “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,” reads the complaint. Apple has taken exception to the technologies used by Samsung’s popular Galaxy S, Nexus S, and Epic 4G smartphones as well as the Galaxy Tab tablet. Neither Apple nor Samsung has publicly commented on the freshly filed suit, but we’re sure this isn’t the last you’ll be hearing about this particular case. More →

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HP sues former exec for stealing company secrets

By on April 7, 2011 at 5:00 PM.

HP sues former exec for stealing company secrets

HP on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against Adrian Jones, the company’s former head of enterprise sales for the Asia region, to stop him from sharing hundreds of documents he allegedly stole before leaving the company and joining his current employer, Oracle. HP said it had planned to fire Jones earlier this year after having launched an investigation into his expense reports and his alleged relationship with another HP employee who worked beneath him. Jones left the company, however, and HP alleges that he took hundreds of confidential documents, emails and various customer records with him on a USB drive. In the lawsuit, HP calls for the return of all data and seeks damages resulting from the theft of trade secrets. The allegations of fraudulent expenses and inappropriate behavior with a subordinate are strikingly similar to those made against against former CEO Mark Hurd before he was forced to resign last year. Like Jones, Hurd now holds an executive role at Oracle. More →

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Google places $900M bid for 6,000 Nortel patents

By on April 4, 2011 at 2:01 PM.

Google places $900M bid for 6,000 Nortel patents

The business of smartphone production is starting to look more like the a John Grisham legal novel. While handset makers try to out-innovate each other with high-end, spec-heavy handsets consumers will flock to, lawyers are trying to out-flank each other with patent suits and red-tape. No longer can you have an armada of talented engineers and a driven executive team, you also must possess a war chest of hardware and software patents to prevent your company from entering litigation limbo — just Google the words Nokia, Apple, and patent if you don’t know what we’re talking about. More →

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Nokia reloads, files new suit against Apple with ITC

By on March 29, 2011 at 7:26 AM.

Nokia reloads, files new suit against Apple with ITC

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. That’s the adage we remember from our youth, and that’s the attitude Nokia is taking when it comes to Apple, its patents, and the International Trade Commission (ITC). Just last Friday, an ITC judge ruled that Apple, Inc. did not infringe upon five patents held by Finnish mobile giant Nokia. Unsatisfied with and undeterred by the outcome, Nokia has regrouped and refiled suit against the Cupertino company, claiming infringement on seven patents related to “multi-tasking operating systems, data synchronization, positioning, call quality and the use of Bluetooth accessories.”

“Our latest ITC filing means we now have 46 Nokia patents in suit against Apple, many filed more than 10 years before Apple made its first iPhone,” said Paul Melin, Nokia’s vice president of intellectual property.

Now that’s something to be proud of… right? Nokia and Apple also have court cases pending in Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United States. More →

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