‘Apple’ trademark now covers jewelry, clocks and watches

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 21, 2014

Is Apple about to enter the jewelry business? This obvious question comes to mind after realizing that the company’s own trademark for the Apple name now includes protection for jewelry, clocks and watches.

I kid you not, I swear.

As noted by MacRumors, Apple’s trademark now includes Class 14 specification which mainly covers “precious metals, goods in precious metals and, in general, jewelry, clocks and watches (emphasis mine).

The wording leaves room for speculation that Apple’s rumored wearable device – which may or may not be a smartwatch per se – could at the very least include parts made of precious metals because what’s the alternative? Apple about to start selling necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings and other pieces of jewelry in its stores? 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

 

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

 

EU demanding ‘concrete answers’ from Apple and Google regarding in-app purchasing concerns

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 27, 2014

Reuters is reporting that The European Commission has invited Apple and Google to discuss a flurry of user complaints surrounding in-app purchases. The move follows numerous media reports that center on disgruntled parents who were shocked to find that their children racked up vast credit card bills by making content purchases in free-to-play games.

The Commission is arguing that it’s Apple’s and Google’s responsibility not to misleading consumers. The Commission also called upon greedy app creators to provide “very concrete answers” in respect to in-app purchasing concerns… Read More

 

Apple, Samsung and others demand patent trolling protection from EU judges

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 25, 2014

After asking the United States Supreme Court to approve of stiffer penalties for patent trolls who bring frivolous lawsuits against them, Apple and Samsung – along with seventeen other technology companies – have joined forces and issued a letter to the European Union asking for limits on injunctions in patent infringement cases.

As reported by Bloomberg, the companies are asking EU judges to curb patent trolls and introduce anti-trolling changes into Unified Patent Court and the upcoming European Unitary Patent systemRead More

 

Apple taking China’s patent office and Zhizhen Network Technology to court over Siri

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 24, 2014

According to a report by China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency, Apple is suing both the country’s State Intellectual Property Office and Shanghai-based Zhizhen Network Technology. The main point of contention: patent rights to Siri.

Now, eagled-eyed readers may remember that Zhizhen back in July of 2012 actually filed a case first against Apple as it felt Siri had infringed upon its patent for an instant messaging chat bot system called Xiaoi Bot.

Apple asked China’s State Intellectual Property Office, which is in charge of patent rights protection in China, to invalidate Zhizhen’s patent, but the request was declined. In turn, Apple is now suing both the patent office and Zhizhen… Read More

 

Apple may call Android creator Andy Rubin to testify in Samsung case

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 18, 2014

Andy Rubin is one of the original creators of Android and Apple may summon him to testify in a new trial set for late-March as part of the ongoing Apple v. Samsung legal battle. According to a report by TUAW, a witness list Apple filed with the court last week has revealed the iPhone maker is considering calling Rubin to testify on the potentially sensitive topics of the development of infringing Android features. He may also be asked to comment on “Google documents relating to such development”Read More

 

Samsung and Apple bosses fail to resolve patent disputes in mediation talks

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 14, 2014

We told you in January that Samsung and Apple CEOs were scheduled to meet for a new round of peace talks ahead of a trial next month. According to multiple reports today, the meeting between Apple CEO Tim Cook and Samsung mobile chief and co-CEO JK Shin indeed took place last week, but failed to yield tangible settlement opportunities.

As a result of the failed talks, the two frenemies are definitely going to slug it out in the courtroom all over again in a second California trial scheduled to kick off on March 31, 2014. Grab your popcorn… Read More

 

Apple’s marketing head honcho Phil Schiller to appear on the witness stand again

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 13, 2014

Phil Schiller, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, will take the witness stand again in the second Apple v. Samsung trial due in March, a pair of court filings PCMag spotted on Thursday have revealed.

Furthermore, Apple’s former iOS boss Scott Forstall seems to be on Apple’s and Samsung’s lists for possible live testimony! Forstall hasn’t spoken publicly since he got pushed out of the company on October 29, 2012 over the Apple Maps debacle… Read More

 

DoJ reprimands Samsung over leveraging standards-essential patents for import ban

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 10, 2014

The Galaxy maker Samsung has been reprimanded by the United States Department of Justice (DoJ) over its improper use of standards-essential patents in litigation. As Samsung leveraged standards-essential patents to seek an import ban against older Apple products into the United States, DoJ has decided to scold but not fine Samsung as a message of sorts to other companies that asserting these patents to hamper competition isn’t acceptable. The full reveal is after the break… Read More

 

Apple bands together with fellow tech titans to fight patent trolls of this world

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 5, 2014

Apple, along with Silicon Valley technology giants Google, Yahoo, Intel, Cisco and Facebook, is going after patent trolls – that is, companies whose only “products” are patents bought solely as a litigation weapon against others who actually use them in their own products.

