California inventor gears up for legal showdown with Apple over iPhone features

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 12, 2013

“Boy, have we patented it!”, quipped Steve Jobs in wrapping up the segment of his January 2007 MacWorld Expo presentation dealing with the iPhone’s multi-touch user interface.

Months later, Jobs through the combination of sheer willpower, yelling and F-bombs would impose restrictions on early Android releases.

The goal was to prevent Google’s smartphone software from employing multitouch gestures on mobile devices that Apple had been researching for years. The strategy eventually failed, prompting Apple to launch proxy battles against Android backers such as HTC, Samsung and Motorola over prized iPhone inventions.

One guy was unimpressed, though: a California inventor has been claiming for years now that he holds a patent related to an essential iPhone feature. He’s not afraid to take the consumer electronics powerhouse to court in order to prove the infringement and seek a five percent cut of Apple’s US sales, Bloomberg reported Tuesday… Read More

 

Samsung ordered to explain why it shouldn’t be sanctioned for leaking Apple docs

By Cody Lee on Nov 10, 2013

Last month, Apple filed a motion against Samsung in a California court for sharing confidential information. In the filing, the iPad-maker accused the Korean tech giant of disclosing details regarding its Nokia patent licensing agreement.

Samsung learned the terms of the deal during its court battle with Apple, and although the info was marked “attorney’s eyes only,” it used it to negotiate better licensing terms for itself—which Apple says is very illegal. And the judge agrees… Read More

 

Samsung barred from proactive use of Apple-HTC deal in litigation

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 8, 2013

In spite of the massive coverage concerning the high-profile Apple vs. Samsung trial, it’s easily overlooked that Apple first went thermonuclear on Android by suing HTC. Following the rise of Samsung and subsequent decline of the Taiwanese handset maker, Apple and HTC in November 2012 announced a global settlement on patent litigation.

Terms of the deal have never been made public, but we do know the two sides agreed to a ten-year cross-licensing for all current and future patents and I guesstimated the deal’s value to at least $3 billion.

Yesterday, Judge Lucy Koh issued an order granting Apple’s motion to exclude last year’s Apple-HTC settlement and license agreement at the pending Apple vs. Samsung retrial. The ruling conditionally bars Samsung from pointing the jury to the Apple-HTC settlement deal… Read More

 

First-gen iPad 3G owners receiving claim forms for data plan settlement

By Cody Lee on Oct 31, 2013

Last month, US District Judge Ronald White green-lighted a plan for Apple to pay $40 to everyone in the US who purchased an iPad 3G before June 2010 as part of a settlement for a series of class action lawsuits against it and AT&T.

The two companies were accused of pulling a bait-and-switch with the tablet, as Apple initially advertised it with AT&T’s $30/month unlimited data plan, which the carrier ended up pulling a few months later in favor of share plans.

And class members have begun receiving their claim forms this week… Read More

 

Apple, Google, Intel and others face trial over anti-poaching deals

By Cody Lee on Oct 26, 2013

Bloomberg is reporting that Apple, Google, Intel and several other tech companies are set to go to court next year over ‘no solicitation’ agreements. The outlet says that U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh made the call earlier this week.

Koh determined that there is sufficient evidence to push a 2011 lawsuit to trial as a class-action civil suit. The suit alleges that over 64,000 technical employees were harmed by the anti-competitive actions of the defendant companies… Read More

 

Canadian patent troll loses infringement lawsuit against Apple

By Ed Sutherland on Oct 24, 2013

Canadian-based patent troll Wi-LAN lost its bid to force Apple to license patents covering several major wireless technologies. A jury found Apple did not infringe on two Wi-LAN patents dealing with CDMA, HSPA (3G), Wi-Fi and LTE. The patent company wanted Apple to pay $248 million.

In a statement, Wi-LAN said it was disappointed with the court’s decision, but feels the Marshall, Texas federal ruling will not hurt previous licensing deals now in place.

Samsung, HTC and BlackBerry are among the companies which have settled lawsuits… Read More

 

Apple sued over automatic iOS 7 update

By Cody Lee on Oct 18, 2013

A California man is taking Apple to court over the recent iOS 7 update, which he says automatically downloaded to each of his family’s devices without his consent. Actually, the small claims court suit is titled “Mark David Menacher vs. Tim Cook.”

Apple’s over-the-air update mechanism for iOS is designed to make it easier for users to keep their devices up-to-date. But the problem outlined in Menacher’s complaint is that it automatically downloads a 1GB+ file, with no way to remove it… Read More

 

Apple seeks Samsung penalty for leaking secret Nokia patent terms

By Ed Sutherland on Oct 18, 2013

A court earlier this week denied motions by Samsung to delay a probe into whether it improperly disclosed a confidential 2011 licensing agreement between Apple and Nokia.

