The ongoing legal battles between Apple and Samsung were rather entertaining early on, now it’s like watching two school children fight over who was first to own the latest pair of trendy sneakers. Even the judges presiding over the cases are beginning to lose their patience. As the pair continue to fight it out in the U.S. district court of Northern California this week, Judge Lucy Koh has made a plea for “global peace.”
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Last month, HTC and Apple reached a cross-licensing settlement that would put a 10-year kibosh on any litigation between the two. While HTC’s Peter Chou was happy enough to call the settlement “A Good Ending,” Samsung saw it as an opportunity to have injunction proceedings against them thrown out.
Just over a week ago, Apple and HTC decided to end their patent disputes with a 10-year cross-licensing agreement. The specifics of the agreement were not disclosed, and as with all things that aren’t disclosed, it lead to rampant rumor mongering.
The thermonuclear patent war may have a silver lining under its mushroom cloud thanks to some recent talks between Apple and Google’s Motorola Mobility. It appears the two companies are seriously considering putting and end to their global patent disputes via arbitration.
To say Samsung and Apple have a strained relationship would be quite the understatement. A once symbiotic partnership has turned into an all out war over claims of patent infringement and design copying. Their global legal battles have disgusted enough judges and consumers to spawn serious debate over the current status of our patent system and a call for reform.
Apple was recently ordered by a UK judge to publicly announce, on their website and in adverts, that Samsung had not infringed on its design rights. Naturally, Apple appealed this decision, however, they lost the appeal and were forced to comply. Well, Apple certainly complied, only I’m betting it’s not in the way the UK courts intended. In fact, they basically give the UK courts a big middle finger.
Apple has just lost one of its magic patent bullets thanks to a non-final Office action by the USPTO. Patent No, 7,469,381 (used against Samsung in California) has been declared invalid after evidence supporting prior art (as well as being obvious) was brought about during a reexamination request.
This news is not only great for Samsung, but many other manufacturers who are currently caught up in Apple’s legal charades.
Another day, another public humiliation. At least that’s what UK judges have in mind for Apple. After losing a legal claim against Samsung, a London judge ruled that Apple must “correct the damaging impression” caused by their “copycat” claims. The ruling forces Apple to publicly announce — both on their website and with adverts in publications such as the Daily Mail, Financial Times and T3 Magazine — that Samsung had not infringed on its design rights. Apple appealed this decision, of course. However, the judgement stands and the public humiliation must commence as an appeals judge has decided not to overturn the decision.
Appeals Court Rules California Court “Abused Its Discretion In Entering An Injunction” Against The Galaxy Nexus
Back in June, a California District Court granted a preliminary injunction on sales of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus in the US. The district court ruling was in reference to Apple’s ’604 patent, pertaining to universal search. Samsung quickly filed an appeal, contended that the relatively low sales numbers of the Galaxy Nexus would present no harm to Apple and the Court of Appeals agreed to temporarily lift the ban (reason why you don’t recall it being banned).
There’s Only Room For One Kid At This Playground: Fuhu Inc. Sues Toys ‘R’ Us Over Kid-Centric Tablet
Think of the kids!
It appears kid-centric tablets have become the next victims of IP litigation thanks to a recent court filing by Fuhu Inc., creators of the 7-inch Nabi tablet. Fuhu has filed suit against Toys ‘R’ Us, claiming breach of contract, trade-secret misappropriation, trademark infringement, and more. This all seems to stem from a previous agreement between Toys ‘R’ Us and Fuhu in which Toys ‘R’ Us was given exclusive rights to sell Fuhu’s 7-inch kid-friendly Nabi tablet.