You've probably already read headlines in the last hour or two proclaiming that Google has "lost" its copyright case against Oracle, and in the strictest sense of the word, it has. Google lost on a number of counts, including the most important one, question one in the jury instructions. It also lost on a count involving nine lines of code that have long-since been removed from Android.
The first question, though, asked the jurors whether Google's use of 37 Java API packages, taken as a group, constituted an infringement of Oracle's copyrighted works. The jury, responding unanimously, answered that question with a "yes." But question 1 contained a part two, and therefore a dependent unanimity requirement (answers on all parts of the question must be unanimous):
Jury instructions via FOSSPatents
If you know anything about copyrights (and if you're on the internet a lot, you probably do know more than most people), you know that part two of question one asks the jurors something very important: was Google's use of Oracle's Java APIs fair? Read More
There has been a lot of interest of late in a patent filed (by Google) back in 2009 for what is obviously a rendition of Android's notification bar system. There are a number of pretty (well, as pretty as black and white gets) figures in the patent showing the notification bar we all know and love, and lots of language about notification systems and the like.
As many of the Android-faithful know, Apple recently implemented as part of iOS 5 the "Notification Center," and it looks an awful lot like Android's in some respects. This immediately drew criticism from the Android community, with many claiming that Apple had essentially "ripped off" Google's implementation, and has been a sore subject ever since. Read More
Apple is causing more mischief over in Germany today, having received an injunction from a Munich Regional Court against phone manufacturer Motorola for utilizing slide-to-unlock style lockscreen methods patented by Apple. Motorola intends to appeal the ruling. The basic point to take away is this: the court ruled that Apple's patent on the concept of moving a tracked image from left to right in order to unlock a phone is valid, and it seems likely that every slide-to-unlock implementation on Android would be infringing in their eyes.
The appeal will likely take months, and after a Hague court in the Netherlands ruled that Apple's slide-to-unlock patents were invalid for obviousness and existence of prior art, it seems that there are still some very relevant substantive issues in need of higher review here. Read More
Last week, we found out that Apple was bringing a fresh suit against Samsung - specifically, seeking a preliminary injunction against the Galaxy Nexus over four patents. Now the official complaint document has been posted by the court, and it turns out the suit is aimed at a lot more than just the beloved GNex, and involves more than the four patents initially mentioned. In fact, Apple explicitly names seventeen Samsung devices and cites eight of its patents.
The patents in question:
Or, for those of you that prefer things in text (also, so that you can copy and paste them elsewhere for the purpose of mockery):
- System and method for performing an action on a structure in computer-generated data
- Universal interface for retrieval of information in a computer system
- Unlocking a device by performing gestures on an unlock image
- Method, system, and graphical user interface for providing word recommendations
- Missed telephone call management for a portable multifunction device
- Graphical user interface using historical lists with field classes
- Asynchronous data synchronization amongst devices
- Universal interface for retrieval of information in a computer system
The 17(+) devices in question:
- US SGSII series: Galaxy S II Skyrocket, Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch, Galaxy S II - T-Mobile, Galaxy S II - AT&T
- Galaxy Nexus
- Captivate Glide
- Exhibit II 4G
- Transform Ultra
- Conquer 4G
- Media Players/Tablets
- Galaxy Player 4.0 and 5.0
- Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus and Galaxy Tab 8.9
I CAN SEE THE INFRINGEMENT FROM HERE. Read More
Apple is at it again, bringing a motion for preliminary injunction against Samsung's Galaxy Nexus in the United States Thursday. The motion is based on a handful of powerful patents, which FOSS Patents has labeled "the patent equivalent of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse." Here's FOSS' breakdown:
the "data tapping" patent based on which the ITC ordered an import ban against HTC
a patent related to Siri and unified search, which must be of huge concern to Google with a view to its core business
a new slide-to-unlock patent that even had the head of the Taiwanese government profoundly worried
a word completion patent that provides major speed improvements for touchscreen text entry
Three of the above patents were apparently granted only recently (after September 2011), while the "data tapping" patent may sound familiar to those who followed Apple's case to the ITC against HTC. Read More
A recent Newsweek article has been making the rounds claiming, through an unnamed Apple "insider," that Apple has spent north of $100 million litigating its various grievances against HTC since late 2010. Verifying the accuracy of this number is pretty much impossible. But that doesn't really matter. It may just as well be $80 million, $150 million, or $300 million - the conclusion drawn would remain the same: Apple is spending quite a chunk of income on its growing lawsuit habit.
Apple currently has open suits against Motorola Mobility, Samsung Electronics, and HTC in the ITC (International Trade Commission), a number of US District Courts, and various other buildings in which judges are known to sit in ornate leather chairs for long periods of time around the world. Read More
Adding another suit to the series of legal skirmishes falling under the overarching battle between Apple and Android Manufacturers, Motorola Mobility has filed a new lawsuit in Florida, accusing Apple of infringing on a handful of technology patents. This suit is hot on the heels of a preliminary U.S. ITC decision that Moto had not infringed on Apple's patents, and comes as an addition to an existing Florida lawsuit (which began in late 2010).
The suit includes six patents, ranging from internal antennas to methods for communicating summarized data. Here's a full list, courtesy of FOSS Patents, who first broke the story:
In a not too surprising move, toy maker Hasbro has sued ASUS, claiming that the Transformer Prime tablet's name infringes trademarks related to Optimus Prime and Transformers children's toys.
Hasbro filed the lawsuit late last week in Los Angeles federal court, seeking damages and a temporary injunction. Hasbro wrote to paidContent:
Hasbro continues to aggressively protect its brands and products and the specific actions we are taking today against Asus underscores yet again Hasbro’s willingness to pursue companies who misappropriate our intellectual property for their own financial gain.
In reality, Hasbro's case is not likely to succeed. MocoNews rightly points out that trademarks generally only cover limited categories of goods, and that it is not realistic to think that consumers might confuse ASUS' latest tablet with a popular children's toy line. Read More
In a court filing last night demanding an early trial date for the ongoing Google v. Oracle patent litigation, Oracle claims that Android is now irreparably harming Java's market share in the mobile, TV, and tablet space. Oracle says that these are areas where Java "has traditionally been strong." News to us.
Last time I checked, cheap multimedia flip phones running Opera Mobile weren't exactly high on Google's target product list for Android, but maybe I missed the memo on that one. Also, please direct me to these Java-powered TVs and tablets, Oracle - the Amazon Kindle is not a tablet, it's an eReader. Read More
British Telecommunications plc (aka British Telecom, or BT) has joined the long list of litigants looking to catch Google on alleged patent infringement, filing a lawsuit with the US District Court for the District of Delaware claiming that Google infringed six of its patents with Android and other services.
BT is out for blood, seeking damages as well as an injunction over patents ranging from "Service Provision System for Communications Networks" to "Storage and Retrieval of Location Based Information in a Distributed Network of Data Storage Services." Among the services named as prime examples of infringement are Google Maps, Places, Offers, Music, Location-based advertising, Google+, and of course Android. Read More