Apple in talks with Samsung to settle all future patent disputes out of court

A man is silhouetted against a video screen with Apple and Samsung logos as he poses with a Samsung Galaxy S4 in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica

Korea Times (via Fortune) is reporting that Apple and Samsung are in talks designed to settle all future patent disputes out of court. FOSS Patents’ Florian Mueller believes that a settlement will be reached “very soon.”

“Things should come to an end during the summer. Apple doesn’t have an endgame strategy. Its agreement with Google shows that its management is looking for a face-saving exit strategy from Steve Jobs’ thermonuclear ambitions,” Mueller said …

Read more

Apple and Google agree to settle patent litigation, but will not cross license

Photo: USA Today

Photo: USA Today

According to a court filing discovered by Reuters, Apple and Google’s Motorola Mobility unit have agreed to settle their ongoing smartphone patent litigation battle against each other. In a statement, the two companies said that this agreement does not include the ability cross license each other’s patents, but rather the promise to “work together in some areas of patent reform.”

The two tech giants have been battling it out over various patents for several years now, both directly and indirectly. It’s important to note, however, that this agreement is solely between Apple, Google, and its Motorola Mobility unit. This does not apply to any lawsuits between Android device manufacturers, such as Samsung and HTC, and Apple. Although theoretically, it would apply to patents owned by Google that device manufacturers are licensing.

A verdict was reached in the latest Apple v Samsung battle just a few weeks ago, with Apple being ruled as the victor, albeit small. The court ruled that Samsung owed Apple $119 million, which is far less than the $2 billion it was seeking.

Read more

German judge upholds ban on Apple push email, Apple must pay damages to Motorola Mobility

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

Apple goes directly after Google, secures full disclosure of Motorola purchase and Android roadmap

Apple’s latest cunning move in its Holy Crusade against Android involves getting a court order to force Google, the maker of Android software, to produce documents detailing the Android roadmap and its proposed $12.5 billion acquisition of handset maker Motorola Mobility. It was not immediately clear what data Apple was exactly seeking to uncover. This is notable, because Apple is actually going after Google with this request. It is the first direct in the ongoing legal war considering Apple fought Google by proxy in the past.

According to Bloomberg, U.S. Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner ruled yesterday based on a patent lawsuit Apple filed in 2010 against Motorola that both Motorola and Google must spill relevant information to Apple, as “the Android/Motorola acquisition discovery is highly relevant to Apple’s claims and defenses.” Motorola, of course, opposed the request, offering the following argument.

Read more

Apple disables iCloud and MobileMe push email in Germany due to patent fight with Motorola

Apple informed customers in Germany that push email on both MobileMe and iCloud services were disabled due to the company’s patent fight with handset maker Motorola Mobility. According to a support document Apple quietly published today, “Due to recent patent litigation by Motorola Mobility, iCloud and MobileMe users are currently unable to have iCloud and MobileMe email pushed to their iOS devices while located within the borders of Germany.”

Push still works for Contacts, Calendars and other items and it is unaffected on OS X. Moreover, the affected users can still access the iCloud/MobileMe email service by manually checking for messages or using the Fetch setting. Apple also wrote the following line in the support document:

Apple believes Motorola’s patent is invalid and is appealing the decision.

As you will recall, Motorola filed an iCloud-related lawsuit on April Fools’ Day. It recently won an injunction and provided a €100 million bond to enforce it. Apple detailed how the patent suit affects the iCloud/MobileMe email service:

Read more

Did Motorola just win an injunction barring Apple from selling mobile products in Germany?

Florian Mueller isn’t a patent attorney but he plays one on his blog FOSSPatents.  For better or worse, he’s often quoted in the ongoing mobile technology patent battles where the winner is often Apple.  He’s also German so he probably understands this new, disturbing ruling a lot better than us (Our German is “rostig”)

Apple knows what it’s like to win injunctions against rivals. It won four of them against Samsung (two in Germany, one in the Netherlands and most recently one in Australia; all of them preliminary). Now it seems that Apple has just come out on the losing end of a patent infringement lawsuit. I have received a copy of what purports to be a default judgment by the Mannheim Regional Court barring Apple from selling in Germany — the single largest market in Europe – any mobile devices infringing on two Motorola Mobility patents and determining that Apple owes Motorola Mobility damages for past infringement since April 19, 2003.

If true, this would be a Hindenburg-sized backfire for Apple’s legal efforts in Europe.

The two patents and their US equivalents, Statements from Apple and Motorola and an update from Mueller below: Read more