Claims it needs millions to retain 'key' employees; Apple, debtors likely to oppose
In a move sure to be opposed by the myriad companies it owes money to, former Apple sapphire supplier GT Advanced Technologies is currently asking a bankruptcy court judge for permission to hand out over two million dollars in "executive bonuses" designed to help motivate and retain "key" employees -- largely the same group of senior executives who ran the company into the ground. In total, the company expects to apply for nearly $6 million in total bonuses and incentives to various levels of employees.
Class-action suit by banks will be bellwether for future hack responsibility suits
The judge overseeing the suit filed by banks against Target regarding the "Black Friday" data breach from 2013 has allowed the suit to continue, despite protestations by the retailer. Judge Paul A. Magnuson of the Minnesota district court has ruled that Target failed to respond to warnings that an attack was imminent, and the failure to observe these warnings meant that the company played a "key role" in allowing the data theft.
Philips to end all lawsuits under terms of the cross-license patent agreement
Those considering picking up a Nintendo console in the near future no longer have cause for concern, as the Japan-based hardware and software developer ended its patent dispute with Philips on December 2. The two companies were locked into an infringement battle over motion technologies used inside of Nintendo's consoles, dating back to 2011, which could conceivably have resulted in a sales ban.
Agreement reached November 12, set to end year-long legal battle by end of 2014
Google's legal battle with the Rockstar Consortium over claims that the search company infringes upon seven patents with the Android operating system appears to be coming to an end. According to a filing submitted to the US District Court of the Eastern District of Texas on November 17, both parties have agreed to settle their dispute.
Note-holders want settlement hearing postponed, access to internal documents
[Update: Judge has delayed settlement hearing until December 10] Other creditors left holding the bag after the surprise bankruptcy of GT Advanced Technologies are crying foul over the proposed settlement between Apple and the sapphire-making company, which is due to be ruled on at a hearing next week. Note-holders such as Aristeia Capital have complained to the court that charges from GT Advanced executives that claim a "bait and switch" arrangement from Apple that forced the company into bankruptcy require investigation, and "call into question the adequacy" of the proposed settlement.
Warg barred from re-entry into Denmark under verdict, halted for appeals process
After the Court of Frederiksberg in Copenhagen handed down a guilty verdict last week over hacking charges, Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg was sentenced to 42 months in Danish prison on October 31. The sentence was handed down only one day after the guilty verdict, which was reached on a juror vote of four to two in favor of the prosecution.
Court filing calls Microsoft direct hardware competitors after Nokia acquisition
Samsung is petitioning a court to allow it to invalidate its contract with Microsoft, an agreement that it has only belatedly paid patent license fees on for the last year. A late Thursday court filing declares that once Microsoft acquired Nokia, it became a significant competitor with Samsung. The Korean manufacturer claims that the buy puts the two companies on equal footing in the smartphone market, and continuing the contract thus would induce some problems with US laws. Samsung pays royalties to Microsoft on patents it owns that are used in Android and other software.
Trial comes two years after arrest, jury doesn't accept compromised computer defense
In what is said to be the "largest hacking case to date" in Denmark, The Court of Frederiksberg found Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg and a 21-year-old co-defendant guilty of hacking in a case that focused on illegal server access dating back to February 2012. Warg waited two years for the trial to take place after being arrested in Cambodia in August 2012.
Court challenges by broadcasters push auction date back from the middle of 2015
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that it is delaying the upcoming 2015 incentive spectrum auction until at least early 2016. In a post from Gary Epstein, the chair of the FCC's Incentive Task Force, he said that recent court filings by broadcasters are causing the agency to push back the auction for spectrum previously assigned to television broadcasts.
Nationwide preliminary injunction granted, company exploring further options for survival
Aereo was dealt another blow in its battle to survive today thanks to a New York court. US District Judge Alison Nathan ruled in favor of broadcasters in a 17-page decision, putting a nationwide preliminary injunction in place against the startup. As a result, Aereo can no longer operate its "Watch Now" system that allowed television programs to be rebroadcasted over the Internet.
