Today, the EU filed antitrust charges against Google related to the Android mobile operating system. The internet is absolutely alight - both for and against the allegations the European Commission has levied at our favorite search company that also makes our favorite mobile operating system. The key complaints boil down to three core ideas.
- Google requires manufacturers to bundle Google Chrome and Google Search, and set Google as the default search provider on their devices if they are GMS (Google Mobile Services) partners. This, allegedly, reduces competition for apps that perform similar or identical functions.
- Google does not allow manufacturers to both be GMS partners and produce incompatible "forks" of Android on other, non-GMS devices.
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. The most we can glean from this is that Google apparently didn't take very convincing steps to avoid any of Apple's software patents in Android 4.1. Read More
In perhaps its soon to be most-publicized decision in decades, FOSS Patents is reporting that the USPTO has issued an initial finding of invalidity on every claim in Apple's patent for "rubber-band scrolling," that is, the scroll bounceback patent which anyone with half a brain knows is about as patent-worthy as any purely aesthetic user interface element is.
The claims were rejected on findings of prior art from two sources - an AOL patent, and a patent previously filed by Apple. All of the claims of the '381 patent were either rejected as being anticipated (previously described) by prior art, or being obvious in light of it. Read More
After winning a $1.05 billion verdict against Samsung for alleged trade dress dilution and patent infringement, Apple has filed a motion with the presiding judge of the tech world's biggest trial requesting a massive increase in the initial jury award.
An additional $707 million has been tallied up by Apple's lawyers as being due to the company, and unfortunately, the logic here is sound. The jury in the case found Samsung willfully infringed Apple's design and software patents (meaning they should have known they were infringing, basically), and under US statute, this entitles Apple to an award of triple the amount of the actual damages resulting from infringement. Read More
With Samsung and Apple's California trial scheduled for Monday, more and more information is being unearthed about the parties' respective claims. Yesterday, though, AllThingsD parsed out a few pieces of evidence from an unedited version of Apple's filing (not publicly available) that look quite bad for Samsung. I'll just quote them as they appear, because they really don't need much context:
- In February 2010, Google told Samsung that Samsung’s “P1” and “P3” tablets (Galaxy Tab and Galaxy Tab 10.1) were “too similar” to the iPad and demanded “distinguishable design vis-à-vis the iPad for the P3.”
- In 2011, Samsung’s own Product Design Group noted that it is “regrettable” that the Galaxy S “looks similar” to older iPhone models.
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.
There's also the fact that Google has requested an antitrust investigation against Nokia in the EU, so maybe Google is just piling on the Finnish firm to makes its stance even more clear. Read More