26 October 2012

The Apple of Temptation


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Image: apple bite by owaief89 on Flickr
apple bite

The popular Christian tradition holds that the serpent tempted Adam and Eve to eat an apple from the forbidden tree in the Garden of Eden and as a result the first human beings got expelled from there.

According to Wikipedia,

temptation is

the desire to perform an action that one may enjoy immediately or in the short term but will probably later regret for various reasons: legal, social, psychological (including feeling guilt), health-related, economic, etc.

Having read today’s Forbes’ article What Apple Gets Wrong In Its Samsung Apology, I could think of nothing, but temptation.

The thing is that Apple had claimed that the design of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab infringed upon Apple’s design in the iPad.

For that, the Cupertino company went before the English High Court, but suffered a defeat. It then made another attempt – this time before the Court of Appeal – however, only to reap another judicial loss.

Owing to these unfortunate circumstances,

Apple were ordered to post a statement

on their website to inform the public that Samsung’s design had in fact not infringed upon the design incorporated in the iPad.

The text they had to use read as follows:

“On 9th July 2012 the High Court of Justice of England and Wales ruled that Samsung Electronic (UK) Limited’s Galaxy Tablet Computers, namely the Galaxy Tab 10.1, Tab 8.9 and Tab 7.7 do not infringe Apple’s registered design No. 0000181607-0001. A copy of the full judgment of the High court is available on the following link [link given].
That Judgment has effect throughout the European Union and was upheld by the Court of Appeal on ….. A copy of the Court of Appeal’s judgment is available on the following link […]. There is no injunction in respect of the registered design in force anywhere in Europe.”

Instead, their version is reading as follows:
(click-in to enlarge)

While this is, strictly speaking, not exactly what their Lordships did prescribe, it is likewise not untrue.

The problem with this statement, however, is

that its authors have drafted it in a manner that tempts the readers to side with Apple, rather than to provide them with the information on the lawsuit’s outcome.

This is duplicity, which Apple (like the biblical serpent) might at a later stage bitterly regret.

8 December 2011

Apple’s iPad Trade Mark Bumped In China


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Image: Logo de l’iPad by Rob Janoff via Wikimedia Commons
Apple ipad

As FT.com reports, a recent Chinese court ruling prevents Apple from using “its” iPad trade mark in China.

The reason therefor

seems to lie in a dispute between Apple and the Taiwanese company Proview Electronics.
Funnily, Proview is no stranger to Apple.

Somewhere between 2000 and 2004 the Taiwanese company had registered the trade mark iPad in the EU, China, Mexico, South Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, but in 2006

decided  to assign

it to Apple by concluding a global agreement.

When Apple started to sell its iPad devices in mainland China, they did surprisingly encounter trade mark infringement proceedings brought by Proview Technology, the Chinese affiliate of Proview Electronics. The litigation value is said to amount to 1,6 billion USD, which is absolutely ridiculous if you bear in mind that the 2006 trade mark purchase counted some

shabby 55.000 USD

Some other reports derive Proview Technology’s combativeness from that fact that it has been insolvent for some time. The Chinese branch could thus have spotted an opportunity to cash in on Apple.

It is not Apple’s first dispute over the iPad trade mark.
The Cupertino company has so far been successful in regulating the cases arising from purported infringements and I have no doubts as to how they will end up with this particular situation.

26 August 2010

With the rhythm of my heart


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labor - fetal monitoring: the left is the little guy's heartbeat, the right is the magnitude of his mom's contractionsphoto © 2011 george ruiz | more info (via: Wylio)

I have never doubted Apple’s inventive power. And how could I? After all I speak of the one that has made all the iDevices available to the public. The news on Apple’s recent patent filing, however, seem capable of throwing some doubts on that abovementioned inventiveness.

According to the EFF Apple prepares to take full control not only of their devices, but probably of their users. Things like voice recording, photographing or even detecting device’s user’s heartbeat definitely go too far.

In my view Apple’s patent application conflicts with morality considerations and the USPTO may have a strong case in demonstrating that the “moral utility theory” is not just a dead doctrine.

 

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29 January 2010

Whose iPad is it anyway?


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iPad Casephoto © 2010 Yutaka Tsutano | more info (via: Wylio)

You have certainly heard, seen or otherwise perceived (by the way who hasn’t?) that couple of days ago Apple presented its iPad to the public. However surprisingly, the fancy product name “iPad” that seems to perfectly fit into the iFamily of “iBook”, “iPod” and “iPhone”, could now enter the hostile territory of trade mark infringement.

It is funny, but the sign “iPad” has in recent years been really coveted by enterprises around the globe . So much, as some of these have undertaken trade mark registrations under different jurisdictions. For instance, the The Trade Marks and Designs Registration Office of the European Union  (OHIM) has granted the word mark “iPAD” for motors, engines and drives to Siemens and the word mark “IPAD” to the French Company STMICROELECTRONICS SA for, in particular, integrated circuits and termination lines that, however, may be also applied in cellular phones, computers and computer peripherals.

OHIM has further received an application for registration on 18 January 2010 and this is  filed by a US company named IP Application LLC. The application covers products and services classes such as computers, printed matter, toys, telecommunications and web services that just hardly fail to fit into Apple’s marketing target. It has been said in news reports that in 2009 Apple have used a proxy to file for a registration on Trinidad and Tobago in order to secure a priority date. This same Trinidadian registration is mentioned in IP Applications LLC’s application before OHIM. Any doubts why may be behind that act?

The above application, however, may cause some problems to its applicant. The Community Trade Mark Regulation states a so called relative ground for refusal where a trade mark applied for is identical with an earlier trade mark and the goods or services for which registration is sought are identical with the goods or services for which the earlier trade mark is protected. Consequently, STMICROELECTRONICS SA might successfully oppose Apple’s European registration.

As if that were not enough, the war clouds for Apple are gathering over another – much more promising – battlespace.

2002 Fujitsu came up with a handheld computer named “iPad” for use by shop assistants and has since then attempted to file for a trade mark registration with the US Patent and Trade Mark Office (USPTO).

Fujitsu iPad. Courtesy to TheRegister

Fujitsu’s application to register iPad name was deterred by an earlier filing by Magtek, an information technology security company based in Seal Beach, California, for a handheld number-encrypting device.

Magtek IPAD. Courtesy to Magtek.

The consequence was that the USPTO listed Fujitsu’s application as abandoned in the beginning of 2009, but the Tokyo company managed to revive its application in June 2009. In the autumn of the same year, Apple is believed to have filed requests of opposition before the USPTO and has now time until 28 February 2010 to submit its final opposition statement.

See whether the Canadian lingerie manufacturing company Coconut Grove, to which the USPTO assigned the trade mark “IPAD” for padded bras, will join the technology giants’ war game.

 

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