Apple may seek to stop US launch of Galaxy

Updated 09 June 2012
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Apple may seek to stop US launch of Galaxy

SAN JOSE, California: An Apple Inc. lawyer said the iPhone and iPad maker may seek a legal order stopping the launch of Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd’s Galaxy S III phone in the United States later this month.
At a hearing in a San Jose, California federal court, Apple attorney Josh Krevitt said the company could file for a temporary restraining order against Samsung soon.
“Once sales are made, the harm is irreparable,” Krevitt said.
However, US District Judge Lucy Koh said she has many other cases. If Apple decides to seek a restraining order, it would likely delay a July trial date over different Samsung phones, as well as the Galaxy Tab 10.1.
“I cannot be an Apple v. Samsung judge,” Koh said.
Apple sued Samsung for patent infringement last year, accusing the South Korean electronics maker of “slavishly” copying the iPhone and iPad. Samsung denies the claims and countersued.
Apple’s comments on Thursday came a day after Samsung Electronics, the world’s largest smartphone vendor, expanded its CEO’s role to include oversight of corporate strategy across the entire Samsung Group - a conglomerate of more than 80 companies.
Choi Gee-sung, 61, spearheaded Samsung’s ascension to smartphone and TV leadership and his elevation signals that the storied South Korean conglomerate is grooming its next leader.
Apple filed papers this week seeking to ban Samsung’s new Galaxy S III, along with the Galaxy Nexus. Samsung has already booked over 9 million preorders of the Galaxy S III, which is set to be sold by carriers in the United States on June 21, Apple said in its court filing.
Samsung, however, argued that Apple should not be allowed to seek such a fast injunction against the Galaxy S III.
Samsung attorney William Price also said the technology covered by Apple’s patents - such as auto-correcting typed text - are not responsible for sales of Galaxy phones.
“There is no advertising or marketing on these features at all” by Apple, Price said.
Samsung’s Galaxy products run on the Android operating system, developed by Google. In addition to Samsung’s legal team, several Google attorneys attended the hearing before Koh on Thursday.
Apple has also accused Google’s Motorola Mobility unit of infringing its iPhone patents. However, a Chicago-based federal judge on Thursday tentatively scrapped a trial between those two that had been scheduled to begin next week.
“Neither party can establish a right to relief,” Judge Richard Posner wrote.
In California, Koh did not rule from the bench on Thursday on Apple’s request for an injunction on the Nexus.
The Samsung case in US District Court, Northern District of California is Apple Inc. vs. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. et al., 12-cv-630.
In a separate development, federal judge canceled a scheduled June 11 trial between Apple Inc. and Google Inc’s Motorola Mobility unit over patents related to mobile phones and tablet computers, and expects to dismiss the case because neither can prove damages.
In a “tentative” order, US Circuit Judge Richard Posner in Chicago on Thursday said each company’s case should be dismissed with prejudice, meaning it cannot be brought up again.

He said neither Apple nor Motorola Mobility had enough admissible evidence of damages to withstand dismissal.
Posner also said to grant injunctions against infringements “would impose costs disproportionate to the harm to the patentee and the benefit of the alleged infringement to the alleged infringer and would be contrary to the public interest.”
The judge said he expects to more fully explain his reasoning in a written opinion within one week. Posner normally handles appeals, rather than cases in trial court.
“We are pleased by the Illinois trial court’s tentative ruling today dismissing Apple’s patent claims and look forward to receiving the full decision,” Google said in a statement.
Apple declined to comment.
The trial, which would have been before a jury, would have been the first between the companies since Google last month bought Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion.
It is one of many lawsuits worldwide pitting Apple, whose iPhone is the world’s most popular smartphone, against Motorola Mobility, whose parent produces the Android operating system.
In 2012, the iPhone is expected to capture more than 20 percent of the global smartphone market, while 61 percent of smartphones will use the Android system, International Data Corp. said.
Apple had sued Motorola Mobility for alleged infringements of four patents, but a May 22 ruling by Posner scuttled its damages claims on two of those patents. Motorola Mobility had sued over one patent.
Apple is based in Cupertino, California, and Google is based in Mountain View, California.
The case is Apple Inc. et al v. Motorola Inc. et al, US District Court, Northern District of Illinois, No. 11-08540.

