Painless ways to pay for subscription service, or avoid getting a charge
Decision day is coming: we talked about this on the podcast and in print, but for people who signed up for the three-month free trial of the subscription component of Apple Music on its first day, the deadline to opt out of it (or the day your card will be charged for October's service) is September 30, a week away. In this Pointers, we will show you how to make sure you are not charged accidentally, how to pay for it without a credit card, and more.
Patent trial loss should have forced embargo of now obsolete smartphones
The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, DC has ruled that Apple should have been awarded an injunction against Samsung during the second smartphone patent trial. In its ruling affirming the embargo, and pointing out errors by the lower court, the appeals court declared that "Apple does not seek to enjoin the sale of lifesaving drugs, but to prevent Samsung from profiting from the unauthorized use of infringing features in its cellphones and tablets."
We look at past high and low points as we prepare for tomorrow's show
This week on the show, Charles and Mike (with a cameo from William) talk about, yes, the latest predictions for the Wednesday event (which is handy, since Labor Day knocked the show's debut into Tuesday!). We also discuss our recent articles "Bad Apples" and "Good Apples," which respectively talk about the so-called "failures" of Apple hardware and how the critical "fails" often turn out to be the biggest sellers; defend the iPhone 5c on every level; the latest court cases for Apple; a recent Pointers column, and William pops by with his App of the Week, which this week isn't an app, but a thing. Read on to find out what!
New trial to determine damages to patent troll set for September 14
A federal judge in the notoriously patent-friendly Eastern District of Texas has suspended a jury's award of half a billion dollars to a non-practicing patent entity (colloquially known as a patent troll) who sued Apple after reviewing his own instructions to the jury which may have created a "skewed damages horizon" that they responded to with the large award. The change does not reverse the overall finding that Apple infringed on Smartflash's patents, or a possible future patent invalidity finding, but a new damages-only trial is now set for September 14.
Rights holders will receive per-stream fees during trial period
Reversing course after an outcry from artists, Apple Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue has announced on Twitter that the company will, in fact, pay rights holders -- which generally includes the artist -- during the forthcoming Apple Music subscription service's three-month free trial period. Apple's original agreement had said that no royalties would be paid while customers enjoyed the trial, prompting protests from indie and small labels as well as artists.
Online heroin dealer describes experience, made $60,000 or more per month
The trial of Ross Ulbricht in connection with the online BitCoin-fueled drug market known as Silk Road continued today with the testimony of a buyer-turned-dealer. Previously, the defense had attempted to suggest Ulbricht was framed, while the prosecution brought in an auditor to show that a chunk of Ulbricht's current reserve of BitCoins was obtained through Silk Road-related transactions.
Karpeles, Ulbricht both deny being SR owner 'Dread Pirate Roberts'
Homeland Security special agent Jared Der-Yeghiayan took the stand recently in the trial of Ross Ulbricht, who stands accused of running a drug trafficking website called "The Silk Road" that operated for over two years, largely as a marketplace for illegal drugs, stolen data and other criminal activity. Under cross, the defense attempted to claim that former Mt. Gox chief Mark Karpeles was in fact the real owner, who went by the pseudonymous name "Dread Pirate Roberts."
Apple versus Real trial testimony concludes, jury deliberations begin next week
[Updated with additional context for Schultz' testimony] The Real versus Apple anti-trust trial continued on Friday, with an Apple engineer testifying that he worked on a project in 2006 that was "intended to block 100 percent of non-iTunes clients," though he later clarified that such actions were taken in the name of user security and OS stability. Former Apple engineer Rod Schultz was summoned by Real's attorneys unwillingly, and discussed his work on a project with the codename "Candy" which would "keep out third party players" who exploited flaws in the iPod's operating system.
Real seeking $350 million in damages, declaration by Apple about decade-old issue
The Apple versus Real anti-trust trial centering around Apple's use of FairPlay Digital Rights Management (DRM) to prevent piracy (or block other music stores, as Real claims) has begun, as expected. Lawyers for the complainants continue to claim that changes in iTunes blocking other companies' music stores from functioning on the iPod allowed Apple to raise prices. Real's attorneys seek $350 million in damages in the long-postponed suit that dates back nearly a decade. The trial, expected to last three weeks, is being held in the Oakland, California federal courts.
