Archive for the ‘patent infringement’ tag
According to Apple’s court filing:
Samsung recently released its newest smartphone, the Galaxy S4, which began shipping in late April 2013. Based on Apple’s analysis of the Galaxy S4, Apple has concluded that it is an infringing device and accordingly intends to move for leave to add the Galaxy S4 as an infringing product.
In the increasingly-complex world of Apple legal maneuvering, this case is both an offensive action against Samsung and defensive, as Samsung has filed a counterclaim. So both Apple and Samsung are plaintiffs and defendants at one and the same time.
This existing list of what Apple believes are infringing Samsung products is already at 22. Because the judge in the case has asked Apple to limit the number of products it is accusing, Apple has offered to drop one from this list in order to add the S4:
- Captivate Glide
- Conquer 4G
- Exhibit 2 4G
- Galaxy Nexus
- Galaxy Note
- Galaxy Note 10.1
- Galaxy Note II
- Galaxy Player 4.0
- GalaxyPlayer 5.0
- Galaxy Rugby Pro
- Galaxy SII
- Galaxy SII Epic 4G Touch
- Galaxy SII Skyrocket
- Galaxy S III
- Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus
- Galaxy Tab 8.9
- Galaxy Tab 2 10.1
- Transform Ultra
Samsung’s plan to limit the number of models accused, however, consists of a strategy of calling each product for each carrier a different model, Apple says in the filing. In other words, a Galaxy S4 would be one product when configured for AT&T, and a second when configured for Verizon.
Apple, naturally, disagrees with that strategy, saying that “during the parties’ recent discussions, Apple asked Samsung to identify any relevant differences between carriers and operating system versions that justified its proposed granular approach – Samsung refused.” In addition, Apple says, Samsung’s counterclaims on Apple products it accuses of patent infringement does not count the iPhone 5 on AT&T as different from the iPhone 5 on Verizon.
In other words, Apple’s saying, Samsung can’t have its cake and eat it to. Or, what’s good for Pauline is good for Petra. However, in fairness, Apple does have three models of the Galaxy S II on the list, as well as three models of the Galaxy Note, and three models of the Galaxy Tab (although these are different sizes).
In one final interesting note, several of the lawyers representing Apple are from the San Francisco firm Morrison & Foerster, which chose its domain name from the first two letters of “Morrison” and “Foerster,” and only those two letters. Which, ironically, is a bit of an apt summary and probably preview of all the legal action so far.
The soap opera continues …
Image credit: Devindra Hardawar/VentureBeat; Hat tip: The Verge
BREAKING: Apple wins case brought by Google’s Motorola over phone sensors; Google’s bid to block imports blocked
— Bloomberg News (@BloombergNews) April 22, 2013
Motorola filed suit against Apple with the International Trade Commission in August of 2012, alleging that Apple infringed seven of its patents, including location reminders, e-mail notification, phone/video players, and Siri voice recognition. Google took ownership of the company in May of 2012, and Motorola’s stockpile of more than 17,000 patents was likely one of the key reasons the Android mobile operating system creator bought the company.
Apple has successfully reached patent licensing agreements with Android manufacturers such as HTC, as has Microsoft, but Google has not been able to use its Motorola patent arsenal to force a similar agreement with Apple — or at least not publicly.
Apple did offer $1 per device to settle case, reportedly.
In a instant of shocking legal clarity, the judge in the Apple/Moto case said earlier this month that Apple and Google apparently had no interest in actually resolving this case, but were using the legal system and their various Android/iOS lawsuits as ”a business strategy that appears to have no end.”
Interestingly, it’s been less than a month since Google issued a unilateral declaration of peace on certain patents that it has placed in a pool for use by software developers working on open source software. The patents that formed the basis of this complaint against Apple, naturally, did not make the cut.
This case may yet be appealed to United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Image credit: sfllaw/Flickr
The inability of Apple and Samsung to agree on proposed jury instructions has hinged upon a few key issues, particularly the distinction between simple copying and patent infringement.
Hyong Shin Park, a designer for Samsung, won’t be taking the stand in the patent infringement because Apple successfully argued that her testimony has nothing to do with its infringement claims.
Boris Teksler, Apple’s director of patent licensing and strategy, said late CEO Steve Jobs and then-COO Tim Cook in 2010 warned Samsung that its smartphones may infringe on the iPhone’s patents.
Following Apple’s marketing chief Phil Schiller, iOS head Scott Forstall to the stand to testify in the Samsung patent infringement trial.
Today the first shots were fired in the high-profile U.S. patent war between Apple and Samsung, beginning with Apple’s opening statements.
And no punch was pulled — Apple’s lawyer made a few hard-hitting claims in the courtroom, providing documents that show Samsung thought the iPhone was “easy to copy.” Harold McElhinny (Apple’s lawyer) also showed documents prepared by a Samsung executive that claim that the company was in a “crisis of design” because of the iPhone.
