After purchasing a Lenovo PC preloaded with Microsoft's Windows Vista, Emma Alvarado was shocked to learn she would have to pay $59.25 in order to downgrade to Windows XP. She's now taking the matter to court and has a filed a lawsuit against Microsoft.
"Microsoft has used its market power to take advantage of consumer demand for the Windows XP operating system by requiring consumers to purchase computers preinstalled with the Vista operating system and to pay additional sums to 'downgrade' to the Windows XP operating system," the suit alleges.
The suit is an interesting one, though probably an uphill battle for Alvrado to convince a judge that Microsoft is in the wrong. The software maker had originally intended for XP to go the way of the dodo bird at the end of June in 2008, but has since offered more than one stay of execution due to consumer demand. Both Vista Business and Ultimate come with downgrade rights, but it's up to the OEMs to decide if they want to offer it as an option, and if so, for how much. Pricing varies by OEM, which might make Alvarado's claim that Microsoft extended its XP cutoff date because of "tremendous profits" hard to prove in court.
Does Alvarado have a case? Hit the jump and give us your verdict.
This is starting to get ugly. It's bad enough watching Intel and Nvidia go at each other over licensing disputes (remember how long we waited for SLI on Intel chipsets?), but the two aren't showing any signs of letting up. In response to Intel's recent lawsuit, which alleges Nvidia has no right to produce chipsets that are compatible with any Intel processor that has an integrated memory controller, the GPU/chipset maker had some choice words for Intel.
"We are confident that our license, as negotiated, applies," said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO of Nvidia. "At the heart of this issue is that the CPU has run its course and the soul of the PC is shifting quickly to the GPU. This is clearly an attempt to stifle innovation to protect a decaying CPU business."
Huang has never been one to mince words, at one time declaring his company would "open a can of whoop-ass." Now less than a year later, the quote-worthy CEO has declared the CPU just another run-of-the-mill component taking a backseat to the GPU.
Nvidia's press release went on to talk up the company's Ion platform, and was quick to point out that it "offers 10x the performance of Intel's current three chip design." Huang also said that given the broad and growing adoption of Nvidia's platforms, including the Ion, he's not the least bit surprised Intel is disputing a four-year-old contract.
You know that couple that is always at odds with each other, turning parties and other get-togethers into awkward affairs? The worst part is when they both turn to you to pick a side, and all you're trying to do is have a good time. For power users, that couple is Intel and Nvidia. We don't know what it is with these two, but just when their relationship appears to be on an upswing, another squabble breaks out.
After years of butting heads, Intel and Nvidia just recently came to agreement over licensing the GPU maker's SLI technology for use on Intel chipsets, and all appeared to be right in the world. But now the two are at it again, this time with Intel taking the offensive. Intel has filed suit against Nvidia this week claiming that the four-year old chipset license agreement between the two does not cover both its current and any future CPUs with integrated memory controllers.
"Intel has filed suit against Nvidia seeking a declaratory judgment over rights associated with two agreements between the companies," Intel said in a statement. "The suit seeks to have the court declare that Nvidia is not licensed to produce chipsets that are compatible with any Intel processor that has integrated memory controller functionality, such as Intel’s Nehalem microprocessors and that Nvidia has breached the agreement with Intel by falsely claiming that it is licensed. Intel has been in discussions with Nvidia for more than a year attempting to resolve the matter but unfortunately we were unsuccessful. As a result Intel is asking the court to resolve this dispute."
Nvida contends that the license agreement is still valid, however admits that it has been "working with Intel to come to some kind of agreement" for the past year. And despite the lawsuit, Nvidia says it has no plans of changing its roadmap, including those chipsets which extend to future processors.
As the saying goes, when one door closes, another one opens. Unfortunately for Google, those doors lead straight into the court room. Such was the case when a Pittsburgh couple sued the search engine site claiming its Street View on Google Maps "significantly disregarded privacy interests." In the five-count lawsuit, the couple saught over $25,000 in damages, only to have U.S. District Court for Western Pennsylvania dismiss the suit earlier this week.
Now Google must defend itself against TradeComet.com over alleged unfair business practices. Specifically, Rick Rule, who works for the company's law firm and has a kickass name to boot, says that SourceTool.com and its subsidiary TradeComet.com "had a thriving business before Google decided to eliminate them as a competitor. We believe this complaint has strong merit and represents a serious antitrust violation."
According to TradeComet, Google targeted its business-to-business search engine subsidiary and illegally tried to "extinguish SourceTool.com's platform.
Google said it hasn't had a chance to review this new lawsuit, perhaps because it hasn't finished celebrating its Google Maps victory. However, it did say that it operates in a "highly competitive" advertising market, one in which advertisers have a wide range of choices. True enough, but is it enough for back-to-back victories?
