lawsuit Stories August 13, 2020

This afternoon has been an interesting one for fans of Apple, Google, and Fortnite alike, as the three companies have become intermingled in a pair of lawsuits. Epic Games, the creators of Fortnite, have now filed a lawsuit against Google for anticompetitive practices between Android and the Google Play Store.

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lawsuit Stories August 4, 2020

If you were a member of Google Plus before it shut down last year, odds are you got an email informing you that a class-action lawsuit against Google has been settled.

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lawsuit Stories December 29, 2018

From face recognition to fingerprints, biometric data is widely used in today’s consumer technology to sort through pictures, unlock phones, and more. Some states have passed privacy laws to govern usage, with the Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) in Illinois allowing individuals to seek damages. A lawsuit involving Google Photos was just dismissed in a win for the company.

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lawsuit Stories October 16, 2017

One of Essential’s big bets with the Essential Phone and its upcoming products are modular accessories that work through a new wireless connector. A Silicon Valley company is now alleging (via Reuters) that the Andy Rubin startup stole trade secrets related to the connector without proper compensation.

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lawsuit Stories May 26, 2016

GOOGLE

After closing arguments wrapped up in the Google vs. Oracle case on Monday, the jury has come to a decision over the use of Java code in Android. Announced moments ago, the jury sided unanimously in Google’s favor.

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lawsuit Stories May 24, 2016

huawei-building

For the most part, lawsuits involving Android OEMs have drastically died down since their peak in the early 2010s. A new lawsuit filed by Huawei against Samsung, however, alleges unlicensed use of cellular technology and software patents in smartphones.

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lawsuit Stories April 22, 2016

Microsoft and Google agree to drop all complaints to regulators against each other

Microsoft and Google have reached an agreement to stop complaining about each other to regulators. Speaking to Re/code, the companies have said they will attempt to work out any issues between themselves in the future, before getting regulators involved.

lawsuit Stories October 16, 2015

Google wins appeal in book-scanning copyright lawsuit

Google has won an appeal in what is now a decade-long legal dispute over whether the company violated copyright law when it scanned millions of books into its online database.

The original lawsuit was brought against Google by the Authors Guild in 2005 and claimed that Google had violated copyright law by allowing readers to view up to 20 pages of copyrighted books without purchasing them.

lawsuit Stories July 10, 2015

Google fined $16k in Brazil over ‘morbid images’

Google and Facebook have each been slapped with a R$50,000 fine ($16k USD) in Brazil for not removing or blocking morbid images. The move comes after pictures of a Brazilian musician in a mortuary made their way online. Christian Araujo, the artist in question, died alongside his girlfriend in a car crash last month.

The Guardian reports that Judge Denise Gondim de Mendonca declared both companies had acted in “bad faith” after ignoring an earlier ruling. In response to today’s news, Google had the following statement prepared:

The Marco Cilvil of the Internet (local law which regulates removals) requires that any court order for content removal specify the URLs to be removed. In parallel, we have already taken down many of the videos which have been flagged by users due to YouTube’s policies regarding offensive content.

Facebook is yet to comment officially on the ruling, but Google has stated that it will be appealing the decision. In an age where it’s so easy to share any kinds of images online, it brings in to question how much of this can be blamed on Google and how much is down to those who took the photographs or shot the videos to begin with.

Not to be too crude or disrespectful, but I couldn’t think of much worse than someone pulling out their smartphone to snap a picture of my dead body lying in a morgue. The fact the picture is posted online afterwards is more of a side effect, surely?

That’s not to downgrade the severity of the companies supposedly not taking action. As huge corporations, they too have a responsibility to ensure these kinds of images aren’t seen by anyone. It certainly brings in to question where the line should be drawn.

lawsuit Stories July 6, 2015

samsung

At long last, action is being taken against bloatware on Android devices. Samsung and Oppo are facing lawsuits over their use of pre-installed apps. Both companies are being sued by the Shanghai Consumer Rights Protection Commission, as revealed in a report by the Shanghai Daily. In a study of 20 phones, multiple devices were found to have apps which were not only pre-installed but also unremovable.

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lawsuit Stories April 3, 2015

google-android

Reuters reports that the plaintiffs in an antitrust lawsuit against Google have finally withdrawn their case. The case, which was brought against Google nearly a year ago, accused the company of being anticompetitive with several of its Search and Android practices.

