We had heard that the EU was planning to levy a substantial fine on Google for its alleged favoring of its own services in search over those belonging to competitors last year already, and the Telegraph is reporting that the European Commission is now estimating a hefty €3 billion ($3.4b) tag… expand full story
Reuters Stories May 16, 2016
Reuters Stories July 18, 2014
Reuters reports that almost 200 Samsung managers have “voluntarily” handed back a quarter of their first-half bonuses in anticipation of what is expected to be the company’s worst quarterly profit for two years.
The decision to return some of the bonus was partly a gesture to demonstrate that managers are taking responsibility for the earnings decline, and partly a way to show that management will work harder, the source told Reuters on Friday, declining to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter.
Reuters Stories July 10, 2014
Earlier today, access to Google’s variety of web services was finally restored in China, after weeks of them being offline. This evening, however, Reuters reports that once again, the Mountain View company’s services are being disrupted in China. This includes tools such as Google Search, Maps, Gmail, advertising services, and more.
Reuters Stories July 2, 2014
Update: The WSJ reports that Google agreed to block access to the email, and advised that it had not been read
According to a new report from Reuters, investment banking firm Goldman Sachs is taking legal action against Google over an email that it accidentally sent to the wrong address. The report claims that a Goldman Sachs employee was sending an email, but instead of putting the correct @gs.com ending, the employee put @gmail.com, which in turn caused the email to be sent to a total stranger.
Reuters Stories May 15, 2014
Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, the company which specialises in imitating Apple’s marketing for its Android handsets, has launched its first tablet, reports Reuters – and it’s an iPad mini clone. The company has even named it the Mi Pad …
Reuters Stories May 13, 2014
The European Union Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that individuals have a right to require Google to remove sensitive information from search results, reports Reuters.
The ruling […] came after a Spanish man complained to the Spanish data protection agency that an auction notice of his repossessed home on Google’s search results infringed his privacy […]
Google says forcing it to remove such data amounts to censorship.
The ruling reflects a 2012 proposal by the EU known as the “right to be forgotten,” in which it was argued that even accurate information may become “outdated or irrelevant” after a period of time has elapsed … expand full story
Reuters Stories February 10, 2014
While HTC technically ended 2013 in profit, the company says that declining margins are likely to see it end the first quarter of this year with a loss. HTC reported a wafer-thin profit of $10M from revenues of $1.4B, the latter figure 28 percent down year-on year. Its global market share of shipments was just two percent.
Reuters reports that the company plans to make a wider range of more affordable phones – the same strategy used by Samsung. Samsung made most of its money last year from a combination of its chip-manufacturing business and low- to mid-range handsets, and has itself come under pressure from low-cost competitor handsets … expand full story
Reuters Stories January 29, 2014
Update: Motorola and Google have both confirmed the acquisition of Motorola by Lenovo for $2.91 billion. Google will, however, retain the “vast majority” of Motorola’s patents. Google CEO Larry Page says that Motorola will be better unitized and more beneficial to Lenovo. This will also give Google more time to drive “innovation across the Android ecosystem.” The deal still has to pass regulatory approval in China and the U.S., and until then, Google says it is business as usual for the two companies.
According a tweet from Reuters reporter Gerry Shih, Lenovo is nearing completion on a deal to purchase Motorola from Google for around $3 billion. A report from China Daily news corroborates Reuters, but claims the deal is closer to the $2 billion mark. China Daily claims that the deal will be announced to the public Thursday morning in Beijing, which is just a few hours from now. Google is also holding an earnings call tomorrow, so it’s very possible that the information will officially drop during the call.
TechCrunch has “confirmed reports” of the acquisition, saying the terms of the deal have not yet been revealed, but that it was around $3 billion. It’s also important to note that the deal includes Motorola Mobility, which Google paid $12.5 billion for, not the entire Motorola company.
Reuters Stories November 19, 2013
With a reporting yesterday indicating that Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch had “flopped” with only 50,000 units sold, the manufacturing giant is refuting that report. However, even as Samsung speaks to the media regarding the Galaxy Gear as a successful product, there is some confusion about whether or not the company has “shipped” or “sold” 800,000 units …
Reuters Stories April 3, 2013
Reuters has some vague new information on the Nexus 7 successor from Google today. Rather than being available at Google I/O in May (which would have been my guess), Reuters thinks it won’t hit the mass market until July. Perhaps a limited run will be available to developers in May?
