The United States federal court granted "a major win for Apple" by scheduling the trial date much earlier than Samsung wanted.
Sort of like if your favorite sports team got the easiest schedule in the league, or your college classes lined up so you have a five-day weekend every week. Obviously, there is still work to be done, but this ruling could not be expected to go better for Apple.
If Google's purchase of Motorola was driven by a need to acquire more intellectual property, is the big G looking to protect its own innovations or jump on the patent troll wagon? How many patents is too much, anyway? Oh, and is Apple really just ripping-off blockbuster sci-fi movies with the iPad? And what happens when patent lawyers go wild?
Patent piling, space odysseys, and conspiring lawyers... it's another exciting week here at Law & Apple!
The purchase of Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion brings a lot of technology to Google, and possibly even the platform for a Google-branded Android phone. The biggest value of the deal, however, may be in adding 17,000 patents to Google's intellectual property portfolio, which currently only has around a thousand. And of those new patents, eighteen of them will be a particular thorn in the side for Apple.
Ron Epstein, CEO of the patent brokerage firm Epicenter IP Group LLC, sums it up like this: “They brought a set of patents that they thought would do a job they set out for, which is telling Apple to back off.”
Another dizzying week for the Apple legal team. First they see an adversary's competitive product wiped from the entire continent of Europe (mostly), only to see the it rise again in every European country (mostly). What caused the teutonic change of heart in the Düsseldorf regional court? Perhaps some altered images that Apple submitted as evidence?
As the European battle rages on, a new front was opened in the United States, with Apple's longtime nemesis launching a massive salvo of lawsuits. The wish list of compensation being claimed includes barring the sale, manufacture and import of nearly every Apple product in the United States. And, the lawyers were good enough to request a jury trial. Wheeeee!
Apple COO Tim Cook once said, "We have a very simple view. We love competition, but we want people to invent their own stuff. And we’re going to defend our portfolio when we need to."
No kidding. Apple is currently embroiled in multiple lawsuits with companies like Motorola, HTC, Samsung. And by aggressively adding to that portfolio, the courtroom drama is heating up and isn't going to end anytime soon. Here are some legally juicy events from the last few days:
A Florida company filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple because of the way OS X boots up.
The patent was originally owned by LG Electronics, Inc., and the company bringing the suit is called Operating Systems Solutions, LLC. It is unclear at this time if LG is involved the lawsuit, or what relationship, if any, exists between the two companies.
In an open letter to the world today, Google Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer David Drummond decided to take a few moments and explain to all of us "what's happening" with regard to Apple, Microsoft, Android, how patents work, a free market economy, and the future of smartphones.
Drummond went to the mat early and often, reiterating the claim that 550,000 Android devices are activated every day, but then stating that this success has spawned "a hostile, organized campaign against Android by Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and other companies, waged through bogus patents."
As their intellectual property war rages against Samsung, Apple can claim another victory. Kind of. Samsung has agreed to stop advertising the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia, and to refrain from selling the device until it wins court approval or a deal is reached with Apple.
Apple agreed to pay damages to Samsung for lost sales in Australia should they lose the lawsuit, though clearly this scenario seems less and less likely to the Cupertino legal team.
If you had $30 billion a year and a 10 percent market share at stake, you would fiercely defend your patents, too. That is what is on the table for Apple in their spread of lawsuits against manufacturers of Android phones. Analysts believe Apple will be successful in their legal battles, and that while Apple has "more to lose," the potential payoff to Cupertino will be huge.
The stakes are high, and Apple seems prepared to go the distance.
HTC wants to end all the legal bloodshed, because it's bad for business. In a call today, Winston Yung, chief financial officer of HTC, said, "We have to sit down and figure it out" and "we're open to having discussions." Maybe there is a new consigliere at the Taiwan based company, or maybe they've been watchign a lot of Godfather movies and realized that Sonny, while cool and all, was never going to make any real money with all that fighting.