Google covering some of Samsung’s legal fees, liabilities in Apple trial

By Cody Lee on Apr 23, 2014

We’ve known pretty much all along that Google was going to be more involved this time around in the Apple-Samsung trial. Many of the features Apple claims infringe on its software patents are baked right into Android, so of course it would be in the Mountain View company’s best interest to become much more involved.

But I’m not sure anyone knew the extent of Google’s involvement until yesterday, when a lawyer for the tech giant said that it had reached an agreement with Samsung to foot the bill for a large portion of its legal fees. It also told the Korean firm it would cover much of the damages, should it be found guilty of infringement… Read More

 

Samsung expert says Apple should only get $38M for patent infringement, not $2B

By Cody Lee on Apr 21, 2014

The court battle between Apple and Samsung raged on in California today, with Samsung calling a damages expert to the stand. Judith Chevalier, a professor of economics at the Yale University School of Management, testified that if found guilty of infringement, Samsung should only have to pay Apple $38 million.

The figure, which is actually $38.4 million, is miles away from the $2.2 billion number that Apple’s damages expert called for last week. Chevalier argued that a reasonable royalty rate for Apple’s patents would’ve been $0.35 per patent, per device, and doesn’t think the company should receive damages for lost sales… Read More

 

For Samsung, Steve Jobs’ death was ‘the best opportunity’ to unleash anti-iPhone ad blitz

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 16, 2014

Apple’s second California trial against Samsung over smartphone patents has given us an unprecedented insight into Samsung’s obsession with beating Apple and Apple’s worries over losing the cool factor to Samsung due to the snarky ads that ridiculed the iPhone as an outdated and dull phone.

As you know, Samsung’s campaign headlined under the ‘The Next Big Thing’ tagline went viral in September of 2012, thanks to a particularily scathing ad that ridiculed folks who’d wait in line for an iPhone 5.

The commercials were meant to counter the iPhone 5 “tsunami,” as Samsung execs put it, and have managed to enrage Apple’s marketing boss Phil Schiller so much that he proposed in an email to CEO Tim Cook that the firm fire its longtime ad agency.

According to a highly confidential email exchange between Samsung execs, we now know that the South Korean firm saw Steve Jobs’s death as the “best opportunity to attack the iPhone” and tarnish the Apple brand… Read More

 

Tech companies ask court to keep Steve Jobs’ personality out of hiring trial

By Cody Lee on Apr 15, 2014

Although the patent battle with Samsung is far from over in northern California, Apple’s legal team has to start preparing for another high profile trial coming up next month. The iPad-maker, along with Google and others, is being sued over no-hire agreements in Silicon Valley.

This week, those companies in a joint court filing asked that witnesses in the upcoming suit not be allowed to offer evidence that Steve Jobs was “a bully.” Emails regarding the case are fine, but excerpts from the Isaacson bio and other sources should be barred from admission… Read More

 

Samsung exec: we didn’t copy Apple’s iPhone, we just had better marketing

By Jake Smith on Apr 14, 2014

Apple is claiming in the latest patent trial on-going in a California court that Samsung ripped off its iPhone to become the top-smartphone maker in the world, while Samsung says it was just pure marketing genius that helped turn the smartphone tide over the years.

Todd Pendleton, the chief marketing officer for Samsung’s American division, became the first Samsung executive to take the stand on Monday in the latest patent spat. He explained that marketing Samsung’s phones as the “Next Big Thing” helped it beat Apple, HTC, and BlackBerry, who in 2011 all held a lead over the South Korean electronics giant.

“I think people knew Samsung for televisions,” Pendleton told the court, when reminiscing on 2011. “But in terms of smartphones, there was no recognition for what our product was or what it stood for.” Read More

 

Apple calls in expert to explain why it deserves $2 billion in damages from Samsung

By Cody Lee on Apr 9, 2014

The high-profile patent trial between Apple and Samsung wages on, with Apple on Tuesday calling in a damages expert Chris Vellturo to speak to the jury. The MIT-trained economist’s job was to help the company explain why it deserved the damages it’s asking for.

For those who missed it last week, Apple is asking the court to award it $2 billion ($2.19B to be exact) in damages from Samsung for infringing on 5 of its utility patents. And according to Vellturo, that amount is fair based on a mix of lost profits and owed royalty fees… Read More

 

Samsung’s #1 priority for 2012: beat Apple

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 7, 2014

A treasure trove of internal documents have been leaking out of Apple’s second California trial against the Galaxy maker Samsung.