If approved, GT will sell sapphire furnaces to pay back Apple loan
After much bickering in court during bankruptcy proceedings that took Apple and Wall Street by surprise, former sapphire supplier GT Advanced Technologies has worked out an agreement with the iPhone maker that will let it pursue its plan of winding down operations at its Mesa, Arizona plant and laying off nearly 700 employees. Though Apple had initially said it would work to preserve the jobs involved, the deal instead offers incentives to certain employees to help wind down the plant, and provides a way for GT to pay back the money it owes Apple.
Company's desire for secrecy could result in another tangle with the DOJ
This Wednesday, the court handling the bankruptcy proceeding for GT Advanced Technology will hear arguments from Apple that its objections to GT's bankruptcy filing should be sealed so as to protect sensitive information, including product plans, research finds and business dealings. The request could bring the iPhone maker into another dispute with the US Department of Justice, which is acting as the US trustee in the case, and the state of New Hampshire -- both of whom want the filings to be public.
Grooveshark disagrees with decision as it's based on 'an early iteration' of the service
After record labels were granted a summary judgment from a US District Court judge in New York in September, streaming music service Grooveshark says it's gearing up for an appeal to the the case. The reason for the appeal sounds somewhat defiant, as Grooveshark states it doesn't agree with the decision since it was based on "an early iteration of Grooveshark."
Third-ranking South Korean phone company forced to sell after bankruptcy woes
Things have gone from bad to worse for South Korean smartphone manufacturer Pantech. After filing for a debt restructuring in February, it asked was forced to ask for a deadline extension in July to pay off its creditors. It turns out that the interest-free, two-year extension granted in August wasn't long enough, as the company is now searching for buyer after filing for court receivership.
One complaint alleged service dog transported in trunk of driver's car
Ride sharing service Uber is being sued by the California branch of the National Federation of the Blind for mistreatment of the disabled. The complaint, filed in the Northern California District Court, alleges refusal of rides to blind persons with service dogs, abandonment of blind travelers in harsh weather conditions, and cancellation fee being charged after being refusing to transport blind riders. Additionally, there is one report of a Uber ride share driver putting a service dog in the trunk of the car, with the driver refusing to pull over and rectify the situation when the passenger realized where the dog was riding.
Carrier claims Huawei built its own testing machine based on stolen information, parts
Wireless carrier T-Mobile USA has filed a lawsuit against Huawei, alleging that the Chinese phone manufacturer stole a number of trade secrets relating to the carrier's phone-testing robot. In the suit filed with a federal court on September 2, the company claims that employees of Huawei took pictures of T-Mobile's "Tappy" robot, attempted to steal components, and tried to sneak back into the testing facility in Washington after they were banned.
Startup will need to take the case district court if it wants to continue fighting
Aereo, the broadcasting startup that allowed users to rebroadcast and time-shift over-the-air (OTA) programming, appears to be running out of ways to stay alive. According to documents acquired by the Washington Post, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has denied the company's recent request to reconsider the case.
Judge allows rideshare company to return to business, ban lasted only four days
Uber fans in Berlin can rejoice for the time being, as the company has been given the go-ahead to resume its UberPop and UberBlack services today for the time being. A judge from the Berlin Administrative Court suspended the municiple ban, allowing the ride-sharing service to return to business. There is no time frame on how long the suspension will last.
Previous rulings favoring Vringo nullified, revenue percentage payout killed
A long-standing court battle between Vringo's I/P Engine and Google is grinding to a halt in the Mountain View-base ad agency's favor. The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit declared two patents of Vringo's invalid, nullifying a jury verdict that found the search engine giant and others liable for a total $30 million in damages plus a percentage of Google Adwords profits. The ruling is the latest in a string of verdicts calling into question the overall validity of software functionality patents over that of the code itself.
