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Cisco preparing to pay $188M to Apple-led Rockstar Consortium

11/20, 9:24am

Settlement should cover other companies such as Time Warner, Suddenlink

Cisco is said to be preparing to pay a $188 million pre-tax charge to settle a lawsuit brought against it by Rockstar, the Apple-led patent holding firm born out of the remains of Nortel Networks. The company recent mentioned a $188 million payout in an earnings call. The connection to the settlement can be made, as Cisco has asked the judge in the lawsuit to stay litigation because it has signed a "term sheet" with Rockstar.

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Apple ordered to pay $23.6 million for illegally using pager patents

11/18, 12:09pm

Second pager-related suit in two months

Apple has been ordered to pay a Texas firm, Mobile Telecommunications Technologies, $23.6 million for illegally using pager patents in its products. A federal jury in Marshall, Texas has ruled that six patents owned by MTel are still valid, and were infringed by products including the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and the AirPort router line. The patents were originally issued in the mid- to late-1990s, and are either recently expired or set to expire soon.

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MPAA launches website to help consumers find legal viewing options

11/17, 7:58pm

Where to Watch offers streaming sites, online episode purchases as viewing alternatives

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) introduced a new tool last week that aims to make it easier to sift through the streaming services on the Internet find legal channels to view hit television shows and movies. Where to Watch is referred to as a "one-stop shop" for connecting film and television fans to their desired entertainment, directing them to numerous legal viewing platforms with only a few clicks.

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Velocity Micro issues open letter responding to Samsung/Nvidia suit

11/12, 6:59pm

Computer builder 'caught off guard,' believes fallout will affect employees, community

Custom computer builder Velocity Micro is stuck in a legal battle between two computing powerhouses after Samsung lumped the company in with Nvidia over a patent dispute. The Virginia-based company issued an open letter today admitting it is confused by the whole situation, adding that it intends to fight the suit that will drain company resources.

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Apple must face lawsuit over iMessage's lost texts, says Judge Koh

11/11, 2:40pm

Company didn't warn people about obstructions

Apple will have to face a lawsuit charging that it didn't warn people they would lose text messages if they switched away from the iPhone, US District Judge Lucy Koh has ordered. The plaintiff in the case, Adrienne Moore, says that iOS' poor handling of text messages interfered with her contract with Verizon, which she kept after switching from an iPhone 4 to a Samsung Galaxy S5 in April. Koh argues that Moore has the right to show that Apple disrupted the contract and broke California's unfair competition law, and that she doesn't have to claim an "absolute right to receive every text message." The judge has, however, dismissed some claims linked to another state consumer protection law.

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Court sides with broadcasters, shuts down Aereo live broadcasting

10/23, 9:39pm

Nationwide preliminary injunction granted, company exploring further options for survival

Aereo was dealt another blow in its battle to survive today thanks to a New York court. US District Judge Alison Nathan ruled in favor of broadcasters in a 17-page decision, putting a nationwide preliminary injunction in place against the startup. As a result, Aereo can no longer operate its "Watch Now" system that allowed television programs to be rebroadcasted over the Internet.

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Japanese man arrested for 3D printing guns gets two years in prison

10/22, 10:58pm

Man arrested in April for violating weapons laws convicted for printing two firearms

In what could be the first conviction for making a firearm with a desktop 3D printer, a former Japanese college employee was sentenced to almost two years in jail earlier this week after being arrested earlier this year. The 28-year-old man was convicted for printing at least two functional and lethal firearms, capable of firing bullets -- in violation of Japan's strict gun laws.

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Court orders disclosure of Kim Dotcom's wealth to Hollywood studios

10/21, 6:42pm

Judge dismisses appeal over High Court ruling, assets won't be made public

In the legal battle between file-sharing entrepreneur Kim Dotcom and Hollywood movie studios, a judge has dismissed an appeal that could have saved the Megaupload founder from detailing his current financial assets. The dismissal upholds a July decision, forcing Dotcom to turn over an affidavit for his worldwide assets to the Hollywood studios suing him for copyright infringement in a civil suit.