Warg barred from re-entry into Denmark under verdict, halted for appeals process
After the Court of Frederiksberg in Copenhagen handed down a guilty verdict last week over hacking charges, Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg was sentenced to 42 months in Danish prison on October 31. The sentence was handed down only one day after the guilty verdict, which was reached on a juror vote of four to two in favor of the prosecution.
Bid for sales ban against 23 copying Samsung products had been denied twice
Two years after the first Apple-Samsung patent trial, the big winner in that case -- Apple -- has dropped a motion to cross-appeal a portion of Judge Lucy Koh's final verdict. The action means that the company has officially given up hope of seeing any product bans on the 23 Samsung products found guilty of copying Apple technology, though the matter is largely moot as none of the products are still offered for sale anyway. Despite the clear victory in the jury trial, Judge Koh twice refused to issue sales injunctions on the infringing Samsung products.
Secret Google indemnity deal 'interesting' but 'didn't change our decision'
With the trial now over in the second Apple-Samsung patent case, jurors have begun talking to the media about the case -- particularly foreman Thomas Dunham, a retired IBM supervisor. Commenting on the verdict, he said that "ultimately, the consumer is the loser in all this" and that he'd like to see the two tech giants "find a way to settle." After revising figures owing to what Dunham called a "clerical error" earlier in the day, the jury left the total awards to Samsung and Apple intact.
Samsung guilty on two key patents, avoids serious damages
A jury comprised largely of self-described "non-technical" users of modern technology has delivered a mixed verdict in the latest Apple-Samsung patent trial, with Samsung found not guilty of infringing two of Apple's five contested patents, guilty as charged of copying Apple's "data detector" and auto-correct technology, and a mixed result on the controversial "slide to unlock" patent. Apple was, for the first time outside of South Korea, found guilty of infringing a (purchased) Samsung patent, but neither side saw significant damages awarded.
Judge says jury must work with the evidence given; supplies request granted
On the first full day of deliberations in the second Apple-Samsung trial, jurors have asked for two different things: some office supplies to help them in their work, and for additional evidence -- seemingly to help them decide motivations on the part of the CEOs of both Apple and Samsung. The former requests have been granted, but the latter requests were rebuffed by US District Court Judge Lucy Koh, who told the jury that they would have to work with what they already have.
Splits difference between what each side wanted, aims to avoid damages retrial
[Update: both sides file arguments against the form] On Wednesday, US District Court Judge Lucy Koh published a draft form that jurors in the second Apple-Samsung patent trial will fill out to assign damages and royalties due -- if any -- to both Apple and Samsung as warranted by their findings of infringement. Apple is suing Samsung over its alleged copying of five patents, while Samsung is countersuing over claims Apple infringed on two patents the Galaxy S5 maker purchased after the first Apple-Samsung patent trial.
Apple defends against Samsung charges, discloses secret deal
The biggest news in today's Apple vs Samsung patent trial was the previously-reported revelation of a secret deal between Google and Samsung in which the search and advertising giant not only agreed to indemnify Samsung if it lost on two of the patent claims in this trial, but that Google -- not Samsung -- was to "direct and control" litigation and defense on Samsung's behalf. The revelation, which Samsung had previously denied in court, will be used to diminish the Samsung claim that the case is really about Android.
Experts say conjoint studies flawed, patents worthless as Samsung begs for time
The eighth full day of the Samsung-Apple patent trial went through another raft of witnesses as Samsung struggles to make its case inside its allotted limit of 25 hours -- a problem that hounded the company in the last trial as well. Lead attorney for Samsung John Quinn was forced to read transcripts of declarations to save time, hustle through witnesses and plead with Judge Lucy Koh for more time. An expert that the Galaxy S5 maker paid $1,000 an hour for refuted a colleagues' studies as "kind of biased."
String of Samsung witnesses find that Apple's patents are all invalid
Not only did Samsung not infringe on Apple's patents, a parade of witnesses for Samsung told the jury today in the Apple-Samsung trial, those patents aren't valid even if Samsung did copy them. With some help from Apple's very light cross-examination, Samsung again flew through a lengthy list of experts who testified on the relative worthlessness of Apple's patents for "data detectors" (also referred to as "quick links"), universal search, autocorrection and the "slide to unlock" concept.
Samsung offers Google engineers, but Samsung marketers in day of witnesses
Over the weekend, Judge Lucy Koh turned down Samsung's request for a summary judgement in the Samsung-Apple second patent trial, claiming that Apple had failed to prove its case during its presentation. Judge Koh rebuffed the claims and thus the trial continued on Monday, with Samsung still presenting its defense. Continuing its strategy of saying the case is about a dispute between Apple and Google rather than Samsung, the Galaxy smartphone maker put on a stunning seven witnesses -- most of them from the search and advertising giant.
