Tag Archives: Samsung

Apple Does License Its Patents To Competing Companies, But Samsung Isn’t Interested

Although it is widely believed that Apple refuses to license its patents to competing companies, it turns out that that’s a huge misconception. In fact, the company licenses a patent covering iOS touch-based scrolling to the likes of IBM and Nokia, and it offered the same deal to rival Samsung, who wasn’t at all interested. If it had have taken Apple up on the offer, however, it could have spared the Korean company a whole load of trouble in court.

Both IBM and Nokia have paid Apple for the use of U.S. Patent No. 7,469,381, entitled “List Scrolling and Document Translation, Scaling, and Rotation on a Touch-Screen Display.” The agreement was disclosed in a court filing for Apple’s current legal battle with Samsung, and although the disclosure was removed from documents that were made public, The Verge has obtained a copy of the original filing.

The patent covers the fancy scrolling we’ve all grown to love in iOS devices which shows a background texture when a users scrolls beyond the dimensions of a certain page. You can see the feature for yourself by simply loading up a website in Safari and scrolling too far towards the bottom — instead of just stopping, you can see the grey background behind the page before it bounces back.

The patent was used by Apple in its bid to have Samsung’s devices banned in certain territories. The Cupertino company reportedly offered a license on the patent to Samsung in November last year as part of a settlement between the two companies, but unlike IBM and Nokia, Samsung chose not to license the patent.

Apple hasn’t just used the patent against Samsung either; it has also used it in a lawsuit against HTC. However, according to legal expert Nilay Patel, Apple showed a willingness to negotiate with rival companies before the courtroom battles by offering the patent out for licensing:

Offering up a distinctive software feature covered by a strong patent indicates a level of willingness to negotiate that we simply haven’t heard from Apple in the past — it’s a far cry from Steve Jobs telling his biographer that he was willing to go “thermonuclear war” on Google and Android OEMs for infringing Apple’s patents.

That’s in stark contrast to an anecdote that features in Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography, in which Steve recalls a conversation with former Google CEO Eric Schmidt. Having vowed to “destroy” Android, Steve told Schmidt, “If you offer me $5 billion, I don’t want it. I’ve got plenty of money. I want you to stop using our ideas in Android, that’s all I want.”

[via AppleInsider]

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Apple keeps Australian Galaxy Tab ban alive for another week

The temporary injunction in Australia against Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1, which was struck down on Wednesday, will remain in effect for one more week, according to a decision by the country’s High Court on Friday. The decision is designed to provide the High Court time to consider a request by Apple for special permission to pursue an appeal of the ban’s reversal by the federal court.

Apple declared its intent to appeal immediately following Wednesday’s ruling, though legal experts at the time wondered about the validity of that course of action. Australian patent lawyer Mark Summerfield even suggested Apple’s legal team may decide to back down on an appeal attempt, given the circumstances of the ruling, but that clearly hasn’t happened. In a statement to IDG News Service, Samsung said that it believes there is no basis for an appeals application.

For Apple, pursuing the appeals process has clear advantages, even if the application is ultimately denied. This week-long stay, for example, further hampers Samsung’s ability to get the Galaxy Tab on store shelves during the busy holiday shopping season. If Apple’s goal with its injunction attempts against Samsung is not to secure cross-licensing deals for patents at issue but to “prevent the launch of the Galaxy Tab” as previously stated, then this delay contributes to that agenda, since Samsung’s lawyers previously stated that the later the launch would have to wait, the more seriously Samsung might have to consider shelving the device entirely in the Australian market.

Apple is also seeking to ban the sale of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1N, a modified version of Samsung’s original tablet designed to get around patent infringement issues that led to a block of sales of the 10.1 in Germany. The holiday season is a particularly crucial time for consumer electronics sales, so a full-court press from Apple at this critical juncture is the logical course of action.

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Apple Has Samsung’s Galaxy Tab Banned In Australia For Another Week

Just a day after the injunction against the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 was lifted in Australia, allowing Samsung to sell the device down under for the first time, Apple has won a one-week extension that will once again put the tablet’s launch on hold while it prepares its appeal to the High Court.