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rich receipt shot

Google announced today that it has started rolling out an update to Google Wallet on Android with a couple of notable new features. First off, Wallet on Android now packs Google Maps integration. With this integration, you can see exactly where you performed any given transaction on an embedded map. This feature, Google says, will make it easier to notice any sort of suspicious activity that occurs.

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lawsuit Stories February 20, 2015

google-android

Last May, Google was hit with an class-action anti-trust lawsuit over several of its Android and Search practices. The case centered around the idea that Google was forcing Android handset manufacturers to make its search engine the default on all their devices, as well as pre-load apps such as YouTube. These practices, in turn, drove up the price of Android devices. Reuters reports this evening, however, that a federal judge has dismissed the lawsuit due to a lack of evidence from the plaintiffs.

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lawsuit Stories January 13, 2015

Google

Update: According to Reuters, the settlement is $415 million, a big improvement over the previous $380 million offer.

Apple has reached a deal with its employees over do-not-hire policies that workers claim prevented them from getting higher-paying jobs at competing companies. Judge Lucy Koh previously rejected an offer to the tune of $324 million that the plaintiff in the case said was too low.

Today’s settlement is presumably for much more money than the original, since the plaintiff has accepted it, but the details of the deal have not yet been disclosed. Judge Koh said that the prior offer should have been closer to $380 million.

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lawsuit Stories November 25, 2014

Milk-Music

A photography and multimedia company by the name of Milk Studios filed a lawsuit against Samsung earlier this week, claiming the South Korean technology firm had violated its trademark with the name of its music streaming service. Filed in the US District Court of the Southern District of New York, the company says that Samsung “intentionally, willfully and knowingly” used the Milk name for its music service called Milk Music which launched last spring for Galaxy device users.

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lawsuit Stories November 20, 2014

google

Google, according to a report out of Reuters, has agreed to settle all of its patent litigation with the Rockstar consortium, which consists of a variety of tech companies including Apple, Sony, BlackBerry and Microsoft. The Rockstar consortium paid $4.5 billion for Nortel Network Corporation’s huge patent portfolio in 2011, outbidding Google at the time. The Rockstar consortium originally sued Google and a handful of Android manufacturers in October of 2013, claiming that the companies infringed on seven Nortel patents.

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lawsuit Stories September 24, 2014

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Two sisters, Sarah and Elizabeth Turner are currently suing Evan Spiegel, the co-founder of the popular photo messaging app Snapchat. They’re claiming that when you perform a Google search for the term “Snapchat sluts” (definitely not safe for work) their pictures come up in the results. The sisters are also claiming that in 2011 Spiegel approached them in hopes of using their likeness to promote a new mobile application that he was developing called “Picaboo.”

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lawsuit Stories August 8, 2014

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Image via <a href="http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-05-01/tech-hubris-the-silicon-valley-antitrust-hiring-conspiracy#p2" target="_blank">Bloomberg</a>

A judge has rejected a settlement that was reached earlier this year between employees of Google, Intel, Apple, and Adobe and their respective companies, CNBC reported today. According to reports from the courtroom, Judge Lucy Koh ruled that the settlement was not high enough and should actually be $380 million.

The lawsuit was brought against the tech giants in question by current and former employees who believed (correctly) that their employers had created agreements to avoid attempting to hire engineers from one another. The idea was that if no competitors were making offers, each company was free to pay its employees whatever it wanted without having to worry about them jumping ship for a better offer.

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lawsuit Stories July 15, 2014

Eric Schmidt

The massive employee wage-fixing antitrust lawsuit between several Silicon Valley companies is only getting more interesting. An email exchange involving former Google CEO Eric Schmidt surfaced last week, shining light on Mountain View’s attempt to prevent Facebook from poaching its employees.  expand full story

lawsuit Stories July 9, 2014

Photo: Associated Press

Photo: Associated Press

According to a new report out of Re/code, Google will be joining forces with a variety of other tech companies to fight patent trolls. The Mountain View company will join Canon, SAP, Newegg, Dropbox, and Asana to ward off the trolls. Between the six of them, the companies hold more than 300,000 patent assets. The companies aren’t licensing their patents to one another, but rather joining the License on Transfer network. With this network, the companies promise to grant licenses to one another whenever one of their patents is sold, preventing it from being used against them by a troll.

