Free games, subscriptions offered as compensation for PSN intrusion
Sony has agreed to a preliminary settlement worth $15 million in a hacking class-action lawsuit in the United States. The agreement, which still requires approval from a judge, will see Sony handing out free games to console owners affected by the April 2011 PlayStation Network hack, which saw the shutdown of the service and Qriocity for several weeks, as well as compromising personal data and credit card information from over 77 million users.
Retail employees complain of violations of break and meal times, final paychecks
While Apple wrestles with a lawsuit alleging an improper "gentleman's agreement" that prevented it and other tech firms from "poaching" their most valuable employees, the company has now been named in another legal action that concerns itself with labor violations for its retail and corporate operations workers. The new lawsuit, granted class certification on Monday, charges Apple with mismanaging and providing inadequate breaks and meal times, as well as being slow on issuing final paychecks.
Suit makes a third attempt at suing tech company over March 2012 policy change
Google's attempt to dismiss a lawsuit that dates back to 2012 failed today, after a California district judge ruled that the search company will have to fight the breach of contract and fraud claims. The first lawsuit was dismissed last December, with the stipulation that any further pursuit would require an amended complaint. The new complaint could have been dismissed "with prejudice" after two previous complaints were dismissed by the judge.
Marty O'Donnell takes settlement in individual suit after Harold Ryan denied benefits
Composer Marty O'Donnell, best known for his work on the Halo video game franchise, settled his individual lawsuit with Bungie President Harold Ryan last week on a judge-approved deal. In the lawsuit against Ryan, which was filed in May, O'Donnell claimed that Bungie owed him unpaid time off and other benefits under company policy, which Ryan denied.
Parking auction app suspends service before lawsuit threat deadline
MonkeyParking has temporarily halted its service in San Francisco, just one day before a deadline set by the City Attorney. The parking app, which allows drivers to sell their spot to others, was sent a cease-and-desist by the city late last month, with City Attorney Dennis Herrera threatening a lawsuit if it did not cease operations before July 11th.
Suit files complaints about wanton, and unauthorized, in-app purchases
According to a US Federal Trade Commission report filed today, Amazon has billed parents and other account holders for millions of dollars in unauthorized in-app charges incurred by children. The FTC's lawsuit seeks a court order requiring refunds for consumers for the unauthorized charges, and permanently banning the company from billing parents and other account holders for in-app charges that have been made without their consent.
Wild game restaurant near DC blames erroneous listing for closure
Long-time Washington DC metro area restaurant The Serbian Crown has sued Google. After experiencing a 75 percent drop in weekend customers, owner Rene Bertagna filed the suit following a discovery that the restaurant's Google Places listing had a grievous error -- it incorrectly stated that the restaurant was closed on Saturday through Monday. The suit alleges that the incorrect information given to customers from the search engine lead to a death spiral of the restaurant, with declining revenue forcing layoffs, which in-turn, drove diners away from poor service and declining food quality.
Deleted accessory listings, counterfeit accusations prompt Amazon seller lawsuit
An accessories retailer has filed a lawsuit against Amazon and Apple, over removed product listing requests and lost sales. Filed last week, Hard 2 Find Accessories claims Amazon took down product listings from its site and suspended its seller's account after a request by Apple, a move which is allegedly costing Hard 2 Find more than $180,000 a month in lost revenues.
Judge rules CCI's 'six strikes' program relevant to porn studio suit
Despite the ostensible goal of the US Center for Copyright Information's (CCI) "six strikes" program being education, US Magistrate Judge Mark Dinsmore has ruled that the center must divulge Copyright Alert System (CAS) warnings. Pornography studio Malibu Media is seeking messages that the CCI sent to one of its many lawsuit targets, and will be used as proof of the woman's alleged copyright violations in court.
Document claims Palmer Luckey invented device in 2010 before contact with ZeniMax
It appears that the battle between Oculus VR and ZeniMax Media may be heating up. In a filing with the United States District Court in Texas today, Oculus defended its position that the company has not stolen any intellectual property. Oculus asked for a jury trial in the filing, while accusing ZeniMax of using an opportunistic ploy to get money out of the company on the back of its success and acquisition by Facebook.
