If Google is one of the most prominent Linux stalwarts around, Android is undoubtedly the public face of its love affair with the open source operating system. But its Linux affection runs deeper than that as the Internet behemoth uses the OS on everything from back-end servers to employee machines. Now, that deep-rooted love is beginning to cost Google, for a jury has fined it $5 million for infringing on a patent (U.S. Patent No. 5,893,120) held by Texas-bases patent troll Bedrock Computer Technologies.
Microsoft has spent plenty of time defending itself in the court room over the years, but arguably the case of Microsoft vs. i4i is as important a battle for the software giant as its antitrust trial was more than a decade ago. The case itself began over a claim of infringement by i4i over a recently removed feature in Microsoft Word, but more broadly the case will have a long term impact on how patents will be enforced going forward.
Microsoft has teamed up with Apple, Google, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation to defend itself against i4i who is backed by 3M, 19 separate venture capital firms, and even the U.S. Government. It’s going to be the legal battle of the century, and it kicks off in front of the Supreme Court starting tomorrow.
Hit the jump to find out why everyone should care how this one unfolds.
A German court last month declared street-level photography by Street View's car-mounted cameras to be legal when it dismissed a lawsuit alleging personal and property rights violations on the part of Google's Street View service. Despite the legal victory, and contrary to what most people might have expected, the company has decided against returning to the streets of Germany with the camera-toting vehicles it uses to collect street imagery for its popular Google Maps and Google Earth services.
It's not as though the European Union has typically needed much convincing to go after big corporations with antitrust suits, but just in case, Microsoft is trying to light a fire under European regulators' feet to zero in more aggressively on Google. As such, Microsoft filed a formal antitrust complaint in Europe against the sultan of search, alleging Google isn't playing fair by limiting access to some of its data from YouTube and other services, the L.A. Times reports.
As far as Finnish phone manufacturer Nokia is concerned, those dirty, rotten, no-good buggers at Apple keep getting away with patent infringement, and on a large scale. Nokia's latest lawsuit accuses Apple of infringing patents in "virtually all" of its mobile phones, portable music players, tablets, and computers. That's quite the laundry list of devices.
The patent row between Redmond and Canadian firm i4i has been a patent disaster for the former. Microsoft’s remaining hopes now rest on the U.S. Supreme Court, which in November, 2010 granted Microsoft’s petition for writ of certiorari for review of the case. But i4i, which has been winning (feel free to replace with the recent neologism “bi-winning”) pretty much all the battles in this patent war, once again seems assured of victory. According to the Canadian company, 22 amicus (or friend-of-the-court) briefs , including one by the United States government, have been filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in its support.
The controversial letter that marked the beginning of the end for Mark Hurd’s five-year reign as Hewlett-Packard’s CEO is about to be made public. The public release of the missive accusing Hurd of sexual harassment was ordered late Thursday by Delaware Chancery Judge Donald Parsons in a shareholder lawsuit against HP (Ernesto Espinoza v Hewlett Packard Co, Delaware Chancery Court, No. 6000).
Sony has been dealt a severe blow by a European court in its ongoing patent battle with LG. According to the Guardian, the latter has been granted a preliminary injunction on the import of PS3 consoles into Europe by the civil court of justice in the Hague, thus requiring European custom officials to seize all PS3 shipments for at least 10 days. Hit the jump for more.
That didn’t take too long, did it? Embattled hacker George Francis Hotz, aka Geohot, who is being sued by Sony for jailbreaking the PS3, has announced that the legal defense fund he launched on Saturday, February 19 is now closed for fresh donations, having met its initial funding goal within a couple of days.
A federal class action lawsuit alleges "AT&T bills systematically overstate the amount of data used on each data transaction involving an iPhone or iPad account," Electronista reports. The lawsuit likens the situation to a tampered gas pump that "charges for a full gallon when it pumps only nine-tenths of a gallon."
Patrick Hendricks, who's named as the plaintiff in the suit, hired a consulting firm to investigate the matter. After a two month study, the firm alleges that Web traffic was frequently inflated by 7 to 14 percent, though sometimes as much as 300 percent. Because it's usually done in small increments, subscribers aren't likely to notice, though the cumulative effect could lead to a "significant portion" of AT&T's data revenues.