This follows a ruling at the end of last month by the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals that U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh could decide whether or not to lift the ban on U.S. sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1-inch tablet. Koh had previously refused to rule on the matter.
“We are pleased with the court’s action today, which vindicates our position that there was no infringement of Apple’s design patent and that an injunction was not called for,” Samsung is reported as saying in a statement.
We’ve contacted Apple and Samsung for further comment and will update with any response. Samsung provided the following statement: “On September 28, 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit made a ruling, permitting the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to consider our request to lift the preliminary injunction on the GALAXY Tab 10.1. We will continue to take all appropriate measures to ensure the availability of our innovative products.”
Apple filed for a preliminary injunction against Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet back in May ahead of the trial. In the U.S. the dispute focuses on the iPad D’889 design patent — Apple’s trade dress — but the jury in the Apple vs Samsung trial subsequently decided Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 had not infringed this design patent, effectively invalidating the earlier ruling banning U.S. sales.
However it’s not necessary the end of the road for the Tab 10.1 design disputes — FOSS Patents’ Florian Mueller notes that after a hearing scheduled for early December Apple can still win a permanent injunction against Samsung’s slate “over the D’889 tablet design patent if it prevails on the related part of its Rule 50 (“overrule-the-jury”) motion”.
Apple won an E.U.-wide preliminary injunction against the Galaxy Tab 10.1 last year – although this was subsequently lifted in all countries except Germany, where the sales ban was granted. The dispute over the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the E.U. rested on Apple’s Community Design 000181607 for the iPad.Related Posts:
Aircell’s Gogo in-flight Wi-Fi service will soon be heading to the Great White North.
Launched just over four years ago, Gogo announced today that it has been granted a subordinate spectrum license in Canada. (They’ve leased spectrum from SkySurf, in case you were wondering.) Cell site construction will begin in the 4th quarter of this year and will operate on the same frequency as Gogo’s existing network in the US. Rollout of the ATG (air-to-ground) service is expected sometime towards the end of 2013.
Gogo’s in-flight Wi-Fi service will “focus” on existing routes flown by the company’s current US and Canadian airline partners. A company rep tells us the upcoming Canadian network will be compliant with Gogo’s next-gen ATG-4 system, which employs a directional antenna, dual modem and EV-DO Rev. B for speeds up to 9.8Mbps.Related Posts:
If you’re flying American on Friday, there’s a chance your pilot will be using an iPad instead of the traditional paper flight charts. The airline has reportedly become the first major one to get FAA approval for the device, though smaller charter lines have had it for a while. American announced their intention to make the switch back in June, joining Alaska and Delta and probably a few others by now.
There’s been a bit of a dust-up regarding the actual fuel savings. And while they’re miniscule, airlines are continually trimming things down and the loss of 35 pounds of charts from every plane in a fleet adds up quickly: American estimates over a million dollars a year. Not only that, but as Delta hopes, the iPad (or Xoom) will also improve communications and flight quality.
What’s missing from the report is what software exactly will be used, and whether it will be standardized across airlines, whether it’s private, open, airline-owned, licensed, or what. While it’s not important for the average flyer, who probably didn’t know the pilots carried around 40 pounds of charts with them in the first place, it should probably be at least publicly accessible information to some extent. I’m sure we’ll hear more about this, though, and we’ll see about finding out more.
If you’re worried that the devices are going to succumb to death grip, battery failure, or glitches, don’t be. The devices have undergone a six-month test period with thousands of hours of flight time, and at any rate, chances are if the one in the cockpit bites it, there will be a few spares in first class.
An American Airlines pilot has kindly provided more information (not secret by any means, but interesting) on this news. AA is certainly using JeppTC, as a commenter suggested they were. It’s actually available in the App store, but licensed pilots (and presumably those from specific airlines) have access to extra charts.
By charts, our pilot informant wishes to emphasize that it’s not just a big book. There are a number of binders covering departures, approaches, runways, operating manuals, and so on. And they must be kept up to date with biweekly inserts, which mine informant describes as “a pain in the ass” and taking hours, whereas the iPad app is automatically updated.
