Posts Tagged lawsuit

FTC And Google Settle: Google To Stop Seeking Product Bans Against Competitors In The US, Take Disputes Out Of Court

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If you were wondering if this is the sort of legal story you should pay attention to on Android Police, let me make it easy: it is. This is probably the biggest legal story in the mobile sphere since Apple’s victory over Samsung last August. Yeah, that important.

This morning, the FTC announced at a press conference that Google had settled its antitrust claims with the agency, and that Google agreed to two very important stipulations as part of that settlement relating to mobile.

First, Google and Motorola will cease seeking product bans for standards-essential patent infringement. I cannot underline enough how important this is to the mobile industry as a whole, at least in the US.

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FTC And Google Settle: Google To Stop Seeking Product Bans Against Competitors In The US, Take Disputes Out Of Court was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Amazon gets Apple’s false advertising claim dismissed from trademark infringement lawsuit

Amazon gets Apple's false advertising claim dismissed from trademark infringement lawsuitIt’s been awhile since we last had news from Apple’s App Store-based trademark infringement lawsuit against Amazon. Today, Amazon got Apple’s claim for false advertising dismissed from that very same case after filing for partial summary judgement. In finding for Amazon, the judge held that Apple failed to identify a single false statement (expressly stated or implied) that Amazon made about the nature, characteristics, or quality of the Amazon Appstore that would deceive customers into thinking it was the same as the Apple App Store — a legal requirement to establish false advertising under federal law. Not a bad way for Bezos to ring in the new year, eh?

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Via: Bloomberg

Source: Court Order [PDF]

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Apple withdraws patent claim against Samsung’s Galaxy S III mini

Apple’s patent claim against Samsung’s Galaxy S III mini is no more, with Cupertino citing the phone’s lacking availability in the US for the amendment to its original November filing. In the ongoing litigation between the two electronics giants, Samsung argued that it’s Galaxy S III mini didn’t warrant inclusion in the latest volley of Samsung devices Apple wants added to its patent lawsuit; Apple apparently agreed, and is thusly withdrawing its claim against that particular device. The argument also highlights the sad news that the S III mini won’t join Samsung’s Galaxy lineup in the US.

An agreement filing spotted by Reuters from a San Jose, CA. US District Court revealed today’s news, coming just days after Judge Lucy Koh dismissed a request to permanently ban sales on several Samsung devices. It’s unclear if the other Samsung devices Apple asked to be added to the ongoing case are approved yet by the court, but we can certainly count the S III mini out for the time being.

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Source: Reuters

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Chinese court tells Apple to pay Chinese writers over copyright infringement case

apple-faces-yet-another-chinese-copyright-lawsuit-046d2654acOne of China’s papers reported that Apple had illegally sold books of some Chinese authors and was ordered to pay a certain amount. Apple was sued by a group of Chinese authors over copyright infringement after the group discovered that their books were sold without permission in Apple’s App Store. A judge based in Beijing demanded that Apple pay the authors to compensate for their claims.

It is not immediately clear how the writers will be paid though. The China Daily said that Apple was ordered to pay a  total of 412, 000 yuan, translating to $66,000, while the Wall Street Journal writes that the Cupertino-based firm was told to pay 1.03 million yuan, or around $165,000.

Mac Observer noted that pirates sold the books to Apple without seeking permission from the writers themselves. The authors involved are among China’s best sellers and most popular.

Wall Street Journal reported that Apple does not tolerate piracy and that the company ensures that the rights of content owners like writers and authors are upheld all the time.

The ruling happens in the midst of the China’s crackdown of massive piracy and trademark issues in the country. Chinese government officials announced last Monday that laws will be amended to address “malicious” trademark registrations that encourages local businesses to misuse popular names and brands in the country. The changes in the law would give more power to trademark owners, which would allow them to request for product bans if their logos and names are used without permission.

Apple had been hit by lawsuits from China a few times already. The first lawsuit was from Proview, when the China-based company sued the American tech giant over the iPad trademark. Apple had to settle for $60 million over the case after Proview filed numerous lawsuits in China requesting to ban Apple’s tablet from stores, as well as order Apple from using the iPad trademark on its widely popular line of products. Following that case was another lawsuit from Jiangsu Xuebao, which claimed that Apple infringed on its “Snow Leopard” trademark. The most desirable company in the world was also accused of patent infringement issues over its Siri voice technology and Facetime software.

Last September, Apple was also ordered to pay 520,000 yuan to Chinese encyclopedia publisher for violating copyright.

The latest lawsuit involving Apple’s App Store was filed earlier in the year and was entertained by the court in October. The judge’s ruling ordered Apple to stop the distribution of the books immediately. China Daily hinted that the authors involved in the case may appeal the ruling because of the low compensation fee being ordered.

The group originally asked for 10 million yuan in damages claims, according to Chinese news agency Xinhua.

China is becoming a significant market for Apple as its products are well received by the country’s middle class.

The company’s China sales was reportedly $5.7 billion for the fiscal quarter that ended last September, translating to about 16 percent of the company’s total global sales.

source: cnet

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Images of the Huawei Ascend D2 Leak Out. I Smell a Lawsuit Coming

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CES 2013 will be soon upon us, and a slew of new devices will be displayed for our nerdy little hands to play with. Huawei was one of the manufacturers that was going to unveil a new flagship phone, but it seems that the internet has acted…like the internet. Leaked images of the Ascend D2 have hit the web, and I must say, a certain company with that fruit that will keep the doctor away, just might not like its design.

