Apple vs Samsung vs Motorola vs Windows vs Proview (in China)—Lotsa Lawsuits In That Damn Town

Apple is suing Samsung.  Apple is suing Motorola.  China‘s Proview is suing Apple.  Who is not involved in lawsuits with the giant Apple??

This post is a spinoff on what started as a post about my search for my next (still to be determined) smartphone.  That original post is now here.

I also moved that part of the old post that was related to rumors mostly about the upcoming Samsung Nexus Prime and the Apple iPhone 5.  That new post is found here.

This post will remain primarily about the ongoing legal wranglings and public relations maneuverings between Samsung and Apple.

And so, in this corner we have the Korean firm of Samsung in the blue trunks, and the U.S. firm Apple in the candy apple  red trunks:

September 13th:

Samsung sues Apple in France over patent infringement focused on design.  Samsung filed their suit in Paris, “claiming Apple’s iPhones and iPads infringed on three technology patents relating to its Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS)”.

The complaint alleges that Apple products including the iPhone 3 & 4 as well as the iPad 1 & 2 violate these three patents.  Samsung was strict on the complaint that Apple violated patents on 3g technology, and not claiming design infringement as Apple had done in their lawsuit over Samsung products.

Holland lawsuits:  Apple sues Samsung over imitative product design and Samsung sues Apple over infringement on their 3g technology patents.  Of course, it is hard to believe either of these Giants is concerned about Holland (sorry Holland), rather this is just one battlefield in the Suropean war which later moves to Australia and nibbles away toward the U.S.A. shores.

Here is an interesting tidbit:

“Samsung is  one of Apple’s largest suppliers of parts for its products, though the latter has been trying to distance itself from its rival in past months, but it seems that the Korean company is willing to go on the offensive to defend its products against Apple’s legal onslaughts.”

The article that quote is from explains that Samsung is now preparing to sue Apple for patent infringement (as Apple has sued, and won, patent suits against Samsung) as soon as the iPhone 5 is released.  Check the article here.

Update September 20th:

So on my post about Android tablets vs iPads, I added a September 19th update re: Samsung suing Apple for patent violations (et tu Brutus??)

Today we have an article (the link is here) describing the background of the Samsung/Apple or Apple/Samsung patent battlefield.

It looks as if things are about to get even bloodier.

Speaking of Apple vs Samsung and Samsung vs Apple,  a friend  shared this chart with me .  It is a 2010 chart, so when you take a look you can add probably a zillion more lines, by now it would become pretty convoluted.

It is titled Who Is Suing Whom In The Telecomm Trade?

It is real and it is oh so incredible.  It is from Information Is Beautiful (http://www.informationisbeautiful.net)

Check out The Next Mobile, part of The Next family of sites.  They have additional information in an article they call “Who is Suing Whom in Mobile”  and they use an eralier version of the same chart.

Many folks use this chart and some rightly credit the Information Is Beautiful website and David McCandless & James Key.  These two writers for the Information Is site have produced great articles together as well as individually and with other writers.  Check out their article on oil spills.  Excellemt stuff.

The site If you Can’t Convince, Confuse  on Tumblr, uses this chart as well and has this background:

thedailywhat:

Infographic of the Day:Who’s Suing Whom In The Telecoms Trade?” — David McCandless & James Key expand on the Guardian’sWho’s Suing Who” and the NYT’s earlier “An Explosion of Mobile Patent Lawsuits” infographics, which “generated more questions than they answered.”

[iib.]

(via pwnator)

The Convince, Confuse website is very good with a lot of interesting and even amusing graphics and videos.  I recommend it.

If you are interested in this subject of lawsuits check out The Guardian as well.  Their original chart is a good one, but you can see the effort McCandless & Key have put in when producing their version of the lawsuit graphic.

And you can see that the New York Times (NYT) chart is a very early effort at presenting a picture of the telecomm lawsuits.

September 23rd:

New lawsuits, this time Samsung sues Apple.  The CNET article explains that “The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court in Delaware, takes aim specifically  at Apple’siPhone,iPad, andiPod  Touch, along with Apple’s desktop and notebook computers, as infringing.”

Samsung also  filed a new suit asking for an injunction in the Netherlands.  Samsung’s  Lee Younghee, Samsung’s head of global marketing for mobile communications explained that Samsung promises to get even more aggressive against Apple, noting that Samsung has, and will not continue to be, “passive” and “respectful.”

For the moment it seems that Apple still is in the lawsuit lead.  Samsung’s Galaxy 10.1 Tab is still banned in Germany and Samsung must fear further wins in Europe and the possibility that the U.S. courts may eventually follow suit.  More bans would ultimately kill Samsung’s ability to sell Android phones, tablets, PC products.

These two companies have enjoyed a mutually beneficial business relationship until the first Apple lawsuit in Germany.  Now, with subsequent and future suits, as well as Apple buying up all the available Flash RAM & memory products to reduce Samsung’s developments and sales, it does not seem that relationship is repairable.

Scary thought, the world dominated by Apple.  Almost as bad as Microsoft domination.