As far as specs…
Reuters Stories March 5, 2013
Vint Cerf, “father of the internet” and Google’s chief internet evangelist, is speaking out about Google’s decision to push users toward using their real names across services. In a recent interview with Reuters, the Google executive said the initiative to get users using their real names across profiles on various services such as Google+ and YouTube has “sparked intense debate” at the company:
Over the past year, the company has strongly encouraged users to merge their accounts on YouTube, Gmail and other Google properties into a single Google+ identity, the company’s social network offering that asks users to use the “common name” they are known by in the real world.
“Using real names is useful,” Cerf said. “But I don’t think it should be forced on people, and I don’t think we do.”
Vint said not using real names is “perfectly reasonable” in certain situations, especially in countries with governments seeking to ban anonymity: expand full story
Reuters Stories January 31, 2013
Court again rejects Apple’s attempt at Samsung Galaxy Nexus sales ban
Reuters reported today that a U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington rejected Apple’s attempt to get a sales ban on Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus. Apple asked the court to revisit a previous decision to reject the company’s request for the sales ban leading up to a full trial set for March 2014. The case involved patents not included in the California trial that awarded Apple a $1.05 billion verdict against Samsung.
Apple wanted the full Federal Circuit of Appeals, made up of nine active judges, to reverse the earlier ruling. But in a brief order on Thursday, the court rejected Apple’s request without detailed explanation or any published dissents… Several experts had believed that Apple faced long odds, as the legal issues in play were not considered controversial enough to spur full court review.
Reuters noted that Apple could still appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court:
Apple could still appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. However, the high court has made it more difficult for patent plaintiffs to secure sales injunctions in recent years.
Reuters Stories January 18, 2013
Google confirms new UK headquarters coming to 2.4-acre plot at London’s Kings Cross
Reuters reported yesterday that Google purchased a 2.4-acre lot at London’s King Cross Central development with plans to build its new United Kingdom headquarters. Reuters has since updated its story with confirmation from Google Vice President for Northern and Central Europe Matt Brittin. According to the report, citing several unnamed sources, Google is spending 650 million to 1 billion pounds and expects to finish development of the site by 2016. It will also move its current U.K. offices to the new site when construction—slated to begin in late 2013—is complete.
“This is a big investment by Google, we’re committing further to the UK – where computing and the web were invented. It’s good news for Google, for London and for the UK,” Google’s Vice President for Northern and Central Europe, Matt Brittin, said in a statement.
Google will move from its current offices in the UK capital’s Victoria and Holborn districts in 2016 when the building completes. Construction on the site will start in late 2013 and the building will range in height from 7 to 11 storeys.
Reuters Stories December 7, 2012
Google creating new late-stage investment group as it replaces M&A chief
According to a report from Reuters, citing its usual “sources familiar with the matter,” Google is in the process of creating a new late-stage investment group that its current chief of mergers and acquisitions David Lawlee will oversee. The report did not provide much more information, but it claimed the new investment fund would focus on “longtime and outgoing corporate development.” Replacing Lawlee as head of M&A at Google is one of Google’s lawyers, Don Harrison:
Don Harrison, a high-ranking lawyer at Google, will replace Lawee as head of the Internet search company’s mergers and acquisitions team.
Reuters Stories November 6, 2012
Google to pay Vringo $15.8M for infringing old Lycos patents
Reuters reported today that Vringo released a statement to confirm a jury has upheld its patent claims against a handful of companies. One of those companies is Google, which was found to infringe two old Lycos patents. Vringo is receiving much less than the $696 million it sought—$30 million from all the companies combined. Of that, Google will pay $15.8 million:
Vringo inherited the lawsuit after it acquired Innovate/Protect (I/P), a company which specializes in monetizing intellectual property, in March.
I/P had filed a patent infringement lawsuit against AOL, Google, IAC, Gannett and Target Corp in 2011.
After finding that the patent claims were both valid and infringed by Google, the jury found that reasonable royalty damages should be based on a “running royalty”, and that the running royalty rate should be 3.5 percent, Vringo said.
