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Posts Tagged ‘Injunctions’

Motorola now officially being investigated for abusing its patents in Europe

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

Motorola now officially being investigated for abusing its patents in EuropeBoth Apple and Microsoft have formally complained about Motorola’s alleged abuse of “standards-essential” patents, and today the European Commission has been equally formal in starting an antitrust investigation into their claims. In fact, there’ll be two separate investigations — one to discover whether Motorola Mobility failed to honor its FRAND obligations when it sought injunctions against the sale of Apple and Microsoft products, and the other to assess whether Motorola has been unfair in the way it has offered to license its standard-essential patents. The authorities have given no clue as to how long this process could take, or what kind of punishments could be meted out at the end of it, but the (almost) Google-owned company is now certainly in for some tumult.

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Motorola now officially being investigated for abusing its patents in Europe originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 03 Apr 2012 07:06:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Apple asks European standards body for more transparency on FRAND licensing

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

With its legal battles intensifying across the globe, Apple has appealed to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute, calling for a more consistent approach to the licensing of essential patents. In a letter dated November 11th, Cupertino outlined its issues with today’s licensing system, with a particular emphasis on patents licensed on a FRAND basis. According to Apple, the entire telecom industry lacks a “consistent policy” on FRAND licensing — an issue that, not surprisingly, is especially critical to the company’s ongoing court cases in Europe. Because of this inconsistency, Apple argues, patent royalty rates are often negotiated arbitrarily and in secret, resulting in abnormally high rates and, of course, plenty of lawsuits. “It is apparent that our industry suffers from a lack of consistent adherence to FRAND principles in the cellular standards arena,” wrote Bruce Watrous, Apple’s head of intellectual property. The company went on to suggest an alternative solution, calling for ETSI to establish “appropriate” FRAND licensing rates for companies to follow, adding that these rates should be limited to an industry-wide standard, and that companies should be barred from using industry-essential patents to force injunctions.

Apple asks European standards body for more transparency on FRAND licensing originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 08 Feb 2012 11:05:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink   |  sourceThe Wall Street Journal  | Email this | Comments

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Samsung takes another page from Apple’s playbook: increase margins

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Apple has argued on multiple occasions that Samsung builds mobile products that ”blatantly imitate the appearance of Apple’s products to capitalize on Apple’s success.” Courts seem to disagree for the most part, with only a pair of injunctions having been issued despite dozens of complaints Apple has filed around the world. There are some areas where Samsung does seem to take pages out of Apple’s playbook, however — Samsung’s new anti-iPhone ad strategy is somewhat reminiscent of Apple’s famous “I’m a Mac” campaign, for example — and market research firm Allied Business Intelligence may have uncovered another one this week. Read on for more.

ABI recently performed a teardown on Samsung’s latest flagship phone, the Galaxy Nexus, and the firm analyzed the components found within the handset. Among them was a new version of Samsung’s LTE chipset that is estimated to cost half as much as the chip it replaces.

“The Samsung Galaxy Nexus modem is constructed with the combination of a Via Telecom CDMA/EVDO Rev. A integrated circuit and a Samsung LTE baseband integrated circuit,” the firm wrote in its report. “This combination is now common for Samsung’s Verizon phones, but the Galaxy Nexus sports a new version of the LTE baseband chip. The new chip is estimated at nearly half the cost of the prior chip’s $23 price tag.”

One area where the competition has been unable to keep pace with Apple is profit, and the company’s record-setting holiday quarter was thanks largely in part to the huge margins it enjoys on iPhone sales. Asymco’s Horace Dediu estimates that Apple took in approximately 75% of mobile phone industry profits last quarter despite accounting for just 9% of global cell phone shipments, or an estimated 23.5% of all smartphone channel sales.

Whether or not Samsung’s mobile devices are “copycats” as Apple claims is up to the courts of the world to decide, but Samsung would be wise to follow Apple’s lead where margins are concerned. Samsung shipped about as many smartphones as Apple during the holiday quarter, but the $2.32 billion in operating profit it took in from its mobile business pales in comparison to Apple’s mobile profits.

Making significant cuts to component costs while still managing to sell 4G devices at premium prices could help the South Korea-based vendor hold its ground in the first quarter while the world awaits the launch of its next-generation flagship smartphone, the quad-core Galaxy S III.

