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.
After an injunction hearing earlier this week, Judge Posner has issued his final decision on whether to throw out the Motorola v. Apple case. The result? You're (both) outta here.
Judge Posner dismissed both parties' cases with prejudice earlier this evening (meaning Apple and Moto cannot refile against one another on these issues in any other federal court). Apple will, of course, appeal.
Posner's feeling on Apple's insistent demand for an injunction against Motorola's smartphone products was summed up best by the following excerpt from the decision:
And while the patents themselves (or some of them at least) may well have considerable value, after the claims constructions by Judge Crabb and myself and after my grants of partial summary judgment only a handful of the original patent claims remain in the case; infringement of that handful may not be a source of significant injury past, present, or future.
According to the
always sometimes occasionally reliable FOSS patents, Apple made a conscious decision to allow Samsung to launch the Galaxy S III on time... so that the case could go to trial sooner. Apple had the option of filing a temporary restraining order to potentially stop the shipment of the SGSIII, but doing so would've been a risk for a few reasons.
Because Apple and Samsung are still in litigation over the Galaxy Nexus, Apple could attempt to stop shipment of the GSIII using a temporary restraining order (TRO).
The presiding judge in the Motorola v. Apple case in Illionois, Richard Posner, has just handed down an order dismissing all claims of both parties in the case, just as it was set to go to trial on Monday. Posner's preliminary order (he'll be writing a full decision soon, which I can't wait to read) basically says neither party was able to show that the infringement of patents by the other resulted in the production of evidence that said infringement actually caused them any harm.
Update: It should come as no surprise, but Samsung has responded to Apple's attack on the Galaxy S III, saying it will "demonstrate to the court that the Galaxy S III is innovative and distinctive."
Apple and Samsung's ongoing litigation in California federal court has become something of a three-ring circus. Back in December, the presiding judge denied Apple's request for a preliminary injunction against a wide variety of Samsung products.
Apple has filed a new complaint with the ITC against HTC over the same data-tapping patent that caused a substantial disruption of HTC's supply line into the United States, and resulted in delayed or stifled launches for a number of phones.
After removing the multi-option dialogue that appeared upon pressing a phone number in an email or webpage from its devices, HTC proclaimed it was clear of Apple's patent on data-tapping techniques.
What an interesting turn of events - Oracle just sued a notorious patent troll Lodsys, seeking invalidation of four of Lodsys' patents. In fact, these are all the patents Lodsys owns - if Oracle wins, Lodsys will have nothing to threaten innocent developers with.
If you haven't been following the Lodsys drama for the past year+, let me step back for a brief history lesson. Lodsys LLC, a Texas patent troll shell corporation, has been harassing various developers since early 2011, including many with Android apps in the Play Store.
We're hearing via The Verge that Judge William Alsup has just handed down his decision on the copyrightability of Oracle's 37 Java API's, asserted by Oracle as having been infringed by Google in the Android operating system. This is probably the most important issue of the entire case. While a jury decided that Google did infringe Oracle's APIs as asserted by Oracle, that decision hinged on the assumption that the APIs were in fact copyrightable in the way Oracle had insisted they were.
Google and Oracle have been going at it for weeks now over both patent and copyright infringement claims made by the latter company. At least one issue is settled, though, as the jury on the case has decided that Google did not infringe any of Oracle's patents with Android. This is only a small part of Oracle's assault on Google. The larger issue is on the matter of copyright infringement, but at least on the patent issue, Google seems to be in the clear.