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lawsuit Stories July 1, 2014

google-hq

Zoltan Szabadi, a former manager at Amazon Web Services, is being sued by the company after accepting a job on Google’s Cloud team. Amazon claim that by accepting the new role, Szabadi violated a non-compete clause in his employment contract. It will now be up to the courts to decide whether the broad terms of the original agreement actually hold up.

At Amazon, Szabadi was responsible for managing business partnerships with third parties. When he joined Google, he was specifically blocked (by Google, not Amazon) from reaching out to any of his former contacts within six months. Amazon said that wasn’t good enough, however, and filed a lawsuit last week.

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lawsuit Stories May 1, 2014

Android-logo-007

Consumer rights group Hagens Berman has filed a new class-action lawsuit against Google alleging that the company’s rise to dominance in the search market was only driven by its inclusion as the default search option in Android, and that Google’s insistence that corporate Android licensees include the company’s first party software has artificially driven up the price of mobile phones.

To better explain exactly what the company is actually claiming, let’s break down a few quotes from the official press release on the lawsuit.

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lawsuit Stories January 26, 2014

galaxys4

Samsung announced in a press release today that the South Korean company has signed an agreement with Google to mutually license one another’s existing patents as well as all patents filed over the next decade.

The agreement follows countless patent lawsuits between Samsung and Apple regarding hardware implementations of various cellular technologies as well as mobile software design and features.

“This agreement with Google is highly significant for the technology industry,” said Dr. Seungho Ahn, the Head of Samsung’s Intellectual Property Center. “Samsung and Google are showing the rest of the industry that there is more to gain from cooperating than engaging in unnecessary patent disputes.”

Since Google and Samsung don’t typically engage in patent battles with each other, the contract doesn’t seem poised to actually prevent many lawsuits. The move will likely prove to be more symbolic of the companies’ commitment to collaboration than an attempt to quell disputes.

lawsuit Stories January 8, 2014

Apple and Samsung agree to mediation in latest patent battle

Reuters reports that the CEOs of both Samsung and Apple have agreed to sit down with their lawyers and hash out a settlement in the latest of the never-ending patent suits between the two companies. Legal teams from both companies decided on this course of action earlier this week.

The meeting will take place some time next month, ahead of the actual court proceedings scheduled for March. If the two companies managed to reach a settlement, they could bypass the entire court process, saving both sides of the fight from financial and legal headaches.

lawsuit Stories December 26, 2013

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Google is making moves this week to protect its Android partners as the Apple, Microsoft-backed “Rockstar” patent group seeks to sue numerous Android partners. Google has asked a San Jose court for a declaratory judgement to rule that Google and thereby the Android ecosystem does not violate seven of Rockstar’s patents.

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lawsuit Stories November 14, 2013

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After a nearly eight year battle stemming from a lawsuit brought on by authors accusing Google of digitally scanning books without permission, a judge has now officially sided with Google and dismissed the case. Reuters reports:

U.S. Circuit Judge Denny Chin in Manhattan accepted Google’s argument that its scanning of more than 20 million books for an electronic database, and making “snippets” of text available for online searches, constituted fair use.

“In my view, Google Books provide significant public benefits,” Chin wrote.

The ultimate decision was essentially that by scanning snippets of books to use with Google Books or in search, Google was providing more benefits to the authors than disadvantages. The judge is also quoted as calling the service “an essential research tool” that creates new income for authors and lets users discover content. GigaOM got the following statement from Google, but the Authors Guild is yet to speak out on the decision: expand full story

lawsuit Stories October 25, 2013

apple

A federal judge ruled that a lawsuit against Google and several other companies can proceed as a class-action suit today after determining that a significant number of employees across the tech industry were hurt by “do-not-hire” arrangements between their employers and other companies. The policies in question were practiced by Google, Apple, Adobe, Pixar, and more as a way of keeping their own employees from defecting to competitors for higher pay. Essentially the agreements barred two companies from offering jobs to competing employees for a higher salary. Because doing so gave employees leverage with which to bargain for higher pay at their own jobs, employers were often faced with the decision to either pay any given employee more to keep them around or lose them to a competitor willing to pay more.

