Lucy H Koh Stories September 3, 2015

AAPL: 110.37

-1.97

A class action lawsuit against Apple, Google and other tech companies for agreeing not to poach each other’s employees has finally been settled. Steve Jobs, Google’s Eric Schmidt and others had agreed in emails not to offer higher salaries to each other’s employees in order to reduce the risk of losing valuable employees. When the emails came to light, the 64,000 employees affected successfully argued that this had limited their earning potential.

After Apple’s originally settlement offers were rejected by Judge Lucy Koh as inadequate, the company increased its offer to $415M, which the judge agreed was fair. Reuters reports that Koh has now granted final approval of this sum.

Koh did, however, reject the $81M cut the lawyers in the case had demanded …  expand full story

Lucy H Koh Stories September 2, 2015

AAPL: 112.34

4.62

A rough date has been set for round five of the battle over Samsung’s infringements of Apple patents in five of its products. The Recorder reports that U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh has said that the revised damages will be determined by a jury trial in March or April 2016.

In case you need a refresher, the story so far is this. In round 1, the first jury trial, Apple was awarded $1B in damages. In round 2, Judge Koh vacated $450M of that award and ordered a retrial to determine a revised sum. Round 3 was that jury trial, with Apple awarded a lower sum of $290M – making a revised total of $930M. In round 4, the US appeals court ruled that while Samsung did indeed copy iOS features, it should not have been penalised for copying the general look of the iPhone, and therefore the damages should be reduced. The new trial, to revise those damages, will be round 5.

Unless, that is, the Supreme Court intervenes …  expand full story

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Lucy H Koh Stories September 5, 2014

Apple & Google both appealing court ruling that anti-poaching settlement was too low

The anti-poaching case rumbles on … After an antitrust class-action suit last year accused Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe of secretly agreeing not to poach staff from each other, the case appeared to be all over back in April when the parties reached a $324M settlement.

Settlements have to be signed-off by a court, however, to ensure that it is considered fair to all parties. Earlier this month, Judge Lucy Koh rejected the settlement, saying the amount should have been $380M.

Two days ago, the parties resumed settlement talks with the help of a retired judge, but it appears these are not going well: Reuters now reports that Apple and Google has asked an appeals court to overturn Judge Koh’s decision.

In a court filing late on Thursday, the companies asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overrule Koh’s decision.

Koh “committed clear legal error” and “impermissibly substituted the court’s assessment of the value of the case for that of the parties who have been litigating the case for more than three years,” they wrote.

Judge Koh had earlier said that Steve Jobs “was a, if not the, central figure in the alleged conspiracy.”

Lucy H Koh Stories September 2, 2014

Future patent battles could be fun as Apple patents Samsung Air Command style menus …

Future patent battles between Apple and Samsung could take an entertaining turn as Apple has been granted a patent on radial menus for touchscreen devices – using an illustration that bears a notable resemblance to the Air Command menu used by Samsung on the Galaxy Note 3.

Lest anyone accuse Apple of copying Samsung, Apple first patented the menu approach back in 2012 – a year before Samsung adopted it. The reason for the second patent granted today is that Apple seemingly had in mind OS X rather than iOS when it first came up with the idea, illustrating it in a desktop environment.

The second patent specifically references using the menu based on “input from a touchscreen.”

As ever, the fact that Apple has patented something provides no evidence at all that it will ever see the light of day in an Apple product – OS X or iOS. Apple plays around with all kinds of ideas and patents thousands of them, only a tiny minority of which are ever used.

With Apple possessing a patent for a particular menu approach used by Samsung, but patenting touchscreen application of the approach after Samsung launched it in a tablet, the legal arguments could get interesting should the matter ever end up in court …

Via GigaOM

Lucy H Koh Stories March 6, 2014

Judge denies Apple injunction for patent infringements by Samsung, sets worrying precedent

I know, your eyes are probably glazing over by now at yet another Apple v. Samsung patent story. It seems scarcely a week goes by without one of the two companies winning a point, losing a point, filing an appeal, winning an appeal, losing an appeal or applying for some kind of court order. And if you were losing count, the latest news reported by FOSS Patents that a California court has rejected Apple’s application for an injunction against Samsung still relates to the original patent battle between the two companies which began back in 2011.

Apple was originally awarded almost a billion dollars in damages for patent infringements by Samsung. Apple had argued that monetary damages were insufficient, and that the court should also have ordered that the infringing products be withdrawn from sale … 

Lucy H Koh Stories January 22, 2014

Apple gets more favourable rulings against Samsung ahead of trial in March

FOSS Patents is reporting that Apple received two more favourable rulings in their ongoing battle against Samsung in the courts. These judgements increase the chance of Apple winning the March patent trial “not hugely but significantly”, according to Mueller.

In a judgement filed yesterday, Samsung was found to infringe on one of Apple’s asserted patents and one of its own patents in the case was invalidated.

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