Tags patent infringement

Large tech companies side with Samsung in its appeal against award for infringing Apple’s patents

apple-samsung-trial

In the latest news in the patent case that feels like it will never end, a number of tech giants have taken Samsung’s side in its appeal against the damages it was ordered to pay for infringing Apple’s patents.

It’s almost three years since Apple was awarded $1B in damages after a jury found that Samsung infringed five of its patents. $450M of that award was later vacated and a retrial ordered to determine a revised sum, with Apple awarded a lower sum of $290M – for a revised total of $930M. The US appeals court later ruled that while Samsung did indeed copy iOS features, it should not have been penalised for copying the general look of the iPhone. The court now needs to once again revise the amount awarded.

The amount awarded in part reflected the profits Samsung was deemed to have made by infringing the patents, and it is this aspect that Google, Facebook, Dell, HP, eBay and other tech companies say is unreasonable … 

Inside Sources reports that the tech companies filed what’s known as an Amicus briefing – an opinion expressed by those not directly involved in the case – arguing that turning over the full profits made from a product made no sense where just a few features among thousands were copied. The companies suggest that the precedent would encourage a mass of similar lawsuits.

“If allowed to stand, that decision will lead to absurd results and have a devastating impact on companies, including [those filing the brief], who spend billions of dollars annually on research and development for complex technologies and their components,” the group wrote in its brief to the court earlier this month.

The brief said that a few hardware components among thousands, and a few lines of code among millions, may be “largely insignificant to the user” when making the choice of product, and that upholding the ruling would stifle innovation and harm consumers.

While it may seem odd to argue that stiff penalties for copying features would stifle innovation, the argument would seem to be that companies will be afraid to develop new approaches in case they inadvertently infringe another company’s profits – it would be safer to simply continue to offer similar products to their existing ones.

Apple said that the brief should be dismissed on the grounds that an Amicus briefing can only be submitted by those with no personal interest in the case. It argued that because Samsung devices use Google’s Android operating system, Google has a direct stake in the outcome.

“Google has a strong interest in this particular case, is not an impartial ‘friend of the court,’ and should not be permitted to expand Samsung’s word limit under the guise of an amicus brief,” Apple told the court.

The case continues.

Image: CNET


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: AAPL, Android (operating system), Apple Inc, Apple v Samsung, Apple vs Samsung, Apple vs Samsung patent trial, Google, Patent, Patent infringement, Patent trial, Samsung

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Ben Lovejoy

July 21st

Apple

Mac

Typo, the Blackberry-like keyboard case for the iPhone, permanently withdrawn from sale

typo_lifestyle_shoot-014

Typo, the iPhone keyboard case that bore more than a passing resemblance to the Blackberry keyboard, is being permanently withdrawn from sale as part of a lawsuit settlement.

Typo Products, co-founded by TV personality Ryan Seacrest, launched the original version of the keyboard early last year. Blackberry wasted no time in suing the company for alleged patent infringement, winning an injunction against its sale and later collecting $860k in damages.

Undeterred, Typo released a modified version of the keyboard which it claimed didn’t infringe Blackberry’s patents. Blackberry disagreed and took Typo back to court again. Blackberry says that case has now been settled, with Typo agreeing to permanently withdraw its iPhone keyboard cases from sale.

The settlement refers to keyboards for devices “smaller than 7.9 inches,” meaning Typo is free to continue selling its iPad mini model.

Via the WSJ


Filed under: iOS Devices, Tech Industry Tagged: BlackBerry, iPhone, iPhone keyboards, Lawsuit, Patent, Patent infringement, Ryan Seacrest, typo, Typo Products

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Ben Lovejoy

June 1st

Apple

Mac

Samsung appeal against Apple’s $930M award for patent infringement begins today

Men are silhouetted against a video screen with Apple and Samsung logos as he poses with Samsung S3 and Samsung S4 smartphones in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica

The latest court battle between Apple and Samsung begins today, with Samsung appealing against the $930M it was ordered to pay Apple for patent infringement in the first trial between the two companies. Samsung is arguing that the amount awarded was “excessive and unwarranted.”

It’s of course not the first time that the sum awarded has been disputed. Apple was initially awarded $1B in damages, with $450M of that later cut and a retrial required to determine a revised sum. The retrial awarded Apple $290M instead for that element of the case, giving Apple a revised total award of $930M … 

But Samsung isn’t giving up yet, having filed a brief from 27 law professors, reports Re/codeApple is arguing that Samsung is trying to use the appeal to rehash factual issues already settled during the trial, rather than raising legal arguments which would justify an appeal – and has countered with a series of briefs of its own from design experts and supporters of strong patent protection.

Samsung is separately appealing the verdict of the second patent trial between the two companies where it was ordered to pay Apple $119.6M for infringing five further Apple patents.

