Copyright Infringers News (53)
Posted: January 11, 2013 03:05PM
Google has withdrawn two patent claims relating to Wi-Fi and video compression technologies used in the Xbox 360. Microsoft has commented on the matter, saying it hopes that Google will continue to withdraw patent claims against the corporation. One example of these claims is Google demanding $4 billion a year from Microsoft to use its patents, based on a 2.25% royalty. Microsoft refuses to pay this, and the lawsuit is currently pending ruling by a US judge.
There have been many previous lawsuits between the companies including one case in Germany, which was won by Google in May 2012. This allowed the judge to impose a sale ban on a number of Microsoft's key products including the Xbox 360 and Windows 7, however this was later overruled.
Posted: November 12, 2012 10:47AM
This Saturday, tech giant Apple and smartphone manufacturer HTC formulated a 10 year patent truce which includes dismissal of all current lawsuits currently held accross the globe. Unfortunately, there is not much to be said beyond the official statement, as the terms of this agreement are confidential. This agreement concludes the two year patent war first started by Apple in 2010.
The agreement is said to cover all current and future patents made by both companies, with official statements made by the company CEOs. Both statements make it clear that the companies can now focus on product development instead of the legal battles that have plagued the relationship between the two over the past couple of years.
It would be great to see other companies take a leaf out of these tech giants’ books. We could begin to see agreements between more and more companies, allowing peace and harmony to once again return to the tech world.
Posted: November 9, 2012 11:17AM
Earlier this week, we heard that Connecticut-based VirnetX had won a $365 million lawsuit against Apple, and today the firm revealed it wasn't finished with Apple just yet. VirnetX claim Apple has breached a number of its patents covering secure communication over the Internet, technology incorporated into the iPhone 5, the iPod Touch, and the latest generation of Mac personal computers, along with a handful of other Apple products.
As noted in the previous article, VirnetX does have a long history of filing lawsuits against large corporations and coming out on top, although this time Apple is likely to be more careful after the last case. The firm's developers testified that they didn't actually pay any attention to other companies' patents when developing the software, virtually sealing the deal for VirnetX.
Posted: November 7, 2012 01:46PM
Apple has lost a lawsuit filed against it by Connecticut-based internet security company VirnetX. This follows Apple’s recent lawsuit filed against Samsung, with the judge ruling in Apple’s favor losing Samsung $1.05 billion in damages in the US. VirnetX originally filed the patent request in 2010 for almost double the sum eventually paid. The patent concerns the process of using a domain name to set up a virtual private network, or VPN, that Apple uses in many of its products, including FaceTime. VirnetX itself however, is no stranger to the courtroom, having previously been involved in lawsuits concerning other major companies like Cisco, Avaya, and even Microsoft.
Many people will be happy with the ruling, which may be signalling a change in fortune for Apple, a company that, despite being highly controversial recently, has managed to become one of the biggest technology giants in the world. The ruling is unlikely to make a significant dent in Apple’s finances, since $365 million is barely a third of what the firm recovered in its recent court victory over Samsung.
Posted: December 13, 2011 12:04PM
Many people would agree patent trolls (persons or entities that use broadly written patents to attack often innovating companies) are horrible for the technology industry. Several within the industry want the patent system to be improved to inhibit trolls. Now it seems one of the leaders in the tech industry is actually in league with a patent troll.
Digitude Innovations is a company that collects patents, and then shares the rights to them. So if a company transfers a patent to them, that company then has access to the patents Digitude has. If a company uses something allegedly covered under one of Digitude’s patents, they will then sue that company to force a licensing fee to be paid. Essentially, this company appears to be a professional patent troll.
TechCrunch has done some research and found that one of the companies to have transferred patents to Digitude Innovations is Apple. Interestingly, Apple did not transfer the patents directly to Digitude though, but through a shell company which appears to only exist as a name and address. There are some direct ties between the two companies though, as days before Digitude filed a suit with the International Trade Commission, ITC, two of the patents involved were owned by Apple. In the filing with the ITC, a "Digitude-Apple Cross License Agreement" is listed. The targets of this lawsuit include RIM, HTC, LG, Motorola, Samsung, Sony, Amazon, and Nokia.
The obvious question is, "why?" Apple has not shown itself to be shy of suing competitors it believes are infringing it patents, so why give up patents to another company so they can go to court for them? If Apple was at some point targeted by Digitude though, and the patents were transferred by a court order, then why has no one heard about it? This seems quite strange and hopefully more details will come to light soon.
