Shanghai Court Rules in Apple’s Favor, Allowed to Continue Selling iPads
Apple finally catches a break in China. After suffering defeats in smaller courts, the Shanghai Pudong New Area People’s Court denied Proview’s request for an injunction against the iPad. Unfortunately for Apple, the ruling only covers iPad sales within Shanghai. In China, each province has an independent court system that does not necessarily have to follow the rulings of other provinces. The Shanghai Court also granted Apple’s request to suspend the lawsuit due to Apple’s appeal from a Shenzhen court that ruled in favor of Proview. The appeal is scheduled for February 29th. For now, Apple can breath a little easier as they can continue to sale the iPad not only in their flagship store in Shanghai, but also in the country where the majority of iPadsare made.
Chinese Court Issues Ruling Banning Distributors From Selling iPads in China
The Associated Press is reporting that Proview International issued a statement through their attorney that the Intermediate People’s Court in Huizhou issued a ruling banning distributors from selling iPads in China. Proview claims that they own the rights to the name “iPad” in China and that Apple is violating their trademark by continuing to sell iPads in China. “We bought Proview’s worldwide rights to the iPad trademark in 10 different countries several years ago. Proview refuses to honor their agreement with Apple in China and a Hong Kong court has sided with Apple in this matter,” Apple spokeswoman Carolyn Wu said in response to the lawsuit filed by Proview. In addition to the lawsuit filed in China, it has been rumored that Proview may file a lawsuit in the United States claiming $2 billion in damages over the trademark violation. According to the Associated Press, despite the ruling banning distributors, iPads were still being sold at several retail locations across China.
German Court Grants Apple’s Injunction Against Motorola
In another battle of the patent wars, Apple obtained a favorable ruling over Google…err…Motorola in Germany. FOSS Patents is reporting that the Munich I Regional Court granted Apple’s request for an injunction regarding a slide-to-unlock image patent, EP1964022, on “unlocking a device by performing gestures on an unlock image.” It is a permanent injunction that Apple will be able to enforce at will. According to FOSS Patents, “[t]he court evaluated three different embodiments. Apple won on the two that Motorola’s smartphones implement. It did not prevail on the third one, which the Xoom tablet uses.” Now comes the question of whether Motorola appeals or modifies the offending devices. Chances are Motorola will do both.
Apple Files A New Lawsuit Against Samsung Over Autocorrect Patent
Another week, another lawsuit. Apple has filed a new lawsuit against their archrival Samsung in San Jose, California. In general terms, the lawsuit covers two patents: spelling and autocorrect on Apple’s iOS devices and “universal interface for retrieval of information in a computer system.” Since the lawsuit was filed under seal, very little has been revealed as to what Apple is alleging other than the case is connected to the prior lawsuit filed by Apple last year. Of course, what has become standard operating procedure for Apple, the lawsuit requests a preliminary injunction. Until the seal is lifted, it is unknown which Samsung product (or products) Apple is trying to ban this time.
Motorola Offers a Settlement Proposal to Apple
After Apple managed to get Motorola’s “permanent injunction” suspended, a new and interesting twist has occurred in the patent dispute between Apple and Motorola. Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents is reporting that Motorola has offered to end the patent disagreement and license its wireless patents to Apple in exchange for 2.25 percent of Apple’s sales. It is being assumed that the 2.25 percent that Motorola is asking for is from the sales of devices that contain a 3G antenna. Folks, that is an extremely large number. Let me provide you with a quick breakdown: Approximate revenue from iPhone sales since 2007 – $93 billion; Motorola’s cut – $2.1 billion. That doesn’t include iPad sales, which is also part of the demand. Mueller finds the 2.25 percent shakedown “excessive.” In an effort to prove that Motorola’s settlement demand is a tad bit excessive, Apple has filed motions to obtain information from other smartphone vendors – Nokia, HTC, LG, and Sony Ericsson – to find out how much they are paying in royalty fees to Motorola. If it turns out that it is considerably less than what Motorola is demanding from Apple, you can pretty much guess that the judge is not going to be happy.
German Court Issues an Injunction Against Apple; Appeals Court Quickly Suspends the Injunction
German courts have been known to provide quick and swift justice, but this is ridiculous. In their patent battles with Motorola, Apple took a huge hit when a German court issued Friday, what was thought to be permanent, an injunction banning the sales of the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G and iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G, upholding a ruling from December. As a result of the injunction, Apple suspended all online sales and removed all iOS devices from its German website. The ban is from Motorola’s claim that Apple’s iOS devices with embedded 3G connectivity infringed upon one of their patents related to UMTS technology. Here is where the fun starts. Apple immediately filed an appeal and a German Appeals Court ruled in Apple’s favor and issued a temporary suspension of the injunction. “All iPad and iPhone models will be back on sale through Apple’s online store in Germany shortly” an Apple spokesperson told SlashGear. “Apple appealed this ruling because Motorola repeatedly refuses to license this patent to Apple on reasonable terms, despite having declared it an industry standard patent seven years ago.” You gotta love the German judicial system.
German Court Denies Apple’s Request To Ban the Galaxy Tab 10.1N
So much for waiting until February 9. Earlier today, a German Court rejected Apple’s request to ban Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus smartphone and the Galaxy Tab 10.1N tablet. “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,” Judge Andreas Mueller stated in issuing the court’s ruling. Apple had previously been granted an injunction banning the Galaxy Tab 10.1. After today’s ruling, it would appear that Apple’s minor victory has become completely meaningless. Not willing to let anything die, there is no doubt Apple will appeal. At least you can’t say that justice is not swift when to comes to German Courts and the patent wars.