In a year dominated by Apple and Samsung courtroom battles, it is only fitting to wrap up week 52 with more legal drama from our two favorite frenemies. There will be no singing of Auld Lang Syne from these two as the New Year rolls in, and unless something miraculous happens, it looks like even more of the same for 2013. Last week, however, Apple drew a firm line in the sand and dared the United States court system to cross it.
It was, clearly, the biggest patent lawsuit of the year in the tech industry, and it originally resulted in a $1 billion decision for Apple, to be paid by Samsung. However, whenever that many zeroes are involved in a lawsuit, you can be sure there will be lots and lots of appeals, motions, whining, and crying after the fact. The first post-trial rulings were issued this week: did the court grant more big wins for Apple, or did Samsung manage to salvage something from their summertime courtroom wreckage? Read on!
Last month, when the ITC decided to investigate a previous ruling between Apple and Samsung, who knew that the investigation would spiral into reality-TV drama and name-calling? Especially from a company that was last seen as a major player on the mobile device scene before reality TV even existed? And this is why we can't have nice things.
Tomorrow our favorite courtroom characters return to the big stage for a holiday extravaganza, as Samsung and Apple are set to perform in front of Judge Koh once again. This time both companies are scrambling to get as many gifts as possible from their first courtroom battle, the one that ended this summer with Samsung owing Apple $1 billion. Samsung is asking for a jury misconduct ruling, while Apple is wishing for a whole list of devices to be banned, and Judge Koh is going to unwrap the secret deal Cupertino made with HTC last month. Are we finally going to find out who's been naughty and nice?
The growing problem of Patent Trolls continues, with a new patent infringement lawsuit launched this week against Apple over earbuds. Meanwhile, Apple and Samsung continue to cram each other's products into lawsuits, with the iPad mini now the latest victim. No holiday spirit this week among tech company lawyers, just more Grinch-ing.
As the holiday season rapidly approaches, there is renewed hope for peace on earth; at least with regard to the ongoing Patent Wars. Apple and HTC have agreed to share nicely, putting away the lawyers and working out a deal to play, and pay, fairly. Is this cease-fire a big-enough deal to encourage some of the other players to seriously come to the bargaining table?
If the world could vote on the patent wars, no matter which side you support, we suspect most would vote for them to just go away. Providing, of course, that there was some way to keep companies from slavishly copying each other. But, since we don't get to vote on that particular initiative, the best we can do is follow along at home, and there seems to always be something new to follow. This past week, Apple got the door slammed on one lawsuit while trying fatten up another one. The pollsters never seem to get these things exactly right, do they?
Well, it is Halloween, and the patent trolls are trick-or-treating in Cupertino. A Texas based company is looking to get a bag of cash treats from Apple because of a patent dispute, and a woman and her son from Canada are spooked because, she claims in a class-action suit, Apple is stalking them. Sometimes, we suspect, Cupertino lawyers probably wish they were allowed to just turn out the lights and not answer the door.
Apple is at the center of a class action suit involving iPhones from five years ago, and both Apple and Samsung struggle to get a win against each other around the world. Also, suddenly invalid patents might make Apple's $1 billion win against Samsung just a little less sexy. Cue your favorite dramatic theme music and lets get to another week of Law & Apple.
This week we look at how Apple and a Swedish photographer don't see eye to eye over a disputed image, how new developments in an ebooks antitrust case may bump up your iTunes account, and yet another move in the global chess match with Samsung. It's all fun and games until someone uses an eye!