Companies clean up mess that began with Motorola Mobility, will work together
In a surprise move, Google and Microsoft have agreed to settle and dismiss all pending patent infringement litigation between the two companies dating back to 2010, and say they have "agreed to collaborate on certain patent matters and anticipate working together in other areas in the future to benefit our customers." The action will terminate some 20 active lawsuits filed in both the United States and Germany, though financial terms between the the parties was not disclosed. The action includes cases originally brought against or by Motorola Mobility.
Tax affects Amazon Prime, Hulu, other services as well
Lawsuits have been launched in Chicago to combat the area's new "cloud tax," which hits users of Apple Music, Netflix, Hulu Plus, XBox Live, and other streaming services. The claim by the citizens alleges that not only does the tax violate the US Internet Tax Freedom Act, which is intended to prevent Internet-only taxes, but the city comptroller's decision implements a new tax by fiat, which otherwise would have required a wider city official vote, as well as public debate.
Non-practicing entity Unwired Planet lost series of lawsuits against Apple
According to court documents, Apple is seeking more than $15 million in legal fees and costs from Unwired Planet, a technology company that was once an industry leader but in recent years has become a "non-practicing entity," relying on lawsuits over its former patent portfolio to generate income. The company first sued Apple in 2011 over various technology aspects relating to data transferring from smartphones to computers. It didn't win any of its cases against Apple.
Suits filed in UK, Germany, The Netherlands over expired licensing terms
In addition to a barrage of lawsuits in the US and complaints to the International Trade Commission, technology company Ericsson has now filed separate but related lawsuits in the UK, Germany, and The Netherlands alleging that Apple is using mostly standards-essential Ericsson patents without a license, following a collapse of negotiations over a fair rate that allowed Apple's license with Ericsson to expire.
Big providers, trade groups try to suspend FCC enforcement of net neutrality
Groups comprised of America's largest Internet providers have opted to file legal requests to suspend any enforcement of the FCC's recent reclassification of broadband providers as common carriers, as defined by Title II of the Communications Act, until the lawsuits to repeal that decision can be settled. Requests were filed by four trade associations with the FCC, with at least one of the requests indicating that an answer is requested by May 8, in time for requests for a stay to be filed with the courts.
Cites Supreme Court decision that security screenings are not part of job
Apple has won in a pair of lawsuits lodged in the summer of 2013 by disgruntled employees that charged the company with a form of "wage theft" by not paying workers while they were being checked during mandatory security and loss-prevention screenings. Citing a Supreme Court decision in a similar case, Federal Court Judge William Alsop ruled that such screenings are not "integral and indispensable" parts of the retail workers' jobs, therefore the plaintiffs were not entitled to compensation for the time spent in such activities.
Company achieves revenue growth after breach fallout, full impact still unknown
Home improvement retailer Home Depot is still locked into a battle over the security breach it reported in September that put 56 million credit cards at risk. However, the fight is no longer against cyber criminals, but rather consumers affected by the breach and government agencies. To date, the retailer is involved in "at least 44 civil lawsuits" in the US and Canada.
Apple failing to acknowledge video defect, suit says
Following up on earlier talk, lawfirm Whitfield Bryson & Mason has filed a class-action lawsuit against Apple on behalf of owners of the 2011 MacBook Pro. For some time, users of the laptop have been complaining about visual artifacts, blank screens, and/or crashes, which appear to be linked to problems with AMD graphics hardware. Apple, though, hasn't offered to fix affected systems outside of warranty coverage without charging high fees, and using replacement parts that may cause the exact same trouble.
Apple could ask for millions or billions in claims, supplier says
GT Advanced Technologies has to settle legal disputes with Apple because "protracted litigation against one of the largest corporations in the world with over $100 billion of cash would be challenging and expensive," according to a court filing submitted late Monday night. Lawyers for the bankrupt sapphire supplier say that Apple is threatening to hit it with "numerous liquidated damages provisions in the Apple Agreements pursuant to which Apple would likely assert millions, if not billions, of dollars in secured and unsecured claims against certain of the Debtors."
Could theoretically bring Bose products back to Apple Stores
Bose has settled its lawsuit against Apple-owned Beats Electronics, filed in July over patents connected to noise cancellation technology, says Bloomberg. The companies have submitted joint filings to a Delaware court, and asked the US International Trade Commission to halt an investigation. Had Bose's original demands been met, imports of Beats' Studio and Studio Wireless headphones would've been blocked. The terms of the settlement are unknown.