Not only has the confidential material given us an unprecedented look into the firm’s development process for the iPhone and Steve Jobs’s wish list for the Apple TV (apps, something called ‘magic wand’ and more), it’s also provided us with valuable insight into Apple’s marketing survey explaining why the iPhone’s growth has been slowing and another internal research highlighting the most often requested features by early iPhone 5 adopters.

And now, a new set of internal Samsung documents proves the South Korean conglomerate has been pretty much obsessed with crushing Apple in the marketplace, so much so that it devoted all of its energies throughout 2012 to one goal: beating Apple.

The presentation entitled ’2011 Summary & Lessons Learned / 2012 Business Forecast’ made it clear to Samsung’s managers that beating Apple was their #1 priority for 2012. “Everything must be in context of beating Apple,” reads the memo.

The document offers an insight into Samsung’s thought process, marketing tactics and how it went about containing the iPhone threat by pouring billions into advertising, playing ball with carriers and carpet-bombing the market with countless variants of devices with different screen sizes and price points… Read More

 

Internal Apple slides explain why it thinks iPhone growth is slowing

By Cody Lee on Apr 6, 2014

Despite posting 50+ million iPhone sales last quarter, Apple’s stock slid some 6%. As impressive as the numbers were, they still fell short of Wall Street expectations and reaffirmed fears of slowing growth. Apple’s YoY (year-over-year) iPhone growth is now down to just single digits.

The question is why? And Apple has a pretty good idea of what the answer is. According to some internal documents brought to light by the ongoing Samsung trial, the company attributes the slowing in iPhone growth to consumer want for larger, cheaper handsets and other factors… Read More

 

Steve Jobs email reveals past Apple TV ideas: apps, ‘magic wand’ remote and more

By Cody Lee on Apr 5, 2014

We’re only a few days in, but we’ve already learned a lot from the Apple-Samsung patent trial. With it being a legal proceeding, the public is given access to information it wasn’t previously privi’ed to by way of executive testimonies, corporate emails and other evidence.

In fact, earlier today a particularly interesting email surfaced from former Apple CEO Steve Jobs. The document, which was submitted as evidence in the case, features a list of things Jobs wanted to discuss at the company’s 2010 ‘top 100′ meeting, including the Apple TV… Read More

 

Apple engineer explains how the iPhone was designed for ‘normal people’

By Cody Lee on Apr 4, 2014

The Samsung trial marched on today, with Apple’s Greg Christie taking the stand. You might remember Christie, the senior software engineer, from this WSJ article last month, where he detailed some of the early stages of original iPhone development. And this afternoon, he did the same thing in court.

More specifically, Christie shared some new details on the development of the iPhone’s ‘Slide to Unlock,’ which is one of the patents that Apple’s accusing  Samsung of infringing. He said initially, his team wanted the handset’s display to be always on, but they quickly discovered it needed a locked mode… Read More

 

Apple settles patent infringement suit with Intertrust Technologies

By Cody Lee on Apr 4, 2014

Apple has reached an out-of-court settlement with Interest Technologies this week. The holding company, which is jointly owned by tech giants Sony and Philips, filed a lawsuit against the iPad-maker last year for allegedly infringing on more than two dozen of its patents on distributed computing.

The original suit didn’t layout specifically which patents Intertrust was accusing Apple of infringing, but the company counts digital rights management (or DRM) tech among its inventions. So it’s not too surprising that the two sides notified the court on Tuesday that a settlement had been reached… Read More

 

Apple seeking $2 billion in damages in new Samsung trial

By Cody Lee on Apr 1, 2014

As most of you know probably know by now, round 2 of Apple’s US patent battle with Samsung kicked off this week in a San Jose, California court room. The last time these 2 companies met on American soil, in the fall of 2012, Apple was awarded $1 billion in damages.

This time around, the iPad-maker is asking for twice that much. And although it’s using different patents, and going after different Samsung devices, it’s ultimately trying to prove the same thing as it did before: that Samsung intentionally copied its patented inventions… Read More

 

Judge grants class action status to e-book suit against Apple

By Cody Lee on Mar 29, 2014

Reuters is reporting that a federal judge has granted ‘class action’ status to plaintiffs suing Apple over its collusion with book publishers to increase the price of e-books. The ruling allows the involved individuals to sue the company and collect damages as a group.