As you can see from the image above, anyone of us would jump to the conclusion that its an iPhone. Of course we you look at it more closely, you can see that it is made by Huawei and there are slight differences. A 5-inch 1080p display, quad-core 1.5GHz processor, 2GB of RAM, 13MP camera, and Jelly Bean are supposed to be packed in this “iPhony” that will have the power of a 3000 mah battery behind it. Yeah, sounds rather nice, but I would be embarrassed to pull it out of my pocket by the way it looks. I might be overreacting, but come on, that is just a little ridiculous looking. Apple is probably already getting the lawsuit prepared. Let us know what you guys think.

Source: Phandroid

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Instagram hit with class-action lawsuit over controversial Terms of Service

It hasn’t been a good week for Instagram. When the Facebook-owned company revealed its updated Terms of Service, which go into effect next month, the Internet went crazy, pointing out certain clauses that many users took issue with. It was a controversy that had co-founder Kevin Systrom taking to the Instagram blog to try to smooth things over before the company changed the Terms of Service to contain more favorable language. Today, however, we hear that Instagram has been hit with a class action lawsuit filed by Finkelstein & Krinsk for plaintiff Lucy Fines.

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As you might imagine, the lawsuit challenges the incoming changes to Instagram’s Terms of Service. There are lot of changes that riled up users, but some of the most controversial involve the license Instagram gains to use photos posted to the site by users. The license is royalty-free and doesn’t even require that Instagram alert users if it’s going to begin using their photos. Alongside all of these new changes comes the infamous arbitration clause that sees users waiving their rights to a class action lawsuit in favor of private arbitration. The lawsuit obviously calls these new Terms into question:

Instagram is taking its customers property rights while insulating itself from all liability. …The purported concessions by Instagram in its press release and final version of the new terms were nothing more than a public relations campaign to address public discontent.

Of course, there are other things making users angry, including a clause that informs users they can delete their accounts if they aren’t satisfied with these new Terms, but Instagram will still retain the rights to the photos they uploaded. In his post on the Instragram blog, Systrom tried to make it clear that Instagram didn’t have any intention of selling users’ photos and that users still retain ownership over their photos, while the company recently tweaked its Terms of Service and removed the advertisement clause that enraged so many users. Nevertheless, this lawsuit continues on, so we’ll have to see where it goes.

It’s important to remember that these new Terms of Service haven’t gone into effect and won’t for a few weeks yet. That means you still have time to weigh the benefits of sticking around against the benefits of jumping ship if the new Terms aren’t sitting well. If you’re interested, you can read the full filing over at Scribd, but in the meantime, keep it here at Android Community for more details.

[via SlashGear]

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Samsung files patent lawsuit against Ericsson seeking to ban products in the US

ericsson (1)The world’s largest mobile phone maker Samsung Electronics announced on Wednesday that it filed a complaint with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) against Swedish networking equipment maker from selling some of its products.

Samsung accused Ericsson of violating seven of patents owned by the South Korean firm. Ericsson previously filed a complaint against Samsung with the ITC, requesting to ban some of Samsung’s products for a patent infringement case.

“We have sought to negotiate with Ericsson in good faith. However, Ericsson has proven unwilling to continue such negotiations by making unreasonable claims, which it is now trying to enforce in court,” Samsung defended itself in a statement.

“The accused Ericsson products include telecommunications networking equipment, such as base stations,” Samsung added.

The key technologies involved includes electronic devices for data transfer and wireless communications, as well as radio frequency and LTE networks.

Ericsson is looking for ways to generate money from its patents after suffering significant drop in sales of its networking equipment, which saw a 17 percent decrease during the third quarter. The Stockholm-based firm’s move is now common in the industry, where each andevery major player protects their intellectual property as smartphone and tablet sales are booming.

While still the number one networking equipment manufacturer in the world today, the company is facing growing stiff competition from rival networking equipment makers including Samsung.

“I’m sure that at this point, no one in the industry would underestimate Samsung’s ability to become a significant player, if not the leader, in a new segment of the overall market for telecommunications hardware,” patent expert Florian Mueller said in a blog.

Mueller said that this new patent infringement case “adds more strategic dimension to the Ericsson-Samsung dispute.”

Samsung’s rise to the top spot in the lucrative mobile market is punctuated by constant patent disputes from rivals like Apple Inc. Both companies are locked in a legal struggle in 10 countries around the world as they vie to dominate the market.

Last week, Samsung was accused by the European Commission of abusing its influence in mobile technology following its request to exclude Apple from using its patent considered to be industry standard essential.

Last month, Ericsson filed a lawsuit against its South Korean rival after a nearly two-year negotiation to renew a FRAND patent licensing deal between them failed. Ericsson said that 24 patents were involved in the lawsuit. According to Ericsson, “the dispute concerns both Ericsson’s patented technology that is essential to several telecommunications and networking standards used by Samsung’s products as well as other of Ericsson’s patented inventions that are frequently implemented in wireless and consumer electronics products.”

It also added that after Samsung Electronics licensed the patents in 2001 and 2007, Ericsson offered to renew the license for the third time. Samsung found the terms unacceptable by claiming that that royalty rates being offered were “excessive”.

source: reuters

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Class action case filed against Instagram over new service terms

xlargeFacebook-owned Instagram is currently facing its first class-action lawsuit following the amendment of its terms of service that stirred a hornet’s nest among users around the world.

