Tag - IPCom
Germany's Mannheim Regional Court has dismissed two lawsuits against Apple and one against HTC, all of which were brought by IP holding firm IPCom, reports say. The cases revolved around a set of standards-essential 3G patents IPCom bought from Bosch after the latter exited the carphone industry. One of the suits, had it been successful, would have have demanded almost $2.2 billion in damages from Apple.
On February 11th, Apple will go to trial at Mannheim Regional Court to defend itself against a patent infringement suit brought by German patent firm IPCom, reports say. The latter company accuses Apple of violating a standards-essential wireless patent upheld by the European Patent Office last month; another, separate patent is also at stake. IPCom is asking for €1.57 billion ($2.12 billion) in damages, plus pre-judgment interest.
German customs officials have reportedly held HTC device shipments as part of the company's ongoing legal battle with 3G patent holder IPCom. Patent analyst Florian Mueller notes that the incident is not an actual import ban ordered by a body such as the International Trade Commission, and it remains unclear if the shipments were eventually allowed to pass into the country ahead of a damages hearing held Friday in Mannheim courts.
In June 2011, IPCom won a legal dispute versus Nokia over a patent that covers implementation of priority access to cell networks for first responders and other designated users, typically law enforcement and government. Nokia was found to be using the intellectual property, without proper licensing, in its implementation of 3G. The parties have since been negotiating for a licensing agreement. A UK judge indicated to IPCom last week that an injunction wasn't possible based on Nokia's good-faith effort to negotiate a license.
The European Patent Office has revoked a patent owned by IPCom, days after the company won a patent case against Nokia. The patent describes a method for connecting and prioritizing devices on 3G networks.
Nokia isn't too concerned by losing a court case on Friday related to phone patents belonging to patent firm IPCom. The ruling affects only phones that are no longer sold by the company, so the damage is minimal, according to Nokia. A company spokesperson said the patent was granted in February of 2011 and current products use different technology.
HTC saw a further setback in its attempts to survive patent conflicts on Monday after a US Court of Appeals in Washington ruled (PDF) that an earlier decision invalidating an IPCom patent in a lawsuit couldn't be upheld. The judge who had overseen the original case, where HTC had sued IPCom to negate its patent, would have to listen to arguments from IPCom as to why the patent was still valid. It would revive a lawsuit HTC had initiated in 2008 and thought it had resolved with its victory in 2010.
IPCom's attempts to sue HTC's store partners to block sales may have been thwarted as a German court has reportedly put in place a preliminary ban on the threats. The 3G patent holder was said by HTC attorneys to be momentarily blocked from trying to sue any retailer that carries the phones. The gesture would effectively clear HTC to stay in the German market until the ban was lifted.
Patent collecting company IPCom is targeting nearly 100 phone retailers in Germany for patent infringement as they continued to sell HTC phones after a court-imposed deadline. The stop-sell date of December 20 was imposed earlier in December, and cease and desist letters were sent on December 6, IPCom said, according to a Thursday report. The original patent dispute between IPCom and HTC with its 3G handsets dates back to February of 2009.
HTC faced another setback Friday after it decided to drop an appeal against a ban on its 3G devices in Germany. The company made the surprise reversal after it decided that it wasn't likely to win against IPCom, which claims all of HTC's 3G hardware violates its patents. IPCom claimed that it would have "no choice" but to ban HTC's hardware before the end of the year, as HTC had "never" had any cash offer that could be enough to cover the patents.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE