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Taiwanese University Sues Apple... Again
May 7, 2013
National Cheng Kung University may not have a fight song -- but it is definitely willing to fight. For the second time in a year, the Taiwanese university has sued Apple. The most recent suit is for alleged infringement of the university's patents relating to video compression technology in Apple software such as FaceTime and QuickTime.
EC Objects to Motorola Following Letter of German Law
May 7, 2013
The European Commission has lodged a statement of objections against Motorola Mobility, the first formal step in an antitrust action. The EC is objecting to Motorola's attempt to enforce an injunction it won against Apple in Germany over use of its standard-essential patents. The EC contends that Motorola Mobility is harming consumers with its injunction.
Rubber Band Patent Rejection Could Bounce Apple Back to Court
April 3, 2013
Apple apparently is not accepting the recent ruling by a U.S. patent examiner invalidating a patent it successfully used in a suit against Samsung. The "final" action does not signal the end of reexamination at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the company argues in a filing submitted Tuesday. Nor does it mean there will be no further consideration or reexamination of the patentability of the claims.
Street View Creeps Through Post-Tsunami Japanese Ghost Town
March 28, 2013
Google Street View has had its share of intrepid adventures -- Antarctica, say, or Everest Base Camp. However, the Google Maps service has a sober side, too. Street View just unveiled startling images of Namie, a Japanese town firmly planted inside the evacuation zone described in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster.
Beyond the Grave, Onto the Smartphone
March 25, 2013
A cemetery in Shenyang, the capital of China's Liaoning Province, will become, for lack of a better term, interactive. With mobile devices, people will be able to scan a quick response code on graves of people whose relatives have requested the feature. Scanning this code will allow visitors to learn about the person's life; they can also access a Web page where relatives and friends can upload photos or video.
THX Blasts Apple With Lawsuit
March 20, 2013
THX filed a lawsuit against Apple last week, claiming that the company's consumer electronics are infringing on one of its sound patents. The sound technology company, founded by George Lucas, alleges that some models of the iPhone, iPad and iMac devices violate a THX patent regarding a "narrow profile speaker."
Caveat Inventor: The New Patent Paradigm
March 15, 2013
The most significant change to U.S. patent law since 1836 -- or perhaps 1790 -- is being implemented on March 16, 2013. Part of the America Invents Act of 2011, it concerns the doctrine of first-to-invent, laws concerning the protection of original inventors, regardless of whether they were the first to apply for a patent. The new law awards inventorship under a first-inventor-to-file standard.
iPad May Run Away From Home a Lot Longer
March 15, 2013
Wireless charging may be in the works for iPad owners if Apple follows through on a patent awarded to it by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Thursday. The tablet cover described in the patent would include "an inductive power transmitter arranged to wirelessly pass power to a corresponding inductive power receiver unit disposed within the tablet device by inductively coupling."
E-Book Trial Requires Tim Cook's Presence on the Stand
March 14, 2013
Apple CEO Tim Cook has been ordered to testify in the antitrust case that accuses his company of e-book price fixing. Apple has tried to keep Cook from having to appear, claiming it was unnecessary considering 11 other top company executives have given depositions in the case.
Judge Orders Apple to Quit Pussyfooting Around
March 11, 2013
A judge gave Apple until the end of last week to produce details about how it would provide documents and other evidence requested in a privacy lawsuit. U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal issued the order in San Jose, Calif., on March 6, following claims from the plaintiffs' lawyers that Apple was withholding documents it had been ordered to produce.
Judge Vaporizes Big Chunk of Apple's Billion-Dollar Win in Samsung Case
March 4, 2013
U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh on Friday struck more than $450 million from the damages a jury awarded to Apple in last summer's blockbuster verdict against Samsung. The jury found that Samsung had willfully copied a number of Apple's design and software patents for the iPhone and ruled that it should pay more than $1 billion in damages.
China Returns US Cyberattack Volley
March 1, 2013
What, China was just going to say nothing? On the heels of a report that China's military has for years been engaging in cyberespionage against the U.S., China's Ministry of Defense claimed that a pair of its military websites were attacked more than 100,000 times per month in 2012.
Judge Nixes Samsung's Request to Ban Apple Devices in Japan
March 1, 2013
Apple won a victory over Samsung in a Japanese district court Thursday that will allow it to continue to sell iPads and iPhones in that country. Samsung tried to block the sale of the Apple devices in Japan because it said they stepped on some data transfer patents that the company owned.
Cook Cheers Investors While Saying Very Little
February 28, 2013
CEO Tim Cook presided over Apple's annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday, where he fielded questions about a lawsuit filed by activist investor David Einhorn. In his complaint, Einhorn demanded that Apple unbundle scheduled votes that he claimed would require shareholders to consider separate matters in one ballot. Cook called the lawsuit "silly," but the judge ruled in favor of Einhorn.
Apple Offers Cash and Vouchers to Calm Irate Parents, Settle Suit
February 27, 2013
Apple has proposed a settlement of a lawsuit stemming from children making purchases within iOS applications without their parents' permission. The settlement, expected to be approved by a federal judge Friday, could cost Apple tens of millions of dollars. The class action litigation was filed in April 2011 in a federal district court in California.
Apple Stock Split Rumors Fly as Shareholder Meeting Looms
February 27, 2013
Apple's Cupertino headquarters will be open for investors Wednesday as the company holds its annual shareholder meeting, an event that has attracted more than its share of hype thanks to two big questions: What's coming next from the tech giant, and what it will do with its $137 billion cash pile?