Tweet: 'Both sides relying on stories to sell jury, Samsung borrowing Google's'
At the end of the twelth day of the Apple-Samsung trial, and fifth day of testimony, Apple rested its case against Samsung following a detailed presentation from "microeconomist" and PhD Chris Vellturo in which he explained for the jury exactly how he calculated the $2.191 billion in damages Samsung should owe Apple for its infringement. Samsung, which has admitted in an earlier damages retrial that it copied from Apple, began presenting its defense -- by borrowing a Google software executive.
Samsung begins its defense, downplays Apple patents, losses
Apple's presentation to the jury in the second Apple-Samsung patent trial is over, with attorneys for the iPhone maker resting their case as expected on Friday following the completion of damages expert Christopher Vellturo's detailed explanation of why Apple is asking for $2.191 billion in total from Samsung. Apple had one final witness on its list, but decided against calling him following Vellturo's testimony. Samsung has already begun its presentation, which seeks to minimize the value of Apple's royalties and calls the damages estimate "grossly inflated."
Apple reveals total damages and royalties sought from Samsung
The fourth day of testimony in the second Apple vs. Samsung trial has ended, with various Apple-hired experts and employees going over the nature of the patents at stake in Apple's part of the case. The jury also got a dose of history borrowed from the first patent trial, details about Apple's manufacturing process, and finally heard the full, exact amount that Apple is seeking from Samsung in terms of both damages due to lost sales as well as what it owes in royalties for its infringement: $2.191 billion.
New details on competition emerge; lies told in court, says Apple
The second full day of the second Apple-Samsung patent trial is over, with Phil Schiller starting the day by continuing to submit to cross-examination by Samsung attorney Bill Price. Also on the stand on Friday was early iPhone engineer Greg Christie, and Apple-hired patent expert witness Dr. Andrew Cockburn. In the course of proceedings, some additional details about how buyers perceive the iPhone and its creation were revealed, and Judge Lucy Koh ruled against Apple on two objections.
Samsung seeks $6 million for its purchased patents, two jurors excused
A bit of juror trouble was ironed out, last-minute issues decided, opening arguments heard and the first witness called on the opening day of the second Apple-Samsung patent trial, which began on Tuesday in San Francisco. Judge Lucy Koh, who oversaw the first trial, is again in charge as the two companies present their cases over a different set of patents -- five from Apple, two from Samsung -- that each says are being infringed by the other.
Jury will see instructional video on patent process that features Apple products
Ahead of the second patent trial between Apple and Samsung, US District Court Judge Lucy Koh has overruled objections filed by Samsung over an instructional video on the US patent process that will be shown to jurors. Samsung's attorneys had complained that the video depicts a number of Apple products, in most cases used innocuously, and would be "highly prejudicial" to the jury.
Samsung appeals verdict: Apple appealing damages retrial, inter-trial orders
Days after the final judgements were rendered in the post-trial matters related to the first Apple-Samsung US patent trial from 2012, Samsung filed an appeal of the jury's decision. Now Apple has done the same, filing an appeal on selected decisions made during the trial -- including some of Judge Lucy Koh's orders (specifically her two decisions refusing to implement product bans on 23 violating Samsung devices) and the limited damages retrial.
Case shrinks dramatically as Apple, Samsung agree to avoid SEP disputes
The second patent trial between Apple and Samsung, scheduled to start on March 31, took a dramatic turn late on Friday as the two companies filed a stipulation with the court dropping some of the claims and counter-claims to be debated in the second trial. Samsung, perhaps fearing further investigations over its improper use of standards-essential patents (SEPs) as legal weapons and bargaining tools, has agreed to drop all SEP claims from the case, leaving it with only two claims on two patents, down from its original five.
Ousted VP Scott Forstall also on list for possible testimony
In court filings on Thursday, both Apple and Samsung have presented their first-draft witness lists to Judge Lucy Koh for the upcoming second patent trial between the two smartphone giants. The trial, which is set to begin March 31, covers different patents and more recent products than those involved in the first patent trial, which Apple won. Among the witnesses for Apple is the company's Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller, while former SVP of iOS Scott Forstall appears on both Apple's and Samsung's list for possible deposition or testimony.
