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.
Apple is at it again, bringing a motion for preliminary injunction against Samsung's Galaxy Nexus in the United States Thursday. The motion is based on a handful of powerful patents, which FOSS Patents has labeled "the patent equivalent of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse." Here's FOSS' breakdown:
the "data tapping" patent based on which the ITC ordered an import ban against HTC
a patent related to Siri and unified search, which must be of huge concern to Google with a view to its core business
a new slide-to-unlock patent that even had the head of the Taiwanese government profoundly worried
a word completion patent that provides major speed improvements for touchscreen text entry
Three of the above patents were apparently granted only recently (after September 2011), while the "data tapping" patent may sound familiar to those who followed Apple's case to the ITC against HTC.
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 $300 million - the conclusion drawn would remain the same: Apple is spending quite a chunk of income on its growing lawsuit habit.
Adding another suit to the series of legal skirmishes falling under the overarching battle between Apple and Android Manufacturers, Motorola Mobility has filed a new lawsuit in Florida, accusing Apple of infringing on a handful of technology patents. This suit is hot on the heels of a preliminary U.S. ITC decision that Moto had not infringed on Apple's patents, and comes as an addition to an existing Florida lawsuit (which began in late 2010).
Reports from CES 2012 indicate that Windows Phone 7 may be a competitive mobile platform, however Microsoft has decided to hedge its bets and continue making money from Android by signing a patent-licensing agreement with LG. The terms of the agreement will likely require LG to pay Microsoft royalties for all LG tablets, phones, and other consumer devices running the Android or Chrome OS platform. This deal likely mirrors Microsoft's ten previous patent-licensing agreements with Android and Chrome OS manufacturers, including Samsung, HTC, Acer, and ViewSonic.
The latest unaudited results from HTC for Q4 2011 indicate that total revenues reached NT$ 101 billion (US$ 3.34 billion), a 2.49% drop as compared to the same period in 2010. In stark contrast, Samsung just had a record breaking quarter with profits reaching 5.2 trillion won (US$4.5 billion), almost double the figures of Q4 2010. Samsung's results for Q4 2011 breaks its previous record profit period of 5.0 trillion won (US$ 4.3 billion) from Q2 2010 and is an increase of 22% from Q3 2011.
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.