Items tagged with Legal

A California appeals court has ruled that Amazon is liable for defective products sold through its third-party marketplace. The decision was handed down late last week from the California Fourth District Court of Appeals. That court ruled that Amazon could be held liable for damages caused by a defective laptop battery purchased through Amazon Marketplace that caught fire and left a woman with third-degree burns. The battery was purchased from a third-party seller named Lenoge Technology HK Ltd. The California court's decision sets a precedent with this case, becoming the first time Amazon has been unsuccessful in defending itself against lawsuits trying to assign it fault for defective products... Read more...
Apple is taking legal action against a small company called Prepear because it says the company's logo is too similar to its own. Apple is demanding that the company change its logo, which is shaped like a pear. Prepear's founders say that Apple has opposed their trademark application requesting the company change logos. The small business has only five staffers, and it says the legal fight with Apple has already cost thousands of dollars. As a result, it had to lay off one team member due to the legal costs. The company says it feels a "moral obligation" to take a stand against Apple's aggressive legal action. Prepear also points out that Apple has taken legal action against other small businesses... Read more...
Amazon says that customer data requests from law enforcement agencies around the United States increased significantly during the first half of 2020. Amazon unveiled statistics on the number of customer data requests from government agencies during its latest transparency report published late last week. The figures provided showed that it received 23% more subpoenas and search warrants, and a 29% increase in court orders this year than in the first half of 2019. Requests included data collected from the Amazon.com retail storefront, Echo devices, and tablets in the Kindle and Fire ranges. Amazon also notes that requests for data from the company's cloud services, Amazon Web Services, also increased... Read more...
Anyone who's ever paid attention to Nintendo and its prolific legal team knows that when it comes to trademark infringements or other violations of its intellectual property, the company pulls no punches. The latest company to come under fire by Nintendo's legal team is called Logistics Consulting LLC, which is based in Connecticut. Earlier this month, the New York arm of the Nintendo legal team issued a cease-and-desist letter to the company, which installed modchips in the Switch console at a cost of $60. A modchip allows Switch owners to do things such as play pirated games and export game saves to memory cards. Nintendo's legal team alleges that Logistics Consulting is violating the anti-circumvention... Read more...
Nintendo of America has filed a pair of lawsuits in the United States to shut down resellers that are selling Nintendo Switch mods allowing users to play pirated video games on the console. One of the lawsuits was filed against Tom Dilts Jr., who is believed to be behind a website called UberChips. The second lawsuit that Nintendo filed was against multiple unnamed defendants who operate multiple websites. From those websites, the defendants allegedly sell products from an anonymous group of hackers known as Team Xecutor. Nintendo's lawsuit says the defendants "unlawfully" design and manufacture an "unauthorized operating system" and "piracy tools" that allow gamers to bypass protections in place... Read more...
Streaming video is big business today with sites like Netflix and Hulu offering huge amounts of content that people can stream anywhere they have an internet connection. As many subscribers as Netflix and others have, two of the biggest streaming sites were illegal. Two programmers in Las Vegas recently admitted to running a pair of the largest illegal TV and movie streaming services in the country, according to federal authorities. One of the platforms reportedly had more paying subscribers than Netflix or any other legitimate streaming platform. FBI investigators arrested Darryl Polo and Luis Villarino in relation to the investigation, and both of the developers have pled guilty to copyright... Read more...
Anyone who drives a car anywhere in the world knows that distracted drivers using smartphones frequently cause accidents. In New South Wales (NSW), drivers using their mobile phone illegally now have a new way to be caught in the act and fined. The NSW Government rolled out mobile phone detection cameras that were turned on on Sunday, December 1st. NSW Minister for Roads Andrew Constance said that the world-first safety technology would target illegal mobile phone using drivers via fixed and mobile trailer-based camera systems. Constance says that drivers who "think they can continue to put the safety of themselves, their passengers, and the community at risk without consequence they are in for... Read more...