The lawsuit, filed by an Instagram user in a federal court in San Francisco, accused the company of a breach of contract among other claims.

Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes said that the lawsuit is baseless and Facebook will defend itself.

The giant social network paid $715 million to acquire Instagram, a service that allows users to edit photos using filters and share them on the web, earlier this year.

Instagram’s introduction of its revised terms of service last week created a furor among users as suspicions rise that it would sell photos of users without due compensation. The new service terms also provided a take-it-or-leave-it arbitration clause that tells users to waive their rights to join a class action suit against the company.

Existing service terms that would expire in the middle of January does not mention waiving of user rights to arbitration.

Chief Executive and Instagram founder Kevin Systrom had to retreat days following the announcement of the new terms of service, prompting him to delete some provisions about the display of photos without paying the original user.

But Instagram is keeping the language that allows it to place ads relevant to user content. It also declares that it reserves the right to not disclose the identity of advertisers by saying: “that we may not always identify paid services, sponsored content, or commercial communications as such.” The mandatory arbitration clause also remains on the new service terms.

Instagram is being sued by a San Diego-based law firm called Finkelstein & Krinsk, who says that customers who do not like the new terms can quit the service, which also results to losing the photos uploaded to Instagram.

“In short, Instagram declares that ‘possession is nine-tenths of the law and if you don’t like it, you can’t stop us,’” said the lawsuit.

Senior lawyer of the Electronic Frontier Foundation Kurt Opsahl, a vocal critic of Instagram, said that he welcomed the news about the service’s rolling back of its advertising terms and its intention to explain their plans in the future.

Opsahl however, raised the issue that Instagram’s new terms no longer guarantee that private photos would remain private. He mentioned a similar act of Facebook before for changing settings depriving users of making some of their information private which also create a similar furor among users.

“Hopefully, Instagram will learn from that experience and refrain from removing privacy settings,” he said.

Some experts believe the lawsuit to be of little merit though. Respected lawyer Venkat Balasubramani writing for Eric Goldman’s Technology and Marketing Law Blog says that the case is “flimsy,” “borderline frivolous” and “an example of lawsuits against social networks gone completely amok.”

Balasubramani keeps tracks of social network issues. He noted that the revised terms have not even gone into full effect yet, so Instagram still as the right to change its terms if it pleases.

source:  reuters

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Instagram gets hit with class-action lawsuit, but will it matter?

Instagram knows first hand that someone is always willing to read the terms of service agreement no matter how many people claim to skip right to that big “accept” button. The Facebook-owned company came under heavy fire earlier this month when it revised its terms of service to include some troubling language in regards to advertising. While advertisements themselves are fine, it is how Instagram looked to do it that had people worried.

Specifically, Instagram took it upon themselves to reserve the right to use any photos you upload to the service in advertisements, and that’s without any prior permission or without any royalties. Private photos were in the safe zone in that regard, but the terms pretty much gave Instagram the right to use your public photos however they wished.

Most people mistook the company’s language to mean that Instagram claimed ownership of photos uploaded to the service, but that was not the case. Finally, Instagram noted that advertisements could appear within the same timeline that you use to view posts from friends and family, but this wasn’t as much of an issue.

The community immediately voiced its concern, and the downpour of distaste was more than enough to be effective. The company ended up reverting its terms of service to help calm the nerves of its users, though a lot of people were still keen on picking up shop and taking their photo-posting business elsewhere.

That wasn’t enough for some people, though, as Instagram has been hit with a class-action lawsuit. Facebook is confident it’ll beat the lawsuit — after all, there isn’t much to battle. The terms have been cleared up for the most part, and even with the clause that allows Instagram to retain and use your photos for advertisement following account deactivation it’s in the company’s right to do so. You accepted the terms, so you’ll have to accept the bad with the good.

I’m not saying users should lie down and take everything a company dishes out without a peep, but there’s a reason why most class-action lawsuits over changes in a company’s terms of use tend to go nowhere. Keep voicing your opinion, folks — it does matter. But know that this lawsuit will be like a fly on the wall compared to more pressing issues Facebook and Instagram have to deal with every day. We’ll keep an eye on this one regardless.

[via Reuters]

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Instagram Sued Over ToS Changes

Remember the changes done to the Terms of Service of Instagram a week ago? Not only did it draw a lot of negative feedback from its subscribers but the company is now facing a class action suit over it. A case has been filed in the San Francisco federal court by a San Diego based law firm in behalf of Lucy Funes. The class-action lawsuit charges the company with breach of contract, unfair business practice and the violation of California business codes. An injunction is also being requested against the new ToS. This lawsuit was filed just this Friday despite the fact that the company has already backpedalled on the new ToS.

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What sparked the anger of most of the subscribers to this service were the added changes that stated

“Some or all of the Service may be supported by advertising revenue. To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you. If you are under the age of eighteen (18), or under any other applicable age of majority, you represent that at least one of your parents or legal guardians has also agreed to this provision (and the use of your name, likeness, username, and/or photos (along with any associated metadata)) on your behalf.”

The company has newly announced that they will not be using photos without the permission of its owners. They however have maintained the mandatory clause as well as the right to display ads based on user content.

Facebook, which acquired the popular photo sharing and social networking service, has already made an official statement regarding this class-action lawsuit saying that “We believe this complaint is without merit and we will fight it vigorously.”

