Showing posts with label Apple. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Apple. Show all posts

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Android’s Chinese Manufacturers Form Alliance To Defend From Apple and Microsoft Patent Lawsuits

Digitimes is reporting that Chinese OEM’s could be quietly banding together to fight off the ever looming threat of patent lawsuits from Android arch nemeses like Apple, Microsoft and Nokia. The Chinese coalition would be formed by ZTE, Lenovo, TCL, Coolpad and Konka who, it’s assumed, would pool their patent resources and share information on how to work around alleged patent infringements and keep from paying the dreaded “licensing fee.”
As the Chinese smartphone market grows — currently the largest in the world — OEM’s are sure to draw attention from Apple and Microsoft who spend much of their time attacking Android manufacturers.
[Digitimes via Electronista]

Friday, December 30, 2011

Nielsen: Samsung, Motorola and HTC Top Five in Recent Smartphone Market Share

Nielsen’s ringing in with their end-of-the-year lists of top brands, companies and web destinations. One that caught our eye, of course, was the smartphone manufacturer chart.
They pulled data from the months of August 2011 through October 2011. This isn’t overall OEM market share but gives an idea of the trends that were developing leading into the holiday season.

At the top of the chart was Apple taking up 29% of the sales throughout this period, but HTC is not far behind with 21%. RIM, surprisingly, is sitting at 17%, ahead of Samsung and Motorola who both have 11% each.
It would be nice to get an idea of how these numbers stacked up through Christmas but those numbers will make their way to the forefront soon enough. To see more figures (such as top web brands and top destinations for watching online video) visit Nielsen’s site here.

Apple applies for “Face and Presence Detection” patent — Android laughs

I’m not really sure where to start on this one other than oh wait — Android already has the feature. It’s called “Face Unlock” and is available on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus within Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Just like our friendly source over at Phandroid I don’t really want to simply sit here and bash Apple but I can’t help but do so a little bit with this latest “innovation” and patent they’ve applied for.

At first glance your are probably thinking seriously, what the hell. And I was too but after looking through the patent and information a bit closer over at PatentlyApple you’ll quickly notice that this has been in the works for at least a few years — and originally wasn’t aimed at iOS or mobile devices and actually was for laptops and computers.
Obviously we don’t know Apple’s plans, or how long this has been brewing — or why Google hasn’t patented this themselves for mobile devices but this could cause some potentially big problems later on. Something like “Face Unlock” has been around forever and seen in hundreds of movies so the thought of it being special and an innovation exclusively to Apple seems a bit ridiculous. We don’t know all of the details and Apple’s patent seems to be quite thorough but either way I’m not liking the sound of this already. It almost seems as if Apple is just scooping up any and all possible patents to use as ammunition to fight the competition in the court room, rather than on the shelves.
[via Phandroid]

Thursday, December 29, 2011

IP expert says Apple could earn $10 for every Android device

Apple’s been pretty ruthless when it comes to Android litigation, even if their success rate has been hit or miss lately. After suing Samsung and HTC in the United States and everywhere else they can send a legal team, they’ve become the bane of many an Android OEM. In an interview with Bloomberg, intellectual property guru Kevin Rivette notes that the licensing fees that Apple earns on its patent lawsuits could be as high as $10 per device – a figure that could seriously impede manufacturers, especially on cheap low-margin phones.
To be blunt, that seems extremely unlikely. Apple has proven that it’s unwilling to negotiate with just about anyone, instead taking the all-or-nothing approach and going for a sales ban, as in cases with Samsung in Germany and Australia. In the latter Apple flat-out denied a settlement that surely involved patent licensing, a decision they probably regret now that their case against the design patents in the Galaxy Tab 10.1 have been dismissed. Samsung and HTC have already found ways around Apple’s legal eagles in the other cases: in Germany, Samsung released a revised Galaxy Tab 10.1N that the German court recognized as significantly different than the original, and HTC says it already has a work-around to Apple’s software patents in their United States case.
The simple fact is that Apple’s been too hard-headed to accept any sort of compromise thus far, to its detriment. This position probably stems from the late Steve Jobs, who vowed to “destroy” Android, which he saw as a stolen product. (“We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas.” -Steve Jobs, 1996.) Now that they’ve been handed defeat in Australia and the US and companies have found ways around their overly vague patents, they may be more amenable to licensing, as Microsoft already is. Microsoft is reputedly making more than $400 million a year in Android licensing fees, and earns $5 from every HTC sale, though that’s the only company whose specific deal with Redmond is publicly known.

