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#patentfun January 30 – Feb 3 2012

#Patentfun is a weekly roundup of some of the legal case proceedings that surround the Android OS.

Another week has gone by and there have been some large developments, as you’ll see.  This week it seems to be all Apple, and Germany.  With all the ‘case law’ seeming to be done in Germany first, I have yet to see real external implications.  Only time will tell I guess.

So, initially Apple filed against Samsung because their products “looked too closely like ours”, and won an injunction to keep Samsung out (remember when Sammie had to hid half their booth at one of the trade shows?).  Well, Samsung appealed and also lost on the basis of the design, but has now gone on to Germany’s HIGHER court and appealed again.  Here, they lost, but… not for the design reason, but for “unfair competition”… which for the life of me, I’ve gone and read a few articles trying to understand this… but I can’t.  I don’t see where they got that ruling, or what were the grounds that they believed it was unfair.

Maybe, it has to do with a result of Samsung’s response to the ruling, then coming out with the 10.1N… but I don’t know.  Will have to get my friend to explain some day.

Here’s the upshoot to the story.  Yeah, Samsung lost.  But… remember they now have lost but not about the design patent that Apple initially wanted.  So… more and more we’re starting to have people ‘get it’ that Apple really is just crying the blues when it comes something that comes close to competing.  It’ll be interesting to hear what they finally say about what the ‘unfair competition’ was that Samsung did…, but my understanding after that article is that it tends to be a nebulous term … which means it won’t travel over the sea to any other courts.  PLUS (as you’ll read below) the 10.1N is still fine.  So… in the end Apple just was victorious in spending a whack of their own and Samsung’s legal budget.  Way to go team!

Obviously the case was not over patent design, as it includes the Nexus (and Apple should see the writing on the wall re: design), but apparently over some touch-technology.  Funny how EVERY phone/tablet out there has touch technology, but only these 2 new kids on the block were targeted.  Things that make you go hmm

Apple went after Samsung based on a patent that it was awarded a while back, hoping to get a ban on the sale of the items.

But that didn’t go so well.

The judge even stated:

“Samsung has shown that it is more likely than not that the patent will be revoked because of a technology that was already on the market before the intellectual property had been filed for protection,”

Interesting.  So, not only did Apple lose the injunction, but even the judge felt that Apple will lose out on the patent as a whole

I doubt Apple will let it go just at that… they (Steve Jobs) have said that they will spend every last dollar to right this wrong (i.e. end Android).  I can’t tell whether this is just starting to heat up, or whether it’s the beginning of the end…

Back on North American soil Apple is battling it out with Motorola, and the recent agreement a judge has with Apple on an interpretation of one of the patents (on ‘realtime api’) could have huge ramifications on all Android devices.  I’m not so sure what real-time API means, but it sounds something deeply embedded and could be difficult to code around.  Hrmm..

Back to Germany…

Motorola is winning the cloud patent fight.  Specifically how the cloud can be allowed to use push technology to the phone / tablet.  Now, apple has gone and temporarily removed products that would infringe, but then went and got a temporary reprieve (however short a reprieve it will be).

So what does this mean?  It could be huge.

Motorola could be the next Blackberry, in terms of being able to say that their devices rule the cloud.

Now, push technology has been around for a while, so I’m not sure where Motorola wins out over this (is BB paying a licensing fee?), but it’s become so entrenched in every device that it would be hard to not have them in (as Apple found out and needed the reprieve for).

As Motorola is going to become Google, I can’t imagine they’d use this win for nefarious means, however, using it to crush Apple when they can, I’ll be okay with!

For me, this is where it all started… ground zero.

Initially Apple wanted Samusng out of Australia so it could sell iPad’s unfettered.

There was heaps of holey dooley as the battle went back and forth.

The latest is now Apple is expanding the devices it wants to attack ‘down under’.  It is now going after 10 different devices.


As usual, thanks to all the other blogs out there, who have been able to provide the news, and give me a chance to provide my insight.  Please, I’d love to hear your insight into all this hullabaloo..

I apologize if this seems a little rushed out, been a little bogged down lately with parties for little’uns around here, and as a result I believe the cold I’ve been trying to shake off for weeks has taken this opportunity to catch up to me.

Follow Ryan on G+ I no longer write for AiC, but you can follow me on over to Android Coliseum Oh, and here's my shameless plug for more space! Minus (I've maxed out!) | DropBox | SugarSync | CX