The short version of this story is that Tse Ho Keung, holder of a patent that is currently within an inch of its life, has so far failed to get any traction in lawsuits against major tech companies (...and Blockbuster), and has resorted to threatening independent developers in a dual effort to either gain money or to avenge the name of his patent by forcibly eliciting amicus briefs and declaratory statements.
Samsung seems to have a big target on its back that is particularly attractive to lawyers. According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, a media company focusing on photography and management is suing Samsung over its use of the "Milk" trademark for its proprietary music service. The New York- and Los Angeles-based agency alleges that Samsung knowingly and willingly violated its trademark when designing the new service.
Nine out of ten times when we report on a lawsuit, it has something to do with patents or trademarks. I'll admit that those posts can get a little dull, but they're important for the world of consumer electronics. If you've been waiting for something a little juicier in your tech legal news, have we got a story for you. The Seattle Times reports that American cellular carrier T-Mobile is suing Huawei, a giant provider of telecom infrastructure hardware and currently the third-biggest manufacturer of phones on the planet, for stealing a robot.
The latest round of back-and-forth in the endless IP battle between Apple and Samsung is over, and the former has come out on top. According to an 8-person jury in the federal court, various Samsung phones and tablets, including the Galaxy S II and III, Galaxy Note, and Galaxy Nexus, infringed on three Apple patents. The jury awarded Apple $119.6 million USD in damages.
Apple didn't have it all its own way: the jury also found that none of the Samsung phones presented violated two other Apple patents, and they awarded Samsung $158,400 after finding Apple guilty of unintentionally violating one of the Korean company's patents presented in a counter-suit.
Did your last phone cost too much? Do you hate, hate the fact that Google Search is included in Google's Android operating system? Does the sight of a pre-loaded Gmail app fill you with scorn? Then call the offices of Hagens Berman, a consumer rights class-action law firm. They want to sue the pants off of Google, Because it's easier to get the money out of someone's wallet that way.
Attorney Steve Berman of Hagens Berman.
One of the more inflammatory stories in the world of gaming over the last few months has been the rise of casual game publisher King and its emphatic defense of its "Candy Crush Saga" intellectual property. After applying for trademarks on the terms "Candy" and "Saga" for video game and clothing applications, King opposed the trademark application of the PC Viking-themed RPG The Banner Saga.
Both of these games include "Saga" in the title.
Attention, parents: if you've used your Google account to buy apps, books, videos, or music on Google Play, your credit card information is stored. If you give your phone or tablet to your kids, they might be able to buy stuff that you don't necessarily want. That's a lesson that Ilana Imber-Gluck learned after her 5-year-old son spent $65.95 on Marvel Run Jump Smash. Unsurprisingly, she chafed at the experience, suing Google in a northern California court on behalf of herself and "all others similarly situated."
The central issue seems to be a 30-minute window after downloading an app, during which the user - whoever that might be - can rack up in-app purchases without supplying a password.
Remember when we reported that T-Mobile was suing AT&T because the marketing for the Aio budget carrier used a shade of purple that was too close to T-Mobile's (literally) trademark magenta? Yes, that is a thing that happened. And apparently at least one Texas judge thought it was a valid complaint, because a federal court has ruled that Aio did, in fact, infringe on T-Mobile's corporate trademark.
Here's the PR statement that T-Mobile issued after the ruling:
Chalk one up for the bad guys. FOSS Patents reports that Chinese manufacturer Huawei and the Rockstar Consortium (a patent holding company jointly owned by Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry, Sony, and Ericsson) have filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed against Huawei in November. Both parties have filed to dismiss with prejudice, and have almost certainly agreed to some kind of licensing settlement, though financial details don't have to be reported.
Stop me if you've heard this one before. Reuters reports that the Rockstar consortium, a joint effort between Apple, Microsoft, Sony, and Blackberry, has sued Google and Android manufacturers Samsung, HTC, LG, ASUStek, Huawei, ZTE, and Pantech over patents formerly held by the now-defunct Nortel Networks. Rockstar won the patents in an auction in 2011 that topped out at $4.5 billion - Google lost the same auction with a $4.4 billion bid.