Tag: litigation

Samsung coughs up Apple money

SamsungSamsung has paid $548 million into Apple’s bank account as part payment of $930 million over patents and packaging.

An American court awarded $1 billion to Apple in 2012 but Samsung appealed and that amount was reduced to $930 million.

Apple took Samsung to court for using patents and for copying some marketing material.

Samsung disputes this claim and intends to appeal against the verdict and ask for the money back if it’s successful, but Apple wants to hang on to the money whatever happens.

And Apple isn’t giving up the ghost on getting extra money out of the South Korean giant, because next year it will ask a court to give it even more money.

The US Patent office has ruled, since the trial, that one of the patents Apple claimed was copied was invalid, but the Cupertino company doesn’t like that a little bit and has launched an appeal against the decision.

Google wins book scanning case

Image of Mike Magee's translation of the Matrikabheda Tantra, snapped from Google BooksA US appeals court said on Friday that Google isn’t breaching copyright by digitising books and displaying chunks of them in its Google Books pages.

Authors had been pursuing Google in court for a decade in the belief that Google Books would hurt their royalties.

But a Manhattan court of appeals ruled that because Google only showed snippets of books that meant it wasn’t breaking copyright law.

The judges said that only showing snippets wouldn’t harm authors’ royalties substantially.

They said that the 20 million books that Google had scanned in never amounted to 16 percent of the content of the book.

Uber gets thumbs up from UK High Court

London taxi cabA UK High Court judge has ruled that the Uber app that is used to estimate charges and distances is not a taxi meter.

The Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA) had taken the case to court and claimed that the company’s smartphones aren’t taxi meters. Private hire vehicles aren’t allowed to use meters.

But Mr Justice Ouseley said that taxi meters don’t work in the same fashion as black taxi meters, because those don’t use GPS technology or the software in smartphones.

The LTDA will appeal the verdict in the Supreme Court, and argues that smartphones work exactly like taxi meters.

The mayor of London, who regulates black cabs in the capital, is attempting to bring new regulations in to stymie the use of Uber. Transport for London (TFL) is in the process of consultation on how to regulate the industry.

Apple faces whopping patent fine

Old Apple logo - Wikimedia CommonsThe University of Wisconsin-Madison has won a court case against Apple for using technology it invented in its iPhone smartphone.

A court in Wisconsin will now rule how much Apple has to pay for using one of the university’s patents, and reports said it could be more than $850 million.

A jury decided that Apple’s microprocessors, the A7 and A8 series, infringe a patent it filed in 1998. The university sued Apple in January last year.

The university also sued Intel for infringement but that case was settled out of court.

And the university isn’t stopping action against Intel. It has just filed another suit claiming the A9 and A9X microprocessors also infringe its patent, used in the iPhone 6S, the 6S Plus and the iPad Pro.

Apple hasn’t yet commented on the case but it is expected to appeal the decision.

Rambus to sell its own chips

Rambus HQRambus, which develops chip technology that it then licenses to others to manufacture, is to start selling chips under its own name.

The memory chips are aimed at enterprises and will be called the RB26. It’s already started sampling the chips to customers. Rambus said in a statement that the RB26 is a memory module chipset for data intensive applications including real time analytics.

Rambus has a long record of legal action against other chip manufacturers for allegedly breaching its intellectual property designs.

Nvidia, Micron, Hynix and others have all experienced the joy of being sued by Rambus and for some time its entire business model appeared to come from royalties it had won through the courts.

It started in 1990 as a company that designed chips which it then licensed, a little like successful British company ARM. The difference between the two is that ARM doesn’t have a taste for litigation.

It’s not clear which foundry will manufacture the Rambus chips, but they’re expected to be available later this year.

Rambus will show off its server memory chipset at this week’s Intel Developer Forum.

Apple sued over Lion OS

A company is suing Apple in the “fast track” Tyler district court, alleging that the Cupertino Kid is ripping off a patent it owns.

VirnetX claims the patent in question, 8,051,181 – and with the snappy title Method for Establish Secure Communication Link between Computers of Virtual Private Network – is being breached in a number of Apple products.

Products alleged to breach the patent include the iPad 2, the iPod Touch, the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 4.

Apple also indirectly infringes the patent by selling products to resellers and end users, the writ alleges.

VirnetX would like to have a jury trial as soon as possible and wants the jury to award it the world+dog, or at least stacks of money. The patent was only issued on the 1st of November last, so VirnetX hasn’t wasted any time.

