iPhone chips infringe University of Wisconsin’s tech, Apple faces $862M in damages

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 14, 2015

The Apple-designed, TSMC/Samsung-manufactured A7, A8 and A8X mobile chips that power the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices released since 2013 have been found to infringe technology patents owned by the University of Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF).

As a result, Apple is now facing a damages payout of $862.4 million, Reuters reported yesterday. The aforesaid chips power the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad mini with Retina display, iPad mini 3 and iPad mini 4. Read More


Latest Apple appeals court win may require Samsung to change its devices

By Cody Lee on Sep 17, 2015

The U.S. Court of Appeals ruled on Thursday that Apple is entitled to an injunction that would bar Samsung from using its patented technology in its devices. The decision could force the Korean manufacturer to change certain features on its smartphones and tablets.

At the heart of the matter is 3 software features that Apple has patented: slide-to-unlock on a device’s touchscreen, the automatic correction of spelling errors, and quick-linking, which allows a user to do things like tap on a phone number within a body of text to place a call. Read More


Judge green-lights $415M settlement in Apple, Google anti-poaching lawsuit

By Cody Lee on Sep 3, 2015

US District Judge Lucy Koh handed down final approval late Wednesday for a settlement between Apple, Google, Adobe and Intel, and their former employees. The payout is said to be worth around $415 million, and should effectively end the long-running Silicon Valley anti-poaching suit.

For context, in 2011, employees of the aforementioned tech firms filed a class action lawsuit against the companies for anti-competitive labor practices. The suit alleged the firms conspired to avoid hiring each other’s workers in an effort to curtail salaries, costing workers $3 billion in wages. Read More


Official: Samsung stole trade secrets from TSMC

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 26, 2015

Samsung lifted trade secrets from rival Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (TSMC), the world’s #1 independent semiconductor foundry, Taiwan’s top court has ruled.

According to a report published Wednesday by Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes, the court has determined that Liang Mong-song, a former senior director of research and development at TSMC, revealed TSMC’s trade secrets and patents related to its advanced FinFET process technology to Samsung Electronics.

The report makes no mention of Apple, but the connection couldn’t be clearer: Samsung might have been able to leverage the stolen secrets to win orders for Apple’s next-generation ‘A9’ processor. Prior reports have posited that both Samsung and TSMC got to build Apple’s A9 chips on the advanced 14-nanometer FinFET process technology which uses entirely new three-dimensional transistors. Read More


Court denies Samsung’s latest appeal request in ongoing patent case

By Cody Lee on Aug 13, 2015

The US Federal Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday denied Samsung’s request to reconsider the court’s decision to uphold damages awarded in its patent infringement case, reports the San Jose Mercury News. The damages amount to more than $400 million.

This is just the latest turn in what seems to be a never-ending patent case between Samsung and Apple. In 2012, a jury found Samsung guilty of infringing on Apple’s patents and awarded the iPhone maker $1 billion in damages, which has since been cut in half. Read More


Apple loses final appeal in e-books price-fixing suit, will pay $450 million fine

By Cody Lee on Jun 30, 2015

A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld a 2013 decision finding Apple guilty for conspiring with publishers to raise e-book prices, reports The Wall Street Journal. As a result, the company is expected to pay a $450 million settlement it agreed to with private plaintiffs, 30+ states and the DOJ last year.

“We conclude that the district court correctly decided that Apple orchestrated a conspiracy among the publishers to raise e-book prices,” wrote Second Circuit Judge Debra Ann Livingston. The conspiracy “unreasonably restrained trade” in violation of the Sherman Act, the federal antitrust law, she wrote. Read More


Apple pulls Monster’s MFi license following Beats lawsuit

By Cody Lee on Jun 16, 2015

Apple has revoked Monster’s MFi license in wake of its Beats lawsuit, reports The Wall Street Journal. Monster, the A/V company who manufactured headphones for Beats in its early days, filed a lawsuit against the company in January for duping it out of potential proceeds from the Apple acquisition.

Monster’s general counsel David Tognotti said Apple’s move to pull its MFi license is in retribution for the suit, and that it can significantly disrupt their business—which still involves building premium headphones. “It shows a side of Apple that consumers don’t see very often,” he said. “Apple can be a bully.” Read More


Court rules iPhone looks can’t be protected, adjusts Samsung’s $930 million penalty

By Christian Zibreg on May 18, 2015

Monday, The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said it’s ruled that Samsung violated Apple’s design patents but did not infringe on the Cupertino firm’s trade dress intellectual property.

As reported by Reuters, the appeals court has now reversed part of Apple’s $930 million verdict versus Samsung, ordering that the penalty be adjusted accordingly. Read More


Apple, A123 Systems settling lawsuit over battery engineer poaching

By Cody Lee on May 13, 2015

Apple and A123 Systems, maker of advanced batteries, submitted a court filing this week saying they are nearing a settlement regarding their engineer poaching lawsuit, reports the Boston Globe. They’ve “reached an agreement, signed a term sheet, and are in the process of drafting a final agreement.”

The lawsuit made headlines earlier this year, when A123 claimed that Apple was hiring away its top scientists and engineers to build a competing battery business. The news broke amidst reports that the Cupertino firm had taken an interest in electric cars, and had begun work on larger battery packs. Read More


Ericsson sues Apple in UK, Germany and Netherlands over alleged patent infringement

By Christian Zibreg on May 8, 2015

Swedish telecommunications giant Ericsson has extended its patent lawsuit against Apple to Europe, filing separate lawsuits in the United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands over alleged patent infringement, Reuters reported Friday.

