Jury says Apple iPhone violated three patents, damages unclear

WILMINGTON, Del., Thu Dec 13, 2012 — A U.S. jury on Thursday found that Apple’s iPhone infringed three patents owned by holding company MobileMedia Ideas, though damages have not yet been determined.

The verdict was delivered after a week-long trial in Delaware federal court, said Larry Horn, chief executive of MobileMedia. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.

The three patents, which cover features like camera phone technology, were acquired from Nokia and Sony Corp. in 2010, Horn said. Those two companies hold a minority interest in MobileMedia, he said.

Representatives for Nokia and Sony could not immediately be reached for comment.

The trial only concerned liability, and a damages proceeding has not yet been scheduled, Horn said. MobileMedia also has litigation pending against HTC Corp. and Research in Motion Ltd.

“Our goal is really to license these patents broadly to the market,” Horn said.

 

 

Google says Apple patent lawsuit dismissed

SAN FRANCISCO, Mon Nov 5, 2012 – A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit by Apple Inc alleging that Google Inc.-owned Motorola’s patent licensing practices were unfair, Google said on Monday.

Apple had been set to square off against Motorola on Monday in a trial in U.S. District Court in Madison, Wisconsin, involving Google’s use of the library of patents it acquired along with Motorola for $12.5 billion in May.

“We’re pleased that the court has dismissed Apple’s lawsuit with prejudice,” a Google spokeswoman said in an emailed statement on Monday.

Dismissal of a case with prejudice means the case is over at the trial court level, though it can be appealed.

Apple could not immediately be reached for comment.

“Motorola has long offered licensing to our extensive patent portfolio at a reasonable and

non-discriminatory rate in line with industry standards,” Google said in its statement. “We remain interested in reaching an agreement with Apple.”

Civil liberties group sues Morgan Stanley over discrimination

NEW YORK, Mon Oct 15, 2012 – The American Civil Liberties Union is filing what it says is the first lawsuit against an investment bank, Morgan Stanley, alleging discrimination for packaging subprime mortgage loans into securities.

The ACLU and other plaintiffs will file the case on behalf of five Detroit residents and its Michigan affiliate, claiming the investment bank encouraged a mortgage lender to make loans with justifiably high costs and a strong possibility of foreclosure to enrich its business of selling securities to institutional investors.

“With this lawsuit, real victims of the subprime lending scandal are stepping forward to hold investment banks like Morgan Stanley accountable for the devastation the banks wrought in their lives and in our economy,” ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero said in a prepared statement.

The civil liberties group will file the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in New York, and asked the court to certify it as a class action. It said as many as 6,000 black homeowners in the Detroit area may have suffered similar discrimination.

Until now, discrimination lawsuits have been brought directly against the original mortgage lenders rather than investment banks that packaged the loans into securities, the ACLU said.

Samsung to add iPhone 5 to U.S. lawsuits vs. Apple

SAN FRANCISCO, Thu Sep 20, 2012 – Samsung Electronics Co said on Thursday it planned to add Apple’s iPhone 5 to its existing patent lawsuits against the U.S. rival, a move that could lead to a preliminary sales injunction of the popular smartphone.

The fresh legal step by the South Korean firm comes as Apple booked orders for over two million iPhone 5 models in the first 24 hours and the model hits store shelves on Friday.

Samsung and Apple are locked in global patent battle in 10 countries and the stakes are high as the two technology giants vie for the top spot in the booming smartphone market.

Both companies are also aggressively raising marketing spending to promote their latest products ahead of the crucial year-end holiday season.

“Samsung anticipates that it will file, in the near future, a motion to amend its infringement contentions to add the iPhone 5 as an accused product,” it said in a U.S. court filing.

“Based on information currently available, Samsung expects that the iPhone 5 will infringe the asserted Samsung patents-in-suit in the same way as the other accused iPhone models.”

Ben & Jerry’s sues over porn copycats

NEW YORK, Thu Sep 6, 2012 – Ben & Jerry’s has sued a maker of pornographic DVDs for allegedly infringing the names of its ice cream flavors with a movie series called “Ben & Cherry’s.”

The company changed some of Ben & Jerry’s best-known ice cream flavors into titles for its movies, according to a complaint filed by Ben & Jerry’s, a subsidiary of Unilever NV, on Wednesday in Manhattan federal court.

For instance, “Boston Cream Pie” became “Boston Cream Thighs,” “Chocolate Fudge Brownie” was changed to “Chocolate Fudge Babes,” and “Peanut Butter Cup” became “Peanut Butter D-Cups,” the lawsuit said.

The DVD jackets also mimic the packaging of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream products, according to the lawsuit. Ben & Jerry’s is asking the court to stop the company, Rodax Distributors Inc, from making or selling movies that infringe its trademarks. It is also seeking monetary damages.

Rodax Distributors, a California-based company that makes and sells adult movies and products, did not immediately return a call for comment.

American Airlines, United face trial over Sept. 11 destruction

NEW YORK, Wed Sep 5, 2012 – A U.S. judge ruled that AMR Corp.’s American Airlines and United Continental Holdings Inc. must face trial over claims relating to the September 11 attacks that destroyed the landmark towers of the World Trade Center in New York almost 11 years ago, court documents showed.

In July 2001, two months before the attacks, World Trade Center Properties LLC bought 99-year leases to four World Trade Center buildings from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Inc. for $2.805 billion.

