Summary: Apple, Microsoft, Nokia et al. and the fight against Android
Apple has been building a patent portfolio with Microsoft. It took many of Novell’s patents and also Nortel’s. It paid Nokia for patents, which Microsoft later passed (with Elop) to patent trolls that can sue Google. At least one is already suing. Apple managed to sign a patent deal with HTC and it will need to compensate Samsung, also for cheeky litigation followed by no sincere apology (maybe the same will be required in the US later). To quote:
The court was also unhappy with how long it took Apple to post its Samsung apology in UK newspapers. The original order was given on October 18th and was supposed to be carried out as soon as possible. It wasn’t. In the order, the judge noted, “I hope that the lack of integrity involved in this incident is entirely atypical of Apple.”
Apparently, this sanction is the highest there is in the “loser pays” category in the UK, and Apple will have to pay for everything the lawyers billed to Samsung from day one of the trial. This not only includes legal fees, but parking, phone calls, and other miscellaneous charges. Yikes, that’s some expensive snark.
Apple is losing the plot, losing respect, but most importantly losing focus. Price advantage is being eroded too:
Apple Learns That Suing A Key Supplier May Not Be So Smart; Samsung Jacks Up Prices On Apple
Apple may be happy it won the first round of its patent fight against Samsung in the US (it’s not faring quite so well elsewhere around the globe), but these things have consequences. Besides being a competitor, Samsung is also a key Apple supplier… and it appears that Samsung is now using that to its advantage, jacking up the price on a mobile processor supplied to Apple by 20%. The report notes that Apple pushed back initially, but after realizing it couldn’t find a reasonable replacement, agreed to the new prices.
Vringo Inc., owner of technology developed by the Lycos Inc. search engine, said it has been awarded about $30 million from Google and some Google customers, including AOL, over patented ways to generate advertising revenue.
The companies infringed two patents owned by Vringo, a federal jury in Norfolk, Va., decided last week.
Vringo claimed Google’s Adsense program, which is also used as the advertising platform for third-party companies and AOL Search Marketplace, infringed the patents.
What ought to be mentioned is that Microsoft or Nokia recently gave this troll a lot of patents. This was done silently.
It is going to be interesting to see how CPTN uses Novell’s patents to justify spendings. The old Novell is still seeking justice:
Boies Schiller is in the house on behalf of Novell in its appeal against Microsoft in the antitrust case regarding WordPerfect, the firm’s name appearing on a new motion asking the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit for permission to file an overlength appeals brief. Novell asked for 26,500 words. Microsoft did not oppose.
WordPerfect patents might now be Microsoft’s ammunition, e.g. to use to defend the Office monopoly. █