Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue

08/29/2011

Apple iPad vs Samsung Galaxy – Who’s Infringing Who? – More Intrigue


Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

Growing intrigue in the tablet computer world! The two best tablets on the market are jostling for position and sales … with each throwing accusations at the other RE copyright infringement.

Apple, scared stiff of the more advanced Android based OS of the Galaxy, started firing infringement violations at Samsung and now Samsung is shooting back with counter copyright infringement lawsuits against Apple.

Neat. I am looking forward to the resulting best, cutting edge solution for the consumer.

Latest developments by Luke Hopewell for ZDNet:

Samsung fires back in Apple Oz Galaxy suit

Update In the latest developments in the ongoing patent saga between Samsung and Apple, Samsung today revealed a plan to countersue Apple for patent infringement within its flagship iPad tablet while pledging to push back its official launch date to the end of next month.

Legal representatives from both parties met for a directions hearing in the NSW Federal Court today, where barrister David Catterns, acting for Samsung, revealed to the court a plan to countersue Apple once the case made it to trial.

“Our cross claim will include a cross claim of infringement for a number of our patents that have been infringed by their [Apple’s] iPad,” Catterns told Justice Annabelle Bennett today, adding in a statement that its counter-claim would also encompass the Apple iPhone.

Apple Australia originally sued Samsung after it felt that the gadget maker was infringing on its patents in its upcoming Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. Samsung contested the allegation, saying that Apple Australia was basing its claims on the US version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1. The two parties at the time agreed to an undertaking that would see Samsung hold its shipment of the Australian version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 until Apple had the chance to study three of the units, seven days before the proposed release of the device to market.

Apple Australia told the court that it had received the units last Thursday, and had until this Thursday to complete its investigation. Representatives acting for Apple Australia told the court that they had found two patents that Samsung had allegedly violated, in the investigation process, that support the Apple case. Apple Australia has also added another patent to the laundry list of existing alleged infringements.

The interlocutory relief originally agreed to in the legal stoush expires on Thursday, with the court hearing that unless Apple can acquire further relief in the case, Samsung could easily launch its tablet on Friday.

Catterns, acting for Samsung, told the court that the company had intended to release the device on the week of 12 September, most likely on the Thursday or Friday, but, due to uncertainty in the legal proceedings, Samsung agreed to push the release of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 until the week of 30 September to allow for legal action to proceed. Samsung also agreed that it would give Apple Australia 48 hours’ notice before releasing the device to market.

Catterns added that any further interlocutory relief in the form of an injunction would be inappropriate and biased against Samsung, adding that Apple has failed to submit any real evidence to the court support its case.

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08/20/2011

Coming: Legal Deposition RE E-Book Pricing, Economics of Digital Publishing and Inner Core Operations


Deposing Core Elements of the Agency Model

Class action lawsuits are growing against five major publishers plus Apple RE the infamous “agency model” (where the publisher sets the book/e-book price versus the traditional wholesale/retail model where the price is set by the sellers/retailers (?) … at least I think I have that right) 

Per publishing consultant, Mike Shatzkin, who writes the great IdeaLog Blog,  the “agency” model is based on the idea that the publisher is selling to the consumer and, therefore, setting the price, and any “agent”, which would usually be a retailer but wouldn’t have to be, that creates that sale would get a “commission” from the publisher for doing so.

Or, put another way by the ABA (The American Booksellers Assoc): Under the agency model, a publisher sets a retail price for a specific book, which establishes a level playing field for all resellers.

 I have posted on the agency model several times back when it was first named … and damned if I don’t seem more confused about it now!

At any rate, the lawsuits … mostly claiming that e-book prices are being artificially inflated … and their associated costs are spiraling upward!

These details in Publishers Weekly by Andrew Albanese:

More Lawsuits Over Agency Model

A class action lawsuit over e-book pricing filed against five major publishers and Apple has begun to sprawl, with four new “copycat” lawsuits filed last week. Two suits, filed in Manhattan, add Random House as a defendant, while a third suit, also in Manhattan, adds Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Another suit was filed in Oakland, Calif. The claims and assertions of fact in each suit are nearly identical to the original suit, filed August 9 by the firm Hagens Berman: that the simultaneous introduction of the agency model by the major publishers reflects an illegal conspiracy to “artificially inflate” e-book prices.

The filing of copycat suits is very common in consumer class actions. “It is more the rule than the exception,” one class action attorney told PW. If a case is perceived to be a good one, there will be multiple filings by different firms in different courts, and the firms will then compete to see who will become lead counsel. In the coming months, the cases—and there could be more coming—will be organized, and the defendants will seek to have them moved to one court.

According to the filings, the price-fixing conspiracy occurred as Apple negotiated terms with publishers in anticipation of the 2010 iPad release. On January 27, 2010, when asked by reporters how Apple’s e-bookstore would compete with Amazon’s $9.99 price, Apple’s Steve Jobs responded that the prices “would be the same.” That public pronouncement, one suit alleges, “was a signal to Publisher Defendants that each of them had agreed to join the conspiracy.” The following day, January 28, Macmillan CEO John Sargent told Amazon of its switch to the agency model. “This would have been irrational if Macmillan had not expected its primary competitors to follow suit,” the lawsuit notes. “Acting alone, no individual publisher would be able to sustain the supra-competitive prices.” The agency model, the suit notes, effectively ended “retailer discretion” for e-book pricing.

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11/25/2009

McGraw-Hill Fights RBI’s Espionage Lawsuit


I TOLD you there was intrigue in the publishing industry!
A great account of the latest in this espionage lawsuit is given by Jason Fell of FOLIO magazine:

McGraw-Hill has filed a motion to dismiss five counts of misconduct brought against it in a lawsuit filed last month by Reed Construction Data, a unit of b-to-b publisher Reed Business Information. The suit charges corporate espionage, among other things.

The motion was filed Friday by McGraw-Hill in U.S. district court in New York.

Reed’s 60-page complaint alleges that McGraw-Hill’s Dodge Construction division unlawfully accessed confidential and secret trade information from RCD by hiring consultants to subscribe to RCD’s confidential data, using made up names and fake companies. It also alleges that Dodge manipulated the RCD information to create “misleading comparisons” between Dodge and RCD’s products and services “in an attempt to mislead the marketplace.”

McGraw-Hill’s motion requests that the court dismiss the counts alleging misappropriation of confidential information, tortious interference with prospective economic advantage, violation of New York General Business Law, violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and conspiracy to violate RICO.

The motion, however, did not request the dismissal of the other counts alleging fraud, misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair competition, monopolization, and others.

“We will address those allegations as part of our response to the entire lawsuit,” a McGraw-Hill spokesperson told FOLIO:. It was not immediately clear, however, exactly when or how the company would issue a formal response.

Construction President Out

On November 9, McGraw-Hill announced to staff that longtime McGraw-Hill Construction president Norbert Young had left the company. Glenn Goldberg, president of McGraw-Hill Information & Media would assume responsibility for the construction group, assisted by Robert Stuono, the group’s senior vice president and general manager.

The spokesperson declined to say if Young’s departure was related to the Reed lawsuit, saying that as a policy the company does not comment on personnel issues.

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