Some people harness the awesome power of Google Earth to view distant lands they may never reach, take in a crime in progress, or maybe even find a 3 billion dollar shipwreck. At least that’s the claim of Nathan Smith, a Los Angeles musician who appears to have spotted the remains of a Spanish barquentine while zooming in on a shoeprint shaped object in the Aransas Pass in Texas. This assumption was based on historical records which put a lost barquentine (three massed sailboat) near that location south of Refugio, Texas, in 1822.
After consulting with a few experts, he traveled to the location which just happens to be the private ranch of the late Morgan Dunn O’Connor. The result of this drama will end up being decided in the courts with the family of Mr. O’Connor and Mr. Smith in a bitter dispute over salvage rights. If the courts determine that the land is located within a navigateable waterway, the first person to find the wreck is entitled to the spoils, otherwise the bounty goes to the O’Connor family.
As if this wasn’t complicated enough, the state of Texas is also considering its options because it disputes the existence of a commercial waterway near the wrecks location. If this is proven true, the state might have found a surefire way to balance its books come budget time. U.S. District Judge David Hittner will rule on the salvage rights within two months time.
Yelp describes itself as a "fun and easy way to find, review, and talk about what's great (and not so great) in your world." In Christopher Norberg's world, taking advantage of what Yelp has to offer has landed him a lawsuit accusing him of libel.
The San Franciscan was in a car accident in 2006 and sought the services of a local chiropractor. But after a dispute over billing took place, Norberg posted a negative review on Yelp essentially accusing the doctor of being dishonest. Now the 26-year-old custom furniture builder will have to defend his comments in court.
"If Christopher loses then anyone on Yelp who writes a negative review better be careful," said Michael Blacksburt, an attorney representing Norberg. "This strikes at the heart of Yelp's business model and other websites that provide a bulletin board for people to state what they think of businesses in their community."
Not surprisingly, Eric Nordskog, the attorney for chiropractor Steven Biegel, sees the situation differently. According to Nordskog, "Dr. Biegel has no problem with people expressing their views and opinions about his service," but the question is whether or not Norberg posted a false statement as fact.
Should Norbert be held responsible for his review, or is the chiropractor getting too bent out of shape? Hit the jump and tell us what you think.
Verizon has secured a major legal victory against OnlineNic, a San Francisco-based domain registrar, which has been tormenting it for quite some time by squatting domains related to the telecom giant’s products. The court has ordered OnlineNIC to pay a sum of $33.15 million for squatting more than 600 Verizon-related domains.
Although the court’s order is expected to serve as a deterrent against cybersquatting, it is not clear how the promoters and employees of OnlineNIC will be brought to book as their identities still remain a mystery. They seem to be adept at concealment just like many other cybersquatters. In fact, it is this ability of cybersquatters to operate undercover that allows them to operate with impunity.
Samsung Electronics has been ordered to pay 50 million yuan ($7.3 million) to Holley Communications over an alleged patent infringement claim, ending an 18-month lawsuit. Filed in April of last year, Holly Communications sued Samsung claiming the handset maker had violated a patent technology allowing mobile phones to operate on both CDMA and GSM networks.
"Samsung has sold more than 700,000 cellphones that contain Holley's patented technologies. The patents are still on sale. The compensation is only part of the sales," Xinhua news agency quoted Ge Chen, Holley's executive director as saying.
According to Xinhua, Holley Communications will seek even more compensation than what has already been awarded. Meanwhile, a spokesman for Samsung said no official decision has yet been handed out, but should that happen, the company may appeal.
The Free Software Foundation filed suit in U.S. District Court today, alleging that networking giant Cisco violated FSF copyrights by not giving its users the ability to share and modify the open-source software it uses as the basis for some of its hardware. That's a mouthful, so here's what happened: According FSF, the company found that Cisco was using a GNU-licensed version of Linux to power its firmware. Only, Cisco wasn't giving its customers the full access to the source code that the GNU license specifies as a condition of use!
Let's play word association: I say "Monster" - what would you say? You might say ".com" (popular job hunting site), or "Green" (Fenway Park's famous left-field wall), or "Frankenstein" (doctor? monster? both!), or you might even say "Cable" as in Monster Cable. However, as far as Monster Cable is concerned, the only "Monster" they seem to believe in is their own trademark.
As TechDirtreported this week, Monster Cable's busy suing almost every company with "Monster" in the name for alleged trademark infringement. Monster Cable's latest target is a Rhode Island-based miniature golf company calledMonster Mini Golf. The company is already looking at a cool $100G in legal fees because of the litigation with Monster Cable. To learn how the mini-golfers are fighting back, join us after the jump.