You'd normally expect two companies freshly locked in a legal battle to exchange barbs aplenty, but Microsoft and Motorola are only interested in trading friendly overtures at this stage. If you don't know already, MS recently sued Motorola for patent infringement related to the latter's Android phones.
This, however, did not deter Motorola co-Chief Executive Sanjay Jha from telling the Wall Street Journal that he was still open to collaboration between the two companies, even though he regretted the lawsuit.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on Wednesday repaid the warmth in kind at a press conference organised by German industry association BitKOM. On being queried about the possibility of the two companies collaborating on phones running Windows Phone 7, Ballmer: “We are always exited to collaborate with anybody who wants to collaborate with us."
Barring any last minute changes, Apple is up against a $625.5 million judgment against Mirror Worlds, which sued the Cupertino company in 2008 for alleged patent infringement, Bloomberg reports.
The original lawsuit accuses Apple's iPod device, iPhone, and Mac OS X of infringing on a number of Mirror Worlds' patents for a way documents are displayed on a computer screen. According to Bloomberg, the trial honed in specifically on the Spotlight, Time Machine, and Cover Flow features in Apple's OSes, which eventually led to the second biggest jury verdict so far this year, and the fourth biggest patent verdict in U.S. history.
In response to the $625.5 million judgment, Apple has issued an emergency motion that accuses Mirror Worlds of "triple dipping" if it wins $208.5 million for each of the three patents in dispute.
The European Union is notorious for its heavy handed fines to mega corporations who run afoul of the law, so it's easy to see why Apple opted to reverse two policies that recently drew the regulatory agency's eye.
Apple came under scrutiny earlier this year over its iPhone warranty policy within the EU, along with mandates over what development tools and programs could be used to code Apple-compatible apps. But with Apple making amends to its iPhone warranty, the EU is giving the Cupertino company a pass.
"Following today's announcement, Apple is no longer enforcing the 'country of purchase' rule within the EU/EEA and has appointed independent Authorized Service Providers to offer cross-border iPhone warranty services in those Member States where Apple does not directly take charge of repairs," the EU said in a statement. "Earlier on this month, Apple also announced having removed restrictions previously introduced on the development tools used to create iPhone apps, restoring the use of third-party layers and so giving developers more flexibility."
Apple's policy reversals likely saved the company from hefty fines. In 2008, the EU nailed Microsoft with a then-record setting fine of $1.35 billion "for defying sanctions imposed for antitrust violations," and then set another record when the agency smacked Intel for $1.45 billion in 2009 on similar charges.
"Apple's response to our preliminary investigations shows that the Commission can use the competition rules to achieve swift results on the market with clear benefits for consumers, without the need to open formal proceedings," the EU added.
An undisclosed settlement amount will be paid to lawsuit plaintiff Advanced Internet Technologies which Dell hopes will finally put an end to the media firestorm surrounding the Optiplex brand of business desktops. Dell’s only comment was to say that “Settling the matter is better and more cost effective for the company than taking the case to trial”.
Since the case will never be fully heard out in court and the settlement details are being kept private we may never actually know the truth, however, I’m sure the monetary damages from this debacle are going to be far less punitive than the long term impact on the brand. Has this impacted your perception of Dell?
Intel has confirmed the leak of its HDCP master key, but since any implementation would have to be done in hardware, the chip giant claims it isn’t worried. On Friday however they also confirmed that they would take swift and decisive legal action against anyone planning to produce a product that circumvents HDCP in any way.
“There are laws to protect both the intellectual property involved as well as the content that is created and owned by the content providers,” said Tom Waldrop, a spokesman for the company, which developed HDCP. “Should a circumvention device be created using this information, we and others would avail ourselves, as appropriate, of those remedies.”
The leaked master key is a particularly devastating blow since it is used to create all of the lower level keys that are embedded within devices. It makes creating HDCP compliant recording devices a simple task, and its only a matter of time before black market devices begin to appear.
