Apple and Samsung Add Devices to Patent Infringement Claims

In today’s mobile news roundup: Apple adds patent infringement claims against Samsung and Google; Microsoft’s reportedly making a 7-inch gaming tablet; Motorola unveils ATRIX HD Developer Edition; and AT&T to pay $700K fine.

Apple adds patent infringement claims against Samsung and Google

In a district court in San Jose, CA., Apple made arguments that Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1 and Google’s Android Jelly Bean infringed their patents.  The move is an effort to expand the reach of an existing case.  Samsung on the other hand, is adding the iPhone 5 in their complaint against Apple.  U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal did not issue a ruling regarding the added devices, as he was concerned that if any of the two will be declined, that would just spark a new round of lawsuits.

In other Apple news, the fruity company lost to VirnetX Holding Corp. and was ordered to pay  $368.2 million.  The federal jury concluded that Apple infringed VirnetX’s patents for virtual-private-network technology used in Apple’s FaceTime video-calling function.

“For years Apple refused to pay fair value for the VirnetX patents,” Doug Cawley, a lawyer with McKool Smith in Dallas who represents VirnetX, said in closing arguments. “Apple says they don’t infringe. But Apple developers testified that they didn’t pay any attention to anyone’s patents when developing their system.”

Microsoft making 7-inch gaming tablet

According to The Verge, multiple sources from Microsoft confirmed that the software giant is making a 7-inch gaming tablet dubbed as the Xbox Surface.  The tablet will sport a custom ARM processor and high-bandwidth RAM designed specifically for gaming.  The tablet will not have a full version of Windows but only a customized Windows kernel.  It will still have the basic functionalities of a tablet such as messaging but the focus is on gaming.

Motorola unveils ATRIX HD Developer Edition

Motorola Mobility announced the availability of the ATRIX HD Developer Edition, which will also be supported in the Bootloader Unlock program.  It’s still the same as the original ATRIX HD but because of the bootloader unlock program, it has infinite customization possibilities.  But the bootloader unlock program isn’t for everyone and using this should be taken with utmost precaution.

“You should only unlock the bootloader if you’re comfortable with the process and know exactly what you’re doing, since you will be voiding the warranty and risking data and functionality loss,” Motorola said in a statement.

AT&T to pay $700K fine

The Federal Communications Commission announced that AT&T has agreed to pay the fine of $700,000 to resolve complaints regarding the issue of switching certain consumers to their mandatory monthly wireless data plans, even though they promised that consumers could retain their existing pay-as-you-go data plans.  AT&T agreed to refund excess charges paid by these “grandfathered subscriber,” which amounts to $25 to $30 per month.

“Today’s action sends a clear signal that wireless carriers can’t wrongfully charge consumers,” FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said in a statement. “These strong FCC accountability measures will ensure customers are not over-charged. I am pleased that AT&T is taking the appropriate steps to resolve this issue.”