Samsung: Apple Wants to Limit Consumer Choices With Plea for Ban

Adding a deep effect on the ongoing patent war between Samsung Electronics and Apple Inc., the latter recently sought a ban on the sale of latest Galaxy smartphones in the US market.

However, the Korean manufacturer reacted on Saturday and accused the Cupertino, Calif.-based company of opting out for a legal way to put a ban on the former’s range of Galaxy smartphones, which it said would also limit consumer’s choices of buying smartphones in the US.

The jury recently decided in favor of Apple, and asked Samsung to pay $1 billion, on being accused of infringing iPhone’s patents. Samsung, however, vowed to appeal the verdict.

Apple recently asked a federal district court in San Jose, California, to add four more products to a list of Samsung goods that it says infringe its patents.

The new list of 21 products would now include Samsung’s flagship smartphone Galaxy S III and the Galaxy Note amidst others.

In case the court decides in favor of Apple, Samsung could receive a huge setback as it could put a ban on the latter’s sales of smartphones in the US market.

US was the world’s largest smartphone market in 2011 and Samsung’s smartphones accounted for much of its sales and revenue.

Samsung, in fact stayed ahead in the market of smartphones all over the world with the sale of its S III.

Samsung, on Saturday, condemned Apple’s shot to stop sales of the S III, which hit the 10 million global sales mark in July, less than three months after its release.

In a statement by Samsung, the firm said, “Apple continues to resort to litigation over market competition in an effort to limit consumer choice. We will continue to take the necessary legal measures to ensure the availability of our innovative products in the United States.”

Apple, however, accused Samsung of flooding the market with ‘copycat products’.

Apple and Samsung are the world’s two largest smartphone makers, who are undergoing similar legal battles in Asia, Europe and the United States.… Read the rest

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Bruce Willis Reads iTunes Terms of Service Agreement, May Take Apple To Court!

In an intriguing move, Bruce Willis, star of The Sixth Sense and Die Hard series is planning to take a legal action against the revolutionary Apple Inc.

It seems that most of us pass on to next level when it comes to reading on the terms and conditions of the Apple iTunes store. But that just excluded action hero, Bruce Willis who wants to sue Apple over the terms and conditions of its iTunes library.

The Hollywood star, it seems, is not happy over the fact that Apple won’t legally transfer his huge collection of digital music on iTunes to his daughters upon his death.

Willis has a huge collection of music on iTunes, which as per Apple’s conditions can only be borrowed by customers rather than owing them outright. The music, Apple says is under a nontransferable license and users buy the right to listen to that music instead of buying it altogether.

It means when Bruce Willis dies, so will his music library, which he so wants to pass on to his daughters- Rumer, Scout, and Tallulah.

This issue comes as a surprise to users who just realized that most of the iBooks and music they downloaded from iTunes or App Store do not actually belong to them. And it is something that various major music labels struggled with for years. Digital music being passed on to others was something that concerned music labels for long as it would have hurt sales of music.

But Apple’s deal with music labels for its iTunes Match cloud service took care of this, which charges users $25 per year for access into the entire music library in spite of the songs being bought on iTunes. According to the number of songs that come in a user’s library, Music Labels get a commission.

This issue has definitely raised a concern. In case Willis plans to take Apple to the court, we believe and really hope the firm would address his concern politely.  Willis, being a big star, doesn’t really care about money. But this issue will surely affect thousands of other consumers, who till now believed they owned their music library. At least I thought I owned my tunes, too, until now!… Read the rest

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In Duel with Motorola, Apple Says iPhone Too Popular for a US Ban

Apple triumphs over Samsung in the patent case. But the legal battles are far from over for the world’s most valuable company. Now it’s Apple Inc. vs. Google Motorola.

Apple Inc. is recently reported to rely upon the popularity of its devices in a hope to ruin Google’s Motorola Mobility’s attempt to put a ban on the import of its iPhone and iPad in the US market. iPhone and iPad are two of the best-selling devices and the firm calls them too good for the US to put a ban.

Today marks the day when the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington will announce whether iPad and iPhone violate Motorola Mobility patents, and if so, whether it will put a stop on them from being imported into the US market from Asia.

The ITC is also reported to consider whether to limit use of import bans in disputes over patents, which relate to industry wide standards. This step is supported by some members of Congress, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, and companies including Intel Corp.