Instagram has already been tried in the court of opinion and have been soundly defeated. It’s going to be interesting to see them tried in a court of law.

via cnet

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Netflix faces lawsuit from owner of OpenTV over patent violations

Netflix Windows 8 Screenshot US 1Netflix will face Christmas with a new lawsuit for allegedly infringing patents owned by OpenTV, an interactive television pioneer. The video-streaming company has reportedly violated the patents for a technology critical in today’s video sector.

Kudelski SA, a Swiss company that owns OpenTV, disclosed in its lawsuit that Netflix violated 7 patents related to over-the-top TV technology (OTT). According to the lawsuit, such the violation of technology includes the digital rights management, use of viewer information to make recommendations, and video playback.

Kedelski said that it tried for about a year to reach an agreement with Netflix over licensing deals related to the patents involved, but the American video-streaming company ignored Kudelski’s proposals. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware.

“Companies like Netflix have, in essence, stood on the shoulders of giants, largely focusing their R&D efforts on aggregating these previously patented technologies and using them to provide a rich customer experience,” said Kudelski in its complaint.

Netflix  did  not provide any comment so far.

The lawsuit couldn’t come any better as there is a fast-growing increase in movies and TV shows  being delivered over the Internet directly to smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs. Netflix, a company that started as a DVD delivery service, pioneered video streaming in 2007, and has quickly grew into a leader in this sector.

However, Netflix had already seen better days as the market has grown crowded at the moment with the introduction of similar services being offered by Wal-Mart Store, Amazon.com Inc, Walt Disney Co, News Corp, and Comcast Corp.

The Cupertino-based Apple Inc, the largest computer maker in the world considering its market value, is also planning to enter the smart TV market.

The smartphone business and the Internet TV sector share common attributes that were once produced by companies for the past decade that are no longer significant player makers.

The lawsuit filed by Kudelski, according to Grant Moss, CEO of advisory firm Adapt IP Ventures, would be repeat of smartphone patent wars in a smaller scale. He believes that similar cases can be expected as new ways in making money are being discovered and new players are joining the fray.

“But I don’t see the financial value of the individual cases being as significant as those in the smartphone market,” Moss added.

Kudelski has been in movie and digital TV technologies sector for several decades and has since then acquired and developed a wide range of patents. It currently employs more than 3,000 employees around the world and is generating an annual revenue of more than $700 million. Its acquisition of the San Francisco-based OpenTV made it a streaming video company in the United States.

Founded in 2006, OpenTV was a joint venture between Sun Microsystems and Thomson Multimedia. OpenTV developed a technology that enhances more than 200 million TV set-top boxes. The company is directly in competition with the Cisco Systems-acquired NDS.

Kudelski hired Joe Chernesky from a patent investment company Intellectual Ventures last May to manage a portfolio of the company’s 3,000 patents. OpenTV owns about 800 of such patents.

“We have been developing technologies for over 20 years to enable the delivery of video content and have an early and broad patent portfolio in the field,” Chernesky said. “We intend to aggressively defend our patents.”

On the other hand, Netflix owns 14 patents on technology that supports its DVD delivery service, including assembling an online movie queue and online ordering. It also owns one U.S. patent related to video streaming. Amazon.com Inc has 22 U.S. patents for multimedia streaming based on an early November review done by Envision IP, a patent advisory and research firm.

Maulin Shah, the founder of Envision IP, said that it usually takes several years to win ownership of a certain patent, which explains why Netflix has more patents related to its older business in contrast to its video streaming business. Shah said that Netflix is awaiting approval of 32 pending patent applications that should cover a wide range of technologies in improving on-demand streaming video delivery.

Patent applications are normally  useless in patent litigations and there is no certainty yet whether they’ll be approved or not, said Shah.

“It doesn’t really help them in lawsuits because they can’t use pending patents to counter-sue and fight back,” Shah added.

The recent lawsuit is another hit for the already reeling video streaming company, that since next year, had been dealing with failed subscriber growth targets, declining stock price, and poor management of splitting its streaming operations and DVD delivery service.

source: reuters

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Another One Bites The Dust: Apple’s Pinch-To-Zoom Patent Deemed Invalid By USPTO

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It seems Apple isn’t making many friends over at the patent examiner’s office lately – yet another high-profile patent used by the company in litigation has been deemed wholly invalid on a preliminary basis.

The patent in question is often called the “pinch-to-zoom” patent, because that’s basically what it patents – a pinch gesture to zoom in on content on a display. This patent had been used successfully by Apple during the first Samsung lawsuit, with numerous (all but two) Samsung devices found to infringe it. The claim (#8) involved in the suit, below (heavily redacted, reformatted):

determining whether the event object invokes a scroll or gesture operation by distinguishing between a single input point applied to the touch-sensitive display that is interpreted as the scroll operation and two or more input points applied to the touch-sensitive display that are interpreted as the gesture operation;

issuing at least one scroll or gesture call based on invoking the scroll or gesture operation;

responding to at least one scroll call, if issued, by scrolling a window having a view associated with the event object;

and responding to at least one gesture call, if issued, by scaling the view associated with the event object based on receiving the two or more input points in the form of the user input.

