Taiwanese University Sues Apple... Again
Today in international tech news: A Taiwanese university launches second lawsuit against Apple. Also: Google's Motorola Mobility could be in trouble in Europe; Amazon starts selling Android apps in China; and Google's new Palestinian homepage has ticked some people off.
National Cheng Kung University may not have a fight song -- but it is definitely willing to fight.
For the second time in a year, the Taiwanese university has sued Apple. The most recent suit is for alleged infringement of the university's patents relating to video compression technology in Apple software such as FaceTime and QuickTime.
The university is crying foul over Apple's use of "block-oriented motion compensation video compression," which covers an array of products.
Thus, NCKU is seeking a permanent injunction against Apple, as well as damages. The case was filed in a Texas district court -- the same one that NCKU chose when it filed a suit last summer over Apple's voice-activated Siri software.
A lawyer for the university said last year that the court was particularly receptive to patent claims.
[Source: The Register]
Google's Motorola Mobility Draws EU Ire
In Europe, Google may have sidestepped one problem but walked into another.
Following last month's progress toward resolving the European Commission's lengthy antitrust investigation into Google, the commission on Monday made a preliminary finding against Motorola Mobility, Google's mobile communications unit.
The EC finding stem from a Motorola Mobility injunction against Apple in Germany, where Motorola Mobility sought and enforced an injunction against Apple products for their use of certain standard-essential patents for smartphones and tablets. Such patents are considered integral to some product categories, and European regulators are apparently trying to prevent companies from abusing these patents to the point where competitors are crippled.
Motorola Mobility, which has two months to respond to the charges, was acquired by Google last year for US$12.5 billion. The acquisition landed Google 17,000 patents. Motorola had previously said it would license the patents, but some deals obviously remain uncut.
Many of the alleged infractions took place prior to Google's acquisition, commission officials said. However, because Google is the parent company, it could still be on the hook for covering any fines against Motorola for past behavior.
[Source: The New York Times]
Amazon Sells Android Apps in China
While Google's Chinese mobile store does indeed offer free apps, Amazon has become the first Western technology firm to offer paid-for Android apps in China.
App stores abound in China, but Amazon's store will try to distinguish itself by promising "quality and safety testing," a boon in a country littered with fake, counterfeit and malware-infected apps.
The move is expected to be a step toward Amazon's Kindle launch in China. Amazon opened the Kindle store in December, but the device itself is not yet available.
Israel Ticked About Google's New Palestine Page
The decision is "very, very problematic," said Zeev Elkin, the country's deputy foreign minister. It "pushes peace further away, pushes away negotiations, and creates an illusion" among Palestinian leaders.
Wouldn't you know it, not all Palestinians agree; Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, for one, called the new Web page a "victory" and a "step toward liberation."