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Steve Jobs,” the authorized biography of Apple’s co-founder and former chief executive written by Walter Isaacson, was the bestselling book on Amazon.com this year, according to the online retailer’s website.

That’s an impressive accomplishment considering the book was published in late October, and had less than two months to rise to the top. Jobs died Oct. 5.

Intriguingly though, while the Steve Jobs biography was one of the bestselling e-books for the Kindle, it was not THE bestselling book. That honor went to “The Hunger Games,” a young adult book originally published in 2009 that is set to become a major Hollywood movie release in March 2012.

The Steve Jobs biography was the No. 3 bestselling book for the Kindle. It was also beat out by John Grisham’s “The Litigators,” which was also published in October.

One more interesting note from the bestseller list: The parody not-for-kids book “Go the F– to Sleep” was the No. 10 bestselling print book on Amazon for the year. This is interesting because proofs of the book went viral on the Web before it was published. It turned out that rather than spoiling the surprise, the proofs fueled sales in a very big way.


A court error on Friday offered a brief glimpse at information that Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics have tried to shield from the public during their high-stakes patent litigation.

The material appears to be less important for what it says about the companies than what it reveals about efforts to keep court proceedings secret.

In denying Apple’s bid to stop Samsung from selling its Galaxy smartphone and tablets in the United States, District Judge Lucy Koh’s ruling inadvertently included details she had intended to black out. The judge’s staff quickly realized the error, sealed the electronic document and posted a redacted version four hours later.

The fuller version, which Reuters obtained while it was publicly available, did not expose the technical inner workings of the iPad — or anything close. Rather, it contained internal company analysis about the smartphone market, as well as some details about Apple’s patent licensing relationships with other tech companies.

The lawsuit, which Apple filed in April in a San Jose, California, federal court, says Samsung’s Galaxy products “slavishly” copy the iPhone and iPad. The South Korean electronics maker says Apple’s arguments lack merit.

The case is scheduled for trial next year. The Friday ruling means Samsung can continue selling Galaxy products for now.

Sealing documents has become standard in intellectual property cases. Investors, academics and other observers have expressed concern that some judges too readily accede to litigants’ claims that documents contain trade secrets and must be kept private.

Judges have wide latitude in granting company sealing requests, and Koh has granted all of Apple and Samsung’s requests to keep documents secret in the case.

Some crucial legal briefs from both companies were kept entirely secret for months, and then released with redactions. After an inquiry from Reuters last week, Koh issued new guidelines so that redacted briefs become public much sooner.

Timothy Holbrook, an intellectual property professor at Emory Law in Atlanta who reviewed Koh’s Friday ruling at Reuters’ request, said there did not appear to be any trade secrets among the blacked-out portions.

“Most of it just seems like it was sealed out of an abundance of caution,” Holbrook said.

In an email on Monday, Koh declined to comment on a pending case. Representatives for Apple and Samsung also declined to comment.

SMARTPHONE, TABLET BATTLE

The California case is just one battleground in Apple and Samsung’s bruising legal war, which includes more than 20 cases in 10 countries as they jostle for the top spot in the smartphone and tablet markets.

Global tablet sales are expected to explode to more than 50 million in 2011. Apple, which has sold more than 30 million iPads so far, is expected to continue to dominate the market in the near term.

While Amazon.com has also entered the fray with its Kindle Fire tablet, Samsung’s Galaxy line-up is widely deemed the closest rival to the iPad in terms of capability and design.

In her 65-page ruling denying Apple’s request for a preliminary injunction against Samsung, Koh attempted to redact nearly two dozen sentences or short fragments. But because of a formatting characteristic in the prior electronic version, the redacted material can be viewed by copying text from the PDF and pasting it into another document.

The version now available to the public cannot be viewed in such a manner.

According to the redacted portions, Apple’s own studies show that existing customers are unlikely to switch from iPhones to Samsung devices. Instead, the evidence suggests an increase in sales of Samsung smartphones is likely to come at the expense of other smartphones with Android operating systems, Koh wrote.

In arguing against the injunction, Samsung — which is also a huge components supplier to Apple — said Apple’s supply cannot keep up with market demand for smartphone products. Koh recounted the argument in the redacted portions of the ruling.