September 24th:

Check Information Week here.  Samsung’s lawsuits in Netherlands against Apple include claims of patent infringement on “the use of standards-essential 3G wireless technology in Apple’s products.”  Standards-essential patents or technology have been agreed to have been accepted as “standards”  Nokia has sued Apple regarding these same standards.

Samsung seeks injunctions preventing Apple from selling iPhone 5, Phone 3gs,  iPad 1 and iPad 2.

September 26th:

Apple reduces patent infringements suit against Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, Samsung claims Apple infringes on 3g patents “structurally”.  See the article here from Next Gadgets.  The patent hearing in Australia is set for tomorrow.

However, the Australian judge says she “needs time” to study Apple Inc.’s patent-infringement claims.

This article states Apple may be selling iPad #9 by the time this lawsuit is settled.  That statement was prior to today’s reductions by Apple in the scope of their suit.  Those changes may allow the suit to be decided more quickly.  If courts can move anything along “more quickly”.

Verizon Wireless decides to back Samsung.  “Apple Injunction against Samsung will harm U.S. consumers”.

Next Gagets also reveals that the iPhone 5 update may be “bigger than expected.”    They are anticipating a thinner, lighter and stronger iPhone.  They are not expecting a 4G device.

Apple denied trademark for multi-touch in a decision handed down by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The trademark attorney pointed out that the term “multi-touch” has become generic in meaning and is “used by a wide variety of publications to describe the touchscreen technology on Android phones, tablets, and notebooks.”

September 27th:

Might HTC join the fray? as their official complaint against Apple gets investigated by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC).  HTC’s complaint is…..that Apple has infringed on HTC’s intellectual property.  Damn if that don’t sound familiar!!

“The Taiwanese handset manufacturer seeks to halt the importation of Apple  products into the U.S., as well as compensatory damages, and three times the  normal damages for willful infringement”

The HTC complaint follows on the heels of a ITC administrative las judge’s decision that HTC had violated 2 of the 10 patents that Apple had accused the Taiwanese company of infringing.

Read more at the link above.

September 27th:

Verizon filed a amicus brief (“friend of the court”) with the court in the Apple vs Samsung lawsuit, opposing any possible ban on selling Samsung phones.  Apple threw a fit, and filed a technical opposition arguing that the court should not accept any statement from Verizon in the matter.  Additionally, Apple argued to extend the time that they need to reply in case the court decided to accept the Verizon brief.

Read the Electronista article on todays activities here.

September 28th:

T-Mobile joins Verizon and backs Samsung in infringement case.  T-Mobile filed their own amicus brief with the court today.  Apple complains that T-Mobile filed the brief too late.  Actually, the article is saying T-Mobile is joining Verizon, actually the carrier is on it’s own here and doing what most carriers probably want to do:  stick up for  their righ to carry devices they believe their customers might buy.

That must be challenging as far as tablets because Apple holds such a significant market share.  However, you can make a good argument that that market share currently exists in a market that refuses to allow true competition.  The Galaxy 10.1 would undoubtedly take some amount of the tablet customers from Apple.  How many?  No one knows.

T-Mobile promises that “We will carry the Samsung Galaxy 10.1 Tablet”.  Read more here.

Samsung Caves To Microsoft:  Microsoft and Samsung are cross-licensing their patents and Samsung agrees to pay royalties on every Android smartphone and tablet they make.  Samsung is also talking up their plans for Windows Phone (??)  This is all early yet, but the bNet article says that this shows Samsung “caving into Apple (and Microsoft) and that this spells bad news for Google.

We will have to see what happens.  If Samsung pays Microsoft why not (eventually) pay Apple for any patent issues on the hardware if Apple settles the Samsung software issues?

Or does the Microsoft partnership strengthen Microsoft in their battle with Apple?

Tons of questions here and we will see it play out as the Prime and the iPhone 5 get released.

Whatever happens at the end of this, this is a surprise event (at least to me).  I just did not see this one coming.  I knew from others out there that Windows was making their big push on the phone front (see my post about smartphones being primarily software and that Microsoft “gets it”), but I did not expect this.

Will Samsung drop Android as a platform and switch solely to Windows?  Will the buying public eventually be stuck with a mobile phone world that becomes 90% Microsoft and 10% Apple as we are with PCs?

Now I have to stick my brain in a bucket of cold water and stop the steaming.

Android Headlines reveals that Microsoft could earn some $444 million just this year from licensing agreements with Samsung.  That is a lot of $5-$10 license hits.

Also from  Android Headlines, an Executive says “Samsung can’t rely on Google for patent protection.”  The Exec also talked about the Samsung/Microsoft agreement saying “As long as Samsung builds devices running Windows Phone, it will benefit from Microsoft’s patents.”

This article from Tech Crunch is not specifically about the dueling lawsuits anymore than this article from Apple Insider is.  Rather, both articles are specifically about the Google & Samsung invitation to their October 11th event where it is surmised that the Samsung/Google/Nexus Prime and Ice Cream Sandwhich will be announced or even released.  But with that we get both sites providing their lop-sided views of who is right or wrong in the lawsuit wars.

