While the tech world waits with bated breath for the conclusion of Apple's United States case against the world's most prolific smartphone maker, another case is just wrapping up in Samsung's home country of South Korea. The Wall Street Journal reports that a Seoul court found both Apple and Samsung in violation of each other's patents, with the former violating two of Samsung's patents and the latter violating one of Apple's.
According to Bloomberg, Motorola Mobility has just filed a new lawsuit against Apple at the ITC. Now, ordinarily, we might not report on the filing of such a suit - especially when the complaint hasn't been made public (we have basically zero details). What makes this particular filing important, though, is that it is the first lawsuit filed by Motorola now that it is officially, 100% a part of Google.
We'd heard that Samsung was planning an oversized tablet with an incredible screen resolution, but after said 11-inch Galaxy Tab failed to appear at both CES and Mobile World Congress, the Android world moved on to bigger (though not necessarily better) things. In today's opening salvo of legal back-and-forth between Apple and Samsung, the tablet was revealed as part of the latter's strategy for 2012. The slightly larger 11.8-inch, 2560x1600 tablet has no designation beyond "P10", but it looks like Samsung definitely intended to release it when the document was created last year.
With Samsung and Apple's California trial scheduled for Monday, more and more information is being unearthed about the parties' respective claims. Yesterday, though, AllThingsD parsed out a few pieces of evidence from an unedited version of Apple's filing (not publicly available) that look quite bad for Samsung. I'll just quote them as they appear, because they really don't need much context:
- In February 2010, Google told Samsung that Samsung’s “P1” and “P3” tablets (Galaxy Tab and Galaxy Tab 10.1) were “too similar” to the iPad and demanded “distinguishable design vis-à-vis the iPad for the P3.”
- In 2011, Samsung’s own Product Design Group noted that it is “regrettable” that the Galaxy S “looks similar” to older iPhone models.
Update: It appears Samsung sent out the update removing universal search from international Galaxy S III's mistakenly. I'd say the point still stands for the United States, though.
On December 1, 2004, a patent was filed in the United States naming Apple as asignee (owner). Its title is "Universal interface for retrieval of information in a computer system." This patent, which you can find here, has become Apple's most effective weapon in its fight to see Android dubbed an iOS "ripoff" by courts and consumers.
When you try to think of companies that have a motivation to sue over smartphone patents involving Android, Fujifilm may very well be close to the bottom of the list, but you'd be wrong. The company has recently filed a lawsuit against Google subsidiary Motorola Mobility for infringing four of its patents.
The brouhaha began back in April 2011 (for those counting, that's a solid four months before Google even announced its acquisition of the company).
Samsung swiftly appealed the preliminary injunctions slapped on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Galaxy Nexus issued by a California district court, and the presiding circuit court has issued its response.
First, the court declined to even consider lifting the sales ban (preliminary injunction) on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 - meaning that ban will stay in effect unless Samsung wins out at trial. Second, it decided that Samsung had made a plausible case for denying the preliminary injunction against the Galaxy Nexus, and has lifted that ban temporarily, awaiting Apple's response, which is due by next week.
According to AllThingsD, Google is working quickly to release a software patch to its Galaxy Nexus handset in order to avoid a preliminary injunction sales ban in the US. Google says the patch will be coming very soon (eg, tonight). The news came hot on the heels of Judge Koh's denial of Samsung motion to stay the ban while it appealed the injunction to the circuit court.
Google will also be assisting Samsung in its appeal of the ban, and to challenge the legitimacy of one of Apple's patents on universal search.
In the tech world, it's almost impossible to launch a high-profile device without someone claiming you've infringed a patent somewhere. Today, it's Nokia's turn with the Nexus 7. The Finnish company has stated that it believes the Nexus 7 violates some of its standards-essential patents relating to WiFi. The announcement seems to be a more casual nod to Google and ASUS to simply fork over a bit of cash, akin to the Rob Schneider prompting Kevin for a tip in Home Alone 2*.
I have bad news, good news, and news that goes both ways. The bad news: one of Apple's 8,000 lawsuits has finally borne fruit, and it's rather substantial. A US judge has issued a preliminary injunction against the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, meaning that once Apple posts a $2.6 million bond, the Tab 10.1 will have to be yanked from store shelves. (That $2.6 million is in case the injunction is later reversed, so that Apple can compensate Samsung.)
Luckily, there's that other news.