By Cody Lee on Apr 15, 2015
Making good on rumors that have been bouncing around for several months, the European Union officially filed anti-trust charges against Google on Wednesday. The Commission will formally investigate whether the tech firm has abused its dominance in search results, as well as within its Android operating system.
In the near term this doesn’t mean much—there will be a lengthy investigation and likely a trial. But in the long term, if Google were to be found guilty, it could face a fine of up to $6 billion (10% of its annual revenue) and various business-altering restrictions. Many pundits are comparing it to Microsoft in the late 90’s. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 27, 2015
Things could get ugly for Google as the Internet giant lost a UK appeal in the Safari cookie tracking case, potentially opening the door to litigation from the millions of British users, BBC News reported Friday.
The case revolves around Google’s practice to continue tracking users of Apple’s Safari browser via cookies even after they had changed their browser settings to block cookies, in order to target them with advertising. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 5, 2015
The top court of the European Union has determined that e-books shouldn’t be treated like their printed counterparts when it comes to taxes and therefore should be subject to higher tax rates, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
“But the European Commission signaled it may change the rules next year to allow for equal taxation of books in any form,” reads the report. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Feb 27, 2015
Following a $533 million loss in a lawsuit a small Texas-based company leveled against it over patent violation, Apple is now facing new legal challenges.
Friday, the Swedish telecommunications giant has unloaded legal barrage against the iPhone maker.
The move follows Apple’s refusal to re-sign a global licensing contract with Ericsson in mid-January. Bloomberg noted that Apple had been paying royalties for Ericsson’s patents related to mobile technologies, but the global license agreement expired last month and hasn’t been renewed since. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Feb 18, 2015
The Patent Trial and Appeal Board of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today denied five petitions for so-called inter partes review filed by Apple, which sought to challenged the validity of certain claims of three of VirnetX’s U.S. patents at stake.
The patent board has determined that the five petitions were not filed within the time limit imposed by the statute and therefore has declined to institute review of these claims between the parties involved. Read More
By Sébastien Page on Jan 12, 2015
Users looking to abuse Apple’s new 14-day return policy for digital purchases in Europe will be in for a bad surprise, as the company has apparently been taking measures against those that want to dishonestly take advantage of the system.
According to one account from a user who had been abusing the return policy by downloading a dozen apps and requesting refunds after “trialing” them, Apple quickly caught up to the scheme and is now warning him he won’t be eligible for refunds for newly purchased applications. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Dec 16, 2014
Apple’s proprietary digital rights management software, FairPlay, that prevented users from loading songs from rival music stores on early iPods, did not harm consumers nor did it violate the United States antitrust laws, an eight-person jury has determined.
As reported by The Verge, the jurors have sided with Apple in a decade-long suit and have not found Apple guilty of exploiting FairPlay DRM as a lock-in preventing rival music stores from syncing with iPods. Though the iPhone maker is off the hook now, an appeal will be filed with a higher court. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Dec 9, 2014
A videotaped deposition of Steve Jobs, recorded in 2011 shortly before his passing and played during the iPod class-action lawsuit, could be made public if news organizations such as The Associated Press, CNN and Bloomberg succeed in proving that releasing the two-hour video is in public interest, CNET reported Tuesday.
And boy would it be interesting to watch Jobs make a series of snarky comments. Asked whether he had heard of Real Networks, Apple’s late co-founder asked “Do they still exist?” All told, he responded 74 times with “I don’t remember,” “I don’t know” or “I don’t recall.” Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Dec 3, 2014
A decade-old class-action lawsuit over the iPod and Apple’s practice of locking the media player to its iTunes ecosystem is kicking off this week and with it comes a videotaped deposition of Steve Jobs, recorded in 2011 shortly before he died.
It’s full of snarky comments and as if that wasn’t enough, attorneys have unearthed emails between Apple executives and other evidence casting light on the company’s inner workings at the time.
The suit revolves around the iPod, iTunes and FairPlay, Apple’s digital-rights management (DRM) system for copy-protection of music sold through the iTunes Store. FairPlay was dropped in 2007 following the ‘Thoughts on Music’ open letter by Steve. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Dec 3, 2014
It looks like Apple has been unsuccessfully in its appeal to trademark the term ‘App Store’ in Australia on basis that its application does not distinguish the applicant on its own, the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper reported.
According to court documents, Justice Yates on Wednesday ruled that Apple’s appeal be dismissed and that the company pay the court costs of the Registrar of Trade Marks.