I have a Droid.  I am thinking of getting an iPhone 5, but might get a Prime.  I am an end user who is not wedded to either product.   I want a good phone at a good price and the rest of this shit just doesn’t matter to me.  I do have my own POV about Microsoft, Google and Apple.  I lump them all together in the “evil product developers” bucket.   From the corporate perspective they each want to rule the world.  I want none of that.  I believe the public is suffering by all of this and I also know it will not end.  Even if each lawsuit gets settled tomorrow the war will not end.  Not until 2 of the 3 companies explode in a dusty plume of smoke.  And then it will start again with a new opponent.

Both sites appear to be saying that the “opposition” has moved up the date of their product in order to compete with their favorite product, Android or Apple.  Well, whoa.  They really figured out that happens in the greedy “fuck the consumer” corporate world?  But they don’t believe that “their company” is guilty.  Well, it is guilty.  Guilty as sin.

Who was it that said “End-users don’t know what they want”?  I don’t like that management belief from any company and when it came to computing that is why I always built a clone.  I do know what I want, even if it’s not what I should want.

I am in satirical shock over here.

In the meantime by mid-October we should have either the specs and a release date for iOS 5 & iPhone 5, as well as ICS & Samsung Prime, or we will have the actual new devices and software.

And I will probably buy one of them.  And part of my decision may well be based on which company I find to be “less evil” even though it should be strictly based on which phone is the best for my needs.

Enough.

September 29th:

This article indicates that Steve Jobs contacted Samsung in an attempt to resolve the patent issues at the heart of the German lawsuit.  The article from Next Gadgets states “But even the famed Steve Jobs reality-distortion field would fail to persuade Samsung to “do the right thing”. In fact, the Korean conglomerate did what was right for them: They doubled down on Android with Galaxy-branded smartphones and tablets, sending Apple through the roof and prompting them to take Samsung to court.”

October 1st:

Both Verizon & T-Mobile are allowed to file briefs in the Apple v Samsung lawsuit

October 3rd:

Apple Rebuffs Samsung Galaxy 10.1 Tab deal in Australia.  Electronista reports that “Apple late Monday rejected Samsung’s attempt to compromise on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia.  The terms,  which would have primarily focused on changing software, were dismissed out of  hand as not addressing the core issues.  The American company saw the Galaxy Tab 10.1 as inherent violation and wanted it out  of the market altogether.”

Apple may face suit over “missing” iPhone 5.  “Sergio Calderon, the 22-year-old San Francisco man who accused Apple  employees of impersonating police officers while searching his house for an  unreleasediPhone, has hired a lawyer.

David Monroe, an attorney in San Francisco, told CNET this evening that he is  considering filing a lawsuit against Apple, but, for now, is still investigating  what happened.”

October 10th:

Today we have a change on the UI (user interface) front, not in the courtroom (yet).  Samsung issues a software update to the Galaxy S II which increases the icon size by 30%.  This gives the phone a 3×3 grid making the look of the phone completely different than the Apple user interface.  Read more at the link.

October 12th:

Apple’s 4S antenna may infringe on Samsung’s patents: 

The iPhone 4S new dual-antenna design that switches between each other depending on how you hold your phone, could be infringing on the following Samsung patents:Apparatus and method for stabilizing terminal power in a communication system and Apparatus and method for selecting an antenna in a communication system.”

Apple wins early in battle against Samsung in Australia“Apple scored a key victory late Wednesday after Australia’s Federal Court  granted it its desire for a preliminary ban on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the country.  The  ruling will keep the Android tablet off of the market in the country unless  Samsung wins in a trial.”

October 20th:

Samsung’s Won-Pyo Hong explains the Galaxy Nexus started development before Apple’s first lawsuit against  the South Korean giant began their work with Google on this phone and design was not in response to the legal battle.  So the development and design have nothing to do with attempts to avoid any look-alike or act-alike patent bumps between the Galaxy Nexus and the iPhone 5 (uh….4S).  Read about it at the link.

October 28th:

Apple & Samsung both eye RPO patents for new legal skirmishes against each other.

Next Gadgets says “RPO’s DWT technology records touch input from a finger or stylus by registering interruptions in projected beams of light that are invisible to the naked eye. Because it eliminates the need for a touch-sensitive layer, the technology is said to be more power efficient than current resistive and capacitive touchscreen technologies. RPO also claims its technology makes displays brighter than competitive offerings, with better contrast as well.

“Apple is expected to emerge as a top contender for the DWT patents and manufacturing equipment,” technology research firm iRunway wrote in its analysis of the auction. “The absence of a touch overlay would allow Apple to show off the full capability of their Retina display screens, which are currently produced by LG Display.”

And more at the link.

October 29th:

So, here we go:  Samsung passes Apple in phone units sold.  This is not a courtroom issue but it may well have impacts there.

This article states that it really has to do with timing (3Q) and the new 4S came out at the end of the quarter.

True, but that meaans Apple’s history breaking sales over that first weekend and week were included in that count.  And yet they sold 4 million fewer units thn expected(?)

It also means that Samsungs new phone (the newly named Galaxy Nexus) release date will land in 4Q and units will be included in those numbers, not in the quarter that pushed Samsung past Apple.  So, They may be able to keep their spot for one more quarter.

Anyway, I am not here to argue that issue.  Just wanted to present the issue because it is significant and we will see down the road how critical it is to Apple.

