German court's ruling may pose long-term concerns over Android
One expert argues Google needs to close-source Android
Computerworld - A German court's ruling on Monday that bars distribution of Samsung's Android-based Galaxy Tab 10.1 in most of Europe shocked many and raised some long-term licensing worries for Android globally, some believe.
Samsung is expected to appeal a preliminary injunction in Germany over what Apple calls a design infringement -- an imitation -- of its iPad by the Galaxy Tab. Samsung and other Android device makers face patent and design infringement lawsuits from Apple in the U.S., Australia, the Netherlands and elsewhere.
It's unclear whether Apple will eventually win its battle in the courts to ban sales of competing tablets and smartphones or settle with some Android makers, such as Samsung or HTC, and grant them design or patent licenses, which could raise the cost of their products.
Some analysts fear that the fallout over the Android intellectual property legal wrangling will have a chilling effect on thousands of Android developers, many of whom want to build apps that run on the most popular platforms and that bring in the biggest profit.
But the results of this case and others like it could mean that Google will have to license the Android mobile operating system in ways that better protect it from legal attacks, such as making it closed-source software subject to license fees rather than open source, said Florian Mueller, an intellectual property expert.
"Samsung will continue to fight Apple around the globe," said Mueller via email. "This is a serious blow to Samsung in a huge market. ... It will give Android device makers as well as developers pause." Mueller, however, expects Samsung to announce its intent to appeal the German decision soon, possibly as soon as Wednesday.
Mueller, who writes a blog mainly on Android patent disputes, has long urged Google to do more to legally protect Android device makers and developers. The German case relates only to a specific design right that Apple won in Europe, not to all Android products, Mueller noted. Still, the attacks on Android in lawsuits in other countries raise problems for Android overall, he said.
In the U.S., Apple sued Samsung in U.S. District Court for Northern California in April for allegedly copying features of Apple's iPad, iPod Touch and iPhones in its Galaxy smartphone and Galaxy Tab. Samsung countersued Apple a few days later, claiming infringement of Samsung's intellectual property.
On Tuesday, Mueller blogged that RBC Capital analyst Mike Abramsky had predicted that Android makers and Apple may reach settlements over their disputes in Europe and the U.S.
Why would Apple agree to settle? So it can win bargaining points for more favorable (to Apple) licensing agreements with Android makers in large markets, such as China. In China, intellectual property rights are considered less rigorous than in the U.S., making it harder for Apple to win an intellectual property rights lawsuit there, according to Abramsky's theory.
- Phil Schiller up again in next round of Apple-Samsung battle
- Nokia and HTC bury hatchet in patent disputes
- How about them apples: Google and Samsung ink patent deal
- Samsung's Apple damages equal to just 16 days' profit
- Supreme Court to get software patent case
- The latest move to kill bad patents divides tech industry
- Judge refuses to stay Apple-Samsung lawsuit pending patent review
- A huge damage award looms as Apple and Samsung return to court next week
- New patent reform bill targets trolls
- Samsung won't get a retrial in 'overscroll bounce' patent fight with Apple
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- The Critical Role of Support in Your Enterprise Mobility Management Strategy Most business leaders underestimate the importance of tech support when they choose an EMM solution. Here's what to put on your checklist.
- Separating Work and Personal at the Platform Level: How BlackBerry Balance Works BlackBerry® Balance™ separates work from personal on the same mobile device, right at a platform level. Find out how it can work for...
- Protection for Every Enterprise: How BlackBerry Security Works Get an IT-level review of BlackBerry® Security, addressing data leakage protection, certified encryption, containerization and much more.
- Future Focus: What's Coming in Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) Find out why Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solutions that are truly future-ready must be designed to enable Machine-to-Machine (M2M) capabilities and much more.
- Live Webcast On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Live Webcast Unmasking the Differences between Consumer and Enterprise File Sync & Share The consumerization of IT combined with the rapid pace of the modern mobile workplace is forcing enterprise IT teams to evaluate file sync...
- Live Webcast Workforce Mobilization for Improved Productivity A mobility research director from Aberdeen discusses reasons for extending legacy applications to mobile devices, and an integration strategist from Attachmate shows how...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the...
- Containerization Options: How to Choose the Best DLP Solution for Your Organization This webcast outlines a framework for making the right choice when it comes to containerization approaches, along with the pros and cons of... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts