Apple ordered to pay out $532.9 million for gaming-related patent infringement

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A Texas jury has ordered Apple to pay out just under $533 million in a patent infringement case brought by Smartflash LLC regarding technology that the company said iTunes used without permission. Apple had attempted to argue that the patents were invalid. The court ruled in Smartflash’s favor, but chose not to award the entire $852 million the software maker was seeking.

The patents in question were related to “data storage and managing access through payment systems,” according to Bloomberg. Several game developers who took advantage of the tech settled out of court last year, leaving Apple to stand against Smartflash alone.

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Apple reportedly poached employees from A123 Systems to work on battery tech, now faces unfair competition lawsuit

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Apple has poached five key engineers from A123 Systems to work in a new battery division at the Cupertino technology company, with some hires possibly going as far back as June, a new report claims. The battery maker claims that these hires violated agreements it had in place to prevent them from joining competing companies.

The employees the report refers to are Don Dafoe, Michael Erickson, Indrajeet Thorat, Mujeeb Ijaz, and Depeng Wang. Three of these workers—Erickson, Thorat, and Wang—were PhD project heads working on new battery technology. Ijaz headed up the System Venture Technologies Division, which oversaw work by all four of the others.

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Ericsson countersues Apple over wireless technology licensing royalties

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In response to Apple taking Ericsson to court over wireless patent licensing, the Swedish telecommunications company has filed a lawsuit in Texas that seeks the court to determine whether its licensing offer to Apple is fair. Ericsson told the court that it has been attempting to reach a new licensing agreement with Apple for over two years, but negotiations have failed to result in a deal. The patents in question are related to wireless LTE technologies that Apple uses in products like the iPhone and iPad. Read more

Apple takes Ericsson to court over LTE patents, claims royalties are too high

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Apple has filed a lawsuit against Ericsson over the licensing fees for technology patents related to LTE wireless connectivity, Reuters reported today. According to Apple, the company has not infringed any of the patents in question, which it says are not essential to the LTE networking standard.

Ericsson calculates its royalty fees based on the price of a complete handset rather than only the component that integrates the patented technology.

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Apple reaches deal with employees in lawsuit over anti-poaching policies

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Update: According to Reuters, the settlement is $415 million, a big improvement over the previous $380 million offer.

Apple has reached a deal with its employees over do-not-hire policies that workers claim prevented them from getting higher-paying jobs at competing companies. Judge Lucy Koh previously rejected an offer to the tune of $324 million that the plaintiff in the case said was too low.

Today’s settlement is presumably for much more money than the original, since the plaintiff has accepted it, but the details of the deal have not yet been disclosed. Judge Koh said that the prior offer should have been closer to $380 million.

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Apple fighting media requests to air Steve Jobs deposition from iPod antitrust suit

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As we noted earlier today, several media outlets have filed a motion that would allow them to air the videotaped deposition of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs that was played for jurors in the ongoing iPod antitrust lawsuit. Now the Verge reports that Apple is fighting back against the motion, with the company’s lawyers accusing the media of wanting to see “a dead man.”

As Apple attorney Jonathan Sherman put it:

The marginal value of seeing him again, in his black turtleneck — this time very sick — is small. What they want is a dead man, and they want to show him to the rest of the world, because it’s a judicial record.

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Last plaintiff in iTunes antitrust lawsuit disqualified, but the show must go on as lawyers search for replacement

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In the latest twist in the iPod antitrust lawsuit that has already given us a deposition of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and details about Apple’s deal with record labels to sell music in the iTunes Store, a judge ruled on Monday that the trial will continue even though there are no plaintiffs left.

Yes, you read that correctly. Every single plaintiff in the case has been disqualified. Marianna Rosen, the last complainant standing, was discovered to have never purchased an iPod that was affected by the song-deleting software updates in question.

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Steve Jobs deposition reveals details of Apple’s contracts with record labels, requirements for DRM on music

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The videotaped deposition of Apple’s late co-founder Steve Jobs was played in court today as part of the ongoing antitrust lawsuit involving the iPod, iTunes, and digital rights management. As CNET reports, the video revealed new details of Apple’s deals with record labels and why the FairPlay DRM was created.

Jobs said in his statement that because the record labels were afraid that a store like iTunes could lead to music piracy, they required Apple to create and implement a digital rights management system—which would become the FairPlay system—in order to gain the rights to distribute music. DRM wasn’t something that Apple wanted to do, but had to do.

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“Do they still exist?” Steve Jobs takes jabs at Real Networks in videotaped deposition from 2011

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The ten-year-old lawsuit over whether Apple violated antitrust law by locking the iPod to its own iTunes software has finally gone to trial. In its first day before a jury, the case has yielded several new emails between Apple executives as well as a videotaped deposition of Steve Jobs, which was recorded in 2011 shortly before he died.

In the video, according to Reuters, Jobs was asked if he had heard of Real Networks, the company behind the RealPlayer software Apple had blocked from working with the iPod. Jobs took a quick jab at the music distribution rival and asked, “Do they still exist?”

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