“Besides the Galaxy line, Samsung’s phones include Conquer, Replenish, Focus and Indulge. IHS estimates that Samsung sold about 40 different models during the third quarter. By comparison, Apple had just two – the 4 and the 3GS.”

There is just a flood of Samsung models out there.  I don’t even know most of these phones.  A lot of that has to do with carriers wanting their “own” phone and I actually like that Apple has been able to say “no” to Verizon, ATT and the rest and just make their phones.

When you come from a position of strength, you can do that.  If Apple loses that strength then what happens?  If Jobs still led the company I think the answer would be “Nothing”.  Now, I am not so sure.

“Even as Samsung sold more phones, Apple seems to be making more money on each. That’s one of the reasons Apple is now the most valuable tech company in the world, with a market value about three times that of Samsung.

Apple competes on – and dominates – the high-end smartphone market. By contrast, Samsung has both cheap and expensive phones available. That means Samsung can appeal to a broader range of customers, but the company has to settle for a lower profit margin on lower-end smartphones.

Sideco called both strategies good. Good, but different.”

Very different and a big part of the difference starts in the geolocation of both companies.  I am not even sure that all of the Samsung models listed above are sold in the U.S.The Asian market seems different.  They like and want the “new thing” but they want cheap phones, while Apple’s products are always the most expenive on the market.  Always.

I do believe it could be an issue that leaks into the constant and tiring jockeying in the courtroom.

I think it will result in both companies pushing harder in their lawsuits instead of backing off.  Apple will think they have to sue more and try to win ground in the courtroom while Samsung may think they can defend this new turf if they get some courts too agree with their legal positions.

We shall see.

November 4th:

Apple hit with an injunction!!  Samsung wins $……oh, wait.  It wasn’t Samsung and I will get sued 2x of I Say it was Sammy??  OK.  A Re-write here:,,Apple hit with an injunction for infringing on Motorola patents in Germany.  OK, you know that is almost better than the same old Apple vs Samsung shit.

The real deal story is at the link.  Really.  I promise.

November 27th:

I hope ya’ll had a great Thanksgiving!!

The Patent Wars:   Apple vs Samsung explained in an Infographic at the link.

Latest:  This month (November 2011) Apple was court-ordered to reveal the source code for the iPhone 4S as it appears so similar to the Samsung Google Nexus Prime.  The Australian case on Samsung’s infringement allegations (they are alleging that Apple infringed on Samsung rights related to 3G and wireless in the 4S and other Apple products) has been continued to March 2012.

December 6th:

Not a lot of recent news until this weekend:

Apple Inc. won a small victory on Friday in its global patent battle with rival Samsung, after Australia’s highest court temporarily extended a ban on sales of Samsung’s Galaxy tabletcomputers in the country….

The legal back-and-forth is all part of a larger, international battle over the technology giants’ competing tablets. Cupertino, California-based Apple struck first when it sued Samsung in the United States in April, alleging the product design, user interface and packaging of the Galaxy “slavishly copy” the iPhone and iPad. Samsung hit back with lawsuits accusing Apple of patent infringement of its wireless telecommunications technology.

The companies have now filed lawsuits in 10 countries. Courts in several nations, including Germany and the Netherlands, have issued rulings that favor Apple.”

More from this article can be found at the link above.

I am very happy with my US purchase of the Samsung 10.1 Tab.  I am not an expert on any of the patents these companies own or the legalities those patents spell out.

I own and use Apple products like the iPod Touch and have used iPhones including the 4 but not the 4S.

I view the Samsung UI as very different that Apple’s.  The look and feel are substantially different.

This war is not over.

January 17, 2012:

I hope each of you  had a Merry Christmas and a great New Year.

The calendar has changed to a new year but Apple’s desire to bloody Samsung has not change.

New lawsuits are filed by Apple.

Just when it started to look like Apple was on a losing streak and their lawsuits were starting to die down, now they have fired another “salvo” in court at Samsung.  This time they are claiming “patent infringement” (what else) against the Samsung Galaxy SII, the Galaxy S Plus and eight other handsets.  This new volley was filed in Dusseldorf Regional Court which was the same place that Apple targeted (and failed against) the Galaxy Tab 10.1N. “

Apple is persistent!  here is what these suits are about:

very vague) patents in the smartphone suit:

000888920-0018 00074280-0006

As the Android Police say:

” Yes, seriously – their patents are basically for a shape.”  And, yes, filing new suits in 2012 as Apple has had their previous similar lawsuits against the Samsung tablet tossed out of German courts, does seem a bit silly.  And until now I have not called the Apple claims silly, but it is beginning to appear thast their desire is to eliminate their primary competition.

Unless they have internal Samsung documents showing intent on Sammy’s part, or taped conversations by Samsung Executives discussing their efforts to “copy” or even mimic Apple products, they will probably see their newest suits kicked out of court as well.

more from Android Police:

Nonetheless, the patents have been granted, and basically exclude – and I quote – “flat rectangular devices with rounded corners” and “the colors black and white.” I couldn’t make this up.”

