News tagged ‘patent’
Apparently, Apple and Samsung are not going to stop their war involving numerous lawsuits related to alleged patent and design infringement in their tablet and smartphone products. According to Bloomberg, this time Apple has sent a notice of infringement to Samsung over the company's tablet and smartphone cases. The company plans to pursue legal action
Apple Inc., which on Dec. 9 lost a bid to keep Samsung Electronics Co.’s Galaxy 10.1 tablet out of Australia, claims the case for the device and cases for Samsung phones infringe its patents and registered design.
Apple issued the notice of infringement to Samsung in Australia over the cases, and will file a statement of claim, Apple’s lawyer Stephen Burley said at a hearing in Sydney today. Samsung’s lawyer Katrina Howard said at the same hearing the company was served with the notice that the cases infringe at least 10 patents.
To be honest, Samsung’s "Smart Case" for the Galaxy Tab 10.1 closely resembles the iPad 2 Smart Cover. The company quickly clarified that the product was not in fact approved by Samsung and was immediately pulled before it had begun selling. Though Samsung offers several styles of cases for the Galaxy Tab 10.1 at that moment, it is not clear which one Apple is considering to infringe its case designs.
The new report claims that Apple has transferred several patents to the patent-licensing firm Digitude Innovations and accuses the company of aiding a so-called "patent troll." Digitude Innovations filed suit against tech giants this week, including Research in Motion, HTC, LG, Motorola, Samsung, Sony, Amazon and Nokia. Having investigating the lawsuit, TechCrunch found out that two of the patents mentioned in the lawsuit had belonged to Apple earlier this year.
Apple is claimed to transfer a dozen of patents to the company called Cliff Island LLC earlier this year. Noteworthy, the company's address is the same as Digitude investor Altitude Capital. Cliff Island apparently transferred the patents to Digitude.
In June Forbes reported that Digitude Innovations was established by Altitude founder Robert Kramer. Digitude is in the business of acquiring patents to sue others, the company has been labeled a "patent troll." The company is utilizing a new investment strategy of allowing investors to contribute patents instead of money. Participating companies would then receive a license for all of the firm's patents.
It is not clear whether Apple entered into an agreement with Digitude, but Apple may use the company as a "hired gun" in its patent battles.
"The idea that the company didn’t have any options other than handing over valuable patents to a patent troll — knowing full well that it would then use those patents to sue other tech companies — seems ludicrous."
According to Reuters, on Tuesday the first-instance court for all French patent litigation ruled against Samsung's request for a preliminary injunction against the iPhone 4S because the court found that Samsung's arguments against the iPhone 4S, so-called FRAND patents, were exhausted. That means that the South Korean company's use of 3G-essential patents against Apple will see worldwide failure.
"The court furthermore held that Samsung's request for an injunction was "disproportionate" and stated that this fact was apparent, without citing particular reasons for this finding," Reuters says. "Some of what the French ruling says indicates that Samsung's use of 3G-essential patents is going to fail everywhere at least as far as the iPhone 4S is concerned."
The French judge who rejected to issue the ban on Apple’s iPhone 4S made clear that Samsung was mishandling its FRAND obligations, noting that a holder of standards-essential patents is not allowed to capitalize on its "necessarily dominant position." "The French ruling makes it clear that there's every indication that Samsung's patent rights are exhausted and Apple is, therefore, effectively licensed," Reuters writes.
Now Apple and Samsung's global disputes over patent infringements have seen more than 30 filings in at least 12 courts in 9 countries that span over 4 continents. And it seems that the battle is far from the end, because patent cases are complex, and courts prefer not to make such decisions on the fast track.
Early today, we have reported that the U.S. judge declined to issue a preliminary injunction barring Samsung from selling several of its Galaxy smartphone and tablet devices in the United States. We have also mentioned the court order that had been redacted and which revealed that Apple had licensed one specific iOS interface patent to both Nokia and IBM. Now Reuters reports how this court order came to light.
In her 65-page ruling denying Apple's request for a preliminary injunction against Samsung, Koh attempted to redact nearly two dozen sentences or short fragments. But because of a formatting characteristic in the prior electronic version, the redacted material can be viewed by copying text from the PDF and pasting it into another document.
