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30 Dec 12 Apple Pulls Legal Crosshairs off Galaxy S III Mini


Riddle us this: Why file a patent claim against a device that isn’t actually going to be sold in the jurisdiction – let alone, the country – of where you’re filing the claim?

Such has been the peculiarity presented to Apple, which announced on Friday that it’s no longer pursuing patent claims against Samsung’s Galaxy S3 Mini smartphone. Samsung has said that it is not, “making, using, selling, offering to sell or importing the Galaxy S III Mini in the United States,” and has maintained this stance ever since Apple asked a California court to add the device to Apple’s latest patent dispute last month.

Apple won its first round of patent litigation against Samsung this past August, but that hardly put an end to the two companies’ legal squabbles – which includes Samsung’s desire to lessen the approximately $1 billion in damages that it faces juxtaposed against Apple’s interest in amending a second round of patent claims to add as many recently released and allegedly infringing Samsung devices as it can.

In other words, Apple’s second patent infringement lawsuit includes devices (and claims) that the company didn’t address in its first round of patent litigation. And Apple has been zealous about amending its filling to include more Samsung devices as warranted. Samsung, in turn, has been granted permission to add Apple’s iPhone 5 to its own patent infringement claims. Both of these trials won’t kick off until 2014.

Apple initially argued that its ability to purchase a Galaxy S3 Mini smartphone from Amazon, and have it billed and shipped to a U.S. address, was enough to qualify that the device was being sold in the U.S. And, as such, Apple argued that it should be allowed to include the smartphone as part of the list of current devices that Apple claims infringe its patents.

As part of Apple’s withdrawal, the company indicated that it would do so, “so long as the current withdrawal will not prejudice Apple’s ability later to accuse the Galaxy S III Mini if the factual circumstances change,” as reported by Reuters.

Samsung launched the four-inch Galaxy S III Mini in Europe in November, which numerous pundits saw as a direct assault against Apple’s similarly sized iPhone 5. At the time of Apple’s request to add the Galaxy S III Mini to its lawsuit, there was plenty of talk that Samsung might bring the smartphone to U.S. markets – which explains Apple’s interest in bringing the full weight of its legal efforts to bear.

 

For more tech tidbits from David Murphy, follow him on Facebook or Twitter (@thedavidmurphy).

For the top stories in tech, follow us on Twitter at @PCMag.

Article source: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2413664,00.asp

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29 Dec 12 Galaxy S3 Mini Dropped From Apple’s Patent Claims Against Samsung


By Dan Levine
SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 28 (Reuters) – Apple Inc has agreed to withdraw patent claims against a new Samsung phone with a high-end display after Samsung said it was not offering to sell the product in the crucial U.S. market.
Apple disclosed the agreement in a filing on Friday in U.S. District Court in San Jose, California.
Last month Apple asked to add the Galaxy S III Mini and other Samsung products, including several tablet models, to its wide-ranging patent litigation against Samsung.
In response, Samsung said the Galaxy S III Mini was not available for sale in the United States and should not be included in the case.
Apple won a $1.05 billion verdict against Samsung earlier this year, but has failed to secure a permanent sales ban against several, mostly older Samsung models. The patents Apple is asserting against the Galaxy S III Mini are separate from those that went to trial.
Samsung started selling the Mini in Europe in October, to compete with Apple’s iPhone 5. In its filing on Friday in U.S. District Court, for the Northern District of California, Apple said its lawyers were able to purchase “multiple units” of the Mini from Amazon.com Inc’s U.S. retail site and have them delivered within the country.
But Samsung represented that it is not “making, using, selling, offering to sell or importing the Galaxy S III Mini in the United States.” Based on that, Apple said it agreed to withdraw its patent claims on the Mini, “so long as the current withdrawal will not prejudice Apple’s ability later to accuse the Galaxy S III Mini if the factual circumstances change.”
A Samsung official declined to comment. Apple could not immediately be reached for comment.
The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California is Apple Inc. vs. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd et al., 12-630. (Reporting By Dan Levine; Editing by Leslie Adler)

Also on HuffPost:

Article source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/28/galaxy-s3-mini-apple-samsung_n_2376952.html

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28 Dec 12 Google Play Scan-and-Match Feature Censoring Explicit Lyrics


Google’s recently launched scan-and-match feature for Google Play has drawn early criticism from users who say the tool is weeding out explicit lyrics.

