Filing intended to stave off at least two lawsuits in US
As expected, following its Japanese bankruptcy disclosure, troubled Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox has filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy in the US. The filing will temporarily halt US-based lawsuits. The filing will allow potential investors to look at the exchange without legal ramifications, as well as give the exchange time to resolve some of the problems that cropped up over the weekend.
Company failed to prove harm caused by Samsung patent infringement
A California court has denied Apple a renewed motion it sought for a permanent injunction against Samsung, according to reports. In December 2012, US District Court Judge Lucy Koh made the initial denial of a permanent injunction against 23 Samsung devices. Apple won a partial appeal of the ruling at the Federal Circuit, which affirmed the denial of trade dress (design) patents, but handed back an injunction over software patents to Koh for review.
System prevents visually impaired from entering own PINs
A recent class action lawsuit -- filed last week in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida -- charges that the point-of-sale devices used by Apple Store workers discriminate against the visually impaired. Because shoppers can't enter a debit card PIN by themselves, plaintiff David New argues, Apple is in violation of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Other retailers use POS devices with "tactiley discernible keypad surfaces," the complaint remarks, meaning that there's no fundamental reason why Apple Stores should be different.
Court filing points out double-standard in allegations
At the same time as it was accusing Samsung of leaking the same information, Apple publicly exposed the terms of its patent licensing terms with Nokia and NEC, Samsung remarks in its latest Apple v. Samsung lawsuit filing. In October, Apple filed a motion against Samsung as part of the original Apple v. Samsung case, alleging that Samsung's counsel -- Quinn Emanuel -- had inadvertently leaked licensing terms to Samsung executives, giving them an edge in corporate negotiations. In January the the District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that the latter was never sufficiently proven, and denied sanctions against Samsung, pinning the blame on counsel.
One Apple suit valued at almost $2.2 billion
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.
Claims verdict was a 'radical departure from modern antitrust law'
Apple has filed an official appeal with the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, seeking to overturn District Court Judge Denise Cote's verdict in July, which found Apple in violation of antitrust laws through its handling of e-book deals. "The district court's ruling that Apple, in the very act of launching the iPad, inventing the iBooks Store, and entering the e-books market, violated the Sherman Act is a radical departure from modern antitrust law and policy. If allowed to stand, the ruling will stifle innovation, chill competition, and harm consumers," the company claims in its appellate opening brief.
Alleges government failed to invalidate Zhizhen voice recognition patent
Apple has filed a lawsuit against China's State Intellectual Property Office, as well as Shanghai company Zhizhen Network Technology, according to news agencies Xinhua and Agence France-Presse. Zhizhen owns a voice recognition patent which Apple previously asked the SIPO to invalidate. The lawsuit is due to reach the Intermediate People's Court on Thursday.
Android co-creator may be asked to explain development of certain features
During next month's Apple v. Samsung trial, Apple may call Google's Andy Rubin to the stand to testify, according to court documents. Rubin was one of the creators of the Android platform, and would be asked to explain the development of Android features Apple claims infringe on patented content. He may also be asked to speak about "Google documents relating to such development." In March 2013 Rubin left the Android team to work on Google robotics projects.
Says 'reasonable consumer' wouldn't expect Siri to work perfectly
A judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of California, Claudia Wilken, has dismissed a lawsuit claiming that Apple ads for the iPhone 4S were deceptive about the capabilities of Siri. In her ruling Wilken writes that the plaintiffs' claims depended on "non-actionable puffery," and failed to show evidence of fraud. A "reasonable consumer," she says, would not expect Siri to work perfectly all the time; the plaintiffs charged that Apple gave the impression Siri could handle any request instantly.
Trial due to begin at end of March
Apple CEO Tim Cook and the head of Samsung's mobile division, Shin Jong-Kyun, are said to have met last week in a failed attempt to negotiate an out-of-court settlement, Korean reports say. The meeting came about because of a US court order mandating the two sides meet ahead of next month's trial. Lawyers are said to have met on January 6th to set a framework for the negotiation, which included a Feburary 19th deadline, and the presence of each side's CEO along with three to four in-house attorneys.
