Items tagged with Legal

Corporate espionage is something that companies all over the world have to deal with. The latest major manufacturer to deal with the ramifications of corporate espionage is Samsung, as nine people have been indicted in South Korea for stealing Samsung's folding display trade secrets and selling them to China. Samsung showed off this folding display tech when it unveiled the folding Galaxy smartphone earlier this month. That smartphone is tipped to sell for as much as $2,500 and be limited in availability. While the people who sold the data can be brought to justice, there is no putting the genie back in the bottle, and the fear is that the stolen tech might end up in smartphones from Chinese... Read more...
Apple and Qualcomm aren’t exactly friends, but in some ways, the two firms need each other. iPhones are among the top-selling smartphones in the world, and Qualcomm certainly wants to get in on that sales action. Apple needs Qualcomm modems because they typically outperform rival hardware from Intel and MediaTek, and its customers want the best hardware for their money. Apple has sought out hardware from other sources with company implementing Intel modems in their latest crop of iPhones recently and has threatened to use MediaTek in the past. And now it seems Qualcomm is accusing Apple of not paying its bills; the company alleges that Apple is $7 billion behind in royalty payments.... Read more...
Apple has been at odds with law enforcement over its ever-increasing security measures that have at times thwarted efforts to gain access to iPhones during an investigation. Earlier this month reports surfaced indicating that law enforcement had been able to get a user to unlock his iPhone using Face ID. Law enforcement now faces a new challenge; a company called Elcomsoft is warning law enforcement to not look at an iPhone with Face ID. The reasoning behind not looking at the iPhone is that security measures on the device can make it harder to unlock the phone if it sees the wrong face too many times. If too many failed attempts to unlock the device via Face ID occur, the device can default... Read more...
When Apple launched the iPhone X, it went through extremes to make the display are of the smartphone as large as possible while minimizing the bezels. This meant the introduction of the notch at the top of the screen and the deletion of the home button where the fingerprint scanner was previously placed. Rather than put the fingerprint scanner on the back of the iPhone, Apple went to Face ID where your face serves as your password. The first reported instance of law enforcement having an iPhone X owner unlock their device with their face has now occurred. Forbes reports that when the FBI searched the home of a 28-year-old Grant Michalski in Ohio, they found an iPhone X in his possession that... Read more...
Apple has lost an ongoing patent battle against a Canadian patent holding firm called WiLan. WiLan proudly announced that it won a judgement against Apple to the tune of $145.1 million after it was found that the company's iPhone family infringed upon a pair of patents. That is most certainly a fraction of a drop in the massive Scrooge McDuck-like coffers over at Apple, but it is still a large sum of money.  The patents involved include No. 8,457,145 and No. 8,537,757. That first patent is titled "Method and apparatus for bandwidth request/grant protocols in a wireless communication system." The patent abstract describes a way that bandwidth can be allocated in a wireless communication system... Read more...
The European Union is set to hit Google with the largest fine in history over its Android operating system practices. The EU has been working on the case against Google for quite some time and judgment was looming earlier this week, but there was no word on just how large of a fine Google might face. The EU antitrust case against Google has been building for over a year now. A report has surfaced today that claims that the fine against Google will be 4.3 billion euros or about $5 billion. Such a massive fine would most certainly set a record for antitrust penalties according to a person familiar with the decision the EU is set to hand down. After the fine is levied against Google, the long-running... Read more...
Last month the EU tried to overhaul its old copyright law and step into the modern age. The problem was that the law as crafted and supported by many musicians was very overreaching to most. The copyright rules would have placed the responsibility on websites for checking for copyright infringements and forced those websites to pay to link to news stories. Basic linking is what the internet lives on and it is done on literally every website out there. The controversial regulation has now been defeated in a European parliament in a vote that came down 318-278. The legislation was known as the Copyright Directive and it had two highly contested sections including Articles 11 and 13. Article 11... Read more...