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Another One Bites The Dust: Apple’s Pinch-To-Zoom Patent Deemed Invalid By USPTO was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Motorola patent claim ruled ‘invalid’ by ITC judge in lawsuit against Apple

While Motorola and Apple have had their fair share of courtroom drama in the past, today may finally see some of it put to rest. The two have been engaged in a heated legal battle over the past couple of years, with the most recent of which centered around a touch-related UI intellectual property.

Today, Judge Pender of the International Trade Commission ruled that, while Apple did infringe on said patent, there would be no legal ramifications because Motorola’s claim is ‘invalid.’ The reason behind the decision stems from the fact that Motorola holds another, older touch patent very similar to the one in question, yet it was not included in the original filing.

So, it appears the Apple legal team will be celebrating a successful year in the courtroom over Christmas. Although, its entirely possible to prolong the ordeal if Motorola chooses to appeal the ruling over the coming weeks.

Source: Bloomberg

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Motorola patent claim ruled ‘invalid’ by ITC judge in lawsuit against Apple

While Motorola and Apple have had their fair share of courtroom drama in the past, today may finally see some of it put to rest. The two have been engaged in a heated legal battle over the past couple of years, with the most recent of which centered around a touch-related UI intellectual property.

Today, Judge Pender of the International Trade Commission ruled that, while Apple did infringe on said patent, there would be no legal ramifications because Motorola’s claim is ‘invalid.’ The reason behind the decision stems from the fact that Motorola holds another, older touch patent very similar to the one in question, yet it was not included in the original filing.

So, it appears the Apple legal team will be celebrating a successful year in the courtroom over Christmas. Although, its entirely possible to prolong the ordeal if Motorola chooses to appeal the ruling over the coming weeks.

Source: Bloomberg

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Samsung Drops All Bids For Injunctions Against Apple Products In Europe

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Samsung has officially sought to end all of its claims requesting bans of Apple products in Europe, according to a company official. The decision comes on continued probing by the European Union’s anti-trust body, on allegations that Samsung is abusing its standards-essential patents by seeking product bans for their infringement. Note that this does not mean Samsung has dropped its lawsuits – merely the injunction demands involved in them.

Standards-essential patents have played a pretty important role in the mobile patent wars to date, though that role has been one which is increasingly under question. SEPs are patents on technologies that are used across broad parts of an industry (such as the underpinnings of 3G connectivity, for example), and because of their value as technological standards, are required to be licensed on a reasonable and non-discriminatory basis to anyone seeking such a license.

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Samsung Drops All Bids For Injunctions Against Apple Products In Europe was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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GoLive Mobile and Airpush hit with lawsuit, accused of unwanted charges

We’re not sure about you, but we’ve never met anyone who’s willing to pay a monthly fee for one of those “premium text messaging” services. Perhaps that’s why companies will resort to some shady tactics to get mobile phone users to sign up? That’s what app developer GoLive Mobile and ad agency Airpush are accused of doing in a class action lawsuit headed up by Colorado law firm Edelson and McGuire, PCWorld reports.


According to the lawsuit, apps made by GoLive housed deceptive ads from Airpush. These ads were made to look like official Android system notifications, telling users that an update was available from the Android Market. When users clicked the ad to be taken to this Android Market, they were prompted to enter their phone number. Provided the users parted ways with their phone number, it was then sent off to GoLive and the company would use that as proof for carriers that the user had signed up for a monthly text messaging service.

The cost of these services seem to range, but apparently went up as high as $9.99 per month. Edelson and McGuire claim that bogus charges on as many as 100,000 bills could potentially be traced back to GoLive, so it would appear that the company has been hard at work signing people up. The firm says that both companies were in violation of Colorado consumer protection laws, which is why they’re now being hit with a class action lawsuit.

The amount of money the law firm is seeking wasn’t revealed, but if this case gets enough plaintiffs, you can bet the amount will be pretty high. Neither GoLive nor Airpush have said anything about this lawsuit, and we can’t imagine they’ll be all that eager to talk about it moving forward. We’ll have to see where this whole thing goes, so stay tuned.

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Lawsuit Claims Airpush Ads Responsible For Shady Premium Rate Charges

apAs if you needed another reason to hate the very concept of Airpush ads in Android apps, there is now a lawsuit alleging that these ads have been used to bilk consumers out of some real cash. The class-action complaint, filed in U.S. District Court of Colorado takes aim at developer GoLive Mobile and the Airpush ad network. If the claims are accurate, there has been some seriously seedy stuff going on.

example Airpush

Maybe you’ve never seen an Airpush ad on your device, but plenty of users have. Airpush basically sticks ads in your notification area that often look like real system notifications.

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Lawsuit Claims Airpush Ads Responsible For Shady Premium Rate Charges was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Google and others files brief asking court not to allow patents on abstract ideas

Patents are supposed to ensure protection of intellectual property as well as promote innovation. However, the recent patent wars between companies is taking a wrong turn as far as Google, Facebook, and other companies are concerned. The group believes that the current practice in securing patents is hobbling innovation instead of promoting them.

Google, Zynga, Facebook, and other 5 companies have decided to file an amicus brief with the United States State Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Friday to ask the court deny patents related to a lawsuit being fought by two financial institutions. The legal battle between CLS Bank and Alice Corp centers around the infringement of four patents that cover a computerized method of allowing a third party hold escrowed funds in behalf of two other parties.

