It looks as if Samsung and LG have both taken their fingers away from the red button marked MORE LITIGATION. It's being reported that the pair have come to an agreement to work out their OLED patent issues away from the harsh light of the courtroom. Korea's Yonhap News is claiming that a peace summit was held at a Seoul hotel, with Samsung's Kim Ki-nam saying that the pair will resolve the issues "one by one." Give peace a chance, folks.
Via: The Next Web
Source: Yonhap News
Since taking over Motorola Mobility, Google has started to rein in some of the manufacturer's legal adventures. First, it struck a licensing deal with Apple in Germany, then it withdrew an ITC complaint against the company in early October. Now Microsoft is benefiting from its new, seemingly less lawsuit-happy adversary. Moto has decided to pull its WiFi-related patent claims from a complaint against the Xbox 360. That still leaves its H.264 patents on the docket, though, we wouldn't be surprised to see the case disappear completely before the two companies go to trial in December. Microsoft claims it's entitled to a reciprocal license from Google due to an existing agreement between Mountain View and MPEG LA. German courts have already ruled that Motorola's claims regarding its H.264 patents are strong enough to issue injunctions against the Xbox 360 and Windows 7, however the company has been unable to enforce those sales bans due to ongoing investigations in the US.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
Once again, a decision has been made on an Apple versus Samsung patent dispute. This time, it's a Dutch court in the Hague, ruling that Samsung does not infringe on a Cupertino patent relating to certain multi-touch commands that the Korean firm implements in some of its Galaxy phones and tablets. This isn't the first time that the Netherlands-based court has found in favor of Samsung, and Apple had already lost a preliminary injunction on this same patent last year. Reuters also reports that the Hague court's decision comes in the same week that the International Trade Commission is expected to decide about further patent disputes between the two firms, which went in favor of Apple the last time around. At the very least, this long and bumpy ride isn't over yet.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
Apple and Samsung have been recreating the Cold War through their own mutually assured destruction policy, and nowhere is that more apparent than their Pyrrhic victories in South Korea. For Apple, however, the pain will be just a little easier to bear. A Seoul court has confirmed that it's staying the ban on older iPads and iPhones until Apple can complete the appeals process; the Cupertino crew won't face the full penalty unless the appeals court upholds the verdict. Samsung hasn't yet asked for a similar pause on a ban covering some of its Android devices, though, which could lead to at least a momentarily lopsided situation in Samsung's home country. It's nonetheless a brief reprieve in a war that sadly won't end anytime soon.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
Motorola isn't going to escape as cleanly as it would like from Microsoft's patent lawsuit campaign. Microsoft has sued Motorola once more in Germany, only this time it's waging a more direct fight against Motorola's owner Google. The lawsuit claims that Motorola devices violate a patent for taking map information from one set and overlaying it with data from another -- a technique that describes Google Maps, not to mention virtually every internet-connected mapping system we know. Details aren't yet available for the devices allegedly at risk, but the accusation would make it harder for Google, Motorola or both to simply code around the problem if they lose. No doubt Microsoft is counting on just that obstacle to have the RAZR maker fall in line with everyone else and take a license just for using Android.
Update: As patent case analyst Florian Mueller notes from his first-hand account, Microsoft quietly filed the lawsuit in April and received its first court hearing today. That's not the biggest news, however: Microsoft amended the lawsuit to include Google itself. While that's virtually necessary under German law to get the testimony Microsoft wants, it also means a rare (if not unique) instance of Microsoft attacking Google directly in court, rather than fighting proxy battles through Android hardware partners.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
We wouldn't quite call it an unexpected turn of events, but it certainly qualifies as dramatic -- Motorola has pulled almost every Android device in its roster from its German site, leaving only the RAZR HD and RAZR i behind. German site Areamobile first reported the disappearance, and received word from Moto PR that the devices were removed while the OS was "being reworked." Though the company did not say it expressly, it appears the removal is related the various lost patent suits and injunctions awarded to its competitors. The manufacturer has been promising software fixes to address those complaints since early summer, but has yet to deliver them. We're sure the Xoom family and its sizable stable of mid-range phones will return to the site in good time, though, it wouldn't be a tragedy if the only surviving options were the newest members of the RAZR family. They're certainly the most compelling products currently offered (or soon to be offered) by the Google property.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
Perhaps it's not as loud or high profile as Apple vs. Samsung, but there is another patent war raging that is no less vicious between Motorola and Microsoft. The two have been at each others' throats for a few years now and, while Google has offered an olive branch or two to Apple, we've yet to see a similar gesture made in Redmond's direction. The latest chapter in this saga sees the regional court in Mannheim handing Moto a victory in a complaint filed by Microsoft over a patent relating to a set of mobile phone APIs. Its a rare bright spot for the new Google subsidiary, which has struggled to score legal points both in Germany in the US. Microsoft has scored several injunctions against Motorola products, while the lone ban awarded to the phone manufacturer remains unenforceable pending a breach of contract lawsuit. For a bit more detail dig into the more coverage link.
Update: Microsoft's VP and Deputy General Counsel, David Howard, just issued this statement in response to the ruling.
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This decision does not impact multiple injunctions Microsoft has already been awarded and has enforced against Motorola products in Germany. It remains that Motorola is broadly infringing Microsoft's intellectual property, and we hope it will join the vast majority of Android device makers by licensing Microsoft's patents.
According to Reuters, Tim Cook and Larry Page have been having behind the scenes chats over the last week or so, most notably about the ongoing patent proxy war between the two companies. According to sources, the Apple and Google CEOs spoke last week over the phone and are planning a meeting where, hopefully, they can hash out some of their differences. Discussions are also apparently taking place at lower levels, which could indicate this is a concerted effort to put to rest the tiresome battles over intellectual property. Unfortunately, details about what exactly the two talked about, and how broad those conversations were are unknown. But, it's definitely a good sign that the two sides are talking. Perhaps the relatively new corporate heads can avoid going completely "thermonuclear," as Cook's predecessor infamously threatened.
Update: All Things D has gotten confirmation from its own sources, and points out that Google is "wearing several hats here," including one as the owner of Motorola Mobility, which is currently suing Apple. However, we're still holding out hope that the licensing deal struck between those two companies is a sign of better days to come.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
Trouble looked to be brewing for Apple last April: an International Trade Commission judge made an initial ruling that Apple infringed on a standards-essential Motorola WiFi patent, raising the possibility of a trade ban if the verdict held true. The fellows in Cupertino may have caught a big break. A Commission review of the decision on Friday determined that Apple didn't violate the patent, and it upheld positions that exonerated the iPhone maker regarding two others. Apple isn't entirely off the hook, however. The ITC is remanding the case to the judge to review his stance that Apple hadn't violated a non-standards-based patent, which still leaves Apple facing the prospect of a ban. However, having to revisit the case nearly resets the clock -- we now have to wait for another ruling and a matching review, and that likely puts any final decision well into 2013. Google-owned Motorola isn't lacking more weapons in its arsenal, but any stalled proceedings take away bargaining chips in what's become a high-stakes game.Permalink | | Email this | Comments