An iPhone user in Southern California, won their lawsuit filed against AT&T in small claims court for the throttling of “Unlimited” plan usage. The user, sued AT&T after being throttled each month after using 1.5 to 2gb of data. However, AT&T’s users with the 3GB plan receive no such throttling in spite of the fact that the plans cost about the same.
The user, Matt Spaccarelli, won a judgement of $850 USD in the small claims court case after Judge Russell Nadel found in his favor. With seventeen million “Unlimited” plan users, AT&T could be in for a good number of cases in the future as more users take on the giant telecom company.
Soure: Associated Press
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.
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:
Source: All Things Digital
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 Post, IBN Live, Wall Street Journal
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.
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 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
Motorola files a lawsuit against Apple claiming infringement of 6 patents. The lawsuit came with the full permission of Google who has been going after Apple in a proxy war to claim more of the pot of gold. The lawsuit filed today asks the courts for an injunction against the iPhone 4S and Apple’s iCloud service saying that they are infringing upon the following patents:
- U.S. Patent No. 5,710,987 on a “receiver having concealed external antenna”
- U.S. Patent No. 5,754,119 on a “multiple pager status synchronization system and method”; Motorola is asserting the European equivalent of this patent against Apple in Mannheim, with a decision (that will likely be favorable for Motorola) scheduled for Friday of next week (February 3, 2012)
- U.S. Patent No. 5,958,006 on a “method and apparatus for communicating summarized data”
- U.S. Patent No. 6,101,531 on a “system for communicating user-selected criteria filter prepared at wireless client to communication server for filtering data transferred from host to said wireless client”
- U.S. Patent No. 6,008,737 on an “apparatus for controlling utilization of software added to a portable communication device”
- U.S. Patent No. 6,377,161 on a “method and apparatus in a wireless messaging system for facilitating an exchange of address information”
This lawsuit was filed in the state of Florida where Motorola already has an ongoing battle with Apple. The reason for this second lawsuit appears to be that it was told by the judge in the first case that it could not add these infringements to the ongoing case but were free to file a new lawsuit is so desired.
Source: Foss Patents
Kodak, one the verge of being bankrupt, has filed a lawsuit against Apple and HTC suggesting that the companies have infringed on patents held the Kodak. The patents concerned in the release from Kodak stated that Apple and HTC both infringed on:
- U.S. Patent No. 7,210,161 – “Automatically Transmitting Images from an Electronic Camera to a Service Provider Using a Network Configuration File”
- U.S. Patent No. 7,742,084 – “Network Configuration File for Automatically Transmitting Images from an Electronic Still Camera”
- U.S. Patent No. 7,453,605 – “Capturing Digital Images to be Transferred to an E-Mail Address”
- U.S. Patent No. 7,936,391 – “Digital Camera with Communications Interface for Selectively Transmitting Images over a Cellular Phone Network and a Wireless LAN Network to a Destination”
The patents which were long ago granted to Kodak, have been little used but with Kodak bleeding stock price and needing cash, this may be the path that they take for the immediate future in order to garner more time to recover from their lack of foresight to go into the digital photography arena.
Source: Business Wire