But Koh then called Samsung’s argument “dubious,” given rebuttal evidence presented by Apple regarding its ability to keep up with demand in the long term.

The redacted portions also refer to licensing deals that Apple struck with other high-tech companies over one of its key patents. Issued in December 2008, the patent covers the method of scrolling documents and images on Apple’s touch-screen devices.

Apple has already licensed the patent to IBM and Nokia, according to the ruling. A technology blog, The Verge, first reported this detail on Saturday; the blog said it had been shown two statements that were redacted from the ruling.

Scant information has previously been made available about Apple’s licensing deals with Nokia or IBM.

While Apple and Nokia publicly announced a patent settlement for an undisclosed sum in June, they did not divulge any specifics, except to say the agreement resolved all litigation between the companies and that Apple would make a one-time payment to Nokia and pay future royalties. At the time, the settlement was viewed as a victory for Nokia.

There appears to be no reference to any patent-licensing deal for mobile technology between IBM and Apple either in news archives or company regulatory filings.

“Apple doesn’t license much, and it could be that they don’t want people to know who the licensees are,” said Holbrook, the IP professor.

Representatives for IBM and Nokia did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Monday.

Samsung was also offered a royalty license during negotiations with Apple in November 2010, the ruling says, five months before Apple wound up suing Samsung in the United States.

Apple has brought claims against Samsung based on design patents — which protect the look and feel of a device — and so-called “utility” patents, which cover engineering innovations.

A footnote in the ruling says “it does not appear” that Apple and Samsung discussed design patents during their negotiations that preceded the lawsuit.

Yet since much of Koh’s opinion covers design patents, the mistakenly released data does not reveal much about the inner workings of the technology, said Holbrook.

“There was nothing I saw that was shocking, just stuff that is not (otherwise) available to the public,” he said.

The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California is Apple Inc v. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd et al, 11-1846.

(Reporting by Dan Levine in San Francisco and Carlyn Kolker in New York; Additional reporting by Jeremy Pelofsky in Washington; Editing by Martha Graybow and John Wallace)

via reuters


A district court has denied fruit themed Apple’s attempt to get Samsung’s products banned in the US.

US District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California denied Apple’s request for a preliminary injunction against Samsung, according to the Wall Street Journal. The two rival companies are scheduled to go to trial in the case on 30 July, 2012.

This gives Samsung a long time to sell its hardware, and critically, the holiday sales period that surrounds Christmas.

Last week Samsung was somewhat victorious in Australia when it ensured that it could provide local shoppers with its gear in that country, after having seen off other similar challenges from Apple.

The US market, though, is much bigger than the Australian market, making this a key victory for Samsung and probably something of a blow to Apple, which has always said that it vigorously defends its designs, designs that it claims Samsung has copied.

“It’s no coincidence that Samsung’s latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging. This kind of blatant copying is wrong, and we need to protect Apple’s intellectual property when companies steal our ideas,” Apple said both when it launched its legal action against Samsung and ever since.

We’ve asked Samsung for comment.

Source: inquier


He is the “other Steve”, but to geeks around the world, he is the real deal; the man who practically invented the personal computer and changed the world. Steve Wozniak, supreme geek of the 1970s and the maker of the Apple II computer which brought about a worldwide computer revolution, was in Bangalore on Saturday to speak to a bunch of young entrepreneurs and achievers of the Young Presidents Organisation who wanted to hear the story of the most-loved technology brand in the world — Apple.

Wozniak co-founded Apple Computer (now Apple, Inc) in April 1976 along with Steve Jobs and Ronald Wayne. Both Apple I – the company’s first product – and the hugely successful Apple II (arguably the world’s first fully-loaded personal computer) were designed by Wozniak making him – and not Jobs – the darling of geeks around the world.

obs may have created the Apple brand, but it was Wozniak’s initial work on the company’s first two products that made Apple a multi-million dollar company within a year of its founding. Now 61 years old, Wozniak is still an Apple employee with a minimum pay and goes around the world representing the company – giving speeches and mentoring young engineers.

