Print 49 comment(s) - last by retrospooty.. on Dec 17 at 1:55 PM

Victory gives Windows Phone and Android maker bargaining leverage and possibly a damages payout

Apple, Inc. (AAPL) has lost an important, but under publicized patent infringement jury trial regarding its iPhone.  The trial was held in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, a jurisdiction that is viewed as plaintiff friendly (much like East Texas) and hence tends to attract patent litigation.

The jury in the Wilmington, Delaware court found Apple guilty of willfully infringing on three patents covering camera phones, call handling, and call rejection.  The next phase will be a damages trial with the plaintiff's attorneys already crowing that they expect a "substantial" payout from Apple.

The case was first filed in 2010 by MobileMedia Ideas LLC, and covered 14 patents.  U.S. District Judge Sue L. Robinson was initially reticent to bring the case to trial, but she agreed to this year, when the plaintiffs whittled their list down to the three most important patents.

MobileMedia Chief Executive Officer Larry Horn told Bloomberg after the news was announced, "We’re very pleased.  We think it’s justified.  We’re not in the litigation business [we just want to license]."

Oh, it might be worth mentioning that MobileMedia is co-owned by Android phonemaker Sony Corp. (TYO:6758), Windows Phone maker Nokia Oyj. (HEX:NOK1V) and MPEG LA, a company specializing in licensing video codecs.  In that regard, MobileMedia is what is called a "shell company" -- a company that does not produce anything, but which one or more companies shuffle patents to for the purpose of suing.

The patents used in the case came from Sony and Nokia.

Under current U.S. patent and contract law, often times settlements between two companies don't necessarily apply to their shell firms.  Thus Nokia, for example, can sue Apple via MobileMedia without breaching its settlement from when it directly sued Apple.  In most cases licensing settlements are written such that suing the licensed party breaches the contract.

Also by using shell firms, companies like Sony and Nokia can escape negative publicity of appearing overly litigious.

Steve Bauer, a partner at Proskauer Rose LLP -- the law firm representing the victorious plaintiffs -- wrote in an email to Bloomberg, "This was a very difficult case.  It required us to take the jury back to 1994-1998, when these technologies were first invented."

Apple has been struggling in the patent sphere of late, seeing the "Steve Jobs" multi-touch patent and the key "rubber-band" patent invalidated.  Apple also was found to have infringed on a Swiss company's protected clock design.

Sources: Bloomberg, Business Wire

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By wwwcd on 12/14/2012 2:23:22 PM , Rating: 2
Time for Apple to make serious judgments about how that relates to the users of the company's products, especially to launch a genuine new models, not only minimally altered in design of shiny junk

By Argon18 on 12/14/2012 2:47:29 PM , Rating: 4
I don't own a single Apple product, but calling them "shiny junk" is only showing your ignorance. You and I may not care for them, but Apple hardware is the benchmark by which all others are compared. They're the industry trend setter that everyone else copies from, and their hardware designs are really quite fantastic. I have my reasons for avoiding them, but the hardware definitely isn't one.

By tng on 12/14/2012 4:44:29 PM , Rating: 2
You and I may not care for them, but Apple hardware is the benchmark by which all others are compared.
How so?

Really, how has Apple set a benchmark in the mobile phone industry lately? Yes the original iPhone was innovative and set a "benchmark", but the later follow ups on that have been somewhat meh... Now there are others out there that have taken the ideas presented first by Apple and are designing better products.

By MartyLK on 12/14/12, Rating: -1
By tng on 12/14/2012 5:29:28 PM , Rating: 2
I love the build quality of my 4th Gen Ipod as well, but after playing with a buddies GS3 I realized that I am somewhat let down by the software which I think is somewhat restrictive.

By MartyLK on 12/14/2012 5:45:56 PM , Rating: 1
I am somewhat let down by the software which I think is somewhat restrictive.

That's the exact reason I sold my iPhone 4 for enough money to buy a GS3. Once the features and changes were listed for the soon-to-be-released iOS6, I set my heart on something better, new and different.

Apple's software is way too old and Apple doesn't change it or make it new like their competition, Google, does. My iPhone 1 and then iPhone 4 were gorgeous devices. But they were boring as can be.

I can't even have a spark of a thought about that with my GS3. It has features I'm sure I haven't come across yet. And I've had mine for 6 months.

By BZDTemp on 12/16/2012 4:20:13 AM , Rating: 2
You can confirm exactly nothing unless you get you hands on a lot of hardware.

There is plenty of handset just as good or better than what Apple is doing unless of course you count pre-scratched as a plus.