The iPads (and AA is sticking with iPads, the FAA has not approved any other devices, though Delta is looking at Android ones) must have backup batteries, and although I was joking about requisitioning a passenger’s iPad, it could be done if they had internet access.
It is also worth noting that these charts are duplicated per pilot, meaning that on a transatlantic flight you may have four such chart bags, which must be as much a drag on the cockpit’s closet space as it is on fuel consumption. Some paper will still be carried; the iPad program is voluntary, and some navigational charts are not yet considered good enough on the iPad and must still be carried.
Thanks very much to our tipster, who wished to remain anonymous.
Lately, Apple’s become synonymous with a flurry of hotly-contested patent disputes, but in a nice change of events, the company’s actually been granted a bunch by the USPTO. The recently awarded patents range from the mundane to the utilitarian, covering designs for a customizable docking peripheral, in addition to a solar-powered solution for charging those iDevices. But the real additions to Cupertino’s legal arsenal are its patents for what appears to be cover flow-like navigation for video, and display rotation for images captured via iOS cameras. Alright so none of these patents are particularly revolutionary, and they certainly aren’t tipping us off to the next iteration of the iPhone, but think of the lawyers, will you? This is the stuff their litigious dreams are made of.
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As is befitting a global technology empire, Apple seems to always have a great number of patents in moderation. The latest batch is an interesting mix, with the standout patents hailing from as far back as 2007 or as recently as 2010. The current ruckus surrounding the patent system isn’t going to die down any time soon, so I’ll try not to editorialize too much here, but some of these do seem a bit more legitimate than others.
The biggest win for Apple is probably the visual voicemail interface patent. Opponents of software patents in general, gird yourselves for battle.
Patent 7,996,792 was submitted on June 28, 2007, the day before the iPhone was made available. It covers “A computer-implemented method for management of voicemail messages” and associated playback controls. While the visual playback and selection of voice messages certainly predates the iPhone, this patent is much more closely allied to the rest of Apple’s multi-touch and initial iPhone patents, the conceptual legitimacy of which as unique inventions may be a matter for discussion, but the legal legitimacy of which is not worth disputing at this time. The UI is very minutely described in this patent, making it nearly impossible to abuse and mooting any patent-war criticisms directly solely at 7,996,792. Steve Jobs and Scott Forstall are given prime billing for credit on this item.
More troubling is the method for affecting boot item order, which is not very specific at all, and amounts to a patent on real-time prioritizing of boot items. During startup, if a user selects iTunes or Photos before other things are finished loading in the background, it then loads the associated libraries and data for that item first on the next boot. Startup and BIOS managers have allowed for this kind of reordering for a long time, and although I don’t know the specifics of how it’s handled, I have to guess that starting an application before Windows has finished loading all its background services (for example) changes the immediate priority in real time, though it doesn’t save that information for later.
On a far less contentious note, Apple also was granted two fairly substantial hardware patents. The first is a manufacturing method that could result in a thinner touchscreen-display sandwich, the details of which are quite technical. The second is part of a component mounting system for a desktop PC — a minor item for making the locking and unlocking of PCI and other components easier. It was filed for way back in 2008, though, so it seems about as likely now as then that they have a new desktop enclosure in the works. Still, it’s nice to think about.
There’s more info (and links to the other 16 patents just granted to Apple) over at Patently Apple.
Niko Alm is an Austrian ‘Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster’ member who’s spent the last three years battling his government for the right to wear a “religious” spaghetti strainer on his head in his driver’s license photo. Why you’d do that I have no clue, but now I want one with a toilet seat around my neck and a plunger on my head. Get it? Because I’m a sorry excuse for a turd. :/
Niko Alm first applied for the licence three years ago after reading that headgear was allowed in official pictures only for confessional reasons.
Mr Alm said the sieve was a requirement of his religion, pastafarianism.
The Austrian authorities required him to obtain a doctor’s certificate that he was “psychologically fit” to drive.
The licence took three years to come through and, according to Mr Alm, he was asked to submit to a medical interview to check on his mental fitness to drive but – straining credulity – his efforts have finally paid off.