The new Google Play Music Manager feature, which scans your online music library and stores Google Play licensed versions of as many as 20,000 of your songs in the cloud, reportedly is giving Android device users less naughty renditions — and vice versa.

Google Play, however, offers a “Fix Incorrect Match” option that overrides the initial match.

Rival cloud storage services — iTunes Match and Amazon Cloud Player — previously have received complaints about storing incorrect versions of songs, too. Google rolled out the scan-and-match feature in the U.S. on Dec. 18. It had already been available in Europe.

Image via Adam Berry/Getty Images

Article source: http://mashable.com/2012/12/26/google-play-scan-match-explicit-lyrics/

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27 Dec 12 Google Play Music censors your uploaded songs – Pocket


Google Play Music censors your uploaded songs . Google, google music, Google Play 0

27 December 2012 10:43 GMT / By Ian Morris



The Americans, rightly or wrongly have a bit of a reputation for being a puritanical lot – no swearing on network TV and nothing more than a hint of side boob. But the discovery that Google Play music is switching out your explicit music for censored stuff is a bit much for us to bear.

Reports online today suggest that for “some” users, if you upload a track with swearing, and it’s the match service that does the upload, then you’ll get the censored, clean version. We tested the service with our copy of Eminem’s Guilty Conscience. It did, indeed, return the clean version when we played the track through the web interface.

This seems especially stupid, as the track we uploaded was explicit, which means we’d made the decision to buy music with swearing in the first place. Presumably, we wouldn’t have done this if we’d been offended by the torrent of filthy words for which Eminem is famous. 

Google’s Match service – which identifies the song you’re uploading, and matches it with tracks already stored in Google’s cloud-based service – launched first in Europe in early November. The US got the service this month.

If we were going to cut Google a break here – we’re not – then we could suggest that it’s probably better it does this than risk having the explicit track turn up in some poor kiddie’s library by mistake. But the truth is, no one cares about swearing in songs other than broadcasters. If you want to listen to Eminem’s Guilty Conscience then you want to hear all the words. Otherwise the damn song doesn’t make any “scratching noise” sense.

Surely, in this day and age, if Google wanted to offer an option to only allow censored music – perhaps at the behest of parents – then it would be simple to either opt in, or opt out of that system? But perhaps most baffling of all, Google itself allows you to buy explicit tracks via its own store. So what the “blank space” is that all about?

Does this **** you right off? Please feel free to comment below, although we might delete the ones with swearing. 


Via: droid-life.com

Google, google music, Google Play

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Article source: http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/48894/google-play-music-censors-your-music

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23 Dec 12 Upgrade Samsung Galaxy S3 with Official Premium Suite XXELL4 Android 4.1.2 …


The update has officially made its way to several European countries. Soon, the update is to be pushed for unbranded Galaxy S3 devices in Germany, Switzerland, Asia, Africa, the rest of Europe and Latin America.

Interested readers can check this tutorial to upgrade their Galaxy S3 with the new firmware, but IBTimes UK will not be held responsible if you damage your device during installation.

Users can download the firmware depending on their location:

UK: GT-I9300_BTU_I9300XXELL4_I9300OXAELL4

Article source: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/417877/20121223/samsung-galaxy-s2-xxell4-android412-official-premium.htm

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22 Dec 12 As iPhone Reigns In The U.S., Android Gains Everywhere Else


English: Apple iPhone (left) vs HTC Hero (right)

The iPhone and Android-enabled smartphones. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Apple might have taken a beating on the stock market recently, but new figures should give investors peace of mind — at least temporarily. In the last three months of 2012, Apple achieved its highest ever share of smartphone sales in the United States, with the iPhone taking 53.3%, a 17.5% gain from one year ago, according to Kantar Worldwide ComTech.

The research firm credits the latest iPhone 5 for the sales boost, and notes that Android’s share of U.S. sales slipped by almost 11%. The iPhone essentially took its place in first position.

Great news for Apple, but there’s a caveat: Android’s comparatively cheaper phones are growing everywhere else.

In Europe’s five biggest countries (Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Spain), sales of devices running Google’s mobile operating system stood at 61% in the last three months, up from 51.8% a year ago. Meanwhile the reign in Spain goes to Google, not Apple: Apple’s share is almost non-existent in the Mediterranean country, where its share of smartphone sales is a paltry 4.4%, and Android dominates with 84.1%.