The presentation also included images of Samsung’s design evolution between pre-iPhone time and now.
But despite the evidence, McElhinny’s most crushing blow may have come in the form of a simple and well-known tech adage: “As we all know, it is easier to copy than to innovate. Apple had already taken the risks.”
However, just saying the hardware is easily copied isn’t proof of copying it, which is why McElhinny returned to evidence introduced in pre-trial, depicting Samsung’s phones before 2007 and their phones after the iPhone’s debut.
Take a look:
According to McElhinny’s argument in court (via Reuters), the main question the court would have to answer was how Samsung went from the phones on the left to the phones on the right.
Apple argues that 22.7 million devices sold by Samsung are in violation of patent infringement, and that the company is seeking up to $2.525 billion in damages. Samsung will follow up in its opening statement later this afternoon.
Today in a Silicon Valley court Apple and Samsung face off in one of the most significant trials of the extensive iOS-Android legal battles. Apple is seeking damages in the billions for, primarily, what it says is patent infringement on its style and design. In return, Samsung is suing for Apple technologies that it says infringes Samsung inventions that are essential to the operation of a mobile phone.
Meanwhile, the two combatants can’t even agree where to sit.
Since some experts believe that 85 percent of cases are won and lost in jury selection, the process is notoriously challenging. Lawyers from both sides will be seeking any evidence of bias in an attempt to stack the jury with as many favorable members for their clients as possible, while blocking any who might side with their opponents.
One problem for Samsung is location. The Korean company is fighting Apple on its home turf, in Silicon Valley. Apple is an iconic company in the U.S., but especially in the tech-centric San Francisco area. How this will affect potential jurors is an open question.
And lawyers for both sides will have to wrestle with questions such as whether iPhone use makes a jury member more likely to believe Apple, like Apple, or favor Apple. Or, conversely, if Android use might predispose jury members to side with Samsung.
Since smartphones are so personal, it’s a difficult question. Battle lines could already be drawn in jurors’ minds, because for many, they have already made a decision for one platform and against another.
A possible solution?
Only feature phone users need apply. Which would mean, of course, that people who know least about modern smartphones would decide one of the most key cases between the two companies that sell almost half of all smartphones sold globally.
It’ll be a difficult case, lasting at least four weeks.
But perhaps not as difficult as finding 10 jury members in San Francisco who don’t use smartphones.
We know patents are important to Facebook. The company recently spent $550 million on a bundle of AOL patents, via Microsoft. And the social network bought another 750 patents from IBM this year, all part of an aggressive strategy to build up a portfolio that earlier this year included only 56 patents, with 503 filed and pending. Part of its effort to stock up on patents might be motivated by the fact that Yahoo in March sued Facebook for patent infringement, although the two companies settled that dispute earlier in July.
Patents are one of the weapons of modern corporate warfare, and Facebook is just one participant in the arms race.
This particular patent was rejected a number of times, says ReadWriteWeb, for obviousness and overly-broad language in some of its claims.
According to the abstract, the patent is for dynamically generating a view of a user’s profile page that is compliant with the user’s stated privacy preferences:
A system and method for dynamically generating a privacy summary is provided. The present invention provides a system and method for dynamically generating a privacy summary. A profile for a user is generated. One or more privacy setting selections are received from the user associated with the profile. The profile associated with the user is updated to incorporate the one or more privacy setting selections. A privacy summary is then generated for the profile based on the one or more privacy setting selections.
The technology could be used to show different information (phone numbers, email address, photos, and so on) to different people, depending on their relationship. My friend gets all my information; my business contact only gets some.
This is the first patent Zuckerberg has ever applied for, and the first to be awarded to him. More, apparently, are in the works.
Image credit: Jennifer Van Grove
Neither Apple nor Samsung can agree on what their rival’s patents are worth. That was the outcome of a last-minute court-ordered discussion chief executive Tim Cook and his Korean counterpart held last week, Reuters reported this morning.
Just days from the July 30 start of a patent infringement trial in California’s court, Apple says Samsung’s patents are overpriced, while the South Korean tablet and smartphone maker thinks its patent portfolio is stronger than the iPad maker’s.
The two parties held an earlier negotiating conference in May with similar results, the news service reports. The value of each company’s patents is at the heart of next week’s trial set for a San Jose, Calif. federal courthouse. Samsung wants to license patents from Apple at the so-called “fair and reasonable” terms, yet believes Apple is more willing to sue competitors than offer agreeable licensing fees.
For its part, Apple has a number of patents related to tablet gestures and design factors.
For months, Apple and Samsung have wrangled in courtroom skirmishes. In the latest episode, Apple won a split decision from a German court that ruled Samsung’s Galaxy 10.1N is unlike the iPad enough that sales can continue. However, the South Korean’s smaller Galaxy 7.7 ban in Germany was effectively increased to sales across all EU states.
Photo via Shutterstock