Wozniak took time out during his Bangalore visit to speak to Sunday MIDDAY. Excerpts from the interview:

What brings you to India?
Oh, I was invited by the Young Presidents Organisation to address their group (in Bangalore) and they had gotten in touch via all my speech-people. This is the first time I have come to India; in fact, this is the first time I have been invited which is strange because about two years ago, I did three keynotes all around the world for Infosys (Infosys Technologies, the Bangalore-headquartered software firm). And I kept telling all the top executives that I would love to come to India some day and I never got an invitation until this one.

When you see these young guys in India, do you believe they will break the mould of India being the backoffice hub for the world when it comes to developing world-changing software products?
Yes, I do. And I have a reason. I see a lot of technical enthusiasts, a lot of engineers in Silicon Valley. I see a lot of Indian people. I see a lot of people from Japan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Singapore. But look at the Indians. They are bright, they are enthusiastic, they are hard-working. They have all the attributes to become successful in Silicon Valley. Some of the great engineers and technologists in Apple and all the other big companies like Google and Microsoft are Indians. So clearly they have got some inner skills and abilities. I think then it just means having a sense of clarity and the level of confidence, and they could make it big.

But is being at Silicon Valley so important for technology innovation?
Not at all. Microsoft did not start in Silicon Valley; it started way up north in Seattle. Nor did Apple. And they could have been anywhere in the world. Infosys is “elsewhere in the world” company. So there are ways that technology companies can start off today with the Internet. A lot of our (Apple’s) developers are anywhere in the world. And we hire engineering groups in India; in Russia, everywhere.

What is it about America then that all these young geeks set up businesses and they become super-successful… Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Twitter…
You know, there are already a lot of people around you that have done it. And that gives you the confidence to feel you can do it too and not feel scared.

read more at NDTV


A Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 tablet on display at a trade fair in Germany at the start of September

Samsung Electronics will be allowed to sell its latest Galaxy tablet computers in Australia during the crucial Christmas shopping season after it won a rare victory against Apple and overturned a sales ban in the country.

The decision by a federal appeals court in Australia comes after setbacks for Samsung in Europe, where Apple successfully sued to block sales of Samsung’s tablets in Germany, Europe’s largest market. Samsung has also had to modify some of its smartphone features for the European market following a temporary sales ban on its three Galaxy smartphones in the Netherlands.

Samsung and Apple are locked in about 20 legal disputes in nine countries including the US, South Korea, Japan and the UK, and analysts said this latest verdict should bolster Samsung’s position in these cases. “The ruling shows that Apple’s claims on design are relatively weak while Samsung can fight back with its patents on 3G technology,” said Jae Lee at Daiwa Securities.

The intensifying legal wranglings between the two companies highlight their complex relationship. Samsung is an important supplier of parts for Apple products, but the South Korean company is also the biggest maker of smartphones based on Google’s Android platform and therefore Apple’s biggest competitor in smartphones and tablets.

In Australia, Apple was granted an injunction in October, temporarily blocking sales of the Galaxy 10.1 tablet. Federal Court Justice Lindsay Foster on Wednesday reversed the sales ban but granted a stay until Friday. Apple will have to go to the High Court to extend the period further.

via FT


The long-awaited iPhone 4S launch helped Apple Inc take top spot in the British smartphone market in October, overtaking phones using Google Inc’s Android platform, data from research firm Kantar Worldpanel ComTech showed on Monday.

Apple took a whopping 42.8 percent share of all smartphone sales, giving it a significant lead over Android — a feat many thought was impossible,” Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director at the firm, said in a statement.

“With nearly a year and a half between iPhone launches there has been huge pent-up demand for a new Apple device,” he said.

In October Google’s (GOOG.O) Android had 35 percent of the British smartphone market, often seen as the indicator for the rest of Europe.

For the 12 weeks to end-October Android was still ahead of Apple (AAPL.O), while Research In Motion Ltd (RIM.TO) held on to its 20 percent share. Nokia Oyj (NOK1V.HE) had 4 percent and Microsoft Corp’s (MSFT.O) Windows Phone platform 1 percent share.

Nokia started to sell its first Windows Phone in Britain in mid November.

via reuters


What motivated the legendary Apple mastermind and tech guru to reinvent our world? The people who knew Steve Jobs best reveal the man inside the icon.


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