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  • Apple seeks injunction against Samsung in California with newly acquired patents (update: Galaxy Nexus targeted)

    by 
    Donald Melanson
    Donald Melanson
    02.10.2012

    You can now add one more case to the long list of disputes between Apple and Samsung. As PaidContent reports, Apple filed a lawsuit against Samsung in the Northern District of California federal court on Tuesday, seeking a temporary injunction on the basis of two patents it obtained in December. One of those reportedly concerns the autocorrect feature found on iPhones and iPads, but details on the case otherwise remain a bit light as the complaint itself is still under seal. We'll keep you posted as we get more information. Update: Some additional details from the complaint have now come to light, and it turns out Apple is citing two additional patents in addition to the pair acquired in December (one of them related to the slide-to-unlock feature). What's more, it's also been revealed that Apple is targeting one specific device in this case: the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Given the patents, however, it's pretty clear that Apple taking aim at the Android 4.0 operating system rather than the phone's hardware, as it has in earlier cases against Samsung.

  • Acer files suit against former CEO Gianfranco Lanci over non-compete breach

    by 
    Brian Heater
    Brian Heater
    02.07.2012

    Gianfranco Lanci may be gone from Acer, but the PC maker's former chief is not forgotten -- not financially, at least. The company is suing the exec over non-compete violations, after he jumped ship around this time last year. The exec recently landed a gig at Lenovo as head of its Europe, Middle East and Africa division, after doing some time as a consultant for the company. Acer filed the suit in Lanci's native Italy, alleging that he "has clearly breached the terms" of the 12-month non-compete. No word yet on how much the company is seeking with the claim.

  • French court fines Google France 500,000 euros for gratis Maps

    by 
    Andrew Munchbach
    Andrew Munchbach
    02.02.2012

    A Parisian commercial court has upheld a lower court's ruling against Google France, ordering the company to pay a fine of €500,000 for giving away its maps services. The plaintiff, Bottin Cartographes, claims that Google leveraged the market share of its Maps platform -- and the fact that it's free -- to undercut and stifle competition attempting to sell their topographical wares to businesses. "We proved the illegality of [Google's] strategy," said Bottin's counsel, noting that this was the first time Google has been convicted of malfeasance for this particular piece of software in the country. A representative from the search giant said it plans to appeal the decision, and reiterated the company's belief that competition exists in the space. Personally, we think the court got it right. Why should people get an awesome product for free when they can pay for an inferior one, right?

  • Apple files German lawsuit against Samsung, targets Galaxy S II, nine other smartphones

    by 
    Zach Honig
    Zach Honig
    01.17.2012

    With patent infringement accusations going every which way in recent months, we're certainly familiar with Apple/Samsung banter in the international arena. Now Apple has thrown yet another punch at the Korean smartphone maker, targeting its Galaxy S II, Galaxy S Plus and eight other handsets, claiming -- yes, you've got it -- patent infringement. The suit was filed in Dusseldorf Regional Court -- the same venue that the company used to target the Galaxy Tab 10.1N, which was created specifically to sidestep a September injunction, also in Germany. It's becoming rather difficult to keep track of all the IP hubbub across the pond, but we'll surely be back with more as soon as the German court has a ruling to share.

  • Quanta sues AMD, claims it sold defective products

    by 
    Darren Murph
    Darren Murph
    01.04.2012

    Yikes. Quanta -- also known as the planet's largest contract maker of laptops -- has just slapped a nasty lawsuit on the world's second-largest chipmaker. According to Bloomberg, Quanta is alleging that AMD and ATI sold chips that "didn't meet heat tolerances and were unfit for particular purposes." Those chips were then used in NEC-labeled machines, and caused them to "malfunction" in some regard. No big deal? Hardly. In the complaint, Quanta states that it has "suffered significant injury to prospective revenue and profits," and it's seeking a jury trial and damages for good measure. As if that weren't harsh enough, the suit also claims "breach of warranty, negligent misrepresentation, civil fraud and interference with a contract." When pinged for comment, AMD's spokesman, Michael Silverman stated: "AMD disputes the allegations in Quanta's complaint and believes they are without merit. AMD is aware of no other customer reports of the alleged issues with the AMD chip that Quanta used, which AMD no longer sells. "In fact, Quanta has itself acknowledged to AMD that it used the identical chip in large volumes in a different computer platform that it manufactured for NEC without such issues." Somewhere, Intel has to be smirking.