Posted: June 11, 2011 11:33AM
Author: Tobias Thydal
Newegg is probably the most linked website here on OverclockersClub, so for many it would seem strange not to use Newegg when shopping for technology. But that's not the case for many less tech-savvy people. When they are shopping for a new notebook or some other technology, they often go to Best Buy or other brick-and-mortar chains. Newegg is now going to try to reach the masses with some new commercials. But those commercials aren't greeted well at Best Buy, because, according to Best Buy, the commercial makes retail staff look uneducated and unhelpful. Best Buy has now issued a cease and desist demanding that Newegg immediately abandon the commercial, since Best Buy believes that it makes its employees look uninformed and slovenly. As Techspot writes, most tech enthusiasts know how little help you get at Best Buy.
Posted: June 10, 2011 02:39PM
Author: Tobias Thydal
Google's Chromebook, which isn't even in the stores yet, is already in trouble. ISYS, who owns the Xi3 Corporation, claims that the Chromebook name is too similar to its own ChromiumPC. ChromiumPC is a desktop PC that runs the Chrome OS. This isn't the first time the two companies fight over name infringement. Google filed a claim against ISYS, when it tried to trademark its ChromiumPC name last year. Google didn't like that and has therefore objected that the name had too much resemblance to its Chromium OS name. The claim means that a temporary restraining order is keeping Google from marketing its Chrome OS devices. There has yet to be a verdict, but I'll keep you posted.
Posted: May 16, 2011 03:07PM
The RIAA and Limewire have made a large compensation settlement of $105M for all the money Limewire's presence cost the record industry. The money, RIAA claims, is to promote a stronger anti-piracy force and will not be given to any artists affected by the large P2P organization. Limewire had targeted the users of the original Napster and built its business around their needs. After the injunction with Limewire was filed, they immediately took down all of their clients but record labels and music publishers seeked to recuperate all of the money that Limewire had cost them. During last week's trial at New York's federal court, the RIAA supplied the jury with 9,715 tracks of evidence against Limewire and agreed on the $105M settlement. RIAA accepted the per track value of $10,808 instead of $150,000 per song that the jury could have awarded. Though the RIAA mentioned many artists in their defense court, all of the money is to be "...reinvested into our ongoing education and anti-piracy programs", says RIAA spokesman Jonathan Lamy.
Posted: May 14, 2011 06:01PM
Protect IP is a new bill devised by US politicians to put a large damper on Internet piracy. Along with piracy, Protect IP will also attempt to rid the Internet of the sale of counterfeit goods. Senator Patrick Leahy comments that before Protect IP, rights holders and law enforcement have had very little way to combat those infringing on copyrights. Much of Protect IP is based on the 'Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act' (COICA) that had failed late last year. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is fighting the bill, and seeing little improvement over its predecessor, COICA. Abigail Phillips, an attorney at EFF, claims that Protect IP will bring about "serious First Amendment concerns about lawful expression". Any site deemed guilty under Protect IP would be forcefully removed from the Internet's address book and stripped of its domain. Since many sites often redirect themselves to a similar domain, this action will prevent them from doing so, making it far harder to rediscover. Search engines will also be required to remove the infringing websites from their search indexes. Protect IP may be the beginning of the end of a free and open Internet experience, where the government decides what they deem is right for their citizens.
Posted: April 14, 2011 03:29AM
In an effort to decrease piracy within its borders, New Zealand has recently been pushing for heftier penalties on individuals caught doing any related acts of piracy. More specifically, the New Zealand government is cracking down on those sharing any electronic data that is a blatant infringement of any copyrights. The first infraction comes in the form of a written warning administered by the alleged pirate's Internet provider. The government has been granted clearance to rule on administering fines as high as $15,000 NZD (or roughly $11,133USD). Users who do not cease and desist their file sharing will have their internet service terminated for half of a year. Not all the government officials were ready to empower the government to disable the internet for any period of time. A couple of the officials had not even been made aware of the bill until after it was well along its way to becoming law. Lawyer Rick Shera makes the argument that copyright owners are given far too much power with the new bill. Rick believes that the copyright owners should not be able to prosecute any individuals based solely on the assumption they are carrying out piracy-like acts, and that all guilty rulings should be backed up by hard evidence.
Posted: April 7, 2011 12:51PM
Author: Jeremy Holstein
There has been a debate in Congress of the possible creation of a law that would allow the government to block any website accused of piracy. Members of Congress were shocked that so many piracy sites came up in Google searches. Google's Auto Complete feature only adds to the mess. When typing in a simple search about movies, you may be shown suggested phrases that lead to piracy sites. The auto-complete results are also a reflection of how many people are searching for illegal material. Because of their findings, Congress would like Google to tweak their search algorithm to eliminate piracy sites in favor of authorized services. Google is concerned that a new law would dictate search results.