Photo credit: Reuters


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Apple Inc, Apple patent trial, Apple v Samsung, Apple vs Samsung, Ericsson, Google, HTC, Huawei, iPad, iPhone, Microsoft, Patent, Patent infringement, Patent trial, Samsung, Samsung patent trial

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Ben Lovejoy

December 4th

Apple

Mac

USPTO rejects parts of Apple’s auto-correct patent, $119M payout by Samsung likely to be reduced

autocorrect

In a new twist to the second Apple vs Samsung patent trial, the United States Patent and Trademark Office has rejected the specific part of Apple’s auto-correct patent that Samsung was said to have infringed, reports FOSS Patents. This effectively means that Samsung was ruled to have infringed a patent that is no longer valid.

The trial found that Samsung infringed three of the five patents Apple claimed, including a specific element of its auto-correct patent which described a particular method of offering corrections or completions. Samsung had unsuccessfully argued at trial that this approach had been used by others before Apple, and therefore could not be patented. The court rejected this argument, but the USPTO has now agreed with Samsung … 

The court awarded Apple $119,625,000 in damages – far below the $2B Apple had claimed. It seems likely that this award will be reduced now that the basis for one of the three successful claims has been declared invalid.

The trial itself involved a war of words between the two companies, with Apple’s lawyers claiming that Samsung deliberately set out to copy the iPhone as closely as possible, and that it had limited the case to five claims as “we can’t try 50 patents.” Samsung’s lawyers, in turn, referred to Apple as a “jihadist.”

While the two companies have decided to call it quits on patent disputes outside of the United States, within the U.S. we can expect court battles between the two to continue for some time yet.


Filed under: AAPL Company, iOS Tagged: Apple, Apple v Samsung patent trial, Apple vs Samsung patent trial, auto-complete, auto-correct, autocomplete, autocorrect, Claim (patent), iPhone, Patent, Patent infringement, Patent trial, Samsung, Samsung patent trial, United States Patent and Trademark Office, USPTO

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Ben Lovejoy

August 8th

Apple

Mac

Google agrees to defend Samsung, pay some of its costs in patent infringement case against Apple

samsung-galaxy-s4-vs-apple-iphone-5

While testifying in the Samsung vs Apple case on Tuesday, it was revealed that Google has agreed to help Samsung defend itself against Apple in its current patent-infringement case. According to a report from Re/Code, citing deposition testimony from Google lawyer James Maccoun, Google has also agreed to partially or fully indemnify Samsung for any loses it may suffer on its claims.

Apple is suing Samsung for infringement on five patents for upwards of $2 billion. Samsung, of course, claims that its products do not infringe on any of Apple’s patents, nor are any of Apple’s patents even valid in the first place. Samsung also says that the $2 billion sum is absurd and that any damages should be significantly less than that.

Most of the patents Apple is suing over do relate to software features initially created by Google, which is the reasoning behind Google’s agreement to defend Samsung and compensate it for any damages. Patent law allows lawsuits to be filed over the end products that contain infringing code. Samsung also presents a larger target for Apple in terms of damages as it profits off of products infringing on patents, whereas Google simply gives Android away to free.

Google is also obligated to defend Samsung as part of the “Mobile Application Distribution Agreement” that Samsung signed, agreeing to distribute various Google services on its devices, some of which Apple claims infringe on its patents.


Filed under: AAPL Company, Tech Industry Tagged: Android, Apple, Google, iPhone, Patent, Patent infringement, Samsung

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Chance Miller

April 22nd

Apple

Mac

Patent troll Personal Audio LLC sues iTunes’ top podcaster Adam Carolla’s Ace Broadcasting

Adam_Carolla_Pictures

In July 2011, a federal jury in Texas awarded “patent licensing company” Personal Audio LLC $8 million in its patent infringement lawsuit against Apple. The jury found Apple infringed two valid patents related to downloadable playlists with its iOS devices as far back as the original iPod. One covered an “audio program player including a dynamic program selection controller,” while the other covered an “audio program distribution and playback system.” 9to5Mac has now learned Personal Audio LLC is attempting to target content creators directly, starting with a new patent infringement case in Texas against one of iTunes biggest podcasters, Adam Carolla’s Ace Broadcasting.

If the outcome of the case is anything like Personal Audio’s previous cases, it could have a major impact on podcasters and other content creators on iTunes and elsewhere. Personal Audio also sued and entered licensing agreements with Sirius XM Radio, Archos, Coby, RIM, Samsung, Amazon, and Motorola related to its downloadable playlist patents and others.