Companies want easier time recouping legal fees
A collection of companies -- including Apple, Google, Yahoo, Intel, Cisco, and Facebook -- are asking the US Supreme Court for measures to help deter frivolous patent lawsuits, Bloomberg reports. In particular, the companies are seeking to change the language used to determine when a defendant can claim coverage of legal fees from a plaintiff. The current standard allows coverage only if a suit is ruled "objectively baseless" and filed in bad faith.
Says chip violates university-developed patent
The University of Wisconsin's patent licensing arm -- the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation -- is suing Apple for violating a university patent through the A7 processor found in the iPhone 5s, iPad Air, and iPad mini. The patent is titled Table Based Data Speculation Circuit for Parallel Processing Computer, and credited to several computer scientists who were at UW Madison. It describes a way of improving "the efficiency and performance of contemporary computer processors."
Judge states that participation in swarm is too imprecise
In December, an Iowa judge dealt a heavy blow to the multiple-party anonymous "Doe" lawsuits involving piracy when she ruled that defendants couldn't be joined together due to the nature in which BitTorrent works. District Judge Stephanie M. Rose ruled that the cases, in which three independent films were pirated, couldn't have defendants lumped into single cases and must instead be limited to one party each.
Company aims for longer stay, monitor's eventual removal
The Second US Circuit Court of Appeals has granted Apple an "administrative stay," temporarily relieving it of scrutiny by antitrust monitor Michael Bromwich, Reuters reports. The stay is short-term only, and in fact Apple is pursuing a longer stay while it also seeks to suspend Bromwich entirely. A three-judge panel is due to hear a motion for the longer stay as soon as possible. The Department of Justice has until January 24 to file opposition; it didn't, however, oppose the administrative stay.
Court says anonymized data can still be used to identify people
Privacy activists have won the right to sue Google in England over fooling Safari into accepting cookies, according to reports. Some time ago, Apple updated Safari to allow people to block cookie-based tracking. Google developed a workaround, but was discovered, and punished with multiple fines by the US government. An American class action lawsuit was tossed out of court in October because the judge ruled no one could prove they'd been harmed.
Lawsuits launched over soon-expiring blue LED patent
A spate of lawsuits launched in 2012 over a patent held by a Boston University engineering professor have largely been settled, with a number of big-name tech firms -- including Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Samsung, Nokia and others -- agreeing to a licensing deal through "defensive intellectual property firm" RPX rather than continue litigation. The patent in question covers blue LED, essentially used in all LED-base tech devices, and which was due to expire soon.
App Store loopholes must be closed by April
Apple must pay out at least $32.5 million in refunds to settle a lawsuit brought by the US Federal Trade Commission over in-app purchases, the two parties have announced. Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, states in a memo to workers that while it "doesn't feel right for the FTC to sue over a case that had already been settled" -- something he calls "double jeopardy" -- the "consent decree the FTC proposed does not require us to do anything we weren't already going to do, so we decided to accept it rather than take on a long and distracting legal fight."
Second case still ongoing
VirnetX is seeking to add Apple's most recent slate of products to a lawsuit against FaceTime devices, according to an announcement. The patent holding firm says it has submitted a petition to the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, one which would add the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPad Air, Retina iPad mini, fifth-generation iPod touch, and the latest Mac notebooks and desktops to the list. VirnetX has accused Apple's FaceTime of violating a patent for peer-to-peer VPN technology.
Apple not working to 'change its corporate tone'
Apple has "chosen a campaign of character assassination over a culture of compliance" with regard to court-appointed monitor Michael Bromwich, and is missing an opportunity to "change its corporate tone," the US Department of Justice complains in a new letter to the court handling the DoJ v. Apple e-book case. Bromwich was appointed by US District Judge Denise Cote last year to ensure that Apple followed imposed pricing and contract terms. Apple has accused Bromwich of immediately launching a roving investigation, despite having a narrower task set to start 90 days after his appointment; the company also objects to his $1,100-an-hour billing rate, and having to pay for a second lawyer hired by Bromwich due to his own inexperience with antitrust cases. Last week, Apple filed a formal request to remove him.
Tech used is similar but different, court finds
The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has upheld an International Trade Commission ruling that found Apple didn't violate a Motorola patent on communications between devices and data networks, reports say. The ruling, issued in May, specifically dealt with Claim 12 of the patent, and whether or not it covered the deletion of apps capable of receiving push notifications. The ITC determined that Apple's implementation of status updates to halt notifications was non-infringing.
