June 21, 2011

FOSS Patents reports that the judge overseeing the Samsung vs. Apple case has ruled in Apple’s favor regarding Samsung’s request to examine Apple’s next-generation, high-profile mobile devices: the iPhone 5 and iPad 3. Although this is good news for Apple (and expected news), Apple might still have to wait on obtaining preliminary injunction against Samsung’s ability to sell their devices in question in the United States.

This possibility comes from this key line from the judge on the case:

Samsung is free to argue, for instance, that there is little likelihood of confusion because consumers will not encounter its products side-by-side with the iPhone 4 or iPad 2, but rather with Apple’s next generation iPhone and iPad. Similarly, as to proximity, Samsung is free to argue that because the iPhone 4 and iPhone 2 will soon be outmoded and reduced in price, they are not being sold (or very soon will not be sold) to the same class of purchasers who are likely to buy new Samsung products. By choosing to allege infringement only of its current products, Apple opens itself up to these arguments.

Essentially, Samsung can argue that they should not be banned from selling the devices in question in the United States (like the Nexus and Galaxy devices) as these devices – both tablets and smartphones – are currently up against the iPhone 4 and iPad 2. Samsung could argue that Apple’s next-generation devices will be different in appearance, resolving Apple’s argument that the appearance of their devices has been copied by Samsung. Apple, of course, will not reveal the design and features for unreleased products.

If Apple can present the iPhone 5 to the court and show that the alleged problem of “consumer confusion” is essentially the same as currently (in terms of similarities between the Galaxy handset and the iPhone 4), Apple’s motion for an injunction is no less likely to succeed (though it’s clear that Samsung would try to overstate any possible differences in design).

FOSS Patent’s Florian Mueller closes his report by noting that Apple would have the best chance in accomplishing injunction against Samsung if they only motion for injunction when the iPhone 5 arrives in September– or when Apple wants to show their next-generation smartphone to the court (which will likely never happen prior to the public reveal):

If Apple would rather avoid this kind of impression, it might want to proceed cautiously and wait with a preliminary injunction motion until the iPhone 5 can be shown, or present only a tablet-related motion in the very near term and a smartphone-related one a little later.

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October 19

AAPL: 117.12

Stock Chart

Updated with Amazon statement, below

There’s no shortage of third-party chargers and cables sold for Apple equipment, some of them claiming to be the genuine article, but Apple has found that even Amazon has been selling counterfeit products labelled as the real thing. The products concerned were sold by Amazon directly, and not by a third-party Marketplace seller.

The items have now been removed from sale, and Apple is suing the company that made them …

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June 30

AAPL: 95.60

Stock Chart

Spotify has become very vocal in recent weeks about Apple’s business practices for its App Store. Apple recently revamped its subscription policy for iOS developers, offering a 85/15 split if developers keep customers for more than a year, but Spotify is still not happy with proceedings.

In a letter to Washington seen by Recode, the company now says Apple is being anti-competitive by rejecting its latest update to the Spotify app in order to encourage sales of its own $9.99 Apple Music subscriptions. Spotify is making a lot of noise to suggest Apple is using illicit business practices to elevate the success of Apple Music, by crippling Spotify and other third-party services.

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May 26

AAPL: 100.41

Stock Chart

Infamous patent troll VirnetX has formally asked a Texas court this week to order Apple to stop providing its FaceTime and iMessage features to customers. The request follows VirnetX’s victory in court earlier this year to the tune of $625 million, which the firm wants to see increased by $190 million or more, Law360 reports:

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April 30

AAPL: 93.74

Stock Chart

An iPhone 6 is at the center of an investigation of two missing Florida teens. Last July, 14-year-olds Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen set out on a boat trip in the Atlantic Ocean, but both of the bodies went missing and boys never returned. The United States Coast Guard performed an eight-day search for the boys, but never found them. Last, month, however, their boat was recovered 100 miles off the shore of Bermuda and on the boat was Stephanos’ iPhone (via ABC News).

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January 19

AAPL: 96.66

Stock Chart

Apple has finally managed to secure a sales ban over some Samsung phone features that infringe on its patents and intellectual property. However, the victory is effectively meaningless despite the milestone in its continuing patent litigation suit with Samsung in ever-longer court battles.

