It was bound to happen. Really, it was inevitable at this point, however today we've gotten official word that Samsung is requesting to add the newest iPad, the iPad Mini, and the latest iPod Touch to its lawsuit against the Cupertino company. This isn't shocking so much as it is entirely expected. Still, while HTC and Apple are busy settling their differences and the patent wars seemingly cooling off—if only a bit—this is a solid reminder that the two manufacturers with the most to gain (and lose!) from this fight aren't backing away from each other.
HTC CEO Peter Chou has come out swinging against allegations that HTC is paying "$6-8 per handset" in royalties to Apple, calling the estimates "outrageous." Of course, those estimate were indeed just estimates, and they were also commented upon by HTC insiders at the time as being a little on the high side.
So, what do we take from Mr. Chou's statement? HTC is probably paying a royalty, but a $6-8 royalty (that's about 1-1.5% on a $600-800 smartphone)?
After the dismissal of two of its cases against Motorola - one in Wisconsin, one in Illinois - Apple hasn't exactly been on a roll when it comes to Google's newly-purchased hardware arm. Motorola, too, hasn't done very well, with its own counterclaims in the same Illinois case also being dismissed, and by making an unexplained last-minute withdrawal of a major ITC case it was filing against Cupertino.
At the time, my first instinct when Motorola withdrew its software patent case against Apple was "settlement talks are on the table." While today's news still doesn't shed too much light on that particular event, it comes with its own bright spots of hope.
I can't say I'm the biggest student of Gandhi, but that whole "an eye for an eye and the whole world goes blind" bit sure came to mind this morning when I read that Samsung's head of mobile, Shin Jong-kyun, said the company "[does not] intend to (negotiate) at all" with Apple. This came on news of HTC's settlement with Apple on Saturday, which I contend is objectively good for the industry and consumers, no matter how you spin it.
On Saturday evening, HTC and Apple issued a joint press release indicating the two companies had settled their ongoing legal slapfight. Under a confidential 10-year licensing arrangement, they have agreed to what essentially amounts to a rigid patent ceasefire. Even future patents are covered under the deal (there obviously will be exceptions to any deal, but that's the gist).
Immediately, most people assumed HTC was getting hosed. Then, HTC rep Jeff Gordon issued a slightly cryptic but factually vital statement, saying HTC "does not expect this license agreement to have any adverse material impact on the financials of the company."
Now, whether that means the cost of the license and the savings of not keeping 300 attorneys on retainer will cancel out, or if the settlement basically cost HTC nothing, is not clear.
Aaron's not able to write this weekend's poll, because he's too busy being a dad to his newborn son! He'll be back soon, and we all wish him the very best.
Last night, HTC and Apple issued a joint press release indicating the two companies have settled their ongoing patent slapfight.
It would appear that the patent battle between HTC and Apple, which has been going on since early 2010, is finally closed, with the two companies agreeing to opt for a ten-year licensing agreement.
The dispute began over two years ago when Apple levied a complaint regarding twenty patents at HTC, claiming infringement. Of course after that the two slapped each other with dispute after dispute, and the fight has boiled on ever since.
Can you patent a shape? That is a question so many media outlets have been asking since Apple's more generic design patents have gotten more legal attention, and unfortunately, it's resulted in a rather severe oversimplification of just what a design patent is, and what it can protect. Yesterday, Wired reported that Apple finally received a long-awaited design patent on the shape of the iPad, a patent which lists none other than Steve Jobs himself as a co-inventor (and, of course, Jonathan Ive).
In a request to amend its second California lawsuit against Samsung today, Apple asked a judge to the Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet, and Android 4.1 as it appears on the Galaxy Nexus.
At first glance, it may seem like Apple is now drawing in the entire Android operating system into the suit, but really, it's been like this from the beginning. The Galaxy Nexus was accused from the date of filing in this lawsuit of infringing eight Apple software patents, and today is still accused of infringing those 8 even with its update to Android 4.1.
Google announced in a statement today that Wisconsin Judge Barbara Crabb has dismissed Apple's lawsuit against Motorola Mobility claiming the Google-owned Moto's practices related to standards-essential patent licensing were unfair.
The lawsuit was set to go to trial in US District Court in Madison, Wisconsin this afternoon but was, according to Google, dismissed with prejudice by Judge Crabb this morning. Readers may remember that a similar Apple vs Motorola trial was canceled in Illinois by Judge Richard Posner earlier this year.