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Jul 02, 2011 - 4:02 PM - by idan

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Judge rules Apple entitled to potential royalties from patent-infringing Samsung

Nov 26, 2014 - 1:30 PM - by sparkyscott21

In an order filed late Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh granted in part Apple's motion requesting ongoing royalties from Samsung, though there is only a slight chance that Apple will find reason to collect.

Judge Koh's ruling awards Apple ongoing post-judgment royalties on possible continuing sales of Samsung models found in infringement of three Apple patents, as well as future products similar to those already found to infringe.

The order applies to the second Apple v. Samsung jury trial heard in California, where Samsung was found guilty of infringing on three Apple patents, two of which — the '647 patent for data detectors and the '721 patent for "slide-to-unlock" — were decided by a jury. A summary judgment handed down by Judge Koh in the days leading up to trial found Samsung in infringement of Apple's '172 patent for predictive text input.

As noted by FOSS Patents' Florian Mueller, a distinction must be made in that Apple is not guaranteed royalties from future Samsung sales, but may potentially seek payments on ruled infringed products and only under very narrow circumstances. Specifically, as it pertains to products adjudicated during trial proceedings, Apple would have to prove Samsung continued to sell offending devices post judgment and that these devices infringed its patents in the same way a trial jury decided in May.

The public version of the ruling redacts exact royalty amounts, though it does specify separate rates for ten Samsung products and those "no more than colorably different" from adjudicated models. Mueller believes the final royalty rates will likely be made public in upcoming appeals proceedings.

Today's ruling points out that Samsung previously claimed continuing remedies are not necessary as products no infringement allegations were leveled on products sold after 2012. Samsung also said it designed workarounds for Apple's patents, adding that post-verdict sales of products accused to be in infringement have already ended. A lone Galaxy S III version is still on sale but does not use code that infringes Apple's '647 data detectors patent.

From Judge Koh's judgment, filed alongside today's order:

For the reasons stated in the November 25, 2014 Order Granting Apple's Motion for Ongoing Royalties, Samsung is ordered to pay ongoing royalties for any continuing infringement at the per-unit rates set forth in that Order. Those royalties shall apply to products adjudicated to infringe U.S. Patent Nos. 5,946,647; 8,046,721; and 8,074,172, and to products "not more than colorably different therefrom." The starting date for any ongoing royalties shall be after the date of this Judgment.

Samsung quickly appealed the ruling in its own filing later Tuesday.

Apple and Samsung agreed to settle all non-U.S. patent disputes in August, leaving the California cases open. The companies will next meet on Dec. 5 when a hearing is scheduled to hear Samsung's appeal of the final judgment in the first Apple v. Samsung jury trial, which ended in an initial $1.05
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Union pushes Apple for better treatment of campus security guards

Nov 26, 2014 - 1:27 PM - by sparkyscott21

An effort to unionize security guards across Silicon Valley has set its sights on Apple, pushing the tech trendsetter to stand up for contract laborers in hopes of catalyzing interest from other companies in the area.

In its fight to unionize Silicon Valley contract workers, a regional division of Service Employees International Union called United Service Workers West is asking Apple to support an initiative seeking better treatment of security guards, reports the San Jose Mercury News.

Apple's campus is currently staffed by a security guard force supplied by contractor Security Industry Specialists, which supposedly treats their employees poorly, according to the SEIU-USWW. Chief among the union's concerns is pay, as these workers have to deal with quickly rising cost of living in and around San Francisco.

"Apple can be the leader," said Samuel Kehinde, vice president of United Service Workers West. "They can decide how life should be for this class of workers in the valley."

Civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson lent his voice to the movement in a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook last month, asking the company to take a closer look at SIS operations. Jackson asked for a meeting with Cook to discuss the issue, but has yet to receive a reply, the report said.

"Part of the narrative of their firm is equitable and first-class leadership," Jackson said. "As they grow at such a rapid pace, they should have world-class working conditions for their workers from the bottom up."

For its part, SIS CFO Tom Seltz last year claimed Silicon Valley security guards contracted by his company made an average of $19.77 per hour, not including benefits. While higher than the state average, advocates and unions argue SIS salaries are not enough to account for ballooning living expenses seen in the Bay Area.

The push for unionization is linked to a wider issue concerning a supposed gentrification of the Bay Area, where longtime residents are being displaced by an influx of affluent tech industry workers.

Employees holding skill positions at tech companies like Apple are widely considered to garner lopsided salaries compared to contract workers who perform menial duties, such as security guards. Economic discord has manifested in outrage famously directed at tech company shuttle buses that ferry passengers from their homes in San Francisco to jobs outside the city. The shuttles, which make stops at city bus stops, have become a symbol for activists' struggle for normalization.



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Apple debuts new iPhone TV spots featuring Continuity functions and Vainglory gamepla

Nov 25, 2014 - 1:44 PM - by sparkyscott21

Apple premiered two new TV ads for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus tonight featuring the duo of Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake. The first of the two, “Reservations,” shows off iOS 8’s new Continuity features that allow users to place phone calls from any iCloud-connected device.

In the ad, Timberlake uses a Mac and iPad to call Fallon’s iPhone, while Fallon answers the calls in a phony French accent.