Reuters 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
Reuters Stories October 17, 2012
This is not the first time we heard major Android vendors are aiming to hit lower price points in the months to come. With iPad mini expected to eat into a large chunk of the 7-inch tablet market, and recent price drops and refreshes to the Kindle lineups, it makes sense Google and other Android manufacturers are aiming to offer an even better value following its launch. Digitimes, despite not having the best track record, stated confidently in September, while citing its usual supply chain sources, that Google is planning a $99 Nexus 7 tablet. It also claimed an upgraded model would take over the $200 price point. This would seem to make sense with rumors of a 32GB Nexus 7 landing for under $250. Leaked retail inventory listings and even a unit that accidentally shipped have backed up those rumors.
Digitimes is once again claiming today that Google’s $99 Nexus tablet is real, adding that Taiwan-based manufacturers have confirmed it will launch in the fourth quarter of this year. Where this leaves the rest of the Nexus line is unclear. If the $99 tablet and 32GB Nexus for $250 are real, it could mean the $99 tablet comes with 8GB or 16 GB. There is also a chance Google keeps a tablet at the $199 price point. This would seem to point to a 8GB model at $99, 16GB model at $199, and 32GB model at $250. However, we are not quite buying the idea tht Google will offer an extra 16GB for only $50 more than a $199 16GB model…
Reuters Stories October 12, 2012
A Reuters report (via CNBC) from this afternoon claimed top U.S. Federal Trade Commission officials want to bring an antitrust case against Google over numerous complaints about it abusing search dominance to suppress competition in the market.
The FTC announced earlier this year that Washington lawyer Beth Wilkinson is leading its investigation, while FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said last month they would reach a decision by 2013. If found guilty, the FTC and Google could enter settlement talks to resolve the matter or duke it out in court.
Reuters cited “three people familiar with the matter,” and it indicated Google could soon face the gristly negotiation process:
Four of the FTC commissioners have become convinced after more than a year of investigation that Google illegally used its dominance of the search market to hurt its rivals, while one commissioner is skeptical, the sources said. All three declined to be named to protect working relationships. Two of the sources said a decision on how to proceed could come in late November or early December. A long list of companies has been complaining to the FTC, arguing that the agency should crack down on Google.
Yelp and Nextag have both criticized Google at open hearings in Congress, according to Reuters, asserting Google unjustly gives “their web sites low quality rankings in search results to steer Internet users away from their websites and toward Google products that provide similar services.”
Google has continually rebuffed any lawlessness or partial practices, and the search engine’s vice president of engineering, Amit Singhal, even stormed to the Google Public Policy Blog earlier this summer, in an aggressive tactic not usually taken by the Mountain View, Calif.-based company, to address the antitrust accusations in a “claim vs. fact” format.
Reuters Stories October 11, 2012
U.S. Judge Lucy Koh granted Apple’s request for a preliminary injunction against Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus smartphone in June, and the decision resulted in the temporary removal of the device from Google Play pending a software fix with Android 4.1. Today, Reuters reported that Apple’s U.S. injunction on the Galaxy Nexus has been reversed.
TheNextWeb got its hands on the official order. Samsung argued that its product would “sell almost as well without incorporating the patented feature” :
Samsung argued, somewhat humiliatingly, that the sales of the Galaxy Nexus were so poor that they didn’t pose a threat to Apple’s iPhone and that the unified search feature was not essential to the success of its device. The appeals court apparently agrees, as it states in its official order:
…it may very well be that the accused product would sell almost as well without incorporating the patented feature. And in that case, even if the competitive injury that results from selling the accused device is substantial, the harm that flows from the alleged infringement (the only harm that should count) is not.
According to Reuters, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled the court “abused its discretion in entering an injunction” and will send the case back to the California court for consideration. expand full story
Reuters Stories October 5, 2012
According to the Mannheim Regional Court in Germany, Motorola Mobility does not infringe on a Microsoft patent enabling a “method and radio interface layer comprising a set of application programming interfaces (APIs).” The patent, which Reuters described as allowing “applications to work on different handsets,” is considered a rare victory for Google’s Motorola. Throughout its countersuits, Microsoft has been able to win three patent cases against Motorola in Germany. As noted by Microsoft-funded blogger Florian Mueller, “Microsoft should actually thank Motorola for this initiative, which at this stage has been far more productive for Microsoft than for Google.”
Microsoft is expected to appeal the decision, as usual, but the Judge Voss did not go over the reasoning behind the ruling during the announcement. Microsoft’s associate general counsel David Howard provided a statement to Reuters:
Reuters Stories October 1, 2012
Theocratic countries have blocked Google’s products left and right, but a new report from Reuters today indicated Iran is lifting its one-week-old block on Gmail due to a flurry of official complaints.