Although Samsung lawyers argued the original judge made mistakes in ruling the South Korean firm committed a breach of privacy, Judge Lucy Koh found the decision “eminently reasonable”.

Earlier this month, Apple filed a legal motion claiming Samsung illegally disclosed details of the patent licensing agreement in order to improve negotiations. The iPhone maker alleges the information revealed was part of documents turned over as part of the Apple v. Samsung case… Read More

 

Apple gets federal babysitter to watch over iBooks sales

By Ed Sutherland on Oct 17, 2013

Apple’s federal e-book babysitter was named Wednesday. New York Judge Denise Cote assigned former Department of Just Inspector General Michael Bromwich to monitor Apple’s compliance with antitrust laws concerning e-book sales. In July, Apple agreed to an independent monitor after being found guilt of conspiring with five publishers to fix prices.

Although Apple has called such a monitor unnecessary, DoJ prosecutors demanded the step as part of the final court remedy. Judge Cote, however, threw Apple a bone, reducing Bromwich’s monitoring duty to just two years, less than half of the five years the Justice Department had originally wanted… Read More

 

Apple slapped with class-action lawsuit on uncompensated employee security checks

By Ed Sutherland on Oct 16, 2013

It seems Apple Stores are becoming the retail version of airport security lines for employees. At least that’s the allegation of a San Francisco Apple Store worker who has filed a class action lawsuit against the iPhone maker. The lawsuit claims employees are not being compensated for security checks lasting as long as 30 minutes per day.

Each day, employees must wait in line for these security checks before leaving for meal breaks and when they end their shifts after they’ve clocked out of work, according to the lawsuit which is also filed on behalf of all nonexempt hourly workers. The lawsuit by Apple employee Taylor Kalin asks for lost wages for all employees, as well as penalties for violating labor laws… Read More

 

Apple serves blog with takedown notice over posting iTunes Radio contract

By Ed Sutherland on Oct 15, 2013

Most of Apple’s legal actions happen with other multi-billion tech firms. But sometime, the Cupertino, California company likes to scare to scare the pants off small fry. Take for example Digital Music News (DMN), which Sunday yielded to demands by Apple, removing a copy of an iTunes Radio contract.

The contract, first published by DMN in June, showed how Apple “forced sub-standard terms” on independent music publishers. Apple claimed publication of the contract violated copyright laws, a claim one law professor described as “a jerk move.”

Was Apple protecting copyrights or again using legal muscle to manage its corporate image? Read More

 

Obama refuses to veto Samsung import ban, deciding effects would be limited

By Ed Sutherland on Oct 8, 2013

U.S. President Barack Obama is opting to let stand a ban on Samsung product imports. The South Korean firm had requested the American president overturn an earlier decision by the US International Trade Commission. The failure to veto the import on Samsung products follows a last-minute veto of an import ban on Apple’s iPhone 4S in August… Read More

 

Phil Schiller, Scott Forstall could testify in Samsung damages trial

By Cody Lee on Oct 4, 2013

Since Apple announced his exodus last fall, we’ve seen and heard very little from Scott Forstall. Actually, we haven’t seen him at all, and the only time we’ve heard his name mentioned has been in skeuomorphic jokes.

But that could change next month. According to a new report, Mr. Forstall could finally be forced out of hiding to appear as a witness alongside Phil Schiller in a partial damages retrial between Apple and Samsung… Read More

 

Apple officially appeals ruling in ebook pricing case

By Cody Lee on Oct 4, 2013

Apple has officially filed its appeal in the ebook price-fixing case, according to a new report from GigaOM. The Cupertino company hopes to overturn Judge Denise Cote’s ‘guilty’ verdict handed down this summer.

On July 10, Judge Cote ruled that Apple conspired with 5 major book publishers to eliminate retail price competition in an effort to raise e-book prices. But the company, of course, flatly denies the allegations… Read More

 

Apple seeks sanctions against Samsung for sharing patent license terms

By Cody Lee on Oct 3, 2013

In a new twist to their ongoing legal battle over patents and other intellectual property, Apple has filed a new motion for sanctions against Samsung in a California court for sharing confidential information.

According to the filing, Apple is accusing the Korean tech giant of illegally disclosing sensitive details of its 2011 patent licensing agreement with Nokia in order to better negotiate licensing terms for itself… Read More

 
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