There are three main thrusts to the FTC’s complaint against Intel. The first is that Intel used its dominate position in the market to cow computer makers, such as Dell and Hewlett-Packard, to buy only Intel CPUs. Intel would either threaten to withhold product, or enter into exclusive deals with computer makers that prevented them from marketing computers built with chips from other makers, such as CPUs from Advanced Micro Devices (AMD).
Second, according to the FTC, Intel designed crucial software, which the FTC identifies as a “compiler”, so it deliberately hampered the performance of chips from competitors. Intel failed to disclose their tinkering with the software, thus deceived computer makers about the performance differences between Intel and its competitors.
Third, the FTC says that Intel is now engaging in these same tactics in the graphics processing market. The FTC argues that GPUs are becoming more powerful, lessening the need for sophisticated CPUs, which undermines Intel’s market dominance. To protect its position, Intel is waging its battle against the likes of Nvidia, over which it holds a substantial financial and market advantage.
According to Richard A. Feinstein, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, “Intel has engaged in a deliberate campaign to hamstring competitive threats to its monopoly. It's been running roughshod over the principles of fair play and the laws protecting competition on the merits. The Commission’s action today seeks to remedy the damage that Intel has done to competition, innovation, and, ultimately, the American consumer.”
In an effort to protect its mainframe business and keep those dollars rolling in, IBM has been bad mouthing the compeition to its mainframe customers, and it will now have to defend some of those remarks in court. Neon Enterprise Software, a privately held company who makes a software tool called zPrime, has slapped IBM with a lawsuit accusing the company of unfair and unlawful competition.
The problem arose when IBM told its mainframe customers in a letter that "the use of zPrime will cause Neon's customers to become obligated -- contrary to IBM's original promises to customers that purchased SPs -- to pay software license fees for workloads shifted to SPs," Neon said in its lawsuit.
Neon denies the claim, further accusing IBM of selling additional SPs to customers only if they agree not to use Neon's products. So what did IBM have to say?
"Neon's software deliberately subverts the way IBM mainframe computers process data," IBM said. "This is akin to a homeowner tampering with his electrical meter to save money. IBM has invested billions of dollars in the mainframe this decade, and we vigorously protect our investment."
Neon is seeking damages and a permanent injunction to prevent IBM from making the same claims.
Arrington’s lawsuit claims “Fraud and Deceit, Misappropriation of Business Ideas, Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Unfair Competition and Violations of the Lanham Act.” The suit seeks both damages and an injunction against Fusion Garage’s marketing the JooJoo, which Arrington says is built on intellectual property that is part his.
Arrington also offers potential JooJoo pre-buyers a warning: Fusion Garage is broke, so any payments you make for a JooJoo will probably be used to defend the lawsuit, not produce you a nifty tablet computer. So beware...beware!
And, as a parting shot, the bio for Rathakrishnan at CrunchBase has been changed to add: “Chanda is also a patent holder in the area of operating systems, possibly for the custom OS that can be found on Fusion Garage’s soon-to-be failure of a tablet named the JooJoo.”
Verizon fired the first shot in its media war against AT&T, but many were left wondering how and when the competition would ever respond. Playing to its strengths the AT&T marketing department is finally bringing its guns to bare on Verizon, and speed will be the battleground on which they shall wage their bloody campaign.
Its a gutsy move for AT&T to pit their network against Verizon on national TV, but its bound to work better than chest thumping, lawsuits, and irate fist pumping I'm willing to bet.
The AT&T's ad features actor Luke Wilson trying to download a copy of himself over both networks, and much to my shock and amazement, the company that paid for the ad won the contest. AT&T might edge out ahead of Verizon in raw speed tests, but I think we would all rather see some of this ad money go into a few more cell towers wouldn't we? Arguably that would do an even better job of putting the kibosh on those pesky Verizon ads.
St. Clair has pursued similar suits and won against Sony ($25 million) and Canon ($34 million). It presently is suing other major camera makers: Casio, Fuji, HP, Kodak, Kyocera, LG, Minolta, Motorola, Nikon, Nokia, Olympic, Palm, Panasonic, RIM and Samsung. Absent names have either gone unnoticed--for now--or have entered into licensing agreements. (This seems to fit this Wikipedia definition, doesn’t it?)
This lawsuit follows on suits against Apple by Shared Memory Graphics and Nokia. Makes you wonder if the iPhone is worth this much bother.