Public parking space resale apps come under fire from San Francisco City Attorney
San Francisco is taking a stance against apps that provide paid street parking services. City Attorney Dennis Herrera has sent a cease-and-desist notice to MonkeyParking, an app which allows drivers to sell their parking space to other motorists, which Herrera believes is an illegal practice that could land participants in parking auctions a fine of $300, and the company itself a fine of $2,500 per violation.
Payout contingent on result of Apple's appeal of original verdict
Attorneys representing some 33 US states and territories along with some consumer groups on Monday filed a document with the court offering to settle the class-action lawsuit against Apple over alleged e-book price-fixing. The filing notes that all parties involved have agreed to the settlement, leaving Judge Denise Cote will little justification to deny it. Specific amounts were not mentioned in the agreement -- and in what could be a brilliant legal move, Apple's payment of anything is contingent on the verdict of the appeals court.
Mexican carriers expected to appeal government ruling to federal court
A Mexican government agency has absolved Apple itself of any wrongdoing in a trademark lawsuit over the name "iPhone," which was brought by a local call center company named "iFone" which had an earlier trademark on the phonetically-identical name. The Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) has declared that since Apple is not a telecommunications provider, it cannot be sued for trademark confusion; however, Apple's carrier partners in Mexico are liable for monetary fines and civil damages.
Patent licensing includes royalties for 3G, 4G technologies up to 10 year term
A agreement between Samsung and InterDigital has been reached today over wireless patents, saving Samsung from facing a ban on the import of its phones into the United States. Samsung will license patents from InterDigital, bringing an end to the litigation between the two companies. Details on the agreement were outlined in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Both Apple, Samsung file near close of business on Friday
Both Apple and Samsung petitioned Judge Lucy Koh's court late on Friday afternoon, seeking to redress grievances brought about by the jury verdict and various court rulings. Bolstered by its most recent victory in court, Apple has filed for a Samsung product sales embargo for most of the Samsung devices found to be infringing the '172 patent covering user text prediction, the '647 data detectors patent, and the "slide to unlock" '721 patent. Additionally, the company is seeking triple the damages awarded by the jury, as Samsung was found to be willfully infringing on Apple's patents.
Filing claims cheat devalues game, developers commit copyright infringement
An article from Torrentfreak outlines a legal battle between Starcraft II creators Blizzard and a number of unnamed defendants over the creation of a maphack cheat said to alter the online experience. The lawsuit, filed in California federal court, levies three different charges of copyright infringement, trafficking in circumvention devices, breach of contract and interference with contractual relations.
Hagens Berman, consumer rights law firm, files class action
Claims that Google orchestrated events to prevent paying AdSense earnings by shuttering accounts just before payouts were due have escalated into a class-action lawsuit. Hagens Berman, a consumer rights law firm, today filed a national class-action lawsuit against Google, claiming that the search engine is in violation of contracts with users and in violation of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, unjust enrichment, and violation of the California Unfair Competition Law.
David Hyman fired to avoid compensation payments, lawsuit alleges
The founder of MOG, the music subscription service that was to become Beats Music, has sued Beats Electronics over a loss of earnings. David Hyman claims he was fired from the company before he was able to earn shares in the company, with the situation exacerbated by the anticipated acquisition of Beats by Apple for an estimated $3.2 billion.
Feral Interactive's Hitman: Absolution - Elite Edition now available for Mac
Feral Interactive has announced Thursday that its stealth-action game Hitman: Absolution Elite Edition is now available for Mac. Players navigate the game as Agent 47, a genetically-engineered assassin who is on the run from previous employers, and seeks to protect a young girl from the criminal world. The Elite Edition features all previously-released additional content for Hitman Absolution, including "Sniper Challenge," a standalone mission where players use sharp-shooting abilities to execute long-range hits.