Recently Google successfully got rid of ch**d p***o****hy search results and many congressmen believe Google can also easily get rid of piracy search results. They are stunned that with all of Google's programming wizards, that someone couldn't create an algorithm to eliminate piracy searches. It seems that the people in the House of Intellectual Property are over simplifying how Google works. Although it is an automated system, many still believe the auto-complete suggestions are true suggestions from Google.
Nothing has been decided as of yet, but a change to Google's auto-complete feature is for sure.
Posted: December 7, 2010 06:50PM
Author: Nick Harezga
The Motion Picture Association of America, or MPAA, has decided to focus its sights on universities in the country. The goal is likely to cut off a larger number of pirates than by going after individuals. The MPAA hopes to use the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 to persuade the schools to cut off file sharers from network access. The MPAA can't do anything to enforce the law, but can attempt to convince lawmakers to threaten to pull federal funding from the school. Part of the HEOA is that universities take steps to curb piracy and copyright infringement. The MPAA is following in the footsteps of the RIAA, which has already started to send letters to some schools. Some of them have tried to fight back to protect students and said that they couldn't track students based on IP addresses.
Posted: July 15, 2010 10:09AM
Author: Mahtayo Rice
McAfee, Symantec, Webroot Software, Websense, and Sophos are going to see their day in court. According to Finjan, a former security company, the companies are in violation of two patents. Finjan is seeking financial damages and an injunction to stop those five security companies from selling software allegedly tied to the patents. What I find interesting is Finjan was bought out in late 2009 by the security firm M86. The two targets that were filed Monday in U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware are Patent No. 6,092,194 and Patent No. 6,480,962. Check out those patents to see more details.
Posted: March 28, 2010 10:42PM
Author: allix duncan grant
On March 26, 2010, the online file-hosting service Rapidshare announced that it is currently seeking major entertainment company partners to allow the site to permit users to upload currently copyrighted material to the Rapidshare website. Rapidshare’s General Manager, Bobby Chang, unveiled a plan that will allow partners to benefit from downloaded material, as well as a plan to close down copyright infringing user accounts. The plan will direct users to the partner companies' websites that show promotional material, yet still allow the user to download the material that they are looking for. The logic is that for the amount of sales lost from the downloads, the partner company will be compensated by the amount of people who buy the advertised material on its site. Rapidshare has been testing this method with a small portion of users since the beginning of 2010.
Posted: January 22, 2010 07:16PM
Author: Nick Harezga
The 32 year old mother, Jammie Thomas-Rasset, was ordered to pay a nearly $2 million penalty for infringing the copyright of 24 songs. A judge has just ruled that the penalty was shocking, drastically reducing the fine. The initial ruling of $80,000 per song has been reduced to a little over $2,000. Rasset has stated that she still won't be able to come up with the money to pay this reduced penalty, as she doesn't make much money. Joel Tenenbaum, the other file sharer to go to court with the RIAA shouldn't get too excited, as there is no requirement that the same leniency is applied to his case.
Posted: December 23, 2009 01:42PM
Author: Nick Harezga
A hacker has figured out a way to convert content intended only for the Amazon Kindle to formats that other devices can handle. The program is called Unswindle and was developed by I <3 cabbages. Used in conjunction with MobiDeDRM, the DRM protected content can be converted to other formats. This is done through the Kindle for PC application, and will allow users to convert legitimately purchased books for use on other devices. This could prove extremely useful for people who already have an e-reader and don't wish to purchase a Kindle to access its content.
Posted: August 12, 2009 09:05AM
Author: Ben Grantham
It has certainly been a long time coming, but in a case that has lasted the best part of a year Judge Marilyn Hall Patel has finally ruled in favour of the MPAA, which grants a preliminary injunction against Real to ban the sales of the program. The ruling states that while it isn't illegal for consumers to copy their own DVDs for personal use, it is illegal to provide consumers with a program that allows them to do just that. While that may not make a whole lot of sense on the surface, it is what law dictates, which protects access to details of copy protection codes, the content scramble system (CSS). The MPAA are satisfied with the courts decision, with head of the organisation Dan Glickman quoted as saying "This is a victory for the creators and producers of motion pictures and television shows, and for the rule of law in our digital economy."
Real are said to be disappointed with the ruling, and will be examining the verdict carefully as they take a possible appeal into consideration.