Ericsson is alleging that Apple has been using its patents without a legitimate license. It unloaded legal barrage against the iPhone maker over the same matter in the United States in February 2015.

The world’s largest maker of wireless networks, Stockholm-based Ericsson owns many patents covering 2G, 3G and 4G LTE cellular technology. Read More


Court rules UK users can sue Google over Safari privacy breach

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 27, 2015

Things could get ugly for Google as the Internet giant lost a UK appeal in the Safari cookie tracking case, potentially opening the door to litigation from the millions of British users, BBC News reported Friday.

The case revolves around Google’s practice to continue tracking users of Apple’s Safari browser via cookies even after they had changed their browser settings to block cookies, in order to target them with advertising. Read More


Judge approves $415M payout in Apple, Google anti-poaching suit

By Cody Lee on Mar 4, 2015

US District Judge Lucy Koh granted preliminary approval on Wednesday for a settlement between Apple, Google, Adobe, and Intel and their former employees. The payout is said to be worth around $415 million, and would effectively end the long-running anti-poaching lawsuit. Read More


Ericsson intensifies legal pressure on Apple over patents, seeks iPhone sales ban

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 27, 2015

Following a $533 million loss in a lawsuit a small Texas-based company leveled against it over patent violation, Apple is now facing new legal challenges.

Friday, the Swedish telecommunications giant has unloaded legal barrage against the iPhone maker.

The move follows Apple’s refusal to re-sign a global licensing contract with Ericsson in mid-January. Bloomberg noted that Apple had been paying royalties for Ericsson’s patents related to mobile technologies, but the global license agreement expired last month and hasn’t been renewed since. Read More


Apple ordered to pay $533 million in patent infringement trial

By Cody Lee on Feb 24, 2015

A federal jury in Tyler, Texas ruled on Tuesday that Apple must pay $532.9 million in damages to Smartflash LLC. Bloomberg reports that the jury found iTunes to infringe on its patents related to “managing access through payment systems.”

The original complaint was filed in 2013, with Smartflash asking for $852 million. The company argued it was entitled to a percentage of sales of Apple’s devices, including the iPhone, iPad and Mac computers, that were used to access iTunes. Read More


Electric car battery maker suing Apple for poaching critical employees

By Cody Lee on Feb 19, 2015

Electric car battery maker A123 Systems filed a lawsuit against Apple earlier this month for poaching its employees, reports Law360. The company says the Cupertino firm began an “aggressive campaign” around June of last year to recruit some of its most critical staffers for a new large-scale battery division.

This directly violates the company’s noncompete and nondisclosure agreements, says A123 Systems, and the poaching has resulted in a substantial loss of investment and left them scrambling to find replacements. It’s asking the court for undisclosed damages and a 1-year order, barring them from moving. Read More


Apple, Google reach new deal to end employee poaching suit

By Cody Lee on Jan 14, 2015

Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe have reached an agreement that would settle their long-standing antitrust class action lawsuit with Silicon Valley employees, reports Reuters. The suit, filed in 2011, accused the 4 tech giants of conspiring to avoid poaching each other’s employees in an effort to keep a lid on salaries. Read More


Not Samsung this time, Apple takes Ericsson to court over LTE patents

By Jake Smith on Jan 14, 2015

Apple is suing Swedish-based Ericsson over LTE wireless technology patents, reports Reuters. Apple claims Ericsson’s patents are not essential to industry cellular standards and that it is demanding excessive royalties for the patents. Read More


Apple did not harm consumers with iTunes’ FairPlay digital rights management, ruling finds

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 16, 2014

Apple’s proprietary digital rights management software, FairPlay, that prevented users from loading songs from rival music stores on early iPods, did not harm consumers nor did it violate the United States antitrust laws, an eight-person jury has determined.

As reported by The Verge, the jurors have sided with Apple in a decade-long suit and have not found Apple guilty of exploiting FairPlay DRM as a lock-in preventing rival music stores from syncing with iPods. Though the iPhone maker is off the hook now, an appeal will be filed with a higher court. Read More


Big media wants to make Steve Jobs deposition video public

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 9, 2014

A videotaped deposition of Steve Jobs, recorded in 2011 shortly before his passing and played during the iPod class-action lawsuit, could be made public if news organizations such as The Associated Press, CNN and Bloomberg succeed in proving that releasing the two-hour video is in public interest, CNET reported Tuesday.

And boy would it be interesting to watch Jobs make a series of snarky comments. Asked whether he had heard of Real Networks, Apple’s late co-founder asked “Do they still exist?” All told, he responded 74 times with “I don’t remember,” “I don’t know” or “I don’t recall.” Read More


Snarky comments revealed by Steve Jobs’ testimony in iPod class-action lawsuit

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 3, 2014

A decade-old class-action lawsuit over the iPod and Apple’s practice of locking the media player to its iTunes ecosystem is kicking off this week and with it comes a videotaped deposition of Steve Jobs, recorded in 2011 shortly before he died.

It’s full of snarky comments and as if that wasn’t enough, attorneys have unearthed emails between Apple executives and other evidence casting light on the company’s inner workings at the time.

The suit revolves around the iPod, iTunes and FairPlay, Apple’s digital-rights management (DRM) system for copy-protection of music sold through the iTunes Store. FairPlay was dropped in 2007 following the ‘Thoughts on Music’ open letter by Steve. Read More

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