Patent troll Acacia and Adaptix shot down in Judge Paul Grewal's ruling
US Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal has shut down a non-practicing entity, or patent troll, seeking to relaunch suits against cellphone manufacturers Sony, Amazon, and Apple, among others, over 4G patents. Patent aggregation company Acacia and subsidiary Adaptix has been denied further suits over new products launched by the companies using the same technology, with the judge saying that it must be satisfied with existing lawsuit results and patent agreements in place.
Wyndham hotels sued by FTC over 2008 breaches
The Third US Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia has ruled in a lawsuit against Wyndham hotels, that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has the authority to regulate and enforce corporate IT security policies and failures. The appeal ruling opens the door to the regulatory agency to take pre-emptive measures, should it see fit, but also confirms the agency's power to protect the citizenry and file lawsuits on its behalf for companies such as Wyndham, Target, Ashley Madison, and others who have failed to secure customers' personal information.
At stake is $400 million of $548 million damages award
Samsung has made its intention known to appeal the ruling on the its first trial with Apple before the US Supreme Court. In papers filed today, the Korean manufacturer petitioned that the continuing battle with Apple in the California courts be suspended until the matter could be heard before the Supreme Court, following the refusal last week at the US Federal Court of Appeals.
Judge Lucy Koh shuts the door on suit, declaring lack of contract breach
Judge Lucy H. Koh, familiar to Apple followers, has ruled that a class action suit against Apple regarding lost iMessages may not proceed. The judge, known for her oversight of the Apple versus Samsung patent trials, ruled that members of the suit lacked standing because they were not hurt by any "contractual breach or interference" when they shifted to an Android phone from the iOS, and kept the existing phone number.
Suit alleged that Apple, Nike knew of FuelBand deficiencies, continued to sell
Apple and Nike have come to an agreement, potentially ending the class action suit against the pair over the Nike FuelBand. Suit BC509363 in the Superior Court of California accused Apple and Nike of misleading customers on the tracking capability and monitoring accuracy of the Nike FuelBand in marketing materials. The plaintiffs alleged specifically that the FuelBand failed to accurately determine calorie burn, overall activity level, and steps taken. Allegedly, Apple and Nike knew of the problems, and continued to sell the gadget well after determining the inadequacy of the sensors and software.
Standard retail procedure questioned, suit represents 12K retail workers
Despite a previous dismissal of an earlier version of the lawsuit, a US District Court judge has ruled that Apple must face a trial in a class-action lawsuit over the practice of "bag checks," a standard retail loss-prevention technique that is widespread among retailers. The specific dispute in the case involving Apple was that employees complained they were being detained for up to 15 minutes after their shift had ended, without compensation for the lost time.
Probendi sues Apple to over alleged trademark infringement
Apple is being sued in Europe over the use of the term "iWatch" in advertising, despite its smartwatch being called simply the Watch. Irish developer Probendi has filed a complaint in a court in Milan, alleging that Apple is using the iWatch term in searches and advertisements on Google in order to direct potential customers to its device, infringing the trademark Probendi owns.
Class action suit: poor quality 3D printers caused stock price to drop
MakerBot is continuing to supply 3D printers to customers with flaws, even though the company allegedly knows there are issues, a class action lawsuit for shareholders claims. Both MakerBot and parent company Stratasys are accused in the suit of a "fraudulent scheme to artificially inflate" the stock price of Stratasys, by continuing to sell MakerBot's fifth generation of printers, which is said to have a severely-defective "Smart Extruder," a crucial component used to apply layers of plastic to create the 3D model itself.
Final approval over subsidies, ad content, pricing common in other countries
Apple has lost what is likely to be the first round of a fight between itself and Taiwan's Fair Trade Commission, and has been fined T$20 million ($647,000 US) for anti-competitive phone pricing. Specifically, the Taiwanese FTC said that Apple's customary contractual demand to have final approval on phone pricing, ad content, and subsidies was a violation of Taiwanese law -- which, unlike most countries, gives resellers completely free reign to price smartphones as they wish.
Move follows lawsuit that originated prior to Apple acquisition
According to a lawyer for Monster, currently embroiled in a lawsuit against Beats Electronics that started due to Apple's takeover of the headphone and accessories maker, Apple has suspended Monster's ability to make "Made For i" (MFi) accessories -- a move that will affect nearly a quarter of Monster's 4,000 products. Monster counsel David Tognotti said that Apple's chief litigation lawyer said that Monster's lawsuit had "destroyed the working relationship" between the two companies.
