Apple lawsuit wrap-up for March 2012

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March 2013 saw several patent and trademark Apple lawsuits, and another chapter in the epic Apple vs. Samsung battle.

  • A district court’s ruling in Tokyo, Japan ruled that Samsung has violated the FRAND process.
  • Apple has asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit that was filed in 2011 claiming Apple has a monopoly because iPhone users can’t get apps from anywhere else except the App Store.
  • Sweet Brown has sued Apple, The Bob Rivers Show, and several other parties for unauthorized use of her likeness when they made a song called “I Got Bronchitis” using samples from an interview she gave. Apple has removed the song from iTunes.
  • Apple CEO Tim Cook may testify in the DOJ’s e-book lawsuit against Apple. Notes taken by Walter Isaacson when he was preparing Steve Jobs’ biography won’t be used in the lawsuit and he won’t be required to testify.
  • You may remember Locationgate when it was discovered that Apple was collecting data while people were using apps on their iPhone. Apple has requested that the lawsuit be dismissed because the plaintiffs haven’t proven anyone was hurt.
  • There have been many complaints about the Retina MacBook Pro’s display, with burn-in or ghosting problems the most commonly reported. Now there’s a class-action lawsuit claiming that customers won’t know if the MacBook they buy has an LG display (which may be faulty) or Samsung (which may be good).
  • THX has sued Apple for supposedly violating Patent No. 7,433,483 that describes “Narrow profile speaker configurations and systems” with various models of the iPhone, iPad and iMac products.
  • Shanghai Animation Film Studio has sued Apple over apps that contain unlicensed versions of its work. They want 3.3 million yuan or about $530,000 in compensation.
  • Callet World has a design patent for an iPhone case and has sued Hex because they are selling a case that looks very similar and Apple because they’re selling Hex’s case in their Apple Store (and not Callet World’s case).
  • Shanghai Zhi Zhen Internet Technology Co Ltd created Xiaoi, a chat robot system, which is similar to Siri and they’re suing Apple for violating a patent filed in 2004. Zhi Zen wants to “halt to sales of infringing products, as well as reserving the right to seek compensation in the future.”
  • Intertrust, a patent troll backed by Sony and Royal Philips Electronics, is suing Apple because it’s supposedly violating 15 patents owned by Intertrust related to “security and distributed trusted computing.”.
  • Apple and IGB are working on a settlement agreement and have agreed to end the lawsuit over the iPhone trademark in Brazil. While Apple can still sell the iPhone in Brazil as the iPhone, they apparently really want the trademark and are willing to spend money for it.
  • The Mexican Supreme Court ruled against Apple’s attempt to have iFone’s iPhone trademark canceled. Apple is selling the iPhone in Mexico and has two other trademarks for the iPhone in Mexico, but really wanted one covering telecommunications services.
  • Google and Motorola want money from Apple over supposed violations of FRAND patents and have filed with the U.S. Federal Court of Appeals to revive a patent lawsuit that was tossed out in 2011.
  • Yet another judge says Apple doesn’t go far enough in telling consumers about the two-year warranty all Europeans get while still selling AppleCare which is a three-year warranty. At this rate I’d be surprised if Apple offers AppleCare in Europe at all.
  • European Union regulators are looking at the contracts Apple makes with its iPhone carrier partners, saying that Apple may be engaging in anti-competitive behavior by requiring carriers to sell too many iphones.
  • Apple Australia Vice President Tony King explained to the Australian parliament that the cost of shipping products, Australia’s Goods and Services Tax (GST), and digital rights holders charging more are the reasons why Apple’s products cost more in Australia than in other parts of the world.
  • Judge Koh reduced Apple’s monetary reward from Samsung down to $598 million from $1.05 billion because of “uncertainty over what amount of damages are attributable to an individual intellectual property right.” However Apple still has a chance to get the $450 million back in the separate trial Judge Koh has ordered and has already contested $85 million. Unfortunately the second trial is delayed while the first trial is under review which Apple objects to.
  • In a separate trial brought by Apple against Samsung over patents relating to Siri will start hearings in March 2014 with Judge Koh presiding.
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