Nokia and RIM enter new patent license agreement

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Dec 212012

NokiaAnother legal battle has been put to rest. Last month, a dispute between Nokia and RIM over WLAN patents went in Nokia’s favour, putting at risk RIM’s BlackBerry sales, including those of its upcoming BlackBerry 10 devices. Fortunately, the two companies have reached a resolution and existing patent litigations have been settled.

“We are very pleased to have resolved our patent licensing issues with RIM and reached this new agreement, while maintaining Nokia’s ability to protect our unique product differentiation,” said Paul Melin, chief intellectual property officer at Nokia. “This agreement demonstrates Nokia’s industry leading patent portfolio and enables us to focus on further licensing opportunities in the mobile communications market.”

As a result of the settlement, Nokia will receive a one-time payment and on-going payments from RIM. More specific terms of the agreement were not revealed.

The agreement is one less hurdle that RIM will need to deal with as it prepares to launch its BlackBerry 10 smartphones next month.

Read more: Nokia

RIM sued by Wi-LAN over Bluetooth patent

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Dec 112012

Research In MotionResearch In Motion is the latest company to be sued by patent licensing company Wi-LAN Inc. The latter accuses RIM of infringing one of its Bluetooth technology patents, U.S. Patent No. 6,260,168.

Wi-LAN did not provide any further details, including what damages if any it was seeking from RIM.

Wi-LAN has also recently launched infringement lawsuits against Apple and HTC among others over LTE patents.

Update: Wi-LAN’s lawsuit is looking for both unspecified financial damages as well as preliminary and permanent injunctions against RIM’s smartphones and PlayBook tablet.

Read more: Wi-LAN (Source: Reuters)

RIM loses WLAN patent battle to Nokia

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Nov 282012

Research In MotionAfter some recent good news, Research In Motion today was dealt yet another setback. A dispute with Nokia over WLAN patents has gone in Nokia’s favour. In a U.S. court filing seeking to enforce the ruling, Nokia indicates that RIM was found to be “in breach of contract and is not entitled to manufacture or sell WLAN products without first agreeing royalties with Nokia.” Similar cases have been filed in Britain and Canada.

Unless RIM can come to terms with Nokia, likely additional royalties, it could face a sales ban on its BlackBerry devices. The ban would also extend to RIM’s upcoming BlackBerry 10 devices.

Nokia and RIM first entered into a cross-license agreement covering standards-essential cellular patents back in 2003. The agreement was amended in 2008. In March 2011, RIM sought to have the license extended to cover WLAN patents. The decision, finally reached on November 6th, went in Nokia’s favour, prompting the court cases.

Read more: Reuters

Samsung unwilling to settle lawsuits with Apple

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Nov 142012

SamsungHopes that Samsung and Apple could settle their legal battles out of court appear to have been dashed. Speaking to Korea’s Yonhap News Agency, J.K. Shin, President and Head of IT & Mobile Communications Division, said that Samsung would look to a legal resolution rather than a settlement. “We don’t intend to (negotiate) at all,” he explained, apparently leaving little room for compromise.

Samsung and Apple have been engaged in legal battles over the last few years. Most recently, Samsung sued Apple over some of its LTE patents. Before that, Apple won a US$1 billion award in a US patent infringement case. Other cases are still before various courts.

Legal distractions do not appear to have any effect on Samsung’s sales. Shin expects that fourth quarter smartphone sales will be “as robust” as they were in the previous quarter.

For its part, Apple appears to be taking a softer approach to its legal battles with various smartphone manufacturers. Its battle with HTC now appears behind it with the latter reportedly paying up to US$8 per Android smartphone it sells.

Read more: Yonhap News Agency (Source: CNET News)

HTC and Apple settle lawsuits with new licensing agreement

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Nov 112012

HTCHTC and Apple yesterday announced that they have agreed to dismiss all current lawsuits and enter into a new licensing agreement. It will span 10 years and extend to current and future patents held by both parties.

“HTC is pleased to have resolved its dispute with Apple, so HTC can focus on innovation instead of litigation,” said Peter Chou, CEO of HTC.

“We are glad to have reached a settlement with HTC,” said Tim Cook, CEO of Apple. “We will continue to stay laser focused on product innovation.”

Speaking to The Verge, HTC spokesperson representative Jeff Gordon added that the new agreement will not “have any adverse material impact on the financials of the company.” The specific terms of the settlement will remain confidential.

Apple first filed an ITC complaint against HTC back in March 2010. It added a number of additional ones in 2011 and 2012.

Read more: HTC and The Verge

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 ban lifted in U.S.

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Oct 022012

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1Samsung is free to once again sell its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in the U.S. after judge Lucy Koh lifted the ban yesterday. According to a company statement, “We are pleased with the court’s action today, which vindicates our position that there was no infringement of Apple’s design patent and that an injunction was not called for.”

