Apple, Oxford University Press: Intellectual Property

Apple Inc., which won more than $1 billion after a jury found Samsung Electronics Co. infringed six of seven patents for its mobile devices Aug. 24, sought a ban on eight models of the South Korean company’s smartphones, including its Galaxy S devices.

Apple, in a court filing, urged U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh, who presided over the four-week trial in San Jose, California, to ban the sales of the Galaxy S 4G, S2 AT&T, S2 Skyrocket, S2 T-Mobile, S2 Epic 4G, S Showcase, the Droid Charge and the Prevail.

Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung may have to delay the release of new devices to change their designs, as it seeks to compete with Apple’s new iPhone and possibly a smaller iPad, said Chang In Whan, president of Seoul-based KTB Asset Management Co.

In June Cupertino, California-based Apple won a ban on U.S. sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet that the South Korean company said wouldn’t have a significant impact on its business. Samsung sought on Aug. 26 to have the ban lifted after the jury found the company’s tablet computer didn’t infringe the Apple design patent on which the June 26 court-ordered sales ban was based. The jury instead found that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 infringed three of Apple’s software patents.

Adam Yates, a spokesman for Samsung, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail request for comment.

The injunction will probably be more important than the monetary damages award, Mark Lemley, a Stanford Law School professor, said in an e-mail following the verdict.

“The real question is whether this is enough to derail the momentum the Android ecosystem has gained in the marketplace,” Lemley said.

Samsung has used Google Inc.’s Android free operating system to build phones that propelled it to the number one spot in the phone market.

The nine-member jury rejected Samsung’s patent counterclaims against Apple, the world’s largest company by market capitalization, and its request for damages. The jury also determined that all of Apple’s patents at stake in the trial were valid. Apple also won findings that Samsung devices diluted the value of its so-called trade dress, or how a product looks.

Samsung said in an e-mailed statement it will ask the judge to reverse the verdict. If Koh doesn’t overturn the award, Samsung said it will appeal.

The verdict is the largest jury award of the year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The verdict is the fourth-largest jury award in a patent case in U.S. history.

The case is Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., 11-cv-01846, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).

Google Says Most Claims in Samsung Case Not Tied to Android

Google Inc., responding to a jury verdict that found its partner Samsung Electronics Co. infringed Apple Inc. patents, said most of the claims “don’t relate to the core Android” software used in mobile devices.

“The court of appeals will review both infringement and the validity of the patent claims,” Mountain View, California-based Google said Aug. 29 in an e-mail statement. “Most of these don’t relate to the core Android operating system, and several are being re-examined by the U.S. Patent Office.”

Google, owner of the world’s largest Web search engine, lets mobile-phone manufacturers weave its Android operating system into their handsets at no charge. It suffered a setback on Aug. 24, when a California jury said Samsung, the biggest user of Android, infringed Apple patents.

“This verdict is a major victory for Apple vis a vis the Android ecosystem,” said Toni Sacconaghi, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., in a research report yesterday. “That said, we don’t think it is a game-changing loss for Android.”

The ruling is “likely to embolden Apple’s legal strategy,” Sacconaghi said. Litigation playing out in several countries may ultimately lead to Android phone makers paying royalties to Apple of $3 to $25 per handset or “forced work-arounds on violated patents, some of which could modestly change the look and feel of competing products.”

Android’s share among smartphone platforms rose to 64 percent in the second quarter from 43 percent in the same period a year earlier, according to Stamford, Connecticut-based researcher Gartner Inc. Apple’s software had a 19 percent share, up less than a percent from the previous year.

“The mobile industry is moving fast and all players -- including newcomers -- are building upon ideas that have been around for decades,” Google said in the statement. “We work with our partners to give consumers innovative and affordable products, and we don’t want anything to limit that.”

For more patent news, click here.


Dell Claims Florida Audio Company Infringes ‘Alienware’ Marks

Dell Inc. sued a Florida seller of electronic audio equipment for trademark infringement.

According to the complaint filed Aug. 23 in federal court in Miami, Dell accused Alien Head Gear LLC of infringing its “Alienware” trademarks. Dell, based in Round Rock, Texas, acquired the marks as part of its acquisition of the Alienware company in 2006, according to court papers.