Toshiba renews Rambus licence

Memory giant Toshiba has renewed its licence to use Rambus patents for another five years.

The licence covers DRAM memory controllers for SDR, DDR, DDR2, DDR3 and other unnamed memory types.

Toshiba was one of the first companies to accept that Rambus owned valid patents on memory technology.

Other licensees include Renesas, AMD, Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, Elpida,  Intel and others.  Rambus has a reputation for fierce litigation and has conducted many lengthy court cases to establish that it does own a heap of memory patents.

News of the licence agreement caused its shares to rise on NASDAQ, closing yesterday at $20.25.  Late last year, the US International Trade Commission said it would investigate 34 companies after Rambus filed a lawsuit  against LSI, MediaTek, ST Micro, Broadcom, Freescale and Nvidia, related to PCI Express and memory technology patents.

IBM wants $350,000 from CSC president

Big Blue started a legal case against a former VP of its system integration business after he jumped ship to join CSC.

In August, CSC hired Zolet as president of its North American public sector business development last month, with the goal of picking up North American federal, state and local government business.

But IBM filed suit against Zolet in a Maryland court on the 3rd of September, claiming that under the terms of his employment he had to return $350,000 he nabbed as part of a “golden hello” on his employment.

According to the filing, Zolet refuses to reimburse IBM for the amount of the sign on bonus.

IBM started to lure Zolet into its web in Spring 2009, and offered him a job on May 27th 2009 with a base salary of $435,000, a target bonus of $175,000 and equity worth $375,000.  It also gave him a sign on bonus of $350,000.

But as part of the package, the offer letter said the bonus wouldn’t be earned by Zolet unless he stayed with Big Blue for two years. Zolet resigned IBM in June 2010, and IBM is claiming that he worked for it for less than two years and so had to return the $350,000.

SCO case is officially over

SCO’s long running battle against Novell is finally over with the anti-Linux bad-boy routed and its litigation officially deader than a Norwegian Blue.  

SCO has seen the writing on the wall for a long time, but finally a US court has managed to drive a stake through its heart and put a bullet in its brain just to make sure it never appeals against anything ever again.

Groklaw reported that  Judge Ted Stewart has formally ruled for Novell and against SCO. Not only is Novell’s claim for declaratory judgment is granted but SCO’s claims for specific performance and breach of the implied covenant of good fair and fair dealings has been denied. SCO’s motion for judgement as a matter of law or for a new trial have also been denied.

Groklaw said that the door has finally been slammed shut on the SCO litigation machine and it can no longer chase people using Linux and demand money for licences.  The court has ruled that the Unix patents were never sold to SCO and people who claimed they were were either motivated by money to say so, or were not actually involved in the sale.

The move also means that another case of SCO versus IBM which was waiting for the outcome of this one to be sorted out has also been decided.  That is unless IBM wants to sue SCO which is a bit pointless.
One of the more amusing sides of the story is that the hacks who waded in on behalf of SCO are now trying to pretend that they never were on-side.

From the point of view of the open sauce community, it is a victory day, and the weirdie beardies are chanting the sacred parrot sketch mantra to sum up the ending of SCO.

“This SCO is no more! He has ceased to be! ‘E’s expired and gone to meet ‘is maker! ‘E’s a stiff! Bereft of life, ‘e  rests in peace! If ‘adn’t kept appealing e’d be pushing up the daisies! ‘Is metabolic processes are now ‘istory! ‘E’s off the twig! ‘E’s kicked the      bucket, ‘e’s shuffled off ‘is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisibile!! THIS IS AN SCO”

Samsung shells out nearly a billion to Rambus

Rambus (tick: RMBS) will collect $900 million from giant Korean firm Samsung after the two companies decided to bury the hatchet over DRAM products.

Samsung will invest $200 million Rambus stock, will pay an initial sum of $200 million, and a quarterly payment of $25 million for the next five years.

The firms have also signed a memorandum of understanding to work n high performance memory interfaces including graphics memory and mobile memory. They’ll also look at collaborating on server and high speed NAND flash memory.

In consideration of the vast amount of money Samsung has and will pay Rambus, the Korean firm will get a perpetual fully paid up licence to some DRAM products.

Rambus is notoriously litigious, and is ready to start a case against Samsung, Hynix and Micron over an alleged breach of antitrust laws. That’s delayed because a Micron lawyer involved in the case is unwell.