Samsung’s request to be awarded the US$2.6 million bond that Apple had put up to impose the injunction was declined by Judge Koh. The funds will remain with the courts until all court matters are resolved.

The original ban was imposed in July as Apple and Samsung battle it out in U.S. courts over a number of patent infringements.

Read more: PC Magazine

Nokia to sue HTC over Windows Phone 8X design?

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Sep 252012

NokiaThings could be about to get interesting in the Windows Phone 8 camp. Citing an “internal reliable source,” PC-Tablet is reporting that Nokia is getting ready to sue HTC over the design of its just announced Windows Phone 8X smartphone:

The reports are saying Nokia is preparing to get HTC 8X banned in various parts of the world from going on sale when it will launch in November. Nokia has said in reports that the front-face of HTC 8X looks identically same as of the Lumia 820 followed by side-curves of the phone body.

Nokia’s Windows Phone devices, including its upcoming Lumia 820, use a colourful array of polycarbonate shells. Rather than its usual assortment of more business friendly colours like grey and black, HTC adopted a similar approach for its Windows Phone 8 devices

Nokia’s EVP of Nokia Sales and Marketing, Chris Weber, took to Twitter the same day that HTC announced its Windows Phone 8 smartphones to comment on perceived similarities:

It takes more than matching color to match the innovation of the Lumia 920. #SwitchtoLumia

Will Microsoft let two of its biggest partners fight out in the courts? It’s more likely that it will try to sort this out behind closed doors to avoid a nasty public battle like the one between Apple and Samsung.

Read more: PC-Tablet

Samsung going after Apple iPhone 5 over 8 LTE patents

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Sep 202012

SamsungRelations between Apple and Samsung just are not improving. As expected, Samsung confirmed its intention to go after the iPhone 5 as it suspects that it infringes 8 LTE patents:

“Samsung anticipates that it will file, in the near future, a motion to amend its infringement contentions to add the iPhone 5 as an accused product. On September 12, 2012, Apple announced that it will release the iPhone 5 on September 21, 2012. Based on information currently available, Samsung expects that the iPhone 5 will infringe the asserted Samsung patents-in-suit in the same way as the other accused iPhone models. Samsung plans to file a motion to amend its infringement contentions to address the iPhone 5 as soon as it has had a reasonable opportunity to analyze the device. Because Samsung believes the accused functionality of the iPhone 5 will be similar to the accused functionality of other accused Apple products, Samsung does not believe that amendment of its infringement contentions should affect the case schedule.”

This case is actually a second U.S. case involving the two companies. If it moves ahead with the amendment, Samsung could also ask for a preliminary injunction against the iPhone 5. Since nothing has been filed yet, it will not affect tomorrow’s launch though.

Read more: FOSSPatents (Source: Gizmodo)

Apple adds Samsung Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note to patent lawsuit

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Sep 022012

AppleOn the heels of its US$1 billion patent infringement victory over Samsung, Apple has amended a second and separate lawsuit to add more devices, including the Galaxy S III smartphone, Galaxy Note 10.1, and Galaxy Note, to a list of products that allegedly infringe some of its patents. In the updated document, Apple accuses Samsung of continuing to “flood the market with copycat products” and “release new infringing products, including its current flagship device, the Galaxy S III.”

Among the patents allegedly infringed upon in this case are the ‘721 “Slide-to-unlock” and the ‘604 “Universal search” patents.

This separate case (U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, Apple Inc v. Samsung Electronics Ltd, et al 12-00630.) has Apple alleging infringement over eight utility patents. It was first filed in February and has already seen Judge Lucy Koh issue an now on hold injunction against the Galaxy Nexus.

Read more: AppleInsider

Samsung and Google respond to Apple patent verdict

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Aug 272012

SamsungLast Friday, Apple won its US patent infringement case against Samsung. Today, both Samsung and Google provided statements about the decision.

Samsung first released this statement on Friday:

Today’s verdict should not be viewed as a win for Apple, but as a loss for the American consumer. It will lead to fewer choices, less innovation, and potentially higher prices. It is unfortunate that patent law can be manipulated to give one company a monopoly over rectangles with rounded corners, or technology that is being improved every day by Samsung and other companies. Consumers have the right to choices, and they know what they are buying when they purchase Samsung products. This is not the final word in this case or in battles being waged in courts and tribunals around the world, some of which have already rejected many of Apple’s claims. Samsung will continue to innovate and offer choices for the consumer.