The ban has been extended until December 9, according to a Bloomberg report, when Australia’s top court will consider Apple’s appeal:

High Court Justice John Dyson Heydon today extended the ban on the release of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 to Dec. 9. On that day, the country’s top court will consider Apple’s request for permission to appeal a lower court’s order issued earlier this week, which lifted a ban on the product that has been in place since mid-October.

“A stay for one week will cost Samsung, in effect, one week’s trade,” Heydon said, following a 90-minute hearing in Sydney. The extension will hurt Samsung “but not to extend the status quo is likely to be injurious to Apple,” he said.

Samsung was hoping to have its Android-powered Galaxy Tab on sale in Australia in time for the holiday season. The company planned to start sales today, with shipments making their way into the country this weekend, but the court is willing to keep Samsung waiting until Apple has presented its request for appeal.

This will be another blow to Samsung, which has been waiting to launch its iPad rival in Australia for months. However, Samsung’s lawyer, Katrina Howard, said if the company cannot launch the device in time for Christmas, it will scrap plans to release it in the country altogether. “This is a critical period of time,” Howard said. “Even one day can make a difference.”

Not only is this a blow for Samsung, but it’ll also be a disappointment to Android users who have been looking forward to the device’s release.

[via MacRumors]

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Federal Judge lifts Samsung Galaxy Tab ban in Australia, Apple appeals

A new twist in the Apple vs. Samsung legal proceedings spanning more than two dozen lawsuits across continents as the Federal Court in Australia lifted sales ban on Samsung’s Galaxy Tab tablet today. The court unanimously overturned a ruling last month from Justice Annabelle Bennett which required that Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 be banned from sale in Australia.

Sydney Morning Hearld quoted the ruling:

Samsung will be permitted to launch the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia provided it keeps accounts of all transactions involving that device in Australia.

Samsung’s Australian subsidiary says it is “pleased with today’s unanimous decision”. Reacting to the decision, Apple plans on appealing to the High Court. The Federal Court also honored Apple’s request that its injunction remain in effect until Friday at 4pm, to allow the company time to prepare an appeal. A full hearing on copycat accusations is set for March 2012, which could still result in a permanent injunction.

Apple is also seeking a ban on the Galaxy Tab 10.1N, a revised version with an added metal frame around the edges. Samsung engineered the Galaxy Tab 10.1N after a district court in Dusseldorf blocked sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 on the grounds that the product bears too many similarities to Apple’s iPad. A hearing in that case is scheduled for December 22.

Cross-posted on 9to5Google.com.



Australian court lifts ban on Galaxy Tab

The injunction previously won by Apple in Australia against the sale of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab was overturned Tuesday as the result of a Federal Court appeal. The temporary injunction was unanimously ruled against by the court’s panel of judges, who agreed with Samsung on most legal issues brought up during the case, but its ruling can still be appealed by Apple.

Apple has until 4 p.m. local time Friday to file an application for permission to appeal to Australia’s High Court to see if it might reinstate the preliminary ban. Patent expert Mark Summerfield, speaking to Australia’s ITNews, thinks Apple’s counsel may decide to pass on an appeal attempt, which he sees as relatively unlikely to succeed, given the unanimous decision by this court, and the precedents it cited from High Court rulings in passing judgement. Apple at this point, however, intends to apply for special leave in time for the deadline. Apple is also responsible for Samsung’s legal costs incurred during the appeals process, according to the ruling.

After the 4 p.m. deadline on Friday, Samsung will immediately be free to sell its Galaxy Tab in Australia through whatever channels it has in place, with the caveat that it document and track each tablet and related application sale in case a permanent injunction hearing should later go against the South Korean company, and in case Apple is later awarded damages.

Samsung hasn’t yet revealed what its plans for launching the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia are at this point. It earlier argued that if it was prevented from selling the device after mid-October, there would effectively be little to be gained by a launch. But Samsung’s lead counsel in the case argued against the stay that gave Apple until Friday to file for permission to appeal, saying that it would “continue to cause substantial injustice and hardship to Samsung,” as a result of “the pendency of the Christmas trading period.” The statement definitely makes it sound like the Tab 10.1 will hit store shelves in Australia in short order.