In its lawsuit against United Airlines and American Airlines, WTCP said that had it not been for the airlines’ negligence, “the terrorists could not have boarded and hijacked the aircraft and flown them into the twin towers,” on Sept. 11, 2001, according a New York court filing.

The company claimed damages of $8.4 billion from the airlines, the estimated cost of replacing the towers.

Judge Alvin Hellerstein limited the value of WTCP’s destroyed property to $2.805 billion, the price WTCP paid for the leases.

The defendants denied they were negligent, and said the case should not go to trial because WTCP has recovered $4.091 billion from insurance companies.

Judge Hellerstein said at this stage he could not reasonably determine the defendants’ claim that insurance payments received by WTCP covered the damages the company is seeking from them.

“On this record, before trial, I am not able to make such findings,” Judge Hellerstein said in a court filing.

Investor sues Sirius board for not fighting Liberty’s control

MIAMI, Wed Aug 22, 2012 – A police pension fund is suing Sirius XM Radio Inc.’s board of directors for letting Liberty Media Corp. take over the company without a fight and without paying a premium.

The lawsuit, filed in the Court of Chancery in Delaware by the City of Miami (Florida) Police Relief and Pension Fund, comes just days after Liberty said it planned to take full control of Sirius and its board by increasing its stake in the satellite radio operator to more than 50 percent.

Liberty, a media holding company, filed an application on Friday with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to take control of Sirius.

Liberty, led by billionaire chairman John Malone, acquired its initial stake in Sirius in 2009 as part of a deal in which it loaned the satellite radio provider $530 million to help it stave off bankruptcy.

As part of the loan, Sirius’ board agreed not to adopt a poison pill or any defense measures against a Liberty takeover after a three-year standstill. Since the standstill expired in March, Liberty has been buying Sirius shares in the open market to boost its stake above 50 percent.

Sirius Chief Executive Mel Karmazin previously said Liberty could not take over the company without paying a premium, but he downplayed the conflict with Liberty on a conference call on Aug. 7.

The pension fund alleges that the provisions that prohibit Sirius from fighting off a Liberty takeover constitute a breach of the board’s fiduciary duties. The provisions prevent the directors from taking any action to hurt Liberty’s ability to continue acquiring Sirius stock, “regardless of whether Liberty’s acquisition poses a threat to Sirius’ non-Liberty shareholders,” according to the lawsuit.

Apple, Samsung launch salvos as smartphone trial heats up

SAN JOSE, Calif. Tue Jul 31, 2012 – Samsung Electronics Co Ltd told jurors that its products are not copycats of Apple Inc.’s iPhone but rather an example of legitimate American-style competition from the South Korean company.
Lawyers for both tech giants faced off on Tuesday for opening statements in the highly anticipated U.S. patent trial, where Apple has accused Samsung of stealing iPhone features like scrolling and multi-touch.
The stakes are high: Apple is being tested on its worldwide patent strategy against Google’s Android operating system, while Samsung faces the threat of sales bans on its Galaxy line of phones and tablets.
Apple attorney Harold McElhinny said Samsung’s own internal product analyses show it deliberately chose to rip off the iPhone, but Samsung lawyer Charles Verhoeven said all companies produce such documents.
“It’s called competition,” Verhoeven said. “That’s what we do in America.”
The world’s largest consumer electronics corporations have been waging legal war around the world, accusing each other of patent violations as they vie for supremacy in a fast-growing market for mobile devices. They sell over half of the world’s smartphones.
The legal fight began last year when Apple sued Samsung in federal court, accusing the South Korean company of slavishly copying the iPhone and iPad. Samsung countersued.
The federal courtroom here was jammed on Tuesday with lawyers and reporters, with more spilling into an overflow room next door equipped with a video feed. Both companies relied on slides featuring various phone models, internal emails and news reports to make their points.

Kodak sues Apple, claiming interference in patent sales

ROCHESTER, N.Y., Tue Jun 19, 2012 – Photography pioneer Eastman Kodak Co. sued Apple Inc. to stop it from interfering with plans to sell a large patent portfolio, a significant part of its bankruptcy restructuring.

In a lawsuit filed on Monday in U.S. bankruptcy court in Manhattan, Kodak said Apple, the largest U.S. company by market value, wrongly claims to own 10 patents arising from work that the companies did together in the early 1990s.

Privately held FlashPoint Technology Inc also claims ownership through an assignment from Apple, which spun it off in 1996, and is also a defendant, Kodak said.

The patents include technology that helps camera owners preview photographs on LCD screens.

They are part of Kodak’s digital-capture portfolio, which the company said includes more than 700 patents for devices such as digital cameras, smartphones and tablets, and has generated more than $3 billion in revenues since 2001.

Kodak said Apple is the largest infringer of patents in that portfolio, and also a potential purchaser of those patents.

“Apple’s strategy has been to use its substantial cash position to delay as long as possible the payment of royalties to Kodak” and interfere with the sale, Kodak

Bear Stearns $275 million settlement reached in shareholder suit

NEW YORK, Thu Jun 7, 2012 – A $275 million settlement has been reached in a nationwide shareholder lawsuit stemming from the near-collapse of the former Wall Street investment bank Bear Stearns Cos., court papers show.

The settlement resolves claims that Bear, and several officials including former Chief Executive James Cayne, misled investors about the company’s deteriorating financial health before it was acquired by JPMorgan Chase & Co.

The lead plaintiff, the State of Michigan Retirement Systems, filed settlement papers on Wednesday night with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, and is seeking preliminary court approval of the accord.