This week in the German Patent Championship: Apple: 3 - Others: 1

 The different Apple's conflicts with Samsung on one side and Motorola on the other side were substantially 'updated' this week.

The first court decision came from the Munich Regional Court, which stated on Monday that specific Motorola smartphones infringed an Apple patent over a 'zoomed-in' photo gallery display. Apple can in principle ask for the destructions of all infringing phones in Germany, and with this 'weapon', will at least get from Motorola workaround of its software to go on selling in the country. Apple 1:  Motorola: 0.

But Apple's greatest goal was scored by the Karlsruhe appeal court, the higher court of Manheim's judges. According to the decision, Motorola, by refusing to accept a reasonable licensing proposal from Apple to use some of its standard-essential patents violated its obligations under which a patent right holder of essential technologies should license them under fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) conditions.  The decision will likely, at least for the moment, block other attempts to ban the commercialisation of Apple smartphones for standard-essential patent infringements in the country.  Apple:2  Motorola:0

Also yesterday two decisions came from the Manheim court : in the first one, Apple's request from last January to condemn Samsung for violating its 'slide to unlock' patent was rejected.  The decision goes against the one stated by the Munich court against Motorola on the same patent last month.  If Apple have not commented on the decision yet, it is likely to appeal. The second one stated that Apple does not infringe a standard-essential 3G/UMTS Samsung patent because the relevant patent covers a calculation method that Apple did not copy, even if the results on the phone are similar. Apple: 1 Samsung: 1

 Google faces critics from the German government with its new confidentiality rules

 Ilse Aigner, the German consumer minister, expressed her strong concerns about the lawfulness and fairness of Google's last confidentiality rules applicable since last Thursday. According to her, 'Google's lip service data protection campaign has no value, if it does not give a single possibility for the users to veto their personal data collection'.  Aigner already showed public critics towards the controversial, especially in Germany, Google Street View in 2010 for not protecting privacy enough. 

Google confidentiality rules include the controversial provision: 'We may combine personal information from one service with information, including personal information, from other Google services – for example to make it easier to share things with people you know'.

 Aigner relays the concerns expressed by the French data protection authority, the CNIL, who,  in the name of all EU data protection bodies, criticised also Google's confidentiality rules for being to vague on the type of data collected, the exact services, the purposes and the identification of the beneficiaries of such data, thus going against EU data protection provisions.

 Google 'launched' these new rules despite the concerns coming both from Europe and the US, which made Aigner think this act violated the trust the European public authorities were to expect from Google.


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