The amicus brief was signed by Homeaway, Dell, Intuit, Red Hat, and Rackspace. It argues that a party cannot get a patent for combining phrases like “over the Internet” or “on a computer” with an abstract idea. The brief says that this issue was “critically important in the high-tech context” as it limits innovation:

“Many computer-related patent claims just describe an abstract idea at a high level of generality and say to perform it on a computer or over the Internet. Such barebones claims grant exclusive rights over the abstract idea itself, with no limit on how the idea is implemented. Granting patent protection for such claims would impair, not promote, innovation by conferring exclusive rights on those who have not meaningfully innovated, and thereby penalizing those that do later innovate by blocking or taxing their applications of the abstract idea.”

The group claims that abstract patents are a “plague in the high-tech sector”. The brief closed its argument by saying: “It is easy to think of abstract ideas about what a computer or website should do, but the difficult, valuable, and often groundbreaking part of online innovation comes next: designing, analyzing, building, and deploying the interface, software, and hardware to implement that idea in a way that is useful in daily life. Simply put, ideas are much easier to come by than working implementations.

The group decided to come up with the brief following a rash of patent lawsuits in the tech sector based on patents designed to extract licensing fees from other companies instead of making products based on the patents themselves. A recent study published earlier this year showed that patent infringement lawsuits are increasing, commanding resources from companies that had reached $29 billion last year.

A judge that presided over  controversial and high-profile cases said that “patent protection is on the whole excessive and that major reforms are necessary.” there is a steadily growing number of patent lawsuits in pharmaceutical and software industries in the recent years.

source: cnet

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Delta updates app with a privacy policy; California is safe again

Delta app

Delta Airlines has updated its Android app, bringing $2,500,000,000 worth of new features. All in the form of a privacy policy. 

It's still the same app as before, letting you check in to your flights, grab a mobile boarding pass, or even check your SkyMiles balance. If you are a frequent flier on Delta, it's probably a very useful download.

So what is this upgrade all about, and what does it have to do with billions of dollars? Good question, with an easy answer. Seems that the state of California slapped Delta with a lawsuit because the app had no clear privacy policy attached. Delta had 30 days to comply, or be faced with fines that could total up to $2.5 billion (with a b). Rather than make a large donation to California's economy, Delta updated their app today. Quick work, and the addition of the privacy policy is easy to get to — simply tap Traveling with Us, then tap Privacy Policy. 

It's good to see a privacy policy for any app, especially one that collects your credit card info by design. It's also good on some level that the state of California looks out for their citizens, keeping them safe from those who would steal and abuse their private data.

But I can't shake the feeling that threatening a $2.5 billion fine ($2,500 per download)is the best way to go about it. Anyhoo, if you're using the Delta app go grab the update, and if you're not using it but think you should be, download it from Google Play.

More: InformationWeek

 

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Delta updates their app with a privacy policy, California is safe again

Delta app

 

Delta Airlines has updated their Android app, bringing $2,500,000,000 worth of new features. All in the form of a privacy policy. 

It's still the same app as before, letting you check in to your flights, grab a mobile boarding pass, or even check your SkyMiles balance. If you are a frequent flier on Delta, it's probably a very useful download.

So what is this upgrade all about, and what does it have to do with billions of dollars? Good question, with an easy answer. Seems that the state of California slapped Delta with a lawsuit because the app had no clear privacy policy attached. Delta had 30 days to comply, or be faced with fines that could total up to 2.5 billion (with a b) US dollars. Rather than make a large donation to California's economy, Delta updated their app today. Quick work, and the addition of the privacy policy is easy to get to — simply tap Traveling with Us, then tap Privacy Policy. 

It's good to see a privacy policy for any app, especially one that collects your credit card info by design. It's also good on some level that the state of California looks out for their citizens, keeping them safe from those who would steal and abuse their private data.

But I cant shake the feeling that threatening a 2.5 billion dollar fine is the best way to go about it. Anyhoo, if you're using the Delta app go grab the update, and if you;re not using it but think you should be, download it from Google Play.

More: InformationWeek

 

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Google’s Schmidt talks about Apple and the patent wars

Google‘s own Eric Schmidt is in the news this week after saying a few comments regarding the highly publicized and ongoing patent wars and lawsuits between Apple and Android manufacturers. In a sit down with the Wall Street Journal the once Google CEO talked about lawsuits, Apple, and of course all their Android partners. Read on below to see what he had to say regarding the children of Android.

While there was a lot discussed, some of the more interesting and important comments came out regarding Apple’s lawsuits and patent wars on just about everyone but Google. Schmidt was quoted saying “Apple is doing fine,” and “Google is doing fine,” but to think of the children of Android. Basically meaning the start-ups that can’t compete, or companies like HTC that have been sued to the teeth by Apple in the past.

Schmidt went as far as to say the two companies are “rival countries” in a way rather than just teenagers that don’t like each other. They know they have issues but have to conduct themselves in an adult matter almost like two nations or countries. It’s here where he then went on to mention, “It’s extremely curious that Apple has chosen to sue Google’s partners and not Google itself.”

That comment alone sort of piqued our interest. It’s almost as if he’s hinting at something, or challenging Apple, or maybe just stating a fact. In the end they still work together and hopefully can continue to be play nice. We’ve heard reports of Google and Apple Execs sitting down to have settlement talks in the past, but at this point anything’s possible. The entire interview is worth a read so hit the WSJ link above.

[via SlashGear]

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Initial settlement nod given by U.S. judge in favor of Facebook over privacy lawsuit

Facebook has breathe fresh air last Monday following a district court judge’s decision for a preliminary approval to the company’s offer of settlement against a class action lawsuit filed against it for violating privacy rights.

