08.20.12

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Android Litigation Update

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 9:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Android screenshot

Summary: A roundup of cases against Android, especially the one of Apple versus Samsung

THE British press teaches us that Microsoft’s failed mobile platform is facing another major embarrassment. To quote, “Microsoft has temporarily halted the publication of new apps for Windows Phones following a problem with its digital security certificates.”

“Apple has chosen to launch several lawsuits, some of which are high-profile ones.”Despite all those disasters, the Microsoft mole who runs Nokia (and who feeds anti-Android patent trolls excluding Apple and Microsoft from litigation, as they are part of the same patents team and are in bed with Nokia’s patents as more is piled on) is still staying with the two sinking ships, WP7 and Nokia. A former Microsoft worker covers the news and his colleague says that “Apple has gone out of its way to avoid attacking Google head on, instead firing off lawsuit after lawsuit against partners such as Samsung and HTC. That’s because it’s easier to pin blame on the handset makers, who actually generate revenue and profit off of those Android phones, than Google, which gives the operating system away for free and only indirectly generates revenue through mobile advertising. It’s also easier to stack up an iPhone next to a Galaxy S and point to the similarities.”

Here ia an article which is titled “The Number That Shows Why Apple Is Suing Every Android Manufacturer In Sight”. It says: “The eyes of the technology world are focused on the epic patent struggle between Apple and Samsung – the latest iteration of Apple’s frantic legal battle against everything Android. The iPhone maker has also brought suits against Android device manufacturers HTC and Motorola. Apple has faced criticism for its endless lawsuits designed to stunt competition from Google’s Android, but a quick look at Android device shipments in the second quarter of 2012 reveals a key number that suggest Apple is right to worry.

“That number is 68.”

“Apple has been deceiving Judge Koh, who now asks Apple’s attorneys if they’re “smoking crack”.”Apple has chosen to launch several lawsuits, some of which are high-profile ones. Here is a cartoon about how bad Apple’s case is and an explanation of Apple’s fear. To quote SJVN: “Most people like some products, but Apple fans love their products. And, who can blame them? I own an Apple TV, five Macs, an iPad, and two iPod Touches because they’re darn good devices—and I’m a Linux fan. So why is Apple so frightened of Samsung and the other Android smartphone and tablet vendors that it’s trying to sue them into the ground instead of competing with them?

“Apple isn’t just suing Samsung in the US. Apple has sued Samsung around the world. In Australia, Germany, and the United Kingdom and more than two-dozen other countries, Apple has made the same lousy patent design claims: Samsung has stolen the look and feel of its iPhone and iPad.

“These claims are bogus. There’s nothing unique about Apple’s iPad or iPhone designs. That’s not just my opinion. A UK judge told Apple it must tell the world on both its UK . website and in British newspapers that Samsung had not in fact infringed on the iPad’s design.”

“This really ought to end like the case that Judge Posner decided on.”There are claims that “Samsung’s Wang was up 22 hours a day, had no time to copy Apple” and to quote further, contextually,”Samsung fired its opening salvo against Apple’s allegation that the South Korean giant ripped off the iPhone design, and claimed it worked its arse off to develop its own gadgets. At the two tech titans’ ongoing patent trial in the US yesterday, Sammy also argued that Apple’s iProducts are not unique.

“The South Korean firm wheeled out its designer Jeeyuen Wang, who created the icons for the Samsung Galaxy devices. She denied copying Apple’s user interface when she worked on the Galaxy range, and claimed that hundreds of designers worked on the original Galaxy S I.”

Apple has been deceiving Judge Koh [1, 2], who now asks Apple’s attorneys if they’re “smoking crack”. This remark received a lot of attention, but Samsung too was slammed by the judge who seems to show unprofessionalism. To quote one report, “Judge Lucy Koh has been going increasingly terse with both Apple and Samsung as the trial continues, and she just let Apple have it after receiving a 75-page briefing. The document covered 22 potential rebuttal witnesses the company might want to call after Samsung finishes presenting its case. With the jury out of the courtroom, Koh laid into Apple, asking why it would present such a lengthy document “when unless you’re smoking crack you know these witnesses aren’t going to be called!””