According to Reuters:
Iranian authorities have reopened access to Google Inc’s email service a week after blocking it, a government official and Iranians said on Monday.
Iran maintains one of the world’s largest Internet filters, blocking access to tens of thousands of websites on the grounds that they are criminal or immoral, but the block on Gmail had even prompted complaints in parliament.
Gmail reportedly went live again for Iranians Sunday night, after an official announced on Sept. 23 that Iran would block YouTube throughout the country “until further notice.” Committee Member Mohammad Reza Aghamiri told the Mehr news agency that Gmail’s ban was an ” unintended consequence” of trying to block YouTube. Various local news agencies attributed the banning of YouTube to a controversial anti-Islam film posted on Google’s video-sharing platform.
Reuters Stories September 24, 2012
Lawsuit accuses Toys R Us of stealing product secrets for new ‘Tabeo’ kids tablet
Toys R Us might be running into a bit of an issue getting its $150, Android 4.0-powered tablet for kids, which we told you about earlier this month, off the ground. According to a report from Reuters, Fuhu Inc., creator of another tablet for children called “Nabi,” is suing Toys R Us. Fuhu claimed it agreed to exclusively sell the Nabi to “learn product secrets” before launching its own competitive tablet:
Fuhu accused Toys R Us of fraud, breach of contract, unfair competition and trade secret misappropriation. Fuhu also said that Toys R Us copied Nabi’s butterfly-shaped bumper,which is used to help protect the tablet, for Tabeo… According to the lawsuit, Toys R Us agreed in October 2011 to become the exclusive Nabi distributor, but in the end did “virtually no promotion” and only ordered for the holiday season a little more than what Toys R Us said could be sold in one day.
Reuters Stories September 20, 2012
Walmart apparently sent a memo to store managers on Sept. 19. announcing plans to stop selling Amazon’s line of Kindle products.
“We have recently made the business decision to not carry Amazon tablets and eReaders beyond our existing inventory and purchase commitments,” said Walmart in the memo. “This includes all Amazon Kindle models current and recently announced.”
Reuters, which cited the memo and an unidentified source “familiar with situation,” first reported the news:
In the memo, Wal-Mart said the decision was consistent with its overall merchandising strategy. While Wal-Mart dwarfs other retailers in overall sales, it trails Amazon and others online and has been stepping up efforts to increase its presence there. Consumers who buy Kindle tablets such as the new Kindle Fire HD can shop on the devices for more than just digital books, pushing Amazon into further competition with stores.
The publication did not provide additional details, but Walmart.com currently reflects the reported change. When searching for “Kindle” on the national retailer’s website, no Kindle-related products appear in the queue. It is unclear if Walmart’s website ever offered the tablets, however.
Reuters Stories July 31, 2012
Apple and Samsung appeared in a San Jose federal court today, where U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh presides, to give opening statements starting at 9 a.m. PST.
Apple filed the first suit in this monumental case in April 2011. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company claimed Samsung infringed its patents by “slavishly copying” its iPhone. Samsung, a South Korea-based Company, promptly countersued.
This is one of the important cases to go to trial among a slew of other litigations on smartphone patents. If Apple wins, Samsung could suffer a financial blow and the ability to sell its infringing products in a large market. If Apple loses, its “thermonuclear war” against Android smartphone manufacturers could essentially wither away as Samsung collects royalty fees.
This morning’s most notable highlights are below (continually updated).
Reuters Stories July 5, 2012
Samsung estimates last quarter profit at a record $5.9B
Set to report earnings its Q2 earnings on July 27, Samsung in a typical fashion has released estimates for quarterly earnings. This quarter, the South Korean-based electronics company estimated a $5.9 billion operating profit, which is a record for the company. Samsung said strong sales of its Galaxy line are leading to so much profit. Samsung already said it expects to sell 10 million Galaxy S III units during the month of July—which is certainly impressive. We will have to wait until the end of the month for the full story. But, at any rate, Samsung does not look like it will lose its title as the technology company with the highest profit. (via Reuters)
Reuters interviewed the U.S. judge today who dismissed Apple’s patent court case against Motorola, and the details behind the jurist’s reasoning for tossing the lawsuit are as interesting as they are controversial.
Richard Posner sits on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago and disputes whether software and related tech industries should even have patents for their products.