Late last week, a U.S. judge Lucy Koh declined to award a preliminary injunction over Galaxy line of smartphones and tablets in the United States. The Judge admitted that Samsung infringed some of Apple's patents, but she declined to issue a ban, because of a lack of evidences.
In her ruling, Koh wrote that for some of the smartphones, "Apple has established a likelihood of success on the merits at trial."
Koh added that Apple would likely prove Samsung infringed one of its tablet patents. However, Apple had not shown that it was likely to overcome Samsung's challenges to the patent's validity, Koh wrote.
Apple must demonstrate both infringement and validity to succeed in its lawsuit.
Interestingly, Apple has licensed to third parties one key iOS patent covering the "scrollback" feature displaying the linen texture when elastically scrolling beyond the end of a document or webpage. Licenses for the patent were obtained by Nokia and IBM, and Apple offered a license to Samsung.
Apple asserted this patent against Samsung as part of its failed attempt to get an injunction against Galaxy devices, and the court order denying the injunction includes general discussion of how past licensing behavior affects the decision of whether or not to grant an injunction. The discussion is nestled among two redacted statements shown to The Verge that confirm the '381 patent was licensed to IBM and Nokia, and that Apple offered a license to Samsung in November of 2010 as part of settlement negotiations.
Comparison of iPad and Galaxy Tab profiles
The Verge reports that Apple offered an alterative design for Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 in its July court case seeking a sales ban of the Galaxy Tab 10.1. Apple gave Samsung a list of tweaks that would allow the company to differentiate the two tablets (iPad and Galaxy Tab) and start selling Samsung’s Galaxy Tab not violating Apple’s patents.
The Korean electronics company argued that the patents Apple is using against the Galaxy Tab were based on functionality, and are thus required by all smartphones and tablet computers as part of a basic utilitarian design that is why Samsung had to use the design elements in question. But Apple believes that Samsung could use other options and that the Korean company purposely violated standing patents. To prove its point, Apple generated a list of possible alternatives that included:
- A front surface that is not black.
- A shape that is not rectangular.
- No rounded corners.
- A front surface that is not flat.
- Varying Bezel size.
- A device that is not thin.
- A cluttered appearance.
In response, Samsung slightly changes design of its tablet and rebranded it the Galaxy Tab 10.1. However, Apple did not find these changes sufficient to warrant the lifting of the injunction.
Samsung's attorney Neil Young claims that Australian judge Annabelle Bennett was wrong in granting Apple a temporary injunction against the Galaxy Tab. He stated at an appeal hearing that she made a series of errors and did not understand key elements of the case. The judge issued the ban on the basis of just two of the patents, but Apple’s claims are based on 13 company’s patent infringements. So the judge decided that they were enough to warrant a temporary sales ban until the full case will be solved. However, Samsung may lose their customers during the holiday sales season at least in Australia.
As far as we know, Apple is also suing Samsung in California and in some other countries. A separate injunction on sales was won by Apple in Germany. Rather curious incident occurred in the US court. A judge, who held Samsung’s Galaxy Tab and Apple's iPad in the air, asked Samsung's attorneys to identify which one is made by Samsung. Surprisingly, the attorney preferred to evade a question.
Of course, Apple's attorney Stephen Burley does not agree with Samsung's attorney. He believes that Bennett reviewed the infringement case in a detailed fashion. Moreover, he claims that Apple had good chances to win infringement.
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We have found that NoiseHush NX80 3.9 feet cable is more suitable for everyday use, since they indeed tangle less than original Apple Earphones that come with every iPhone and iPod. The red color also looks nice and attractive. The selection of ear gels is very important. They not just make headphones stay in ears, we have also found that the sound quality is much better when appropriate ear gels are used.
Bloomberg reports that Australian appeals court is hearing testimony related to the injunction issued to prevent Samsung from selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia. As you remember, the injunction was result of complaints from Apple of design infringement. Judges in the appeals case are skeptical of the fairness of the injunction.