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German court grants injunction against Apple for infringement of Motorola patents (update: Apple responds)

Friday, November 4th, 2011

Motorola just confirmed that earlier today, the Mannheim District Court in Germany granted an injunction against Apple for patent infringement. In addition to the confirmation, Motorola also issued the following, rather unrevealing statement:

“As media and mobility continue to converge, Motorola Mobility’s patented technologies are increasingly important for innovation within the wireless and communications industries, for which Motorola Mobility has developed an industry leading intellectual property portfolio. We will continue to assert ourselves in the protection of these assets, while also ensuring that our technologies are widely available to end-users. We hope that we are able to resolve this matter, so we can focus on creating great innovations that benefit the industry.”

The ruling comes as a role reversal of sorts for Apple, which most recently received a pair of injunctions in Germany, banning the sale of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in that country, along with the rather embarrassing removal of the Tab 7.7 from the show floor at IFA. According to FOSS Patents this is a default judgment, meaning Apple did not respond to Moto’s filing and as a result got hit with the injunction, which could result in its products being pulled or the company being required to pay damages. And so the saga continues… Dust off the pocket translator and hit up the source link for the full ruling in German.

Update: We just got the following statement from Apple regarding the ruling:

“This is a procedural issue, and has nothing to do with the merits of the case. It does not affect our ability to sell products or do business in Germany at this time.”

So, it appears our iDevice-loving German friends have nothing to worry about, at least for now.

German court grants injunction against Apple for infringement of Motorola patents (update: Apple responds) originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 04 Nov 2011 19:54:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink   |  sourceCourt Judgement, FOSS Patents  | Email this | Comments

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Samsung seeks to block iPhone 4S sales with new patent complaints

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Samsung filed two separate motions for preliminary injunctions in Paris, France and Milan, Italy on Wednesday seeking to block the sale of Apple’s upcoming iPhone 4S in each respective market. The company confirmed the complaints on its corporate blog on Wednesday, just one day following the unveiling of Apple’s next-generation iPhone 4S smartphone. Samsung’s motions allege that Apple’s new smartphone infringes on two Samsung-owned patents related to communications over WCDMA cellular networks. Read on for more.

“Apple has continued to flagrantly violate our intellectual property rights and free ride on our technology,” Samsung said in a blog post. “We believe it is now necessary to take legal action to protect our innovation.”

The move is hardly unexpected. Reports surfaced last month suggesting that Samsung was already planning to target Apple’s then-unannounced next-generation smartphone in a new wave of patent attacks, and Samsung went on record days later stating that it planned to turn up the heat in its ongoing patent disputes with the Cupertino, California-based tech giant.

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Verizon wants Obama to curtail potential patent war damages

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

Verizon Communications’ chief counsel Randal Milch wants United States President Barack Obama to limit potential damages relating to the ongoing patent wars sweeping technology companies in the U.S. As the number of patent complaints among major handset vendors around the world continues to grow, several companies have turned to the U.S. International Trade Commission in an effort to have the import and sale of alleged infringing products blocked. Milch recently circulated a chart showing all of the devices that may be banned in the U.S. due to patent complaints seeking injunctions, including the iPhone and several Android tablets, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. Instead, the lawyer thinks President Obama should issue a blanket statement declaring that he will overturn any ruling that would block the importation or sale of wireless devices in the U.S. Verizon believes vendors found to be infringing on patents should only be forced to pay royalties to the relevant patent owners.

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Verizon to pull striking worker’s health benefits on August 31st

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

After disagreements over new contracts, 45,000 Verizon workers, or roughly 25% of the company’s workforce, went on strike on August 7th. The Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers refuse to pay a $100 monthly premium on their health benefits and do not agree with other contract terms, but now they may have no benefits at all. Verizon is threatening to pull all health benefits from any employees who are still striking on August 31st. Verizon has already filed a lawsuit against the Communications Workers of America accusing the union of harassment and sabotage, and it has been granted injunctions against picketers in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware. The unions aren’t happy: “We feel the company is exercising any means possible to make our members suffer in hopes of breaking our units,” president of CWA Local 2204 Chuck Simpson told reporters. Formal talks between the workers and Verizon are ongoing, and Verizon said it sent letters out to give strikers enough time to find alternative benefits.

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