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Today in Tech: Apple Strikes a Major Blow Against Samsung


A lot of action in the courts today could profoundly affect the tech industry.

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Today, a verdict is expected in the copyright case between Google (GOOG) and Oracle (ORCL) over Google's use of Java APIs without a license. It was always widely assumed in the software industry that APIs aren't subject to copyright. If Oracle, the owner of the Java language, wins this stage of the case, and APIs are deemed as copyrightable, the precedent would have huge repercussions in the industry. For example, many high-profile companies such as Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) use open source APIs that mimic Amazon's (AMZN) cloud-management APIs. If the ruling is in Oracle's favor, these companies could face huge licensing fees. Software developers, both independent and corporate, will have a lot of trouble coding around patented code.

Apple (AAPL) struck a major blow to its frenemy Samsung (SSNLF) in court. Samsung was sanctioned by a judge for refusing to obey a court order requiring it to reveal source code for a particular "design-around" that Apple says violates its intellectual property. Apple is claiming that Samsung's TouchWiz skin for Android blatantly copies the look and feel of iOS and the source code should shed light on whether the interface was written specifically to avoid patent claims. While Samsung supplies parts for Apple products, the two gadget giants have filed 30 lawsuits against one another since April 2011.

Google is also on the hook for a fine as much as $10 million from the Federal Trade Commission for secretly changing iOS users' privacy settings to allow cookies to work on the Safari browser.

Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A) is mentoring Mark Zuckerberg, his younger counterpart at Facebook, on taking his company public and surviving the shark pit of the public markets. According to reporters present at Berkshire's shareholder's meeting, the Oracle of Omaha will not be buying any stock in the company. Though he denies that we are in an Internet bubble right now, he usually steers clear of IPOs. It is difficult, he says, to accurately value companies like Facebook. The social network's IPO roadshow has already begun and trading is expected to begin next week.

Adobe (ADBE) released the latest version of its Creative Suite software, including new versions of design industry standards such as Photoshop and Indesign. Last quarter, the company posted a 1.9% gain in revenue over the year before. This rate of growth was much slower than the 14% growth in the December quarter. The release of the new flagship suite of software could give revenue a jolt in the second quarter.

Intel (INTC) increased its dividend to $0.225 from $0.21. The company said in a statement that this year will be another one of "record revenues for Intel, with strong demand in our core business and significant progress in smartphones and other new growth areas." Intel just got into the smartphone business with an Android-based phone that will sell in India. Right now, Intel chips are out of favor in mobile computing. With its new Atom and Ivy Bridge chips, Intel is aiming to take on chipmakers that build low-power RISC architecture licensed by ARM Holdings (ARMH).

Twitter: @vincent_trivett

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