litigation Stories February 18, 2015

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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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litigation Stories December 2, 2014

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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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litigation Stories November 21, 2014

iBooks Mac iPad iPod

Following preliminary approval it received in August, Apple has been granted the final court approval it needed in its $450 million ebook settlement, according to a Reuters report.

During a hearing in Manhattan, U.S. District Judge Denise Cote approved what she called an “unusual” accord. It calls for Apple to pay $400 million to as many as 23 million consumers if the company’s appeal of a ruling finding it liable for antitrust violations is unsuccessful.

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote previously expressed concern over the proposed settlement citing a clause in the agreement that she called “most troubling”, but today called the settlement agreement “within the range of those that may be approved as fair and reasonable.” expand full story

litigation Stories October 3, 2014

Ten-year-old Real Networks lawsuit against Apple over iTunes DRM will go to trial

Remember RealPlayer? Well, the company behind that software has been granted a jury trial in an antitrust lawsuit from 2004. At the heart of the suit is an anti-piracy measure added to iTunes and the iPod after Real Networks debuted its RealPlayer competitor. According to the suit, Apple deliberately stopped iTunes and iPods from playing music purchased from the competing store through several iTunes updates.

Real Networks says that this cause $351,631,153 in damages, breaking the claim down even further as “$148,947,126 for resellers, $194,655,141 for direct purchasers, and $8,028,886 for additional iPod sales from the additional transactions.” The full ruling is below.

litigation Stories August 20, 2014

Judge rules that Apple can’t recover $16M legal fees from Samsung in patent lawsuit, releases $2.6M bond

Judge Lucy Koh ruled earlier today that Apple would not be able to recover the roughly $16 million in legal fees incurred while suing Samsung for patent infringement, according to a new report. Apple would have had to prove to the court that the case was exception in order to recover the legal costs, which Koh said it had failed to do.

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While the patent lawsuits between these two companies still manage to make headlines every few weeks, the rivals recently announced a decision to avoid any further patent litigation outside of the United States. Meanwhile, U.S. courts will likely remain a contentious battleground for the two titans.

Judge Koh also ruled today that a $2.6 million bond posted two years ago by Apple in order to block the sale of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 should be released back to Apple. The company had previously elected not to bother enforcing the ban since the tablet is no longer sold anywhere and has been succeeded by two newer models.

 

litigation Stories August 14, 2014

Photo: mashable.com

Photo: mashable.com

Apple shareholders are the latest to jump into the fray of a lawsuit against Apple over its anti-poaching agreements with a number of other tech companies. As we’ve previously reported, Apple, Google, Intel, Adobe, and a laundry list of other companies allegedly created illegal pacts to avoid hiring each others’ engineers, allowing each employer to keep its wages low without running the risk of a competitor snatching up its competition with a better deal.

Now, a little over a week after a class action settlement was rejected by the court for being too low, Apple shareholder R. Andre Klein has filed a derivitive complaint on behalf of all Apple shareholders (embedded below) accusing the company of “breach of fiduciary duty, gross mismanagement, waste of corporate assets, and breach of the duty of honest services.”

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litigation Stories August 8, 2014

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Image via <a href="http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-05-01/tech-hubris-the-silicon-valley-antitrust-hiring-conspiracy#p2" target="_blank">Bloomberg</a>

A judge has rejected a settlement that was reached earlier this year between employees of Apple, Intel, Google, and Adobe and their respective companies, CNBC reported today. According to reports from the courtroom, Judge Lucy Koh ruled that the settlement was not high enough and should actually be $380 million.

The lawsuit was brought against the tech giants in question by current and former employees who believed (correctly) that their employers had created agreements to avoid attempting to hire engineers from one another. The idea was that if no competitors were making offers, each company was free to pay its employees whatever it wanted without having to worry about them jumping ship for a better offer.

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litigation Stories July 28, 2014

Apple no longer seeking injunction against some Samsung devices in patent case

Apple has filed a motion to drop a cross-appeal in the seemingly eternal patent battle between the Cupertino-based tech giant and rival Samsung, as noted today by FOSS Patents.

As the appeals process drags on, Apple has decided to let go of certain points and accept the court’s rulings. In this case, Apple has decided not to seek an injunction against certain Samsung devices from its first trial in 2012. Apple has already tried to get an injunction against these devices twice in the past, but was denied both times.

litigation Stories July 22, 2014

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A group of corporate and retail employees has received class action status for a lawsuit against Apple in which the plaintiffs argue that the company violated the California labor code by not offering “timely meal breaks, timely rest breaks, and timely final paychecks,” per a report from TechCrunch.

