Apple lawsuit wrap-up for October 2012

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Swiss Railway Clock vs. iOS 6 clock

Read about who’s suing Apple and why in this wrap-up of lawsuits for October 2012.

  • Ameranth claims Apple’s Passbook app is violating four of their patents. Ameranth’s patents deal with the restaurant and other hospitality businesses, and a judge will decide whether there is infringement and a trial is needed.
  • Samsung added the iPhone 5 to its patent lawsuit against Apple.
  • Remember the Apple vs. Samsung trial which awarded Apple $1.05 billion dollars? Samsung filed a motion for a new trial because they claim the jury foreman lied about personal details that would have caused him to be kicked from the jury. Apple says Samsung had plenty of time to look into the jury’s past during the trial and it’s too late for them to complain now.
  • In a rare twist of events, Motorola has dropped its ITC patent lawsuit against Apple which sought import bans on nearly every Apple product.
  • Apple is continuing to fight Lodsys, and the lawsuit is scheduled for 2013.
  • A judge overthrew the ban on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus phone. He ruled Apple didn’t show people bought the Galaxy Nexus because of the unified search feature that is the subject of the lawsuit.
  • The Swiss Federal Railways service and Apple reached a licensing agreement over the look of Apple’s iPad clock app in iOS 6.
  • Two consumer advocacy groups in Italy are launching a class action lawsuit over allegations that Apple is violating EU’s warranty regulations. Apple was fined 900,000 euros by the Italian Antitrust Authority in a previous lawsuit for not properly informing customers about the standard EU free two-year warranty. However, customers are complaining that Apple is still selling them AppleCare and not telling them about the two-year warranty.
  • A Swiss photographer is suing Apple over their use of one of her images when it was used in a MacBook Pro promotion. The photographer says Apple acquired her image for layout purposes only and not commercial use. She wants a trial by jury in order to recover lost profits.
  • There are a lot more lawsuits involving Apple and patents than ever before, and it all started when Apple had to pay $100 million to Creative Technology in 2006 to settle a patent lawsuit. There’s more information here about the changes Apple made with regard to patents.
  • Speak For Yourself, an app that allows people to communicate with special keyboards or touch screens, was sued for patent violations and Apple had to pull their app. Now a settlement has been reached and Apple can put the app back on iTunes.
  • LED Tech sued Apple claiming that the iPad 3 and MacBook Pro both use “pulse-width modulation signals to drive light-emitting diodes” which four of his patents cover. This case hasn’t been assigned a judge and will likely take some time to come to court.
  • Apple is appealing a ruling in Japan that found Samsung’s Galaxy S, Galaxy S II and Galaxy Tab did not violate Apple’s patent for synchronizing music and video with data servers. Apple is seeking 100 million yen in damages.
  • Evolutionary Intelligence, LLC filed suit against Apple, Facebook, and Twitter among others claiming that two of their patents are being violated. What’s odd is that the lawsuit doesn’t say why or how their patents were being infringed upon and only asks for a “reasonable royalty”.
  • A class action lawsuit was filed against Apple because Zach Ward and Thomas Buchar claim consumers were locked into the AT&T Network without their consent.
  • In 2001 US Patent 7177798 was filed by two professors from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute covering “natural language interface using constrained intermediate dictionary of results.” Now Dynamic Advances LLC owns the patent and they’re using it to sue Apple and Siri. One judge has already excused himself from this case due to a conflict of interest.
  • WhitServ has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple using US Patent 7921139 which covers a “system for sequentially opening and displaying files in a directory.” WhitServ claims Apple’s Quick Look feature found in OS X starting with Leopard is the offending technology.
  • A Dutch court has ruled Samsung did not violate Apple’s multitouch technology patent.
  • One problem about fixing bugs with software updates is that not everyone will download the updates and sue you anyway for damage. Such is the case with this lawsuit filed by Amanda Ladas who claims Apple violated her privacy and is “engaged in deceptive acts or practices”. This stems from the well-known bug in iOS 4 that didn’t erase location tracking data and which was fixed in May 2011. For whatever reason Amanda Ladas is still running iOS 4 and is still really angry that she’s still affected by the bug.
  • Patently Apple has awarded Intercarrier Communications (ICC) the patent troll of the week, and it’s hard to argue with their reasoning. ICC acquired US Patent 6985748 and is using it to sue Apple, MobiWeb, Inerop Technologies, BroadSoft, Iris Wireless, and many others. ICC claims Apple’s Messages and FaceTime applications violate the “inter-carrier messaging service providing phone number only experience” aspect of their patent.
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