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

 

iCloud push email reinstated in Germany

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 2, 2013

After a German appeals court a month ago lifted the injunction which prevented Apple from offering push notifications for its iCloud email service, owners of the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices in the country can finally again enjoy push notifications for incoming iCloud email messages. The feature has been disabled for German users for about 19 months after it had to be shut down following a legal wrangling with Motorola over patents. Read More

 

Apple loses fight to stop patent troll Lodsys

By Ed Sutherland on Sep 30, 2013

The beat goes on for primo patent troll Lodsys. Apple’s attempt to intervene in a concerted clipping of iOS developers failed after a patent-owner friendly judge dismissed the tech giant’s legal motion. U.S. District Judge Rodney Gilstrap in East Texas ruled Apple’s motion “is far outside the scope” of his courtroom.

The decision effectively opens the door to Lodsys settling all cases with defendants, thereby ending a 2011 effort by Apple to shield hundreds of thousands of individual iOS developers from being sued for patent-infringement by Lodsys… Read More

 

Apple to pay AT&T iPad 3G owners $40 in unlimited data lawsuit

By Cody Lee on Sep 29, 2013

In a ruling issued last week in San Jose, California, US District Judge Ronald Whyte green-lighted a plan for Apple to pay $40 to everyone in the US who purchased an iPad 3G before June 2010.

The decision comes in response to several class action suits waged against Apple and AT&T, accusing them of advertising an unlimited data plan, and then taking it away after they purchased their iPad… Read More

 

User files class-action lawsuit against Apple over ‘Breaking Bad’ iTunes confusion

By Cody Lee on Sep 9, 2013

Last month, Apple upset tens of thousands of Breaking Bad fans when it posted on iTunes that those who had already purchased what they thought to be the entire final season of the popular series would have to pay again for the final 8 episodes.

It was the TV network’s fault— it was AMC’s decision to split the fifth (final) season into two parts. But iTunes user Noam Lazebnik, of Ohio, feels that Apple deserves some of the blame too, and he’s filed a class-action lawsuit against the company… Read More

 

Apple can keep 30 percent cut on sales, injunction in DOJ ebooks case confirms

By Ed Sutherland on Sep 6, 2013

Like a prisoner on Death Row, Apple has delayed its penalty for weeks, offering up objection after objection to a proposed Department of Justice ebook antitrust settlement. Friday, federal judge Denise Cote issued an injunction, giving federal lawyers much of what they wanted.

Among the prohibitions against Apple: a five-year ban on so-called ‘most-favored-nation’ clauses in publisher contracts that would prevent ebook sellers from using rival services, such as Amazon. Also part of the penalty package was a requirement that Apple stagger contract negotiations with the five publishers that had already settled… Read More

 

Google-owned Motorola becomes first convicted patent troll

By Ed Sutherland on Sep 6, 2013

Google may have become the first convicted patent troll, after a federal jury Thursday fined the internet giant $14.5 million related to licenses held by Motorola. The Seattle-based jury upheld Microsoft’s claim that the Google-owned Motorola demand $4 billion to license Wi-Fi and video patents that were supposed to be available under fair and reasonable terms.

The finding comes just a week before Apple’s appeal of a similar claim against Motorola is to be heard. This week’s judgement against Motorola opens a legal can of worms for both Google and Motorola, according to one keen patent observer… Read More

 

Court rules iTunes FairPlay DRM did not monopolize digital music sales

By Ed Sutherland on Sep 4, 2013

A California appeals court provided Apple some good news for a change, ruling Apple’s FairPlay DRM software did not monopolize digital music sales. The decision has affirmed a lower court’s dismissal.

In a Wednesday ruling, a three-judge San Francisco court found that although Apple controlled 99 percent of the digital music and digital music player market after imposing FairPlay, the company did not prevent rivals from competing.

The lawsuit had claimed Apple’s DRM prevented songs purchased at iTunes from playing on anything other than its iPod… Read More

 

German appeals court finally lifts 18-month iCloud injunction against Apple

By Cody Lee on Sep 3, 2013

A German appeals court has finally decided to lift the injunction that has prevented Apple from offering push notifications for its iCloud email service in the country. The feature has been disabled for German users since February 2012—so about 18 months.

The injunction spawned from a lawsuit by Motorola Mobility, which as we all know is now owned by Google. The company claims that Apple’s iCloud push notification feature infringes upon its patents, and is seeking both a permanent ban and punitive damages… Read More

 

Court rejects faulty iPhone power button suit

By Ed Sutherland on Aug 30, 2013

A California U.S. District judge derailed a potential class-action lawsuit against Apple and AT&T earlier this week, rejecting a complaint that the two companies conspired against fixing a defect in the popular iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S handsets. Two California consumers had alleged a “wiggly” power button presented a safety hazard which both the tech giant and the carrier kept hidden in order to sell more of the handsets.

On Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Gary Feess dismissed the argument for a racketeering charge, ruling the safety hazards were “speculative” and occurred beyond the product’s warranty period. The court’s rejection could influence a second similar federal lawsuit still making its way through the legal system… Read More

 
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