Intel’s piranha legal team is currently sinking its teeth into AMD as part of its defense in the antitrust case they lost across the pond. Let the feeding begin.
Intel drew first blood asking the courts to reprimand AMD for failing to retain documents pertaining to their filing against Intel back in June of 2005. Further, they are salting the wounds by claiming that not only were the documents lost, despite AMD boasting a new document retention system, but also AMD covered up its efforts to recover said documents.
Intel claims in a court filing “AMD failed to begin retaining documents when it reasonably anticipated the litigation, something that is required by law.”
It has gotten ugly quick and this is only the beginning. Do you think Intel is merely following legal protocol, going for the throat, or just being petty?
From what we understand, the Japanese firm has called into question the use of the very axe that helps break the ice on social networks like Facebook: friendship requests. Mekiki was awarded US Patent #6,879,985 in 2005 for, among other things, “a message communicator configured to communicate a first message from one member to another member and configured to communicate a respective response to the first message from the another member to the one member, the response establishing a relationship between the one member and the another member.”
Boston-based Tele-Publishing Inc also believes that certain Facebook features contravene one of its patents. US Patent #6,253,216 was awarded to Tele-Publishing way back in 2001 and deals with the “method and apparatus” used for serving a personal page. The subject of its patent infringement claim appears to be Facebook’s privacy feature, which protects all the dazzling nymphets and the handsome hunks from the prying eyes of cyber stalkers. In fact, most contemporary social networks let their users specify who gets to view what.
That’s right, End User License Agreements (EULAs) don’t make any sense, even if you do read them. Not only to users, but apparently also to the software makers who write them, as Autodesk just found out in it’s lawsuit against Timothy Vernor. A federal court in the Western District of Washington rejected Autodesk’s claims that its software is licensed and not sold, which gives the (preliminary) green light for Vernor to sell his copies of AutoCAD on Ebay.
The heart of case is whether Autodesk’s EULA gives it the right restrict resales of its software. Autodesk claims this right because in its license it retains title to the “Software and accompanying material.” U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones disagreed. In his view Autodesk’s license is a grab bag of terms that individually support both Autodesk’s contention it is a license and Vernor’s position he can transfer his ownership to another person. Therefore, while Autodesk has a right to the software and accompanying material, Judge Jones concluded, it does not have the right to regain possession of the software and accompanying material.
Judge Jones’s ruling doesn’t end the case as Autodesk is expected to appeal. Further, Judge Jones gives software makers a way out: if the EULA is amended to include the right to demand the return of the software when the license expires, then software buyers would be unable to later transfer ownership. In which case it might be time to start reading those EULAs.
It appears that Google/YouTube’s Sgt. Shultz defense in it’s $1 billion copyright infringement case with Viacom might not fly. Apparently YouTube did know something as newly disclosed YouTube e-mails indicate that YouTube’s own managers knew and discussed the existence of unauthorized content on the site, and further did some of the uploading themselves. Oops!
Google’s key point of protection against Viacom’s action is the requirement of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA) that it was unaware of the uploading or existence of copyrighted material on its site, and when notified of such expeditiously act to remove it. Viacom and others have long been suspicious of Google’s “I know nothing” defense, and with the disclosure of these emails appear vindicated.
The revelation hasn’t left YouTube completely defenseless. It appears that Viacom’s employees were partly responsible for uploading Viacom’s copyrighted content onto YouTube. YouTube argues that if Viacom is doing the uploading how is it possible for YouTube to distinguish which material is kosher, and which isn’t. Viacom counters with The Wizard of Oz defense: “never mind that man behind the curtain,” maintaining that doesn’t really matter. It’s appears only a matter of time before the Chewbacca defense is trotted out.
By all indications, Windows 7 will be met with a much warmer reception than Vista was at launch, and the Redmond company has already started certifying PCs as "compatible with Windows 7." The logo will appear on machines that "have passed Microsoft designed tests for compatibility and reliability with Windows 7," but can consumers really trust this to be true after the Vista-capable fiasco?
According to court documents, Microsoft bowed to pressure from Intel and lowered requirements for its Vista Capable stickers at the last minute so that the chip maker's 915 chipset could be included. Consumers balked when they found out that some machines bearing Vista's logo were only powerful enough to run Vista Home Basic, which had been stripped of many of the features found on other versions of Vista.
