Swatch attempts to justify ‘One more thing’ trademark with a silly explanation

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 26, 2015

Swatch would have you think that its controversial “One more thing” trademark has nothing to do with Apple. A company spokesperson told Techradar today that its trademark for the “One more thing” phrase was inspired by a line from the TV show “Columbo,” an explanation people following technology news will have a hard time believing.

Swiss watchmaker Swatch became the subject of the Internet ridicule following news that it was recently granted a trademark on “One more thing,” a catch phrase late CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs used extensively when introducing new surprise products during Apple’s media events. Read More

 

Official: Samsung stole trade secrets from TSMC

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 26, 2015

Samsung lifted trade secrets from rival Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (TSMC), the world’s #1 independent semiconductor foundry, Taiwan’s top court has ruled.

According to a report published Wednesday by Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes, the court has determined that Liang Mong-song, a former senior director of research and development at TSMC, revealed TSMC’s trade secrets and patents related to its advanced FinFET process technology to Samsung Electronics.

The report makes no mention of Apple, but the connection couldn’t be clearer: Samsung might have been able to leverage the stolen secrets to win orders for Apple’s next-generation ‘A9′ processor. Prior reports have posited that both Samsung and TSMC got to build Apple’s A9 chips on the advanced 14-nanometer FinFET process technology which uses entirely new three-dimensional transistors. Read More

 

Germany’s highest appeals court invalidates Apple’s slide-to-unlock patents

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 25, 2015

Germany’s highest appeals court has ruled that Apple’s famous slide-to-unlock patents are invalid, VentureBeat reported Tuesday.

The ruling basically reaffirmed a 2013 decision in which the lower Federal Patent Court rejected Apple’s claims on the grounds of ‘prior art’. The German courts discovered that Apple’s slide-to-patent involves a similar technique as that featured on a smartphone released before the iPhone by a Swedish company called Neonode. Read More

 

Watchmaker Swatch trademarks ‘One more thing’

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 21, 2015

Swiss watchmaker Swatch has managed to trademark “One more thing,” a catch phrase late CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs made famous around the world by using it extensively when introducing new surprise products during Apple’s media events.

As discovered by Wirtschaft, the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) awarded the trademark to Swatch back in May following its original application in November of last year. It’s scheduled to expire in 2024 though an opposition to the trademark is reportedly pending. Read More

 

Apple’s ‘El Capitan’ European trademark filing confusingly includes tablets

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 3, 2015

Is Apple really readying an iPad that could run both iOS and OS X? The toaster-refrigerator dilemma has been occupying the collective mind of fans who have been keeping their fingers crossed for the convergence of the Mac and iPad ever since the original iPad debuted more than five years ago.

Apple’s European trademark filing for ‘El Capitan’ is certainly intriguing, to say the least, as it mentions tablets as one of the devices targeted by the desktop operating system, as revealed yesterday by Patently Apple. Read More

 

Court rules iPhone looks can’t be protected, adjusts Samsung’s $930 million penalty

By Christian Zibreg on May 18, 2015

Monday, The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said it’s ruled that Samsung violated Apple’s design patents but did not infringe on the Cupertino firm’s trade dress intellectual property.

As reported by Reuters, the appeals court has now reversed part of Apple’s $930 million verdict versus Samsung, ordering that the penalty be adjusted accordingly. Read More

 

Ericsson sues Apple in UK, Germany and Netherlands over alleged patent infringement

By Christian Zibreg on May 8, 2015

Swedish telecommunications giant Ericsson has extended its patent lawsuit against Apple to Europe, filing separate lawsuits in the United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands over alleged patent infringement, Reuters reported Friday.

Ericsson is alleging that Apple has been using its patents without a legitimate license. It unloaded legal barrage against the iPhone maker over the same matter in the United States in February 2015.

The world’s largest maker of wireless networks, Stockholm-based Ericsson owns many patents covering 2G, 3G and 4G LTE cellular technology. Read More

 

European Union files anti-trust charges against Google

By Cody Lee on Apr 15, 2015

Making good on rumors that have been bouncing around for several months, the European Union officially filed anti-trust charges against Google on Wednesday. The Commission will formally investigate whether the tech firm has abused its dominance in search results, as well as within its Android operating system.

In the near term this doesn’t mean much—there will be a lengthy investigation and likely a trial. But in the long term, if Google were to be found guilty, it could face a fine of up to $6 billion (10% of its annual revenue) and various business-altering restrictions. Many pundits are comparing it to Microsoft in the late 90’s. Read More

 

Court rules UK users can sue Google over Safari privacy breach

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 27, 2015

Things could get ugly for Google as the Internet giant lost a UK appeal in the Safari cookie tracking case, potentially opening the door to litigation from the millions of British users, BBC News reported Friday.

The case revolves around Google’s practice to continue tracking users of Apple’s Safari browser via cookies even after they had changed their browser settings to block cookies, in order to target them with advertising. Read More

 

EU rules e-books can’t be subject to lower taxes

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 5, 2015

The top court of the European Union has determined that e-books shouldn’t be treated like their printed counterparts when it comes to taxes and therefore should be subject to higher tax rates, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

“But the European Commission signaled it may change the rules next year to allow for equal taxation of books in any form,” reads the report. Read More

 

Ericsson intensifies legal pressure on Apple over patents, seeks iPhone sales ban

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 27, 2015

Following a $533 million loss in a lawsuit a small Texas-based company leveled against it over patent violation, Apple is now facing new legal challenges.