Apple CEO asks execs to investigate retail employee complaints
According to documents unsealed in an ongoing lawsuit brought by Apple retail workers against the company, Apple Store employees took to writing emails directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook to complain about the way employee bag check searches, which are intended to guard against pilfering and loss, are conducted. The lawsuit contends that employees are subject to "demeaning" procedures that also cost them excessive time and lost wages.
Three patents at core of Jawbone-Fitbit infringement fight
Jawbone is attempting to increase the pressure against competitor Fitbit, this time by filing a patent infringement suit. The second lawsuit between the two wearable fitness tracker manufacturers has Jawbone claiming some of Fitbit's products infringes on its patents relating to a "wellness application using data from a data-capable band," and is seeking an injunction to halt any further Fitbit sales in the United States.
Employees moving from Jawbone to Fitbit allegedly brought company data with them
Fitness tracker producer Jawbone has sued Fitbit for acquiring confidential documents, shortly before its competitor holds its initial public offering of stock. Filed in a California State Court on Wednesday, Jawbone accuses Fitbit of "systematically plundering" confidential commercial information from it by hiring Jawbone employees, some of which acquired the secret data before departing to the competition.
Total Recall Technologies claims Oculus VR founder broke confidentiality agreements
The Facebook-owned Oculus VR and its founder are being sued, for allegedly using trade secrets from another company in its devices. Total Recall Technologies claims it hired Palmer Luckey in 2011 to create a prototype of a head-mounted display, confidential information that apparently formed part of the creation process of the original Kickstarter-funded Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.
Former battery tech company went bust after key employees left for Apple
A battery technology company that suffered an exodus of key employees to Apple has now told a court that it and Apple are in the final stages of working out a settlement. A123 Systems filed suit against Apple in February after the iPhone maker recruited A123's former chief technical officer, Mujeeb Ijaz, who then allegedly led a poaching effort that persuaded a handful of very key scientists and engineers to jump ship to Apple as well -- leading A123 to halt several research projects due to the brain drain.
FAA was within its rights to allow gadget use at all stages of flight
A lawsuit aiming to overturn a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rule change concerning the use of electronic devices by passengers at all stages of flight has been stopped. An appeals court in Washington D.C. ruled that the FAA was well within its rights to make such rule changes, effectively ending the legal action prompted by the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA).
Throttling only kicks in in congested areas, not universally
Seemingly overnight, and in response to a lawsuit, AT&T has modified its terms of service language on a website about LTE speed throttling for its heaviest users. The company now claims that users who have exceeded 5GB on LTE "may experience reduced speeds when using data services at times and in areas that are experiencing network congestion." Previously, LTE users who had used more than 5GB were throttled at all times.
Service set upon by record industry over illegal employee music shares at launch
As part of a "settlement agreement with the major record companies," music discovery service Grooveshark has shut down. The company has agreed to "cease operations immediately, wipe clean all of the record companies' copyrighted works" and turn over the website, all mobile apps, and intellectual property including patents and copyrights to the recording industry.
Settlement amount less than one percent of total requested by broadcasters
Troubled and failed TV rebroadcasting startup Aereo has finally ended its lawsuit with broadcasters, by agreeing to pay less than one percent of what has been requested. The settlement has the online service paying the broadcasters $950,000 instead of more than $99 million in copyright licensing claims, ending all litigation between the parties involved.
Patent troll Smartflash facing invalidation of five patents at USPTO
Samsung, in challenging the validity of two patents, may help Apple skirt a $533 million patent verdict. The Korean manufacturer has petitioned, and convinced, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to re-evaluate a pair of patents owned by non-practicing entity Smartflash for uniqueness in order to avoid a suit over in-app purchasing in app stores.
Apple, Ericsson at loggerheads over fair rate for standards-essential patents
The US International Trade Commission has announced a formal investigation into a complaint filed by Ericsson -- along with a handful of court cases -- following a lawsuit by Apple over what the iPhone maker says is a dispute about a fair rate for some standards-essential and LTE patents. The battle began earlier this year, when Apple complained to a court about "excessive" rates Ericsson wanted to charge for previously-licensed LTE technology.
