01
Mar
gavel
Last Updated: March 3rd, 2013

Last year, Apple won what was perhaps the largest legal victory in its war on Android when a court ruled that Samsung infringed its patents on a significant number of devices and owed the Cupertino company in excess of a billion dollars. Today, however, that same judge is vacating $450m from that total until a second damages trial with a new jury can commence.

That amount won't be stripped away entirely, mind you.

29
Jan
gavel31

Finally ruling on a hearing held in early December, Judge Koh decided that Apple's billion-dollar verdict won't be getting any bigger - having formally ruled that Samsung did not infringe Apple's patents willfully. Willful infringement is a concept in patent law that is largely self-explanatory (at least in a non-technical sense): did the defendant purposefully or with wanton disregard for obvious risk infringe the plaintiff's patents?

The jury in this trial held that Samsung did willfully infringe.

29
Jan
nexusae0_sprint-store11

According to Bloomberg, the US Department of Justice has just announced that it will submit a deferment request for the Sprint / Softbank merger to the FCC. Telecom acquisitions in the United States require approval from both the DoJ and the FCC, with the former agency focusing largely on potential anti-trust issues. Softbank officially announced the buyout in October.

It's not exactly a big surprise that the DoJ is looking at this deal cautiously.

03
Jan
961-300x300_FTC_Seal

If you were wondering if this is the sort of legal story you should pay attention to on Android Police, let me make it easy: it is. This is probably the biggest legal story in the mobile sphere since Apple's victory over Samsung last August. Yeah, that important.

This morning, the FTC announced at a press conference that Google had settled its antitrust claims with the agency, and that Google agreed to two very important stipulations as part of that settlement relating to mobile.

19
Dec
pinch-me

It seems Apple isn't making many friends over at the patent examiner's office lately - yet another high-profile patent used by the company in litigation has been deemed wholly invalid on a preliminary basis.

The patent in question is often called the "pinch-to-zoom" patent, because that's basically what it patents - a pinch gesture to zoom in on content on a display. This patent had been used successfully by Apple during the first Samsung lawsuit, with numerous (all but two) Samsung devices found to infringe it.

18
Dec
gavel

Samsung has officially sought to end all of its claims requesting bans of Apple products in Europe, according to a company official. The decision comes on continued probing by the European Union's anti-trust body, on allegations that Samsung is abusing its standards-essential patents by seeking product bans for their infringement. Note that this does not mean Samsung has dropped its lawsuits - merely the injunction demands involved in them.

Standards-essential patents have played a pretty important role in the mobile patent wars to date, though that role has been one which is increasingly under question.

17
Dec
gavel

Breaking news coming out of California's Northern District Court tonight, as Judge Lucy Koh, who presided over the now-infamous Apple v. Samsung trial, has issued post-trial rulings on the parties' respective motions.

Jury Misconduct (Vel Hogan)

Judge Koh ruled that no jury misconduct occurred during the Apple v. Samsung trial, and that she would refuse to entertain the issue further. The judge will not even hold an evidentiary hearing on the matter, meaning Samsung failed in even at the most basic level in arguing its case for a new trial on account of Vel Hogan's alleged biases.

07
Dec
Steve_Jobs_with_an_iPhone
Last Updated: December 9th, 2012

Get on the edge of your seats, everybody - it's patent time again. Today, the USPTO handed down what's called a preliminary invalidation finding on a rather infamous Apple software patent regarding touchscreen heuristics. This patent was known as the "Steve Jobs patent," as its first listed author is the late Apple cofounder (let's keep the Jobs insults to a minimum in the comments, please). This comes after the preliminary invalidation of Apple's also-infamous "rubber-banding" patent back in October.

06
Dec
Right-Arrow-One-Way-Sign-X-R6-2R

A redacted version of the HTC-Apple patent licensing agreement was published in the public record today as part of the Samsung v. Apple trial, and AllThingsD has a copy. It's 143 pages long (to be fair, only about a fifth of that is the actual settlement), so let me give you the skinny.

Snapseed_1

First, what has HTC agreed to? Well, it's actually not super complicated to distill down: basically, HTC can use Apple's functional software patents under the license, except those covered under an "anti-cloning" rule and which are part of the "distinct Apple user experience" - unless those features are part of the core Android OS that HTC does not control.

29
Nov
larry-ellison-hot-dog

In case you forgot, Google was involved in a little spat with Oracle earlier this year, in which a jury decided that Oracle's patents were not infringed by Google, and a judge came to the conclusion that Oracle's assertion regarding API copyright infringement was untenable.

Judge Alsup's reasoning in denying Oracle's infringement claim was, to anyone with a technical background, quite reasonable. Oracle had claimed that while the amount of line-for-line literal infringement Google committed against the 37 infringed Java APIs through its Dalvik virtual machine was minimal (read: 97% of Google's code was original), the fact that Google had copied created its functional equivalent constituted copyright infringement.

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