In the second ad, “Gamers,” (below), the pair plays of iPhone-based MOBO Vainglory and engage is some lingo-filled trash talk. Vainglory that was originally demonstrated during Apple’s iPhone 6 announcement and appeared on the App Store earlier this week.



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Apple looking for app engineers to work on virtual reality experiences

Nov 24, 2014 - 5:19 PM - by sparkyscott21

UI concept for VR iPhone case

Apple is hinting at its interest in developing apps for virtual reality and augmented reality experiences and hiring engineers to assist. The evidence comes from a new job listing that Apple posted over the weekend seeking app engineers experienced with 3D graphics, virtual reality, and augmented reality.

More specifically, Apple is looking for app developers to build user interfaces and “high performance apps that integrate with Virtual Reality systems for prototyping and user testing.”

The job listing doesn’t provide many other details in terms of what exactly Apple is working on, but it sure sounds a lot like the company is interested in developing virtual reality and or augmented reality experiences of some kind. As for what “virtual reality systems” Apple is referring to, it’s unclear if Apple has plans to integrate software with third-party hardware— like the growing number of iPhone accessories for VR experiences— or perhaps its own virtual reality hardware of sorts.

Even more interesting is the fact that an Apple patent popped up last year showing what looks a lot like an Oculus Rift-style headset:

Apple described the headset as a “goggle system for providing a personal media viewing experience,” but didn’t make mentions of virtual reality applications. It was awarded the patent back in September of this year.

While much of the focus in the VR space has surrounded the company behind the Oculus Rift headset acquired by Facebook earlier this year, several other companies small and large have announced products that are either just hitting the market or coming soon. Some products are standalone experiences and direct competitors to the hardcore gaming-focused Oculus Rift, while others, like Google’s recently launched Cardboard experiment and Samsung’s Gear VR for its Note 4, utilize an existing mobile device to offer a less expensive, lighter weight solution. Most headsets are pushing gaming as the killer app for VR, but one company I sat down with last week is creating a $99 iPhone case that doubles as a VR experience for more casual app experiences like retail.

All solutions will require app developers to support the platform and build experiences that make the hardware appealing to consumers, but many products like Oculus and Sony’s competitor are still in a beta mode with only development units available.

Apple has published a number of patents related to various 3D iPhone user

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Apple's World AIDS Day campaign brings exclusive app content for charity

Nov 24, 2014 - 2:21 PM - by sparkyscott21

Apple announced its 2014 World AIDS Day campaign that will see the company donate a portion of its holiday retail sales, as well as proceeds from a special section of the App Store called "Apps for (RED)," to the (RED) foundation's Global Fund to fight AIDS.

It appears today's (GarageBand)RED update was the first of many, as Apple later unveiled Apps for (RED), a collaboration with top developers to offer exclusive in-app purchases in recognition of World AIDS Day.

Every time a for-pay Apps for (RED) title is purchased — or when an in-app purchase is conducted through participating apps — from Monday, Nov. 24 through Sunday, Dec. 7, all proceeds will go to (RED)'s fund.

The campaign is scheduled to coincide with World AIDS Day, which falls on Monday, Dec. 1.

"Apple is a proud supporter of (RED) because we believe the gift of life is the most important gift anyone can give," said Apple CEO Tim Cook. "For eight years, our customers have been helping fight AIDS in Africa by funding life-saving treatments which are having a profoundly positive impact. This year we are launching our biggest fundraising push yet with the participation of Apple's retail and online stores, and some of the brightest minds in the App Store are lending their talents to the effort as well."

In addition to apps, Apple plans to donate to the Global Fund to fight AIDS a portion of retail and online store sales generated over the two biggest shopping days of the year. For Black Friday, coming up on Nov. 28, Apple is handing out special (PRODUCT)RED iTunes Gift Cards with select purchases made in the U.S. Each card represents an additional donation to the fund. The following Monday, coined Cyber Monday for sales offered by e-commerce websites, Apple will donate a portion of all brick-and-mortar and online Apple Store sales to (RED).

"Apple isn't just in the fight to end AIDS. They are setting a new bar for business, giving $75 million and counting to the Global Fund as part of their partnership with (RED)," said (RED) cofounder Bono. "I couldn't be prouder to work with them."

Full list of apps participating in Apple's Apps for (RED) campaign, all of which feature red icons to commemorate the event:

Angry Birds players can perfect their bird-flinging with (RED)'s Mighty Feathers and challenge themselves to a bonus golden egg level.
Bubble Witch 2 Saga offers new (PRODUCT)RED levels across all 17 episodes of the game. Gold bar currency purchases will be donated to (RED).
CSR Racing delivers new in-game thrills with the highly anticipated Mercedes Benz-AMG GT.
Clash of Clans warriors can prepare for battle with special edition (PRODUCT)RED gems and display a (RED) badge of honor on the village's town hall.
Clear's users can perfect their organizational skills with a new (PRODUCT)RED theme which appears automatically with all new downloads.
Cut the Rope 2 unveils a wide selection of (PRODUCT)RED items including a new red hat, red touch print, red balloons and a red ginger cookie.
Despicable Me: Minion
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