Lawsuits

Samsung Gets Court Ordered Apology errr….Slap in the Face from Apple

A United Kingdom court ordered Apple to post an apology to Samsung for claiming that Samsung copied Apple’s iPad. Apple did follow the order but in the usual “Really?” type issuance, the posted apology reads more like a swift kick to the head of Samsung and the UK court system.

For those of you who need a good laugh or two, have a read of the document for yourself.  Quotes such as Apple’s iPad being “a cool Deign” and Samsungs Tab being “Not as cool” are the real kickers outside of the direct criticism of the decision.

Samsung / Apple UK judgment

On 9th July 2012 the High Court of Justice of England and Wales ruled that Samsung Electronic (UK) Limited’s Galaxy Tablet Computer, namely the Galaxy Tab 10.1, Tab 8.9 and Tab 7.7 do not infringe Apple’s registered design No. 0000181607-0001. A copy of the full judgment of the High court is available on the following link www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Patents/2012/1882.html.

In the ruling, the judge made several important points comparing the designs of the Apple and Samsung products:

“The extreme simplicity of the Apple design is striking. Overall it has undecorated flat surfaces with a plate of glass on the front all the way out to a very thin rim and a blank back. There is a crisp edge around the rim and a combination of curves, both at the corners and the sides. The design looks like an object the informed user would want to pick up and hold. It is an understated, smooth and simple product. It is a cool design.”

“The informed user’s overall impression of each of the Samsung Galaxy Tablets is the following. From the front they belong to the family which includes the Apple design; but the Samsung products are very thin, almost insubstantial members of that family with unusual details on the back. They do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design. They are not as cool.”

That Judgment has effect throughout the European Union and was upheld by the Court of Appeal on 18 October 2012. A copy of the Court of Appeal’s judgment is available on the following link www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2012/1339.html. There is no injunction in respect of the registered design in force anywhere in Europe.

However, in a case tried in Germany regarding the same patent, the court found that Samsung engaged in unfair competition by copying the iPad design. A U.S. jury also found Samsung guilty of infringing on Apple’s design and utility patents, awarding over one billion U.S. dollars in damages to Apple Inc. So while the U.K. court did not find Samsung guilty of infringement, other courts have recognized that in the course of creating its Galaxy tablet, Samsung willfully copied Apple’s far more popular iPad.

The above is posted on the Apple UK website at:  http://www.apple.com/uk/legal-judgement/

Apple being Sued for Deceptive Advertising in Regards to Siri

The centerpiece of the iPhone 4S, Siri, is now the center of attention in a new class action lawsuit against Apple.  The lawsuit, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal, claims that Apple’s adervtising in relation to Siri’s capabilities is “misleading and deceptive” and does not perform the tasks as Apple shows in the ads.

One Frank M. Fazio, an iPhone 4S users from Brooklyn, NY is feeling like Apple tricked him into buying the device and apparently he is not alone.  He says “In many of Apple’s television advertisements, individuals are shown using Siri to make appointments, find restaurants, and even learn the guitar chords to classic rock songs or how to tie a tie. In the commercials, all of these tasks are done with ease with the assistance of the iPhone 4S’s Siri feature, a represented functionality contrary to the actual operating results and performance of Siri.

While Apple has long stated that the Siri feature of the iPhone 4s is a beta feature and subject to Beta rules, it is unusual that Apple would even release a product that was in Beta form of any type.   However, in the case of Siri, Apple needed all the voices of the iPhone users to help improve the response capabilities of the phone and went ahead and released the product.

Apple iPhone Siri Cpt

Proview now suing Apple in California

Proview, the China based bankrupt company which supposedly owns the iPad name is now suing Apple in California.  The company is still embroiled in a battle in mainland China, but no decision has been made there.   Proview is now accusing Apple of using deceptive practices in their purchase of the iPad name, thereby denying Proview fair value on the name. In China, Proview is denying the name was sold for mainland China operations.

Source: Reuters

Apple Tells Proview to Shut their Mouths or Face the Wrath

Apple’s lawyers in China have submitted a letter to Proview to essentially tell them to quit making remarks to the media.  The letter claims that the comments that Proview CEO Yang Rongshan is making in public run contrary to the actual ruling in the case and also are falsifications of the facts.  The letter is stating that Apple “formally reserve all rights to take further legal action against any individuals and tentities fort any damages that may result from defamoatory statements and unlawful actions intended to wrongfully interfere with Apple’s business and business relationships.”

Obviously Proview can do great damage to Apple in China through this case, but if they lose, there could be serious repercussions for Yang and his people.   This is especially true since there is evidence which was submitted by Apple yesterday, showing emails in the Proview legal staff’s on hand that the sale had gone through and was for mainland China.

You can view the entire letter in both Chinese and English on the DOCSTOC website at:

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/113878230/Apple_proview

Source:  All Things Digital

Bytes From The Apple — Is Proview Black Mailing Apple over Name

The trademark dispute in China between Proview, a bankrupt supposed owner of the iPad name and Apple, the known manufacturer of the iPad, is now widening to a point where Apple is being black mailed for 2 Billion USD by Proview.  While Apple purchased the rights to the name several years ago, Proview is now arguing that that sale did not cover mainland China where the iPad is made.

Apple was initially being asked for 1.6 Billion in addition to the 55,000 USD it paid to the Hong Kong office of Proview when it purchased the name.  The purchase of the name in 2009 should have ended any challenges to the Apple ownership of the iPad name.  Hong Kong courts agreed with Apple on this accord.  However,   China, long known for its blatant copying of the worlds goods, now also seems to have a court system now where it is acceptable to use black mail and under handedness to take money from western companies. The chinese courts over ruled the Hong Kong courts and is saying Proview owns the name.   It is sad that Proview is just the latest example of this type of underhandedness.  The company is by all rights, bankrupt.  The sold the name when they were trying to get rid of assets for cash.  Now they are seeing dollar signs and thinking Apple is going to buy them out again.  If this court case is allowed to proceed in addition to the seizure of iPads prior to a conclusion of the court case and appeals especially in local areas in China, then no company will ever be safe in the Chinese market.