Says $324 million offer too low, was not informed of deal meetings
The named class representative in the lawsuit brought against five top tech firms has filed a letter of complaint with the presiding judge in the case, US District Court Judge Lucy Koh, protesting the proposed $324 million settlement on charges of illegal conspiracy to stop the firms poaching each others' employees, thus potentially denying opportunity and capping wages.
Jury begins deliberations a day early as lawyers wrap up
The trial portion of the second Apple-Samsung patent lawsuit is over, with lawyers for both sides giving final closing arguments both offensively and defensively in a case that saw Apple suing Samsung for copying five of its patented inventions, while Samsung countered that Apple had infringed on two patents it bought from others. The jury began deliberations immediately, and will work on the complex jury form assigning guilt and damages from 9:30AM to 4:30PM each day until it arrives at a conclusion.
New ruling complicates trial, may change outcomes
What had started off with all parties thinking it was the final day of testimony turned into a protracted and difficult legal exercise, as US District Court Judge Lucy Koh and attorneys for both sides wrestled with the surprise ruling from the Federal Court of Appeals, which resurrected a previously-dismissed lawsuit between Apple and Motorola that involves one of the patents being fought over in the Apple-Samsung trial.
States, consumer groups may need to wait until first appeal is heard
The Second US Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to hear Apple's emergency request to overturn Judge Denise Cote's latest denial, and could temporarily halt the efforts of multiple state attorneys general and consumer group to launch a class-action lawsuit against Apple for damages related to its alleged price-fixing conspiracy with publishers. Apple has argued that the class-action should be put on hold while it appeals the original decision.
Is the US judiciary serving the people to the best of its ability?
It can be argued that we're always on the cutting edge of technology -- every day there are new advances, and new techniques developed to do legacy tasks some other way. Likewise, hardly a day goes by without a new lawsuit from an entrenched company, claiming that this new way somehow infringes upon, or unfairly penalizes, an old-guard way of doing business. This seems to be the way of things, but as technology marches on, our judicial system doesn't seem to be able to keep in step.
Latest in long string of denials may be appealed to higher court
Once again, US District Court Judge Denise Cote has denied an Apple motion -- this time asking that the court delay the class-action lawsuit brought by 33 states and various consumer groups while Apple appeals her original guilty verdict in the federal case that alleged Apple led a conspiracy to fix e-book prices. The states are hoping to get further damages from Apple, up to a possible $840 million if the judge triples the damages asked for due to a finding of willful guilt.
Suit more than two years after raid on MegaUpload property, Dotcom home
Six US film studios have filed suit against MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The suit alleges that Dotcom, while running the now-closed Megaupload site, "facilitated, encouraged and profited" from a business model promoting piracy and paying bounties to users that had popular content.
Suit alleges shareholders were mislead about company future intentions
HP has agreed to dole out $57 million in response to a legal challenge, accusing the company's previous executives of defrauding shareholders. The claim arose when HP changed corporate direction towards services and away from hardware, and ditched the WebOS platform with abandonment of the TouchPad tablet after less than two months availability.
Relatively minor suit could set the stage for patent law's future
For the first time in over three decades, the US Supreme Court is hearing significant arguments on whether "computer-implemented inventions," otherwise known as software, can be patented. The debate will center around what qualifies for a patent, centering on a debate about a computer system used to handle financial transactions, evaluating risks of default. Despite the suit itself being relatively small, the ruling will set precent for patent law for decades to come.
Claims Apple products shown in video would be 'prejudicial'
Ahead of its second patent battle with Apple in a case set to open on Monday, Samsung is objecting to a US government video intended to instruct jurors on how patents are granted. The video, which has been updated since the first Apple-Samsung trial, now shows some Apple products -- leading Samsung attorneys to claim showing it would be "highly prejudicial," as it would leave jurors with the idea that Apple products are innovative enough to be patentable.