Apple may have unjustly denied repairs for older iPhones, iPods
Participants in a class action lawsuit regarding liquid damage indicators for the iPhone and iPod touch are beginning to receive settlement checks, accounts say. In April 2013, Apple agreed to pay $53 million to compensate people who may have been denied warranty coverage because of the indicators. Their maker, 3M, admitted that they could be tripped simply by humidity. Apple later adjusted its policies to require additional checks before blocking repairs, but the lawsuit continued.
Could theoretically cost Samsung up to $6.46 per unit
Having been denied an injunction by the US District Court for the Northern District of California, Apple is now pursuing a motion for postjudgment royalties, reports say. While the motion states that the company "believes that it has been and continues to be irreparably harmed by Samsung's infringement and that only injunctive relief would suffice to remedy that harm," it is also asking for back and future royalties from Samsung on infringing devices.
Impact of injunction would likely be minor
Apple will appeal a recent court decision which denied a permanent injunction against a variety of Samsung products, according to The New York Times. If imposed, an injunction would prevent several devices -- like the Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II -- from being sold in the US. The financial impact on Samsung would be minor, since the products in question are outdated and/or no longer being sold.
Motion involved infamous 'slide to unlock' patent, others
The US District Court for the Northern District of California has again denied Apple a permanent injunction against Samsung products accused of violating three of its patents. Although the court and a jury found that Samsung did indeed infringe Apple IP -- including the famous "slide to unlock" patent -- the judge in the case, Lucy Koh, explains that Apple couldn't show that an injunction was warranted. The ruling is related to one of the post-trial motions stemming from the second Apple-Samsung patent trial. Koh also denied any injunctions on products found guilty of infringing from the first trial as well.
Polls Facebook group
A DC-based legal firm, Whitfield Bryson & Mason, is considering a possible class-action lawsuit over graphics problems with the 2011 MacBook Pro. In a post to a Facebook group organized around the issue, the firm says it has "commenced an investigation leading us to your community." The firm adds that while other posts are providing information, it wants people to fill out a survey to "determine if any legal claims may exist." The company's track record includes suits against companies like Google and Lenovo.
Directors, executives accused of bringing company into legal trouble
A new lawsuit, filed on behalf of plaintiff R. Andre Klein, is seeking damage compensation for Apple shareholders as a result of alleged misconduct by the company's directors and executives. Lawyers for Klein accuse former CEO Steve Jobs, current CEO Tim Cook and others of "breach of fiduciary duty, gross mismanagement, corporate waste, and breach of the duty of honest services." Specifically, by engaging in anti-poaching practices, Apple leaders are said to have caused the company to break antitrust laws, issue misleading proxy statements, and suppress workers' wages.
Apple argued some VirnetX claims were too vague
US District Judge Leonard Davis has issued pre-trial rulings blocking Apple attempts to preemptively invalidate some VirnetX patent claims, and in other cases use invalidity as a defense, reports say. For the former, Apple's argument had been that many of VirnetX's claims are too vague to justify patenting, including the use of terms like "secure name service," "secure name," or "unsecured name."
Deal 'falls below the range of reasonableness'
US District Judge Lucy Koh has rejected a proposed $324.5 million settlement in the lawsuit direct against Apple, Adobe, Google, and Intel over anti-poaching practices. In her ruling, Koh states that the amount offered "falls below the range of reasonableness."
Cases dropped without settlement in more than eight countries
In a joint email sent to the press, Apple and Samsung have agreed to drop all patent lawsuits against each other in all countries except the US, without any settlement, cross-license agreement or any other consideration. The US court system will be the sole arbiter of the numerous patent disputes the two companies have brought against each other, and comes on the heels of a series of moves to de-escalate the standoffs between them. Samsung and Apple agreed to drop appeals of an ITC case in June.
Will solve complaints made in 33 states and territories
Apple has agreed to pay $450 million to settle a class-action lawsuit over e-book price fixing, brought against it by states and consumers, according to New York's Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman. The payment will settle allegations made in 33 states and territories, including New York. Schneiderman says that of the total amount, up to $400 million could reach consumers, depending on whether Apple wins its appeal.