Samsung and Apple get back to patent negotiations
After being roundly defeated in a partial damages retrial last month, Samsung has reportedly returned to the patent negotiations table with Apple. The Korea Times reported on Sunday that the two companies have resumed negotiations to resolve their ongoing patent disputes, with officials at the Fair Trade Commission saying the firms are looking to hash out issues surrounding royalties.
Company avoids demanding rehearing
Apple has submitted a motion to renew injunction efforts against Samsung products violating three of its patents, reports say. Back in November the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit asked District Court judge Lucy Koh to reconsider Apple's case in terms of patents for rubber-banding, pinch-to-zoom, and tap-to-zoom functions, but at the same time supported the denial of an injunction based on asserted design patents. The Court of Appeal issued an official mandate for its decision on Thursday, at which time Apple quickly filed the motion to renew.
Judge rules Hulu must face privacy lawsuit
Hulu will have to face a class action lawsuit from users angered by the television streaming service's sharing of viewing histories with Facebook and business metrics company comScore. Reuters reported on Monday that U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler rejected Hulu's argument last week that the complainants in the case had suffered no actual wrong due to Hulu's actions. Instead of the case being dismissed, Hulu will now have to face the plaintiffs in court, with the case potentially resulting in damages of at least $2,500 per violation in addition to punitive damages.
Companies call for clarity from the court
The US Supreme Court has decided to hear a patent-infringement case that calls into question the validity of patent protection for certain software features. In the legal battle fought between Alice Corporation and CLS Bank International, in which the former alleges violation of a software patent related to financial transactions, lower courts have failed to reach a consensus regarding the technology's patent eligibility.
Apple dropped $60 million fighting Samsung in US
Apple's ongoing patent infringement actions against Samsung have cost the iPhone maker more than $60 million in legal fees, it was revealed on Thursday. Reuters reported on a new legal filing from Apple that pointed to the total cost Apple has paid to its U.S.-based legal team in order to pursue litigation against the South Korean tech giant. The figure, while sizable, is dwarfed by the potential damages payout Apple may receive for its initial victories, which amount to roughly $900 million.
Bill aims to reduce frivolous litigation
The US House of Representatives has passed a bipartisan bill that aims to reduce negative impact from the practice derisively known as patent trolling. Passing by a wide margin of 323 to 89, Rep. Bob Goodlatte's (R-VA) Innovation Act (PDF) focuses on a range of litigation reforms to help protect businesses against frivolous patent-infringement lawsuits.
UK ban proceedings may have leaked M8 launch
A judge in the United Kingdom appears to have confirmed a February launch windows for HTC's follow-up to this year's HTC One flagship. In the same proceedings that marked a ban on the HTC One Mini in the UK, BGR reports that Judge Richard Arnold pointed to a possible February 2014 launch for HTC's next flagship device. This is in keeping with previous rumors on the device's availability, but it is the most specific of any leaks, and appears based on internal information.
Decision effectively upholds existing law
The US Supreme Court has declined to hear a legal challenge against New York's sales-tax law for online purchases, according to a Reuters report. Retailers Amazon and Overstock had asked the court to determine if the tax regulations violate the Constitution, however the decision effectively upholds the New York Court of Appeals' March ruling that sided with the state.
Compliance monitor returns fire in letter to board
Apple has filed a formal objection against the compliance monitor in the recent e-book price-fixing lawsuit, crying foul over the attorney's alleged $69,000 weekly fees. The company's legal team also claims the monitor, Michael Bromwich, has exceeded his authority by demanding interviews with board members and executives, such as design head Jony Ive and board member Al Gore, who are not involved in the business unit affected by the court decision.
Sum below Apple's original demand
Two of the jurors in the Apple v. Samsung damages retrial are crediting an accountant witness, Julie Davis, for the $290 million verdict in Apple's favor. Jury forewoman Colleen Allen tells Bloomberg that Davis was a "superstar" who stayed steady even when she was being cross-examined. Allen's opinion is backed by juror Barry Goldman-Hall, who says it was Davis' testimony that helped the jury come to a precise figure. There were eight people on the jury in all, consisting of two men and six women.