The ruling is a major setback for Apple, since it basically takes away the iPad maker’s initial successes in its case against Samsung. That means the burden will once again be squarely on Apple’s shoulders when it seeks a permanent injunction in the full trial to be held next year.

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Samsung Tastes Victory In Australia As Court Lifts Galaxy Tab Ban, But Apple Isn’t Happy

An Australian court has lifted the ban placed on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 allowing the Korean company to sell its Android-powered iPad rival down under. However, it had better start shifting them quick, because Apple is preparing to appeal the decision to the High Court.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports:

The full bench of the Federal Court – Justices John Dowsett, Lindsay Foster and David Yates – today unanimously reversed a Federal Court judge’s ruling last month that Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 be banned from sale in Australia.

“Samsung will be permitted to launch the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia provided it keeps accounts of all transactions involving that device in Australia,” the judges wrote in their judgment.

Despite the decision, Apple successfully had the ban extended until Friday at 4 PM, while the Cupertino company prepares its appeal to the High Court. By Friday night, however, Australians will finally be able to purchase Samsung’s flagship tablet in retail stores.

[via MacRumors]

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Review: The Galaxy Nexus from an iPhone owner’s perspective

While I most often use an iPhone as my primary mobile device, I’m not an Android-hater by any means. And resisting the lure of Google’s Android reference device is nearly impossible for an early adopter like me. This year, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is that device, and it’s the first phone to ship with Android 4, otherwise known as “Ice Cream Sandwich.” Here’s what I think of the Nexus, and the latest iteration of Android, and how both stack up to the iPhone 4S and iOS 5.

First impressions

The Galaxy Nexus feels like a very different device compared to the iPhone; almost enough that it seems like it could belong to a different device category. Of course, it’s to be expected that a smartphone with a plastic back and much larger 4.65-inch screen would feel different than one made of metal and glass, sporting a 3.5-inch display. And the screen plays a big part in the different feel, making the Nexus appear to have more in common with something like the 7-inch Kindle Fire than it does with the iPhone, in a lot of ways, including its suitability for consuming media like feature-length movies.

But  not everything about the Nexus impressed me off the bat. I actually managed to nick the plastic back within about 15 minutes of opening the box, for instance. Maybe I should have a cleaner desk, but maybe Samsung should use stronger materials.

Also, the display, while stunning for blacks and whites on high brightness, shows some faint criss-crossing lines when brightness is turned down on whites, or when brightness is turned up on grays. This is something users of other Samsung Android devices have complained about before, and might be easily resolved by a software update. Plus, I’ve had iPhone screen issues on new devices as well, which were fixed in time, so it’s not something I’m counting against the Nexus too much. Likewise, the volume bug some customers are experiencing, which Samsung has said it will soon fix.

How big is too big? Hint: Surprisingly, not 4.65-inches.

The Galaxy Nexus has one immediately striking difference from the iPhone 4S in terms of hardware: A screen of epic proportions. It isn’t quite as large as that found on the Galaxy Note, but at 4.65-inches, it beats the 4S by more than an inch measured diagonally. Some of that extra screen comes from a lack of hardware buttons, but the Nexus is still much larger than the iPhone, as you can tell from this image of the two stacked atop one another.

Surprisingly, however, the larger footprint doesn’t actually add up to a much bigger-feeling device, overall. Thanks perhaps to the curved screen and back, or just to smart distribution of the extra surface area, the Nexus feels comfortable both in my hand and in my pocket. It actually feels better than the 4S when you’re using it to make a call, as the curved surface wraps your face in something like a light embrace. Sound silly, but it feels good.

The Galaxy Nexus might be too large for some smaller hands, however (mine are larger than average), so be sure to get to a store and try one out before you make a purchase if you’re concerned about that.