Will Apple settle for licensing? Probably not. If they had tried the standard sue-then-settle tactic a year ago they might have been successful, but at this point every major manufacturer has been preparing work-around to their patent trolling. We’ll see what they can cook up in 2012 – and how many Ice Cream Sandwich features magically make their way into iOS 6.

[via Ubergizmo]

Monday, December 26, 2011

Android clear winner of 2011 Smartphones race

The year 2011 has been a great year for Android based smartphone manufacturers. Handset makers like Samsung, HTC, Sony & Motorola lead the Android handset market. Special mention goes to Samsung's Galaxy series of Android phones. The series boasts various range of Android smartphones for everyone ranging from 5000 INR to 30,000 INR.

According to Business Standard, Samsung Galaxy S II, priced at 30,100 INR has broken all the records. It not only became a hot-favourite of reviewers across the globe but also managed to hold ground against Apple’s smartphones. It seems to be one of the most powerful and user-friendly Android phones. Its 8MP camera is a very good replacement for a pocket camcorder.

Other Android phones which lead the list of Smartphones along with Galaxy SII & Apple 4S are HTC Sensation XL, Motorola Razr & Sony Ericsson's Xperia Arc S.

  • Samsung Galaxy S II
  • Apple 4S
  • HTC Sensation XL
  • Motoroal Razr
  • Sony Ericsson's Xperia Arc S

Let us know which one do you think is the best and why?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

German Court Leans in Favor of Samsung in Case of Galaxy Tab 10.1N

Apple’s case against the revised Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1N will likely not hold up, the judge reviewing the case has stated. In Judge Johanna Brueckner-Hofmann’s opinion, changes made to the Galaxy Tab design appear sufficient to comply with a court order banning the sale of the original device. The statement is not a final ruling, though a verdict is expected to be handed down shortly.
Judge Brueckner-Hofmann held trial in her Dusseldorf court in September, hearing Apple’s case that Samsung had copied their iPad design when creating the Galaxy Tab 10.1. An initial injunction banning the sale of the tablet was upheld, and Samsung released the Galaxy Tab 10.1N — a modified version of the tablet taking the court’s ruling into consideration — to avoid future legal troubles. Apple disagreed that the Galaxy Tab 10.N met the requirements laid out by the court and quickly filed a new suit. With these latest developments, it appears Samsung will soon be able to return to business as usual in Germany.
[via BGR]

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

HTC and Google comment on US Apple patent loss – Andy Rubin “optimistic” about the future

HTC’s boss Peter Chou and Android top man Andy Rubin have both gone on the record regarding the recent high-profile patent loss to Apple, which had some excitable people claiming HTC’s phones could be banned from sale in the US.
That won’t happen. Chou says the infringing feature has already been removed, while Rubin is pleased that the ruling only covers user interface touches rather than anything deep within Android itself.
Rubin said:
“The majority of these patents [in Apple's complaint against HTC] were claimed in the operating system itself, but actually in this case what was allowed… is some user interface feature of an application, not the operating system itself, so that’s why I’m very optimistic in basically my desire to achieve patent peace on the overall platform.”

He has in his hand a piece of paper…

Apple Awarded Patent On In Call App Switching – Multitasking Smartphones Sound Familiar To You?

