Following up on last year's slide-to-unlock patent grab (which itself built on a patent granted in 2010), Apple has been granted another, yet more expansive slide-to-unlock patent, one which ditches the previous patents' emphasis on "predefined paths" in favor of more ambiguous language covering the movement of an unlock image to "an unlock region" on a device's display.
While US Patent 8,286,103 is largely similar to Apple's previous two slide-to-unlock, its language is considerably broader.
The rumor mill churns and, having churned, moves on. The big story today is that according to sources familiar with the matter, reports have leaked that lead us to believe that an employee who asked to not be named has told Digitimes that sources say the next Nexus may have already been patented by Apple as the subject of the latest lawsuit to come out of Cupertino.
According to the sources, LG, HTC, and Samsung are all working on their own Key Lime Pie-based variants of the Nexus Google Experience Galaxy 10 7 4G LTE series.
In Apple's mind, here's how it was all supposed to play out: Samsung loses in court, and customers see a bad-nasty-bad company that steals ideas. Who wants a cheap knock-off, anyway?
Funny thing is, it seems that the Apple v. Samsung trial actually had a very favorable effect on Samsung, because it has been selling GSIII's like hotcakes ever since. In fact, according to a new study by Localytics, sales of the device grew by 16% during the week of the Apple verdict.
Just when you thought this whole Samsung vs. Apple case couldn't get any weirder, we're now hearing that Vel Hogan, the jury foreman on the case who helped guide the jurors on patent law and owns some patents himself, was once sued into bankruptcy by Seagate. Samsung, as it turns out, just happens to be the largest single investor in Seagate, owning 9.6 percent of the hard drive company's stock. While it doesn't guarantee that a juror's judgment could be clouded, it is the kind of information one would expect to be volunteered to a courtroom.
Every so often, with all the new device releases, lawsuits, feature scandals, and scathing editorials that fly back and forth across the tech world, it's nice to step back and take a look at the state of the industry from the comforting safe haven of numbers. ComScore's recent round of stats shows an unsurprising yet telling look at the US mobile industry. Predictably, Android remains the top dog with iOS following closely behind.
If you hate to read these stories, imagine how much we hate to write them: yet another volley has been tossed in the patent battle between Samsung and Apple. This time it's the Korean manufacturer taking its intellectual property guns out against Apple, claiming that the shiny new iPhone 5 violates eight of its software patents.
We've seen Wirefly Schmackdowns before, but we've never seen one like this. Under normal circumstances, we watch them compare two high-end Android phones. Today, however, they've put mortal enemies in the ring for a fight to the death: the GSIII and the iPhone 5. Oh snap.
They compare the size, weight, display, hardware guts, and software, ultimately calling a winner at the end. Honestly, we're not surprised at how it turns out, but you won't find any spoilers here.
After winning a $1.05 billion verdict against Samsung for alleged trade dress dilution and patent infringement, Apple has filed a motion with the presiding judge of the tech world's biggest trial requesting a massive increase in the initial jury award.
An additional $707 million has been tallied up by Apple's lawyers as being due to the company, and unfortunately, the logic here is sound. The jury in the case found Samsung willfully infringed Apple's design and software patents (meaning they should have known they were infringing, basically), and under US statute, this entitles Apple to an award of triple the amount of the actual damages resulting from infringement.
Reuters is reporting that Samsung will be amending its counterclaims against Apple in the two companies' second lawsuit in California, currently scheduled for trial in March 2014. Here's what Samsung is saying:
"Samsung anticipates that it will file, in the near future, a motion to amend its infringement contentions to add the iPhone 5 as an accused product ... Based on information currently available, Samsung expects that the iPhone 5 will infringe the asserted Samsung patents-in-suit in the same way as the other accused iPhone models."
This trial focuses squarely on software patents Apple is claiming are violated by the entire Android operating system (eg, the app picker, unified search, auto-correct), and has essentially nothing to do with product design.