WSJ wants antitrust judge taken off e-book case over conflict of interest

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 6, 2013

After the July trial found Apple guilty of ebook price-fixing, the iPhone maker last week filed a complaint over exorbitant lawyer fees. Specifically, court-appointed Michael Bromwich billed the company an unbelievable $138,432 (or the equivalent of 75 percent of a federal judge’s annual salary, as Apple wrote in the complaint), plus a fifteen percent “administrative fee” on top, for a fortnight’s worth of work on overseeing the electronic books price-fixing antitrust case.

It has now come to light that Bromwich and Denise Cote, the very same federal judge who found Apple guilty of price fixing, are in fact old friends. The finding prompted The Wall Street Journal to issue a scathing editorial lambasting Cote over conflict of interest and demanding that the antitrust judge be taken off the case… Read More


Apple moves to recover $15 million in legal fees from Samsung

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 6, 2013

Just a day following the mid-November Appeals court ruling which gave Apple another chance to ban Samsung’s infringing devices, the iPhone maker made its case on why it’s entitled to an additional $379 million in pending damages over patent infringement and lost sales in the Apple vs Samsung lawsuit.

Following a short period of deliberation, a jury of six women and two men reached a conclusion for the retrial between Apple and Samsung over damages, ruling the Galaxy maker must pay Apple an additional $290 million on top of more than the $500 million in damages already awarded last year.

But Tim Cook & Co. aren’t stopping there. As reported by an expert patent blogger, Apple is now demanding a cool $15 million in legal fees from Samsung, or one third of Apple attorneys’ fees that total over $60 million… Read More


Apple files complaint over exorbitant lawyer fees in e-book antitrust suit

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 29, 2013

If you were a lawyer and Apple hired you on legal matters, what would your charge Tim Cook & Co. for services rendered? A hundred bucks per hour? Three hundred bucks?

How about a whopping $1,150 per hour fee plus a fifteen percent “administrative fee” on top? That’s what one Michael Bromwich attempted to bill Apple for a fortnight’s worth of work on overseeing the electronic books price-fixing antitrust case.

But having a deep-pocketed client such as Apple is by no means a guarantee of the hefty payout, as court-appointed Bromwich discovered after the iPhone maker filed a formal objection over the exorbitant fees… Read More


Judge dismisses privacy lawsuit against Apple over location tracking

By Cody Lee on Nov 28, 2013

Reuters is reporting that US District Judge Lucy Koh has dismissed a privacy lawsuit against Apple this week. The suit alleged that the company was collecting location data through iOS devices, even when the geo-location feature was turned off.

Four plaintiffs joint-filed the suit—which is just one of several that followed Apple’s ‘Locationgate’ scandal—in 2011, complaining that not only was Apple tracking users’ location without consent, but they charged them too much for their iPhones… Read More


Court denies Samsung’s motion to stay damages in Apple patent retrial

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 26, 2013

As you know, in a retrial last week a jury of six women and two men determined that Samsung owes Apple $290 million for lifting patented iPhone technologies, bringing the total amount of damages to $929 million versus the original $1.05 billion ruling. The South Korean Galaxy maker has immediately filed a motion to delay the payout on the grounds of reevaluation of the validity of the Apple patent No. 7,844,915, which covers the famous pinch-to-zoom gesture.

The presiding Judge Lucy Koh denied Samsung motion’s last night as she appeared concerned about the potential implications of such ruling, including whether granting a stay would unethically favor Apple… Read More


The verdict is in: Samsung must pay Apple an additional $290 million

By Cody Lee on Nov 21, 2013

The verdict is in folks. After just a few days of deliberation, a jury of six women and two men reached a conclusion for the retrial between Apple and Samsung over damages, and it’s ruled in favor of the iPad-maker. Samsung must pay Apple $290 million.

This is in addition to the damages awarded in the original trial last fall, bringing the total amount Samsung owes up to $890 million. So essentially, Apple won back most of the damages that Judge Koh cut in March after finding the initial verdict flawed… Read More


Apple explains why it’s entitled to additional damages in Samsung case

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 19, 2013

As you know, Judge Lucy Koh shaved more than $400 million off the $1.05 billion verdict in the much-publicized Apple vs. Samsung case that took place in August 2013 over patented iPhone technology. The South Korean chaebol admitted to lifting Apple’s inventions, but the jury improperly calculated damages on certain Samsung products, prompting Koh to order a partial retrial in order to re-calculate the remaining damages.

Although Apple is already entitled to more than $500 million in damages (with patent rulings being upheld as well), the company is now demanding an additional $379 million in pending damages over patent infringement and lost sales. Samsung, on the other hand, argues it owes Apple no more that a rather meager $52 million for iPhone patents and design features… Read More


Google agrees to pay $17 million to 37 U.S. states in Safari tracking settlement

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 19, 2013

Google’s nefarious overriding of both desktop and iOS Safari users’ privacy settings in order to better track their web browsing activity backfired after the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in April 2012 took a long, hard look at the practice and decided to fine the search giant.

Google has previously agreed to pay $22.5 million fine to the government, with a judge approving the record-setting penalty. And now, the Internet giant will pay 37 U.S. states a cool $17 million to settle the Safari probe case… Read More


Appeals court gives Apple another chance to ban Samsung devices

By Cody Lee on Nov 18, 2013

The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has vacated Judge Lucy Koh’s earlier denial of Apple’s request to ban 26 Samsung devices that infringed on its patent. The move will give Apple another chance to permanently halt the sales of these devices in the US.

Now the issue will be sent back to Koh’s court, where Apple’s lawyers will no longer have to prove that the patented features in Samsung’s products were the sole reason for driving sales, but only that there is some connection between the features and demand for Samsung devices… Read More


Phil Schiller says iPhone was a ‘bet the company’ product

By Cody Lee on Nov 15, 2013

As the Apple v. Samsung trial to recalculate the damages Samsung owes continues, Phil Schiller took the stand yesterday. Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing was called up to speak with just 11 minutes left in the session.

But that still proved enough time for Schiller to dish out some interesting details about his role at Apple, and its early days of iPhone development. He said around 100 people worked on what was referred to as the ‘bet the company’ product… Read More


Samsung and Apple bosses to meet in January for another round of peace talks

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 13, 2013

Following a ruling in March which halved last August’s $1.05 billion verdict against South Korea’s Samsung, a retrial to recalculate the remaining damages is due later this week. In its opening statement today, Apple’s legal representatives demanded $379 million in pending damages. Samsung argues it owes Apple but a paltry $52 million for infringing its iPhone patents and design features.

And as the two parties gear up for a déjà vu retrial, its CEOs will apparently meet for a new round of peace talks – all over again – according to a new report out Wednesday from South Korea… Read More


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

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