Dell said it became aware of the alleged infringement at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, a trade event at which Alienware products have been exhibited. The computer company said that in addition to the Alien Head Gear company name, it also objects to the Internet domain name and the telephone number containing the word “Alien” that the Coconut Creek, Florida, company uses.

Alien Head Gear has received repeated complaints from Dell and persists in its alleged infringement, Dell said in court papers. The Florida company has ‘simply ignored” the demands, according to Dell.

It asked the court to bar further infringement, for awards of money damages and profits derived from the alleged infringement, and for attorney fees and litigation costs. Dell also asked for orders to seize and destroy all allegedly infringing products and promotional materials.

Alien Head Gear didn’t respond immediately to an e-mail request for comment.

The case is Dell Inc., v. Alien Head Gear LLC, 1:12-cv-23084-JLK, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida (Miami).

China World Leader in Trademark Applications, Government Says

China leads the world in trademark applications, with a total of 10.54 million, China Daily reported.

Speaking at a forum celebrating the 20th anniversary of China’s trademark law, Zhou Bohua, who heads China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce, said that while trademarks are important for Chinese companies operating overseas, within the country there are only a limited number influential trademarks, the newspaper reported.

At this same forum, the government also said that the country leads the world in numbers of registered trademarks, with 7.17 million by the end of June, according to China Daily.

China has led the world in trademark applications each year since 2002, the newspaper reported.

For more trademark news, click here.


Ivi TV Loses Bid to Overturn Court-Ordered Business Shutdown

Ivi Inc. lost its bid to overturn a court-ordered shutdown of its business of capturing over-the-air television signals and transmitting them to online subscribers.

A lower-court judge was correct in granting TV broadcasters such as CBS Corp. a preliminary order last year that put Ivi out of business, a panel of federal appeals court judges ruled yesterday in New York.

“The district court did not abuse its discretion in finding that plaintiffs were likely to succeed on the merits of the case,” the judges said.

TV, film and sports companies including Walt Disney Co.’s ABC, Comcast Corp.’s NBC and News Corp.’s Fox, sued Seattle-based Ivi and its founder, Todd Weaver, in September 2010. The broadcasters said capturing TV signals in cities including New York and Los Angeles and retransmitting them to Ivi’s subscribers was copyright infringement.

U.S. District Judge Naomi Buchwald granted the preliminary injunction in February 2011. She said the TV companies showed they probably will win the suit. Oral arguments in the appeal were heard in May.

The appeal is WPIX v Ivi, 11-0788, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (Manhattan). The lower-court case is WPIX v. Ivi, 1:10-cv-07415, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

Oxford University Press, Others Must Pay Attorney Fees

Following its May order clearing Georgia State University of most copyright infringement claims brought by academic publishers, a federal court in Atlanta has awarded attorney fees to the school as the prevailing party in the dispute.

In its Aug. 10 order, the court said it had examined the claims by the group of publishers that included Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press and Sage Publications Inc., and said that the school was “highly successful” in defeating most of the publishers’ infringement claims. The school prevailed in all but five of the 99 infringement claims the publishers made at the beginning of the case.

The claims were related to professors’ making works available electronically to students. The university claimed fair use, which under copyright law means that small excerpts can be used for purposes such as teaching or journalism without violation. Georgia State changed its policy in 2009 to insure that professors adhered to fair use guidelines.

The case is Cambridge University Press v. Becker, 08-01425, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia (Atlanta).

For more copyright news, click here.

Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage

QBPC Warns Members About Risk of China-Mandated Software

Quality Brands Protection Committee, an organization whose members include Microsoft Corp., Apple Inc. and Sony Corp., has warned that an Internet monitoring program required for companies operating in China may put them at risk of industrial espionage, CNN reported.

Beijing-based QBPC sent out an e-mailed alert to its members, saying that at least three companies operating in Beijing, Heibei and Shandong were required to buy Internet security software from police-designated suppliers in order to maintain Internet access, according to CNN.

The organization, which aims to protect its members’ intellectual property rights in China, declined to tell CNN which of its members had been approached.

Thomas Parenty, an information security specialist consulted by CNN, said that this software program is “a Trojan horse that fits in a computer rack” and it’s “essentially game over” for IP rights for companies forced to install the software.

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