Amicus briefs filed with NY Supreme Court decry overly broad warrants
Facebook is battling the New York courts over what it says are overly-broad warrants to examine user profiles and data. Supporting the social media giant, Dropbox, Foursquare, Google, Kickstarter, LinkedIn, Meetup, Microsoft, Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr, and Yelp have all filed amicus curae ("friend of the court") briefs with courts in support of the Facebook effort, complaining that services like Facebook are multi-faceted and require more granular warrants, rather than a sweeping motion to collect all data about a targeted user.
Department of Justice warrant to obtain emails valid, judge gives Microsoft chance to appeal
A United States District Court judge ruled today that a warrant issued to Microsoft requesting emails stored in Dublin, Ireland is valid. The judge stated that the company must follow the order to produce emails involved in a criminal investigation, in spite of foreign law. The order was temporarily stayed to give Microsoft the opportunity to appeal through the Second United States Circuit Court of Appeals.
Report claims three judges in FISA Court bought Verizon stock in the last year
Judges sitting on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA Court) may not be entirely impartial, according to a report. A number of judges on FISA Court allegedly own stock in Verizon, one of the companies subject to NSA bulk surveillance orders issued by the court, with the report suggesting this could be considered as unethical behavior by judges in an important role.
Broadcasting company tried to use Aereo ruling to force a preliminary injunction
Days after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of broadcasting companies in the Aereo case, Fox Broadcasting attempted to use the judgment as fuel in a case against Dish Network. Stating that there were large similarities between the devices, Fox believed the defense Dish raised no longer held up. In an opinion from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the judges sitting on the case upheld the lower court's ruling against Fox, as the panel of judges failed to be convinced of the alleged connection.
Joint letter suggests Aereo wants cable company-style licenses following Supreme Court decision
Aereo may have found a way to it to continue offering a service to subscribers with the key lying in the recent Supreme Court decision against the start-up. In a joint letter filed with the US District Court, the company claims that, since the Supreme Court ruled it operated as if it is a cable company, it should be eligible to the same statutory licenses cable companies use.
Cloud-based DVR service should pay licenses to broadcasters, rules Supreme Court
Aereo has lost its battle against broadcasters, after the US Supreme Court ruled against the start-up. In a 6-3 ruling, the court states the company violates copyright law by streaming recordings of TV shows to its subscribers, classifying the streams as "public performances" and so requires that Aereo pay content licenses to broadcasters for their programming.
Says fee paid to original attorney claimants too high, judge made appeal too difficult
A settlement agreed to by Apple and a pair of legal firms over early Magsafe adapters and their tendency to fray has been kicked back to a federal district court for reconsideration by the Ninth Circuit US Court of Appeals over concerns that the original judge had failed to properly safeguard the deal from "self-dealing" between the class counsel and Apple. The court also found fault with Judge James Ware's high barrier to appeal of the decision, requiring a $75,000 bond from objectors.
Judge says jury must work with the evidence given; supplies request granted
On the first full day of deliberations in the second Apple-Samsung trial, jurors have asked for two different things: some office supplies to help them in their work, and for additional evidence -- seemingly to help them decide motivations on the part of the CEOs of both Apple and Samsung. The former requests have been granted, but the latter requests were rebuffed by US District Court Judge Lucy Koh, who told the jury that they would have to work with what they already have.
Samsung definitely didn't copy Apple's cool closing style
As reported earlier, it's all in the hands of jury now. The final day of the second Apple-Samsung trial consisted of two of the most contrasting closing arguments quite possibly ever seen in a courtroom: Samsung's mad dash to the finish line, a relay race of four lawyers, too many exhibits and not enough time; Apple's cool, relaxed and compelling storytelling, and a devilishly clever finale as its defensive closing argument offered multiple layers of meaning.
Hearing will decide fate of Aereo, will also have effects on cloud file streaming
In what is likely to be the final stop between Internet over-the-air television streamer Aereo and essentially the entire broadcast industry allied against it, Aereo seems to be fighting an uphill battle. Today's hearing before the US Supreme Court found judges skeptical about Aereo's business model, calling it "based solely on circumventing legal prohibitions that you don't want to comply with."
