Apple’s legal battles continue in Japan and closer to home

Madeleine Swain
19 May, 2014
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In The Sound of Music, Maria says her Mother Superior believes that every time the Lord closes a door, somewhere he opens a window…

Clearly neither of them had ever spent much time observing the folks at Apple, where the exact opposite seems to be true. Every time a door is opened (to friendliness and more cooperative business practices) a window elsewhere is slammed shut, with a hearty ‘so there!’ for good measure.

Just this morning we were reporting how refreshing it was to learn that Apple and Google have decided to stop dragging their differences through the law courts (where, as we all well know, the only big winners are the lawyers anyway) and are intending to work together to settle patent disputes in an amicable and mutually beneficial fashion.

Now this afternoon we learn that all that will really mean is freeing up Apple’s legal team to fight the war on other fronts.

Over in Japan, the Intellectual Property High Court has ruled that Samsung is free to seek minimal damages from Apple for patent infringement, according to NewsAsia.

The infringement involves Samsung’s data transmission technology, which Apple used in the iPhone 4 and iPad 2. Samsung probably won’t be getting too excited about the ruling, however, as it is merely the amendment of an earlier ruling that concluded the South Korean company had failed to negotiate correctly with Apple and, accordingly, the amount the court says Samsung can claim is just 9.96 million yen (around $105,800).

Meanwhile, back in the US, Bloomberg reports that the Cupertino, California company is facing even more legal hassles – this time in the form of a class action filed in San Jose in the same state.

This time the issue revolves around a long-standing bugbear for some ex-iPhone using Android users, who allege that, after they switched to a non-Apple device, they were no longer able to receive messages sent from iPhones.

As MacRumors explains, “After an iPhone is disabled, the users face an issue where iMessages sent from other iPhone owners are routed to a deactivated iPhone rather than being forwarded as a text message to an active phone, causing text messages to disappear.”

This mix-up has been known about since 2011, when the messaging service debuted with iOS 5. Apple has apparently been working on a fix, but has so far been unable to offer a definitive way to solve the problem. It currently merely advises people affected to disable iMessages before deactivating their iPhone, but some users allege this doesn’t always work.

And clearly there are enough disgruntled ex-iPhone users out there to warrant a class action, believe those involved in the suit.


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