Appeal already in works
Beijing's No. 1 Intermediate People's Court has upheld a 2006 Zhizhen patent challenged by Apple, says China's official Xinhua news agency. Zhizhen filed suit against Apple in 2012, accusing it of violating a patent used for its "Little I Robot" voice-controlled assistant with Siri, the voice command system used in iOS. Apple though sued Zihizhen and China's Patent Review Committee late last year, with the hope that the court would render Zhizhen's patent invalid.
Attempt at reducing jury prejudice, confusion
Apple must avoid using terms like "patent troll," "privateer," or "bandit" in its defense against a patent lawsuit from GPNE Corp., according to a pre-trial ruling by US District Judge Lucy Koh. The company will also be blocked from using terms like "shakedown" or "playing the lawsuit lottery." Koh argues that such expressions could potentially confuse or bias the jury, which is set to decide whether Apple violated data transmission patents reaching back to 1996.
Services like MLB At Bat, WatchESPN under the gun
Apple pushed organizations like Major League Baseball and ESPN to adopt its HTTP live streaming (HLS) technology, and in so doing caused them to infringe on an Emblaze patent, a lawyer for the latter party claimed today at the start of a federal trial. The patent in question was issued in 2002; Emblaze says that it covers delivering live-streaming video over wireless networks. Apple began work on HLS "no earlier than 2007," according to the Emblaze attorney, and asked services like MLB At Bat and WatchESPN to switch to the format to improve sales of iOS devices, since they can't handle other standards like Flash.
Samsung may remain core Apple supplier
Apple and Samsung are negotiating towards "common ground" and looking to trim down the number of legal issues they're in conflict over, according to sources for the Korea Times. The two companies have been engaged in lawsuits for years over various smartphone and tablet patents. While Apple has been victorious overall, collecting significantly more in damages, it hasn't collected as much as expected, and its actions have done little or nothing to slow the advance of Android-based devices while costing millions in legal fees.
Ruling may set precedent for legal relationship between Apple, developers
The Patent Trial and Appeal Board has sided with Apple and mostly invalidated two software activation patents being used in a lawsuit by Achates Reference Publishing, says The Recorder. Achates filed suit against an iOS app developer, QuickOffice, over a year ago; recently it argued that Apple had a "substantive legal relationship" with QuickOffice, and that the two businesses were trying to circumvent rules and time limits for inter partes review defined in the America Invents Act. The PTAB ruling states that Apple didn't wait too long to file for inter partes review, and that QuickOffice's apparent contract to indemnify Apple for third-party patent infringement claims didn't represent legal privity between the two entities.
Explanation used to fight lawsuit over unpaid hours
Apple is asking for a summary judgment in a lawsuit over unpaid retail labor on the premise that the bag checks it institutes aren't mandatory, says The Recorder. Apple Store workers who bring in bags and Apple gear are forced to undergo screening when they leave at the end of their shifts, which consumes potentially billable time. In a Thursday hearing, though, lawyers for Apple claimed that the screenings aren't mandatory if workers don't bring in bags or electronics.
Apple insists promise was 'too vague'
A judge for the Santa Clara County Superior Court, Carol Overton, has given the go-ahead for a lawsuit targeting Apple over job promises. The plaintiff, Wayne Goodrich, says that he reported directly to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs for over 20 years, including not just time at Apple -- where he spent 17 years -- but also at Pixar and NeXT. His role involved preparing Jobs' public presentations, which have often been a huge draw for the media and helped to sell products like the iMac, iPod, and iPhone.
Companies fighting over conditions for further talks, expressing animosity
Contrary to a recent report in the Korea Times, court documents filed on Monday by both Apple and Samsung show that the two companies are still far apart on the issue of settlement. The update on progress, required by Judge Luch Koh, presents two separate statements from the two parties, with each accusing the other of having no interest in genuine negotiations.
Agreement could end all lawsuits
In the wake of Apple's recent court victory and truce with Google's Motorola division, Apple and Samsung have entered into a new round of lawsuit settlement talks, according to sources for the Korea Times. The two companies are said to be in "working-level discussions," where the goal is "how to dismiss all lawsuits." The primary impetus is said to have been the recent US trial; while Apple did win, it was also found to have infringed some Samsung patents.