Apple's case continues with engineer Deniau, experts Mowry and Snoeren
Over the weekend, Apple filed a notice with the court that it could wrap up its main presentation by tomorrow at the earliest, but expects to be done no later than Friday, barring any changes to Samsung's pattern of cross-examination. On Monday, patent expert Andrew Cockburn from New Zealand was summoned back to the witness stand for a scant 16 minutes of light cross-examination, followed by testimony from Apple engineer Thomas Deniau and a pair of additional patent experts.
Clone refill chip manufacturer allowed to seek redress for Lexmark actions
The Supreme Court of the US has ruled against Lexmark, allowing a company it filed a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) against erroneously to seek legal recompense. The unanimous ruling will allow chip manufacturer Static Control Components (SCC) to seek redress against Lexmark for tarnishing its business reputation, when Lexmark falsely induced consumers "to believe that [SCC] is engaged in illegal conduct."
Supreme court finds lower ruling 'erroneous, greatly complicates defense
The New Zealand Supreme Court has ruled against Internet maven Kim Dotcom, declaring that US prosecutors did not need to pre-disclose evidence against him in a July extradition hearing. The appeals hearing ruled that the lower court was erroneous in its ruling that demanded disclosure of the evidence. A summary of the evidence has already been provided to Dotcom, and is sufficient for defense purposes at this stage, the judges ruled.
Original judge, DOJ misapplied antitrust law, 'ignored economic evidence'
Two economists from CalTech and NYU have filed an amicus curae ("friend of the court") brief that makes powerful arguments for a reversal of the verdict in the original bench trial overseen by Judge Denise Cote. Across more than 30 pages, they tell the appeals court that fundamental concepts of antitrust law and crucial economic evidence and reasoning were "disregarded" by the judge.
Attempts to keep video up as larger appeal is sought fails
After a ruling on February 26 in which the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a previous decision and ordered a YouTube video removed, Google's appeal to appear before a larger panel review has been denied. On Friday, the Ninth Circuit Court rejected Google's request to put the video's removal on hold as the case continued.
CEOs, top lawyers met in early February, but could not come to agreement
Ahead of the second patent trial between Apple and Samsung scheduled for March 31 -- which covers a completely different set of patents and is not an appeal of the first trial, which Apple won last year -- the two companies are said to be making efforts at settling their differences rather than going to trial. Thus far -- as before, ahead of the first trial -- the negotiations have not resulted in an agreement, but in a court filing, both companies said they were willing to keep talking.
Apple had wanted monitor suspended while appeal goes forward
Apple on Monday lost its bid to halt or replace court-appointed antitrust monitor Michael Bromwich, a friend of trial Judge Denise Cote which the company had strenuously objected to for a variety of reasons. The court, while rejecting Apple's claim that Bromwich's "overreaching" and obnoxious behavior was causing the company "irreparable harm," did set stronger limits on Bromwich's activities -- curtailing most of what Apple had objected to.
Judge finds Aio Wireless color choice infringes trademark
The case for the use of the color magenta in the mobile marketplace filed by T-Mobile against Aio Wireless, an AT&T subsidiary, has dealt a blow to the smaller no-contract carrier by a federal court. An injunction has been granted in favor of T-Mobile which restricts Aio from further use of the color.
Agrees to measures requiring court approval for NSA metadata searches
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has given its approval to changes President Barack Obama has requested as part of a surveillance reforms speech last month. Two measures in the reforms have been accepted by the court, which will affect the way the National Security Agency (NSA) searches its phone records database in the future.
Apple says bans are the price Samsung has to pay for copying
Apple and Samsung were in court on Thursday in front of US District Court Judge Lucy Koh, with the former arguing that its successful verdicts against Samsung entitles it to sales bans on the affected products (even though none of them are still offered for sale). Samsung, meanwhile, protested that the injunctions would "create fear and uncertainty" among suppliers, since Apple could seek bans on current and future products as well.