“It’s not clear that we really need patents in most industries,” said Posner, referring to the slew of features in smartphones that are legally protected. “You just have this proliferation of patents. It’s a problem.”
Posner, 73, argued the pharmaceutical industry better deserved protection for its intellectual property because of the, as Reuters coined it, “enormous investment it takes to create a successful drug.” He tossed Apple’s lawsuit against Google’s Motorola Mobility last month and denied an injunction against the sale of Motorola devices using Apple’s patented technology.
The judge attributed Apple’s scramble to attack competitors allegedly using its technology to a “constant struggle for survival.”
“As in any jungle, the animals will use all the means at their disposal, all their teeth and claws that are permitted by the ecosystem,” Posner contended.
Reuters Stories July 3, 2012
Since Google unveiled its Nexus Q streaming device at Google I/O, more and more details have come out about what is essentially a set-top box (albeit orb-shaped) Apple TV competitor with a built-in stereo amplifier. Google was first to make it clear that the device was manufactured entirely in the United States, and a report from The New York Times later confirmed the Q “was being assembled in a large factory 15 minutes from Google headquarters.”
Today, a report from Reuters quoted Google’s Senior Director of Android Global Partnerships John Lagerling explaining that the decision was based on the ability to innovate faster and not necessarily cost:
“We wanted to innovate fast. This is the first end-to-end hardware product that Google has ever put out,” said John Lagerling, Google’s senior director of Android global partnerships.
The cost of building the orb-shaped Nexus Q, a cross between a streaming video box like Apple TV and a stereo amplifier, “was not the No. 1 priority,” Lagerling said. “We wanted to see if we could do fast (design iterations) rather than having our engineers fly across the world.”
Reuters Stories June 25, 2012
JK Shin, head of Samsung’s mobile division, told reporters today (via Reuters) that the company expects to sell over 10 million units of the recently launched Galaxy S III during July. Despite concerns of component shortages for the flagship device, the company is expecting higher earnings for its current quarter compared to the $3.6 billion profit generated from January to March:
Samsung kicked off global sales of its Galaxy S III on May 29, but shipments have been affected by the tight supply of parts such as the handset casing for the pebble-blue model… In the United States, where sales were launched last Thursday, major carriers including Sprint Nextel Corp, T-Mobile and AT&T have not been able to offer the Galaxy with 32 gigabytes of memory, partly due to tight supply… “Due to overwhelming demand for the Galaxy S III worldwide, Samsung has informed us they will not be able to deliver enough inventory of Galaxy S III for Sprint to begin selling the device on June 21.”
Shin assured reporters that the company is not worried about the shortages affecting second quarter results. Shin noted “supply simply can’t meet soaring demand,” but he claimed, “things will get better from next week”:
Reuters Stories June 15, 2012
Speaking at the Reuters Media and Technology Summit yesterday, YouTube chief Salar Kamangar talked about the video service’s desire to include subscription-based offerings that would possibly rival traditional cable channels. Reuters explained:
Cable channels with smaller audiences will in the future migrate to the Web and become available on an “a la carte” basis, Kamangar said at the Reuters Media and Technology Summit on Thursday… Some of those channels, which Kamangar said receive little or no affiliate fees from cable distributors, could be one of the viable offerings for Google-owned YouTube as it weighs selling subscriptions to some of the hundreds of millions of people who watch videos on the website every month.
Reuters Stories June 8, 2012
Apple’s lawyers threaten Samsung with temporary restraining order to stop Galaxy S III sales
Last time we checked in on the ongoing U.S. patent-related court cases between Apple and Samsung, Apple’s lawyers were requesting to add the Galaxy S III to its previous motion for a preliminary injunction against the Galaxy Nexus line of products from February.
Apple was hoping the courts would agree to withhold sales of the S III until a ruling on the preliminary injunction was made. Samsung recommended the judge dismiss Apple’s request and file a new motion, but Apple attorney Josh Krevitt threatened Samsung at a hearing on Thursday that Apple could file a temporary restraining order as early as today to stop sales of the S III before it launches June 21. Bloomberg reported:
Josh Krevitt, a lawyer for Cupertino, California-based Apple, told Koh he was considering filing a request for a temporary restraining order in the interest of blocking sales of the Galaxy S III before its scheduled release in the U.S. this month… Krevitt said a court order temporarily barring Galaxy S III sales in the U.S. will create “a mechanism to allow the court to decide this issue before the launch.”