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VirnetX files for rehearing of tossed Apple verdict

10/17, 10:11am

Claims decision contradicts statutes, Supreme Court precedent

Patent holding firm VirnetX has filed a motion with the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, requesting a rehearing of a September decision tossing a $368.2 million verdict against Apple, and asking it to reinstate a District Court's damages award in full. In a press release, VirnetX says the decision was "contrary to the patent statute and Supreme Court precedent." It also asserts that it should receive damage payments on the basis that the District Court properly construed the claim term "secure communication link."

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Google, Oracle legal fight could end with petition for final ruling

10/09, 10:50pm

Google asks Supreme Court to weigh in over Java API use in Android

The battle between Google and Oracle could be heating up again in the near future, as the search giant has petitioned the US Supreme Court to review the case for a final ruling. Previously, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal District overturned a lower court ruling that found Google didn't infringe upon Oracle copyright by using pieces of open-source Java APIs in Android without a license.

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AT&T fined $105M by FTC over cramming, $80M offered as refunds

10/08, 4:09pm

FTC settlement involves providing refunds to customers affected by premium SMS subscriptions

AT&T has been hit with a $105 million fine for allowing "premium" SMS subscriptions and other charges to be applied to customer accounts, a practice known as "cramming." The carrier has settled with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over the charges, with the majority of the settlement devoted to paying back affected customers.

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San Francisco Board of Supervisors votes to legalize AirBnB

10/08, 2:09pm

Legislative proposals help, hinder home rental services in San Francisco

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors have voted to legalize residential room rental services. The vote on the "AirBnB law" passed by seven votes to four, establishes a legal framework to short term rental services, and while it is considered a positive act for participants in such schemes, the motion also introduces a number of new restrictions to abide by.

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Google fires back at celeb photo threat, claims decisive action taken

10/04, 11:12am

Search engine has scrubbed 'tens of thousands' of links to stolen photos

Google has responded to the letter threatening legal action should Google not purge the Internet of stolen, and sometimes intimate, photos of celebrities. The search engine has denied that it is intentionally profiting on the scandal, and instead has acted quickly and appropriately to takedown requests by removing "tens of thousands" of images from Google search results.

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Google threatened with $100M lawsuit over stolen celebrity photos

10/02, 9:12am

Lawyer claims Google 'despicable' for capitalizing on celeb misfortune

Google is being threatened with a lawsuit that "could well exceed" $100 million, with over a dozen celebrities complaining that the search engine giant failed to remove stolen private images from the Internet. A letter from attorney Marty Singer claims that Google is showing "despicable, reprehensible conduct" for "failing to act expeditiously and responsibly to remove the images" that were pilfered from various celebrity online photo storage accounts, including Apple's iCloud service.

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Judge finds Grooveshark infringed on copyright with employee uploads

09/30, 4:52pm

Nearly 6,000 songs uploaded by employees under company instruction, without licenses

Another blow was dealt to Grooveshark today, as a New York judge found that its parent company infringed upon copyright by uploading 5,977 songs. Identified by its parent company Escape Media Group, Grooveshark employees -- including founders Samuel Tarantino and Joshua Greenberg -- were found to have participated in illegal uploads, some under instruction by the company.

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HP pleads guilty to felony bribery charges, $58.7M penalty assessed

09/12, 12:10pm

Bribery of Russian prosecutorial office at heart of matter

Hewlett Packard has pleaded guilty to international bribery charges, as part of a plea arrangement it had previously negotiated. As part of the deal. the company's Russian subsidiary has admitted to charges that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in a transaction arranged with Russia's top prosecutorial office. The company will pay an additional $58.7 million to settle the charges on top of the $108 million it agreed to pay in April.

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Silicon Valley anti-poaching trial to begin April 9, 2015

09/10, 3:50pm

Judge sets pre-trial conferences, trial commencement

The full Silicon Valley anti-poaching trial involving Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe has been assigned a start date. In a court filing today, the trial will begin on April 9, 2015, with a case management conference set for November 19 of this year. A pre-trial conference is scheduled for December 19, with the judge demanding information on negotiations of a new settlement between the tech giants and the plaintiff class.

