Google has settled patent litigation with a consortium of companies backed by Apple, Microsoft and other tech giants, according to a court filing. Financial terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
Samsung Electronics said Microsoft's April purchase of Nokia's devices and services business breached a 2011 business collaboration agreement between Samsung and Microsoft. Under that deal Samsung paid $1 billion in patent royalties to Microsoft in 2013, and Samsung is now arguing in court that the Microsoft/Nokia deal invalidates the agreement because Microsoft became a direct competitor with Samsung in the smartphone market.
Comcast won a $7.5 million award against Sprint after a jury agreed that Sprint violated Comcast's patents for VoIP and other telecommunications technologies. The trial and the ruling is likely going to be just one of many in a long, drawn-out legal battle between the one-time partners.
Samsung Electronics paid Microsoft $1 billion last year to use Microsoft's technology in its mobile devices as part of a patent-licensing agreement, according to court documents filed by Microsoft. As part of a lawsuit Microsoft initiated against Samsung, Microsoft is claiming Samsung owes it $6.9 million in unpaid interest from last year.
Apple and rival Samsung Electronics agreed to abandon all of their existing patent litigation against each other outside of the United States. However, the companies have not reached any kind of a formal settlement surrounding their patents, and the battles will go on in U.S. courts.
Microsoft sued Samsung Electronics for violating an agreement the two companies struck in 2011 to cross license each other's patents. According to Microsoft, Samsung has been using Microsoft's $7.3 billion deal to acquire Nokia's devices and services business as an "excuse" to break their contract.
Rockstar, a patent consortium owned by Apple, Microsoft, Ericsson, Sony, EMC and BlackBerry, paid $4.5 billion for the 6,000 patents that bankrupt Nortel Networks offered up for auction in 2011. And while the majority of the portfolio's patents have still not expired, there will be a surge in patent expirations starting in 2017, according to a new independent analysis of Rockstar's patents.
Apple's damage award of $119.6 million in its patent-infringement trial against Samsung Electronics was a far cry from the $2.2 billion in damages Apple had sought. More importantly, according to legal experts, the jury's verdict indicates that Apple's legal strategy of suing Samsung has not slowed down Samsung's sales or the momentum of Google's Android operating system.
Samsung Electronics called witnesses in its patent-infringement trial against Apple who testified that it was an intensive and significant shift in marketing and hardware innovation that helped Samsung become the world's largest smartphone maker. The witnesses were seeking to rebut claims by Apple's lawyers that it was only through copying Apple's innovations that Samsung was able to secure its strong place in the market.
Google's Android platform has grown into the world's most popular smartphone operating system, but before Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007 it did not support touchscreen inputs, according to court documents.