  • M-Edge suit accuses Amazon of corporate bullying, patent infringement over Kindle cases

    by 
    Brian Heater
    Brian Heater
    12.28.2011

    Case maker M-Edge filed suit with a Maryland court last week accusing Amazon of "unlawful corporate bullying" and patent infringement relating to the company's line of Kindle cases. According to M-Edge, the company signed a three-year agreement with Amazon in November 2009 for a 15-percent sales commission, only to have the retail giant demand a new contract with a 32-percent cut a mere two month later. A lawyer for M-Edge told The Wall Street Journal that Amazon punished the case maker over its refusal to play ball, after threats of burying the company's products on its site. According to the filing, M-Edge finally caved and signed a new contract in July of last year, given the fact that Amazon apparently drives nearly 90-percent of the small company's revenue. The suit also accuses Amazon of "knocking off" its reading light-packing covers with lighted jacket designs for the Kindle 3. Amazon, for its part, has refused to comment on the matter.

  • German court's preliminary ruling says Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1N isn't aping the iPad

    by 
    Darren Murph
    Darren Murph
    12.22.2011

    Round a few corners, a bit of nip-tuck and a tossed-on N. Oh, and probably just being sick and tired of the whole ordeal. We're assuming that's the recipe for getting the Cupertino-sourced gorilla off of Samsung's back, as a judge at the district court in Düsseldorf, Germany just issued a preliminary ruling that effectively clears the Galaxy Tab 10.1N from claims that it too mimics the iconic iPad. If you'll recall, the court blocked German sales of the original Tab 10.1 back in September, following Apple's arguments that Sammy's tab just looked too much like the iPad. Not surprisingly, the subtly-redesigned Tab 10.1N still drew fire from Apple's lawyers, but it's looking like they'll be riding home on the losing train this go 'round. A final verdict is expected on February 9th, of which we're sure you'll be resting uneasily on the edge of your seat to hear the result of. Courtroom fever -- catch it!

  • Federal judge dismisses class-action suit against Sony, 'Other OS' feature remains dormant

    by 
    Amar Toor
    Amar Toor
    12.14.2011

    Last year, a group of disgruntled gamers filed a class-action lawsuit against Sony over its decision to remove the "Install Other OS" feature from its PS3 firmware. Last week, though, their case was dismissed by US District Judge Richard Seeborg, on the grounds that the plaintiffs failed to actually state a claim. In a ruling issued Thursday, Seeborg said he sympathized with the gamers' gripes, but ultimately determined that they had failed to demonstrate any legal entitlement to the feature, thereby neutering their arguments. "The dismay and frustration at least some PS3 owners likely experienced when Sony made the decision to limit access to the PSN service to those who were [un]willing to disable the Other OS feature on their machines was no doubt genuine and understandable," Seeborg wrote. "As a matter of providing customer satisfaction and building loyalty, it may have been questionable." He went on, however, to point out that the users "have failed to allege facts or articulate a theory on which Sony may be held liable" post-PS3 purchase, effectively ending the litigation.