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Authorities ordered to give Kim Dotcom copies of Megaupload data

09/09, 9:18pm

Data wrapped up in copyright infringement, legal battle since seizure in 2012

Data from the machines seized in 2012 as part of a warrant search on Kim Dotcom's mansion in New Zealand and the home of Bram van der Kolk will be returned soon, on the order of the New Zealand Court of Appeals. It was announced this week that the court has ordered the police to release clones of the devices and computer seized to Dotcom and his second-in-command at Megaupload. It was ordered that the data be released immediately, but could also be released in pieces if it could speed up the delivery.

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Shareholder files suit against Cook, executives over e-book collusion

09/07, 2:10pm

Suit claims that Apple was damaged in the processes of price fixing with publishers

It seems that the legal issues involving Apple colluding with publishers to allegedly fix the prices on e-books are taking another turn, as an Apple shareholder has filed a lawsuit in California against CEO Tim Cook and several Apple executives and directors. In the filing it's alleged that the parties involved "showed a reckless disregard for their duties" at Apple, therefore causing "significant damage" to the company in the process.

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Apple, Intel, Google, Adobe appeal refusal of anti-poaching settlement

09/05, 7:40am

Appeal filed over 'legal error' by Judge Koh in rejecting deal

Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe are all appealing Judge Lucy Koh's rejection of the $324.5 million anti-poaching settlement that was hammered out last month. The quartet claims that Koh "committed clear legal error" by using her own assessment of the value of the case, rather than that of the participants who had been battling over the matter with the court for years.

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Uber prevails in German court, yet service called 'probably illegal'

08/28, 3:20pm

Operations can resume, but judge's ruling will be troublesome for future hearings

The Hamburg, Germany court system has reauthorized Uber to operate, at least temporarily. Despite the resurrection, which was based on a technicality, the court did dictate that the service was "probably illegal" as drivers for the service lack a passenger transportation license, similar to the situation that Lyft faced in New York City.

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HP and Autonomy settlement torpedoed by judge, further hearings set

08/26, 8:59am

Attorney fees guaranteed to be nixed, rest of deal at risk of scuttling by Judge

US District Judge Charles Breyer has rejected the proposed HP deal to end shareholder litigation against it, at least in part. In yesterday's hearing to move the settlement forward, the judge did concede that "something went terribly wrong" with the HP and Autonomy deal from 2011 and subsequent $8.8 billion write-down of the firm in 2012, but rejected millions of dollars in attorney fees to be paid by HP, by saying "that's out. I'm not going to approve the fee arrangement, period"

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Samsung, Apple agree to end all non-US legal disputes

08/06, 1:06am

Cases dropped without settlement in more than eight countries

In a joint email sent to the press, Apple and Samsung have agreed to drop all patent lawsuits against each other in all countries except the US, without any settlement, cross-license agreement or any other consideration. The US court system will be the sole arbiter of the numerous patent disputes the two companies have brought against each other, and comes on the heels of a series of moves to de-escalate the standoffs between them. Samsung and Apple agreed to drop appeals of an ITC case in June.

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Oregon to pursue legal action against Oracle over Cover Oregon

06/01, 3:14pm

Attorney general asked to 'immediately initiate legal action' against Oracle

Oregon's Governor John Kitzhaber has asked the state's attorney general to begin filing legal action against the main software contractor behind the Cover Oregon health insurance exchange. Oracle, the targeted contractor, is said to have not delivered on its promises, issuing a website full of bugs, missing a number of deadlines and creating a system with "fundamental flaws" in its architecture.

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US Supreme Court: Lexmark can be sued for bad DMCA claim

03/26, 2:03pm

Clone refill chip manufacturer allowed to seek redress for Lexmark actions

The Supreme Court of the US has ruled against Lexmark, allowing a company it filed a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) against erroneously to seek legal recompense. The unanimous ruling will allow chip manufacturer Static Control Components (SCC) to seek redress against Lexmark for tarnishing its business reputation, when Lexmark falsely induced consumers "to believe that [SCC] is engaged in illegal con­duct."

