It feels like a scene out of some manner of satirical dark comedy. Medical professionals are increasingly requiring new patients to sign forms that purport to give the doctor copyright to any reviews that the patient may write online. If said doc disagrees with the content of a review for any reason, he or she can force the patient to remove it for breach of copyright. This shady trend is now the subject of a class action lawsuit against one over-zealous dentist.
A U.S. federal judge in Nevada has ruled on a series of requests from luxury goods maker Chanel allowing the company to seize several hundred domain names thought to be selling counterfeit goods. For good measure, the ruling also forces all search engines and social media websites to censor mentions of the offending domains. The court specifically called out Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Bing, Yahoo, and Google.
I’m just going to be blunt: Our patent system sucks. It’s terrible to deal with, protects ridiculous things, and encourages frivolous litigation. It’s about as popular as a leper in a nudist colony.
For 10 years, patent reform has had the backing of major corporations who, like everyone else, are sick of patent trolls and costly defensive IP purchases. Nobody—not consumer groups, business, or inventors—believes this system works. Despite all of this, Congress managed to punt on real change.
The poorly named Cyber Monday may be a great time to cash in on online deals and discounts, but your chance to grab some criminally low-priced items may have been snatched away today by the US government. Last year, the DOJ and the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency caused a big online stir when they joined forces for “Operation In Our Sites” (har, har) and seized the domains of 82 different sites that sold counterfeit goods on the Web. Today, one year to the day after last year’s announcement, the agencies announced that they’ve seized yet another 150 counterfeit sites.
Samsung has apparently gotten all its legal ducks in a row and has fired back at the recent court ruling that banned the Galaxy Tab 10.1 from sale in the land down under. The court found that the Galaxy Tab likely infringed on Apple’s patents, and barred Samsung from selling the device until the case could be heard next year. Lawyers for Samsung in Australia have filed an appeal of the temporary injunction, saying the judge in the case misunderstood the basic facts of the case and called the ruling “grossly unjust.” Snap.
It’s been a while, so you could be forgiven for letting it slip your mind, but Google is in the habit of censoring its auto-complete suggestions. Starting almost a year ago El Goog began removing suggestions for content relating to search terms like torrent, bittorrent, and RapidShare. According to TorrentFreak, a recent update to Google’s search tools has expanded the auto-complete blackout to include the names of file sharing websites.
Apple is a family-friendly company, and it just wouldn’t do to have any inappropriate shenanigans going on using Apple trademarks, right? Well, Apple certainly thinks so. To those ends, Apple is now the proud owner of seven adult website domains that included the term iPhone in the address. The iPhone maker filed suit with the World Intellectual Property Organization to secure the sites.
Ask Oracle and the company will tell you the only reason Intel hasn't pulled the plug on the Itanium is because Hewlett-Packard is making secret payments to chipzilla to keep the server chip alive. Oracle executives said as much in a recent court filing, which is in response to a larger lawsuit filed by HP accusing Oracle of violating an agreement between the two vendors by announcing back in March it would no longer develop software for Itanium.
Hard drive maker Western Digital announced this morning that on November 18, 2011, an arbitration award of $525 million was rendered against the company by a sole arbitrator in a pending confidential arbitration action in Minnesota brought on by Seagate. Not included in that amount is prejudgement interest, which will be determined and tacked on at a later date.