Apple is suing over ‘rectangular” and ’rounded corners’?  I can understand multi-million or billion dollar lawsuits over ‘the colors black & white’, can’t you readers?  Oh, wait…I better change the color of my font here.

February 2nd:

Apples suits in Germany against Samsung, have been tossed out of court.  Again.

Apple had requested (again) that German courts BAN Samsung from selling their Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone products in Germany.

But will Apple stop suing Samsung???

February 3rd:

New study shows that iOS crashes more often than Android.

February 11th:

Apple keeps losing but keeps filing new lawsuits.  Sometimes I think this post will never close.

Now Apple has filed for an injunction against the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

Apple is requesting that the Samsung Galaxy Nexus be blocked from sale in the United States

The patents in question are:

U.S. Patent No. 5,946,647: a patent for data being used as a hyperlink

Although the Nexus is Google in it’s guts, Apple is not suing Google, just Samsung.

It’s time for Google to step in and put a stop to this bullshit. The first patent in question is the same one that was upheld against HTC in a move that shocked the tech community at large, essentially giving Apple the rights to the hyperlink — something invented over 20 years ago by numerous companies that aren’t Apple.

The other three are just as laughable, or would be if not for the fact that Apple was allowed to secure the patents at all. Every single one of them has existed as prior art long before Apple became relevant, yet a patent was granted each and every time.”

“…it’s cheaper to litigate away your competition than it is to out-innovate them.  And make no mistake — that’s exactly what’s going on here.  Apple wants Android to go away…” (bold is mine)

That is the truest statement here.  Apple is promoted as innovative and once upon a time it was.  Now it is just litigious, the new Microsoft.

February 14th:

Chinese company wants to ban imports of Apple iPads.  Not too surpising, right?  But they are asking Chinese courts too also ban EXPORTS of Apple iPads!!

All of Apple’s iPads are manufactured in China, meaning global sales of the popular tablet computers might be affected if authorities agreed to enforce such a request by Shenzhen Proview Technology.

The dispute with Proview, which won a court ruling that it owns the iPad name in China, has resulted in authorities seizing iPads from retailers in one city. Proview said it has asked for enforcement in 30 other cities….

Apple bought rights to the iPad name in 2009 from a Taiwan affiliate, Proview Taipei, that registered it in various countries as early as 2000.

A Chinese court ruled in December that Proview is not bound by that agreement. It rejected Apple’s complaint that Proview was violating its rights.”

More detail about the Chinese lawsuit, confiscating iPads and pressure on Beijing from Apple can be found here.

The Chinese company which owns the trademark for the Apple name in China is in deep debt apparently.  Can Apple exert enough pressure about money & jobs to swing a vote their way when eveyone seems to agree that Apple is  in trademark violation there?  Or will Chinese law and traditions win, even though here in the West Apple clearly owns their name?

February 16th:

Apple wins one lawsuit.  The lawsuit against Motorola is over the “slide-to-unlock” feature.  I don’t believe it is something that even deserved a patent.  But they won’t let me make those decisions.  And, does it mean a slide to unlock feature that looks like and/or works like the Apple feature?  Or does it mean any feature that slides and unlocks any device?

Earlier today, a Munich Regional Court offered Apple a permanent injunction  against several Motorola mobile products. The court ruled that the devices  infringe the iPhone maker’s slide-to-unlock gesture patent.

The court was tasked with evaluating three slide-to-unlock gestures, and  found that two of them violate Apple’s patent. A third, which is used by the  Motorola Xoom, was found to not be in violation.”

Apparently not every slide/unlock feture fits the bill.  But what about other devices?  Read more at the link above.

February 17th:

Can Apple just not help themslves?

Apparently Apple has filed a complaint against Motorola with the European Union (EU).

Remember that Motorola won an injunction against Apple in German courts.  The EU is already investigating Apple’s complaints against Samsung.  Now they have filed similar complaints against Motorola Mobility (in the midst of being purchased by Google). Apple has added 12 new patents to the complaint.

February 20th:

A Chinese Court has decided that Apple needs to pull the iPad off the Chinese shelves.  We will see if that actually happens or if some appeal or higher court in China decides differently in this patent & name war between Apple and the Chinese company that owns the name in China.

Everyone has been expecting that a financial settlement will clear things up and settle the issue without the court needing to make a decision.  Now we have the first (??) decision and we will see if perhaps it spurs Apple into check-cutting action.

February 22nd:

 Shenzhen Proview Technology sues Apple over the iPad name in Shanghai after the ongoing battle on mainland China.  The issue is one of an agreement that was reached between the two companies and the difference is just the site.  Apple contends that Proview has no rights in Shanghai because they have not been actively selling their own device under the IPAD name since 2009.

Of course, Proview argues that they still own the name even if they have not recently been selling their own device.

The hearing adjourned after a fractious four-hour session which saw the judge repeatedly admonishing both sides to observe proper court protocol as they argued across the courtroom. No date was announced for a judgment or further hearings….

Apple has appealed an earlier ruling against it in a court in Shenzhen, a city in southern China’s Guangdong province. The Guangdong High Court is due to hear that case on Feb. 29.”

Read the article at the above link for more on the Shanghai lawsuit.