 


Wells Fargo to pay $1B for mortgage, auto lending abuses

Updated 20 April 2018
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Wells Fargo to pay $1B for mortgage, auto lending abuses

  • Fine the latest in a series of setbacks for US bank
  • Federal Reserve in February prohibited lender from growing assets until governance issues addressed

Wells Fargo will pay $1 billion to federal regulators to settle charges tied to its mortgage and auto lending business, the latest chapter in years-long, wide-ranging scandal at the banking giant. However, it appears that none of the $1 billion will go directly to the victims of Wells Fargo’s abuses.
In a settlement announced Friday, Wells will pay $500 million to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, its main national bank regulator, as well as a net $500 million to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The action by the CFPB is notable because it is the first penalty imposed by the bureau under Mick Mulvaney, who President Trump appointed to take over the consumer watchdog agency in late November. The $500 million is also the largest penalty imposed by the CFPB in its history, the previous being a $100 million penalty also against Wells Fargo, and matches the largest fine ever handed out by the Comptroller of the Currency, which fined HSBC $500 million in 2012.
The fine against Wells Fargo had been expected. The company disclosed last week that it was in discussions with federal authorities over a possible settlement related to its mortgage and auto lending businesses, and that the fine could be as much as $1 billion.
The settlement also contains other requirements that would restrict Wells Fargo’s business. The bank will need to come with a risk management plan to be approved by bank regulators, and get approval from bank regulators before hiring senior employees.
“While we have more work to do, these orders affirm that we share the same priorities with our regulators and that we are committed to working with them as we deliver our commitments with focus, accountability, and transparency,” said Wells Fargo Chief Executive Tim Sloan in a statement.
The $500 million paid to the Comptroller of the Currency will be paid directly to the US Treasury, according to the order. The $500 million paid to the CFPB will go into the CFPB’s civil penalties fund, which is used to help consumers who might have been impacted in other cases. But zero dollars of either penalty is going directly to Wells Fargo’s victims.
The bank has already been reimbursing customers in its auto and mortgage businesses for these abuses. Wells Fargo has been refunding auto loan customers since July and been mailing refund checks to impacted mortgage customers since December.
While banks have benefited from looser regulations and lower taxes under President Trump, Wells Fargo has been called out specifically by Trump as a bank that needed to be punished for its bad behavior.
“Fines and penalties against Wells Fargo Bank for their bad acts against their customers and others will not be dropped, as has incorrectly been reported, but will be pursued and, if anything, substantially increased. I will cut Regs but make penalties severe when caught cheating!,” Trump wrote on Twitter back in December.
The abuses being addressed Friday are not tied directly to Wells Fargo’s well-known sales practices scandal, where the bank admitted its employees opened as much as 3.5 million bank and credit card accounts without getting customers’ authorization. But they do involve significant parts of the bank’s businesses: auto lending and mortgages.
Last summer Wells Fargo admitted that hundreds of thousands of its auto loan customers had been sold auto insurance that they did not want or need. In thousands of cases, customers who could not afford the combined auto loan and extra insurance payment fell behind on their payments and had their cars repossessed.
In a separate case, Wells Fargo also admitted that thousands of customers had to pay unnecessary fees in order to lock in their interest rates on their home mortgages. Wells Fargo is the nation’s largest mortgage lender.
Wells Fargo has been under intense scrutiny by federal regulators for several months. The Federal Reserve took a historic action earlier this year by mandating that Wells Fargo could not grow larger than the $1.95 trillion in assets that it currency held and required the bank to replace several directors on its board. The Federal Reserve cited “widespread abuses” as its reason for taking such an action.
This settlement does not involve Wells Fargo’s wealth management business, which is reportedly under investigation for improprieties similar to those that impacted its consumer bank. Nor does this involve an investigation into the bank’s currency trading business.
Consumer advocates have been critical of the Trump administration’s record since it took over the CFPB late last year. However, advocates were pleased to see Wells Fargo held to account.
“Today’s billion dollar fine is an important development and a fitting penalty given the severity of Wells Fargo’s fraudulent and abusive practices,” said Pamela Banks, senior policy counsel for Consumers Union.