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.

 


Saudi stock exchange cheers MSCI emerging markets upgrade

Updated 18 min 50 sec ago
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Saudi stock exchange cheers MSCI emerging markets upgrade

  • Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan: This is a significant milestone for the Saudi capital market
  • Chief executive officer of Tadawul Khalid Al-Hussan: We more excited by what’s about to come as we continue to enhance the market’s future.

RIYADH: The Saudi stock exchange celebrated an “historic milestone” with inclusion into MSCI’s Emerging Market index, as it pledged to make further improvements to become the “leading” market in the Middle East.
The move, announced early Thursday morning Riyadh time, is forecast to attract as much as $40 billion in foreign investment into Saudi stocks, following a series of reforms passed by authorities to bring the Kingdom’s capital markets more in line with international standards.
“This is a significant milestone for the Saudi capital market,” said Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan.
“The reforms of the Saudi capital market, guided by Vision 2030, and the government’s strong commitment to modernize the Saudi economy through comprehensive reforms, have aligned the market with international best standards making it more attractive to both domestic and foreign investors. We will continue to build a law-based capital market to further strengthen investor confidence and steadily enhance market functions to serve the Saudi economy while stimulating savings, financing and investments.”
Khalid Al-Hussan, chief executive officer of Tadawul, told a press conference in Riyadh that he was “more excited by what’s about to come as we continue to enhance the market’s future.” Plans are under way to introduce clearing systems in preparation for equity derivatives trading.
Mohamed El-Kuwaiz, Chairman of the kingdom’s Capital Markets Authority, said that the event was the culmination of a three year process to get the Saudi market into the global emerging market index. “It is a nationally great achievement, and a historic milestone on the journey of Saudi capital markets,” he added.
He added that the move would pave the way for initial public offerings (IPO) on the Saudi exchange, including the historic listing of Saudi Aramco, slated for next year, and other privatizations. “This is not the end of the journey,” he said.
The meeting coincided with the opening of the Saudi market in Riyadh. Saudi shares rose by nearly 1 percent in early trading, before shedding gains to trade slightly higher in the afternoon.
“Saudi Arabia’s market performance over the next few sessions is of little relevance in our view. Some selling of the fact [of inclison] is expected,” Mohamad Al Hajj, an equities strategist at the research arm of EFG-Hermes in Dubai, told Bloomberg.
The index compiler MSCI decided to give Saudi a weighting of 2.6 percent of the EM index, higher than the 2.3 percent it had previously indicated, meaning that more International funds could flow into Saudi Arabia.
At that level, some 150 billion riyals ($40 billion) worth of foreign investment could end up on Tadawul, via a mix of passive and active fund managers. Tadawul officials estimated passive funds — which track the index — account for 25 percent of that.
Sarah Al-Suhaimi, chairman of Tadawul, said that inclusion in the index was a “very important step for Tadawul and for the Kingdom.” She was proud that MSCI had upgraded Saudi Arabia after only one year on its watchlist, which she said was the shortest period on record.
Full official inclusion into the index will take place in two stages over the next 12 months. El-Kuweiz said that the timing of the Aramco IPO was still being finalized and was not dependent on final inclusion on MSCI.
“The IPO and the condition of the market are related, but not directly linked. Obviously the weight of the market will increase when Aramco is included, but that timing will depend on multiple factors, like the market context, the valuation the company puts on itself, and the preparedness of the company,” he said.
“It is our job to ensure the market is ready for such events, and this is what we have done,” he added.
Some analysts argue that the health of the Saudi market depends more on the oil price, domestic economics and regional geopolitics than inclusion in MSCI.
Jason Tuvey, Middle East economist with London based consultancy Capital Economics, said: “We still expect oil prices will drop back over the next couple of years. That is likely to put fiscal austerity back on to the agenda, and we expect that growth in the non-oil sector will slow again in 2019. Meanwhile, geopolitical tensions will linger. And we expect that global appetite for risky assets will deteriorate over the next couple of years.”
He forecast the Tadawul index would fall around 6 percent this year, after a sharp rise in the first half.
Al-Hussan said the MSCI inclusion was a very significant factor for Tadawul. “I disagree that MSCI inclusion is less important than these other factors. It is a sign of the confidence of International investors in the Saudi market, and a reflection of how confident they feel here.”
Saudi Arabia is already the biggest stock market in the Arabian Gulf, with a market capitalization of $520 billion, but policymakers have said they want to make it the “dominant” one too, possibly by encouraging cross-listings of other GCC companies in Riyadh and by co-ordinating regulatory regimes across the region.
Ziyad Al-Ashaikh, Deutsche Bank’s chief country officer for Saudi Arabia, said: “This represents a major milestone. Not just for the kingdom, but for the entire Middle East and one that demands a great deal of attention from institutional investors globally.”