Now that you are up to speed, let us get back to Google’s response, which is not contrary to what someone of reasonable mental soundness would expect from a company being sued for patent infringement. The internet giant, which had earlier dismissed the suit as “baseless,” has denied pretty much all allegations – of course, except for the harmless ones like the fact that it is a corporation – while citing 20 defenses.
“Google does not infringe any valid and enforceable claim of the Patents-in-Suit, either directly or indirectly, and does not infringe any valid copyright rights of Oracle, either directly or indirectly,” Google wrote in its response.
"Any use in the Android Platform of any protected elements of the works that are the subject of the Asserted Copyrights was made by third parties without the knowledge of Google, and Google is not liable for such use."
The case will go to trial next October if the two parties fail to reach a settlement in the intervening period.
Google Buzz users on Tuesday should have received a rare email from Google regarding a settlement offer for a class action suit by Gmail users over privacy concerns (if not, check your SPAM box).
"Shortly after its [Google Buzz] launch, we heard from a number of people who were concerned about privacy. In addition, we were sued by a group of Buzz users and reached a settlement in this case," Google wrote in the above mentioned email.
"The settlement acknowledges that we quickly changed the service to address users' concerns. In addition, Google has committed $8.5 million to an independent fund, most of which will support organizations promoting privacy education and policy on the Web. We will also do more to educate people about privacy controls specific to Buzz. The more people know about privacy online, the better their online experience will be," Google said.
This isn't a settlement where Gmail users receive cash, however "everyone in the U.S. who uses Gmail is included in the settlement, unless you personally decide to opt out before December 6, 2010."
The Court will decide on final approval of the settlement agreement on January 31, 2011.
The largest single BitTorrent suit to date doesn't belong to the MPAA or any of Hollywood's major film studios, and instead originates from Axel Braun Productions, a pornography outfit targeting 7,098 John Doe plantiffs, XBizNewswire.com reports.
Their sin? Illegally downloading and sharing "Batman XXX: A Porn Parody." For doing so, Axel Braun, acting as a one man wolf pack, has now waged war with anyone who pirates his porn and had some strong words to go along with the current lawsuit.
"F*** 'em all," Braun said. "People don't realize that when you pirate a movie it hurts all of the people who work very hard to get it produced -- from the cast to the production assistants to the makeup artists. These are people who live paycheck to paycheck, and with 'Batman XXX,' that was a film I financed myself. So we are going after every one of them who pirates our content."
After reading his comments, we can't shake the image of Butthead saying, "Heh, heh... Hey Beavis, he said 'work very hard.'" But we digress. The real point here is that Braun believes that going on a legal rampage against file sharers is a "new form of revenue for adult companies." Really? We suppose that would make him the Rambus of the adult film industry, only Rambus has never actually come out and said it so plainly.
The telecom industry is littered with lawsuits, so many in fact that it's nigh impossible to keep track of them all. That is unless you print out a copy of CNNMoney.com's modified social graph, a slightly altered and updated version of the original pieced together by InformationIsBeautiful.net.
The graphic makes sense of what would otherwise be a convoluted mess of lawsuits. Follow the arrows and you'll discover, for example, that Kodak is suing RIM, who is suing Motorola (so is Microsoft), who is suing Apple, who is suing Nokia, who is suing (and being sued by) Qualcomm. Dizzy yet? There's plenty more.
If this is the kind of stuff that gets you going, check out the full graphic here.
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.