Apple has been fighting Qualcomm over patents that the iPhone allegedly violates. Qualcomm filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) previously, and a panel has recommended that a trade judge find that Apple infringed on at least one of these patents. If the judge does rule that Apple infringed on the patent, there is a chance that the import of some iPhone devices into the United States could be blocked. More than likely any ruling that Apple violated patents would simply mean a licensing fee paid by Apple to keep a steady flow of iPhone coming into the country. The iPhone is too important to Apple for it to not license the patent. The original... Read more...
Apple wants to make it harder for anyone to gain unauthorized access to iPhones with a new USB Restricted Mode in iOS 12. That move infuriated law enforcement as it meant that the GrayKey iPhone hacking tool (and others from Cellebrite) used by authorities to crack iPhones would be useless. Grayshift, the company behind GrayKey, didn’t take Apple's new restrictions lying down. Grayshift went on the offensive and has been actively working to crack Apple's new USB Restricted Mode, and the company is now claiming victory. If you haven’t been following USB Restricted Mode, the feature locks out USB accessories from communicating with an iPhone if the device hasn't been unlocked... Read more...
Apple is no stranger to class action lawsuits and has fought many of them over the years. The most recent had to do with the butterfly keyboard on MacBook Pro computers. Apple is now facing another class action suit and this time the suit is over the Apple Watch. The class action lawsuit claims that all Apple Watches from the original Series 0 through the current Series 3 share the same defect that affects the screen. The main claim in the suit is that there is a defect that results in the screens cracking, shattering, or detaching from the body of the watch. The screen issues seen are allegedly no fault of the user and often happen only days or weeks after purchase. The suit also claims... Read more...
The FBI has quoted statistics to the public and Congress that claimed investigators had been locked out of encrypted devices like smartphones nearly 7,800 times. It is now being reported that the actual number is much smaller in the area of between 1,000 and 2,000 incidents. The report claims that over a time frame of seven months, FBI Director Christopher A. Wray cited the inflated figure as evidence that the FBI needed to address what it calls "Going Dark." Going Dark is a term the FBI uses to describe the spread of encrypted software that can block investigators from accessing data on a device even when they have a court order authorizing the action. Reports indicate that the FBI... Read more...
Nintendo has been selling Switch consoles in droves pushing its earnings to record levels. Months back, a company called Gamevice took issue with Nintendo and filed a patent infringement suit against the Switch for allegedly infringing on patents relating to how controllers attach to the sides of an electronic device. While the Switch controllers attach only to the Switch console, the Gamevice patent has to do with controllers that attach to each side of its Wikipad gaming tablet and detachable controllers for third-party tablets. Gamevice eventually dropped the lawsuit for unknown reasons. That dropped lawsuit didn’t mean that Gamevice was giving up on its quest to get money out of Nintendo... Read more...
Last month, the FTC stepped up and said that those "Warranty Void if Removed" stickers were totally illegal and ran afoul of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. The FTC is now back and is telling six companies that they are in violation, giving the firms 30 days to clean up their acts or face potential legal action. The FTC sent letters out to ASUS, HTC, Hyundai, Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony, which have all been warned that language on their websites is in violation of U.S. laws. The letters were obtained by Motherboard via a Freedom of Information Act request. The letters state, "This letter places you on notice that violations of the Warranty and FTC Acts may result in legal action."... Read more...
Microsoft decided to file criminal charges against an e-waste recycler named Eric Lundgren. The case against Lundgren originally went to court months ago, but the man remained free as his appeal worked its way through the court system. A federal appeals court has now upheld the original ruling, meaning that Lundgren will serve a 15-month prison sentence and will be forced to pay a $50,000 fine. What led to this harsh prison sentence? Lundgren had taken to downloading free software that Microsoft offers to Windows users commonly called restore disks. Lundgren's idea was to make these discs available to computer recycling shops so that they wouldn't need to make the disks themselves. He also wanted... Read more...