The suit was originally filed in December 2011, but was today expanded to cover around 20,000 current and former Apple employees in California. The employees named in the suit have varying reasons for joining forces against Apple, but all accusations boil down to Apple having violated several points of the state’s labor laws.

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litigation Stories July 11, 2014

Jury: Apple and third-party developers did not infringe live streaming patent

Apple did not infringe a live-streaming technology patent held by Emblaze Ltd., a jury decided earlier today. The conclusion to the lawsuit comes less than two weeks after it started, and affects both Apple and third-party developers that use its live-streaming technology in mobile apps.

According to Emblaze, Apple’s HTTP live-streaming service was “nothing more than Emblaze’s patented solution under a different name.” Because Apple required developers to use its own live-streaming platform, developers of apps like MLB At Bat and WatchESPN were allegedly being forced to violate the 2002 Emblaze patent. The jury disagreed, however, and ruled in Apple’s favor.

litigation Stories June 16, 2014

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Apple settled out of court in the latest e-books price-fixing suit brought against the company, allowing the company to dodge an $840 million bullet, as reported by Bloomberg. The case, brought against the Cupertino company by multiple states and consumers, was set to go before a jury next month, but that will no longer be necessary.

The terms of the settlement have not yet been revealed, and the opposing sides of the case have one month to request formal acceptable of their agreement by the court.

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litigation Stories June 5, 2014

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Earlier this year, Apple (sort of) won a trademark lawsuit to Mexican telecommunications company iFone over the use of the phonetically-identical “iPhone” brand. The iFone trademark was originally filed in 2003, and in 2009 the company filed a suit against Apple. In March 2013 the case ended with the decision that Apple had in fact not infringed on the mark.

The logic behind the ruling was based on the difference in the two companies’ markets. While iFone sells telecommunications services, Apple sells smartphones (but not actual telecommunications service). Because of this, Apple would be allowed to continue using the name.

We say Apple only “sort of” won the case here, becuase unfortunately, the Cupertino company’s Mexican carrier partners were caught in the legal crossfire, as demonstrated by a ruling today that placed the burden of the infringement squarely on them [translation].

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litigation Stories April 11, 2014

Apple rests in patent suit after experts testify Samsung should pay $2 billion in damages

Apple has made its case against Samsung in the patent lawsuit that never ends, and the company’s attorneys rested today after an expert witness testified that Samsung should pay the full $2.191 billion in damages. As CNET  reports, Quantitative Economic Solutions economist Christopher Vellturo told the court today that Apple’s claim to over $2 billion is valid based on estimated profits lost to Samsung’s infringing devices as well as royalties owed to Apple for use of its protected software designs.

John Hauser, another of Apple’s expert witnesses, testified earlier this week that Samsung’s mobile phones would have been much less appealing to the public if they had lacked features that Apple created, such as the ubiquitous “slide to unlock” gesture. Together the two experts weaved a tale of desperation in which Samsung is depicted as having ripped off Apple’s design when it failed to create a compelling product that could stand its own against the juggernaut of the iPhone.

This case is really only halfway over, though. Samsung’s attorneys will now have a chance to defend against this narrative, providing testimony and evidence to support its own view and argue against the legitimacy of Apple’s software patents. Of course, it’s likely that once this case is over the two rivals will just find another reason to sue each other.

litigation Stories April 9, 2014

OpenTV and Nagravision file patent lawsuit against Apple over video-related technology

Suing Apple seems to be the thing to do these days. While the company is locked into a furious, seemingly-unending battle with Samsung, another suit has been announced today by two Swiss sister companies called OpenTV and Nagravision.

According to a press release by the The Kudelski Group, the parent company of the two filing suit, OpenTV focuses on software that includes “advanced program guides, video-on-demand, personal video recording, interactive and addressable advertising and a variety of enhanced television applications,” while Nagravision “provides security and multiscreen user experience solutions for the monetization of digital media.”