  • Judge to reconsider DoJ's AT&T antitrust suit

    by 
    Christopher Trout
    Christopher Trout
    12.09.2011

    Late last month AT&T withdrew its application with the FCC to acquire T-Mobile, in an attempt, it said, to focus on winning approval from the Department of Justice, first. Now a district court judge is considering dismissing the US' antitrust suit against ole Ma Bell. According to Bloomberg, the DoJ is looking to either "withdraw without prejudice" or "stay" the suit, as a result of AT&T pulling its application from the FCC. Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle scheduled a hearing for December 15th to decide whether the deal is still possible in the proposed timeframe and the suit still worth pursuing. She had this to say: We don't have any confidence that we are spending all this time and effort and the taxpayers money and that we're not being spun. The landscape has changed. AT&T's lawyers remained steadfast, however, demanding the company's "day in court," and reiterating that approval from the DoJ would improve its chances of getting the thumbs-up from the FCC. For more sordid details on this legal ping-pong match, hit the source link below.

  • German court grants injunction against Apple for infringement of Motorola patents (update: Apple responds)

    by 
    Zach Honig
    Zach Honig
    11.04.2011

    Motorola just confirmed that earlier today, the Mannheim District Court in Germany granted a default judgment in its case against Apple that bars the sale of Apple products in Deutschland. In addition to the confirmation, Motorola also issued the following, rather unrevealing statement: "As media and mobility continue to converge, Motorola Mobility's patented technologies are increasingly important for innovation within the wireless and communications industries, for which Motorola Mobility has developed an industry leading intellectual property portfolio. We will continue to assert ourselves in the protection of these assets, while also ensuring that our technologies are widely available to end-users. We hope that we are able to resolve this matter, so we can focus on creating great innovations that benefit the industry."The ruling comes as a role reversal of sorts for Apple, which most recently received a pair of injunctions in Germany, banning the sale of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in that country, along with the rather embarrassing removal of the Tab 7.7 from the show floor at IFA. According to FOSS Patents this is a default judgment, meaning Apple did not respond to Moto's filing and as a result got hit with the injunction, which could result in its products being pulled or the company being required to pay damages. And so the saga continues... Dust off the pocket translator and hit up the source link for the full ruling in German.Update: We just got the following statement from Apple regarding the ruling: "This is a procedural issue, and has nothing to do with the merits of the case. It does not affect our ability to sell products or do business in Germany at this time."So, it appears our iDevice-loving German friends have nothing to worry about, at least for now.Update (11/7): FOSSPatents has posted a second update accessing the procedural rules, how they (might) affect this case and whether or not Apple has anything to worry about. If you can't get enough FRAND and Zivilprozessordnung news you can read through it -- we'll just hang on until the courts make another decision or someone's products actually get pulled from shelves.

  • Samsung's Won-Pyo Hong: Galaxy Nexus wasn't designed just to skirt Apple patents

    by 
    Darren Murph
    Darren Murph
    10.20.2011

    Well, so much for that. Samsung's Executive Vice President of Product Strategy -- Won-Pyo Hong -- didn't say a whole heck of a lot on stage here at AsiaD, but he did clarify one thing near the end of his interview: he has 'no idea' where those earlier rumors came from. With "those rumors" regarding the matter of designing the Galaxy Nexus specifically to avoid patent troubles with Apple. According to Dr. Hong, the actual development of the Galaxy Nexus started with Google before the initial lawsuit hammer fell between the two outfits, making it impossible for the suits being flung back and forth today to have any impact on that decision.We believe it. These phones are designed months -- if not years -- in advance, and the actual process from concept to shipping takes a relative eternity. Furthermore, the original source (linked in More Coverage) only tied the quotes from Sammy's Shin Jong-kyun loosely to the Galaxy Nexus, and we're guessing that Samsung takes a look at all potential legal implications before shipping any product. In other words, the company's probably doing everything it can -- including paying Microsoft for every single Android device sold -- to avoid these nasty legal battles, but the Galaxy Nexus wasn't engineered just to sidestep another fight with the lawyers in Cupertino. And now you know.Update: In response to a question from Joanna Stern regarding Samsung's rethinking of hardware and software (mainly TouchWiz) in order to lessen its chances of being sued in the future, Dr. Hong did muster a very vague affirmation that a newer build of TouchWiz will eventually surface, and that it'll almost certainly be tweaked in a way that'll cause Apple's lawyers to salivate less.