Valve has lost a court case in France that could have an impact on its business moving forward across the European Union. Four years ago, Valve was sued by a French consumer organization called UFC-Que Choisir. The suit sought to force Valve to make several changes to Steam, with one of them being to allow gamers to sell the games they no longer played. Being stuck with a game that isn't what was expected or is no longer played is a big issue for many gamers. The suit was filed four years ago, and the court overseeing the case has finally made a ruling. The ruling was against Valve, and it has vowed to appeal the ruling. The High Court of Paris ruled against Valve finding that its defense that... Read more...
GlobalFoundries rocked the tech industry yesterday when it announced that it had filed multiple lawsuits in the United States and in Germany alleging patent infringement abuses by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and its partners/customers. At the heart of the lawsuits are 16 patents covering 28nm, 16nm, 12nm, 10nm, and 7nm product lines. “For years, while we have been devoting billions of dollars to domestic research and development, TSMC has been unlawfully reaping the benefits of our investments," wrote GlobalFoundries SVP Gregg Barlett in a statement yesterday. "This action is critical to halt Taiwan Semiconductor’s unlawful use of our vital assets and... Read more...
Apple is no stranger to class action lawsuit;  it's caught in a legal row right now that has to do with the so-called loop disease defect on the iPhone 7 smartphone. Apple is also facing an EU probe into antitrust complaints raised by Spotify. Apple is now facing another lawsuit that pertains to iTunes. Apple is being sued by three iTunes users who allege that Apple disclosed their listening habits to advertisers. The three people suing Apple are from Rhode Island and Michigan, and the trio claims that Apple violated laws protecting records of entertainment purchases in those states. The three are seeking class-action status with other residents of those states. The lawsuit alleges that... Read more...
Fortnite is one of the biggest games in the world with massive Hollywood movie crossover events and special edition Xbox consoles to underscore its popularity. The game also has a dark underbelly with over 1,000 cheaters banned during the Fortnite World Cup alone. Furthering that drama, Fortnite also has one of its top streamers fighting a very public battle against his team over an allegedly oppressive contract. The world of eSports is likened to the "Wild West" by many, as there are no rules and regulations covering players and teams. Some compare the current environment between players and teams to the way Baseball was before players unionized. Many are waiting to see what happened between... Read more...
Things keep on getting worse for Huawei. We mentioned Friday that Microsoft had pulled all of Huawei's laptops from the Microsoft online store. Huawei has also seen the Trump administration ban result in its losing access to Google's Android operating system, Intel computer chips, Qualcomm chips, and ARM designs. The bans go so far as to make it so that Huawei can't develop its in-house chips that use tech covered in patents that originated in the U.S. Huawei has been de-listed from the SD Association and no longer appears on its list of members. That means that Huawei can no longer officially use microSD cards or microSD slot in its devices. The ban doesn't impact the smartphones Huawei already... Read more...
Authorities in the U.S. have announced that they have been successful in breaking a ring of hackers who had been running a scam to hijack SIM cards and steal cryptocurrency from the victims of the crime. Court documents in the case allege that the group, known as "The Community," had stolen about $2.4 million in cryptocurrency. Six people from the hacking ring were named in court documents in the case. The indictment came from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Michigan, and it alleges that six people living around the U.S. and Ireland were part of The Community. The SIM hijacking scheme that the group pulled off involved them using bribery or trickery to convince mobile phone... Read more...
Google Maps is one of those apps that just about every smartphone user has on their device no matter if they prefer iOS or Android. Google has updated the Maps app with cool features that make it useful on your daily commute to avoid traffic, accidents, and annoying construction. The search giant is also working on adding cool features like augmented reality navigation to overlay directions on the real world. Now, a new report claims that Google is facing increasing requests from law enforcement to tie users with a Google Account to the location of a crime. The report claims that the police are casting a very wide net by sending subpoenas to Google asking for the timeline information that Google... Read more...
Facebook's privacy practices and the amount of data it shares with other apps and device makers are a big problem for lots of people. Facebook has been in trouble with the FCC over privacy issues and faces a fine that could be in the billion dollar range. While losing a big chunk of cash to fines is certainly not something the social networking giant relishes, facing criminal charges is something that Facebook would like to avoid at all costs. A new report going around suggests that federal prosecutors are conducting a criminal investigation into Facebook's data sharing deals with other tech companies. A New York grand jury is on the case, and a pair of unnamed smartphone makers have had records... Read more...
