A U.S. appeals court on Wednesday dealt an almost mortal blow (more on the “almost” after the jump) to former hackintosh vendor Psystar’s remaining chances of a comeback in its legal battle against Apple. Dismissing Psystar’s appeal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld a 2009 district court decision to award Apple a permanent injunction against Psystar’s infringement of Mac OS X.
Sony has been dealt a severe blow by a European court in its ongoing patent battle with LG. According to the Guardian, the latter has been granted a preliminary injunction on the import of PS3 consoles into Europe by the civil court of justice in the Hague, thus requiring European custom officials to seize all PS3 shipments for at least 10 days. Hit the jump for more.
Microsoft's legal battle against Canadian firm i4i has been a complete disaster from the very outset. Last August, Microsoft was ordered to pay i4i $290 million in damages by a federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas after certain versions of Word were found to be infringing on an XML-related patent held by the Canadian firm. The fine was accompanied by an injunction barring the sale of infringing versions of the popular word processing software.
All subsequent attempts to turn the tide also proved unsuccessful. Now, Microsoft has filed a writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court, asking it to review the lower court's decision. This hasn't come as a huge surprise to i4i, which is confident that it will once again “prevail” over its storied rival.
After 17 months of litigation, a federal judge on Tuesday ordered Psystar to stop selling, distributing, copying, or creating derivative works of Mac OS X without prior authorization from Apple. Or in other words, it can no longer sell Mac clones.
The judge also placed a handful of other restrictions on Psystar, such as disallowing the company from intentionally inducing, aiding, assisting, abetting, or encouraging any other person or entity to infringe Apple's copyrighted Mac OS X software, Apple Insider reports.
Psystar has until midnight on December 31, 2009 to comply with the order, however it's not clear if the judge's statements also apply to the company's Rebel EFI software, a $50 app that allows some Intel-powered PCs to run Mac OS X 10.6. U.S. District Judge William Alsup intentionally avoided ruling on the software, noting only that Psystar's argument that it has a right to sell and distribute the software is weak.
"Whether such a defense would be successful on the merits, or face preclusion or other hurdles, this order cannot predict," Alsup said. "What is certain, however, is that until such a motion is brought, Psystar will be selling Rebel EFI at its peril, and risks finding itself in contempt if its new venture falls within the scope of the injunction."
Upholding i4i’s patent infringement claim against Microsoft, a US Federal court judge placed an injunction on Microsoft Word on August 11, 2009. Judge Leonard Davis ordered that Microsoft pay the Canadian company i4i $290 million in damages and stop the sale of Word in the US, within 60 days of the pronouncement of the order, until the dispute is fully resolved. Microsoft Word’s default file format Office Open XML is at the epicenter of Microsoft’s dispute with i4i. The XML-based file format infringes i4i’s US patent number 5787449.
“Microsoft and its distributors face the imminent possibility of a massive disruption in their sales. If left undisturbed, the district court’s injunction will inflict irreparable harm on Microsoft by potentially keeping the centerpiece of its product line out of the market for months. The injunction would block not only the distribution of Word, but also of the entire Office suite, which contains Word and other popular programs," the company’s filing reads. Although Microsoft can take corrective steps by disabling the XML feature, it will have to cough up a lot of money for that exercise.
You know spyware and virus, malware and DDOS, Trojan of horse fame, phishing and worm. But do you recall the brand-newest threat of them all? (apologies to Johnny Marks). Well, the Federal Trade Commission does: it's called "scareware," and late last week, the FTC slammed two of the biggest scareware providers with an asset freeze and a temporary injunction.
What is "scareware?" Arstechnica.com's report explains it thus:
Scareware-selling companies would contract with reputable websites to display advertisements on behalf of other reputable companies, but would poison the ads in question. Once clicked, visitors were actually redirected to a vendor-controlled website, which would then "scan" their computer and amazingly enough, find evidence of damage or infection. Cue the appropriate links, websites (just $39.95), and a few minutes later the result is one scammed customer who has just paid good money for nothing. The thieves, meanwhile, earn extra points if they manage to nick a credit card number in the process.
Some typical examples include Antivirus XP, DriveCleaner, and WinFixer. Drop by the Trend Micro blog for an animated portrayal of a typical Antivirus XP attack, which includes a replacement desktop wallpaper with no way to change it and a scary-looking fake BSOD screensaver.
To learn more about the baddies behind Antivirus XP and its ilk, and to learn how to clean up after scareware, join us after the break.