  • AT&T asks court to dismiss lawsuits filed by Sprint and C Spire Wireless

    by 
    Zachary Lutz
    Zachary Lutz
    09.30.2011

    Well, look at Ma Bell now, wishing it'd all just go away. Tied up in lawsuits, the company has filed motions to dismiss the two complaints brought by Sprint and C Spire Wireless (formerly Cellular South), which seek to block AT&T's acquisition of T-Mobile. In the filings, it's argued that the two providers represent their own interests, rather than that of the public. AT&T further reveals that C Spire had pursued private negotiations prior to the lawsuit, where the regional provider agreed to support the merger "if AT&T would agree not to engage in facilities-based competition in Mississippi." Ma Bell goes on to state, "This inappropriate proposal confirms that what Cellular South fears is competition, not lack of competition." Given the latest maneuver (which smacks heavily of PR spin), there's no doubt that lawyers for Sprint and C Spire will have a bit of homework for the weekend.

  • Samsung countersues Apple in Australia, claims iPhone / iPad 2 violate its patents

    by 
    Darren Murph
    Darren Murph
    09.18.2011

    Man. Exciting stuff, here. Stuff like lawyers yelling at each other in varied continents because "your stuff looks too much like my theoretical stuff." The long, winding and increasingly mind-numbing battle between Samsung and Apple has taken yet another turn in Australia, with the former slapping the latter with a bold countersuit. According to The Wall Street Journal, Sammy feels that the iPhone and iPad 2 both "violate a number of wireless technology patents held by Samsung." Spokesman Nam Ki-yung stated the following: "To defend our intellectual property, Samsung filed a cross claim for Apple's violation of Samsung's wireless technology patents." The suit is being filed just days / weeks before a ruling will decide on whether the Galaxy Tab 10.1 can be legally sold Down Under, and in related news, Samsung is also appealing a recent ruling back in Germany. If ever the world needed an out-of-court settlement...

  • AT&T files response to DOJ suit, says regulators just don't understand

    by 
    Terrence O'Brien
    Terrence O'Brien
    09.10.2011

    It's no secret or surprise that AT&T is unhappy with the DOJ's decision to try and block its merger with T-Mobile. But issuing public statements is one thing, officially filing papers in court is another. Ma Bell submitted a 25-page document arguing that the Justice Department's claims represent a misunderstanding of the market and dismisses competition from "innovative upstarts," like MetroPCS and US Cellular. AT&T's lawyers point out that T-Mo, currently the fourth largest provider, has been losing customers for years and it's German parent company may not be inclined to invest much in improving it. By contrast, AT&T has spent $30 billion over the last two years to boost network quality and capacity, yet still struggles to keep up with demand. We can't say the arguments are without validity, but the government's fear of a market dominated by just three companies with little incentive to innovate or drive down prices also seems well founded. Well, the pageantry officially gets underway on September 21st, when the US District Court hearings begin.

  • Apple sues Samsung in Japan over alleged iPhone, iPad patent violations

    by 
    Amar Toor
    Amar Toor
    09.08.2011

    It looks like Apple's patent spat with Samsung has now reached the land of the rising sun. Reuters is reporting that Cupertino is taking the Korean manufacturer to court in Japan, over alleged patent violations pertaining to the iPhone and iPad. Japan's Kyodo news agency first reported the news, citing unnamed insiders who claim that Apple is looking to halt sales of Samsung's allegedly patent-infringing Galaxy S smartphones, while seeking ¥100 million (about $1.3 million) in damages. According to the sources, the first hearing was held in a Tokyo District Court on Wednesday, though a court spokesman would not comment on the pending case. Neither Samsung nor Apple have commented on the suit and details on the patents in question remain unclear, but we'll keep you posted as we find out more. Update: Ryuji Yamada, CEO of Japanese provider NTT DoCoMo, is now saying that Apple's lawsuit will not have any effect on next month's Galaxy Tab launch. "We have heard from Samsung that there will be no obstruction to sales," Yamada confirmed.