Police around the world have been using fingerprints to catch criminals for decades. Normally these fingerprints are lifted from surfaces or objects at the scene of a crime. Police in Wales recently used a photograph of a finger to catch and convict 11 drug traffickers. The process of using fingerprints from a digital photo is hailed as groundbreaking. Dave Thomas of South Wales Police said that the police force will now analyze images more closely when it finds them on smartphones seized during investigations. In this case, the police seized a smartphone at a home where an anonymous tip informed police of potential drug activity. The phone was found to have WhatsApp messages that went back for... Read more...
Apple CEO Tim Cook and other members of Apple's executive team want employees to know they will make it very difficult for them if they leak inside information about the company or its products. However, at least one of the folks Apple is directly addressing wasn't intimidated by a recent memo posted to the internal company blog detailing how Apple will take action against leakers. Nay, this Apple leaker leaked the memo threatening to destroy leakers if they leaked any more confidential information. Cook may be in his office spinning his totem right now thinking this must be an Inception-induced dream. In the memo, Apple says it "caught 29 leakers" last year and out of those 29 caught, 12... Read more...
Ethereum has taken a swift kick to the blockchain after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it has "dozens" of investigations open in the cryptocurrency space associated with ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings). The announcement of the investigations was made by an agency official on March 15. The confirmation that the investigations have been opened comes after SEC Enforcement Division co-Director Stephanie Avakian announced in February that subpoenas had been sent to firms that were believed to have broken securities laws. SEC scrutiny of ICOs (initial coin offerings) has grown significantly since billions of dollars in digital assets were sold during 2017, many of which were... Read more...
Authorities in France are set to file a lawsuit against two of the biggest tech firms in the world: U.S.-based Google and Apple. The suit was announced by France's Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire. The minister said that he had been made aware that both Google and Apple had imposed price and contract changes on developers who were selling software on Google Play and the App Store. "I will therefore be taking Google and Apple to the Paris commercial court for abusive trade practices," Le Maire said. "As powerful as they are, Google and Apple should not be able to treat our startups and our developers the way they currently do." After Le Maire stated that he intended to take the tech giants... Read more...
The FCC “Restoring Internet Freedom” order has been entered in the Federal Register. This is the order that makes massive changes to the Net Neutrality rules that required all internet traffic to be treated equally. The order was published this morning and opens the doors for legal battles to start in earnest. There is no doubt that intense debates and legal battles will ensue over the order and there are strong opinions and feelings on both sides of the Net Neutrality argument. FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel issued a statement today: The FCC’s net neutrality decision is a study in just what’s wrong with Washington. This agency failed the American public. It failed... Read more...
Last year, a hacker group was able to penetrate credit reporting agency Equifax and make off with information, including the social security numbers, of 143 million Americans. Only a few days after the hack, a ransom demand for the return of the information was made to the tune of $2.6 million in bitcoin via the dark web. Now it is believed that the hackers are also believed to have made off with other personal data about Americans including tax ID numbers and driver's license details. Other data leaked in the hack that we already knew about included names, birthdates, social security numbers, home addresses and driver's license numbers. Reports are now indicating that the hack exposed more data... Read more...
Net neutrality was officially killed last month, but there are still people looking to bring it back from the dead. In the U.S. Senate, 50 senators have endorsed a new piece of legislation that could override the FCC and reinstate Net Neutrality. The final numbers on the bill have left Senate Democrats one vote short of the 51 needed to pass a Senate resolution of disapproval. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Net neutrality was a set of rules that banned ISPs from blocking or slowing websites. Those rules were eliminated in December, with those against net neutrality arguing that the rules were too restrictive for the industry. While the Republicans were largely against net neutrality, the Democrats... Read more...
TiVo's Rovi Corporation and Comcast are wrapped up in another legal battle with TiVo claiming that Comcast is violating patents that are held by Rovi and related affiliates. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California and the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. In the suits, TiVo alleges that the Comcast X1 platform is infringing on patents that Rovi holds that have to do with the capability for a viewer to pause a show and resume playback on different devices. Rovi also claims that Comcast is infringing on patents that have to do with restarting live programming in progress, advanced DVR recording features and advanced search and... Read more...
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