Apple and AT&T are sending out $40 checks to anyone that purchased the original iPad WiFi + 3G in the U.S. because of a “bait-and-switch” regarding the device’s data plan.
Samsung and Apple share a rather turbulent relationship. The Korean electronics giant has frequently filed patent lawsuits against the Cupertino-based company – and vice-versa – in the increasingly competitive mobile markets.
It would seem strange in the circumstances then, that the pair actually work together on various projects in order to bring many of the technologies we know and love. The iPad, for instance, has its screens produced in part by Samsung, which means despite the friction, they both still manage to do amicable business.
With the lawsuits exchanged as quickly as copies of Modern Warfare 3, though, both have distanced themselves from each other, with Apple reported to be keeping Sharp on standby to produce screens for the next-gen iPad, opening the door through which Samsung could be pushed at any time.
Time Warner Cable announced this afternoon it has filed a request in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York for a declaratory judgement regarding Viacom’s cable networks. Time Warner continues to maintain its carriage agreements give it the right to allow subscribers access on any screen in their home, not just the TV and is apparently ready to prove that in court — or at least drive Viacom, Discovery, Fox and other complaining networks towards more favorable negotiations.
If you’ve got an early Apple iPad, chances are its screen was cleaned with a banned substance called n-hexane, which releases a toxic nerve gas upon use. 2,000 workers at Wintek’s East China LCD plant went on strike in January, claiming the substance was poisoning them, and now 44 of those reportedly affected are planning to sue. According to reports, the screen cleaner was originally used because it performed better than alcohol, but Wintek has since fired the factory manager who suggested n-hexane and discontinued its use. That didn’t keep 62 workers from winding up in the hospital, however. The Guardian interviewed two hospitalized workers last week, and you’ll find their stories at our more coverage link below. We’re sure you’ll agree these Chinese labor violations are getting out of hand — let’s hope this lawsuit spurs government and industry to do something concrete about worker abuse.
Following multiple requests from media organizations, the affidavit relating to the leak of the next generation iPhone prototype by Gizmodo last month has been unsealed.
The document, a copy of which is embedded below, offers an interesting glimpse into the circumstances that led to the iPhone prototype being lost by Apple Engineer, Gray Powell, and the chain of events that followed.
Looks like settlement negotiations in the various Nokia / Apple patent lawsuits aren’t going too well — Espoo’s just hit Cupertino with a second federal patent lawsuit, this time alleging the iPad 3G and iPhone infringe five patents related to “enhanced speech and data transmission, using positioning data in applications and innovations in antenna configurations that improve performance and save space, allowing smaller and more compact devices.” Interestingly, Nokia’s filed this one in the Western District of Wisconsin, a so-called “rocket docket” that’s well-known for bringing patent cases to settlement or trial in just over a year. That means we could see some real movement in this dispute within our lifetimes, but we’re not holding our breath for a definitive conclusion — by our count, Apple and Nokia now have some five pending legal actions between them, including one that’s been placed on hold pending an ITC decision. Anyone want to bet how long it takes for Apple to add another countersuit to the mix?
Looks like Apple’s going on the warpath, kids. Just a few months after Cupertino got into it with Nokia over phone patents, Apple’s filed suit against HTC, alleging that the company is infringing 20 patents “related to the iPhone’s user interface, underlying architecture, and hardware.” Steve, you have something to say?
“We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it. We’ve decided to do something about it,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours.”
Okay then. We’re pulling the complaint filing now, we’ll let you know the exact details as soon as we learn them.
Update: HTC just gave us a statement — this is apparently coming totally out of the blue for them, since Apple hasn’t even served the complaint yet.
We only learned of Apple’s actions based on your stories and Apple’s press release. We have not been served yet so we are in no position to comment on the claims. We respect and value patent rights but we are committed to defending our own innovations. We have been innovating and patenting our own technology for 13 years.