February 27th:

The battle between an ailing Chinese electronics maker and Apple Inc. over the iPad name is just as much a tale of obsolescence in the fast-moving global technology industry as it is a legal row over a trademark.

When businessman Rowell Yang Long-san launched his own iPAD-branded device in 2000, a decade before Apple unveiled its hit tablet, he declared it received an “overwhelming market response.”  (bold is mine)

The Chinese company had the name a decade before Apple.  True their main product, the old cathode-ray tube monitor, is no longer viable they still had the iPad name long before Apple even thought about it.  And it appears that in China they still own the name even though they made some sort of deal with Apple.

Proview claims the deal did not cover mainland China and does not allow Apple to build iPads in China and export them tagged with that name.  And so far two courts have agreed with Proview.  Now more suits are about to be decided unless Proview and Apple can reach a deal.

Just as Proview geared up to sell its “iFamily” line of products, including the iPAD, iTerminal and others, the dot.com bubble burst. Then came the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.”

March 4th:

German courts dismiss suits beteen amsung and Apple  “involving alleged patent infringements of the companies’ respective slide-to-lock technology on mobile devices.”

Apple made no immediate comment.  Samsung welcomed dismissal of Apple’s lawsuits but vowed to appeal dismissal of their own lawsuits against Apple.

March 6th:

 iPad dispute signals new era in trademark troubles.

Given its penchant for “iproducts,” Apple’s current troubles in China over the iPad trademark are not its first, and are unlikely to be its last. China’s importance as a major consumer market is bringing fresh headaches for companies, and even celebrities, seeking to protect and claim brand names. That’s apart from the usual problems with piracy and other infringements….Apple and Proview are battling in Chinese and U.S. courts. Apple’s right to make and market the iPad under that name in China may hinge on a pending ruling from the High Court in Guangdong, in southern China. Over the past month, the conflict has escalated with Proview challenging not only Apple’s use of the mainland Chinese trademark but also the 2009 deal, which involved worldwide rights to the iPad name.

Whatever the outcome, the dispute highlights the rising stakes of the trademark name game in the increasingly lucrative China consumer market, one that most global companies cannot afford to miss out on regardless of the risks.”

Read the rest at the link above.

April 3rd:

Is this the BIG oneDoes this spell disaster for Android?  Is Apple about to take over the world??

“…today when a judge ruled and upheld (for the THIRD TIME) Apples’s touchscreen heuristics patent in a current Apple VS Motorola trial. This patent covers the ability for a phone’s touchscreen to recognize ANY user gesture on a screen that is not a straight line. Motorola has repeatedly fought this claim, but today the judge put his foot down. What does this mean? It means that if this claim is indeed finalized in July, any Android device (is Windows not affected?) with the ability to gesture a simple curve on any smartphone will be deemed as UNCOMPETITIVE. In other words, Apple has won the patent to make any curved gesture on a smartphone.” (the bold is mine)

What?  ANY gesture really on ANY smartphone?

The challenge is having judges who have no understanding about technology decide these cases.  He may be very knowledgeable about patent law and it may be the right patent decision.  But it’s not the right technology decision.  No way on earth should Apple (or any company) be ale to lay claim to “gestures”.

Anaylist Florian Mueller from FOSSpatentsalso stated that the gesture in question should not be able to be patented at all. He went on to say in his blog:

“Motorola will realistically be unable to avoid a finding of infringement and will have to come up with some really good invalidity arguments if it wants to avoid disaster“.

This decision, if finalized, would leave Android, and all other smartphone makers, with two options:

  1. pay Apple a lot of money
  2. stop selling devices that are not Apple

Always wanted an iPhone or iPad?  Well, this may be your chance because that may be the only thing left on the market, according to this judge.

April 11th:

The Feds are after Apple and eBooks developers for conspiracy and for charging YOU the reader $2-4 per ook more than necessary.  And it wasn’t just that they charged a lot—they worked together, in concert, to rig the markettplace so that you could not buy books that published on the iPad unless you bought from them and unless you paid their outrageous fees.

Go get’em!!!

June 8th:

Recently Apple is after Motorola.

Samsung fights Apple move to block Galaxy sales.  Samsung’s ne Galaxy S III phone is scheduled for a U.S. release on a number of carriers later this month.

Samsung Electronics Co. said Thursday it will fight Apple’s move to stop U.S. sales of its new Galaxy phone in the latest flare-up of an intellectual property battle between the world’s top smartphone makers.

Samsung said it will vigorously oppose Apple’s request for a court to ban sales of the Galaxy S III smartphone and still plans to go ahead with the device’s scheduled release in the U.S. on June 21.”

That was in response to Apple’s U.S. District Court move on June 8th to ban the sale of the new Samsung phone.

The S III would give Samsung a step in front of Apple who plans to launch the new iPhone with a rumored September sales date.

The Samsung phone went on sale in Europe this month and is planned to be on 300 carriers worldwide.

It may be a challenge for Apple to argue the new Samsung phone infringes on the copyrights of an Apple phone still months from production and release.

June 21st

Catching up on Apple’s lawsuit trying to ban the GSIII from the shores of the USA.