Rest assured, Microsoft seems to have learned its lesson and has no intention of repeating the same mistake. In order to qualify for a Windows 7 sticker, the PC or gadget in question must "work with all versions of Windows 7," and that includes 64-bit versions, not just 32-bit. So say you purchase a machine bearing the Windows 7 logo and later decide to upgrade from Windows 7 Starter 32-bit to Ultimate 64-bit, you'll be able to do so, according to Microsoft's certification requirements.
The software giant also says that logo'd machines are checked for common issues and are less likely to crash, hang, or reboot unexpectedly.
When Amazon deleted digital copies of Orwell’s 1984 from Kindles, there was a public outcry. Two customers went further and filed a lawsuit against Amazon on September 25th. Now, there is already a settlement in the case. Amazon has agreed to pay the pair $150,000. The settlement may have come quickly in order to prevent a judge from certifying the case for class-action status.
Amazon admitted this summer that it remotely removed two Orwell novels from Kindles after finding out that the books were posted illegally. Affected customers were eventually compensated with a new digital copy of the book, and $30.
The terms of the settlement also stipulate that Amazon can only delete works from Kindles under certain circumstances. A book can only be deleted if a customer agrees to its removal, if a customer requests a refund, or the digital files are found to contain malicious code. So, is this a reasonable policy?
Every gamer’s favorite disbarred lawyer, Jack Thompson, has a new nemesis with which to do battle. This time Facebook is feeling the brunt of his legal threats. Thompson claims that the social networking company allowed defamatory postings about him to remain on the site. He is asking for an eye-popping $40 million in damages.
Jack Thompson gained notoriety (or infamy, if you like) for his crusade against video games, which he referred to as “murder simulators.” This course of action angered many gamers, leading to public campaigns against the overzealous lawyer. He was eventually disbarred by the Florida Supreme Court for his public legal misconduct.
In Thompson’s complaint he says the Facebook postings have caused "great harm and distress." Some Facebook groups bearing his name include “I Hate Jack Thompson” and “Jack Thompson never played Legend of Zelda.” As evidence of discrimination, Thompson cites Facebook’s decision to remove threats against President Obama, leaving anti-Thompson groups on the site. Anyone care to defend Thompson on this?
At first glance, you’d think Paltalk Holdings Inc. has a few loose screws rattling around in its head. After all, it recently declared legal war on a who’s-who list of big-name MMO developers: Blizzard (WoW), Turbine (Lord of the Rings Online), SOE (Everquest), NCSoft (Guild Wars, City of Heroes), Jagex (Runescape) – you name it. If you’re on top of the MMO world, Paltalk is trying to knock you down a peg or two. So, why would Paltalk risk getting torn to shreds by some of the fiercest lawyers in the videogame business? Easy – because the company already forced Microsoft to pony up an undisclosed sum with the very same lawsuit.
Paltalk holds a potent pair of patents that basically spell court-ordered doom for any massively multiplayer game publisher. These patents grant Paltalk providence over “sharing data among many connected computers so that all users see the same digital environment.” Sound like any MMO you’ve ever played before? Because it sounds like every MMO we’ve ever played before.
So, will this super team of MMO publishers – forced together by circumstance – be able to overcome Paltalk and its sidekick, Johnny Law? Really, we have no idea. Are there any lawyers in the audience who might be able to give us a more solid answer?
"Without prejudicing the ultimate determination of this case by the merits panel, the court determines based upon the motion papers submitted that Microsoft has met its burden to obtain a stay of the injunction," the court said.
After Judge Davis had granted the injunction to i41, Microsoft evinced fear that it could lead to "irreparable harm.” It most dreaded the fact that the injunction could keep the “centerpiece of its product line out of the market for months.” Dell and HP had also backed Microsoft in their respective amicus curiae (friend-of-the-court brief) filings.
Discovery still hasn’t commented on the entire issue, but many analysts have. Industry watchers are not too excited by the possibility of a Discovery-branded e-reader. "My initial reaction is that this could be a 'patent troll,' Phil Leigh, an analyst at Inside Digital Media, told the Washington Post.