In Australia, Android has raced ahead to claim 58% of smartphone sales, while the iPhone’s share has declined to around 36%. The gap is even wider in Brazil, where Android has leapt to grab 60.7% of sales, while the iPhone has fallen to just 1.6%. Kantar didn’t have growth data for sales in what it called “urban China,” but you can surmise a similar story: Android has 72.2% of the Chinese market, Apple 19.2%. Separate research from IDC also shows the iPhone’s ranking in China falling because of competition from cheaper, local handsets.

One of the big drivers of this international paradox for Apple is Samsung, which replaced Nokia earlier this year as the world’s biggest handset manufacturer. Kantar notes that in the last 12 weeks it had the biggest share of handset sales overall in Europe at 44.3%, while Apple trailed with 25.3%. Rival handset makers HTC, Sony and Nokia are still battling it out for third place.

Nokia may stand the better chance in Europe, depending on how consumers react to its latest Windows Phone 8 models in 2013 and better pricing plans from carriers. Windows Phone, which is primarily available on HTC and Nokia handsets, also benefits from strong resources that Microsoft can plug into marketing and distribution. And Nokia’s Lumia 920 is one of the few smartphones available on the Everything Everywhere (EE) 4G network in Britain.

One upside for Apple is that America isn’t completely saturated with iPhones; Kantar’s Dominic Sunnebo predicts that Apple may have more room to grow Stateside, and that the iPhone would  “make further gains” in December 2012. How long those gains will last is an open question, and comes amid pressure on Apple to release a cheaper version of the iPhone in emerging markets and other parts of the world where the company lags. The iPhone is crucial to the company’s fortunes, accounting for more than 60% of Apple’s group revenues

And there are yet tougher questions: will Apple get by on the resulting slimmer margins, and will Android’s lead overseas be so big that it becomes increasingly difficult to turn around the iPhone’s narrowing market share? We should know by this time next year.

Have a look at Kantar’s figures below – click on the image to enlarge:

Article source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/parmyolson/2012/12/21/as-iphone-reigns-in-the-u-s-android-gains-everywhere-else/

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19 Dec 12 Google Play Adds Music Matching Feature, 320k Cloud Streaming


Google Music LogoMusic junkies in the United States just received an early holiday gift from Google in the form of a music matching feature, and free 320kbps cloud streaming from Google Music’s online locker.

Google Music is a free service that allows users to upload a maximum of 20,000 songs to an online storage locker accessible via the web and Android devices. The software itself leaves a small footprint and runs in the background, automatically uploading new tracks from your library. The downside of the service is that for digital music packrats (self included), the initial upload process can literally take weeks (my personal music collection clocks in at 52GB).

Similar to Apple‘s iTunes Match, Google Music will now simply scan your local music library and instantly add those tracks to your locker, though don’t expect to see under-the-radar indie bands to populate just yet. Additionally, Google will provide enhanced 320kbps streaming of the matched files, even if your originals are encoded at a lower bitrate. The icing on the cake is that Google is offering this to users completely free of charge, unlike Apple and Amazon’s similar services which run $25/year.

Google’s 320kbps stream quality is also higher than Apple and Amazon’s 256kbps.

Of course, record labels still need compensation. AllThingsD reports that Google is essentially subsidizing the free music match service by paying labels directly. Though unconfirmed, anonymous insiders indicate that Google is paying these music labels a hefty sum upfront.

With the Nexus 7, Google’s strategy was selling the tablet at a compelling price (arguably at a loss if you take into account the bundled $25 Google Play coupon) to introduce new users into the Google Play ecosystem. This free music matching service is certainly another strong initiative to beckon consumers to the Android side of the fence.

The service launched last month in Europe.

I’ve been using Google Music since it launched and love how effortless it is to keep my music collection in sync across all my devices. This just sweetens the pot.

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook. Read my Forbes blog here. Email questions or tips to jevangelho@gmail.com.

Article source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonevangelho/2012/12/19/google-play-adds-music-matching-feature-320k-cloud-streaming/

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19 Dec 12 Scan and Match Rolls Out to Google Play in US


The scan-and-match technology Google rolled out to Google Play last month in Europe is now available in the U.S.

The option saves you from having to upload all your music song by song; Google will scan your music library and add matching songs online via the cloud.

