According to a header from a sealed document unearthed by FOSSPatents, Google has requested to intervene in an ITC patent lawsuit between HTC and Nokia as co-defendant to the Taiwanese smartphone-maker. This is the first time Google has ever filed as an intervening 3rd-party in a patent lawsuit between one of its hardware partners and a competitor, so it may be the sign of a shift in strategy for the company.
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).
Just a few days after the Galaxy Nexus was removed from the Play Store following an injunction in Apple's suit against Samsung. However, as of today, the flagship Android phone is available from the Play Store again. While customers can purchase the device, the site says it won't ship for 2-3 weeks. This is in contrast to the immediate availability the device had prior to the injunction.
Update: And now the site says that the Galaxy Nexus will ship in 1-2 weeks.
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.
If you just felt a disturbance in the internet, as if millions of Android users cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced, here's why: the Galaxy Nexus is no longer available via the Google Play Store. This comes after Apple won an injunction against the sale of Google's flagship device last week. As of now, the device is not allowed to be sold in the US which includes, but is obviously not limited to, online sales from Google.
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.