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.
Sony opened a legal can of worms last April when it chose to withdraw support for PS3’s “Other OS” feature with the introduction of firmware version 3.21, citing concerns about the system’s security. But the company soon found itself at the receiving end of a flurry of class action lawsuits from console owners feeling shortchanged by the removal of a feature that once figured prominently in marketing campaigns. The feature allowed other operating systems to be installed on non-slim PS3s.
"Sony claims a universal right to change or remove functionality from the gaming console. The Consumer Council strongly believes there needs to be a limit to what constitutes a reasonable change to products we buy—and that terms of service that grant the manufacturer full access to literally downgrade the product or limit the functionality are unreasonable and in clear violation of the Marketing Control Act," Øyvind H. Kaldestad of the Consumer Council told ArsTechnica.
"When a company use [sic] terms like 'updates' or 'upgrades,' it is reasonable to expect a significant improvement of the product and not the risk of being stuck with a lesser product."
The Consumer council also lambasted consumer electronics companies like Sony for abusing after-sale access to connected devices “to do almost whatever he or she wants” under the pretext of enhancing these devices through software updates.
Filing of claims in the settlement of the class-action lawsuit that was brought against NVIDIA a couple of years ago for shipping defective GPUs inside certain Dell, HP and Apple notebooks is now underway. It was alleged that the faulty NVIDIA parts undermined the performance of the affected notebooks, but the graphics chip maker eventually reached a settlement in the class-action lawsuit in September, 2010. The settlement was approved by the court in December.
Those who bought the affected laptops are eligible to file a claim for replacement or reimbursement or both, according to the website NVIDIA has set up for the settlement. All important information with regards to the settlement and the filing of claims, including lists of affected models and symptoms covered, can be found on the site. Those at the receiving end of the company’s faulty parts have until March 14, 2011 to file their claims.
Some of the problems that users of the affected notebooks had to put up with include: distorted or scrambled video (all), complete loss of video output (all), garbled images (Dell/HP), and failure to detect wireless network (HP).