First Samsung will have to prove in court today that the Galaxy S III includes a “different combination of features” from the Nexus in order to prevent Apple from adding the device to the previously requested preliminary injunction. According to Bloomberg, Samsung lawyer Bill Price claimed: “Apple’s urgency stems from its inability to “compete against the new features” of the Galaxy S III, and the company is trying to “prevent a phone from getting to the public that is better than Apple’s in many, many respects.”
Reuters noted that several Google attorneys attended Thursday’s hearing. If Apple files for a temporary restraining order, the scheduled July 30 trial date would likely be delayed. Apple is also trying its best to kill HTC.
- Apple seeks US preliminary injunction against Samsung’s Galaxy S III (9to5google.com)
Reuters Stories June 7, 2012
New Samsung CEO has strong relationship with Apple
Samsung officially appointed a new CEO today to replace Choi Gee-Sung, who will now take up a position as head of corporate strategy overseeing Samsung Group’s roughly 80 companies. Choi, who was CEO for over three decades, will be replaced by Kwon Oh-hyun, who Reuters explained is currently head of Samsung’s components business and has deep relationships with Apple. Samsung made a statement claiming there will be no major changes in the way the company operates, because Kwon will continue to run the components business that “became the sole supplier of the mobile processors” for iPhone and iPad under his leadership:
The South Korean group named Kwon Oh-hyun as its new CEO. Currently head of Samsung’s components business, which oversees chips and display, Kwon cemented Samsung’s position in memory chips, where it has almost 50 percent global market share, and expanded into non-memory, or logic chips, which now account for 40 percent of Samsung’s overall semiconductor revenue… Under Kwon, Samsung became the sole supplier of the mobile processors that power Apple’s iPhone and iPad – rival products to Samsung’s own Galaxy and Note. The 59-year-old former engineer, who studied electrical engineering at Seoul National University and Stanford, has also led a restructuring of Samsung’s LCD flat-screen business.
Reuters Stories May 2, 2012
According to a report from Reuters, a judge in Mannheim ruled against Microsoft today in an ongoing patent dispute with Motorola Mobility by ordering the company to remove its Xbox 360 and Windows 7 products from German retailers. In response, Microsoft claimed that Motorola is unable to enforce the court’s decision due to a prior ruling granting Microsoft a preliminary injunction in a U.S. court:
“Motorola is prohibited from acting on today’s decision, and our business in Germany will continue as usual while we appeal this decision and pursue the fundamental issue of Motorola’s broken promise.”
Today’s ruling means Judge Holger Kircher has decided Microsoft broke contracts by using video-compression software covered in Motorola patents in its Xbox and Windows products. As noted by Reuters, the ITC last week ruled that Microsoft infringed on different Motorola patents covering both video compression and wireless technologies. European Union regulators have apparently started several investigations on how much Motorola charges competitors to license its patents because of the court’s decision and previous complaints from Apple, Microsoft, and others.
Reuters Stories April 29, 2012
Barron’s: Google could join Dow index
A new report from business weekly Barron’s (via Reuters) claimed The Dow Jones Industrial Average stock index could potentially replace stocks from Alcoa, Bank of America, or Hewlett-Packard with Apple or Google. There’s no exact timeframe for the overhaul of the index, but Barron’s said adding the companies would be complicated due to the fact the Dow calculates the absolute price of shares. Reuters explained that getting Apple would require the company to split its shares:
Apple, whose shares on Friday closed at $603, would overwhelm the index with a 26 percent weighting. That is double the influence of current Dow component IBM, whose $207 stock price gives it a 12 percent weighting in the index, Barron’s said.
Barron’s said the heavy weighting that Apple would command at its current share price could prove a barrier to becoming a Dow component. To guarantee a Dow spot, Barron’s said, Apple would have to split its shares by five-for-one or 10-to-one. But Barron’s noted that Apple has not split its stock since 2005.
Reuters Stories April 19, 2012
Judge orders Google, Apple to face ‘no-poach’ lawsuit
Reuters reported that a judge rejected Google and Apple’s bid last night to have an antitrust lawsuit dismissed. The lawsuit claimed the companies illegally entered “no-poach” agreements in an effort to stop competitors from stealing talent:
District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, rejected the companies’ bid to dismiss claims brought under the Sherman Act and California state law, in a decision released Wednesday night. […] The proposed class action lawsuit was brought by five software engineers, who accused the companies of conspiring to depress employee pay by eliminating competition for skilled labor.