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lawsuit Stories August 13, 2013

samsung-brazil

According to a report from ReporterBrasil, an organization and news agency reporting on labor rights issues in Brazil, prosecutors in the country have filed a lawsuit against Samsung related to poor working conditions in one of the company’s factories. According to the report, the lawsuit was filed after the Ministry of Labor (MPT) found labor rights violations in a Samsung plant located in Zona Franca de Manaus that’s used to assemble some of the company’s smartphones supplied to Latin America:

The lawsuit filed by prosecutors is based on the assessment notices by registered auditors of the Ministry of Labour and Employment (MTE) after two inspections made at the factory in Manaus – one in May 2011 and another in May this year. Through technical analysis, they found that the employees of South Korean company come to hold three times more strokes per minute than the limit considered safe for ergonomic studies.

Some of the infractions mentioned in the translated report include workers spending in excess of 10-15 hours a day on foot without a break for up to 27 workdays in a row, and around 2,018 requests by employees to be removed due to health problems. The plant is said to employ around 5,600 employees total: expand full story

lawsuit Stories April 11, 2013

Google-Maps-Search-results-StreetmapsAccording to Bloomberg, U.K. based internet map provider Streetmap is suing Google over allegedly favoring its own maps to those of competitors. Streepmap is claiming that it’s harder to find their maps (and other competitors) in a Google search than it is to find Google Maps. Streetmaps is calling the issue a “cynical manipulation” by Google and is calling for a change in the way Google displays map related search results:

“We have had to take this action in an effort to protect our business and attract attention to those that, like us, have started their own technology businesses, only to find them damaged by Google’s cynical manipulation of search results,” Kate Sutton, commercial director of Streetmap, said in the statement.

The lawsuit mirrors complaints at the heart of the EU’s current investigation into whether or not Google’s abuses its search dominance to favor its own services over competitors within search results and elsewhere. Earlier today we reported that Google had handed in a formal offer of concessions to the European Commission related to the investigation, but there is no word yet on exactly Google’s settlement offer includes… expand full story

apple_motorolaIn an ongoing case in which Apple and Google’s Motorola have accused each other of infringing various mobile related patents since 2010, U.S. District Judge Robert Scola said in an order yesterday that the two companies have no interest in reaching a settlement. Bloomberg reports Scola said in his order that both companies are using the litigation as a “business strategy that appears to have no end”:

“The parties have no interest in efficiently and expeditiously resolving this dispute; they instead are using this and similar litigation worldwide as a business strategy that appears to have no end,” U.S. District Judge Robert Scola in Miami said in an order dated yesterday. “That is not a proper use of this court.”

“Without a hint of irony, the parties now ask the court to mop up a mess they made by holding a hearing to reduce the size and complexity of the case,” he wrote. “The court declines this invitation.”

The result is Apple and Google will now have a four month period to narrow their claims related to the case that now includes over 180 claims for 12 patents. Bloomberg notes that Scola said the case currently includes “disputes over the meaning of more than 100 terms,” and that the case would be put on hold until the disputes are resolved if the two companies are unable to come up with a solution before the four month timeframe expires… expand full story

lawsuit Stories April 5, 2013

Google today announced in a blog post on its Public Policy Blog that it has asked the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice to investigate and take a stronger stance against patent privateering and patent assertion entities, aka patent trolls. Google linked to a document submittedGoogle-building to the government agencies mentioned above and noted that BlackBerry, Earthlink and RedHat are among other companies backing the request.

Within its post, Google’s Senior Competition Counsel Matthew Bye cited losses of nearly $30 billion a year in the U.S. due to patent trolls and urged companies to help Google create “cooperative licensing agreements that can help curb privateering.”

Trolls use the patents they receive to sue with impunity—since they don’t make anything, they can’t be countersued. The transferring company hides behind the troll to shield itself from litigation, and sometimes even arranges to get a cut of the money extracted by troll lawsuits and licenses.

Google described patent privateering as companies selling “patents to trolls with the goal of waging asymmetric warfare against its competitors.” While it didn’t name any companies specifically in its blog post or document submitted to the FTC, it did link to an article on Bloomberg that mentions Microsoft, Nokia, and Alcatel-Lucent as companies linked to patent privateering.