Friday, the Swedish telecommunications giant has unloaded legal barrage against the iPhone maker.

The move follows Apple’s refusal to re-sign a global licensing contract with Ericsson in mid-January. Bloomberg noted that Apple had been paying royalties for Ericsson’s patents related to mobile technologies, but the global license agreement expired last month and hasn’t been renewed since. Read More

 

USPTO denies Apple’s petitions for review of VirnetX patents

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 18, 2015

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today denied five petitions for so-called inter partes review filed by Apple, which sought to challenged the validity of certain claims of three of VirnetX’s U.S. patents at stake.

The patent board has determined that the five petitions were not filed within the time limit imposed by the statute and therefore has declined to institute review of these claims between the parties involved. Read More

 

Apple cracks down on users who abuse the 14-day return policy for digital content in Europe

By Sébastien Page on Jan 12, 2015

Users looking to abuse Apple’s new 14-day return policy for digital purchases in Europe will be in for a bad surprise, as the company has apparently been taking measures against those that want to dishonestly take advantage of the system.

According to one account from a user who had been abusing the return policy by downloading a dozen apps and requesting refunds after “trialing” them, Apple quickly caught up to the scheme and is now warning him he won’t be eligible for refunds for newly purchased applications. Read More

 

Apple did not harm consumers with iTunes’ FairPlay digital rights management, ruling finds

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 16, 2014

Apple’s proprietary digital rights management software, FairPlay, that prevented users from loading songs from rival music stores on early iPods, did not harm consumers nor did it violate the United States antitrust laws, an eight-person jury has determined.

As reported by The Verge, the jurors have sided with Apple in a decade-long suit and have not found Apple guilty of exploiting FairPlay DRM as a lock-in preventing rival music stores from syncing with iPods. Though the iPhone maker is off the hook now, an appeal will be filed with a higher court. Read More

 

Big media wants to make Steve Jobs deposition video public

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 9, 2014

A videotaped deposition of Steve Jobs, recorded in 2011 shortly before his passing and played during the iPod class-action lawsuit, could be made public if news organizations such as The Associated Press, CNN and Bloomberg succeed in proving that releasing the two-hour video is in public interest, CNET reported Tuesday.

And boy would it be interesting to watch Jobs make a series of snarky comments. Asked whether he had heard of Real Networks, Apple’s late co-founder asked “Do they still exist?” All told, he responded 74 times with “I don’t remember,” “I don’t know” or “I don’t recall.” Read More

 

Snarky comments revealed by Steve Jobs’ testimony in iPod class-action lawsuit

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 3, 2014

A decade-old class-action lawsuit over the iPod and Apple’s practice of locking the media player to its iTunes ecosystem is kicking off this week and with it comes a videotaped deposition of Steve Jobs, recorded in 2011 shortly before he died.

It’s full of snarky comments and as if that wasn’t enough, attorneys have unearthed emails between Apple executives and other evidence casting light on the company’s inner workings at the time.

The suit revolves around the iPod, iTunes and FairPlay, Apple’s digital-rights management (DRM) system for copy-protection of music sold through the iTunes Store. FairPlay was dropped in 2007 following the ‘Thoughts on Music’ open letter by Steve. Read More

 

Apple’s appeal to trademark ‘App Store’ in Australia tossed out of the window

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 3, 2014

It looks like Apple has been unsuccessfully in its appeal to trademark the term ‘App Store’ in Australia on basis that its application does not distinguish the applicant on its own, the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper reported.

According to court documents, Justice Yates on Wednesday ruled that Apple’s appeal be dismissed and that the company pay the court costs of the Registrar of Trade Marks.

To get you up to speed, the Registrar of Trade Marks initially refused to greenlight Apple’s proposed ‘App Store’ trademark in March of last year because it was “too descriptive,” prompting the California firm to appeal the decision in the Federal Court. Read More

 

Chinese phone maker claims Apple’s iPhone 6 is a ripoff

By Jake Smith on Dec 2, 2014

Chinese phone maker Digione claims Apple’s iPhone 6 infringes on a patent for its own smartphone under the 100+ brand, and plans to take Apple to court if things aren’t resolved. In a letter sent to Apple in September, Digione says it wants to communicate further with Apple to prevent “potential legal risks for the sake of further understanding and communication.” Read More

 

Department of Justice compelling smartphone makers to bypass encryption

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 2, 2014

The United States Department of Justice is reportedly pursuing an unusual legal strategy to compel cellphone makers to assist investigations by removing device encryption on iPhones and other mobile devices, according to findings by technology website Ars Technica.

Tapping the All Writs Act, feds want Apple’s help to defeat encrypted phones, as revealed by newly discovered court documents from two federal criminal cases in New York and California. Read More

 

Court gives Apple final approval for e-book settlement with consumers

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 21, 2014

During a hearing Friday in Manhattan, a United States judge gave Apple final approval to pay $450 million to settle claims that it conspired with five publishers to raise e-book prices on the iBooks Store.

Reuters reports that Judge Cote approved what she called an “unusual” accord. The ruling came after Apple in July agreed to pay big bucks to settle price fixing allegations that the government and class action lawyers leveled against the Cupertino firm. Read More

 
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