The new patent, issued just last year on Feb. 7, 2012, is quite broad and describes a “System for Disseminating Media Content Representing Episodes in a Serialized Sequence.” Personal Audio is also suing the popular Howstuffworks.com series, which like Ace Broadcasting, is a large podcasting presence on iTunes and across the web…

On Personal Audio’s website, the company said its patents “pioneered techniques now commonly used today in portable players, smartphones, tablets and other products” and lists several patents for music playlists, podcasting, personalized recommendations, and audio messaging.

We reached out to Personal Audio and Ace Broadcasting for comment.


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Jordan Kahn

January 10th

Apple

Mac

Analyst estimates Apple will get around $7 per HTC phone sold yielding $180-$280M annually

On Friday, a press release confirmed Apple and HTC reached a global settlement regarding two patent infringement lawsuits that would include a 10-year licensing agreement and dismiss the current lawsuits between the companies. There was no other information on the deal at the time, but today Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu claimed to have the specifics (via BusinessInsider):

Apple will get $6-$8 for every Android-based HTC phone sold, says Shaw Wu, an analyst at Sterne Agee… HTC sells 30-35 million Android smartphones annually, so it will generate $180-$280 million in annual revenue for Apple. Since there is no almost cost associated with that revenue, it should be pure profit. But, Apple made $41 billion in net income during its last fiscal year, so it’s not like this HTC money means much.

The Wall Street Journal also reported today that the settlement would indeed include licensing fees.



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Jordan Kahn

November 12th

Apple

Mac

Technicolor looks for patent payoff from Apple and Samsung

Apple Samsung Smartphones Tablets Technicolor

Technicolor, the iconic French company that invented the process that enables color movies, is looking for large patent payoffs from major mobile vendors, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday. The company holds more than 40,000 video, audio and optics patents, and reportedly employs a team of 220 people who dissect every new smartphone and tablet from vendors such as Apple, Samsung and HTC. The team is responsible for locating patent infringements within each device. “We usually send manufacturers a big file, with photos of the guts of their products, pointing to where they’ve been using our technology without paying for it,” said Beatrix de Russe, a lawyer and executive vice president of intellectual property at Technicolor. “Once those images have sunk in, we can start negotiating.” Technicolor has agreements with “all major manufacturers” and is also in talks with multiple vendors over new devices, although de Russe declined to elaborate with further details. The company’s patent licensing division is its most profitable business and accounts for nearly 13% of Technicolor’s total revenue.

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Dan Graziano

May 31st

Apple

Apple accuses Samsung of destroying evidence

Apple Patent Lawsuit

Apple on May 1st filed a motion in the Northern District of California alleging that Samsung intentionally destroyed documents it was ordered to hand over to the Cupertino-based company, Network World reported on Friday. Apple referred to Samsung’s actions as a “spoilation of evidence” and wants the Judge to inform the jury that the South Korean vendor acted in bad faith in failing to meet its legal duty. If the jury finds Samsung liable for infringement, they may presume that the infringement was “intentional, willful, without regard to Apple’s rights,” and the documents in question would have been advantageous to Apple’s position. The iPhone-maker said Samsung’s actions “vast quantities of relevant evidence in blatant disregard of its duty to preserve all such evidence.” A hearing on Apple’s motion is scheduled for June 7th. Samsung’s reply brief is due by May 15th, however the smartphone vendor is seeking an extension to May 29th and would like to see the hearing pushed back to July 10th.

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Dan Graziano

May 11th

Apple

Apple to judge: Samsung intentionally ‘spoiled’ documents

Apple filed a motion in the Northern District of California on May 1 that claimed Samsung ruined documents it needed to submit for the discovery process in a “spoilation of evidence,” according to the legal jargon that described the act. NetworkWorld elaborated:

  • In effect, Apple wants the Judge to instruct the jury as follows:
  • 1. Samsung had a duty to preserve relevant evidence, failed to do so, and acted in bad faith in failing to meet its legal duty.
  • 2. The jury may infer that documents Samsung failed to produce would have been advantageous to Apple’s position.
  • 3. If the jury finds Samsung liable for infringement, they may presume that the infringement was ”intentional, willful, without regard to Apple’s rights.”
  • Apple’s motion doesn’t pull any punches, accusing Samsung of spoilating ”vast quantities of relevant evidence in blatant disregard of its duty to preserve all such evidence.” Consequently, Apple writes that strong adverse inference instructions are required.

A hearing on Apple’s motion is scheduled for June 7, with Samsung’s reply brief due by May 15. However, Samsung said the claims are without merit, and it wants the due date extended to May 29. It is also seeking to have the matter’s hearing pushed to July 10, 2012, but Apple wasted no time and quickly filed a reply on May 7 that asked Samsung’s motion to be denied.

This aside is cross-posted on 9to5Google.



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Elyse Betters

May 11th

Apple
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