While the five patents in question aren’t specifically named in the press release, it’s safe to assume that they are related to video playback technologies included in OS X and iOS (both of which are named as infringing in the press release). iAds, iTunes, the App Store, and the Apple TV are also listed.

litigation Stories March 28, 2014

Judge grants class-action status to e-book customers in Apple price-fixing lawsuit

Apple is facing a new class-action lawsuit from iBooks customers over price-fixing practices according to Reuters. As has been previously argued, Apple conspired with book publishers to hike the prices of ebooks, a violation of U.S. anti-trust law. The Department of Justice won its case against Apple for the same reason last year, and Apple is currently in the middle of appealing that case.

This new lawsuit is a civil case being brought by customers affected by the price-fixing scheme. Today U.S. District Judge Denise Cote ruled that the customers suing could do so as a group despite Apple’s objections. The actual trial will be scheduled for later this year.

litigation Stories February 13, 2014

Apple’s Phil Schiller to testify once again in Samsung patent lawsuit, Forstall also a possibility

Update: Zdnet Korea reports that Apple CEO Tim Cook and Samsung’s JK Shin met in the US last week ahead of the companies returning to court in San Jose next month. The unconfirmed, translated report appears to claims the executives were asked by the courts to reach an agreement by Feb. 19, but the case looks set to go ahead after settlement talks reportedly failed.

Apple’s head of marketing will be called to the stands by Samsung in the latest patent dispute between the rival companies. Schiller will testify on topics surrounding the creation and marketing of many of Apple’s iconic products, including the iPhone and iPad, according to a statement released by Samsung. The South Korean company has also said there’s a chance it could call Greg Joswiak, vice president of iPhone marketing, to testify as well.

Apple is also planning to put several of its own executives on the stand, possibly including Scott Forstall, who oversaw the development of iOS until he resigned his position in 2012. This would be Forstall’s first public appearance since he left Apple. Both Forstall and Schiller testified against Samsung in an August, 2012 hearing.

litigation Stories January 21, 2014

Cable companies sue Apple’s Rockstar consortium over patent conspiracy

The Apple/Sony/Blackberry/Microsoft-backed Rockstar consortium is involved in yet another patent lawsuit. This time, several large US cable companies are up in arms over the idea that Rockstar is preparing to break up its patent portfolio into a host of smaller shell companies, each of which would hold a portion of the key patents needed by said cable companies.

Essentially any cable company that failed to license the entire former Nortel portfolio could be litigated against, facing lawsuits and sky-high legal costs.

It’s possible that the cable companies also see Apple TV as a threat to their channel packaging business model.

The full lawsuit is below.

litigation Stories December 18, 2012

apple-v-samsungToday, we have updates on Apple and Samsung’s ongoing court woes. A report from Bloomberg noted U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh in the San Jose, California case rejected Apple’s most recent request for a United States sales ban on 26 Samsung devices. According to the report, Koh said the decision was based on the fact that the “case involves lost sales—not a lost ability to be a viable market participant.”

“Samsung may have cut into Apple’s customer base somewhat, but there is no suggestion that Samsung will wipe out Apple’s customer base, or force Apple out of the business of making smartphones,” Koh said. “The present case involves lost sales — not a lost ability to be a viable market participant.”

As noted by The Verge, a second post-trial order delivered by Koh yesterday denied Samsung’s request for a new trial on the claims of jury misconduct. Koh claimed that juror Velvin Hogan disclosed his previous involvement with Seagate during the jury selection process, giving Samsung’s lawyers more than enough time to discover the litigation. From the court filing:

Samsung has waived its claim for an evidentiary hearing and a new trial based on Mr. Hogan’s alleged dishonesty during voir dire.  Prior to the verdict, Samsung could have discovered Mr. Hogan’s litigation with Seagate, had Samsung acted with reasonable diligence based on information Samsung acquired through voir dire, namely that Mr. Hogan stated during voir dire that he had worked for Seagate.

Samsung vs. Apple cases abroad are also making news today: FossPatents reported today that Samsung has dropped all requests for sales bans against Apple in Europe related to standard-essential patents. However, as pointed out in the report, Samsung will still attempt to win monetary compensation in its cases against Apple, but will no longer request courts to enforce bans on Apple products. FossPatents speculated on Samsung’s decision: expand full story

litigation Stories September 28, 2011

Just like Verizon, T-Mobile has chosen to side with Samsung in its fight against Apple reports Foss Patents. T-Mobile’s reason, in response to a preliminary injunction proposed by Apple, is that they don’t want key 4G devices to be banned for the holiday season. And since it doesn’t look like T-Mobile is getting the iPhone anytime soon, Samsung’s 4G phones could be a big part of their sales. Check out T-Mobile’s response below:

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