Other defendants in the case included Intel, Adobe Systems, Intuit Walt Disney Co’s Pixar, and Lucasfilm.
This Aside is cross-posted at 9to5Mac.
(Image via Zoknowsgaming)
Reuters Stories April 6, 2012
Ahead of its full quarterly report scheduled for April 27, Samsung Electronics today estimated its operating profits for the three-month period that ended in March. Estimated at 5.8 trillion won or $5.15 billion USD, that is nearly double the company’s results from the same quarter a year ago and up from the roughly 5 trillion won originally forecasted by analysts. While attributing the strong quarter to the Galaxy Note, the report from Reuters noted Samsung is “set to consolidate its market position with new products” over the next few months, including a “revamped Galaxy S” that will compete with Apple’s next iPhone: expand full story
Reuters Stories March 28, 2012
Stemming from a lawsuit in 2010 where Oracle claimed Google was infringing on its Java-related patents with Android, a court document today reveals Oracle rejected Google’s offer to pay a percentage of Android revenue if the alleged patent infringement is proven in court. Reuters reported:
Google proposed to pay Oracle a percentage of Android revenue if Oracle could prove patent infringement of the mobile operating technology at an upcoming trial, but Oracle rebuffed the offer as too low, according to a court filing late on Tuesday.
As for Google’s offer, Reuters said the company would give approximately $2.8 million in damages to cover 2011, and a future 0.5-percent royalty of Android revenue for one patent that will expire in December. A second patent included in the case would provide Oracle with an additional 0.015-percent until it expires in April 2018. According to the court document, Oracle is holding out for a possible injunction:
Reuters Stories January 18, 2012
European regulators are moving early on Google antitrust probe, telling Reuters that a decision on a formal complaint against Google for misuse of its market position will be reached in late March, much sooner than expected. EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia told the news gathering organization late on Tuesday:
I will receive comments from the case team towards the end of the first quarter. I do not expect anything sooner. Let us see.
Since November of last year, 10 complainants such as Microsoft, VfT, Foundem, Deal du Jour, 1plusV and the Spanish Association of Daily Newspaper Publishers have filed complaints with the Commission, accusing the search giant of misusing its dominance in search. Google’s problem with EU courts could result in a multi-billion dollar fine, as had been the case with EU antitrust probes into Microsoft and Intel in the past. expand full story
Reuters Stories September 8, 2011
Japanese carrier Docomo sold 100,000 Galaxy S II phones in the first three days and today they launched an LTE version of the Galaxy Tab tablet.
Apple’s patent infringement claims against Samsung now include twelve courts in nine countries on four continents. Reuters reported this morning that Apple is now formally suing Samsung in Japan and seeking to block sales of Samsung phones and tablets in the country:
Apple has filed a suit with the Tokyo District Court seeking the suspension of sales of Galaxy S and its sequel S II smartphones and the Galaxy Tab 7 in Japan, according to sources close to the matter. The first hearing was held on Wednesday, the source said.
The iPhone maker is seeking 100 million yen, or approximately $1.3 million, in damages. Apple previously had filed four complaints before the Tokyo District Court, according to patent expert Florian Müller. Coincidentally, Japan is also another high-revenue market for Apple. Other countries where Apple took Samsung to court include Germany, U.K., U.S., Australia and more.
Samsung’s Galaxy S has outsold the iPhone in Japan last year. In July of this year, Samsung announced sales of three million Galaxy S II phones in 55 days, the successor to the popular Galaxy S handset. Samsung is also the world’s #2 smartphone maker, after Apple. The Korean company surprised investors by deciding against divulging sales of phones and tablets in the face of growing competition with Apple. Android-based handsets and iPhones together hold well over three-quarters of the Japanese market for smartphones, forming a duopoly which is present in pretty much every other market where Google and Apple compete are locked in the battle for smartphone supremacy.
Apple is projected to sell 86.4 million iPhones worldwide in 2011 and its iPad is dominating the post-PC world with approximately two-thirds of all tablets sold worldwide. In an interesting twist, court in Australia recently advised the Cupertino, California-headquartered gadget giant to divulge iPad 2 sales figures in the U.S. and U.K. if the Samsung sales blockade is to hold. In a nutshell, judge wants proof that the similarities between Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet and iPad 2, which had been first brought to light by Apple, have in fact hurt iPad 2 sales.