Update 2: We mean it when we say this was all just filed in the past few hours — it’s not yet in the court’s systems. We just got the PDFs and put the full list of claims from the federal lawsuit below, but remember not to take the names of the patents literally or directly, since they don’t mean much. We’ll poke each one apart and tease out what’s really at stake as we go along.
Update 3: We’ve just learned that Apple submitted over 700 pages of exhibits to the District Court, which is a little nuts. In addition, the ITC complaint lists a number of specific HTC handsets as exhibits, including the Nexus One, Touch Pro, Touch Diamond, Touch Pro2, Tilt II, Pure, Imagio, Dream / G1, myTouch 3G, Hero, HD2, and Droid Eris. That’s really a full range of HTC phones, running both Android and Windows Mobile, with and without Sense / TouchFLO. Interestingly, the Android sets are specifically included because they run Android, while the WinMo sets are called out specifically for including DSP chips, not anything to do with Windows Mobile.
The ‘331 Patent, entitled “Time-Based, Non-Constant Translation Of User Interface Objects Between States,” was duly and legally issued on April 22, 2008 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
* The ‘949 Patent, entitled “Touch Screen Device, Method, And Graphical User Interface For Determining Commands By Applying Heuristics,” was duly and legally issued on January 20, 2009 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. A copy of the ‘949 Patent is attached hereto as Exhibit B.
* The ‘849 Patent, entitled “Unlocking A Device By Performing Gestures On An Unlock Image,” was duly and legally issued on February 2, 2010 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. A copy of the ‘849 Patent is attached hereto as Exhibit C.
* The ‘381 Patent, entitled “List Scrolling And Document Translation, Scaling, And Rotation On A Touch-Screen Display,” was duly and legally issued on December 23, 2008 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. A copy of the ‘381 Patent is attached hereto as Exhibit D.
* The ‘726 Patent, entitled “System And Method For Managing Power Conditions Within A Digital Camera Device,” was duly and legally issued on July 6, 1999 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. A copy of the ‘726 Patent is attached hereto as Exhibit E.
* The ‘076 Patent, entitled “Automated Response To And Sensing Of User Activity In Portable Devices,” was duly and legally issued on December 15, 2009 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. A copy of the ‘076 Patent is attached hereto as Exhibit F.
* The ‘105 Patent, entitled “GMSK Signal Processors For Improved Communications Capacity And Quality,” was duly and legally issued on December 8, 1998 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. A copy of the ‘105 Patent is attached hereto as Exhibit G.
* The ‘453 Patent, entitled “Conserving Power By Reducing Voltage Supplied To An Instruction-Processing Portion Of A Processor,” was duly and legally issued on June 3, 2008 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. A copy of the ‘453 Patent is attached hereto as Exhibit H.
* The ‘599 Patent, entitled “Object-Oriented Graphic System,” was duly and legally issued on October 3, 1995 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. A copy of the ‘599 Patent is attached hereto as Exhibit I.
* The ‘354 Patent, entitled “Object-Oriented Event Notification System With Listener Registration Of Both Interests And Methods,” was duly and legally issued on July 23, 2002 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. A copy of the ‘354 Patent is attached hereto as Exhibit J.
Bloomberg reports that Apple has struck back at Nokia again in the growing patent dispute between the two companies, filing a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) seeking to prevent the import of mobile phones from Nokia. The move counters a similar request made to the ITC earlier this month by Nokia seeking to ban the import of “virtually all” Apple products.
“Nokia will study the complaint when it is received and continue to defend itself vigorously,” Nokia spokesman Mark Durrant said by text message today. “However this does not alter the fact that Apple has failed to agree appropriate terms for using Nokia technology and has been seeking a free ride on Nokia’s innovation since it shipped the first iPhone in 2007.”
The dispute between the two companies began in October 2009 when Nokia filed a lawsuit against Apple charging infringement of a number of its patents by the iPhone. Apple filed a countersuit in December alleging both that Nokia itself was infringing on Apple patents with its products and that Nokia was in effect holding Apple hostage in negotiations over the Nokia patents, demanding the right to iPhone-related intellectual property not deemed “essential” to industry standards.