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Motorola Says Apple's iCloud Infringes On Patent In Germany, Presiding Judge Seems To Agree

A court in Mannheim, Germany today held a preliminary hearing in a patent dispute between Motorola Mobility and Apple Sales International (a European Apple distribution subsidiary), and it seems like Apple's on the ropes.

While the hearing didn't discuss the particular merits of Motorola's patent infringement claim against Apple, the presiding judge issued substantial blows to Apple's defense by indicating that he believed the patent-in-suit was ripe for trial. The judge also seemed to agree with Motorola's reading of that patent (also known as "construction claims") in important ways that would allow it a broader scope of applicability at trial.

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Did Samsung Launch A New (German) Galaxy Tab 10.1 To Avoid Infringement Of Apple's iPad Design? Sure Looks Like It

Now, this all based on one German online retailer (where imports of the Tab 10.1 were banned), but it's very interesting nonetheless. It appears that a new version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 has been launched in Germany, called the Tab 10.1N. The difference? So far, all we see is a re-designed bezel and the fact that it's now shipping with Android 3.2. Take a look at this comparison shot from Mobiflip:

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The Tab 10.1N is above, and the old Tab 10.1 is below.

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[Updated: Here Are The Winners!] Giveaway: Win One Of Ten Copies Of SyncMate For Mac: Expert Edition For Doing Basically Nothing

What Is It?

SyncMate for Mac offers up a simple solution for multi-directional syncing of contacts, calendar, music, images, video, SMS messages, and more over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth for Mac users. The Expert edition can handle basically anything you throw at it, including options for autosync, data encryption, and it even offers the ability to mount your device as a disk on your Mac. For more info on SyncMate, check out the official site.

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Apple Granted Slide-To-Unlock Patent, Bearing On Android Yet To Be Seen

Well, it happened - the slide-to-unlock patent Apple has been requesting was granted this morning by the US Patent & Trademark Office, meaning almost any device in America using a sliding unlock mechanism is now infringing on Apple's patent unless otherwise ruled.

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While the timing may seem a bit suspicious, Apple originally filed for the patent in 2005. Have a look at this excerpt from the granted patent document:

A device with a touch-sensitive display may be unlocked via gestures performed on the touch-sensitive display.

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Microsoft Getting Royalties From Over Half Of All US Android Phone Sales, Plus: An Interesting Android Licensing Infographic

Yesterday, Microsoft announced its latest Android licensing deal with Taiwanese manufacturer Compal, marking the company's tenth such agreement to date. While such a small manufacturer in terms of market share makes little overall difference in Microsoft's profits derived from Android, its deals with HTC and Samsung, combined with various smaller manufacturers like Compal, means it now receives royalties from over half of all Android smartphones sold in the US (the figure may be even larger on a global scale).

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Samsung Decides Galaxy Nexus Was Not Actually Designed To Avoid Apple Patents, "Doesn't Know" How That Rumor Got Started, Nothing To See Here

Uh-oh. Sounds like Samsung's lawyers heard about Samsung Mobile President Shin Jong-kyun's little statement that the Galaxy Nexus was designed such that no "known" Apple patents were used or infringed on by the phone. This was probably, to be frank, a very stupid thing to say. Aside from basically challenging Apple to take a closer look at the Galaxy Nexus, there's also the fact that, if Jong-kyun's statement was actually correct and Samsung did design the Galaxy Nexus to avoid Apple patents, that Apple's lawyers would love to quote it at various patent infringement trials around the world. 

This could be introduced to a jury as evidence that Samsung had reason to believe, at the point the Galaxy Nexus was designed, that their other products could be infringing on Apple patents.

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Samsung's Mobile President: The Galaxy Nexus Was Designed With Patents In Mind

It seems that these days, Samsung must constantly be on alert for new entries in the ever-growing list of patent disputes with Apple. Sensing this, Samsung's Mobile President, Shin Jong-kyun (who we heard from at last night's presentation) took a moment to stress the fact that the Galaxy Nexus was designed with patents in mind - specifically, it was designed to avoid trouble with Apple. While it is a rectangular device with a touch screen, not much else seems to put it in danger.

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[Fail] Samsung Either Lazy Or Trolling - Rips Off iPhone Maps Screenshot For Galaxy Player 50 Graphic

It looks like Samsung, on its webpage for the Galaxy Player 50, has ripped off the iPhone's Maps app, altering a screenshot ever so slightly for use in a web graphic of the 50. For reference, here's the original screenshot vs. Samsung's image:

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The intentions here are unclear, but one can assume that this was no mistake - the red pushpins are a dead giveaway for the iPhone screenshot, and it's unlikely that this screenshot would be haphazardly tossed into a web graphic due to laziness, when it's so obviously ripped from an app featured on a device made by Apple, the consumer tech giant with whom Samsung has been so famously battling in the recent past.

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Samsung Retaliates Against Apple, Files For Preliminary Injunction To Ban iPhone 4S In Japan And Australia

Samsung just announced in a blog post today, that they have filed preliminary injunctions in the Tokyo District Court and in the New South Wales Registry to ban the sale of Apple's iPhone 4S in Japan and Australia, respectively. Additionally, in Japan, Samsung have also requested an injunction to bar the sale of the iPhone 4 and the iPad 2.

According to Samsung, the injunction request in Australia is premised on Apple infringing various patents relating to wireless telecommunications standards, specifically Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) and High Speed Packet Access (HSPA).

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[New App] Want Your Android Launcher To Look Like iOS? There's Now An App For That - Espier Launcher

I'm not sure I would personally ever do that (wait, I'm sure - I'm shrugging just thinking about it), but let's say that you really love the look and feel of the the iOS desktop UI found on Apple's iPhone, with the launchpad, rounded corners, folders, trembling icons with little X's, etc. However, you also love the flexibility that Android offers. Can both be combined? The answer, as it turns out, is yes - Espier Launcher, which just landed in the Android Market (probably immediately infringing on a few dozen Apple patents).

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