They’ve done it again. The boys at Apple must have some kind of strange patent voodoo because once again, the United States Patent and Trademark Office has awarded them with another IP to stick inside their portfolio, this time with a patent for a “portable electronic device with graphical user interface supporting application switching.” Sound familiar to you? It should. Somehow Apple received a patent for a multitasking smartphone that allows a user to switch between calls and apps. Yup, they seem to have patented Android. You best believe that with Apple’s small victory over HTC yesterday, their lawyers are already plotting new ways to stick it to Android manufacturers everywhere. What’s next? A patent on green robot mascots? Well, played, Apple. Well played…
[USPTO via Engadget]

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

First the court, now Samsung beating Apple in Australia’s mobile market

Fresh from beating Apple in the court room in Australia — after the ban on its Galaxy Tab was overturned earlier this month — Samsung has leapfrogged its rival to take the top spot in the country’s smartphone market, according to new data released by ABI Research today.
The Korean manufacturer now holds 49 percent of the smartphone market in Australia and 28.5 percent in New Zealand, which puts it ahead of rival Apple which holds 36 percent and 13 percent respectively. In New Zealand, Apple has even slipped into third place with Chinese manufacturer Huawei rising to 20 percent of the country’s smartphone market.
According to IDC, the popularity of the Samsung Galaxy range is responsible for the firm’s growth, while a rise in the availability of mid- and low- range Android devices is beginning to show, with Apple’s market share watered down as a result.
IDC analyst Yee-Kuan Lau explains in more detail:
There is a gradual shift in demand by cost-conscious consumers to low-cost Android smartphones from feature phones across [Australia and New Zealand], as more low cost smartphones are becoming available in the market.
In Australia for example, the shift in demand from feature phones has helped boost sales in the sub-US$150 segment with low-cost Android smartphones such as Huawei U8180 Ideos X1, especially when 90% of feature phones were priced below US$150.
The firm expects that Android will continue to pip Apple in Australia, whilst it foresees that the Google owned operating system will push out a strong lead in New Zealand too.
Australia and New Zealand are frequently analysed side-by-side, however their levels of smartphone usage vary considerably. Smartphones account for 65 percent of all mobile devices in Australia — making it one of the most developed markets on the planet — however, that figure drops down to 43 percent for its Antipodean neighbour.
Further proof that New Zealand’s market is a little further behind on the development curve is shown by the sheer growth of its mobile space. The industry posted 55 percent year on year growth in sales, that’s compared to a 17 percent shrinkage in handset shipments in Australia.
Samsung was recently strongly linked with overthrowing Nokia at the top of India’s smartphone rankings. In October, the firm posted its best ever year of sales, which were up by 300 percent, albeit with lower profits.

Apple shouts, ITC jumps: HTC imports banned by April 2012

In a blow for Android, not to mention the free market, innovation and common sense, the United States International Trade commission has ruled in Apple’s favor in its case against HTC’s Android devices. Certain devices, not currently articulated, will be illegal to import into the United States as of April 19, 2012. The two companies may reach a patent settlement, or President Obama may veto the order.

Apple brought forth its case based on several patents, but the one that it won the patent case one is a system level patent, according to The Verge. The injunction will go to the desk of President Obama, who will have sixty days to veto the motion or sign it. (He’s a Blackberry guy, so we’ll call him neutral in this case.) Vetos against an ITC decision are rare, but something tells me that this case will receive particular attention.
What happens now? Normally when two large companies come to blows over patents, a licensing deal is hammered out before it actually stops sales or imports. And that may indeed happen – but if anyone is poised to buck the trend in patent litigation, it’s Apple. The company refused to settle with Samsung in their Australian patent case, forcing a long and drawn out system of appeals.
It was revealed in the recent autobiography of late apple co-founder Steve Jobs that he was furious over perceived theft of intellectual property in Android, and declared that he would “spend my last dying breath if I need to…I’m going to destroy Android because it’s a stolen product.” Apple’s non-cooperative and litigious actions in Australia and Germany seem to be in line with that imperative. Apple eventually lost the Australian case on appeal, and Samsung’s tablets are once again on sale down under.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Samsung expands patent row with Apple in Germany

Samsung Electronics continued the patent dispute against Apple in Germany, filing new claims in the process. The South Korean consumer electronics behemoth has added a quartet of patents to its current infringement case that is related to the telecommunications standard technology WCDMA where 3G mobile handsets are concerned. The four new complaints will comprise of the use of emoticons, where according to Samsung’s spokesperson, “(Samsung) made four more claims; two are standard-related patents and the other two are utility patents. And a court said it would make these claims separate from the April lawsuit.”
Last Friday, a regional German court in Mannheim did hold a hearing on the April case, touting that a ruling would be announced in early March next year. It would be interesting to see how the new patent claims will develop, and what kind of repercussions there would be worldwide. Just recently, Samsung landed a left hook on Apple’s jaw by winning their suit in Australia as the court Down Under removed a ban on the sale of Samsung’s Galaxy tablet just earlier this month.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Samsung drops 3G lawsuit against Apple in favor of a different strategy