First Apple decided to drop the lawsuit.  They said it was because their “core” suit could move forward quicker.  Their suit to block the Galaxy Nexus is nowhere near decided.

Apparently it has to do with the fact they would have been required to seek a Temporaary Restraining Order (TRO) to block the GSIII and they realized that they could not meet the legal requirements to win a TRO.  Cinsequently you will be able to buy a GSIII in NYC or LA or anyway in  between at the end of June 2012.  Yay!

The facts are that the Judge assigned to the ban case denied Apple’s motion.  And Samsung had vowed to launch the GSIII in spite of Apple’s attempt to block the sales.

This month Samsung also won a lawsuit against Apple in The Hague.  Dutch courts have determined that Apple owes royalties to Samsung.

Such fun this month.  Such a waste of time and money.

June 25th:

Perhaps Apple is suing because Samsung will sell 10 Million SIII units in July 2012!  WOW for sure.

The South Korean company said the S III will be released by around 300 mobile carriers in 147 countries by the end of July, aiming for an early start before rival Apple announces a new version of the iPhone in the third quarter.

(AP) In this photo released by Samsung Electronics Co., Shin Jong-kyun, president of Samsung’s mobile… Full Image

The third version of the Galaxy S features a bigger screen – measured 4.8-inch diagonally – but is thinner and lighter than its predecessors and the iPhone 4S.

Samsung packed the high-end smartphone with a legion of new features including eye-recognition technology that keeps the screen from dimming. It also has voice command functions that let users schedule an alarm or adjust volume by speaking to their device.

Its near-field communication technology enables sharing of data heavy multimedia content among Galaxy S III users quickly. But activating the function – called S Beam – takes multiple steps.

Because Samsung customizes its flagship smartphone based on Google’s Android operating system, some of Samsung’s features overlap with those made by Google.”

June 27th:

Judge orders halt to Samsung sales of Galaxy tab:

This is a big decision, it is not a final decision but it happened in the U.S. Courts so it is a big decision for Apple and Samsung sure.  But it reverberates across companies like Google the developer of Android, and all of the other makers of Android tablets.  The companies Apple is taking on in other lawsuits and even companies who have yet to be sued.

This appears to be an utterly earthshaking (temporary) decision.

“(U.S. District Judge Lucy) Koh had earlier said the two products are “virtually indistinguishable,” but she declined in December to take the dramatic step of prohibiting sales of the Galaxy 10.1. She changed her mind after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit told Koh to take another look at Apple’s request for an injunction, ruling June 19 that it appeared the Cupertino-based company had a strong case. The Washington, D.C., court handles most patent appeals.

“Although Samsung has a right to compete, it does not have a right to compete unfairly, by flooding the market with infringing products,” Koh wrote in her Tuesday order. She said Apple would be “irreparably harmed” if sales of the Galaxy 10.1 continued.”

Read more here
July 2nd:
In the China Court:  Apple had to pay $60 Million to settle a dispute with a company in China which owns the iPad name.  The Chinese company, Proview, felt the lawsuit was worth more money but were under significant pressure because of debts and felt they had to take this offer.
The case gave Chinese authorities a chance to show that their courts could impartially resolve intellectual property disputes but also raised the possibility that technology investors might be put off by a negative outcome for Apple. Chinese regulators said Proview clearly owned the mainland name rights under Chinese rules.Without a formal ruling, it will be hard for companies to draw lessons about how Chinese courts will handle such disputes in the future, said Stan Abrams, an American lawyer who teaches intellectual property law at Beijing’s Central University of Finance and Economics.”This is not the first time Apple has run afoul of Chinese law.  Apple violated Chinese trademark laws over the naming of the iPhone in 2007.  Read more about the settlement at the link above.July 20th:iPad goes on salein China after the lawsuit got settled.”Watched by security
guards, a few dozen shoppers waited outside stores in Beijing and Shanghai,
which opened on time at 8 a.m. That was in contrast to the chaotic scene outside
Apple’s main Beijing store in January, when some customers who wanted to buy a
new iPhone shouted and threw eggs after managers delayed the opening due to
safety concerns about the hundreds of people waiting…….Sun Xufei, a 32-year-old computertechnician who was the first customer in line in Shanghai, said he had put off buying an iPad so Apple had time to develop “a perfect one.” The 30 customers in line when the store opened were outnumbered by the reporters watching them.”I am very surprised to see there is nobody here waiting,” Sun said.”

July 30th:

Jury is seated in lawsuit over iPod & iPad patents in a San Jose Federal Courtroom.

My guess is that Apple has more sway in South San Francisco & San Jose than Google /Samsung do.

A jury was selected Monday to decide the merits of Apple Inc.’s claims that Samsung Electronics Co.’s smartphones and computer tablets are illegal knockoffs of the iPhone and iPad.

Lawyers for both sides were expected to deliver their opening arguments Tuesday morning in a San Jose federal courtroom, followed by Apple calling its first witness, a company designer. The witness lists of both sides are long on experts, engineers and designers and short on familiar names. Apple CEO Tim Cook, for example, is not scheduled to testify.

Apple filed a lawsuit against Samsung last year alleging smartphones and computer tablets made by the world’s largest technology company are illegal knockoffs of Apple’s popular iPhone and iPad products.