Device makers of all sorts have had to fight patent trolls in courts in the Eastern District of Texas where judges are much more friendly to the plaintiffs than to the defendants in patent cases. Courts in the Eastern District of Texas became a playground for patent trolls going back a decade. Apple has been tied up in suits in this judicial district in the past, and Cupertino has had enough. Apple Stores in Plano and Frisco, Texas are taking one for the team, and the stores will be shuttered permanently. The reason is that those two stores lie in the Eastern District and by not having stores in that district, Apple has foiled anyone trying to bring patent cases against it in the favorable courts.... Read more...
There were many people in the U.S. crying foul when it was revealed that law enforcement had a man unlock his iPhone using Face ID, since the man couldn't be compelled to unlock a device secured with a passcode. Constitutionally guaranteed protections that are given to a person to prevent them from self-incrimination weren't extended to biometric devices like facial recognition and fingerprint scanners. A federal judge has now stepped up and issued a ruling that greatly changes the landscape for law enforcement and those accused of a crime. The U.S. federal judge has ruled that the police can't force a person to unlock their iPhone or Android device that is secured with Face ID, Touch ID, or... Read more...
Back in 2017, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a suit against Qualcomm alleging antitrust violations, and only reached trial this week. Odds are that even if the FTC wins the suit against Qualcomm, and licensing fees and royalties that smartphone makers are charged decreased, the smartphone makers would simply pocket the savings and consumers will continue to pay the same prices. While the FTC is accusing Qualcomm of antitrust violations, the price of royalties that Qualcomm charges is 5% of the cost of the device up to $20 per handset maximum. That certainly is a hefty chunk for the smartphone makers, but $20 isn't likely to make a smartphone shopper change their mind about buying... Read more...
The Weather Channel is one of the the most watched channels on TV and and its app is widely used to gather weather information for cities all around the country. The app claims to have 45 million active monthly users, and the city attorney for Los Angeles filed a lawsuit this week alleging that the app had deceptively collected, shared, and profited from location information on millions of American consumers. According to the lawsuit, the Weather Company, the company behind the app, had unfairly manipulated users into turning on location tracking by suggesting that the location data would only be used to localize weather reports. However, the company also used the data that it gathered for... Read more...
Apple and Qualcomm aren't on friendly terms right now considering that the two firms are currently embroiled in a long-running legal battle over patents and royalties. Qualcomm claims that Apple owes billions in royalty payments, while Apple maintains that its devices don't infringe on Qualcomm patents. Qualcomm was granted a sales ban on some older iPhone models in China and is now trying to add the iPhone XR and iPhone XS to the sales ban. Any possibility of having its new hotness banned in China has Apple scrambling to ready a software update that completely bypass the Qualcomm patents in question. Apple has confirmed that it will be pushing out software updates starting next week with... Read more...
Apple and Qualcomm have a very long-running legal battle that has seen the two fighting in court over patent infringement and chip royalties. Qualcomm was also granted an import ban on some iPhones in China, but that ban had no teeth according to Apple. While Qualcomm's CEO has stated it is nearing the end of the legal war with Apple, that seems unlikely.  The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has now announced that it would review a ruling that banned the import of some iPhone models into the U.S., which it says is not in the public interest even if Apple infringed on the patents. The ITC case was initiated by Qualcomm back in July 2017 when it accused Apple of implementing Intel... Read more...
The FCC upset a lot of people when it voted to repeal net neutrality rules. The Commission then wanted to reduce the speed that is considered to be broadband in some areas, however, the backlash to that move saw the FCC step back and stop its attempts to reclassify broadband speeds in some areas. The FCC has worked to ensure that it's easier for broadband providers to get their speedy services to more people; Google Fiber in particular benefitted from a change in FCC regulations regarding utility pole usage. The FCC has now announced that it is launching an investigation into one or more major wireless carriers. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has announced that the agency is launching an investigation... Read more...
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