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Apple looking to block US sales of 8 Samsung devices

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Aug 272012

On the heels of its patent infringement lawsuit victory over Samsung, Apple today filed a notice with the courts to request that a number of Samsung devices be banned in the US. The court case found that 28 Samsung devices infringed patents but Apple has only named 8 devices in the document. Apple’s filing lists the devices as well as the infringing patents for each:

Apple seeks ban of 8 Samsung devices

According to The Verge, Apple will need to prove that continued sales of these devices would cause irreparable harm in order to have them banned.

The injunction hearing is scheduled for September 20th.

Read more: The Verge

RIM Mformation patent suit decision overturned

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Aug 092012

Research In MotionResearch In Motion today announced that the previous verdict that found that RIM was infringing two Mformation patents has been overturned after the court’s judge found that the evidence did not support the Jury’s finding of patent infringement. As a result, RIM will not need need to pay the US$147.2-million fine.

“We appreciate the Judge’s careful consideration of this case. RIM did not infringe on Mformation’s patent and we are pleased with this victory,” said Steve Zipperstein, RIM’s Chief Legal Officer. “The purpose of the patent system is to encourage innovation, but the system is still too often exploited in pursuit of other goals. Many policy makers have already recognized the need to address this problem and we call on others to join them as this case clearly highlights the significant need for continuing policy reform to help reduce the amount of resources wasted on unwarranted patent litigation.”

RIM did note that Mformation could appeal the ruling. If that appeal were to be successful, a new trial would take place.

Read more: Research In Motion

Apple wants US$2.5-billion in damages in patent war with Samsung

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Jul 252012

AppleApple has put a dollar figure on what it thinks its legal battle with Samsung is worth. Its filing reiterates its familiar position that Samsung’s strategy was to Apple products:

“Samsung adopted as its number one goal to [redacted]’ in the smartphone and tablet markets, and it chose to compete by copying Apple. Samsung’s infringing sales have enabled Samsung to overtake Apple as the largest manufacturer of smartphones in the world. Samsung has reaped billions of dollars in profits and caused Apple to lose hundreds of millions of dollars through its violation of Apple’s intellectual property.

Not only does Apple allege that the patent infringements have cost it some US$500 million in lost profits but it adds that Samsung earned “billions of dollars in profits” as as result. As a result, Apple expects Samsung to pay US$2.525 billion in damages covering both design and technology.

Apple has calculated royalties for each infringed patent. For example, US$2.02 per unit would cover the “overscroll bounce” technology covered in its ‘318 patent while an additional US$3.10 for the “scrolling API” ‘915 patent. It also wants US$24 per device for “design patents or or trade dress rights.”

Samsung quickly countered that Apple was trying “to stifle legitimate competition and limit consumer choice to maintain its historically exorbitant profits.”

Read more: Reuters and FOSS Patents

RIM loses US$147.2 million patent suit against Mformation

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Jul 142012

Research In MotionResearch In Motion has been dealt another blow. It lost a patent case against mobile device management company Mformation and was ordered this past Friday to pay US$147.2-million (a US$8 royalty per devie for some 18.4 million BlackBerry devices sold in the U.S. that connect to RIM’s BES).

Mformation sued RIM back in 2008, alleging that RIM was infringing two patents (6,970,917 and 7,343,408) to remotely manage wireless devices over a wireless network. If there is any good news in this verdict, it is that RIM will not need to pay royalties on future U.S. sales.

For its part, RIM said via press release that it still believed that the Mformation patent in question was not valid. It added:

RIM is disappointed by the outcome and is evaluating all legal options. Additionally, the trial judge has yet to decide certain legal issues that might impact the verdict. RIM will await those rulings before deciding whether to pursue an appeal.

With a potential appeal being considered, it sounds like this one will go on for a while longer…

Read more: Research In Motion

Galaxy Nexus U.S. ban temporarily suspended by Court of Appeals (Updated)

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Jul 072012

Galaxy NexusThe ink is barely dry on the U.S. ban and failed Samsung appeal on sales of the Galaxy Nexus that the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has agreed to suspend the ban while it reviews Apple’s arguments.

Samsung’s victory may not last very long though. The stay on the ban will only be in effect until Apple responds. Exactly what Apple needs to provide by July 12th is unclear as you would expect that all its arguments and documents have already been submitted. The court will review whatever additional materials are needed and decide whether to reinstate the ban for the rest of the patent infringement trial.

Google halted sales of the Galaxy Nexus from its Play Store earlier this week. Sales are expected to resume next week with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean preloaded along a software update to get around the patent infringement case that led to the ban in the first place.

It was only a partial victory for Samsung. The Court of Appeals decided not to lift a similar ban on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet.

Update: It looks like Google wasted no time! It has resumed sales of the Galaxy Nexus on Google Play. It will not ship for “2 – 3 weeks,” suggesting that it will come with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean when it does.

Read more: Reuters