To get you up to speed, the Registrar of Trade Marks initially refused to greenlight Apple’s proposed ‘App Store’ trademark in March of last year because it was “too descriptive,” prompting the California firm to appeal the decision in the Federal Court. Read More
By Jake Smith on Dec 2, 2014
Chinese phone maker Digione claims Apple’s iPhone 6 infringes on a patent for its own smartphone under the 100+ brand, and plans to take Apple to court if things aren’t resolved. In a letter sent to Apple in September, Digione says it wants to communicate further with Apple to prevent “potential legal risks for the sake of further understanding and communication.” Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Dec 2, 2014
The United States Department of Justice is reportedly pursuing an unusual legal strategy to compel cellphone makers to assist investigations by removing device encryption on iPhones and other mobile devices, according to findings by technology website Ars Technica.
Tapping the All Writs Act, feds want Apple’s help to defeat encrypted phones, as revealed by newly discovered court documents from two federal criminal cases in New York and California. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Nov 21, 2014
During a hearing Friday in Manhattan, a United States judge gave Apple final approval to pay $450 million to settle claims that it conspired with five publishers to raise e-book prices on the iBooks Store.
Reuters reports that Judge Cote approved what she called an “unusual” accord. The ruling came after Apple in July agreed to pay big bucks to settle price fixing allegations that the government and class action lawyers leveled against the Cupertino firm. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Nov 19, 2014
As Apple moves to repurpose the Mesa, Arizona plant it sought to run with the now bankrupt GT Advanced Technology, Reuters is reporting Wednesday that GT’s creditors aren’t all too happy about the agreement.
Even though the iPhone maker is committed to keeping the Arizona facility alive despite the failed sapphire manufacturing agreement with GT, creditors in a bankruptcy court filing noted that GT “may have gotten too little” in the proposed settlement with Apple. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Nov 18, 2014
Bloomberg is reporting this morning that Apple’s iPhone and other devices have been found to infringe half a dozen pager technology patents owned by a Texas company called Mobile Telecommunications Technologies LLC.
Six patents owned by Mobile Telecommunications Technologies are valid and infringed, a federal jury in Marshall, Texas, has found.
The iPhone maker was ordered to pay the Texas company $23.6 million in damages. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Oct 31, 2014
Criminals should protect their iPhones with a passcode, not Touch ID, as a Virginia District Court has determined that passcodes are protected under the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution while fingerprints are not, according to a report Friday by Hampton Roads.
The Fifth Amendment protects citizens from self-incrimination so a phone is protected under the law because otherwise it would require a defendant to divulge knowledge. Put simply, a Circuit Court judge has ruled that a criminal defendant can be compelled to reveal their fingerprint but not the passcode, so that police could search their mobile phone. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Oct 28, 2014
It’s sad that we’ve grown accustomed to greedy carriers and their unlimited data deals. Not only does unlimited service typically come with lots of strings attached, carriers have dumb excuses ready once folks realize their data speeds are being throttled.
Having decided not to let it slide, the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is now taking AT&T to court over what it called “deceptive and unfair data throttling” policy.
As announced on Twitter and via a media release, the FTC’s federal court complaint alleges that the Dallas, Texas headquartered firm in some cases reduced data speeds for unlimited customers by up to 90 percent while failing to explain in clear and concise manner why and when throttling would take place.
“AT&T promised its customers ‘unlimited’ data,” reads the complaint, “and in many instances, it has failed to deliver on that promise”.
“The issue here is simple: ‘unlimited’ means unlimited,” said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez. AT&T’s other sin: the company avoided mentioning throttling to customers who were about to renew their unlimited contracts. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Sep 30, 2014
The European Commission publicized its ruling that Apple benefited from a favorable Irish tax rate, arguing that Apple’s funneling of revenues and earnings to Ireland, where the Cupertino firm cut a favorable tax deal with the Irish government in the late 1980s and early 1990s, constitutes illegal state aid, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.
Responding to these accusations, Apple issued a written statement denying it’s received preferential treatment from the government of Ireland. Apple is urging the need for corporate tax reform, insisting its tax arrangements in Ireland are perfectly legal. Read More
By Cody Lee on Aug 25, 2014
A bill that requires all smartphones manufactured after July 1st of next year, and sold in California, to include a remote kill switch was signed into law this afternoon. Introduced in February of this year, the bill hopes to make mobile devices less attractive to criminals, as smartphone thefts have grown exponentially in recent years, in several major US cities.
Specifically, the new law requires that each handset prompt an authorized user during initial setup to enable a “technological solution” that, once initiated, can render the essential features of the device inoperable to an unauthorized user. The solution must be reversible, must be able to withstand a hard reset, and may consist of software, hardware, or both. Read More
By Cody Lee on Aug 11, 2014
Earlier this year, California Senator Mark Leno introduced a new bill that would require cellphone makers to install ‘kill switches’ in all of their handsets, rendering them inoperable when stolen. The move comes as smartphone thefts continue to rise in major US cities.
Unsurprisingly, Leno’s bill won Senate approval by a vote of 27-8 today, meaning that it’s just one step away from becoming law in the state of California. All it needs now is Governor Jerry Brown’s signature, and device manufacturers will have essentially a year to comply… Read More