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.
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.
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.
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).
International Trade Commission Judge Theodore Essex decided in Washington today that Motorola Mobility did not violate three of Apple's Patents, as the Cupertino tech giant had claimed. Two of the patents related to touchscreen features, including multi touch, and a device's ability to recognize various types of manual input, like sliding and pinching gestures. The third, as Bloomberg explains, "is for a way to add components without having to run an installation program or rebooting."
This case comes as one of many in a long saga of attacks on Android for alleged patent infringement, part of an effort by Apple across four continents to prove that Android copies pieces of the iPhone's functionality.
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:
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.
The blogosphere is currently aflutter with talk of the ITC (International Trade Commission) patent infringement decision in favor of Apple, and the resulting court order banning the import of infringing HTC devices starting April 19, 2012 (4 months from now). The ITC ruled that HTC infringed on two, relatively narrow claims in a patent related to "data tapping" that occurs at the system level in Android.
You know how your phone can automatically "see" an address or phone number on a web page or e-mail and send you to the appropriate app?
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.
In case you're unaware, Apple is in the process of suing just about everyone it competes with in the tablet/phone field. There's an abundance of irony in the entire situation - the most substantial of which I covered when Apple complained that Samsung and Motorola were anticompetitive because of their patents - but things just (at least, temporarily) took a turn for the awesome. A judge in Germany has ruled that 3G-enabled Apple products (including the iPhone, iPhone 3G, 3GS, 4, iPad 3G, and iPad 2 3G, but not specifically the iPhone 4S) infringe on a Motorola patent.