Both Apple and Samsung have been busy attempting to sue each other into oblivion, with the former claiming that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 infringed upon their designs while the latter claimed that 3G-capable iOS devices infringed upon their 3G technology patents, but now it looks like Samsung may be rethinking their strategy.
According to FOSS Patents’ Florian Mueller, Samsung appears to have given up their attacks on Apple via the 3G patent route. It seems that the South Korean company has finally acknowledged that the 3G license was covered by Apple’s payment for the Qualcomm chips found in devices like the iPhone 4S, but this doesn’t mean that Samsung has decided to throw in the towel.
Samsung claims that the dropping of the Qualcomm challenge was mainly to streamline a case, and have instead decided to sue Apple over four different patents, although the exact nature of these patents remain unknown for now. Will Samsung succeed this time round? We guess we will have to wait and find out.

Consumers love Android, but developers are stuck on Apple

Android is taking the mobile world by storm as more handsets and tablets are Android powered, but as far as where the developers hang their hat, Apple is the place to be. Right now Android is easily the top selling mobile platform, Android powered handsets are outselling Apple iPhones by a ton and the Android Market just hit its 18 billionth download. An analytics firm, called Flurry, says that app developers are still choosing Apple’s iOS over Android almost 3 to 1.
As developers complete their apps, they set up analytics from Flurry so that the company can get a sneak peak at what is on the horizon in the mobile market. According to Flurry, the company deals with more than 55,000 companies across more than 135,000 applications. Flurry did a recent study to see how many projects were started for each quarter and the report showed that in the first quarter 63 percent were iOS and only 37 percent were Android. By the third quarter, developers had started projects with Apple iOS almost 75 percent of the time, while Android based projects feel to 25 percent. The fourth quarter was estimated, but the numbers didn’t change much only adding another 2 percent to Android giving them 27 percent and Apple 73 percent.
Flurry said in a blog post, “Over the year, developer support for Android has declined from more than one-third of all new projects, at the beginning of the year, down to roughly one-quarter by the end. While the market nearly doubled for both platforms, we believe key events changed the proportion of support between these two platforms.” Some of the factors that Flurry believes contributed to the numbers were the iPhone going to Verizon and Sprint and the launch of the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S this year.
Flurry has an idea as to why the developers like Apple 3 to 1 over Android. One issue is fragmentation from Google “not curating the Android Market”. The second issue is money, as more developers say they make 3 to 4 times more with iOS apps. The last reason Flurry says effects the developers call on what operating system to use is the act of getting paid. Apple required secured payment before apps can be purchased, ensuring developers get paid, but Google does not require that for mobile app downloads.

Rumor: Apple is developing 7.85-inch iPad to compete with Kindle Fire

Apple may begin selling smaller, 7.85-inch iPads next year to compete with newer tablet devices, according to sources within the US firm’s supply chain who are quoted by a DigiTimes report.
The company is rumoured to already be sourcing parts to begin producing the units by mid next year:
In addition to purchasing 7.85-inch panels from LG Display, Apple will also buy panels from AU Optronics (AUO), indicated the sources, adding that makers in the supply chain are likely to begin production of the 7.85-inch models at the end of the second quarter of 2012.
The rumoured size has been selected to allow the iPad to compete with, but differentiate itself from, the 7-inch Kindle fire and a number of large-sized smartphones that manufacturers like Samsung has introduced to the market.
Apple is also thought to be launching the third version of the iPad during the first quarter of next year, in response to the growth of tablet PCs, which are expected to reach 60 million units by the end of this year
Previous iPad rumours have included speculation that a thinner iPad 3 will land in March. Back in October, analysts predicted that production of the iPad 3 would be under way before the end of the year, by which time an initial 1 million devices are thought to be ready.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Samsung says Apple court cases boosted its profile

