Samsung, Google, White Drive: Intellectual Property

April 23 (Bloomberg) -- Samsung Electronics Co. says Apple Inc.’s patent-infringement claims of $2.19 billion are 57 times higher than what the Galaxy maker should pay if a jury finds it infringed smartphone technology.

Samsung called on a Yale University business school professor to make its case to a federal jury in San Jose, California, that if it has to pay anything, the amount should be as little as 35 cents a phone -- compared with Apple’s demand for more than $40 a phone.

The Suwon, South Korea-based company also is accusing Cupertino, California-based Apple of infringing two of its patents.

The second U.S. trial between the world’s top two smartphone makers follows legal battles on four continents to dominate a market valued at $338.2 billion last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The case is Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., 12-cv-00630, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).

For more patent news, click here.


Google Persuades Battery Pack-Maker GazerGlass to Change Name

GazerGlass, maker of an extended-life battery pack to power Google Inc.’s wearable Glass device, decided to change its name after Google raised a trademark issue.

In a blog posting, GazerGlass said it didn’t have “that much money to spend on fights with large corporations,” so will change the company name.

For more trademark news, click here.


Aereo’s Online-TV Service Questioned by U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Supreme Court justices questioned the legality of Aereo Inc., the Barry Diller-backed startup seeking to upend the broadcast industry’s decades-old business model by selling live television programming over the Internet.

Hearing arguments yesterday in Washington, some justices suggested they viewed Aereo as violating broadcaster copyrights by using thousands of dime-sized antennas to get over-the-air signals without paying fees.

At the same time, the hour-long hearing didn’t clearly indicate the likely outcome, as justices including Stephen Breyer repeatedly asked whether a ruling favoring the broadcasters would imperil the cloud-computing business.

Aereo would give consumers a new way to watch broadcast television without buying the packages offered by cable and satellite companies. It now lets customers in 11 cities watch live and recorded broadcast programs for as little as $8 a month.

Broadcasters including CBS Corp. and Walt Disney Co.’s ABC say a legal victory for Aereo would devastate the industry, creating a blueprint that would let cable and satellite providers stop paying billions of dollars in retransmission fees each year to carry local programming.

The court will rule by early July in the case, American Broadcasting Cos. v. Aereo, 13-461.

For more copyright news, click here.

Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage

Ex-White Drive Products Worker Convicted of Trade-Secrets Theft

A former employee of White Drive Products Inc. was convicted of taking trade secrets related to hydraulic components made by the Hopkinsville, Kentucky-based company.

A jury in federal court in Paducah, Kentucky, found April 11 that Phillip Lee Groves downloaded company data onto a portable hard drive with the intention of bringing it to a new employer. Sentencing is set for July 23.

The case is U.S. v. Groves, 12-cr-00043, U.S. District Court, Western District of Kentucky (Paducah).

Savanna Tobacco Decries Industrial Espionage, Newspaper Says

Savanna Tobacco Co., a cigarette producer in Harare, Zimbabwe, accused competitors of engaging in industrial espionage to decrease the company’s ability to expand and increase its exports, Zimbabwe’s Herald newspaper reported.

Adam Molai, chairman of the tobacco company, told the Herald his customers are being “followed, ferreted and harassed” by his competitors.

The company spent 5 million euros ($6.9 million) during the past five years to expand production capacity to 4.5 billion cigarettes a year, with an eye to growth in the export market, according to the Herald.

Molai said that if the alleged espionage would cease, his company’s exports might increase by 50 percent, the Herald reported.

To contact the reporter on this story: Victoria Slind-Flor in San Francisco at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at Stephen Farr, Charles Carter

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