Class action given go-ahead by appeals court over privacy violating data collection
The Court of Appeal of England and Wales has dismissed an attempt by Google to prevent British computer users from being able to sue it in England. The landmark hearing followed an earlier defeat for Google in the English High Court in which it was unsuccessful in preventing three British computer users from having the right to sue it for breach of privacy, after the computer giant ignored users wishes not to have tracking cookies placed on their computers.
Proposal could provide affected Target breach victims with up to $10,000
Target has agreed to a potential settlement with victims of the retailer's major breach of late 2013. Still needing to be approved by a federal judge, the settlement in the class-action lawsuit will involve Target placing $10 million in escrow for payment to victims, with the possibility of some individuals receiving as much as $10,000 in damages over the hacking.
Lawsuit alleged every Apple mobile device abused assortment of ex-Nokia patents
Late Monday, a jury ended a legal battle with a patent licensing firm. A jury in Texas' "rocket docket" declared that Apple did not infringe on five patents held by Conversant owned Core Wireless Licensing SARL, who was seeking $100 million in damages, and a portion of Apple's device sales going forward, some of which may have been paid out to Microsoft.
AT&T claims new FCC ruling exempts it from FTC oversight
AT&T is utilizing the US Federal Communications Commission net neutrality and Title II to escape a federal lawsuit by another federal agency, despite having vociferously objected to the proposal and still promising to file a lawsuit to prevent its implementation. Citing its new status as a "common carrier," AT&T argued in court yesterday that since it falls under FCC jurisdiction, the Federal Trade Commission's suit about throttling unlimited data plans was improperly applied as a result, and should be tossed out.
Company adds 14 new merchants now supporting iPhone-based mobile payments system
After mentioning the addition of more merchants now supporting Apple Pay on Monday, Apple has updated its web page that keeps track of merchant partners with another 14 new vendors, ranging from Coca-Cola vending machines (specifically mentioned during the presentation) to Regal Cinemas and many other well-known brand names. Cook noted that Coca-Cola currently has 40,000 of the vending machines that accept Apple Pay active, with plans for 100,000 by the end of the year.
Company complains that antitrust monitor overreaches, abuses position
Judges hearing two separate cases brought by Apple against (respectively) Judge Denise Cote's appointment of an unqualified personal friend as an antitrust monitor, and an appeal of the whole of Cote's ruling against the company in the Department of Justice e-book "price fixing" lawsuit appeared to find sympathetic ears in the Second US Court of Appeals in New York on Tuesday. At least one judge said the court's monitor was grossly overpaid, while another panel appeared to agree with Apple's arguments with Judge Cote's ruling.
Ericsson source of latest barrage, court filings made in Eastern District of Texas
On February 26, Ericsson filed two complaints with the US International Trade Commission (ITC) and seven complaints in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas against Apple, asserting 41 patents covering many aspects of Apple's iPhones and iPads. The patents include standards-essential patents related to the 2G and 4G/LTE standards, as well as other patents that are critical to features and functionality of Apple devices, such as the design of semiconductor components, user interface software, location services and applications, as well as the iOS operating system.
Patent troll owns patent, Apple claims patent too broad and covered by others
Apple has been handed a rare loss in a patent licensing trial. The Cupertino manufacturer has been ordered to pay patent aggregation company Smartflash, a non-practicing entity, $532.9 million for willful infringement of the company's patents in iTunes and in-app purchase processing. The trial was held in Tyler, Texas, the "rocket docket" of patent courts, and notoriously friendly to patent trolls.
Top battery-tech workers defect, may have violated anti-compete agreements
According to a new lawsuit filed against Apple, the iPhone maker has been poaching employees from a vehicle-oriented "advanced energy" technology company called A123 Systems over the past eight months for a new, unannounced battery division at the iPhone maker. The latter company says that Apple and its former employees may have violated anti-compete agreements, and have left A123 without qualified leaders for key projects.
Jury declares Samsung infringed on pair of modem patents
Samsung has lost a patent infringement lawsuit over Bluetooth 2.0, to a non-practicing entity called Rembrandt IP. A jury in an East Texas federal court ruled the manufacturer had infringed three claims on two patents, numbers 8,457,228 and 8,023,580, relating to modem compatibility, with Rembrandt being given $15.7 million in compensation and royalties on future Samsung devices using Bluetooth.
