By Christian Zibreg on May 15, 2013
As you know, publishers Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin and Simon & Schuster all settled with the US Justice Department (DoJ) in an antitrust lawsuit the government filed against them and Apple in April 2012. In turn, DoJ is focusing on Apple now and, according to a new report, is calling Apple out for being a facilitator of an alleged price fixing related to electronic books sold on its iBookstore.
Furthermore, DoJ claimed it collected evidence that proves Apple was the “ringmaster” in the price fixing conspiracy… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on May 14, 2013
We certainly saw this coming. According to the FOSS Patents blog, run by patent expert Florian Müeller, Apple has decided to add the Galaxy S4 flagship smartphone to its patent infringement case against Samsung Electronics, while also dropping another product. The parties are expected to narrow their lists of the patent-infringing products. Currently, there are 22 gizmos each on their respective lists… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on May 10, 2013
Earlier this week, we told you about Apple’s complaint over Google’s resistance to hand over parts of the Android source code documentation. Apple’s request is part of its ongoing California patent fight against Samsung. Bloomberg now reports that U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal ordered the Internet giant to disclose within two days what terms it’s using to find documents Apple has requested.
Despite Google’s insistence that the collection of such information would be “too burdensome,” the court also ordered that the search monster tell Apple “which Google employees those documents came from”… Read More
By Ed Sutherland on May 9, 2013
A New York judge has thrown out a trademark lawsuit against Apple’s iBooks service. A sci-fi and fantasy publisher had claimed Apple’s use of the ‘iBooks’ mark would confuse consumers. In her ruling, U.S. District Judge Denise Cote wrote that Black Tower Press “offered no evidence” that consumers would misinterpret Apple’s e-book service as a book publisher. In addition Cote said the publisher’s image of a lightbulb emblazoned with the word ‘iBooks’ was distinctive enough to merit continuing the 2011 case… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on May 8, 2013
Apple’s proxy fight against Google and its Android platform has just taken an interesting turn as the iPhone maker asked the court to force Google into turning over Android’s source code. The request is part of Apple’s ongoing California patent fight against Samsung. Bloomberg reports today Apple is dissatisfied with Google’s handling of the request.
According to Apple’s lawyers, the search giant in “improperly withholding information” related to Android’s source code documentation. Google’s mobile operating system, Apple argues, “provides much of the accused functionality” and argues the Google platform is used in all of Samsung’s allegedly infringing products… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on May 3, 2013
Although a jury in August 2012 awarded the California firm $1 billion in damages after finding Samsung guilty of violating utility Apple patents related to the iPhone and iPad, Judge Lucy Koh is still unimpressed. Having determined in January that the Galaxy maker did not “willfully” infringe on Apple’s patents, two months later she announced a decrease of the $1.05 billion verdict by $450 million.
Friday came word that Samsung argued in court documents that any permanent injunction in the United States against the infringing products “would not stop any ongoing infringement.” And why’s that? Because the Galaxy maker has either “discontinued the accused products or designed around any infringing features in the ones it still sells”… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Apr 26, 2013
On April 5, Apple acknowledged via a support document that it “will be changing the behavior of VPN On Demand for iOS devices using iOS 6.1 and later” due to a lawsuit by patent holding firm VirnetX file against Apple in November 2011. VPN technology, which stands for Virtual Private Networking, extends corporate networks securely across public networks like the Internet, allowing users to access a private network as if they were directly connected to it.
Apple originally planned to remove the ‘Always’ configuration option for VPN On Demand with the ‘Establish if needed’ option. The revised document specifically mentions Apple will not be changing the VPN behavior on “devices that have already been shipped”… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Apr 25, 2013
Apple has lost three copyright infringement cases in China as No.2 Intermediate People’s Court ruled Tuesday that the iPhone maker’s App Store infringed on the copyrights owned by Beijing-based Motie Press and Chinese writers Mai Jia and Yu Zhuo.
As part of the ruling, Apple was ordered to pay damages of CNY 520,000, or approximately $141,563 to Motie Press, in addition to CNY 200,000 (about $54,447) to Mai Jia and CNY 10,000 (about $2,722) to Yu Zhuo… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Apr 23, 2013
Apple’s patent troubles with the struggling handset maker has largely been viewed as a proxy fight with Google, which acquired Motorola Mobility along with its vast patent portfolio in August 2011 for $12.5 billion. Two and a half years ago Motorola asserted its proximity sensor patent against Apple. Monday, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) threw Motorola’s complaint out of the window, invalidating Motorola’s patent because it’s too obvious. That’s good news for Apple as Google was hoping to leverage that patent to seek an import ban against iPhones… Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Apr 12, 2013
Have you been frustrated by Apple’s repair or replacement policy? You could be in for some cash, according to a Friday report.
The iPhone maker supposedly has signed a settlement deal worth $53 million ending a class action lawsuit that claimed Apple dragged its feet on honoring warranties for the iPhone and iPod touch.
The settlement, reportedly signed Wednesday by Apple’s head litigation attorney, could affect “hundreds of thousands” of iPhone, iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS owners, as well as people who bought the first three generations of the iPod touch media player… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Apr 8, 2013
Apple thus far has filed for a number of patents related to mobile payments, all seemingly pointing to a unified mobile payments solution dubbed iWallet. The most recent filing details a new transaction patent which goes to great lengths highlighting methods for conducting and managing financial transactions on smartphones such as the iPhone, giving hope that Apple engineers could in fact be secretly developing an on-the-go financial transactions service aimed at owners of iOS devices.