“Add up to 20,000 songs from your music collection to Google Play and stream it to your Android devices and your computer, anywhere you go,” the Google Play team said in a post to Google+.

The move “gets your songs into your online music library on Google Play much faster,” Google said. Music will be streamed at up to 320 kbps.

Amazon and Apple have similar services, but both cost $25. Scan and match was added to Amazon Cloud Player in July, while iTunes Match went live in Nov. 2011.

Google Music launched just over a year ago, and it lets users store songs in the cloud for free and buy tracks directly from Google Play. Users can store and stream up to 20,000 songs in the Google cloud for free, and buy other songs from Google Play.

For more, see PCMag’s review of Google Music, our hands on with iTunes Match, and review of Amazon Cloud Player.

For more from Chloe, follow her on Twitter @ChloeAlbanesius.

Article source: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2413359,00.asp

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19 Dec 12 Apple Loses Bid to Block Galaxy Sales, Damages Still in Play


Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s request for additional damages against Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) for patent infringement remains to be decided after the iPhone maker lost its bid to block U.S. sales on 26 of the Galaxy maker’s devices.

Apple failed to establish that consumer demand for Samsung products was driven by technology it stole, U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh in San Jose, California, said in her ruling yesterday. While a jury found Samsung infringed six Apple patents, it isn’t in the public interest to ban Samsung’s devices because the infringing elements constituted a limited part of Samsung’s phones, Koh said.

The jury said Aug. 24 at the end of a trial that Samsung should pay $1.05 billion. Apple asked Koh to increase the damages by $536 million, while Samsung says they should be reduced by more than $600 million. Koh, who held a hearing on the matter Dec. 6, has yet to issue a ruling.

“There’s not going to be any knockout punches between these two competitors,” Carl Howe, a Yankee Group analyst, said in a phone interview. “Injunctions can be knockouts. This is going to be a war of money.”

Samsung and Apple, the world’s two biggest smartphone makers, have each scored victories in their patent disputes fought over four continents since Apple accused Asia’s biggest electronics maker of “slavishly copying” its devices. The companies are competing for dominance of a global mobile-device market estimated by Yankee Group at $346 billion this year.

Apple Products

Hours after Koh’s ruling on the sales ban, Samsung, which faces an antitrust probe by European regulators, said it will halt efforts to block sales of Apple products in Europe. The developments in the U.S. and Europe may move the companies closer to settling their global litigation.

“There will be some settlement of some sort and all this stuff is just going to dictate who’s going to provide a bit more money than the other,” said David Long, a patent lawyer with Dow Lohnes PLLC in Washington who’s not involved in the case. “All this court stuff is just posturing.”

After the verdict in San Jose, Apple argued Samsung bet that the benefits of using intellectual property from the iPhone and iPad would outweigh the money damages the jury awarded. Apple urged Koh to approve the sales ban and award additional damages because Samsung took market share from Apple by “deliberately copying the iPhone design,” according to a court filing.

Jury’s Calculations

Kathleen Sullivan, a lawyer for Samsung, contended at the Dec. 6 hearing that the damages should be reduced by more than $600 million. Sullivan said that while the jury’s calculations were precise, the nine-member panel was hampered by a verdict form that, against Samsung’s wishes, wasn’t “particularized” enough to permit jurors to properly arrive at damages on a product-by-product basis.

“You should reverse engineer” to make sure the damages are “causally connected to the evidence,” Sullivan told the judge.

Koh said at the hearing that while the jury was precise and consistent in calculating infringement damages for 28 different Samsung products, the method used by the panel may have been mistaken.

“If there is enough evidence in the record to justify that damage award then that verdict should be upheld,’ Harold McElhinny, a lawyer for Apple, argued to the judge.

Galaxy Smartphones

The patent disputes began when Samsung released its Galaxy smartphones in 2010. Apple’s Jobs, who died Oct. 5, 2011, initiated contact with Samsung over his concerns that the Galaxy phones copied the iPhone, according to testimony from the trial in August.

Jobs later vowed to wage ‘‘thermonuclear war” to prove that phones running on Google Inc. (GOOG)’s Android operating system copy the iPhone. Samsung devices use Android.

Apple’s 2011 suit claimed Samsung products infringe four design patents and three utility, or software, patents. While finding infringement of six patents, the jury concluded that Samsung didn’t infringe one patent covering the design of Apple’s iPad tablet computer.