Logic-defying ruling may inadvertently aid Apple's appeal
Following on from an initial ruling on Monday that ignored Apple's objections, US Federal Judge Denise Cote reinterated her denial of Apple's request for either suspension of a court-appointed antitrust monitor during appeal or at least the replacement of former DOJ Inspector General Michael Bromwich as the monitor in a 64-page ruling. "If anything, Apple's reaction to the existence of a monitorship underscores the wisdom of its imposition," she wrote.
Controversial 'monitor' shows himself to be biased, Apple argues
Apple has filed a formal request with the same judge that appointed the antitrust compliance monitor to have him removed, citing a wide range of complaints and accusations of overreach -- including the monitor's own recent declarations, which the company says prove a pre-existing bias. Former DOJ Inspector General Michael Bromwich was a controversial choice for the post due to his lack of antitrust experience and personal relationship with the judge, among other problems and conflicts of interest.
Case against Apple suspended while validity of Samsung patent decided
Just hours after a US jury restored more than half of the set-aside portion of damages from the first Apple vs Samsung trial, a separate case in Germany has been suspended because the court believes that the patent Samsung is attempting to sue Apple over is invalid. The matter will be put on hold until the Federal Patent Court of Germany can determine it. Even if the patent is eventually found valid, Apple will face no injunction over its use, since it is a standards-essential patent (SEP).
Original jury had awarded Apple $114 million for the patents
Even as Apple senior executive Phil Schiller was telling the jury that Samsung's copying and infringement of Apple patents had hurt the reputation of the company, presiding US District Court Judge Lucy Koh ruled on Friday that Apple can't pursue damages due to lost profits on four of the five patents-in-suit. While "lost profits" is only a portion of the damages that can be awarded, the original jury in the first trial assigned around $114 million to Apple for the patents in question, leaving the company more likely to get less overall.
Plan to cap speeds on fixed broadband connections stopped by German court
A court in Germany has ruled that Deutsche Telekom cannot throttle its home broadband service to a lower speed when a customer exceeds data allocations on a flat-rate package. Plans due to come into force in 2016 that would force customers down to a significantly slower connection than one they had originally paid for once they reach a data limit can no longer take place.
Results of searches continue to link man to criminal acts
A Japanese court has ordered Google to censor terms used in autocomplete that relate to one specific person. The ruling by the Tokyo District Court also awarded the unknown person 300,000 yen ($3,100) for the "mental anguish" endured, caused by the association of his name with various criminal acts in autocomplete-derived searches.
Payment under 'indemnity' basis due to 'false and misleading' information
Apple has been ordered to pay Samsung's costs in its UK legal battle. The Court of Appeal made the order under an "indemnity basis," typically higher than the normal "standard" basis of legal costs, due to the "false and misleading" information placed by Apple in the first court-ordered statement on its website.
Toned-down statement in response to UK Court order
Apple has updated its website in order to follow a court ruling for a second time. After the UK Court of Appeal attacked the original attempt, deeming it non-compliant, Apple has put another notice up for UK-based website viewers. While toned down from the original attacking-style of the first version, the new statement forces users to scroll down in order to see it in the first place.
Published statement toned down from non-compliant text
Apple has published its first printed "apology" statement, as mandated by the UK Court of Appeal. The statement appears at the bottom of page five of The Guardian, and is seemingly more restrained in its wording compared to the version that appeared on its website, which has since been removed from view.
Apple to publish amended statement within 48 hours
Apple has been attacked by the UK Court of Appeal over how the company worded its acknowledgment that Samsung did not infringe on iPad design patents. The original statement was considered not to be compliant with the court order, and Apple has been instructed to republish a more appropriate statement on its website.
Published judgement includes coolness comments
Apple has updated its website to comply with a court order in the UK. A small link at the bottom of apple.com/uk titled "Samsung/Apple UK judgement" takes visitors to a seperate page, explaining that the High Courty of Justice of England and Wales found the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, Tab 8.9, and Tab 7.7 do not infringe one of Apple's design patents.