  • AT&T fires back against Sprint over T-Mobile acquisition suit

    by 
    Brian Heater
    Brian Heater
    09.06.2011

    Well, that didn't take long. Sprint today revealed that it has filed a suit against AT&T's proposed T-Mobile purchase -- and now AT&T is hitting back with some less than flattering words. An AT&T spokesperson told Engadget, "this simply demonstrates what we've said all along -- Sprint is more interested in protecting itself than it is in promoting competition that benefits consumers." AT&T went on to promise a "vigorous fight" and reiterated that such a merger would ultimately prove beneficial to the industry and consumers, improving wireless service and solving spectrum concerns.

  • Sprint files suit to stop AT&T / T-Mobile merger

    by 
    Brian Heater
    Brian Heater
    09.06.2011

    Looks like the US government isn't the only party looking to stand in the way of AT&T's proposed acquisition of T-Mobile. Sprint today announced that it has filed suit in federal court in the District of Columbia against AT&T, Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile. The filing outlines the carrier's concern that the proposed deal would harm consumers, corporate customers and carriers (such as, you know, Sprint), while transforming AT&T-Mobile and Verizon into a "duopoly." Of course, this isn't the first time the carrier has let the world know that it's not particularly pumped about the whole proposal. See the full litigious press release after the break. Update: Right on cue, AT&T has fired back with a predictably laughable response.

  • South Korean Apple tracking suit is 27,000 plaintiffs strong

    by 
    Brian Heater
    Brian Heater
    08.17.2011

    That whole iPhone location tracking kerfuffle hasn't been making that many headlines here in the States as of late, but things are a bit different over in South Korea. Back in July, Kim Hyung-suk was awarded one million won ($932) from Apple Korea. Fresh from the win, the lawyer naturally got to work on a new suit. The suit now counts among its ranks 26,691 plaintiffs -- plus 921 minors who still need parental permission to join in -- all seeking the same one million won payout, for a total of around $26 million in damages. Apple, for its part, has yet to comment on the suit.

  • HTC drags on the patent war, files yet another complaint against Apple

    by 
    Terrence O'Brien
    Terrence O'Brien
    08.16.2011

    Sweet jumping jehosaphat, the patent suit madness just won't end. Only a month after the ITC sided with Apple and HTC offered a standard-issue plea for cooperation, the Taiwanese company has filed its own infringement complaint against the Cupertino crew. This isn't the first suit brought by HTC against Apple, and we're sure it won't be the last. In fact, the two have a long history of engaging in the most common form of competition for smartphone makers. (Why let your products do the talking when you have high-priced lawyers on retainer?) The three patents at the heart of the complaint cover not just the iPhone and iPad, but also the company's computer line -- in particular WiFi networking features and the combination of PDA and cellphone functionality. You can check out the patents in question at the more coverage links and you'll find PR right after the break.

  • ITC judge presiding over Kodak-Apple patent case retires

    by 
    Kelly Hodgkins
    Kelly Hodgkins
    08.04.2011

    ITC Chief Administrative Law Judge Paul Luckern has stepped down from his position after 27 years of service. This departure is notable as Luckern presided over the patent complaint filed by Kodak against Apple. In January, Luckern issued an initial ruling that Apple did not infringe on Kodak's patent for image preview. This early win for Apple was surprising as Kodak had collected over US$900 million from LG and Samsung in licensing fees for this same image preview patent. The final decision on this complaint has been delayed twice and is now scheduled for the end of August. With the departure of the presiding judge, the outcome of this case is uncertain and could swing in favor of Kodak. Such a reversal would be a huge win for the imaging company as licensing fees from this complaint could climb as high as $1 billion.