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Korean FTC ignores Apple complaint, says Samsung can litigate SEPs

02/26, 10:33pm

Ruling claims Apple's non-SEP lawsuits amount to 'first shot fired'

In a judgement that has bewildered international patent and legal analysts, the South Korean Fair Trade Commission (FTC) has rejected Apple's complaint against Samsung that the latter was using FRAND-pledged standards-essential patents (SEPs) for bargaining leverage and as threat of litigation in order to strike unjust licensing deals. The Korean FTC has essentially said that suing or seeking product injunctions over SEPs is perfectly okay -- if your company is based in South Korea.

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Oregon Senate passes bill banning patent trolls

02/15, 12:41pm

Makes patent trolling a violation of Unlawful Trade Practices Act

The Senate in the State of Oregon passed a bill on February 14 that adds a ban on patent trolling in accordance to Oregon's Unlawful Trade Practices Act. Senate Bill 1540 had overwhelming support in the Senate, with a 30-0 with no abstaining votes. The bill will now be passed to the House Judiciary Committee for review.

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Federal Judge: IP address insufficient to identify potential infringer

01/23, 4:15pm

New ruling speaks towards weakness of IP address as a definite identification

In a ruling likely to complicate mass-piracy lawsuits, a judge in Washington state tossed out a lawsuit accusing eight "John Does" and four named individuals of illegally downloading the movie Elf-Man. The presiding judge has declared that an IP address alone isn't sufficient to identify a user, and lacks sufficient granularity of identity to sue the possessor for copyright infringement.

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Boston plaintiffs sue Apple over zip code collection

01/17, 10:09pm

Claim to have received marketing materials by providing info

A trio of Boston area plaintiffs have filed suit against Apple in Massachusetts, claiming that they were forced to provide their home ZIP codes when making purchases at an Apple Store in Boston using credit cards. The men claim that under commonwealth law, it is illegal to compel customers to provider more personal information than is required by credit card issuers to verify the transaction -- apparently unaware that credit card companies use ZIP codes to verify transactions.

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Driver fights Google Glass traffic ticket in California court

01/16, 6:31pm

Police cite visible-monitor law

A California driver is reportedly set for one of the first legal skirmishes over the use of Google Glass while driving. After being pulled over for traveling 80mph in a 65mph zone on Interstate 15 near San Diego, Cecilia Abadie received a second citation for "driving with a monitor visible" due to the electronic eyewear.

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FCC sides with ASCAP, stalls Pandora's radio-station acquisition

01/16, 12:18pm

Commission cites foreign-ownership rules

The Federal Communications Commission has reportedly sided with the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), stalling Pandora's application to acquire a terrestrial radio station based in Rapid City, South Dakota. The commission is said to have notified the streaming music company of the decision, which cites foreign-ownership rules as a remaining hurdle, according to a Billboard report.

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Class-action status reaffirmed in anti-poaching lawsuit

01/15, 1:38am

Apple, Google, Adobe, Intel, others accused of conspiracy

What started out as an informal "gentlemen's agreement" between tech competitors to stop "poaching" each other's employees has turned into a major legal headache for a number of Silicon Valley firms, with class-action status re-affirmed on Tuesday with a denial of the defendant companies' permission to appeal request. Some 64,000 employees of the named firms can now proceed with a trial that charges the companies of conspiring to suppress wages and opportunities.

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Anti-trust monitor Bromwich reiterates claims in rebuttal

12/31, 2:00am

Cites previous experience, but had to hire anti-trust assistant

Michael Bromwich, a friend of Judge Denise Cote and her appointed antitrust monitor ordered to review changes to Apple's antitrust policies, reiterates in his latest legal brief in a war of words with Apple that the company has been "uncooperative" with regards to his extra-legal investigations and denying Apple's claim that he was conducting a "broad and amorphous inquisition" that had little to do with Apple's e-book business.

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WSJ tears into Apple e-book trial judge for 'abusive' missteps

12/06, 8:09pm

Call appointment of personal friend as antitrust monitor 'flatly unconstitutional'

In a new editorial that could have been written by Apple's legal team in a candid moment, the Wall Street Journal rakes Apple e-book trial judge over the coals for both recent and previous missteps, from "essentially [ruling] before hearing the evidence" to appointing a personal friend with no experience in antitrust issues (and requiring an $1,000-per-hour assistant) as an inquisitor who believes his job is to "investigate Apple all over again" in an unconstitutional manner.