Galaxy SIII, Galaxy Note 2 and Tab 2; iPhone 5 and iPad 4 among alleged infringers
In the upcoming trial between Apple and Samsung set to start at the end of March, each company is allowed to assert five claims and ten products it accuses the other of infringing. The new trial, which is not related to the first Apple-Samsung trial that saw Apple make a clean sweep of claims against Samsung (and won nearly $900 million in penalties, though both the verdict and damages are being appealed), will see Apple start the case with a slight advantage over its rival.
Vringo award estimated to be $225 million per year for four years
Non-practicing entity Vringo, under the practicing name I/P Engine, won a trial against Google on the strength of Lycos patents back in 2012, and was awarded $30 million. Google then changed the AdWords program, attempting to circumvent Vringo's patents; but earlier today, US District Judge Raymond Jackson finalized his ruling made last week that the new offering is not "colorably different" than the old program. After a patent-licensing negotiation ordered by the judge failed to produce results, Google must now pay 1.36 percent of its AdWords revenue.
Will not interfere in Apple deals with movies, TV, music however
Judge Denise Cote, who presided over the e-book price-fixing trial between Apple and the US Department of Justice, has softened or eliminated a number of restrictions recommended by the DOJ since it emerged victorious in the trial; however, she said in a hearing on Tuesday that she does plan to require Apple to hire an external monitor whose job would be to review the company's internal antitrust compliance program.
Amazon becomes as much a focus as tactics used by Apple
While nobody knows how Judge Denice Cote will rule in the two-week e-book price-fixing trial brought against Apple by the US Department of Justice, everyone who has been keeping tabs on the trial as it unfolded knows one thing: Judge Cote has been given more to consider after hearing Apple's vigorous defense of its actions and the performance of witnesses in the trial -- from both sides of the case. The same judge who had offered a pre-trial opinion that the DOJ would likely prove conspiracies said it all at the close: "things change."
DOJ claims Cue, Jobs discussed deal with Amazon to stay out
In further testimony on the last day this week of the Department of Justice e-book price-fixing trial, Apple Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue told the judge that Steve Jobs had been initially opposed to the idea that became the iBookstore -- not believing that the tablet would be an ideal device for reading compared to dedicated e-readers such as the Kindle. Cue said he was responsible for persuading Jobs by telling him of the benefits of e-books on the iPad, which won Jobs over.
Doubling of business keeps Apple at 20 percent of e-book marketshare
Such is the explosive growth of the e-book market that Apple, as revealed during the ongoing price-fixing trial brought by the US Department of Justice, grew its iBooks business by 100 percent in 2012 alone, and yet that was only enough for it to maintain its place at 20 percent share of the overall market -- suggesting that Amazon also saw a doubling of its e-book business that year as well. Apple has maintained that 20 percent share more or less since it entered the market in 2010.
Google called itself a neutral third party, judge questions impartiality
Magistrage Judge Paul S. Grewal, the judge in charge of pre-trial discovery issues in the second Apple vs. Samsung patent trial, has ruled that Google must provide Apple search terms used in the unearthing of documents related to the case. Google is now compelled to "produce search terms and a list of custodians that Google used in response to requests for production Apple served on it." The seven-page ruling makes a point clear -- Apple wasn't seeking further discovery, it just expressed concern on the information Google pulled for discovery.
Apple decries quality of documents returned by search engine
As part of the 2014 Apple versus Samsung smartphone patent trial motions, Apple has filed a request to compel discovery from Google. In support of the motion, Apple filed a reply brief saying that the response from the search engine was poor, and that it "wants to work cooperatively with Google to correct these flaws," implying that Google has a broken automated search process, or that it is purposely using poor search terms to seek internal copyright documents which could be relevant to the upcoming trial.
Samsung asking 700 questions, Apple 49
Late Wednesday afternoon, Apple and Samsung filed their prospective juror screening questions for their US District Court patent dispute scheduled for the end of this month. People selected from the jury pool to serve on the Apple and Samsung jury will have to answer 700 questions put forth by Samsung, and 49 by Apple, unless Judge Lucy Koh orders some narrowing. Samsung's questionnaire spans 40 pages, and Apple's covers six. The discrepancy in the size of the questionnaires may be an attempt by Samsung to bewilder potential jurors who lack strong technical abilities, or could be a simple attempt to delay the trial further -- behavior the company has already been punished for engaging in.