In weighing the sales ban request, one test that Koh considered was whether Apple has been harmed by the infringement, and whether customers buy Samsung devices specifically because they have features patented by Apple. Apple’s evidence doesn’t establish that its three design patents cover a feature that drives customer demand, Koh said. Apple doesn’t have patents for certain iPhone features, such as the general concept of a two-finger pinch or flick.

‘Consumer Demand’

“Though evidence that Samsung attempted to copy certain Apple features may offer some limited support for Apple’s theory, it does not establish that those features actually drove consumer demand,” she said.

An injunction would prevent consumers from gaining features on Samsung phones because a few such features infringed Apple’s patents, Koh said.

“The potential for future disruption to consumers would be significantly greater if this court were to issue an injunction, and such disruption cannot be justified,” she said.

Only three of the 26 products that Apple sought to block in the U.S. are still being sold, according to Samsung: the Galaxy S II by T-Mobile, Galaxy S II Epic and Galaxy S II Skyrocket.

2014 Trial

Newer smartphones made by both companies, including Samsung’s Galaxy S III and the iPhone 5, already have been added to a related lawsuit in which Apple and Samsung accuse each other of copying products. That case is also before Koh and is scheduled for trial in 2014.

Kristin Huguet, a spokeswoman for Cupertino, California- based Apple, said in an e-mail that the company declined to comment on yesterday’s ruling by Koh.

Samsung said in an e-mailed statement it was pleased the judge denied “Apple’s move to limit consumer choice” in denying the sales ban. The Suwon, South Korea-based company said it would review the court’s orders before deciding whether to take “further measures.”

The latest decision implies that the total damages award isn’t likely to go higher and may even be reduced, according to Lee Sun-Tae, an analyst at Seoul-based NH Investment Securities.

“The final ruling on the penalty isn’t likely to be overturned,” Lee said.

Apple, the world’s most valuable company, rose 2.9 percent to $533.90 at the close of trading in New York. Samsung, the world’s 15th-biggest company, gained 0.8 percent in Seoul after two days of losses, extending its gain for the year to 43.2 percent.

The case is Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., 11- cv-01846, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).

To contact the reporters on this story: Joel Rosenblatt in San Francisco at jrosenblatt@bloomberg.net; Karen Gullo in San Francisco at kgullo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

Article source: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-12-18/apple-loses-bid-for-u-dot-s-dot-ban-on-infringing-samsung-phones

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16 Dec 12 Samsung Galaxy S3 Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean reaching more users


Certain owners of the Samsung Galaxy S3 are still using the Ice Cream Sandwich operating system on their handset, while some others such as Verizon Wireless users have only just received the Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean update. Almost two weeks ago though Samsung begun pushing out the Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean operating system to owners, and now the software update has begun reaching some more users.

The company first began the staggered rollout of the new firmware earlier this month but there are still many users that have yet to receive the new software, but as SamMobile are reporting the update has now reached owners of the smartphone in Korea.

Owners that have the SHW-M440S, SHV-E210S, SHV-E210K and SHV-E210L models of the Korean Galaxy S3 can get the new software via the Samsung KIES desktop application or via the settings on the actual handset.

This latest version of the Android Jelly Bean software will again put US owners of the Galaxy S3 behind users in Europe and Korea, which brings with it a number of new features including some that are found on the Galaxy Note 2.

One of these is the Multi View feature that allows users to run two applications at once and split the display into two sections with each one running a separate application. Other new features will include such things as Page Buddy, customizable Notification panel, and a new keyboard that is similar to the Gesture controlled keyboard that is found in Android 4.2.

Hopefully more countries in Europe will also receive the update in the coming days but there is no telling how long it will take individual carriers to give the firmware update the ok and push it out to customers, as for the time being it seems only unlocked versions of the Galaxy S3 are receiving it.

At the time of writing I have again checked my own Galaxy S3 for the availability of the update without any success. Previously it has been suggested that the handset along with the Galaxy Note 2 will get Android 4.2 early next year, but how long it will take to reach users in the US is anybody’s guess. You would have thought though that the likes of Verizon will get the next update pushed out quicker than it did for the upgrade from Android ICS.

Has your Samsung Galaxy S3 received Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean yet?

Article source: http://www.phonesreview.co.uk/2012/12/16/samsung-galaxy-s3-android-4-1-2-jelly-bean-reaching-more-users/

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