Cupertino-based Apple is demanding $2.5 billion in damages, an award that would dwarf the largest patent-related verdict to date.”

Lat month a U.S. District Judge, Lucy Koh, ruled also in San Jose that Samsung cease & desist in selling their Galaxy 10.a” Tablet and pull the product from the shelves “though she barred Apple attorneys from telling the jurors about the ban“.  Really?

That’s a pretty strong statement from the judge and shows you what she thinks about some of Apple’s claims,” said Brian Love, a Santa Clara University law professor and patent expert. He said that even though the case will be decided by 10 jurors, the judge has the authority to overrule their decision if she thinks they got it wrong.”

More from the Bee article here.

Samsung …counter-claims that Apple copied its iconic iPhone from Sony. Samsung lawyers noted the company has been developing mobile phones since 1991 and that Apple jumped into the market in 2007.

One thing that is notable is that this trial is happening at all,” said Love, the law professor and patent expert. He said that in an industry such as this where so many companies hold so many vital patents needed by all players, lawsuits are viewed as toying with “mutually assured destruction” and that most disputes are solved through “horse trading” and agreements to share intellectual property and royalties. “

Also from the Bee article above.

August 23rd:

One billion dollars.  The possibility of three billion dollars.  That is the judgement of the jury in the U.S. patent war between Apple and Samsung.

So who lost?  Samsung?

No, they will appeal and appeal.  The judgement ma go up or down.  It’s a lot of money but it will not break Samsung.

The loser?  The public because the choices in the marketplace will be reduced.  Perhaps severel reduced.  Does Apple need the court to give them another monopoly.  No on can make products that compete successfull with Apple?

I own Samsung.  I own Apple.  I own Android.  I own iOS.  Hell, I own Windows.

This decision should not be allowed to stand because it would discourage innovation and limit the rights of consumers to make choices for themselves,” Samsung lead lawyer John Quinn said. He argued that the judge or an appeals court should overturn the verdict.

Apple lawyers plan to formally demand Samsung pull its most popular cellphones and computer tablets from the U.S. market. They also can ask the judge to triple the damages from $1.05 billion to $3 billion.”

I should be allowed to choose the product that fits me best.  By stle, type, name, price…whatever.

The patent court is important and I can support a jury decision to prevent stealing of ideas or product configurations.

But I cannot support a patent jury or a patent court or a patent bureaucrat making a decision that gives one side or the other a monopoly in teh marketplace.

What company will be willing to compete against Apple if Samsung lost so substantially and so publicly?

The U.S. case was the latest skirmish in a global legal battle between the two tech giants. Its outcome is likely to have ripple effects in the smartphone market. Other device makers relying on Android, the mobile operating system that Google Inc. has given for free to Samsung and other phone makers, may be more reluctant to use the software and risk getting dragged into court.”

What company will make new Android based products now?  And how many companies that currently make Android companies are reconsidering?  And what do the do?  Where do they go?  Windows 8?

Toda Apple and Samsung combined account for nearl one-half of all smartphone and tablet sales worldwide.

Will an company now create a new OS for phones or tablets or some new unknown product?  Knowing that court appearances could become their life?  And that billion dollar judgements become their death?

This is a sad day for the telecommunications and computing public.  Look around.  Soon it will once again be Apple vs Windows.  And it will be sad for me to be pulling for Windows.

Samsung’s Galaxy line of phones run on Android, and ISI Group analysts viewed
the verdict as a blow to Android as much as Samsung.

If Android lose any ground in the mobile computing market, that would hurt Google, too. That’s because Google relies on Android to drive mobile traffic to its search engine and services to sell more advertising.”

Read more from AP HiTech here.

August 26th:

Jurors grappled with the tough patent issues in the Apple v Samsung trial.

Having been on a few juries, I am sure this one was not easy,

The decision Friday by this panel of people from many walks of Silicon Valley life was one that experts say could dramatically alter the future of computer tablet and phone design if the verdict stands. But the case also is part of a trend that has accompanied an explosion in the number of patent infringement cases, especially in the technology sector….

Deliberations in the Apple v. Samsung battle were far more challenging than most. The jury was confronted with hundreds of questions on a 20-page verdict form that was more complicated than a U.S. tax return. They had in the jury room more than two dozen electronic devices at issue, 12 patents to decipher and 109-pages of instructions from the judge on rendering a verdict.

“This case is unmanageable for a jury,” Robin Feldman, an intellectual property professor at the University of California Hastings Law School, said before the verdict. “There are more than 100 pages of jury instructions. I don’t give that much reading to my law students. They can’t possible digest it.”

“The trial is evidence of a patent system that is out of control,” Feldman said. “No matter what happens in this trial, I think people will need to step back and ask whether we’ve gone too far in the intellectual property system.”

Read more from AP on this case here.

Here is a short Q & A for owners of Samsung devices or consumers considering Samsung.

“Despite being a driving force in phone development since the iPhone was launched in 2007, Apple has only 19 percent of the worldwide smartphone market, according to IDC. The high price of the iPhone keeps it out of the reach of many consumers. Meanwhile, Android phones have 64 percent of the market.”

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