Lawsuit sought financial renumeration, not change in business strategy
District Judge Jesse Furman of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York has ruled in Chinese search engine giant Baidu's favor, shutting down an Internet censorship lawsuit. Furman called the blocking of pro-democracy websites "editorial control" by Baidu, and noted that nothing was preventing US users from using different search engines, such as Google or Bing.
Second of three lawsuits Apple is facing over e-book pricing
Judge Denise Cote, the same jurist that notably pre-announced Apple's likely guilt when she oversaw the Department of Justice lawsuit against Apple, has granted class-action status to various consumers and consumer groups that are also suing Apple and the various publishers over alleged price-fixing of e-book prices -- even though most prices under the "agency model" Apple used have in fact fallen. The iPhone maker lost the first suit, with Judge Cote ruling that Apple somehow "led" a price-fixing conspiracy among publishers in an effort to bust Amazon's near-monopoly of the e-book market.
'Innocence of Muslims' film keeps re-appearing on YouTube
According to the complaining actress, Google is not complying with an order by the Ninth Circuit Court in California to purge the anti-Islamic Innocence of Muslims film from its YouTube service. Saying that all Google has done is post "a snide message" on a few copies of the movie on it service, actress Cindy Lee Garcia has filed an emergency motion for sanctions against the search engine for noncompliance.
Court rules software chief must stay at job until June
A court in Ottawa has ruled in a lawsuit brought by BlackBerry against one of its own employees. The firm sued its own senior vice president of software, Sebastien Marineau-Mes, when he announced that he would be leaving the floundering smartphone company to take a job as Vice President of Core OS at Apple last December.
Fitness tracker lawsuit seeks refunds in California
Fitbit has been targeted by a lawsuit over medical issues claimed to be caused by one of its wearable fitness trackers. Gomez Law from San Diego has filed the suit, claiming Fitbit has "misled" its customers and caused nearly two percent of its customers to develop skin irritations from wearing the Fitbit Force, and demanding the company refunds purchasers of the device.
Judge Lucy Koh, of Apple versus Samsung fame, denies suit combination
US District Judge Lucy Koh has handed a partial victory to Google in a privacy suit against the search engine. In a Tuesday decision, the judge rued that a handful of lawsuits the company is facing may not be combined into a class-action suit, as the suits lack sufficient commonality. Based on the ruling, the myriad of filers must be heard individually or in smaller groups, escalating costs to the complainants.
Class-action filing mirrors similar $32.5M suit against Apple
A class action lawsuit against Google has been filed, accusing the search company of enabling unauthorized in-app purchases. The suit, filed by law firm Berger & Montague in San Francisco, accuses Google of failing to protect device owners from such purchases, and mirrors an earlier case against Apple over the same matter, one which led to a settlement of $32.5 million.
Suit over price fixing from 1998 to 2002 result in $10 for those affected
A class action lawsuit brought forward by the Attorneys General for 33 states over price fixing for dynamic random access memory (DRAM) has reached a settlement, with manufacturers agreeing to pay out $310 million nationwide. Of the settlement amount, around $200 million will go to consumers and businesses that purchased devices with DRAM or DRAM itself from January 1, 1998 to December 31, 2002.
Claims of copied design said to have damaged Samsung corporate image
Samsung is suing British bagless vacuum cleaner manufacturer Dyson for claimed damage to the company's image. Stemming from a patent lawsuit from last year, one that was later dropped, Samsung is seeking 10 billion won ($9.43 million) in compensation over accusations that Samsung's "marketing activities were negatively affected" by Dyson's legal action.
No decision made, monitor's efforts remain halted until ruling
Earlier today, Apple had its case heard before the Second US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York, in which the company is hoping to kill or reduce e-book antitrust monitor Michael Bromwich's efforts permanently. The computer manufacturer argued that his investigations were excessive, that he lacked the knowledge to properly oversee Apple, and that his fees and duties for the monitoring in addition to any court-ordered payments would cost millions of dollars, all of which will cause "irreparable harm" to Apple's business and relationships.