Intel still hasn’t released how the master key was exposed, or if any criminal investigation is pending. The news is especially painful for movie studios who just a few months ago convinced the FCC to let them remotely switch off analog ports on cable boxes for certain content. It remains to be seen what long-term impact this will have on copy protection for HD content, but Intel is clearly willing to back its mistake with an army of lawyers.
As HP stands firm in their lawsuit against former CEO Mark Hurd, legal experts are indicating HP will likely be unsuccessful. HP is seeking to block Hurd from taking a job at rival firm Oracle. The two companies compete in the business sector, and HP says Hurd signed agreements to keep HP's trade secrets confidential. HP contends this should bar him from working at a competitor.
The sticking point for HP is that the case is taking place in California, whose courts traditionally favor letting employees move freely. To win the case, HP would have to prove that Hurd's knowledge would provide Oracle with an unfair competitive advantage. This is unlikely to happen.
Oracle CEO Larry Ellisoin has, of course, weighed in and called the lawsuit "vindictive". Whatever the outcome, the relationship between Oracle and HP is probably going to be difficult.
The ACLU, along with other groups, has filed a lawsuit challenging the authority of customs officials to search electronic devices at US borders. The practice of searching these items comes from a 2008 policy change that allows border agents to search a traveler's electronic devices without reason. The lawsuit seeks to have the practice ended, unless a warrant is obtained, or if there is probable cause.
Since the policy was established, some travelers have had their hard drives copied by border agents, and still others have seen their devices confiscated entirely. The ACLU has obtained documents through the Freedom of Information Act that show 6600 travelers have had their electronic devices searched by border agents between October 2008 and June 2010.
Let us know where you stand on this. Under what circumstances should searches be allowed? What would you do if a border guard wanted to search your computer? What about your cell phone?
Google has agreed to pay $8.5 million (US) to settle a privacy lawsuit filed over its Buzz social networking service, and as usual only the lawyers are going to get rich on this one. The exact terms of the settlement are still pending approval from a federal court judge, but for a company that is earning $6.5-$7 billion per quarter we are guessing they probably won’t lose too much sleep over it.
A legal ruling against the search giant is a bit of a black eye for its “do no evil” company motto, but we are guessing the whole Buzz thing in general didn’t go over as well as they had hoped.
Microsoft's legal battle against Canadian firm i4i has been a complete disaster from the very outset. Last August, Microsoft was ordered to pay i4i $290 million in damages by a federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas after certain versions of Word were found to be infringing on an XML-related patent held by the Canadian firm. The fine was accompanied by an injunction barring the sale of infringing versions of the popular word processing software.
All subsequent attempts to turn the tide also proved unsuccessful. Now, Microsoft has filed a writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court, asking it to review the lower court's decision. This hasn't come as a huge surprise to i4i, which is confident that it will once again “prevail” over its storied rival.
Craig Smallwood, a 51-year-old man from Ewa Beach, Hawaii, will have his day in court. U.S. District Judge Alan Kay made sure of it when he dismissed half of Smallwood's eight charges against NCSoft related to alleged videogame addiction, leaving four charges still to be resolved.
According to Hawaii's Star Advisor rag, Smallwood claims he has a tough time bathing and even waking up in the morning because of "phenomena of psychological dependence and addiction" to the game "Lineage II." Smallwood further alleges that the game caused "extreme and serious emotional distress and depression."
None of us here have a degree in medicine, but it seems like Smallwood could have avoided these claimed ailments by spending a little less time plugged into Lineage II's network. Naturally, the plaintiff disagrees.
"NCSoft is a discretionary and discriminatory in its applications of the rules," Smallwood said in his original October complaint. "Often they will allow certain players to break rules ... while they enforce these rules on others."
The Judge threw out claims of misrepresentation/deceit, unfair and deceptive trade practices, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and punitive damages. The charges that remain include defamation, negligence, gross negligence, and negligent infliction of emotional distress.