By maugrimtr on 12/17/2012 8:52:27 AM , Rating: 2
The new iPhone 5's build quality is inferior as far as I'm concerned. That black coating shows every teeny scratch and it takes mere days to see it wearing through on every edge and button. Apple could not have helped but know about this. I call it shoddy, because calling it anything else is fantastical. Throw in the aging software, the software freezing bugs, its decision to replace a solid Maps solution with an in-house disaster, and the realisation that 30% of everything you spend on it also ends up in Apple's pocket, and it's very easy to move to Android.

By Rukkian on 12/14/2012 5:15:41 PM , Rating: 2
While I may not own apple products (probably never will!), that doesn't mean I can't see they are a main benchmark for others.

Their phones sell no matter what, that fact alone makes them a benchmark.

While they may not have the absolute best in any one hardware catagory, they are usually one of the top.
Camera - usually one of the best
Screen - to some the best, others just near the top
Battery life - usually near the top
Graphics performance - pretty much always tops when it is released
CPU performance - usually one of the top

There are other things that apple completely sucks at, and are the reasons I will never buy one, but that does not mean they are not a benchmark in the industry. They may end up a benchmark for mid grade phones if they dont start innovating, but that is down the road imo.

By spread on 12/14/2012 7:40:32 PM , Rating: 2
Reception and call quality are pretty good too. Which being a phone are very important features.

By InfinityzeN on 12/15/2012 3:12:21 PM , Rating: 1

Apple phones are some of the worst when used as an actual phone.

By MartyLK on 12/15/2012 3:27:28 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, the only real use an iPhone has is making calls. There isn't much else an iPhone can do beyond making calls.

By Richard875yh5 on 12/17/2012 9:11:20 AM , Rating: 2
Apple could make shit, and it would sell like hotcakes. They are on the same track as the old GM...bound to destruction.

By TakinYourPoints on 12/14/2012 9:12:13 PM , Rating: 5
The fastest hardware, the best battery life (outside of 6" phablets, ofc), among the best displays, the absolute best app market, and guaranteed longterm hardware and OS support.

Its pretty good.

By retrospooty on 12/15/2012 9:41:10 AM , Rating: 2
It does have those things, but I am quite sure he was referring to all of the things that the iPhone is missing and its aged OS that doesnt seem to be advancing while everyone else has passed it. Its list of "have's" is alot shorter than its list of "have not's"

By TakinYourPoints on 12/16/2012 9:07:39 PM , Rating: 2
I'll take no internal SD card expansion or swappable batteries (who needs them when you get double the LTE battery life of a GS3?) as compromises. :)

As for the OS stuff, its interesting how cosmetics and not functionality are such high priorities for you. Again, I guess Android is nice if you want to play with your home screen.

By MartyLK on 12/16/2012 10:06:42 PM , Rating: 1's more than just "playing with a homescreen". It's more about being able to maximize the use of the device so the user can constantly play with it (hold it, feel it, look at it, marvel at it's capabilities).

My GS3 sits on Wifi most of the time and the battery life is good enough for a days use. It needs to be better, for sure. But It's much more enjoyable to use my 80GB GS3 than it was my iPhone 4.

As for the removable battery, I also could do without one. I never change the one it has out. But expandable memory is a must.

By retrospooty on 12/17/2012 1:55:46 PM , Rating: 2
"As for the OS stuff, its interesting how cosmetics and not functionality are such high priorities for you. Again, I guess Android is nice if you want to play with your home screen."

Stop trolling TYP... That is basically what you are becoming with the ignorant comment above.

How is any of this cosmetic? Funtionality is #1 and on that front Android doesnt just beat Apple, it completely blows it away.

- Larger Screens (I cant even begin to state how functional this is)
- Higher resolution screens
- Better OS
- Better notifications
- Better UI (well maybe this one is cosmetic)
- Better Mapping software
- Plays HD content without downscaling
- Photo Spere
- Mini HDMI port
- Multi user support (for tablets)
- Flexibility in OS (Tons of Custom ROM's, etc)
- Flexibility in hardware (qwerty models, removable batteries, larger models, smaller models, high end models, mid range models, cheap models)
- Micro SD card
- Micro USB
- Plug and play as a flash drive to copy files

By nikon133 on 12/16/2012 7:26:17 PM , Rating: 2
iP5 is still fastest (or at least one of the fastest) phones with great graphics, exceptional battery life and high quality screen in terms of colour reproduction and density, if not on sheer screen size. Plus they are well put together devices made of quality materials.

For me, let-down with iPhone5 (and iPad4) is ageing iOS which hasn't changed it's core much since 2007. iOS is like Windows XP of mobile devices world, around forever, getting refreshed a bit with updates but mostly relying on apps to get/improve functionality that should be already integrated in modern OS. Frankly, after having 3Gs for over 3 years, I'm finding iOS a bit... boring. Which is why I'm looking at Lumia 920, even if I don't have anything against iPhone5 as a device.

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