According to Samsung Australia’s mobile chief, the court case that is happening globally with Apple is doing far more good than harm to the South Korean company, where it raised the Galaxy Tab 10.1′s profile to that of a “household name” within a short period of time, potentially making it one of the best “advertising channels” for Samsung compared to going through an ad agency. It must also be said that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 will be hitting stores in Australia sometime this week after a Sydney court decided to deny Apple’s appeal request to reverse the ban on sales of the Gaalaxy Tab 10.1.
To quote McGee, “At the end of the day the media awareness certainly made the Galaxy Tab 10.1 a household name compared to probably what it would’ve been based on the investment that we would’ve put into it from a marketing perspective.” This will see Samsung do as much as possible within their power to bring in the maximum number of Galaxy Tab 10.1 units, hoping to see short supply in the face of high demand. This is definitely one of the less conventional methods to market your device, and it is not advisable to take a similar route all the time.

Google’s official Siri fighter codenamed Majel, Trekkies switch to Android at Warp 9

Majel Barret as Nurse Chapel, opposite DeForest “Bones” Kelley

Remember when that Google executive compared iOS’ Siri voice control implementation to the bumbling droids of Star Wars, and Android’s voice input to the Enterprise’s computer on Star Trek? Someone in Mountain View took that analogy quite literally. Android and Me quotes insiders that say Google is preparing a natural language update to Android’s Voice Actions feature, and they’ve codenamed it Majel, after the late great Majel Barrett-Roddenberry.

The actress is best known as the voice of the Enterprise’s computer from Star Trek: The Next Generation onward, and has had small parts in almost every Star Trek series all the way back to the original pilot. In 1969 she married Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, and became known as “the First Lady of Star Trek” for her spirited involvement with the series and its fans for almost 40 years. If Google really is basing natural language input around the ideas in TNG, they may have chosen the perfect homage to a geek icon.
While details are scarce, insiders claim that Google’s software engineers are working around the clock to prepare Majel for a release this year. That may or may not happen, but an unveiling in Q1 2012 would be a good fall-back position. Whether or not Google can match Apple’s progress on Siri is a subject for debate; natural language additions to Google’s voice recognition engine have not done well so far. See Iris and Cluzee. But on the other hand, no one has brought the resources and talent to the problem that Google has – not even Apple, who essentially bought the technology whole and plugged it into the iPhone 4S. As for me, I’ll be ecstatic if I can finally command my Android phone like an actual starship: “Computer, navigate to Sears. Engage.”

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Design of the Samsung Galaxy Tab according to Apple

As most of you guys should be aware by now, Apple and Samsung are currently embroiled in a fierce legal battle concerning patent infringement. Apple has accused Samsung of infringing upon their patents and design of the iPad 2, claiming that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 has copied their designs. Samsung has attempted to work around this claim by releasing the Galaxy Tab 10.1n with some minor cosmetic changes, but apparently that wasn’t enough.
The image you’re looking at above is a rendering of the interpretation of what Apple’s lawyers think Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 should look like. We can’t tell if they are dead serious or if it’s just a quick mockup but either way that thing above is pretty hideous. The mockup is based on Apple’s demands which asks for a tablet whose “Shapes that are not rectangular with four flat sides or that do not have four rounded corners”, feature “Front surfaces that are not completely flat or clear and that have substantial adornment”, have “Thick frames rather than a thin rim around the front surface” and have “Profiles that are not thin relative to [Apple patent D'889] or that have a cluttered appearance”.
Essentially this translates into a tablet that no one would ever want to own. Has Apple taken things a little bit too far this time, or are they shooting for the ludicrous in hopes that Samsung will balk and decide to settle instead?

Apple and HTC wait for trade rulings in patent fight

Apple is not only going after Samsung in numerous markets where patent rulings are concerned, Cupertino, too, has other targets in mind such as HTC as well. A patent fight between Cupertino and the Taiwanese smartphone giant will culminate in this week’s decision from a US trade agency, where a result in Apple’s favor might eventually lead to a ban on imports of select HTC devices. The International Trade Commission commission will be announcing tomorrow as to whether HTC infringed patents owned by Apple.
Of course, who are we to say that the decision might end up otherwise, and life goes on as normal for HTC in the US, while Apple executives seethe and gnash their teeth, wondering why can’t the rest of the world see their point of view? All in all, the commission’s job is to step forward and confirm whether they agree with a judge’s finding that cleared Apple of claims it infringed some HTC patents.Who do you think will emerge the victor between the two?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Quid pro quo: Motorola granted injunction against Apple in Germany

There are all sorts of appropriately snarky comments one could place here. But we’ll stick to the facts, ma’am, just the facts: FOSS Patents reports that Motorola Mobility has been granted a preliminary sales injunction against Apple in Germany, based on one of its wireless communications patents. Unless Apple can get the ruling overturned or stayed, it may face a sales ban on the iPhone and iPad in that country.

