September 26, 2011

August 24, 2011

Update 1: Samsung comments below the fold

Update 2: Judge declares Apple’s “slide-to-unlock” patent invalid

A Dutch court today issued an “EU-wide preliminary injunction against Samsung’s Galaxy” devices (excluding the Galaxy tablets), according to a report from FOSS Patents who just posted the official court order.

From the report:

The Rechtbank ‘s-Gravenhage (a Dutch court in the city of The Hague) today issued an EU-wide preliminary injunction against Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones — but not the Galaxy tablets — at Apple’s request. The decision follows a hearing held on August 10 and 11, 2011.

While the majority of Apple’s claims have reportedly been rejected by the court, one patent detailing swiping gestures  between images in a gallery has apparently lead to the court’s ultimate decision (according to Tweaker via MacRumors). The “EU-wide” ruling will take effect October 13 and will ban Samsung subsidiaries from selling several devices including the Galaxy S, Galaxy S II, and Ace smartphones. However, “EU-wide” in this case is not necessarily all of Europe, rather only in countries where that specific swipe gesture-related patent (image below) is valid. Foss Patents explains: expand full story

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 11

AAPL: 156.55

0.65

Apple’s claim that mobile chipmaker Qualcomm has for years been engaged in monopolistic behaviour got a boost today from a Taiwanese ruling.

An investigation by Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission ruled that Qualcomm has been violating antitrust rules for at least seven years …

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July 22

AAPL: 150.27

-0.07

After being named in a group legal filing expressing support for Apple in its case against Qualcomm, Intel has now filed its own statement with the International Trade Commission. The chipmaker alleges that Qualcomm is not licensing its patents at a fair rate and thus abusing its position in the industry.

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July 19

AAPL: 151.02

0.94

A senior Apple official has reportedly confirmed that the company is underwriting the legal costs of its four iPhone manufacturers in their court battles with Qualcomm.

While Qualcomm’s CEO this week started using softer language, the dispute itself escalated further in a new development late yesterday …

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June 9

AAPL: 148.98

-6.01

iPhone 8 owners may not be able to take advantage of the faster data speeds expected to be available later this year in the USA, says a Bloomberg report, and Apple’s dispute with Qualcomm may be the reason.

AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and other carriers have promised to introduce a new generation of wireless data later in the year, offering speeds as high as a gigabit per second – some fifty times faster than typically available today. But it appears that this speed won’t be supported in the iPhone 8, even if the modems it contains are compatible …

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April 5

AAPL: 144.02

-0.75

October 19, 2016

AAPL: 117.12

-0.35

Update 2: Amazon is reportedly working on a new Brand Central program to help protect brands from knock-offs. CNET says that few details are yet available, but one of those involved in a pilot scheme said that Amazon’s approach to dealing with counterfeit products has undergone ‘a sea change.’

Update 1: Amazon commented:

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, 2016

AAPL: 95.60

1.20

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, 2016

AAPL: 100.41

0.79

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, 2016

AAPL: 93.74

-1.09

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, 2016

AAPL: 96.66

-0.47

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

-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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August 25, 2015

AAPL: 103.74

0.62

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

Typo, the Blackberry-like keyboard case for the iPhone, permanently withdrawn from sale

Typo, the iPhone keyboard case that bore more than a passing resemblance to the Blackberry keyboard, is being permanently withdrawn from sale as part of a lawsuit settlement.

Typo Products, co-founded by TV personality Ryan Seacrest, launched the original version of the keyboard early last year. Blackberry wasted no time in suing the company for alleged patent infringement, winning an injunction against its sale and later collecting $860k in damages.

Undeterred, Typo released a modified version of the keyboard which it claimed didn’t infringe Blackberry’s patents. Blackberry disagreed and took Typo back to court again. Blackberry says that case has now been settled, with Typo agreeing to permanently withdraw its iPhone keyboard cases from sale.

The settlement refers to keyboards for devices “smaller than 7.9 inches,” meaning Typo is free to continue selling its iPad mini model.

Via the WSJ

February 5, 2015

Typo ordered to pay BlackBerry $860k for selling its knockoff iPhone keyboard case

Typo, the Ryan Seacrest-backed company selling an iPhone case with an integrated hardware keyboard, has been ordered to pay BlackBerry around $860,600 in the ongoing case between the two companies, Reuters reports

If you’re unfamiliar, BlackBerry didn’t particularly like the Typo keyboard’s resemblance to its own iconic, albeit obsolete, keyboard included on its dwindling smartphone lineup and covered by its patents. After the court handed down an injunction following an original suit filed in January of 2014, a US District Judge in San Francisco ruled this week that Typo will have to pay the £567,303, or approximately $860,600, fine for violating the injunction and continuing to sell the product.

Despite little interest from anyone and generally poor reviews, Typo plans to keep making its keyboard cases and noted to Reuters that the fines do not relate to its latest generation of Typo 2 products unveiled at CES last month.

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

Men are silhouetted against a video screen with Apple and Samsung logos as he poses with Samsung S3 and Samsung S4 smartphones in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica

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

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