In China, it also seems to be the norm to attempt to file the iPhone and iPad name for other products not related to anything in the technology field, with companies filing the claims saying that the names are not well known in China. This includes everything from clothing items to food product.   This in essence a total scam of the system, with the Chinese courts and local governments in cohorts with the companies, all to garner money from the world’s most famous and most valuable brand.  This is the type of activity western companies have long feared about doing business in China.  While everything on the surface seems to be copacetic, scammers in the country will try anything to get money out of a system that they have no real part in or any real business in.

If the Chinese courts don’t wake up and realize their mistakes, correcting the illicit activity with the copyrights and trademarks in the country as well as respecting international trade deals,  they could well find that Apple will no longer be manufacturing there.  At this point, other countries such as Brazil and Malaysia hold a much more appetizing state where the cost of building goods, also is not nearly as costly or as ridiculous as China has become recently.  Another thing that China needs to realize is that they are only an assembly plant and that a good majority of the actual technologies and items put into the iPad are are made in other countries, putting China in a very vulnerable position.  The stand to lose a trillion dollar conglomerates business to greed and stupidity.

Sources: Washington PostIBN Live, Wall Street Journal

Proview Attempting To Get Chinese Customs to Block Import and Export of iPads

Proview, the holder of the iPad name in China is attempting to get Chinese Customs to block all imports of iPads as well as Exports.  If they are successful in their quest, they could prevent Apple from receiving their products globally. Due to the fact that Foxconn, the manufacturer of the iPad is based in mainland China, this could be disastrous for Apple.

While the iPad name ownership case is still ongoing in China, Apple originally bought the rights to the name from the Hong Kong based subsiduary of Proview, in turn suing Proview in China claiming to own the name.  Apple’s claim to the name was rejected outright by the Shenzen Intermediate Peoples Court in November 2011.   Proview won the case at that time and in recent days has stepped up enforcement of this within China and stores have been reporting seizure of iPads from their stores.

Proview is also claiming damages totalling some 1.6 Billion USD, however, that total amount has not been decided completely and could actually be more.

Source: Businessweek

AAPL: Shares up in Pre-Market Trading

Apple Inc (AAPL) is trading up this morning with a jump of $2.23 per share in pre-Market trading.  With the .5% boost in the stock price, it is nearing the level it was at earlier in the week.  At 9:00 am, the stock stands at $437.35 USD per share and should stay relatively close to if it is a normal Friday, volume wise.

The only news weighing on the stock this morning is the loss in German courts to Motorola.  Apple has in turn taken down all 3G models of the iPhone from the German Apple Store due to the ruling yesterday.  3G is the centerpiece of the Motorola lawsuit and they won an injunction against Apple requiring a 100 Million Euro Bond.   The only course for Apple other than to pull the products temporarily is to appeal and sue for the loss of revenues should they win in higher court.

This temporary loss however could keep Apple investors at a slow pace for the next few days as they await the course of action that Apple will take from here.

Apple to Appeal iPad Name Rights Case in China

Apple lost a decision last month in Shenzhen Province Court regarding the iPad naming rights in mainland China.  The original filer of the name, Proview, apparently still owns the legal rights to the name iPad, in spite of their Taiwan subsidiary having sold the name to a British company, IP Applications.  Apple purchased the name from IP Applications in 2010, however, according to Proview, they never transferred the name or the rights to the name.

Apple lost a judgement in the court and is now appealing the  case.  They are asking for the transfer of the name to be completed as per the agreement between the Taiwan Proview subsidiary and IP Applications and also are asking for Proview to pay their legal fees totaling some 4 Million yuan.  This case has wider implications in China than any where else as most countries recognize Apple as being the owner of the name iPad even though Proview registered the name in 2000 in a number of Asian countries.  In China, Proview is already suing a number of outlets and Apple in an attempt to prevent the name iPad from being used.

Sources: ComputerWorld, WorldTVPC

Apple Employee No-Call Agreement Lawsuit Being Allowed to Proceed by Judge

Apple Inc. (AAPL) is one of five companies being named in a lawsuit, claiming they violated antitrust laws by colluding to not recruit employees from the other companies also named in the suit. US district court judge Lucy Koh, declared that the lawsuit can go forward without prejudice.  The San Jose California based court judge decided that even if the case was dismissed the plaintiffs could actually we file a new complaint in reference to the current one.

The lawsuit is alleging that the companies named colluded to drive down competition for employees.  The judge in the case wants to see how far the collusion went and whether there were any federal laws broken.

The other companies named in the lawsuit include Walt Disney’s Pixar animation division, Intuit Inc., Lucasfilm Limited, Adobe Systems Incorporated, Intel Corp, and Google Inc.

Source : Bloomberg BusinessWeek

Apple (AAPL) Adds Nearly 2.50 in Pre-Market Trading

Apple Inc (AAPL) is trading at record levels this morning with the stock reaching the 455.45 USD a share price level at 8:32am.  Regular trading will begin soon and then the real test of the current market will begin.  If yesterday is any sample of what is to come today, then we could see  record highs throughout the day.   News items driving this is the news that Samsung lost another major battle yesterday in German courts with regard to the ban on their Galaxy products from being sold in the country.   This injunction included both the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Galaxy Tab 8.9 products.