In the document submitted to the FTC, Google outlined its stance on patent trolls and recommended the FTC initiate an investigation into patent assertion entities and or expand its broader inquiry to include a number of important areas specifically related to patent privateering: expand full story

lawsuit Stories January 18, 2013

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt ordered to give deposition in anti-poaching lawsuit

From 9to5Mac:

Apple CEO Tim Cook has been ordered by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose to give a deposition related to an ongoing private lawsuit that claims Apple, Google, and others entered “no-poach” agreements, as reported by Bloomberg. Cook isn’t the only executive named in yesterday’s order. Google Chairman Eric Schmidt will also be deposed on Feb. 20, as well as Intel Chief Executive Officer Paul Otellini later this month.

The judge said she was disappointed that senior executives at the companies involved hadn’t been deposed before yesterday’s hearing over whether she should certify the case as a group lawsuit. The class would include different categories of employees whose incomes, their lawyers argue, were artificially reduced because of the collusion. Koh didn’t rule on class certification.

At Koh’s request, the lawyers also agreed that Google Chairman Eric Schmidt will be deposed Feb. 20. Lawyers for the employees will depose Intel Chief Executive Officer Paul Otellini later this month, lawyers said.

lawsuit Stories November 5, 2012

According to a report from Reuters, Google issued a statement that a Wisconsin federal court has decided to dismiss Apple’s “patent lawsuit with prejudice.” The report explained this particular case was brought on by Apple in part to determine what the courts considered fair and reasonable licensing terms for the patent portfolio Google acquired when purchasing Motorola.

Google said in a statement that it is still interested in making a deal with Apple “at a reasonable and non-discriminatory rate in line with industry standards”:

“We’re pleased that the court has dismissed Apple’s lawsuit with prejudice,” a Google spokeswoman said in an emailed statement on Monday…”Motorola has long offered licensing to our extensive patent portfolio at a reasonable and non-discriminatory rate in line with industry standards,” Google said in its statement. “We remain interested in reaching an agreement with Apple.”

Reuters explained the case being dismissed with prejudice means it is officially over at the trial court level. However, Apple can still appeal: expand full story

lawsuit Stories April 26, 2012

Samsung sued by U.S. Olympians over Facebook app

Samsung has been sued by 18 Olympic athletes over a Facebook app called “Samsung Olympic Genome Project”. The app allows users to play a “six degrees of separation” game using FB profile data and a database of 3,000 athletes while displaying ads for Samsung’s Galaxy products. Bloomberg reports:

Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) was sued by a group of 18 Olympic athletes who claim the “Samsung Olympic Genome Project” application for Facebook uses their names and images without their permission… The athletes, including swimmer Mark Spitz, diver Greg Louganis, and track and field star Jackie Joyner-Kersee, said in a complaint filed yesterday in state court in Los Angeles that Samsung uses their names and images to create the impression that they endorse its products.

Samsung’s statement (via HollywoodReporter):

“Samsung is disappointed by the lawsuit filed around the US Olympic Genome project. The Genome Project is a unique program that benefits Team USA by connecting fans and US Olympians. We have collaborated closely on this program with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) over the past year and followed USOC procedures in communicating with the athletes. Athletes have had the opportunity to voice their opinions on the program and to control their participation. Samsung will continue to support Team USA and the spirit of the Olympics in our efforts.”

lawsuit Stories March 28, 2012

Today, Google Enterprise announced a new offering designed to aid Apps customers in managing information and preserving important data. “Vault” is aimed at easing document and email management as it relates to corporate litigation, regulatory investigation and compliance actions.

Businesses of all sizes need to be prepared for the unexpected. In today’s environment, using Vault to manage, archive and preserve your data can help protect your business. Litigation costs can really take a toll on a business when minor lawsuits can run up to many thousands of dollars, and larger lawsuits can cost even more. Significant litigation costs come from having to search and find relevant data, which is also known as electronic discovery (eDiscovery).

The tool costs $5/user/year and will knock down some walls of companies who would not have been able to get Google Apps if it were not for this tool. expand full story

lawsuit Stories January 23, 2012

Newsweek‘s Dan Lyons reported today that Apple’s “thermonuclear war” on Android smartphone manufacturers is fading fast, while a new rumor surfaced among the suits’ lawyers claiming the company spent $100 million on its initial set of claims against HTC.