Posted: August 2, 2009 07:07AM
Author: Nick Harezga
Boston University student Joel Tenenbaum has been ordered to pay $675,000 in damages to the RIAA. Tenenbaum was happy that the fine wasn't higher, as it was for Jammie Thomas-Rasset who has to pay $1.92 million. Tenenbaum effectively dug his own grave when he admitted to downloading the songs and about lying in previous testimonies during his Thursday questioning. At this point the jury only needed to discuss damages and whether Tenenbaum did so willingly. The RIAA was also happy with the ruling, mostly because the defendant realized that the artists and music companies should be paid just as any other working person. Tenenbaum plans to appeal the ruling based on the guarantee of due process. He feels that the award is too large, and plans to file for bankruptcy if the ruling is upheld.
Posted: July 18, 2009 07:20AM
Author: Nick Harezga
This past week, Amazon deleted copies of George Orwell's 1984 and Animal Farm from users' Kindles. The books in question were legitimately purchased, or were they? Reports surfaced that MobileReference, the publisher who transfers public domain books to electronic format to sell for the Kindle, didn't have the authority to sell the books. Because the books are not yet in the public domain, the license to the book was deemed invalid and the books were deleted. The books have been removed from both the Amazon store and the MobileReference website. Amazon has said that the purchasing system was designed to take these actions automatically and will be changed for the future.
Posted: June 23, 2009 02:40PM
Author: Nick Harezga
The Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA) has decided to take the fight to the biggest ISPs in the country. The IRMA is attempting to sue BT Ireland and UPC Ireland into complying with a three strikes policy that would force disconnection of users with three copyright violations. However, UPC has said that Irish law doesn't require it to do so, and the company will fight the suit. The largest ISP, Eircom, has already settled with the IRMA, but has yet to disconnect any users as it is the only ISP to adopt the policy. In the case of the RIAA, the scheme is voluntary and ISPs aren't required to follow it. The IRMA faces a tough battle, as the European Parliament has stated that it is against internet disconnections, and a similar proposal has already been struck down in France.
Posted: June 16, 2009 03:26PM
Author: Nick Harezga
Solid Oak Software, the company behind the CyberSitter program, has sent cease and desist letters to Dell and Hewlett-Packard. The letters are in regards to the Green Dam software that the Chinese government will be requiring all PCs sold in China to have installed. Solid Oak claims that the Chinese company responsible for the filtering software stole a good deal of the code from CyberSitter. Solid Oak wishes to take legal action against the Chinese company, but certainly doesn't blame the PC manufacturers. China has been criticized for the mandatory filter, and there are a few organizations that wold like to talk them out of it.
Posted: June 10, 2009 05:02PM
Author: Ben Grantham
Last month, legislation designed to address the problem of illegal filesharing passed the French National Assembly after being rejected on a previous attempt. The Hadopi law was named after the government agency that would have been responsible for policing the law and would have seen those judged to be persistent file sharers facing the possibility of having their internet connections cut for up to a year under a three strike system. However, after France's Socialist party asked the country's constitutional council to look into the legality of the law it was ruled that "free access" to online communications services is a human right and couldn't be withheld without a judge's intervention. The method by which the law was to be policed was also said to breach a citizen's right to privacy. While a blow to the French president, who had strongly backed the legislation, the ruling may not affect similar proposals in other EU countries as it was based on interpretation of the French constitution rather than EU law.
Posted: June 5, 2009 11:43AM
Author: Rpbert Bergem
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is proving that it is still just as out of touch with the American consumer as it has always been. During the Real DVD case, U.S. District Judge Marilyn Patel questioned the on whether or not it was legal for a consumer to make a backup copy of a legally purchased DVD for personal use. The MPAA's attorney, Bart Williams, responded by saying, "Not for the purposes under the DMCA, one copy is a violation of the DMCA." While this is technically correct if making a backup copy requires circumventing the copyright, the MPAA usually uses mass piracy and the resulting lost profits to support the DMCA. This new statement means that the MPAA groups consumers that make backup copies into the same group as for-profit pirates that illegally copy dozens of DVDs and sell the copies. To be safe, I'll just keep my legal copies of the handful of DVDs I own and not worry about backups.
Posted: May 25, 2009 07:33PM
Author: Brentt Moore
Before Apple took down both the apps that resembled famous watches, the application known as Fake Watch that they were distributing for free, and the premium Fake Watch Gold Edition which was being sold, Cartier had a lawsuit filed against the company. This suit was filed with the United States District Court in Manhattan, but was later dropped by the French Jeweler due to Apple's removal of the two iPhone applications. Apple so far has not stated anything to the media on this issue, and if they do, the company will probably announce its apologies to Cartier International to the public.