Richard Seeborg, a U.S. District Judge in California previously rejected Facebook’s settlement offer last August. The social networking company was accused of violating privacy rights of its users through its “Sponsored Stories” feature. Seeborg at the time demanded answers from Facebook why the settlement did not provide an option to award money to Facebook members after the company used their personal information.

However, Facebook revised its settlement offer, prompting Seeborg to hand down a revised ruling as well. In the said ruling, he said that the new Facebook settlement “falls within the range of possible approval as fair, reasonable and adequate.”

The new proposal, according to Facebook and plaintiff lawyers, users will be awarded money of up to $10 each from a $20 million settlement fund. The rest of the money will be given to charity.

Facebook also hinted of a new tool that would let users see contents that may have been displayed in Sponsored Stories so they can opt if they want to.

The new settlement offer is awaiting final approval. If it passes, it will signal the end of the 2011 lawsuit filed by five Facebook Inc members.

The class action lawsuit accused Facebook of using Sponsored Stories feature in publicizing member’s “likes” of certain brands without paying them or offering a way to opt out. The case involved almost over 100 million Facebook members. The lawsuit cited a violation of California law.

Facebook expressed a positive acceptance of the judge’s decision. A company spokesman said that Facebook was  “pleased that the court has granted preliminary approval of the proposed settlement.” plaintiff lawyers did not give any comment about the decision.

Class members as well as outside groups will be given a chance to object to the new settlement before judge Seeborg will hand out a final verdict. He set a date for the hearing on the fairness of the deal on June 28, 2013.

source: reuters

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Apple gets Samsung Galaxy devices banned in the Netherlands

Just when you thought we might be able to go a week without some new developments in the epic Apple and Samsung war, a new wrinkle comes along. This time, it comes in the form of Apple getting Samsung Galaxy devices banned in the Netherlands. The court ruled that Samsung is infringing on Apple’s patents for navigation interface in photo galleries.



This is not the first time Samsung and Apple have gone at it over this very same issue. Last year, Samsung was accused of implementing the same “bounce back” feature as Apple’s devices when scrolling through images. Samsung has since replaced that with a blue flash that would appear on the edges of images. However, Samsung has refused to “sign a declaration of abstinence committing to not infringing the patent.” Samsung claims that the issue had been fixed in the Netherlands.

The ban only applies to Galaxy products that run Android 2.2.1 and higher, and that don’t use Samsung’s proprietary photo gallery software. The court has ordered Samsung to tell Apple how much net profit it made from sales of its infringing Galaxy products since June 27, 2011. A different court is set to determine how much of that profit Samsung will have to give Apple. If Samsung continues to infringe on the patent, the company will be required to pay Apple 100,000 euros ($129,000) for every day it violates the terms of the ban.

A Samsung spokesperson said the company is disappointed with the ruling. Apple, on the other hand, did not comment on the ruling. In another ruling in the Netherlands, a judge ruled that Samsung does not infringe on a multitouch patent from Apple. This coming January, a court is set to place their verdict in another Apple-Samsung lawsuit dealing with tablet design rights.

[via Computerworld]


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Google settles patent lawsuit from Immersion over Motorola use of haptic feedback

Motorola Droid RAZR family 2012

Immersion is known for guarding its haptic feedback patents with enthusiasm — just ask Microsoft, among others. Motorola learned first-hand when Immersion sued over the use of basic haptic technology in May, but all that’s water under the bridge now that Motorola’s new parent Google is settling the matter out of court. While the exact sums aren’t public, Google will pay Immersion to address any relevant past shipments, license the patents for future Motorola shipments and take care of “certain issues” with Google-badged hardware using the disputed vibration techniques. Immersion’s end of the bargain is simply to end its legal action, including an ITC complaint, although the company makes clear that non-Motorola Android phones aren’t covered by the deal. We’re sure Google isn’t happy to shoulder additional costs on top of its $12.5 billion Motorola acquisition, although it may see the settlement as a matter of establishing focus. After all, there’s bigger fish to fry.

Continue reading Google settles patent lawsuit from Immersion over Motorola use of haptic feedback

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Source: Motorola

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Apple to add more devices to Samsung lawsuit

There was some debate about whether Apple and Samsung would be allowed to add more devices to the existing lawsuit against each other. Recently, in an effort to keep the companies from starting a new suits, a judge ruled that the two companies could add more devices to the suit. Well Apple has jumped at the chance adding a bunch of new Samsung devices that it claims are infringing.



Apple has filed documents with the US District Court for the Northern District of California adding six more Samsung devices to its infringement suit. Apple is adding the Samsung Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note II, Galaxy Tab 8.9 WiFi, Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, Rugby Pro, and the Galaxy S III Mini. Even though the S III Mini is not available in the US, Apple is claiming that it is through unofficial channels.

Apple first filed the suit in February 2012, and since then, it’s been a constant flood of battles between the two companies. The focus of Apple’s suits against Samsung have to do with user interface technology and product design. Samsung is just one of many companies Apple has been busy going after in the last year. Apple just reached a settlement with HTC over patent claims.

We cannot forgot that Apple has already won that $1 billion judgement against Samsung. Samsung is trying desperately to get that judgement overturned. In the case of this current suit, Apple claims that these new products being added violate the same patents as the previous devices in the suit.