Suit seemingly compares Cablevision's public Wi-Fi with private routers
Cablevision Systems Corporation has filed a lawsuit in federal court for the Eastern District of New York against Verizon Communications, seeking an end to what it calls "its false, misleading and deceptive advertising claims about Wi-Fi service" related to Verizon's new 802.11ac Wi-Fi router, which has yet to see wide rollout. Cablevision's premise is that few customers would actually be in a position to achieve speeds faster than Cablevision's offerings, and it would cost them much more.
Companies could potentially pull older music to avoid paying
A new lawsuit has targeted Google, Rdio, Sony, and Apple (including Beats Music) over the music royalties associated with pre-1972 recordings, new reports say. Zenbu Magazines, which owns copyrights on many pre-1972 songs, says that the companies have been making money streaming recordings without paying their copyright holders. Within US copyright law, compositions have been protected since 1831, but sound recordings were only added in 1972, meaning that while owners of pre-1972 compositions have been paid for public performances, people holding equally-aged recording rights typically haven't.
Free games, subscription time, compensation offered to US PlayStation owners
Sony is providing compensation to PlayStation Network users in the United States affected by a major breach in April 2011, half a year after agreeing to a settlement stemming from a class action lawsuit. The original attack, resulting in the closure of the online service and Qriocity for close to a month, risked the personal data and payment details of more than 77 million accounts.
Claims company knowingly infringed on two 3D UI patents from 1996
Apple has been named in a new lawsuit filed in San Francisco on Wednesday by patent non-practicing entity (NPE, often nicknamed "patent troll") TriDim Innovations. The NPE accuses the iPhone maker of knowingly infringing on a pair of patents from 1996 that covers a 3D workspace user interface, and claims that the company's Cover Flow technology, bought from Steel Skies in 2006, violates the two patents. Time Machine and Mobile Safari in iOS 7 and 8 also use the technology.
Fox unable to use Aereo ruling to shut down Dish Network features
Back in 2012, Fox brought a lawsuit against Dish Network over DVR technology that allows users to view content on a device other than a television connected to a set-top box. Fox's position has been that it did not consent to allow the "rebroadcasting" of its content to mobile devices. On Wednesday, US District Court Judge Dolly Gee ruled that time- and place-shifting of paid-for content does not infringe the copyrights of broadcasters.
Sondra Arquiett getting paid $134K for use of her likeness without permission
A New York state resident has settled with the US government and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) over a suit involving the law enforcement agency impersonating her on Facebook without her permission. Sondra Arquiett has accepted a $134,000 settlement from the US government, with the agency not admitting to having done anything outside a "legitimate law enforcement purpose."
Likely a third will go to legal fees; plaintiffs may see $4,000 each
More specifics have been revealed in the second proposed settlement offer from Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe in a lawsuit stemming from the companies' informal "no poaching" agreement. The new proposal has the four companies willing to pay a combined $415 million, up from the previous settlement's $324.5 million, to end the anti-trust lawsuit. US Federal District Court Judge Lucy Koh will need to approve the proposal before it can be finalized.
Negotiations fruitless for two years, telecom firm says
In response to an Apple lawsuit over LTE patents, Ericsson has filed one of its own, according to Reuters. The Swedish firm notes that a license agreement between the companies has expired for some time, and that two years of negotiations have yielded no results. It's asking the court to determine whether a tendered license offer is fair.
New compensation amount likely to be higher than previous offer
A new settlement offer has been tendered in what's come to be known as the "anti-poaching" lawsuit against four of Silicon Valley's biggest tech companies. Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe were among those originally involved in a "gentlemen's agreement" that the companies would not actively try to recruit or poach employees from each other -- however once the conspiracy came to light, employees complained that the agreement limited opportunities and suppressed wages.
Sensor supplier gave Apple 'sweetheart deal' that hurt profits, suit charges
A new lawsuit filed against gyroscope and accelerometer supplier for Apple, InvenSense, accuses the company of failing to tell investors about the concessions it made to secure a recent deal. InvenSense parts are used in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Executives should have warned investors, the suit alleges, that Apple was given a "sweetheart deal" that would hurt profits. "Instead of revealing the true condition of the company and its prospects, defendants hid those facts from investors and chose to issue strong guidance and paint a picture of a bright future with a new mega-customer," the complaint reads. More seriously, the suit charges that investors were led to buy stock at inflated prices, while insiders sold off $5.3 million in shares.