Damages award now in the hands of the jury, time to decision unknown
Apple and Samsung are wrapping up the retrial of the vacated damages from the first omnibus smartphone patent trial from 2012. In closing arguments, Apple is arguing that Samsung cannot refute that it had improperly used iPhone related patents, and did so willingly, in its design process of more than a dozen devices. Samsung doesn't deny infringement, but believes that Apple is overstating how important the patents at stake actually are, and is asking far too much money to compensate for the unlicensed use.
Company claims documents, absence of Samsung execs aid case
Apple today made its closing arguments in the Apple v. Samsung damages retrial. A lawyer for the company, Bill Lee, argued earlier on Tuesday that documents were Apple's best evidence. Presenting to the court, Lee once again referred to images of Samsung devices pre- and post-iPhone, as well as internal Samsung communications. "In some ways our best witness is Samsung," he claimed.
Potential ban likely to have minimal effect on Samsung
The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has granted Apple another chance to impose a sales ban on patent-infringing Samsung phones, reports say. The court has vacated an earlier ruling by District Court judge Lucy Koh, who denied a ban Apple was seeking on 26 Samsung products. The Court of Appeals states that with respect to Apple's technical utility patents, Apple must now only show "some connection" between a patented feature and demand for a Samsung device, rather than illustrate a feature as a primary attraction, as Koh requested.
'Weakens the view that the world has for Apple'
Samsung infringement of Apple patents made it harder to sell the iPhone and iPad, Apple's head of worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller, claimed earlier today in a second day of testimony at the Apple v. Samsung damages retrial. Asked by an Apple attorney what he thought when he first saw the Samsung Galaxy S, Schiller said: "I was quite shocked. They went and copied the iPhone." He went on to suggest that Samsung's past copying "weakens the view that the world has for Apple," and has caused people to "question our innovation and design skills in a way that people never used to."
Samsung says damages owed are far shorter
Apple has asked for $380 million in damages at the beginning of the Apple v. Samsung damages retrial, reports say. Harold McElhinny, an attorney representing Apple, explained in opening statements today that the company's calculations assume lost profits of $114 million, Samsung profits of $231 million, and royalties of $35 million. Apple claims it would have sold 360,000 devices if Samsung hadn't released ones infringing on its patents, and that Samsung sold 10.7 million infringing devices, pulling in $3.5 billion in revenue. To support his case, McElhinny suggested that an internal Samsung document was "conclusive evidence Apple lost sales because of Samsung."
California jury to assess fate of $450M in damages
The jury selection process has begun for the retrial covering portions of the damages from last year's $1.05 billion verdict in the Apple-Samsung patent infringement case. Judge Lucy Koh, who initially vacated $450 million of the damages from Apple's landmark victory, is presiding over the proceedings once more. In the new case, the jury will decide a new dollar figure to cover the damages of Samsung's infringement for those products which fall under the purview of Koh's vacated $450 million.
Apple still considers NetAirus parent invalid
Jury selection is slated to begin today in the long-running NetAirus v. Apple lawsuit, Bloomberg reports. The case, first filed over three years ago, complains that the iPhone violates a 1997 patent held by NetAirus owner Richard Ditzik, documenting a handheld device merging a computer with wireless communications over local- and wide-area networks. Apple has maintained that the Newton MessagePad achieved similar technology as early as 1994, rendering NetAirus' patent obsolete.
Partial license terms of Apple and Nokia deal known to many Samsung execs
Samsung and its attorneys in its smartphone patent battle with Apple were grilled today by Federal Court Judge Lucy Koh over alleged mishandling of confidential Apple and Nokia documents. Apple calls the misuse of the documents released by law firm Quinn Emanuel a "massive unauthorized disclosure of highly confidential information" that gives Samsung an edge in negotiations with some of Apple’s business partners, including Nokia itself.
Case pursued through small claims court
A California man, Mark Menacher, has filed a small-claims lawsuit against Apple CEO Tim Cook over an automatic update to iOS 7. The case is being handled through the San Diego County branch of California's Superior Court, and asks for a method to remove update files plus $50 in compensation. Automatic over-the-air downloads of iOS updates became an option with iOS 6; although people must give permission for an update to install, the associated file can't be removed if a person chooses to back out, consuming 1GB or more of free space.