Bug cutting off conversations for people switching from iPhone to Android
A new lawsuit -- filed through a federal court in San Jose, California -- is targeting Apple over problems with the delivery of SMS messages via iMessage, Bloomberg reports. The plaintiff notes that she, like a number of other people, suddenly stopped receiving texts from iPhone owners after personally switching from an iPhone to Android. Class action status is being sought in the case.
Says verdict was 'unsupported by evidence'
Samsung will appeal the nearly $120 million in damages awarded to Apple during the companies' second US trial, according to a lead attorney for Samsung, John Quinn. "Of course we're pleased that the jury awarded Apple 6 percent of what they were asking for," Quinn comments in an official statement. "But even that can't stand, because Apple kept out all the real world evidence and didn't produce anything to substitute for it, so you have a verdict that's unsupported by evidence - and that's just one of its problems."
Completes partial decision rendered on Friday
[Updated with news of extra adjustments] Following additional deliberations, the jury in the second Apple v. Samsung patent lawsuit has awarded Apple another $4 million in damages, reports say. In Friday's verdict, Apple was awarded almost $120 million, while Samsung received $158,400. The jury neglected to include damages relating to an Apple autocorrect patent though, and were asked by Judge Lucy Koh to correct the empty box on the form the group received. The jury chose to finish deliberations on Monday instead of staying late into the night on Friday.
New rulings make it easier for baseless claim filers to be penalized
The US Supreme Court has ruled in a pair of cases which will enable companies who win patent lawsuits to more easily collect fees from the filer. The rulings are aimed at non-practicing entities, also known as "patent trolls," and are aimed at recovering expenses from cases with little or no merit. Apple filed its own brief with the Supreme Court about the case. The Cupertino manufacturer noted in its filing that it settled 51 out of 57 filed cases, saying that "the opening line of many negotiations is some form of, 'What we're asking for is less than it will cost you to litigate this case to judgment.'"
Overturns ruling recommending licensing over injunctions
The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has reversed a ruling tossing out an Apple v. Motorola lawsuit over smartphone patents, says Bloomberg. Earlier, Circuit Judge Richard Posner scrapped a trial after ruling damage testimonies from the two companies inadmissible. In his decision he argued that even a victor wouldn't be entitled to an injunction against product sales; licensing was recommended instead.
Jobs' personality a potential controversy
Plaintiffs' attorneys in a class action lawsuit against Apple, Google, and two other companies are asking that evidence related to Apple CEO Steve Jobs be included in the case, Reuters reports. The case revolves around the anti-poaching agreements Apple and Google -- and later, other high-tech businesses -- forged to keep salaries low and talent in place. The accused parties settled a US Department of Justice investigation on the matter in 2010, agreeing to end barriers to competitive hiring.
Google evidence wins over judge
US District Court Judge Claudia Wilken has denied a motion by the Apple-led Rockstar Consortium to transfer a patent invalidation countersuit by Google from California to the Eastern District of Texas, Reuters says. The Eastern District of Texas is infamous for leaning towards patent holders in its court rulings. Wilken ruled, however, that Google was able to provide enough evidence to keep the case in California.
Record companies argue that state law protects older recordings
Following a similar lawsuits against Sirius XM radio, a group of record companies has filed suit in a New York court against Pandora, the top streaming subscription music service in the US. While songs made before February 15, 1972 are not subject to federal copyright protections, the labels argue that Pandora, like Sirius, should pay royalties to the tune of tens of millions of dollars because the songs are still protected under state laws.
Public assumed to be worried about Apple's prospects
Samsung decided to launch its "Next Big Thing" campaign -- parodying Apple -- in the wake of the death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, according to an email trail exposed during the ongoing Apple v. Samsung patent trial. Samsung America's VP of US sales, Mike Pennington, described Jobs' death as "the best opportunity" to run a campaign targeting Apple, since people would be worried about whether Apple could continue to come up with great ideas minus Jobs' influence. "Sorry to continue to push this issue, but I have seen this far too long and I know this is our best opportunity to attack iPhone," Pennington is quoted as saying.
Judge ignores Apple argument that states have suffered no harm
For observers in Apple's battle against the US Department of Justice over alleged e-book "price fixing," it will come as no shock whatsoever that Judge Denise Cote has ruled against the company on a connected legal matter -- but the fact that she actually cited a reasoning based in law this time may surprise some. The US District Court judge has refuted Apple's filing for a dismissal in the lawsuits brought by 33 states and territories based on the DOJ case ruling.