Einhorn Wins a Legal Skirmish but Still Could Lose the War
February 25, 2013
A U.S. federal judge ruled in favor of hedge fund manager David Einhorn Friday, forcing Apple to remove a bundled proposal that was supposed to be voted on at this week's annual shareholder meeting. Einhorn began pushing back against the company's proposed charter earlier this month when he filed a lawsuit claiming that Apple's bundled votes would ask shareholders to consider separate matters in one ballot.
Einhorn to Apple: Time to Pay the Piper
February 22, 2013
Hedge fund manager and rogue Apple investor David Einhorn hosted a conference call for shareholders Thursday as he continued his campaign to steer more cash from the company's balance sheet toward investors. Einhorn, a manager at Greenlight Capital, used the call as part of his broader strategy to pressure Apple to issue a stockholder dividend rather than let the company's $137 billion lay idle.
Apple's Cook: We're Not Done Innovating Yet
February 13, 2013
Despite a stock drop, a lawsuit from a hedge fund manager and questions about future products, Apple CEO Tim Cook told the audience at a Goldman Sachs technology conference Tuesday that innovation remains "deeply embedded" in the company's culture, and that it has "never been stronger."
Hedge Fund Magnate Takes Apple to Court
February 8, 2013
Apple's cash hoarding has always annoyed some of its investors, but Thursday one of them decided to bet on a unique solution. David Einhorn, a hedge fund operator with a history of staunch support for Apple, filed a lawsuit against the company in an attempt to block its board from giving away its power to issue preferred stock.
Dutch Court: Apple Can't Corner the Rounded-Corner Market
January 16, 2013
A Dutch court ruled this week that Samsung's Galaxy tablets do not infringe on certain Apple design patents relating to the iPad. Apple alleged that Samsung copied the rounded edges of its iPad to create the design on the Galaxy Tab 10.1, Galaxy Tab 8.9 and Galaxy Tab 7.7. The Apple case hinged on the principle of Community Design, an intellectual property right in the European Union.
Man Bites Dog: China Fines Apple for Copyright Infringement
December 28, 2012
A Chinese court fined Apple 1 million yuan, or roughly $160,000, because its App Store hosted third-party applications that were peddling pirated e-books. The ruling stems from a suit brought by a group of Chinese authors earlier this year. The group originally was seeking 10 million yuan.
USPTO Hits Apple Where It Hurts
December 20, 2012
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Wednesday rejected all 21 claims in Apple's "pinch-to-zoom" patent in a preliminary ruling after an ex parte re-examination of the patent. The USPTO ruling is a significant blow to Apple, as the patent was among those found to have been infringed by Samsung in a case that went to trial this summer.
Apple Scores With ITC but It May Be a Lose-Lose Game
December 19, 2012
The International Trade Commission on Tuesday ruled that Apple has not violated Google's Motorola Mobility patent for a touchscreen sensor. ITC judge Thomas Pender said the patent was invalid. The touchscreen sensor patent came before Pender this summer, when Google asserted three other Motorola patents against Apple.
Samsung Shows Signs of Softening in Smartphone Tug of War
December 18, 2012
Samsung said Tuesday that it will drop its pursuit of injunctions against the sale of some Apple products in Europe. Samsung wants to compete "fairly in the marketplace, rather than in the court," according to its official statement, but the move is an odd twist in the ongoing legal saga between the two consumer electronics giants.
MobileMedia Patent Loss Unlikely to Ding Apple Much
December 14, 2012
Apple has lost a patent infringement case that was brought by MobileMedia Ideas. The company alleged that Apple misappropriated its technology for mobile devices -- and the federal jury that heard the case agreed. MobileMedia Ideas -- a patent licensing firm owned by Nokia, Sony and MPEG LA -- has a portfolio of hundreds of patents.
Apple, E-Book Publishers Bow to EC in Pricing Flap
December 14, 2012
Apple and four international publishers will be scrapping some controversial agency agreements and excluding some dubious clauses in future agreements over the next five years, under a decision adopted Thursday by the European Commission. The publishers have also agreed to give retailers conditional freedom to discount e-books.
USPTO Strikes Blow to Apple's Prized Multitouch Patent
December 10, 2012
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has preliminarily invalidated 20 of the claims in the so-called "Steve Jobs" patent, the second such blow dealt to Apple's IP portfolio in recent months. The Jobs moniker refers to the Apple founder's listing as the chief inventor. The patent protects the technology used in the touchscreen interface on Apple's iOS devices.
Samsung vs. Apple: Why Samsung Wins a Pyrrhic Victory
December 10, 2012
Last week was defined largely by two interesting stories. One had Apple bringing some manufacturing back to the U.S., and the other revolved around the outcome of the latest trial between Apple and Samsung. It shows you how hard it is to read a judge, though. I thought Judge Lucy Koh would likely raise the award from $1.05 Samsung and Apple appear to be in a dance to the death.
Judge Pleads for Peace as Apple, Samsung Hairpulling Resumes
December 7, 2012
Judge Lucy Koh on Thursday heard another round of quibbling between Apple and Samsung lawyers. Calling for some sort of "global peace," she reportedly asked both sides if there was any endpoint coming in their slugfest over patent issues. Koh presided earlier this year over the high-profile, often bitter trial between the giants.
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