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Apple execs encourage team to review 'Code of Conduct' handbook

11/21, 12:02am

New e-book version aimed at all employees; includes anti-trust, anti-corruption guidelines

Perhaps in response to the ongoing Department of Justice e-book case, Apple Senior Vice President and General Counsel Bruce Sewell on Wednesday sent a company-wide email to employees - backed up by a video from CEO Tim Cook - that encouraged them to review the company's Business Conduct Policy, recently updated and now available in iBooks format. The policy is meant to govern interactions with "customers, business partners, government agencies and fellow employees."

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Closing arguments wrap up in Apple vs Samsung damages retrial

11/19, 3:44pm

Damages award now in the hands of the jury, time to decision unknown

Apple and Samsung are wrapping up the retrial of the vacated damages from the first omnibus smartphone patent trial from 2012. In closing arguments, Apple is arguing that Samsung cannot refute that it had improperly used iPhone related patents, and did so willingly, in its design process of more than a dozen devices. Samsung doesn't deny infringement, but believes that Apple is overstating how important the patents at stake actually are, and is asking far too much money to compensate for the unlicensed use.

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Judge: Samsung, Quinn Emanuel likely to face sanctions over Apple data

11/11, 5:33pm

Improper use of trial-obtained data claimed by Apple

According to Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal of Federal Court of the Northern District of California, Samsung and its law firm Quinn Emanuel should face sanctions for their reveal of Apple confidential data following the landmark smartphone patent trial between the pair in 2012. The court order, filed Friday, is a significant change from the previous opinion by the judge, in which he claimed that "an abundance of caution" was needed before calling for sanctions. Yet another hearing on the matter is scheduled for December 9, after the completion of the damages retrial on select devices from the first trial.

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SEC closes investigation of Apple's foreign cash pile

10/04, 10:54pm

No laws broken, no action to be taken as foreign sales mount

The SEC investigation of Apple's foreign cash holdings and whether the company was dodging -- legally or otherwise -- any tax responsibility to the US has closed with the agency planning to take no further action on the matter. Following somewhat fiery hearings in Congress that some say used Apple as a scapegoat for the wider issues of US companies taking advantages of tax loopholes -- which Congress inserted into the tax code in the first place -- the agency appears to have found Apple doing nothing wrong within the boundaries of the current law.

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Lavabit SSL keys requested by US government, reveal unsealed documents

10/03, 10:59am

Request to monitor e-mail escalated to threats of fines, jail time

Encrypted e-mail service Lavabit was pressured by the FBI to provide private SSL keys for all of its traffic, according to unsealed court documents that provide more details about the service's shutdown. The Texas e-mail provider's refusal to provide details about one specific account, believed to be that of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, forced the courts to threaten daily fines and possible imprisonment if it continued to disobey the FBI's order.

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T-Mobile takes umbrage to Aio Wireless' retail color scheme, sues

08/28, 5:30pm

Aio Wireless using a different shade than T-Mobile

T-Mobile has launched a suit against AT&T's Aio Wireless brand, claiming that the company is violating a copyright on use of the color magenta, and is willfully trying to confuse and steal customers from T-Mobile. The lawsuit, filed on Friday, is seeking immediate cessation of the color use, and a rebranding of the store's graphical assets.

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Court rules proxy, IP masking to access public websites violates CFAA

08/19, 4:02pm

Ruling made in 3Taps versus Craigslist case launched in 2012

In what is likely to be a controversial ruling, Judge Charles Breyer of the Northern California District Court has ruled that changing IP addresses or using proxy servers to mask user identity and accessing public websites that a user has been prohibited from visiting is a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) in the US. The ruling was handed down to ad aggregator 3Taps, who was accused of republishing Craigslist ads, in violation of the partially eBay-owned marketplace's terms of service.

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Apple facing long, important legal day on Friday

08/08, 9:45pm

ITC decision, hearings on Samsung and DOJ e-book case

Tomorrow will mark a busy and important day on several legal fronts for Apple, as it awaits a much-watched International Trade Commission decision on its complaint against Samsung. In addition, two separate but important federal court hearings will be held on Friday; one related to another Apple-Samsung matter stemming from the first trial, and another where Apple will get to argue the deficiencies of the Department of Justice's proposed settlement over the e-book price-fixing case. Apple plans to appeal the DOJ verdict.