Apple and others are now asking the United States Supreme Court to allow stiffer penalties for patent trolls who bring frivolous lawsuits, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.

Apple has a backlog of over 200 pending patent cases, most of them frivolous claims, and in every one of such lawsuits the company has been forced to bear its legal fees… Read More

 

German patent troll hits Apple with $2+ billion claim over standards-essential patent

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 5, 2014

Apple and its billions are definitely the favorite target of patent trolls around the world and this newest case just exemplifies the fact. IPCom GmbH, a German patent holding firm, is suing Apple for patent infringement and is seeking north of $2 billion in damages over the use of a standards-essential wireless patent pertaining to an emergency service standard.

The use of the emergency service standard is required by law in many countries around the world! A trial in this case is scheduled for Tuesday, February 11, before Germany’s Mannheim Regional Court… Read More

 

In response to Facebook’s Paper, FiftyThree files trademark application for the term ‘Paper’

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 4, 2014

Facebook yesterday released its new Paper for iPhone app, a free download, prompting a swift response from Seattle- and New York-based FiftyThree which slammed the social networking behemoth for ignoring the fact that the Paper name has been associated with FiftyThree’s own iPad drawing program, also a free download from the App Store.

The small startup said Facebook had ignored requests to change its app name even though FiftyThree filed for the ‘Paper by FiftyThree’ trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office back in May of 2012.

Not content with Zuck & Co. piggy-backing on the established Paper brand, FiftyThree has now moved to file a trademark for the term ‘Paper’ itself. Grab your popcorn… Read More

 

University of Wisconsin takes Apple to court over A7′s performance-enhancing tricks

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 3, 2014

The University of Wisconsin via its patent-licensing arm, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, has filed a lawsuit against Apple alleging the company’s in-house designed A7 chip infringes the foundation’s patent designed to improve “the efficiency and performance of contemporary computer processors” by introducing a new process for allowing quicker execution of processor instructions.

It’s been reported Monday that Apple’s 64-bit A7 chip, which acts as the primary engine driving the iPhone 5s, the iPad Air and the iPad mini with Retina display, apparently uses this technology without permission… Read More

 

Candy Crush Saga creator trademarks ‘candy’, goes after App Store devs

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 21, 2014

Social games developer King, perhaps best-known for its wildly popular Candy Crush Saga match-three game (free in the App Store, currently #9 on the free apps chart), has filed an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) seeking to trademark the word ‘candy’.

And guess what? King won the trademark last week and is now asking fellow developers to remove games with ‘candy’ in their name. The full story is right after the break… Read More

 

Judge approves anti-poaching agreement suit against Apple, Google and others

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 15, 2014

A few years ago, if you were a Silicon Valley engineer in high demand, landing a job at Apple, Google, Intel or other technology titans likely meant your career was stalling as a result of these companies conspiring to fix wages by not hiring each others’ employees. A probe by the Justice Department into these ‘no solicitation’ agreements led to a class-action lawsuit.

And after a federal appeals court refused to let the defendants appeal a class certification order, the affected Silicon Valley software and hardware engineers, programmers, animators, digital artists, web developers and other technical professionals have won clearance to pursue the collusion case as group, Reuters reported Wednesday… Read More

 

Apple agrees to refund users in FTC settlement over unwanted in-app purchases

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 15, 2014

Parents whose kids were tricked into obtaining virtual items in iPhone and iPad games by way of the iOS In-App Purchase mechanism will get refunded over unwanted spending, according to Apple’s settlement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The penalty dwarfs Google’s $22.5 million fine in the Safari website tracking scandal.

Apple CEO Tim Cook was not pleased with the outcome, but acknowledged in a letter to employees that the company “has entered into a consent decree” over long-standing complaints over inappropriate charges in the App Store, alluding his company may have exhausted its legal options and didn’t want to risk an enduring legal battle with the government… Read More

 

The Apple-Nokia patent deal is expiring December 31, 2016

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 13, 2014

You may remember that back in June 2011 Apple lost a patent infringement case that the Finnish handset maker Nokia had filed against the Cupertino company, resulting in an undisclosed one-time payment and ongoing royalties to Nokia for use of their patents. The Nokia CEO Stephen Elop was “very pleased” to have Apple join Nokia licensees.

However, the essentials of the contract have for the most part remained confidential. Today, we get to learn more about the terms of the deal as Samsung told a U.S. court that the patent pact is expiring on December 31, 2016… Read More

 
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