“A lot of prior art is presented in this case and Groklaw covered some.”This really ought to end like the case that Judge Posner decided on. Samsung is not making all that much in profits based on outside experts, but Apple just wants to leave people with no choice but iPhone/iPad. The judge challenges apparent exceptionalism: “We’ve seen the tone in the tech world’s biggest patent case take a turn for the worse over the last several days, and the hits just keep on coming. Whether it’s coming from lawyers frustrated by time constraints or verbal lashings from an irrate judge, the negative vibe is everywhere: this thing needs to end…now. Judge Lucy Koh’s frustrations with the parties and the overall progress of the case may have peaked today, but the court is really represented by the combined voice of Koh and her magistrate judge Paul Grewal, and it turns out he has an opinion on the matter as well. In response to an 11th-hour attempt by Samsung to get its own negative inference jury instruction against Apple (Apple has one against Samsung for failing to preserve important documents for trial), Judge Grewal sort of went off — albeit in a poetic kind of way.”

“Touchscreen patents (and bounce-back too) in general are being disputed. “A lot of prior art is presented in this case and Groklaw covered some. To quote Pamela Jones: “When Harry Harrison recently died, it reminded a Groklaw member of the movie Soylent Green, which came out in 1973. One scene has a tablet, in the euthenasia scene with Edward G. Robinson. Except for the detail that it used a sylus in the scene, it is certainly thin and it’s a rectangle with rounded corners and a minimalist simplicity. If you go to YouTube, you can see the tablet, and I have some screen shots of what the tablet looked like. Is this prior art, perchance, foreshadowing the iPad and/or Samsung’s tablets? If not, it surely speaks to obviousness, doesn’t it?

“Why are companies suing each other over an idea this old and this obvious? ”

According to the report “Judge Urges Apple and Samsung to Settle Patent Dispute” (behind a paywall), Apple’s case is not going as well as it expected from Koh and according to some sources, “Samsung started off its case today by going straight at the heart of Apple’s utility patents, showing off two software systems with similar functionality that pre-date iOS altogether.”

“Suddenly it’s Samsung that gets an upper hand and destroys Apple’s arguments.”Touchscreen patents (and bounce-back too) in general are being disputed. To quote:”Samsung continued its defense against Apple’s patent infringement suit in court this week by showing references not considered when Apple acquired its patents on touchscreen technology. Apple has sued Samsung for patent infringement for $2.75 billion in damages, part of which comes from Samsung’s alleged copying of touchscreen features in iOS software. In response Samsung has countersued Apple based on its own patents in wireless 3G technology.”

Apple boosters don’t favour reality and they say: “In a somewhat surprising turn of events in the Apple-Samsung trial, the Korean electronics company claimed today that Apple products infringe on its own software patents. Harvard EECS professor Woodward Yang testified that three different functions in Apple products appeared to be based on those found in earlier Samsung patents.”

Suddenly it’s Samsung that gets an upper hand and destroys Apple’s arguments. To quote: “In front of a jury barely following along with the expert testimony, Apple continued its trade dress and patent infringement case against Samsung in court Friday.

“Rather than focus on development Apple has wasted effort litigating.”“Once again, Judge Lucy Koh needed to interrupt witness testimony to remind the jury they could get caffeine if they needed it.”

The end of the case is near, but there is a standstill as testimonies come to an end, Apple winds up ,and the exchange of blows leaves the courts to decide that neither party — by all likelihood — deserves anything. This will hopefully result in a waste of Apple’s time, just like in the Motorola case that Judge Posner dismissed. Rather than focus on development Apple has wasted effort litigating. It alienated a lot of people too.

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