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Apple opposes Samsung rubber-banding retrial request

07/23, 7:51pm

If granted, Samsung's request would delay the upcoming damages retrial

Yesterday, in the latest bout of gamesmanship between Apple and Samsung in Judge Lucy Koh's courtroom, Apple filed a motion opposing Samsung's request for an entirely new patent trial on the '381 "rubber-banding" patent. Samsung has already challenged the patent that the Korean company was found to be violating in the federal patent trial last year, but is filing for the new trial based on statements that Apple made defending the patent before the US Patent and Trade Office (USPTO) in a series of invalidation hearings.

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Apple, Samsung continuing to negotiate over legal fights

07/19, 10:00pm

Report says companies may have been close to a deal last February

A new report says that Apple and Samsung have continued to hold talks in the hopes of reaching legal settlements on their numerous complaints with each other, including high-level private meetings in Seoul late last year. Talks are ongoing, but there is no sign of an imminent settlement, unnamed sources familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal. According to some redacted documents filed as part of one of the US ITC cases, the sticking point appears to be Samsung's push for a "universal" cross-licensing deal.

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Three former Olympus executives avoid jail time for $1.7Bn fraud

07/03, 5:49am

Inheritance of fraud from previous company heads caused lower sentences

Former bosses at Olympus have avoided going to prison over the $1.7 billion accounting fraud scandal. Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, a previous chairman at the camera company, and auditing officer Hideo Yamada received three year sentences that are suspended for five years, while executive vice president Hisashi Mori was handed sentence for two and a half years, suspended for three.

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New bill seeks cellphone unlocking legalization in DMCA amendment

05/10, 1:22pm

Unlocking Technology Act of 2013 to allow DRM circumvention

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) has come under attack by a newly-proposed legislation. The Unlocking Technology Act of 2013 seeks to legalize the unlocking of cellphones, as well as clarifying that the DMCA should only apply in cases where circumventing digital rights management or other copyright systems will aid in copyright infringement itself.

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Apple wins challenge to 'iBooks' trademark in court battle

05/09, 9:00pm

Small press had use 'ibooks' for imprint, never registered trademark

Of the many contentious and complex legal battles Apple has had to fight, some are easier to sort out than others. In a New York courtroom on Wednesday, Judge Denise Cote -- who is also handling the complicated battle between Apple and the Department of Justice over e-book pricing -- made short work of a trademark dispute between Apple and a small-press publisher of sci-fi and horror novels. At issue was Black Towers' line of "ibooks" it obtained in the purchase of a smaller rival, and Apple's "iBooks" trademark.

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Samsung's ITC judgment against Apple pushed to May 31

03/13, 9:45pm

Initial ruling found Apple not guilty of infringement, likely to be upheld

The US International Trade Commission (ITC) has once again delayed a full-panel ruling on Samsung's complaint that Apple violated patents related to the iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad. The preliminary ruling in September by a single judge held Apple blameless of any violation, with the full ITC judgement being the final word on the subject. The ruling is now expected on May 31, barring any further delays.

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SHIELD act unveiled; bill proposes patent suit reform

02/27, 4:28pm

New act proposes patent trolls pay legal costs if suit lost

The second bill intended to quash "patent trolls" has been introduced by the sponsors of the original failed bill. Representatives Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Peter DeFazio (D-OR) are sponsoring the SHIELD act of 2013, which intends to create a "loser pays" system where certain patent holders will be forced to pay the defendant's legal bills in entirety if the holder loses the suit. Debate on the bill may be held up by the possible upcoming Federal budget cuts, but the representatives believe it will come up for a hearing fairly soon.

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Cablevision sues Viacom over broadcast package bundling

02/26, 10:32pm

Suit sets the table for an industry-wide discussion about cable practices

Cablevision Systems has filed an antitrust lawsuit with the US District Court in the Southern District of New York, accusing Viacom of mandating that it pay for more than a dozen poorly-viewed cable networks as a prerequisite to access more popular channels. The lawsuit could possibly affect the status quo between content owners and operators of selling bundles of cable channels, as opposed to an a la carte offering.

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