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.
Intel fears that people may confuse Harris Corporation’s Centrio trade name with its Centrino brand as they are “substantially and confusingly similar.”
According to Intel, it resorted to taking legal action after all its attempts to “resolve this dispute amicably with Harris” proved to be sleeveless. It doesn’t take a legal virtuoso to tell that when Harris Corporation’s lawyers get down to refuting Intel’s claims, they would draw the court’s attention to the disparateness between the respective products the two trademarks are associated with.
Another DRAM patent lawsuit has been filed, and not by Rambus. Instead, a Canadian company alleges IBM has breached a number of DRAM-related patents, which include 6,608,703, 7,038,937, 6,680,654, 6,69,448, and 7,486,580.
Each patent relates to elements of DRAM technology, and according to Mosaid, the company which filed the lawsuit, IBM breached every single one by making and selling DRAM mircroprocessor and ASIC products which allegedly use the inventions.
To date, Mosaid's portfolio contains more than 850 patents and a long list of licensees for its DRAM and embedded memory patents. Some of these licensees include Fujitsu, NEC, Toshiba, Hitachi, Mitsubishi, Oki, Panasonic, Winbond, Sony, Samsung, Hynix, TSMC, Infineon, ProMOS, Powerchip, and Micron.
Mosaid said it filed the lawsuit when talks with IBM broke down.
Most of it’s either legal jargon or refutations of previous claims, but this week’s news from the frontlines of the battle between Take-Two and DNF dev 3D Realms does contain a couple interesting nuggets – foremost of which being that Duke Nukem Forever isn’t dead after all. We knew the world seemed a little too intact for the apocalypse to have occurred.
According to 3D Realms, development on Duke Nukem Forever continues to chug along. However, the company apparently "released the majority of its employees working on the development" because of a "lack of funding to sustain the high level of development." Sounds the game won’t be out for a long time. Shocker.
Meanwhile, another Duke game, titled Duke Begins, was also revealed, and has apparently been in development since 2007. The game was being handled by another “well-known videogame developer,” but development screeched to a halt in April 2009, right in front of May’s giant, nearly lethal Duke Nukem Forever pileup. 3D Realms claims Take-Two stopped Duke Begins’ development in order to harm 3D Realms and the Duke franchise, thus “pressuring [3D Realms/Apogee Ltd.] to sell the Duke Nukem franchise rights to Take-Two for less than their true value."
Click through the first link if you’d like to watch more of the world’s slowest trainwreck. Or don’t. Either way, we’re sure Take-Two will say it’s all hooey come next week. And then 3D Realms will bite back the week after that. It’s like the damsel tied to the train tracks and the mustachioed villain switch places each week. But the train never hits anyone. Please, someone, put an end to the madness.
One of the biggest concerns for online advertisers these days, is getting the most out of increasingly tight budgets, and protecting themselves from click-fraud can be difficult. Companies bid on search keywords, and depending on the popularity of the term, often pay top dollar to float to the top of the sponsored results list. This model is tested and true, but once they reach their spending limits, they drop off leaving the next highest bidder in their place. Click-fraud artists can be somewhat hard to trace, they often operate through proxies, or sometimes even botnets to mask their IP’s. But after a year of intense investigation, Microsoft has finally tracked down three individuals linked to a number of small corporation names, and is taking them to court.
Microsoft is seeking about $750,000 in damages from British Columbia, Canada residents Eric Lam, Gordon Lam, and Melanie Suen. “We have decided to become more active in the commercial fraud area on the enforcement side,” said Tim Cranton, associate general counsel for Microsoft. “The theory is you can change the economics around crime or fraud by making it more expensive.”
Analysts believe that Microsoft is simply testing the waters with this lawsuit, and primarily hope that it will intimidate people away from a life of online crime. This specific case involved the three accused fraudsters of running up the tabs on keyword searches related to “auto insurance” and “World of Warcraft”. Once they had expended the budgets of their competitors, their network of sites would slowly float to the top, and pickup traffic at bargain prices.
With little legal precedent to lean on, do you think this case will be successful?
