Patents are the bread-and-butter of the mobile market with many legal battles fought in court to secure and enforce them. Huge amounts of money change hands as technology company's license patents held by others. Nokia and Samsung have announced that they have extended their patent agreement adding another five years to the deal.
Apple has been on the receiving end of a patent infringement from Wi-Lan Inc., which alleged that Apple had infringed upon a patent related to wireless technology via its iPhone handsets. Wi-Lan had sought $248 million from Apple in addition to a cut of each sale, and has told Bloomberg that in light of the ruling it is reviewing its options.
At a conference at Stanford University today, Winston & Stawn's Vice Chair of Intellectual Property Michael Brody spoke about patent trolls during a presentation, detailing the harm they present to companies and numbers related to them from the past few years. Although patent trolls target a variety of companies, Apple, HP, and Samsung have become the most common targets, with Apple being at the top.
It looks like this time around, Apple is the one getting lawsuits filed against them. A company called Intertrust, owned by big names,Sony and Philips, has claimed that Apple has infringed on its security and content protection patents. Apple is accused of violating 12 patents centered around security, as well as software that prevents piracy of media files like music, movies, apps and more.
It looks like Apple is looking to stir up some old issues with Google. Apple has asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington to reinstate the patent-infringement claims it had filed against Google's Motorola Mobility unit. Apple stated that Google, and several companies, infringed on its touch-screen patents. Apple said that the touch screen was the key aspect that "drove the iPhone phenomenon and later the iPad."
Earlier this morning, it was announced that Kodak sold off all of their digital imaging patents for a total of $525 million in order to help pay off chapter 11 bankruptcy bills. At the time, though, a list of companies who bought these patents off of Kodak wasn't disclosed, but now the list has been released, and it includes a total of 12 companies, including Apple, Google, and Research In Motion.
In the middle of November, Apple and HTC formed a settlement that ended a two-year legal struggle over patents. Samsung followed up by filing a request in court for access to the settlement details, which it was granted a few days later. Now the general public gets to see a redacted version of the settlement, which reveals few precious details.
On Friday, we reported that Samsung had filed a request in court for access to the license agreement that was formed between Apple and HTC in a settlement. The two companies had been engaged in a lawsuit for two years, with Apple claiming that HTC had violated ten of its patents. Today, Samsung's request was granted, requiring Apple and HTC to provide the settlement details.
HTC CEO Peter Chou has blasted "outrageous" estimates at the per-device settlement fee rumored to be required in its cross-licensing patent agreement with Apple, instead describing the deal as "a good ending." Questioned as to whether a $6-$8 charge per Android phone was indeed the settlement amount during a press event in Tokyo, Chou refused to name a specific number, Reuters reports, but said those figures were both "baseless" and "very, very wrong."
This past weekend, Apple and HTC reached a settlement to end the legal squabble between the two companies. Now Samsung, who has been engaged in a series of lawsuits with Apple across the world, is poking around the deal. Earlier today, the Korean company submitted a formal request in court that, if granted, will require Apple to fork over a copy of the license agreement.
Samsung has "no intention" of chasing a settlement with Apple, its mobile chief has insisted, refusing to follow HTC in ending ongoing patent battles outside of the courtroom. Asked whether an HTC-style agreement was in the pipeline, Samsung Mobile head J.K. Shin told press that "we have no such intention" the AFP reports, going on to predict Q4 2012 sales at least as strong as those in Q3.