Judge refuses to interrupt service
Aereo has won a partial victory in a Boston federal court, avoiding an injunction that would have interrupted its streaming broadcast-TV service. The company also announced that its Android app will be available on October 22, following development delays that pushed it past the original September launch window.
Amazon to build private cloud
Amazon has reportedly won a legal battle with IBM over a $600 million contract with the Central Intelligence Agency. The companies have been competing for a ten-year agreement to help the agency build and manage a large-scale private cloud network for data-mining operations.
Small range of phones affected
Samsung did not receive a hoped-for Obama administration veto of an ITC import ban, according to an official statement by US Trade Representative Michael Froman. "After carefully weighing policy considerations, including the impact on consumers and competition, advice from agencies, and information from interested parties, I have decided to allow [the ban to take effect]," says Froman. Just a small number of older, generally outdated phones will be affected, since more recent devices have worked around the two Apple patents that form the basis for the ban. The patents involve aspects of multi-touch technology and a sensor for headphone jacks.
Samsung allegedly used terms to gain upper hand in negotiations
Samsung executives obtained illicit access to the terms of licensing agreements between Apple and Nokia, and at least Apple is requesting sanctions, according to an Apple v. Samsung court order from Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal. The licensing terms were contained in a non-redacted document marked for use by outside legal counsel with the phrase "Highly Confidential -- Attorneys' Eyes Only." Nokia's Chief Intellectual Property Officer, Paul Melin, charges however that on June 4th, Samsung executives ended up using the document in a negotiation session with his company.
Ruling applies to cases already settled
An east Texas judge, Rodney Gilstrap, has issued a ruling blocking Apple from intervening on behalf of iOS app developers pursued by Lodsys, reports say. The order, handed down last Tuesday, also allows Lodsys to settle individually with each of the developers it has been leveling patent claims against. Apple has been seeking to intervene on behalf of developers for two years, arguing that it since it licensed patents (now owned by Lodsys) from Intellectual Ventures for in-app purchases, third-party developers are already protected.
Commission seeks public comments
The US Federal Trade Commission has announced that it is opening an investigation into patent assertion entities (PAEs), commonly referred to using the derisive term "patent trolls." The commission cautions that its initial move is limited to information gathering, focusing on approximately 25 companies whose primary business model involves purchasing patents and filing infringement lawsuits.
Amount substantially less that originally demanded
The Tokyo District Court has ordered Apple to pay $3 million in damages to a Japanese inventor, Norihiko Saito. Saito first filed a lawsuit against Apple five years ago, alleging that the clickwheel found on the Classic and some older iPods violates a patent of his. He originally called for 10 billion yen in damages, or about $101 million, based on the strength of iPod sales at the time.
Name shared with IGB Electronica
Apple has won an appeal allowing it to continue using the "iPhone" trademark in Brazil. A local company, IGB Electronica, earlier argued in court that it had exclusive Brazilian rights to the name, since it first filed for a trademark in 2000, seven years before the Apple iPhone would be announced. That trademark was granted in 2008 though, and IGB only released its Android-based Gradiente iphone in December 2012, a month before the trademark was due to expire. Nevertheless, Brazil's Institute of Industry Property recently ruled in favor of IGB, prompting the Apple appeal.
First proposal deemed insufficient
European Union regulators have reportedly found Samsung's settlement offer to be insufficient, forcing the company to expand its proposal to avoid a fine for its patent lawsuits against Apple. Samsung last year dropped its injunction request, which was deemed improper, however the European Commission continued to pursue antitrust actions that could result in a fine of more than $18 billion.
Feature should return in near future
The Karlsruhe Higher Regional Court has stayed enforcement of an injunction blocking push email for German iCloud users, reports say. The injunction stems from a lawsuit filed by Motorola, and was originally issued by the Mannheim Regional Court in February 2012. With the Karlsruhe ruling, push email should return as soon as Apple can post a bond, meant to ensure that Motorola can collect damages should it win the related lawsuit.
Publishers expected to pay out over $162 million
Two of the five publishers accused of conspiring with Apple to inflate e-book prices, Macmillan and Penguin, have started issuing emails to e-book customers, informing them of rights, responsibilities, and proposed terms in the legal settlement the companies negotiated. Under current terms, the publishers would distribute approximately $162.25 million to customers who bought e-books at any digital outlet between the iBookstore's launch on April 1st, 2010 and May 21st, 2012.