The decision came from U.S. District Judge Denise Cote, who also presided over the antitrust case against Apple by the DOJ last summer. Cote says the plaintiffs had “more than met their burden” to file as a group, and has green-lighted their $800 million lawsuit… Read More

 

BlackBerry wins injunction against Typo keyboard case

By Cody Lee on Mar 29, 2014

BlackBerry won a key victory yesterday in its fight against Typo. A federal judge agreed with the Canadian company that the iPhone keyboard case likely infringes on their patents, and issued a preliminary injunction late Friday to halt sales.

For those that missed it, back in January BlackBerry sued the makers of the Typo iPhone case over patent infringement. The case features a built-in battery, and a physical, backlit keyboard that looks nearly identical to those used in BB devices… Read More

 

BlackBerry sues SVP of software to stay after being hired away by Apple

By Cody Lee on Mar 26, 2014

You don’t hear this everyday: BlackBerry has filed a lawsuit against its own SVP of software following his letter of resignation in December of last year. The company claims that Sebastien Marineau-Mes’s attempt to leave for a new ‘VP of Core OS’ position at Apple was a violation of his employment contract.

According to a ruling from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Marineau-Mes is being sued over the breach of contract terms that stipulated he must provide at least six months notice before leaving BlackBerry. So since he submitted his resignation in December, the court says he must stay through June… Read More

 

Apple engineer offers detailed look at development of original iPhone software

By Cody Lee on Mar 26, 2014

The Wall Street Journal published an interesting interview with Apple senior software engineer Greg Christie yesterday, in which Christie offers a detailed look at some of the events that led up to the original iPhone. Apparently the Cupertino company gave him permission to discuss the development process of the handset.

Admittedly, a lot of the things mentioned we’ve heard before—from book excerpts, court testimonies, etc.—but Christie does provide a few new details. For instance, he says at one point Jobs gave him and his team two weeks to come up with something or he would be reassigning the ‘iPhone software’ project to another group… Read More

 

Apple now refunding unwanted in-app purchases

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 25, 2014

Following numerous probes by government agencies and looming class action lawsuits the company is now facing around the world, Apple is finally reaching out to customers to inform them they may be entitled to refunds concerning unwanted in-app purchases made by minors due to weak iOS Restrictions at the time.

Last year, the iPhone maker reluctantly settled with the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding in-app purchases, agreeing to compensate consumers and modify its in-app billing system by March 31 to make things a little clearer for its customers… Read More

 

Samsung removes standard-essential patents from upcoming Apple trial

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 9, 2014

Apple and Samsung will duke it out in the courtroom over technology patents later this month. As the second California trial looms (it begins March 31), the two technology giants have filed a stipulation with the United States District Court of California which narrows the second case, patent blogger Florian Müeller reported on his blog, FOSS Patents.

Under the stipulation, Samsung withdrew its asserted claims based on three standard-essential patents while Apple dropped all of its counterclaims relating to these patents… Read More

 

Belgian judge threatened to block Apple websites over EU warranty shenanigans

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 4, 2014

For quite some time now, Apple has been at odds with EU watchdogs who’ve been complaining a lot about the iPhone maker’s unacceptable stance and practices when it comes to educating EU buyers on their consumer rights.

At the heart of the issue: Apple’s unwillingness to explain to its users in an unambiguous manner that EU consumer laws entitle them to at least two years of coverage on consumer electronics.

As Apple’s standard warranty provides twelve months of coverage, the company was caught cunningly beating around the bush by attempting to upsell buyers to its pricey AppleCare+ extended protection plan, which it introduced last September in the United Kingdom, Italy, France and elsewhere in Europe.

Apple was even fined over this in Italy and now comes word that a Belgium judge has contemplated blocking access to all Apple websites in the country because the company has continued to mislead consumers about warranty protections available for products purchased from its brick-and-mortar and online stores… Read More

 

German court dismisses $2 billion patent troll suit against Apple

By Cody Lee on Feb 28, 2014

Earlier this month it was reported that Apple was getting sued for over $2 billion by known patent troll IPCom. The german company alleged that the iPad-maker violated one of its patents pertaining to priority access to channels for emergency responder.

But it doesn’t look like the suit will ever make it to trial. FOSS Patents is reporting that in a string of rulings handed down by the Mannheim Regional Court in Germany today, two of IPCom’s suits against Apple and one against HTC have been dismissed… Read More

 
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