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Motorola Says Apple's iCloud Infringes On Patent In Germany, Presiding Judge Seems To Agree

A court in Mannheim, Germany today held a preliminary hearing in a patent dispute between Motorola Mobility and Apple Sales International (a European Apple distribution subsidiary), and it seems like Apple's on the ropes.

While the hearing didn't discuss the particular merits of Motorola's patent infringement claim against Apple, the presiding judge issued substantial blows to Apple's defense by indicating that he believed the patent-in-suit was ripe for trial. The judge also seemed to agree with Motorola's reading of that patent (also known as "construction claims") in important ways that would allow it a broader scope of applicability at trial.

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Patent Trolls: What Is Lodsys Actually Asking App Developers To Pay? You Might Be Surprised

OK, before I even get into this post, let me be clear: this is based on old news. However, it was news that no one seemed to pick up at the time, and when we discovered it, we thought it was quite interesting.

If you're unfamiliar with Lodsys, let's start with a history lesson. They're better known as the shell corporation offspring of a company called Intellectual Ventures LLC, a patent clearinghouse owned by a group of, shall we say, enterprising individuals.

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PSA: Verizon Locking Bootloaders On LTE Devices Likely Does Not Violate FCC Block C Spectrum Rules

It seems there's been some renewed interest in the subject of Block C LTE "no locking" provisions after news that the Motorola RAZR will come equipped with a locked bootloader per Verizon's request. About four months ago, I published an article on this very topic. To summarize: Verizon can basically do almost anything it wants with handsets on its network in the name of reasonable network management - subject to a few limitations and caveats.

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Samsung Decides Galaxy Nexus Was Not Actually Designed To Avoid Apple Patents, "Doesn't Know" How That Rumor Got Started, Nothing To See Here

Uh-oh. Sounds like Samsung's lawyers heard about Samsung Mobile President Shin Jong-kyun's little statement that the Galaxy Nexus was designed such that no "known" Apple patents were used or infringed on by the phone. This was probably, to be frank, a very stupid thing to say. Aside from basically challenging Apple to take a closer look at the Galaxy Nexus, there's also the fact that, if Jong-kyun's statement was actually correct and Samsung did design the Galaxy Nexus to avoid Apple patents, that Apple's lawyers would love to quote it at various patent infringement trials around the world. 

This could be introduced to a jury as evidence that Samsung had reason to believe, at the point the Galaxy Nexus was designed, that their other products could be infringing on Apple patents.

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Samsung Retaliates Against Apple, Files For Preliminary Injunction To Ban iPhone 4S In Japan And Australia

Samsung just announced in a blog post today, that they have filed preliminary injunctions in the Tokyo District Court and in the New South Wales Registry to ban the sale of Apple's iPhone 4S in Japan and Australia, respectively. Additionally, in Japan, Samsung have also requested an injunction to bar the sale of the iPhone 4 and the iPad 2.

According to Samsung, the injunction request in Australia is premised on Apple infringing various patents relating to wireless telecommunications standards, specifically Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) and High Speed Packet Access (HSPA).

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Bill In US Senate Wants To Force Carriers To Say Just How Fast And Expansive Their "4G" Is, Carriers Respond Predictably

4G. The acronym is probably the most abused term in tech industry since "HD." And if you spend as much time reading up on mobile phone news as us (we hope you don't, that's what we're for!), you probably have come to the same conclusion: it's almost without meaning, constantly misrepresented, and defined on a completely subjective basis. We don't like any of this.

Neither do some of the members of congress, apparently.

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Court Accepts Verizon And T-Mobile Briefs Supporting Samsung, Denies Apple's Request To Respond

When Verizon and T-Mobile filed amicus curiae briefs in favor of Samsung in the company's ongoing patent litigation against Apple in the Federal Court for the Northern District of California, we cheered inside a little. It's always nice to see Android and its handset partners have friends in high places.

However, the question of how the court would respond to these briefs remained - as the decision is an entirely discretionary one.

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Editorial: Is Samsung's Patent Licensing Deal With Microsoft The End Of Royalty-Free Android?

It certainly seems like it. Yesterday, Microsoft announced via blog that it had concluded negotiations with Samsung and reached a licensing deal for the same seven patents it previously licensed to HTC for Android (along with other, smaller Android manufacturers). There were rumblings about just what royalty rate Samsung is paying, but the guess is anywhere from $5 to $15 per handset (it's likely on a percentage-of-MSRP basis - so think about 1-3% per $500 MSRP phone).

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T-Mobile Follows Verizon's Lead, Tells Court Not To Allow Apple To Ban Import Of Samsung Android Devices

Everyone's getting on the peace train, it seems. T-Mobile, in concert with Verizon's filing last week, submitted an amicus curiae ("friend of the court") brief to the Federal Court for the Northern District of California this morning in regard to the ongoing patent and trademark suit between Samsung and Apple. Its contents? Basically the same thing Verizon's said - that denying Americans their 4G Samsung devices just for some silly little patent infringement will hurt 4G deployment in the US and decrease access to high-speed mobile broadband.

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Department Of Justice Taking A Second Look At Google-Moto Deal, Probably No Cause For Alarm

Over at Google's Public Policy Blog (yes, that really exists) today, Senior VP Dennis Woodside issued a statement that the U.S. Department of Justice was taking a "second look" at certain potential antitrust issues in the Google-Motorola deal. What's it mean?

A $12.5 billion acquisition of a major US company that has been independent for over 30 years is always going to invite scrutiny from Uncle Sam, and let's face it, it's probably not a bad sign that the government is batting a second eye at these kinds of purchases.

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