[via SlashGear]


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Samsung announces Galaxy Note II has moved 5 million units worldwide

Samsung announces Galaxy Note II has moved 5 million units worldwide

Well, that was quick. We started off this month with word from Samsung that its 5.5-inch Galaxy Note II passed three million in sales, and now the company is announcing it’s moved two million more in less than a month. Now available on North American carriers the stylus-packing smartphone is apparently experiencing popularity in all regions, with no sign of slowing down. It’s even had the rite of passage of being included in an Apple lawsuit, and a new ad focusing on using the stylus to become an internet meme. It may not be ready to challenge the smaller Galaxy S III for the company sales crown just yet, but with five million out the door and more every minute, XL-sized handsets are clearly here to stay.

Continue reading Samsung announces Galaxy Note II has moved 5 million units worldwide

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Source: Samsung Korea

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Apple Getting In The Holiday Spirit By Requesting The Addition Of Additional Samsung Devices In Patent Lawsuit

 

‘Tis the season to be grateful for all sorts of possibilities and Apple is grateful for the ability to file yet another patent dispute against you guessed it— Samsung. According to Foss Patents, Apple would like to add additional variations of popular Samsung devices including the Jelly Bean-powered Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note II, Galaxy Tab 8.9 WiFi, Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, Rugby Pro and Galaxy S III mini, to its ever-growing list of devices accused of patent infringement. The thought is that Apple didn’t want to stand idle and be passive because well… Samsung recently went on the offensive and naturally Apple isn’t used to being pushed around and all.

Of course the recent filing was done during holiday hours, so we’ll need to wait to wait and see what the courts decide to do with this recent turn of events. Nevertheless, this should make for an exciting holiday season for Judge Lucy Koh, right?

source: Foss Patents


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Apple wants to add 6 Samsung devices to its lawsuit

Cupertino-based technology titan, Apple, filed a motion to add six devices that the South Korean manufacturer, Samsung, built and released recently. The filing of the motion happened on Black Friday evening, evident that the former couldn’t wait ’til Monday to put its new legal strategy into play. But prior to Apple’s request, Samsung also filed a motion adding iPhone 5 to its infringement contentions.

Recently, Judge Grewal also allowed the South Korean to include iPad 4 and iPad Mini while the inclusion of the 5th generation iPod Touch, which was announced on September 12th,  is still pending.

Many expected that Apple would use the motion for supplement as a legal strategy. If the court allows Samsung to add iPod Touch 5, it also has to allow the former to add six new Samsung devices, which Apple enumerated as the following:

  1. Samsung Galaxy S3 running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system.
  2. Samsung Galaxy Note 2 that was released on October 24th.
  3. Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 WiFi, which Apple included in its previous infringement contentions.
  4. Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 that was released running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
  5. Samsung Galaxy Rugby Pro released on October 21st.
  6. Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini that was released in the UK on November 8th but has recently been marketed in the US.

The court made it clear it will allow Apple to go after Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean platforms unless they are tied to a device. The tech giant acknowledged such authority and said in a statement on Friday that it “does not seek to accuse the Jelly Bean or the Ice Cream Sandwich platforms operating on any Samsung device.”

The second set of Apple vs Samsung patent war is set on March 2014, apparently, 16 months from now. By that time we might already be seeing Samsung Galaxy S5 and iPhone 6S or 7. This case, however, looks like the previous round and Apple may still have an upper hand on this.

[source: FOSS Patents]

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Apple asks court to include Galaxy S III with Jelly Bean, Galaxy Note II and four more devices in lawsuit

Apple asks court to include Galaxy S III with Jelly Bean, Galaxy Note II and four more in lawsuit

As usual, Apple thought Friday night on a holiday weekend was the perfect time to push some more paper through in its ongoing patent lawsuit against Samsung. According to Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents, after Samsung asked to add the latest iPads, iPhones and iPod touches to its list of claims and the court approved the addition of the iPhone 5, Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note and Galaxy Note 10.1, Apple is trying to put six more devices on the list. Listed in the motion are the Galaxy S III running Android Jelly Bean (but not Jelly Bean itself), Galaxy Note II, Galaxy Tab 8.9 WiFi, Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, Rugby Pro and Galaxy S III mini. As usual, the case will proceed, we’ll wait to hear if these requests are approved by the court and in the meantime, iThings and Galaxys alike will continue to fly off the shelves. Given the season, for now it’s time to be thankful we’re not one of the lawyers spending their day working on this. That leaves us plenty of time for more interesting activities, like hand-to-hand combat against fellow shoppers for the right to purchase slightly discounted items.

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Source: FOSS Patents

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Samsung Adds New iPad, iPad Mini, And iPod Touch To Its Current Lawsuit Against Apple

courtIt was bound to happen. Really, it was inevitable at this point, however today we’ve gotten official word that Samsung is requesting to add the newest iPad, the iPad Mini, and the latest iPod Touch to its lawsuit against the Cupertino company. This isn’t shocking so much as it is entirely expected. Still, while HTC and Apple are busy settling their differences and the patent wars seemingly cooling off—if only a bit—this is a solid reminder that the two manufacturers with the most to gain (and lose!) from this fight aren’t backing away from each other.

2012-11-21_22h17_22

No new patents are being added to the case, so it’s simply a matter of including as much ammunition as possible to lob in Apple’s general direction.

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Samsung Adds New iPad, iPad Mini, And iPod Touch To Its Current Lawsuit Against Apple was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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