Rights to ‘iPad’ - China
A long running dispute in China over the rights to the ‘iPad’ name between Apple and Proview has settled, with Apple agreeing to pay £38 million to the Chinese firm.Apple had claimed it acquired the worldwide rights for the ‘iPad’ name in 2009, despite Proview’s protestations that it owned the rights, having registered them in China in 2000.
The global rights to ‘iPad’ had been bought by Apple from the Taiwanese affiliate of Proview for £35,000 in 2009. Proview argued however that its affiliate did not have the rights to sell the name. As a result of this, Apple’s iPads were removed from the shelves in some parts of China earlier this year.
A court in Guangdong asked the two firms to try to reach a settlement, which they did using mediation.Galaxy Tab Injunction - USA
A judge in California has temporarily blocked US sales of Samsung's Galaxy Nexus smartphones while the court decides on the firm's patent dispute with Apple. In this case, the judge ruled that Samsung had in fact infringed a patent held by Apple, which allowed the device to carry out multiple source searches via one interface.
Samsung has already appealed the case and insist they will take all available measures to ensure that the Galaxy Nexus remains available to customers.
California-based Apple and Samsung, who are two of the biggest manufacturers of PCs and smartphones in the world, are involved in a variety of legal cases in various countries across the globe amid claims and counter claims of patent infringement.
Swipe to unlock - USA
A federal judge in Chicago has thrown out a dispute between Apple and Motorola (who are now owned by Google) in relation to smartphone patents. The dispute involved the similarity between methods of swiping the screen to unlock the phone. Judge Richard Posner noted that "Apple's argument that a tap is a zero-length swipe is silly. It's like saying that a point is a zero-length line."
Judge Posner who, in an unusual move, had himself assigned to a lower court in order to be able to hear the case, dismissed the dispute stating that neither side had managed to prove any damages caused by the other party. Neither side is permitted to reopen the case.
Judge Posner appears to have taken the first step in bringing disputes like this to an end, or at least suggesting sensible negotiations rather than lengthy disputes are the best way forward in relation to disagreements such as this. It remains to be seen whether Apple will take heed of this warning, or continue to conduct lengthy litigation throughout the world in relation to its patent portfolio.