Apple-Samsung Secrecy Bid Rejected By US Judge

Today’s mobile news roundup features a US judge’s refusal to keep Apple-Samsung case info a secret, HTC filing a countersuit against Apple, AT&T may soon charge for Face Time, and more.

Secrecy bid rejected

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh rejected the claims of both Apple and Samsung to keep some parts of their key documents hidden from public view.

In a court document, Judge Koh stated, “it appears that the parties have overdesignated confidential documents and are seeking to seal information that is not truly sealable.”

The two are asking the judge to keep some things sealed in order to not spill any trade secrets and other sensitive business information during the course of litigation.

The judge’s move came after Reuters filed a motion opposing Apple and Samsung’s document redactions. The judge wrote that “only documents of exceptionally sensitive information that truly deserve protection will be allowed to be redacted or kept from the public.”

HTC retaliates with HP-acquired patents

Though Apple was denied an emergency ban to keep HTC devices from entering US soil for allegedly infringing patent regarding a system to detect telephone numbers in e-mails, Apple is not about to give up on their battle against HTC.  But the Taiwanese company is no push-over, they’re out to get Apple using patents they acquired from Hewlett-Packard.

HTC is accusing Apple of infringing U.S. Patent No. 7,571,221, “Installation of network services in an embedded network server,” and U.S. Patent No. 7,120,684, “Method and system for central management of a computer network,” which Apple allegedly violated in the Apple Remote Desktop and Apple Profile Manager.  HTC stated that Apple’s MacBook Air, iPhone and iPad infringed the two patents, which they acquired from HP back in December 2011.

AT&T hints at Face Time charging

Developers who have the chance of of getting their hand on the pre-release of iOS uncovered something unnerving for Apple users subscribed to AT&T’s network: AT&T may soon charge for Face Time.

While trying to access Face Time using the new iOS on AT&T’s network, they were greeted with a restriction notice similar to the notice when AT&T allowed networking tethering for a fee.

“Apple’s FaceTime app only can be used when connected to Wi-Fi, but it will be available on cellular networks when the new operating system is released in the fall,” The Wall Street Journal reports.  “A development version of the iOS 6 software had previously allowed FaceTime to be used on AT&T’s network, but a recent update prompts users to activate their account.”

AT&T declined to give details regarding the situation but stated that they are working closely with Apple and will soon give details to their subscribers when ready.  Sprint already took a stab at AT&T, stating that they are committed to giving their consumers unlimited data plan which covers the use of the Face Time app.

In other AT&T news, by August, the company will be rolling out a new family plan which would allow customers to buy a single data plan for up to 10 devices that includes unlimited phone calls and text messages for these customers.  The move is to entice families to purchase more mobile devices since they won’t have to deal with separate data plans for each mobile device.  This new family plan would directly compete with Verizon’s similar offering.

Boosting international roaming

China Mobile International Limited, a subsidiary of China Mobile, and  Clearwire signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) that lays the foundation for international roaming between China and the United States using TD-LTE.  The agreement would include planning and fortifying operations to ensure that operators’ systems and devices are able to support roaming.

“Today’s new agreement with China Mobile will add substantial momentum to our own LTE network deployment and to the development of the TD-LTE ecosystem around the world,” said Dr. John Saw, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Clearwire.