Qualcomm Inc., which makes and designs chips for mobile phones, said the suggestion to limit import bans based on standard-essential patents sounds to be an extreme solution in search of a problem.

Rodney Sweetland, patent lawyer with Durane Morris in Washington believes that no political system will ban the import of iPhone in the US, which is the most popular smartphone in the market. Sweetland, currently specializes in ITC cases.

Google’s Motorola Mobility accused Apple of infringing four patents, two of which relate to industry standards for 3G wireless and Wi-Fi technologies. It also charged Apple on the basis of denying offers to license the standard-essential patents. Motorola Mobility says it fulfilled its requirement to make a logical royalty offer, but Apple refused to discuss. The other two patents along with the seven patents that are the subject of a new complaint Motorola Mobility filed Aug. 17 are not standard-essential.

Apple however, has denied infringing the patents and argues them to be invalid. Apple says that even in case there is a patent violation, the commission should not stop its devices at the US border.

A trade judge in April said Apple violated one patent, which is essential to 3G. The ITC is evaluating his findings.

It was reported that 62 percent of Apple’s sales in 2011 accounted for $47.1 billion in sales of iPhones and $20.4 billion in sales of iPad.

Google however, plans to target Apple Mac computers, the iPod Touch and Apple TV in its second standard-essential patent in Motorola Mobility’s complaint.

“Blocking imports of iPhones in the US market, based on infringement of a standard-essential patent can cause harm to US competition, consumers and innovation,” wrote the FTC wrote in a June 6 filing with the agency.

Motorola Mobility told the commission in July 16 filing, “Apple and others — without analyzing the facts of this case — point to the problem of ‘hold up. But they ignore the counter problem of ‘hold out’ — an unwilling licensee being rewarded for its intransigence in a manner that will deprive patent owners of value and create disincentives for innovative companies from participating in standards setting.”

ITC has reported to get over a dozen complaints over the past two years, as various companies strive for increased shares of the smartphone market that grew 62 percent to $219 billion last year.

Google, based in Mountain View, Calif. is hoping to win the patent case. The firm is relying on Motorola Mobility’s history with mobile phones along with its trove of 17,000 patents. It hopes to force Apple into a settlement of the ITC case, which could also cover handset makers who use Google’s Android operating system, including Samsung Electronics Co. and HTC Corp.

Back in 2007, Motorola Mobility approached Apple about a patent license, asking for a royalty of 2.25 percent of the price of Apple products. Apple and Microsoft Corp., which has its own legal fights with Motorola Mobility, declared the demand to be unreasonable.

President Barack Obama is also believed to review the decision made by the commission decision and is hoped to reject any import ban on public policy grounds.… Read the rest

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Google/Motorola Seeks to Ban iPad, iPhone and Apple Computers Imports to U.S.

Looks like Apple Inc still has many points to cover in the court, as another patent suit has been filed against the company. As per reported by Bloomberg, Google’s Motorola unit has hit Apple with a new patent-infringement lawsuit in the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) in Washington.

It is reported that this complaint by Motorola’s seeks to block Apple from importing its iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and various Apple computers to the US market, which accounts for most of its sale. Motorola complains that certain features on Apple devices, infringe its patents.

This lawsuit is marked being the latest in a long series of recent disputes going on between Apple and Google/Motorola. However, it is also Motorola’s first lawsuit following its acquisition by Google in February.

Although a spokesperson of Motorola confirmed that Google did file a complaint with the ITC, all patents that Google is trying to defend remained unclear.

It is believed that the complaint focuses on technologies that Apple uses in virtually all of its current hardware products. However, as per Motorola, the full complaint won’t be available on the ITC’s website until Monday.

There are also reports that an ITC judge already issued an opening ruling in a previous Motorola vs. Apple case, accusing the latter of infringing one of Motorola’s patents. Next week is expected to see the ruling of the case.

However, it is believed that if the commission rules in favor of Motorola, sales of iPhone 4S and new iPad 4G won’t be affected as they both use a Qualcomm chipset, which falls outside of Motorola’s patent claims.

Apple also sued Motorola Mobility, arguing that it infringed three of its patents, which was ruled out by the judge. This decision was supported by ITC.… Read the rest

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