Sparring screens

Both the Galaxy Nexus and the iPhone 4S have beautiful displays. The 4S’s Retina Display, despite being a year old, still renders text more crisply than the Samsung phone, at least to my eyes. But the Nexus does blacks very, very well. So well, in fact, that I use a basic black background as my wallpaper; icons appear to float out of nowhere on an otherwise completely powered down display as a result. Both devices boast very high pixel densities, with the Nexus managing 316ppi and the 4S managing 330ppi, so any differences are down to the use of LED backlit IPS panels for the iPhone, vs. Samsung’s Super AMOLED technology, and preference for either is going to be a matter of taste.

 

The Galaxy Nexus is a much better device for watching movies and video on, as I mentioned above, partly because of the deep blacks, and partly because of the huge screen size. If you use your device to watch a lot of video, go for the Nexus. If you spend more time reading than watching on your smartphone, the iPhone is the better choice.

Battle of the batteries

Switching between Android and iOS devices, I’m always reminded of just how weak most Android-powered handsets are when it comes to battery life. Even the Galaxy S II, which was strong in most respects, faltered in this one. But the Galaxy Nexus, maybe because of Android 4.0.1 power optimization, has managed to make this a much tighter race. In my use, I managed to get a whopping three days of usage out of a single charge on the Nexus, admittedly with very little movie watching, but using apps and the browser with fair frequency. Given normal use, about two days looks to be very possible, putting it on nearly even footing with the iPhone.

I’m still a little wary, since I often find that battery life on Android devices can be highly erratic depending on which apps you happen to be using at any given time, but the Galaxy Nexus definitely improves in this regard.

No contest for cameras

The iPhone 4S takes better pictures than the Galaxy Nexus. The 4S feels like an adequate replacement for most point-and-shoot cameras, while the Nexus feels like what the Nexus S was; a decent shooter for a smartphone. Discerning mobile photogs should stick with Apple, even though the Galaxy Nexus might have a very slight edge when it comes to shooting speed, but if you’re upgrading from an iPhone 4 you’ll probably appreciate the speed advantages of the Android device more, since photos are otherwise of similar quality.

Mobile OS match-up

Of course, the Android vs. iOS debate will rage endlessly, and Ice Cream Sandwich likely won’t do much to sway either side that much one way or another. But it is a solid update for Android, bringing a level of polish to Google’s platform that it hasn’t really seen thus far.

Android 4.0.1 on the Galaxy Nexus feels like it actually borrows more from Windows Phone 7.5 than iOS, at least in terms of aesthetics, and everything in general seems to work better and smoother. That also might be the result of the dual-core processor powering the Nexus than its software. The new software buttons work well, too, and though I miss the context-sensitive Settings button among them, and don’t quite use the new multitasking tray that replaces it enough to appreciate the change, I don’t find myself missing hardware controls.

I prefer iOS 5′s notification systems to Android’s, as the lock screen still tells me very little about what’s happened while I’ve been away. But the Galaxy Nexus does get one thing I love: A notification light. Practically, it’s really not all that useful; I’m going to check my notifications on either device with about the same amount of frequency, light or no light. But it’s good-looking and provides one more avenue of feedback for users who want one.

In the end, though, Android still has the same problems it always did: it’s harder for new and inexperienced users to get into and navigate, and apps either may or may not work with the device depending on what version of Android they’re coded for and/or what devices they support.

A much tighter race

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus is a great smartphone that gets a lot of things right, and is more forward-looking than the iPhone 4S in a number of ways. It’s better at consuming mobile video, for one, and it features a lot of on-board connectivity options the iPhone doesn’t, including NFC and Wi-Fi Direct.

But in terms of the average smartphone user’s priorities right now, I still believe the iPhone 4S is the superior device. The iOS web browsing experience is still better (text rendering is better, the interface is more usable, and double-tap zooming is a necessity for one-hand browsing), text looks better all around, it has a much better camera for capturing mobile memories, and with iOS 5, notifications provide exactly the right kind of information exactly where you want it.

The Galaxy Nexus is the best Android device yet, and ICS is the best version of Android to date, and they do a lot to narrow the gap between Google and Apple’s mobile efforts, but they don’t close it, at least not completely.

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