In response, Telenor’s Ragnar Kårhus has stated, "This would be the same as demanding that the postal service should open all letters, and decide which ones should be delivered." They have since refused to give into the demands of the IFPI, and stated that they should file the lawsuit if they deem it necessary.
Just last week Twitter announced that they would be introducing “verified accounts,” so as to protect the identity of celebrities.
The manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, Tony La Russa, is currently suing Twitter, claiming that someone is impersonating him on their site. In response, Twitter has claimed that the lawsuit is an “unnecessary waste of judicial resources bordering on frivolous.” And, to follow this up, they suspended the account.
But, to help prevent this from happening in the future, Twitter will soon open up the beta of their verified accounts feature for a small set of public officials, public agencies, famous artists, athletes and other celebrities that could potentially be impersonated.
Former IBM mergers and acquisitions chief David Johnson finds himself on the potentially wrong end of a lawsuit seeking to prevent him from accepting employment with Dell. According to IBM, the new job would allegedly run afoul an agreement Johnson signed preventing him from working with rival companies.
"Mr. Johnson has possession of valuable confidential information and cannot undertake a senior strategy position at Dell without violating his obligations to IBM," said Edward Barbini, a spokesman for IBM. "Mr. Johnson repeatedly received significant compensation in exchange for agreeing to noncompete provisions."
For the last nine years, Johnson oversaw mergers and acquisitions and was privy to other strategic deals, according to the lawsuit. However, it remains unclear exactly what position Johnson was offered with Dell.
"Characterizations by others of his role are speculative," said David Frink, a spokesman for Dell. "Without exception, Dell respects the trade secrets and intellectual property of others."
Brian Toder, former defense lawyer for Jammie Thomas, dropped a bombshell earlier this week when he asked to be removed from the case. He did so saying he was owed nearly $130,000 "that will never be recovered, coupled with the likelihood that a similar, additional amount will be incurred if ordered to continue representation of defendant."
Stepping in to take Toder's place is a trio of former Harvard University classmates who feel confident they can take on, and defeat, the RIAA.
"We are going a for a jury verdict of zero," said Kiwi Camara, one the three Texas lawyers who replaced Brian Toder on Wednesday. "We are going to convince a jury that the RIAA should not bring these cases."
Doing so will be anything but easy. With a retrial scheduled to begin in just three weeks on June 15, the trio said they will not seek a delay, and instead plan to attack the RIAA's litigation strategy, Wired reports.
"We think the jury is going to reject this strategy," Camara said. "The RIAA strategy here is not to try any of these cases."
Brian Toder wished Thomas well in her ongoing fight.
Duke Nukem Forever this, Duke Nukem Forever that. We might as well be beating a dead horse at this point, but at least we’re not suing one. That’s Take-Two territory right there.
Apparently, the publisher wasn’t too happy to hear that Duke Nukem Forever developer 3D Realms decided to close up shop last week. Why? Well, according to Take-Two, 3D Realms breached its agreement to finish DNF when the big bad economic wolf finally blew it down. The agreement was probably made in 2007, though at that time, specific details weren’t made public.
"[3D Realms] continually delayed the completion date for the Duke Nukem Forever," said Take-Two in its complaint. "[3D Realms] repeatedly assured Take-Two and the video-gaming community that it was diligently working toward competing development of the PC Version of the Duke Nukem Forever."
But the rabbit hole runs deeper. A quick dig through pertinent legal documents reveals that Take-Two is also attempting to pry Duke Nukem Forever’s source code from 3D Realms’ cold, mostly dead hands, and will probably go through with it if the publisher has its way in court. As of now, even though 3D Realms went under, it still holds onto its unfinished game.
Meanwhile, 3D Realms co-owner Scott Miller claims that Take-Two never actually paid the developer the $12 million needed to secure publishing rights for DNF – which, if true, renders much of Take-Two’s argument moot.
"No. We didn't get a penny of that money," Miller said. "This, along with so much else, is 100% spin, being eaten up by those who have no clue whatsoever."
Well, so much for the Duke Nukem Forever saga ending not with a bang, but a whimper. Expect more fireworks from Take-Two and 3D Realms in the coming weeks.