Aaaaaah, I see now. Hey — as long as this paves the way for me getting my picture taken with a pair of those glittery alien antennae on my head with my face painted silver, I’m all for it. “NEXT! Okay now — Mr….Geekologie Writer — smile at the camera and say cheese.” *adjusting antannae* Zip-zap, nanu-nanu — I will vaporize you, human!
Austrian driver’s religious headgear strains credulity [bbcnews]
Thanks to Doug, Asbo and Spikey DaPikey, who all wore wigs in their license photos because they make them feel extra sessy.Hook me up with a ride to the mall on Facebook or Twitter and I’ll buy you a pretzel Related Posts:
Kodak scored a small victory this week in its International Trade Commission (ITC) case against Apple and RIM for their devices’ infringement of Kodak’s patent on picture previews. Back in January, an ITC administrative law judge (ALJ) made an initial determination that the patent was invalid and that iPhones and Blackberrys don’t infringe Kodak’s IP. After reviewing the decision per the parties’ request, the Commission changed a few of the ALJ’s patent claim interpretations and remanded the case for fresh analysis regarding both infringement and validity. Kodak, naturally, is painting the remand as a victory, even going so far as issuing a celebratory press release. Such swagger seems a bit premature, however, as the judge could once again find in favor of the crowds from Cupertino and Waterloo. The next Kodak moment isn’t until August 30th, when the ALJ is due to render his ruling. Stay tuned.
Brian Heater contributed to this post.
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It’s taken the US Patent and Trademark Office four and half years to consider it, but Facebook now finally has a patent on one of its central features: photo tagging. Applied for in October 2006 and just granted this week, this legal doc gives Mark Zuckerberg and a couple of his buddies credit for designing a method for identifying users in “a selection of an item of digital media.” That could be photos, video, audio, or text — the main drive of the patent is that it lets people associate a given chunk of media with a person and inform others of this association. The wording of Facebook’s claims is rather specific — you have to, for example, allow the identified person the opportunity to reject the identification — so having this patent need not necessarily preclude other sites like Flickr from engaging in similar, but not identical, behavior.
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Apple has just collected the US Patent Office’s approval to add another to its vast hoard of patents. This one, numero 7,918,689 in the USPTO annals, describes a multi-pin male plug connector and a corresponding female receptacle, with the innovation being a reduction in size thanks to a single row of contacts. You can think of it as Apple’s next generation of 30-pin connectors, or rather the next generation as the company envisioned it back in late 2008, the date of filing for this document. Back then, while the age of the click wheel was still upon us, Apple wanted to transfer USB 3.0 and DisplayPort signals over its newfangled plug, aspirations that were codified in claim 11 of its patent. We may now be a solid 30 or so months removed from that doc hitting the Patent Office’s inbox, but the desire to have advanced data transfer tech integrated straight into the company’s proprietary connectors is unlikely to have withered. Would it be a stretch to expect Apple’s now working on a similar solution for the Thunderbolt interconnect — whose plug looks identical to the one used for DisplayPort — that is presently gracing its MacBook Pro line?
Gallery: Apple patent: Reduced Size Multi-pin Male Plug Connector
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We saw some really interesting convertible touch device patents back in August, but they mainly pertained to a sort of “kneeling” iMac and the transitions between OS X and iOS. Now, in a new bevy of patents granted to Apple (including some I examined) we’re seeing a new, interesting sliding-screen design for a MacBook-tablet hybrid.
Back at the Apple event in October, Jobs mentioned that touchscreens like to be horizontal. A “standing” touchscreen attached to a laptop is a bad idea, something ergonomics experts have already determined. But this design allows for a device to be both a horizontal tablet and a vertical screen for touchpad and keyboard input. To be honest, though, I’m not sure it could be executed in as attractive and lightweight a way as would be necessary for it to be a success.
Dell is already exploring this space with the Inspiron Duo, but I think they might have undershot as far as quality goes. A device like this can command a premium, and shouldn’t cut corners, as the touch interface on the Duo seems to do.
It may also be that an Apple engineer found a clever way to do this kind of thing, and Apple just wanted to reserve it for themselves should they ever feel the urge to put one out. No way to tell right now, but don’t expect one of these to come out in January.