It isn’t overly likely that the ban will be put into place. For one, Motorola would need to post a 100 million Euro bond if it wants to hold up the sales injunction. Moreover, these decisions are often overturned on appeal, as we saw with Apple’s case against Samsung in Australia. But weaknesses in Apple’s historically crack legal team are starting to show: the sales injunction against Samsung in Australia was overturned, the company failed to secure an injunction against the same company in the US, and now Motorola’s found a weakness in their patent portfolio in Germany, where a sales ban on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is still in place. When Samsung introduced a revised Galaxy 10.1N model, specifically designed to avoid infringement on Apple’s patents, Apple promptly filed suit on the new version.
I’m a die-hard Android fanboy, but that doesn’t mean I want Germans, or anyone for that matter, to be denied the choice of Apple products. The worldwide patent wars are getting ridiculous – IPCom, considered a patent troll even by corporate standards, has won a preliminary injunction against HTC that could force the company to exit Germany completely. There’s clearly something rotten in Deutschland when it comes to the world of intellectual property, and in the end consumers get the raw deal. If anything positive comes out of all this, it’ll be that Apple begins to think twice about firing patent lawsuits from the hip. It’s likely that if they can’t get today’s German ruling overturned, the case will be settled with Apple licensing the relevant patent from Motorola for lots (and lots and lots) of money.
[via SlashGear]

Apple loses final Australia appeal, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is ready for a retail return

Early news out of Australia indicates that Apple has lost its appeal of a decision made in an Australian federal court, dismissing their patent case against Samsung and its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet. AusDroid reports that the decision came early Friday morning. The two companies have been locked in a legal battle for months, culminating in a rejection by an Australian Federal court after a long period of injunction against Samsung. The High Court denied the appeal, meaning that there is basically no way for them to continue with the case on its current merits.

The High Court chastised the original ruling granting a sales ban against the Samsung tablet, calling the judicial decision “replete with error” and saying that Apple won the original suit “by the skin of its teeth”. Android fans would agree, and this certainly puts a cramp on Apple’s worldwide crusade against Android and Samsung. Apple is still continuing its legal battle against the South Korean manufacturer in Germany.
Samsung issued the following statement after the news broke:
As the High Court has today rejected Apple’s leave to appeal, Samsung Electronics Australia is pleased to announce the highly anticipated Samsung GALAXY Tab 10.1 will be available in stores in time for the Christmas shopping period from a RRP of $579 (16GB WiFi variant) and a RRP of $729 (16GB 3G variant).
Samsung Electronics Australia is pleased with today’s judgment by the High Court of Australia to deny Apple’s request to appeal the decision of the Full Court.
The Full Court of Australia decision on November 30 clearly affirmed our view that Apple’s claims lack merit and that an injunction should not have been imposed on the GALAXY Tab 10.1.
The good news from Down Under follows a US Federal Court decision to reject Apple’s case against Samsung last week. In the United States, Apple failed to achieve a sales injunction, as the district court judge rules that the continued sales of Samsung’s tablets and phones did not damage Apple’s core iPad business. The decision is being appealed by Apple, and Samsung may still be liable for infringement of design patents, but it’s unlikely that a ban will be put into place. A leaked court document laid out some colorful requirements that Apple suggested to Samsung to avoid infringement, including non-symmetrical designs, thicker devices, and tablets that used shapes other than rectangles.
Apple’s fight continues in many territories, and with billions of dollars in reserves, they’re unlikely to be too discouraged. But with two major countries essentially rejecting Cupertino’s patent trolling, sanity seems to be returning to civil courtrooms worldwide.