When Tim Cook led the big Apple Event last month announcing the new iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s, a lot of comparisons to his predecessor were made. Almost universally, it was declared once again that Tim Cook lacks whatever magic Steve Jobs had on stage. However, perhaps Tim Cook will do a better job of not breaking future patents with his lack of stagecraft; sometimes the ability to project a powerful "reality distortion field" has unintended consequences.
When the jury gathers in November to determine the new amount that Samsung owes Apple for copying the iPhone and iPad, Samsung would like it very much if no one was allowed to tell the jury about how it copied the iPhone and iPad. Also, Apple has decided to break down and take care of Breaking Bad viewers who didn't know they had to pay twice for the final season. Another week of adventures for the Cupertino legal team!
America is addicted to AMC's Breaking Bad, a series that launched in 2008 and has seen its viewership double in the last year alone. Now in the middle of its last season, the series is one of the most hyped, watched, and talked-about cable television shows in the United States. However, something about the way AMC has cooked up this last season is causing some bad blood, and one consumer decided the best thing to do is to lawyer up and sue Apple.
Apple's cash hoard is well publicized. It is the stuff of legends — so much so, you'd almost expect there to be a dragon sitting on top of it, guarding it from would-be burglars. We don't live in a world where you can feast, sing some songs, and then set off with a band of dwarves in search of long forgotten gold; we just clog up the courts with frivolous lawsuits instead. And sometimes, that dragon guarding Cupertino's gold, more commonly known as the legal department, is more than enough to put an end to the journey of those seeking what they falsely believe is their share of the treasure. Let's take a look at the end of two such non-epic quests for Apple's gold.
Samsung, hoping to spring back from last summer's colossal courtroom defeat at the hands of Apple, stretched its latest legal strategy too thin and had it bounced by the judge. Also, many news organizations were hoping that the trial would force Apple and Samsung to let them peek behind the curtain at the finances of each company; they would have gotten away with it, too, if it wasn't for a meddling judge who stepped in at the last minute. Let's catch up on the courtroom drama with this week's Law & Apple.
Last month, we found out that two former Apple retail store employees were suing the mothership, alleging that Apple insists employees wait around, off the clock, to have their bags checked, before they can leave. When Apple did not respond right away, there was some hope that perhaps Cupertino would just settle out of court and change its store policies. Well, Apple did finally respond, and it's taking a totally different approach. Read on.
The so-called Patent War has been raging for years, since Steve Jobs described Google's Android operating system as "grand theft" and notoriously declared his willingness to "go thermonuclear war" to "destroy Android, because it's a stolen product." Those are fightin' words, make no mistake. Instead of calling out Google directly, however, Apple targeted the handset manufacturers. There have been dozens of lawsuits filed, and even more appeals, and following the headlines can get rather confusing. Some have even gone so far as to say no one is winning yet, but they are flat-out wrong. Without question, Apple has been simply dominating these Patent Wars, and here is why.
Samsung and Apple are no strangers in the courtroom; in fact, despite being each other's favorite business partners, they are also the prime combatants in the ongoing global Patent Wars. Sort of like a couple going through a nasty divorce that can't stop hooking up. While the lawyers get rich, who suffers? Us kids. Now, both companies are heading back to the courtroom this week to begin a trial that holds every possibility of completely reshaping patent law in the United States. Or, perhaps, it could lead to the end of the Patent Wars once and for all. While you chew on those fat pieces of hyperbole, read on for the latest.
A basic rule of employment is that you pay your employees for the time your require them to be at work. Generally, courts don't look too kindly on companies that force you to stay at work and refuse to pay you for it. Especially if you're keeping them there, off the clock, just to make sure they're not stealing from you, which is apparently exactly what Apple's retail store policy does. Now a couple of former Apple employees are taking on the vaunted Cupertino legal team to make it right. A class-action suit representing over 42,000 employees could get pretty, pretty, pretty expensive. And if that's not enough for Apple to worry about, the company is back in the ring with Google, bickering about negotiating tactics. All in another week of Law & Apple!
The Patent Wars are now over two years old. From the beginning, there have been rumors and hopes that settlements would be reached that would prevent the diversion of product development funds to cover massive legal bills. More often than not, though, rumors have been quashed by the Next Big Lawsuit. Is all of that finally about to change?