Several technology goliaths, including Apple, Intel, and Google, are being accused of high-tech hijinks in a California class action lawsuit. The suit accuses the firms of running afoul of antitrust laws by allegedly conspiring to fix employee pay. The lawsuit also accuses the technology firms of entering into "No Solicitation" agreements with one another. The complaint, which was filed on behalf of Siddharth Hariharan, a former software engineer at Lucasfilm and founder and CEO of InEarth, seeks restitution for lost compensation and treble damages.
Rent-to-own (RTO) retailer Aaron’s Inc. proudly claims on its website that over 55 million North American households swear by its name. But the company can now safely transfer one Casper, Wyoming couple out of its swear-by-us list to the swear-at-us list. Because Crystal and Brian Byrd are now suing the Atlanta-based firm for snooping on them using a “device and/or software” called PC Rental Agent that came pre-installed on the Dell Inspiron notebook they rented in 2010. Hit the jump for more.
We don't run a feature called "Quirky Lawsuit of the Month," but if we did, two California residents who decided to sue Twitter for sending an SMS notification after they withdrew their consent would be a shoe in. Hear us out on this one. It's not that we have a problem with punishing companies that blatantly ignore opt-out requests, but that isn't what happened here. Hit the jump to find out exactly what Twitter did.
When Apple announced it was going to sue Samsung for patent and trademark infringement over its Galaxy lineup of tablets and phones, the tech industry took notice. The reasons for paying attention to this one go far beyond the financial ramifications, Samsung you see is one of Apple’s biggest component suppliers, manufacturing everything from screen to chips which go into the companies growing portfolio of gadgets. Some journalists speculated the lawsuit was just for show, and would settle quickly with a series cross licensing agreements, a trend that is common in the tech sector. This was a sound theory, however a countersuit filed by Samsung on Friday suggests both companies might be in this for the long haul, and business relations could be in jeopardy as a result.
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.