United States federal judge Stories September 18, 2015

AAPL: 113.45

-0.47

Apple has scored a belated additional victory against Samsung in its endless patent trial battle with the smartphone rival. Apple had originally asked the court for two remedies: financial compensation, and an injunction forbidding Samsung from continuing to sell devices which infringed its patents. The court said yes to the first, no to the second.

As the WSJ reports, a federal appeals court judge has ruled that the court should have also granted the injunction.

“Samsung’s infringement harmed Apple by causing lost market share and lost downstream sales and by forcing Apple to compete against its own patented invention,” the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said[…]

The appeals court [ruled that] a California trial court that previously denied Apple’s request “abused its discretion when it did not enjoin Samsung’s infringement” … 

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United States federal judge Stories July 25, 2014

Apple’s ebook settlement may not be quite so settled as judge expresses concern

Just as we thought Apple’s long-running ebooks suit might finally be settled, the out-of-court agreement has been thrown into doubt. The judge required to approve the settlement terms has expressed concern that they may be unfair to consumers, reports Business Insider.

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan said she found “most troubling” a clause requiring Apple to pay only $70 million if an appeals court reversed her finding that the company is liable for antitrust violations and sent it back to her for further proceedings.

Apple was found guilty of price-fixing, an allegation it always denied and is currently appealing. To speed things up, lawyers on both sides agreed what would happen for each of the three possible outcomes of the appeal.

If Apple wins the appeal, it will pay nothing. If it loses the appeal, it will pay $50M in legal costs and $400M to a compensation fund for consumers. The contentious part is what happens if the appeals court overturns the original verdict but sends the case back for new proceedings. In this event, the proposal is that Apple would pay just $70M, of which the compensation fund would receive $50M.

Cote questioned if that would be fair and what might happen if the appeals court reversed her ruling on a minor issue.

This is not the first example of post-trial arguments, Apple having earlier called for the removal of the court-appointed antitrust monitor, a request rejected by the court.

United States federal judge Stories January 13, 2014

Following Apple’s formal request last week that Michael Bromwich be removed from his role in ensuring the Cupertino company meets compliances set by the anti-trust ruling in last year’s ebooks trial, the Department of Justice has pushed back (via GigaOm) with a denial letter accusing Apple of ‘character assassination’.

Regrettably, it is now clear that Apple has chosen a campaign of character assassination over a culture of compliance. Apple could have been spending the past months working with the External Compliance Monitor with the ultimate goal of reforming its policies and training, and in the process change its corporate tone to one that reflects a commitment to abiding by the requirements of the antitrust laws. Instead, Apple has focused on personally attacking Mr. Bromwich, and thwarting him from performing even the most basic of his court-ordered functions. expand full story

United States federal judge Stories January 8, 2014

After earlier complaining that the company was being overcharged by the court-appointed lawyer overseeing its compliance with the terms of the ebooks anti-trust ruling, Apple has now brought matters to a head by asking for Michael Bromwich to be removed from the role, reports Reuters.

An attorney for the consumer technology giant on Tuesday asked U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan to disqualify Michael Bromwich from serving as an external compliance monitor, arguing he had shown a personal bias against the company.

In a letter to Cote, Apple’s lawyer cited a “wholly inappropriate declaration” filed by Bromwich last month …  expand full story

United States federal judge Stories March 6, 2013

Apple asks judge to throw out app monopoly lawsuit, says there’s ‘nothing illegal’ about a closed system

Apple asked a federal judge today to throw out a lawsuit originally filed in 2011 that claimed the company has a monopoly over iOS apps by not allowing iPhone users access to an “aftermarket” of applications. Bloomberg reported that U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers did not resolve the matter today, but Apple’s lawyer Dan Wall argued Apple’s “closed” system doesn’t violate antitrust laws:

Apple doesn’t set the price for paid applications, and charging a price for distribution of a product on a new and unique platform doesn’t violate any antitrust laws, said Dan Wall, Apple’s attorney, at yesterday’s court hearing in Oakland, California.

“There’s nothing illegal about creating a system that is closed in a sense,” Wall told U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers.

“Can a consumer go somewhere else to buy Angry Birds for the iPhone?” asked Alexander Schmidt, an attorney representing seven consumers who sued. “If the answer is no, then Apple is a monopolist.”

United States federal judge Stories July 12, 2012

Judge rejects bids to block live-streaming TV service Aereo

Aereo—the service that streams over-the-air local TV to any Mac, iOS device, or PC running Safari for $12 per month—just got a second chance at survival. According to The New York Times, a U.S. federal judge on Wednesday rejected a temporary injunction spurred by television broadcasters, saying a ruling for the broadcasters would have shut down Aereo.

Reuters reported that Walt Disney Co., Comcast Corp., News Corp., Univision Communications Inc., and the Public Broadcasting Service tried to stop Aereo with the injunction, claiming they would “lose their right to retransmission fees from cable and other companies that rebroadcast their programming, and also lose critical advertising revenue”:

  • U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan said on Wednesday that while the broadcasters demonstrated they faced irreparable financial damage if were the venture were allowed to continue, Aereo also showed it would face severe harm if the requested preliminary injunction were granted.
  • ‘First and foremost, the evidence establishes that an injunction may quickly mean the end of Aereo as a business,’ the Manhattan judge wrote in a 52-page opinion.

The New York Times quoted Aereo’s Barry Diller, who noted a trial still lies ahead for his company, but he is now “far happier to begin this process with the judge’s ruling.” One of the plaintiffs, CBS, told the publication it would continue to seek damages and a permanent injunction: “This is only a ruling on a preliminary injunction. This case is not over by a long shot.”

9to5Mac reviewed Aereo in March and found its broadcast TV-like experience encouraging and well worth a test-drive:

  • Overall, Aereo’s HTML5 user-interface is the most impressive on the Mac platform. Its ease of browsing, watching, and recording local TV through Safari is a unique take during an age that offers countless ways of viewing cable without an actual television. The main takeaway with Aereo is that it works best on the Mac and the iPad, video quality is identical to what one would see on a HDTV, and the DVR function is extremely handy.
  • […] For many people, its DVR functionality alone is worth the $12 monthly fee. For others, the admission price might be too hefty when compared to cheaper services that also offer cable programming and better streaming.

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