Marketing head rejected suggestions company needed scrutiny
In a series of early 2013 emails, Apple's marketing lead Phil Schiller delivered angry words to long-time Apple advertising partner TBWAChiatDay, and specifically its Apple-dedicated Media Arts Lab, according to documents exposed through the ongoing Apple v. Samsung trial. As was mentioned in court, Schiller was upset with a Wall Street Journal piece arguing that Apple had "lost its cool" to Samsung. He forwarded the story to TBWA, simply commenting that "we have a lot of work to do to turn this around."
Samsung attorneys claimed Apple doesn't practice patents on trial
Late on Thursday, District Court judge Lucy Koh denied an Apple motion regarding opening statements by Samsung in the ongoing Apple v. Samsung trial, reports say. A Samsung attorney was quoted as saying that "Apple admits that three of the five patent claims that it is suing on were not in that iPhone and have never been in any iPhone since. Apple doesn't consider it valuable enough to even use." In its motion, Apple insisted that it could show evidence it "has practiced and continues to practice the '414, '172, and '959 patents."
Company insists it continues to practice certain patents
As a part of the ongoing second Apple v. Samsung trial, Apple has filed a motion asking to show evidence Samsung was deceptive in its opening statements. During those statements, lawyers repeated a view that Apple doesn't actually practice several of the asserted patents. Apple insists that it "has practiced and continues to practice the '414, '172, and '959 patents," and that it can show evidence that will "correct the false impressions created by Samsung's counsel."
Intertrust backed by Sony, Philips
Apple has agreed to an out-of-court settlement for a lawsuit brought by Intertrust Technologies last year, court documents show. The two parties filed for a dismissal yesterday with District Court judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers. She has since agreed to the request, dismissing claims with prejudice, and ordering each side to pay its own legal fees. The terms of the settlement haven't been made public, however.
Samsung attorney claims Apple's Phil Schiller was 'obsessed'
During Monday's opening statements in the second Apple v. Samsung trial, attorney John Quinn -- representing Samsung -- revealed that Apple marketing head Phil Schiller was deeply concerned about Samsung's "Next Big Thing" ad campaign. One email from Schiller to his team specifically addressed a January 2013 Wall Street Journal story with the headline "Has Apple Lost Its Cool to Samsung?" Schiller commented that "We have a lot of work to do to turn this around."
Samsung says Google was already working on Apple-patented tech
Google's former Android head, Andy Rubin, may be asked to testify on behalf on Samsung during the second Apple v. Samsung patent trial beginning today, says the Wall Street Journal. Samsung is reportedly challenging Apple's assertion that the iPhone was completely groundbreaking by pointing out that Google was already working some of the contested technologies before the iPhone shipped. It notes that except for slide-to-unlock, all of the patents Apple is asserting -- related to hyperlinking, background sync, Siri's universal search functions, and auto-complete -- are Android features.
Security practices allegedly costing some workers thousands of dollars
Lawyers for the plaintiffs in a class action suit filed against Apple are seeking to delay the case until a US Supreme Court ruling is handed down, says The Recorder. The suit, filed in the Northern District of California last year, accuses Apple of failing to pay wages for time workers spend waiting in bag-check lines. The Supreme Court is currently reviewing a case called Integrity Staffing Solutions Inc. v. Busk, and deciding whether hourly workers must be compensated for work-related security screenings. Should the Supreme Court agree, the plaintiffs' attorneys in the Apple case suggest it will strongly influence their own progress.
Math for calculating credit unknown
Amazon has started issuing credit to Kindle e-book buyers as a part of the legal settlements agreed to by publishers Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Penguin, according to notices being sent to out to customers. The money is being deposited into shoppers' Amazon accounts, and is typically just a few dollars, depending on how many qualifying Kindle titles a person bought between April 1st 2010 and May 21st 2012. "We will automatically apply your available credit to your next purchase of a Kindle book or print book sold by Amazon.com, regardless of publisher," the company says. The credit is valid until March 31st of next year.
Samsung mulls appeal
Apple didn't infringe on Samsung data communications patents and won't have to pay any damages, a Tokyo District Court has ruled. Samsung had filed a lawsuit that brought Apple's iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, and iPad 2 into the crosshairs. "We are disappointed by the court's decision," an emailed statement from Samsung reads. "Upon a thorough review of the ruling, we will determine which measures to take, including an appeal."
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.