Apple’s ban resides over three features encumbered by its patents: the controversial ‘slide to unlock’ patent, predictive text technology and autocorrect. Getting a ban is a huge symbolic achievement, but the effect it will have on day-to-day business of the two companies is minor. The ban is effectively useless as FOSS Patents explains …

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September 18, 2015

AAPL: 113.45

Stock Chart

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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August 25, 2015

AAPL: 103.74

Stock Chart

Germany’s top civil court today has ruled against Apple in a case pertaining to the company’s swipe-to-unlock input method. Judges in the case explained that swipe-to-unlock is not sophisticated enough to be awarded patent protection. This ruling falls in line with a similar ruling that favored Motorola back in 2013 (via Bloomberg).

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June 1, 2015


February 5, 2015

August 21, 2014

Following a recent ruling that Apple would have ten days to remove the anonymous social app Secret from its Brazilian App Store, Apple has complied with the order. The justification for the removal, according to a source close to the situation, can be found in section 22.1 of the App Store Guidelines:

Apps must comply with all legal requirements in any location where they are made available to users. It is the developer’s obligation to understand and conform to all local laws

As noted by the judge, the Brazilian constitution prohibits anonymous freedom of expression, which essentially makes Secret and other apps like it illegal with that country.

Per Article 5, Section IV of the Constitution of Brazil:

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August 8, 2014

Steve Jobs famously declared back in 2010 that Android was a stolen product, and he was willing to “go thermonuclear war” in order to “destroy” it.

“I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong,” Jobs said. “I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”

Back in April, I suggested three reasons it might be time for Apple to settle its Android disputes and move on. The relatively small damages award in the most recent case (and which now looks set to be further reduced) provided a fourth reason not long after I wrote that piece. But I think the case today is even more compelling …  expand full story

August 5, 2014

Samsung and Apple just announced that they have agreed to drop all patent suits against each other in countries outside the United States, Bloomberg reports. The two companies will drop suits against each other in Australia, Japan, South Korea, Germany, Netherlands, the U.K., France and Italy. This agreement does not include any licensing agreements, though. This has no effect on United States battles either.

In a joint statement, the two companies had the following to say:

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August 1, 2014

May 24, 2014

Based on the most recent verdict in Apple v. Samsung, Apple is attempting to seek a permanent injunction against any Samsung device that infringes upon its patents.

While this includes the devices that were at the center of the latest court case, it also includes “software or code capable of implementing any Infringing Feature, and/or any feature not more than colorably different therefrom,” which could be construed to mean current and even future devices.

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May 20, 2014

Samsung Galaxy S II and iPhone 4 (front, side)

A Dutch appeals court today upheld a 2011 decision that banned the sale of Samsung’s Galaxy S II and Galaxy Ace phones, as noted by Re/code. The devices in question were found to have infringed on Apple’s design in an earlier ruling and blocked from sale.

Apple’s original intent was to get an injunction against all Galaxy devices, but the company was forced to settle instead for just the two devices listed above.

Even though Apple and Google recently decided to settle their differences, thus halting the “thermonuclear warfare” instigated by former CEO Steve Jobs, there’s no indication that Apple plans to stop going after Samsung or other manufacturers directly any time soon. In fact, Samsung was recently found to have infringed on Apple’s design yet again with some of its newer devices and order to pay nearly $120 million in damages.

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April 1, 2014

March 31, 2014

Pieces in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal suggest that the real target of Apple’s second courtroom patent battle with Samsung may be Android.

Some features in Samsung devices that Apple objects to are part of Google’s Android operating system, by far the most popular mobile operating system worldwide, running on more than a billion devices made by many manufacturers. That means that if Apple wins, Google could have to make changes to critical Android features, and Samsung and other Android phone makers might have to modify the software on their phones …

Jury selection begins today for the second patent case between the two companies after mediation attempts failed. Apple is seeking around $2B in damages for five patents it alleges Samsung has violated, while Samsung is counter-claiming that Apple is in violation of two of its own patents.

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March 18, 2014


February 25, 2014

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