For obvious reasons, Microsoft has never held a soft spot for software pirates, and according to TGDaily, the Redmond company has opened fire with a number of lawsuits aimed at companies allegedly distributing counterfeit software.
The cases are pretty widespread, including one against Kiev Camera USA and Mikhail Fourman, an individual accused of selling illegal software in Atlanta, Georgia and on the Internet.
Similar cases have been filed against BC Tech Gear, Dallas Computer Parts, The Computer Shop (aka mycomputerlady.net), Seifelden Electronics, Royal Distribution, and Viosoftware Corporation, TGDaily reports.
In addition to going on a legal rampage, Microsoft has also just launched an education and enforcement campaign in over 70 countries. Microsoft claims over 150,000 voluntary reports have come in over the past two years from victims who unknowingly purchased counterfeit software, which Microsoft says often comes "riddled with viruses or malware."
More info here. Oh, and pat yourself on the back if you identified the disc on the right as the counterfeit.
The dispute centers on Psystar’s installation of Apple’s OS X, version 10.5 (a.k.a. Leopard) on Intel-based computers manufactured by Psystar. Apple took exception to Psystar’s hackintosh and sued, with its complaint upheld by a Federal Court in San Francisco. The Court agreed not only to Apple’s claim of copyright infringement, but to Pystar’s violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) for the unauthorized installation of OS X.
According to a motion Psystar filed with the Court Monday, Psystar states that it and Apple have reached a partial settlement, in which Psytar agrees to pay Apple damages for violating Apple’s copyright--an estimated $2.1 million. But, only after Psystar has exhausted all of its avenues for appeal. Psystar is hoping this will placate Apple and the Court enough that it can escape a permanent injunction Apple has requested that would shut Psystar down.
Psystar has also asked that it’s Rebel EFI utility be excluded from any injunction. Rebel EFI, which is sold separately, is used to load OS X onto its systems. With Rebel EFI buyers of Psystar’s desktops are able to install OS X themselves, rather than have it preloaded by Psystar, effectively allowing Psystar to remain in the hackintosh business.
Apple may have agreed to drop its copyright infringement claims against Psystar for the promise of a possible future payment. But it’s not clear that Apple is in agreement with Psystar’s continued sale of Rebel EFI, if Apple’s intent is to limit the hackintosh market. It would seem that the dust from this dispute has yet to settle.
The LCD price fixing shenanigans continue, at least according to Nokia, the world's largest mobile phone maker who has filed suit against Samsung, LG, AU Optronics, and other LCD manufacturers over allegedly colluding to fix prices, Bloomberg reports.
Filed on November 25, the lawsuit is based on both federal and state antitrust claims and makes essentially the same arguments as AT&T did last month when it filed a suit in the same court, also against LCD manufacturers. According to Nokia, Samsung and more than six other LCD makers conspired to raise the price of displays.
"The liquid-crystal displays were incorporated into Nokia mobile wireless handsets," according to the complaint. The conspiracy "artificially inflated the price of liquid crystal displays ultimately incorporated into LCD products purchased by Nokia, causing Nokia to pay higher prices."
Each of the suits direct the court's attention to a U.S. Justice Department investigation of display price fixing. Hitachi, who pleaded guilty in March in the inquiry, is one of the defendants named in Nokia's suit, but not AT&T's.
Cisco on Monday moved one step closer to acquiring Starent Network Corp. for a cool $2.9 billion. The deal, which was originally expected to close during the first half of 2010, hit a roadblock when Starent shareholders filed a class action lawsuit to block the acquisition. But that suit was settled yesterday.
Hurdles still remain, however, the first of which requires that the court accept the settlement, at which point the case would be dismissed. But even if that happens (and all indications are that it will), other suits have been filed that could potentially block the acquisition. One such suit includes a case filed by an Illinois stockholder who claims that the acquisition would deprive Starent shareholders of "the opportunity for substantial gains which the compay may realize."
3Com's board of directors and the company's shareholders appear to be at odds over a proposed $2.7 billion merger agreement with HP that was announced last week. Displeased with the potential merger, the shareholders have filed a class action lawsuit in hopes of preventing the deal.
The complaint names the entire company's board of directors and accuses the defendants of attempting to deceive 3Com shareholders by agreeing to a deal that undermines the true value of their investment in the company, TechCrunch reports.
Under terms of the agreement, HP would pay stockholders of 3Com $7.90 per share, but the bankruptcy lawyer who filed the case on behalf of the plaintiffs argues that 3Com's directors should have insisted on a higher price.