Bloomberg reports that the Berlin Regional Court in Germany has told Apple to change its policies for managing customer’s data on its website after ruling that Apple’s terms for data use go against German laws. According to a statement posted by a German consumer group Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband (VSBV), the courts have ruled that Apple cannot request “global consent” for use of a customer’s data” without informing the user of where and how the data will be used. It will also no longer be able to use German users’ data to “promote location-based services and products” or deliver the data to third-parties for advertising purposes: Read more
As if we needed someone to tell us that the ongoing patent lawsuits between Apple and Motorola in Germany were getting a little out of control… Today the European Commission has finally stepped up calling Motorola’s enforcement of an injunction against Apple with mobile standard essential patents “abuse of a dominant position prohibited by EU antitrust rules.” The EU Commission, however, does note that the statement of objections sent to Motorola does not reflect the final outcome of its investigation into its use of standard essential patents (SEPs):
The Motorola Mobility SEPs in question relate to the European Telecommunications Standardisation Institute’s (ETSI) GPRS standard, part of the GSM standard, which is a key industry standard for mobile and wireless communications. When this standard was adopted in Europe, Motorola Mobility gave a commitment that it would license the patents which it had declared essential to the standard on FRAND terms. Nevertheless, Motorola Mobility sought an injunction against Apple in Germany on the basis of a GPRS SEP and, after the injunction was granted, went on to enforce it, even when Apple had declared that it would be willing to be bound by a determination of the FRAND royalties by the German court.
The EU Commission essentially states that Apple should be able to license the technology under fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms decided by a third-party, and that Motorola’s approach with its latest injunction could “distort licensing negotiations and impose unjustified licensing terms.” Back in February of 2012, Apple was for a short while forced to remove all 3G devices from its online store in Germany following the injunction, and at the time Apple noted that “Motorola repeatedly refuses to license this patent to Apple on reasonable terms, despite having declared it an industry standard patent seven years ago.” Read more
Apple’s decision to disable VPN on demand functionality on iOS due to the virnetX lawsuit isn’t the only patent related Apple news today. Head below for a roundup of Apple’s court woes and wins from earlier today:
Samsung infringes key text-selection patent: Reuters reports that the International Trade Commission has handed down a preliminary decision ruling Samsung infringed on an Apple patent related to a text-selection feature. However, the courts also ruled Samsung didn’t infringe another patent related to detecting when other devices are plugged into a microphone jack. If the text-selection decision is upheld, the result could be a U.S. import ban on Galaxy, Transform, and Nexus devices: Read more
Last week, Apple lost an appeal in the U.K. that forced Apple to apologize to Samsung publicly and state that its Galaxy Tab does not infringe on Apple’s patents.
Britain Court of Appeal upheld a previous ruling that Samsung’s Galaxy Tab does not infringe on the iPad’s patents because it is not “as cool.” Reuters reported that after losing the appeal this morning, Apple has been instructed by the court to apologize to Samsung by running ads on its website and in newspapers saying Samsung did not infringe on patents in at least Arial 14 font.
Hidden at the bottom of Apple’s U.K. website this morning is the required link to the apology, but the apology is more like one your big sister would give you after being reprimanded by your parents. After mentioning Samsung did not infringe, Apple nicely sliced out some complimentary quotes from the ruling:
“The extreme simplicity of the Apple design is striking. Overall it has undecorated flat surfaces with a plate of glass on the front all the way out to a very thin rim and a blank back. There is a crisp edge around the rim and a combination of curves, both at the corners and the sides. The design looks like an object the informed user would want to pick up and hold. It is an understated, smooth and simple product. It is a cool design.”
Apple goes on to say German and U.S. courts ruled otherwise.
However, in a case tried in Germany regarding the same patent, the court found that Samsung engaged in unfair competition by copying the iPad design. A U.S. jury also found Samsung guilty of infringing on Apple’s design and utility patents, awarding over one billion U.S. dollars in damages to Apple Inc. So while the U.K. court did not find Samsung guilty of infringement, other courts have recognized that in the course of creating its Galaxy tablet, Samsung willfully copied Apple’s far more popular iPad.
So there! Read more
We already told you about some big app news today with an updated Twitter iOS client and the release of popular MMO Guild Wars 2 for Mac. Below is the rest of the notable apps and updates hitting the App Store today:
Pixelmator version 2.1.1: A big update today goes to version 2.1.1 of the Pixelmator Mac App Store app. The updated app includes a new Healing Tool that’s up to 20x faster than the previous version, UI improvements for Retina MacBooks, and a number of fixes and performance enhancements. A full list of changes is here.
We are bursting with pride to tell you that this is the best and the fastest Healing Tool in the world. Pretty sophisticated algorithms and the latest OS X technologies have allowed us to create a tool that performs at an incredible speed. We hope you’ll be as excited about it as we are… A lot of other good things are here, too: the ability to temporarily hide the Alignment Guides with the Command key, significant performance improvements, the effects you’ve missed, and much more.
Amazon Cloud Player version 1.2.4: Amazon updated its Cloud Player app for iOS today, which allows users to stream and download music from their Amazon Cloud account. The biggest news in the update is that Cloud Player is now available in the UK, Germany, and France. Amazon is also introducing support for French and German languages.
Reeder version 3.0.4: The iOS Fever, Readability, and Google Reader client was updated today with a few new features. Included is enhancements bringing full support for iPhone 5 and iOS 6. The update means Facebook sharing becomes an iOS 6 only feature after updating. The developers have also included a fix for issues with Fever syncing and missing folders.
Apple suffered a significant blow in the ongoing patent battles with Android competitors today when a Mannheim regional court in Germany ruled against an Apple appeal.
The court backed an earlier decision that banned Apple from offering the service for synchronizing emails on Apple’s mobile devices that use iCloud.
The court said Apple must pay damages to Motorola Mobility, but didn’t specify the amount.
The judge adjourned a decision on mobile communication standards, which Motorola Mobility regards as standard-essential. He didn’t say when the court will rule on this patent case.
Thermonuclear. Read more