Imagine how much Apple spent on other Android makers, such as Motorola (who is near locking Apple products out of Germany in retaliation) or Samsung (the biggest Mobile Communications patent holder in the world), if it spent so much on just HTC.

“Who knows if it’s true, but if so, Apple didn’t get a lot for its money,” wrote Lyons on his RealDanLyons’ blog Jan. 23.

Apple’s legal claims are abruptly junked left and right, and its only minor victories to date are so inconsequential that Android device makers can dance around the momentary obstacles with just a few minor tweaks to products, explained the Newsweek reporter.

The technology giant’s case against HTC with the International Trade Commission began in February 2010, when the Cupertino, Calif.-based company wanted the ITC to block HTC from importing products into the United States. The case originally had 84 claims based on 10 patents, but it was dwindled down to only four claims by the time a judge became involved, according to Lyons.

The rulings —for the most part— were a score for HTC. One patent was invalid as Apple did not have a rightful claim to it, and HTC did not infringe upon two of the other patents due to Apple apparently not implementing them into its products. In other words, Apple did not have a right to seek an injunction, because ITC injunctions can only occur if it is provable that both parties are “practicing” the patent in question, which Apple could not demonstrate against HTC…

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lawsuit Stories December 26, 2011

USPTO rejects Oracle’s patent claim on Google Android

The United States Patent and Trademark office delivered a final rejection to Google at the expense of Oracle. According to Groklaw, the USPTO issued the rejection Dec. 20 in the reexamination of Oracle’s U.S. Patent No. 6,192,476. Each claim of the patent was subject to reexamination, including Claim 14, which was the only claim asserted […]

lawsuit Stories December 3, 2011

While the documents were never submitted in court, The Verge has uncovered documents Apple was going to provide to highlight the work-arounds for their iPhone and iPad patents that Samsung could have utilized. The reason these were thought up is because Samsung claimed there was no way they could create their devices without the required elements of a smartphone or tablet today. Apple, however, said there were plenty of work arounds. For Samsung smartphones, Apple explained in the redacted documents:

  • Front surface that isn’t black.
  • Overall shape that isn’t rectangular, or doesn’t have rounded corners.
  • Display screens that aren’t centered on the front face and have substantial lateral borders.
  • Non-horizontal speaker slots.
  • Front surfaces with substantial adornment.
  • No front bezel at all.

Just this afternoon, a judge has decided to not grant the U.S. preliminary injunction Apple was pressing for against Samsung.

The list goes on for tablets:

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lawsuit Stories August 10, 2011

The Federal Trade Commission began an anti-trust probe of various Google services six weeks ago after serving the company with a number of “broad subpoenas”. Today, sources familiar with the proceedings report the probe is now extending to Android and Google’s endeavours in the mobile space.

The WSJ explains:

Six weeks after serving Google with broad subpoenas, FTC lawyers, in conjunction with several state attorneys general, have been asking whether Google prevents smartphone manufacturers that use its Android operating system from using competitors’ services, these people said.

They also have inquired whether Google grants preferential placement on its website to its own products, such as Google’s “Places” business listings, its “Shopping results” or Google Finance services above most other results.

This wouldn’t be the first time government has targeted a technology company expanding into areas other than what they’ve been known for, and it certainly wont be the last. Despite that, Google doesn’t seem to be worried… a Google spokesperson had this to say about the probe: expand full story

lawsuit Stories August 1, 2011

Amazon has halted accepting new Android app submissions in their German Appstore. Apple has been pressuring the U.S. courts to demand Amazon to shut down their Appstore, because Apple says it infringes on their trademark “App Store”. The U.S. case continues, but Apple has now filed lawsuits in Europe, forcing Amazon to halt accepting new apps in Germany — for now. Amazon told developers:

 “For the time being, we are not accepting new app submissions from developers located in Germany. We have been forced to impose this restriction due to a legal action filed by Apple in Germany seeking to prevent us from using the term ‘appstore’. We believe Apple’s claim is without merit and are actively contesting it.”

Amazon also says they expect even more countries in Europe to halt accepting new apps. (via The Telegraph)

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