Samsung in court and Ofcom with Orange – Weekly highlights and lowlights

by , Digital Producer News 11/12/2011
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The winner with its hands on the trophy this week is Samsung. After taking a mauling in courts around the world in early Autumn – after Apple’s copyright infringement accusations – it looked like Samsung was going to pick up the phone to the local florists and send Apple a bouquet – and a large deposit of money. Well if this was a ‘patent war’, Samsung just came out of its corner swinging. Two court decisions in a row have gone its way this week.

In our lowlights list, Ofcom joins Orange in the spotlight for a second appearance on the trot. Ofcom’s refusal to investigate Orange’s recent price rise – which includes raising prices for customers with existing contracts – has infuriated us and you.

Highlights

Samsung – Samsung and Apple’s spat over intellectual property rights got so heated earlier this year it was dubbed the ‘patent wars’. Apple went on a grand tour of courts round the world seeking and winning court ordered injunctions based on alleged copyright infringement. As a result, Samsung had to pull products from several countries across the globe, such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7. Well it looks like the scales of justice are tipping in Samsung’s favour with the tech giant winning decisions in courts in both the US and Australia. Apple 1 – 1 Samsung.

Android– Firing a broadside off Apple’s bow, Android Marketplace announced this week that they had notched up 10 billion app downloads. Perhaps more impressive is the speed with which the market has grown; they are now shipping out 1 billion apps a month. You can see our favourites in the best Android apps – top 10.

Ebook price fixing – It might not sound like a highlight but the EU’s announcement that they are looking into price fixing on ebooks by Apple and five major publishing houses is welcome news for consumers. It’s claimed the group bound together to try and combat the dominance of Amazon in the ebook business. We’re all for competition – but only at a fair price. See our ebook reader reviews.

Lowlights

Fake goods - With news that one in ten of us has bought a fake in error in the last year, Which? has been looking at some of the fake tech products available on the market in the run up to Christmas. There are some convincing fakes floating around – and online shopping means it’s harder than ever to spot them. Take a look at our fake goods video to see what we received in the post and get some tips on avoiding a fake.

Orange and Ofcom - Likely to make this list week in week out unless something changes. Two weeks ago Orange announced price hikes that included rises for existing contract customers. You and we complained to Ofcom and…Ofcom bottled it. The regulator has said they don’t intend to investigate the price rise. Welcome to the list boys – make yourself comfortable. Join our conversation on Orange price hikes and make your voice heard.

Broken government websites- If you thought trying to track down a human through the endless, concentric rings of push button hell that is call centres was fun – have you ever tried using the services on government websites? Save yourself the trouble. Apparently one in five calls to government telephone helplines last year were the result of an ‘unsuccessful digital transaction with the Government’. Maybe they don’t really want our money after all. More via the Telegraph

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