Posted: May 21, 2009 04:22PM
Author: Nick Harezga
In the ongoing saga of the Pirate Bay copyright trial, the companies and lawyers who represent them have stated that the 30 million kronor penalty wasn't strict enough. The movie and music industry would like to see the penalty be around 100 million kronor, roughly $13 million. The industries are also pushing for more charges to be brought against the Pirate Bay in addition to the steeper financial penalty. At the same time, the Pirate Bay defendants are arguing that the judge in the case was biased due to his association with copyright groups and the prosecuting attorneys. The case is currently in the appeals court for this reason.
Posted: May 12, 2009 01:50PM
Author: Ben Grantham
The French piracy legislation, which was previously rejected has now been passed by the National Assembly and will go on to the Senate for final approval. The bill sets out measures aimed at cracking down on internet piracy, with repeat offenders facing being cut off from their service for a year under a "three strikes" system. On passing the bill, the French government will be setting a global precedent, and developments will be watched closely by other governments, who may consider similar methods of deterring piracy. The legislation is backed by the film and recording industries, with chairman of the IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry), John Kennedy describing the move as "an effective and proportionate way of tackling online copyright infringement and migrating users to the wide variety of legal music services in France". Some consumer groups have expressed concerns that the legislation could lead to innocent people being punished.
Posted: May 5, 2009 01:32PM
Author: Ben Grantham
If you have a particularly good memory, then you may recall that RealNetworks (the makers or RealPlayer) put sales of its RealDVD ripping software on hold last year after being sued by major Hollywood film studios. The claim was that the software violated copyright and was illegal under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA), which forbids the bypassing of any digital rights management protection system. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has said that the software could allow users to copy a DVD and then share it around. RealNetworks now claims that enhanced security used in RealDVD means that a digital version made using the software can then only be played back on the same computer used to make the copy. There is of course a related argument, which is that consumers already have access to digital copies of DVDs should they want them and that aiming to restrict a consumers ability to make a legal backup of content only encourages them to adopt or continue to use the illegal methods of doing so.
The hearing resumes this Thursday, with closing statements likely to come soon after. A ruling from Judge Marilyn Patel (who also presided over the Napster case, which saw the peer-to-peer file-sharing service shut down) is then expected in the weeks following.
Posted: April 9, 2009 03:49PM
Author: Ben Grantham
French politicians have rejected legislation that could have seen internet users caught downloading music illegally being cut off from their service. The music industry has sought backing from governments in the form of stricter laws in recent years, in an effort to stem what it sees as a major cause of reductions in revenue. If passed, the legislation would have meant that those caught downloading illegally would first be sent a warning e-mail, then a letter, and finally have their connection cut for a year if caught for a third time. Though backed by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the proposed law was defeated by a vote in the National Assembly, with two members of Sarkozy's own government choosing to vote against the bill for the reason that it would have also seen those banned continuing to pay for their internet bills. If passed, a global precedent may have been set, which could have seen other countries pursuing similar legislation. The French government will still have the opportunity to re-introduce the legislation to parliament later in the year.
Posted: April 1, 2009 04:30PM
Author: Nick Harezga
A copy of the upcoming movie X-Men Origins: Wolverine was released to torrent sites yesterday, a full month before it hits theaters on May 1. It is said to be full-length and high quality, but without some of the final special effects and sounds. Initial reactions from those not associated with Fox are mixed. Some are saying that those who download the movie weren't going to go see it anyway. Others feel that reviews that could come from this may turn away potential viewers and cost the studio millions of dollars. Whatever the case, it appears that companies need to take more precautions with intellectual property. The official response from Fox indicates a that they will do everything they can to destroy the person responsible for this.
Posted: March 27, 2009 06:40AM
I wouldn't recommend buying stock in Intel anytime soon (or stocks period, but that's another matter), as it seems Nvidia has filed a countersuit against Intel. The suit alleges that Intel has breached the 2004 agreement between the two companies by not allowing it to build motherboard chipsets for Intel processors that use integrated memory controllers (i.e. Core i7). Nvidia claims that Intel is being unreasonable by denying these rights, but simultaneously maintaining its own access to NVIDIA's patents. Intel has said that the license only extends to processors with discrete memory controllers. Nvidia says that they are just trying to stall so that Nvidia cannot make a better chipset than Intel's. Looks like Intel is going to be seeing a lot of courtrooms this year.