Last week Apple successfully banned the new Galaxy Tab 7.7 from the IFA show in Germany. Samsung will also cease to market that device in the country until its legal dispute with Apple is resolved. Samsung, also Apple’s supplier of memory chips, processors and other components, considers litigation with Apple as “destiny”, their CEO Choi Gee-sung told reporters in Korea last week:
Reuters Stories September 6, 2011
Dell discontinued its Streak 5 hybrid tablet, seen above, last November. The company is now leveraging its Baidu tie-in in the hope of re-entering the space in a meaningful way.
9to5Google yesterday reported that Baidu, the leading search engine in China, unveiled a brand new operating system dubbed Baidu Yi. Forked from Android and stripped of Google search and services (in much the same way the Amazon tablet‘s software is rumored to be), Baidu Yi aims to keep Google’s Android in China at bay. Following up, Reuters reported Tuesday that Baidu is partnering with Dell on tablets and phones that will run the new software. A Dell spokesperson told the news gathering organization:
We have a partnership with Baidu and you know we have the Streak 5 tablet, so the partnership will be in that space.
The first devices are expected to hit the marketplace early November. The surprising news comes at a time when the mobile industry flipped upside down.“It is really interesting to see Baidu forking its nemesis’ software and partnering with Dell here”, former Engadget editor Joshua Topolsky commented on Twitter. Computer maker Dell, which pulled its five-inch hybrid Streak 5 tablet last August due to poor reception, has some experience working with Chinese carriers and companies as their inaugural smartphone launched in China first. Evidently, both companies have their sights set on the recession-proof global mobile landscape and it’s easy to grasp why…
Reuters Stories August 17, 2011
Rivals and press for decades had been ridiculing Apple for insisting on controlling the whole widget. The iPhone maker took it on the chin, but nowadays many companies have come to realization that the best way to create delightful experiences is to approach product design from Apple’s perspective rather than slap together off-the-shelf components which run outsourced software.
For example, Google will pay $12.5 billion for phone maker Motorola. In exchange, the Android team gets to instruct Motorola’s hardware unit on how to build handsets sporting a greater interplay of software, services and hardware. Samsung, too, is looking to bolster its software as competition with Apple intensifies, reports Reuters, quoting head of the Samsung Group office Kim Soon-taek:
Chairman Lee told top managers to come up with various measures including M&As to enhance software competitiveness.
The revelation doesn’t come entirely out of blue, however. Samsung already makes Bada, its own operating system for feature phones that some think is the company’s plan B should their bet on Android go down the hill. They also create custom software for consumer electronics devices such as networked television sets and their smartphones run custom user interface built atop Android, dubbed TouchWiz.
Reuters Stories July 6, 2011
It’s interesting how Microsoft is becoming an intellectual property vendor these days. This is all thanks to Google’s Linux-based Android operating system which incorporate Microsoft’s many patents, allowing the Redmond firm to seek royalties from handset vendors. Microsoft first forced HTC to pony up five bucks in royalties per each handset sold. The revelation has prompted pundits to note that the HTC deal earns Microsoft more money then licensing fees collected from Windows Phone partners.
Microsoft has signed a similar pact with General Dynamics Itronix and their licensing division took cash from component maker Wistron Corp., in addition to Android backers Veloicty Micro and Onkyo Corp. And now, we learn that Microsoft’s legal rottweilers are after Samsung, the leading Android handset maker, reports Reuters based on local media. Note that Microsoft already has licensing agreements in place with Samsung and LG.
Microsoft Corp has demanded that Samsung Electronics Co Ltd pay $15 for each smartphone handset it makes based on Google Inc’s Android operating system as the software giant has a wide range of patents used in the mobile platform, local media reported on Wednesday. Samsung would likely seek to lower the payment to about $10 in exchange for a deeper alliance with Microsoft for the U.S. company’s Windows platform, the Maeil Business Newspaper quoted unnamed industry officials as saying.
Let’s put it this way: Microsoft is set to make $30 million in Galaxy S 2 royalties alone based on sales of three million Galaxy S II smartphones. That’s a run-rate of twenty million handsets a year, meaning the Samsung deal could be potentially worth a cool $200 million in annual licensing fees on the Galaxy S II smartphone alone. And what happens if an Android vendor does not sign with Microsoft for patent protection?