Forces company to claim 'common carrier' status to avoid FTC jurisdiction
In order to nullify a lawsuit brought by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over charges that the carrier was still throttling users on unlimited plans even when there was no network congestion, AT&T is claiming for the purposes of the lawsuit that it qualifies as a Title II "common carrier." This is the opposite of what it has told the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) with regards to possible actual Title II regulation of broadband.
Separate suit over 2011-era graphic card issues ongoing
US District Court Judge William Alsup has dismissed a lawsuit against Apple filed in San Francisco that alleged the company made, sold and knew about defective logic boards for its MacBook line of computers from mid-2010 onwards, but did nothing to correct the issue. The judge said that the plaintiffs had failed to prove that Apple misrepresented the equipment, and noted that in both of the two men's complaints about the failed motherboards that they had been able to use their computers normally for up to two years.
Original manufacturing, design partner claims Beats mislead on contract severance
Electronics company Monster, known for its high-priced HDMI cables and car audio gear, has filed suit against now-Apple-owned Beats and its founders, Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, as well as former Beats partner HTC, claiming that Beats and HTC misled the company when it bought back enough shares of itself through the HTC investment to sever its contract for headphone partnership with Monster. The lawsuit does not directly involve Apple, but does revolve around the possibility that Beats knew when it left Monster that it was going to be acquired.
Company trying to push iCloud subscriptions, plaintiffs suggest
A new lawsuit, filed in a federal court in California on Tuesday, accuses Apple of failing to inform people how much space iOS 8 will consume on a device, while simultaneously prompting them to buy online storage via iCloud. Specifically the suit claims that iOS 8 can occupy as much as 23.1 percent of device memory, but that not many people realize this when making a purchase. The plaintiffs are seeking damages, as well as changes by Apple to comply with state law. The case is being pursued as a class action.
Refunds to T-Mobile customers affected by cramming charges incoming
T-Mobile has settled a lawsuit with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over complaints the carrier allowed third-party companies to place unauthorized charges to customer bills. As part of the "cramming" settlement, T-Mobile has agreed to pay out at least $90 million in fines and refunds, as well as altering its third-party billing practices.
Judge concerned about 'speculative nature of the damages'
US District Judge Beth L. Freeman ruled on Thursday that she requires the plaintiffs, Gary Feitelson and Daniel McKee, in a lawsuit against Google to submit more details. The two consumers allege that Android-based smartphone prices are being negatively impacted because manufacturers must agree to pre-load apps like the Google search app by default, instead of making deals with, for instance, Bing. The judge has said she would most likely dismiss the lawsuit as it stands, but is giving the plaintiffs a chance to revise it with additional evidence.
Judge agreed video was witness testimony rather than evidence
As a postscript to Apple's unanimous win in a lawsuit brought by audio software company Real, Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers on Wednesday turned down media requests to make public a videotaped deposition from Steve Jobs, in one of his final filmed appearances, that was presented during the trial. Jobs, who was quite ill at the time and just months from his resignation from Apple and later death, was videotaped answering questions about the case. Yesterday, a jury exonerated the iPhone maker from charges it had conspired to lock out competitors.
Federal judge rejects move to dismiss
This week Hartz Mountain, a maker of pet toys, requested a federal judge dismiss a lawsuit by Seattle artist Juli Adams regarding the sale of her intellectual property without her permission or knowledge. The case is notable because Adams' designs were the basis of the characters now universally known as "Angry Birds," a name originally suggested by Adams and since used widely by Rovio and Hartz to market both the video game sensation and ancillary merchandise. The judge has refused to dismiss the matter.
Decision reached in less than 24 hours
The jury for the iPod/iTunes DRM lawsuit has ruled that Apple didn't violate antitrust laws by blocking music from rival storefronts in iTunes software updates, Reuters reports. The verdict was rendered in less than a day, following closing arguments on Monday. Had the jury swung in favor of the plaintiffs, the company could have owed some $350 million in penalties.