Titled “A method for conducting a financial transaction,” it focuses on Apple’s previous iWallet patent claims, with one publication suggesting that Apple could now be one step closer to launching a mobile payments solution on iOS devices, uite possibly based on NFC technology, which stands for Near-Field Communications… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Apr 7, 2013
Apple, along with Google and five other Silicon Valley technology heavy-weights, has won a court order blocking a potentially devastating class-action antitrust lawsuit concerning alleged anti-poaching conspiracy.
Bloomberg reported that U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh Friday denied class action certification over accusations that said companies illegally conspired not to recruit one another’s employees, which the plaintiffs said resulted in their incomes being held down by their employers… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Apr 5, 2013
VirnetX, a patent holding firm with an impressive intellectual property portfolio, in November 2011 sued Apple over a breach of a collection of its network patents, originally seeking north of $900 million in damages. A year later, in November 2012, a federal jury in a Texas court ordered the iPhone maker to pay $368.2 million in damages.
The two parties later worked out a royalty agreement that should be decided upon on April 12, but as a result of the damages awarded to VirnetX, Apple today has acknowledged via a support document that it “will be changing the behavior of VPN On Demand for iOS devices using iOS 6.1 and later”… Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Apr 2, 2013
When you have a few hundred million in walking around money and are worth more than any company on the planet, you become a magnet for lawsuits. That’s the lesson Apple is learning as the iPhone maker fields increasing numbers of trademark infringement legal cases.
The latest: a hearing aid maker claims Apple’s EarPods sounds just too much like its HearPod. Randolph Divisions filed the lawsuit against Apple in Hawaii District Court. According to the company, it registered the ‘HearPod’ trademark in 2007, years before the smartphone maker unveiled in 2012 its EarPods for the iPhone 5. Win or lose, at least Apple’s legal team gets a trip to Honolulu to argue the case… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 29, 2013
Apple’s legal woes in the 1.33 billion people market of China have worsened as Shanghai Animation Film Studio filed a lawsuit over the allegedly improper iTunes downloads. The studio asserts that Apple’s been illegally selling its content and is seeking north of half a million dollars in damages. Shanghai Animation is China’s first and oldest animation studios and their complaint alleges in no ambiguous terms that Apple blatantly stole their content without paying any royalty at all.
Note that Apple doesn’t offer movies on the Chinese iTunes Store so the issue is thought to involve App Store apps which bundle the studio’s movies. Apparently, Apple made available as much as 110 unlicensed Shanghai Animation titles for download via the App Store back in July 2012. The suit was reportedly filed with the Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court, which has allegedly accepted the case.
So what’s going on here? Did Apple intentionally steal and pirate someone else’s content through its content store? Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 22, 2013
The cost of selling the iPhone is anything but cheap – just ask Sprint. Because Apple makes the iconic smartphone which helps sell pricey wireless contracts, carriers typically agree to Apple’s way of doing biz that entail committing to large-volume iPhone purchases costing billions of dollars in upfront payments.
Sprint, America’s third-largest carrier, for example, bought an astounding $15.5 billion worth of iPhones to be sold over the course of four years. The New York Times reported Thursday that European Union regulators are taking a closer look at Apple’s iPhone distribution agreements with European carriers, who remark that these contracts are “unusually strict” and assert that Apple’s behavior could be viewed as anticompetitive… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 20, 2013
The Wall Street Journal reports that Intertrust Technologies, which holds more than 150 patents related to digital rights management, is taking Apple to court over an alleged infringement of more than two dozen of its patents on security and distributed trusted computing. Filed in U.S. Federal Court in the Northern District of California, the suit covers a broad range of Apple products.
Specifically, iOS devices such as the iPhone and iPad are named, as are Mac computers and laptops, Apple TV and online services including iTunes, iCloud and the App Store. Intertrust licenses its patents to the likes of Adobe, Motorola, Samsung, Panasonic, LG, Nokia and HTC… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 19, 2013
Apple’s woes over its shady warranty practices in Europe just took a turn for the worse as the European Union through the mouth of its Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding made it clear it has no intention of letting Apple off the hook. In her speech today, she criticized the tech giant for not complying with consumer laws in many EU states.
The Cupertino firm stubbornly insists on its AppleCare terms of service which aren’t in sync with EU laws. The company had been previously reprimanded of failing to communicate in no unambiguous terms to its EU buyers that they are entitled to an additional year of coverage… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 15, 2013
Apple’s luck protecting the iPhone name has taken a turn for the worse with Friday development that the firm has lost an appeal over its use of the iPhone moniker in Mexico, reports The Wall Street Journal. The ruling marks Apple’s second setback in Latin America after a Brazilian patent office a month ago approved the iPhone trademark to a local electronics maker IGB Eletronica SA.
That Brazilian firm, better known by its brand name Gradiente, owned rights to the iPhone name since 2000, long before Apple introduced its handset. In the case of Mexico-based Ifone SA, it had registered the ‘Ifone’ trademark back in 2003 and was making proper use of it, the nation’s Supreme Court ruled Friday… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 13, 2013
I find it peculiar that regional wireless carriers in the United States have traditionally been way more vocal in their support of Apple and sound business practices than the corporate behemoths like AT&T, Verizon, Sprint or T-Mobile, the nation’s top carriers.
A new report out this morning praises some regional carriers for having the guts to back a broader initiative to make cell phone unlocking legal again. Contrast the move to AT&T’s “straightforward” policy of locking your device to its network until you’ve met the terms of your service agreement.
Specifically, rural carriers such as U.S. Cellular and Bluegrass Cellular are now backing these looming bills, likely in a bid to appease to its iPhone customers. Remember, these same guys happily undercut major carriers’ iPhone deals by at least $50… Read More