IBM patent buy by Twitter follows similar acquisitions by Google, Facebook
Twitter has acquired over 900 patents from IBM, with the two companies also agreeing to a patent cross-licensing deal, IBM has announced. Occurring in December and only just being announced today, the agreement also puts to an end a patent lawsuit by IBM, accusing Twitter of infringing on three patents before the micro-blogging service filed its IPO.
Google faces 'more than $125 million' damages for infringement
Google and SimpleAir's court case wrapped up its first phase today in the Eastern District of Texas. The jury found Google guilty of infringing SimpleAir's patent on its push notification implementation after a week-long trial. Google faces a seperate trail after a hung jury failed to resolve damages, but SimpleAir claims that it is seeking $125 million or more from the search engine giant.
Attorneys argue over injunctions
Ahead of formal settlement negotiations next month, Apple has reiterated its demands for an anti-cloning provision in any potential agreement with Samsung. Litigation analyst Florian Mueller suggests Apple's insistence may be a "dealbreaker" that puts the patent-infringement lawsuit back on track for a formal trial, though the company successfully pushed HTC to sign off on such provisions as part of a settlement in a separate dispute.
Claim to have received marketing materials by providing info
A trio of Boston area plaintiffs have filed suit against Apple in Massachusetts, claiming that they were forced to provide their home ZIP codes when making purchases at an Apple Store in Boston using credit cards. The men claim that under commonwealth law, it is illegal to compel customers to provider more personal information than is required by credit card issuers to verify the transaction -- apparently unaware that credit card companies use ZIP codes to verify transactions.
Facebook user claims not to have endorsed company, seeks $750
Facebook is being sued over apparent false "likes" being used in advertising on the social network. Anthony Ditirro has filed a class-action suit against Facebook in San Jose, for allegedly showing that users are endorsing products on the service to friends and acquaintances linked to the user, even if the claimed endorser did not actually "like" the associated Facebook page.
Search giant argues for California venue
Google is reportedly calling for a UK privacy lawsuit to be dismissed, arguing that the case should be heard in its home state of California, according to a Guardian report. The company has been sued by a group of users who accuse the company of illegally monitoring their online habits by circumventing security settings on the desktop and mobile versions of Apple's Safari browser.
Messaging technology at core of trial found to be not infringed by Apple
Samsung's tales of woe against Apple in court continue -- this time in its South Korean home. Samsung has lost an attempt to ban assorted iPhone and iPad models in South Korea, as the presiding judge dismissed a lawsuit that had Samsung claiming patent infringement against the Cupertino manufacturer.
Court appears skeptical of Judge William Alsup ruling
The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, DC, appears to be siding with Oracle in the company's lawsuit against Google over Android APIs. A formal ruling has yet to be handed down, however Reuters' Dan Levine and The Recorder's Scott K. Graham, both in attendance at today's hearing, published Twitter posts suggesting that the appeals court is likely to reverse Google's earlier win.
Plaintiffs could not prove any data breach, actual harm
US District Court Judge Lucy Koh -- who just concluded a damages retrial between Apple and Samsung and will preside over the next round in the two companies' ongoing patent battles -- dismissed a consumer protection lawsuit on Wednesday that charged that iOS' "geotracking" data -- discovered in iOS 4 in 2011 to be an unprotected file that could theoretically have been accessed by third parties was deliberately designed to collect personal data without consent.
Previously attempted Samsung tactic tried again as USPTO hearings continue
In a last-ditch effort to stop the jury deliberation of the now concluded Apple versus Samsung damages retrial, Samsung has made an emergency filing based on a comment from the US Patent and Trademark Office, which said that an Apple patent may not be valid. According to the filing, the USPTO questions if Apple's "pinch to zoom" patent, a key patent used in the retrial, is valid. Samsung believes that "this PTO decision calls into question the entire jury verdict in this trial."
Authors Guild arguments rejected by court
A US Circuit Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit against Google Books, rejecting the Authors Guild's allegations of copyright infringement. Judge Denny Chin sided with Google's argument that displaying small excerpts of scanned books in search results is protected by the fair-use doctrine.