“The result looks terribly fair to Apple and not terribly fair to Samsung,” Federal Court Justice Lindsay Foster said today at a hearing in Sydney on Samsung’s appeal for the ban to be overturned.
The injunction was issued by Federal Court Justice Annabelle Bennett on October 13. According to the injunction, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 was banned from selling in Australia until Samsung and Apple resolve the patent dispute. Neil Young, Samsung’s lawyer, said that the Justice did not take into account the “dire consequences” of the ban on Samsung. Judges may allow Samsung to sell the device during two-three months before the full trial can take place in March, believing that it won’t severely harm Apple.
The US Patent & Trademark Office published (
Last week the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office opened an exhibition devoted to Steve Jobs. The exhibition honoring Apple’s co-founder includes 30 giant iPhone-like display panels that demonstrate the front pages from over 300 patents that bear Jobs' name as inventor or co-inventor.
“This exhibit commemorates the far-reaching impact of Steve Jobs’ entrepreneurship and innovation on our daily lives,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos. “His patents and trademarks provide a striking example of the importance intellectual property plays in the global marketplace.”
According to FOSS Patent’s
New Galaxy Tab 10.1N (top) vs. Galaxy Tab 10.1 (bottom)
Samsung tries to bypass patent infringement from Apple, modifying the design of its Galaxy Tab 10.1 touchscreen tablet in order to re-launch it in Germany. Moreover, Samsung decided to rename the device. The new product is known as the Galaxy Tab 10.1N. The most obvious difference from the front of the device is that the metal frame around the edges of the device now wraps around slightly toward the front along two of the edges. We are not sure that such device will definitely steer clear of infringement. Anyway, it’s up for the Court to decide.
"But without a doubt, Samsung has upped the ante fro Apple and its lawyers in case they wish to request a new injunction or allege that this constitutes an infringement of the existing one."
Germany seems to be a really important battleground in the fight between Samsung and Apple. Last week, Samsung filed a new complaint against Apple in the country. And it’s obvious that the company decided to redesign its device because of permanent ban from selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Germany.
Bloomberg reports that Samsung has won an early trial date of March 2012 for its case against Apple in Australia. Noteworthy, the judge accepted that proposal over Apple's opposition that requested a trial date of August 2012.
Australia Federal Court Justice Annabelle Bennett today ordered that a trial on Samsung’s claims be held in March. Cupertino, California-based Apple had opposed an early trial, with its lawyer Stephen Burley saying the company needed more time to prepare the case and favored a hearing in August.
Samsung, the world’s biggest maker of smartphones last quarter, dropped its bid for a temporary injunction barring Apple from selling the iPhones and iPad 2 and instead is seeking an early hearing. The Australian trial will be a prelude for Samsung in its U.S. case before the International Trade Commission on similar claims, which Burley said will be heard in May and June.
With the trial set for March 2012 Samsung may also add to its case against Apple new devices such as iPad 3 that is rumored to be released early 2012. The case is currently targeting the iPhone 4, iPad 2, and iPhone 3GS in Australia.
Samsung has made a next step in its legal battle with Apple, having initiated new efforts to ban Apple’s 3G products in Germany. Now Samsung and Apple are arguing over what devices might be covered under the injunction Samsung seeks, which would include a prohibition of sales of iPhones and iPads with 3G features. Apple is now doing its best to protect the iPhone 4S from consequences of the injunction that might be granted. This time Samsung plans to use the same methods and patents that Motorola used recently. The German court granted Motorola Mobility an injunction against Apple covering its German sales.
Now Samsung raises questions that include whether Apple is infringing patents that were licensed by the component manufacturers.
At question is "patent exhaustion," whether Samsung can sue Apple for infringement in using Intel's version of the Infineon chips sold since January 2011, or whether Samsung's rights to sue over patents are "exhausted" after being licensed to a third party building the components.
The second issue in the case is standard-essential patents that Samsung uses. As far as we know, Samsung sued before trying to reach a licensing agreement with Apple. Apple noted that Samsung has never claimed infringement over any of its standards-essential patents "until it decided to retaliate for Apple's assertions of non-standards-related patents."