Mac OS X 10.4 Interface Under Legal Scrutiny

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Date: Tuesday, April 24th, 2007, 09:08
Category: News

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Ensuring that Apple‘s legal department doesn’t get bored, Illinois-based intellectual property agency IP Innovation LLC and its parent firm, Nevada-based Technology Licensing Corporation, have filed suit against Apple according to AppleInsider.
The suit, filed on April 18th in a U.S. district court in Marshall, Texas, is fueled by a four page formal complaint purporting that Apple has infringed on a computer control patent via its sales of the Mac OS X 10.4 “Tiger” operating system. The plaintiff is requesting a jury trial and seeking reparations for perceived damages that “exceed US$20 million”. The suit also seeks an injunction that would prevent Apple from continuing to sell its current edition of the Mac OS X operating system until a future edition without the supposed patent violation is made available.
The patent in question refers to patent 5072412, which has been filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and details the technique of creating a window on a computer’s screen with controls that switch between views of multiple associated display objects within that window. Here, one view is erased while the user selects another while still providing a spatial frame of reference as well as the same general interface during this switch.
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Former Apple CFO to Repay $3.5 Million in Stock Options Backdating Scandal

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Date: Tuesday, April 24th, 2007, 09:40
Category: News

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If you can’t beat ‘em, settle. According to the Wall Street Journal, former Apple Inc. chief financial officer Fred Anderson has settled with the Security Exchange Commission on allegations that he backdated stock options during his time at Apple.
Unnamed sources claim that Anderson will both pay a fine of approximately US$150,000 as well as repay option gains of US$3.5 million in exchange for not admitting any wrongdoing.
Anderson, along with Apple’s former counsel, Nancy Heinen, were the focus of an SEC investigation for their part in a January, 2001 stock option grant approved by Apple CEO Steve Jobs. According to a Mercury News article published on Monday, both Anderson and Heinen received options under the grant.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the SEC is expected to pursue a civil lawsuit against Heinen in which Heinen will be accused of self-dealing on the stock option grant in addition to charges connecting her to a separate grant in which 7.5 million stock options were awarded to Steve Jobs. These options had been backdated through falsified minutes of a board meeting that hadn’t actually occurred.
Heinen is expected to contest these charges.

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AT&T to Market iPhone Towards Businesses

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Date: Tuesday, April 24th, 2007, 08:38
Category: News

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An anonymous source close to Cingular, which was recently acquired by AT&T, has stated that in addition to pursuing the consumer markets, the iPhone will appeal to business users. To this end, Cingular is shoring up its backend enterprise billing and support systems in anticipation of when the iPhone ships according to Macworld News.
The idea of pushing the iPhone has confused some analysts, Ken Dulaney of Gartner stating that the device might not be suited towards business.
“Building a phone is one of the most difficult things to do,” stated Dulaney, who also pointed out the iPhone’s shortcomings for business users in the form of a non-removable battery and additional processors, which consumes more battery life than single processor cell phones. The iPhone’s much-anticipated touch screen and lack of buttons would also make the phone difficult to dial while driving, Dulaney noted.
Dulaney also noted a current lack of software applications for the unreleased device, something Windows Mobile and BlackBerry units currently have the market lead on.
Other roadblocks to the iPhone’s success in the business realm exist within the fact that the iPhone’s OS X-based operating system is currently closed off and businesses might not be able to write applications for the device. “Companies like to extend corporate apps to the mobile space and in order to do that you need an open OS,” said Avi Greengart, principal analyst for mobile devices at Current Analysis.
Still, it’s a long way until the iPhone’s anticipated release in June and things may change and develop on their own.
If you have any thoughts on this matter, let us know.

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Apple Begins to Describe Instant Message Features for Mac OS X 10.5

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Date: Tuesday, April 24th, 2007, 08:33
Category: News

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Despite Apple’s announced delay of its Mac OS X 10.5 “Leopard” until an October release, the company is beginning to publicize various features of the operating system. Specifically, an expanded Instant Message framework within iChat 4.0 has become more prominent. In recently published developer documentation, Apple claims that the framework will allow developers to determine whether a specific instant message user is online and then begin using iChat theater sessions to share supporting video and audio content during a video conference according to AppleInsider.
“One of the powerful capabilities that the Instant Message framework gives you is the ability to determine if a contact in a user’s buddy list is online or not. You can also get the Address Book data for that contact as well as other status information,” states online developer documentation. “This information is collectively referred to as ‘presence.’ And once you tap into this presence data, your application can be notified when information about a contact changes.”
iChat 4.0 is also expected to include iChat Theater, which will allow users and other applications to present both audio and video content during the chat session. Files such as a slide show, video feed or graphics can be included into the content. This is made possible by the IMAVManager code used within iChat Theater.
The documentation also covers a new level of scriptability, Apple stating that developers will be able to access iChat’s features via AppleScript to operate nearly half of iChat’s operations that could be performed with a keyboard and mouse.
Further details as they become available.

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