Back in December, we published a story about a patent (6665797) belonging to Ho Keung Tse. The patent supposedly covered a DRM method by which users could download paid digital content to multiple devices without going through another payment process.
During a previous suit against a handful of tech companies, most of Tse's patent was invalidated. After amending the patent's language, Tse went after Google, Samsung, HTC, and Blockbuster, but a summary judgment stopped his case in its tracks. Read More
Today, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler unveiled a working set of principles for his proposed plans to regulate ISPs (including mobile ones) under Title II of the 1996 Telecom Act. These providers would be overseen more like a utility, such as landline phones, granting the FCC much broader authority over companies that operate in this space. Read More
In a move that is both troubling and confusing, India’s Department of Telecom has compelled ISPs to block a group of popular websites at the DNS level. While the initial reasoning was unknown, it has since been reported that this ban is due to the websites allegedly playing host to content favorable to the terrorist group ISIS. Read More
The short version of this story is that Tse Ho Keung, holder of a patent that is currently within an inch of its life, has so far failed to get any traction in lawsuits against major tech companies (...and Blockbuster), and has resorted to threatening independent developers in a dual effort to either gain money or to avenge the name of his patent by forcibly eliciting amicus briefs and declaratory statements. Read More
As had been previously reported, the European Parliament has now taken a vote on and passed a non-binding resolution that, if it should become a regulatory act of the European Commission, would seek to have Google's Search product broken up into a separate company. The motivation behind the resolution, according to the European Parliament's statement, is in "ensuring competitive conditions within the digital single market."
What's a digital single market? Read More
Roughly one year ago, the Rockstar Consortium filed a lawsuit against Google and a number of Android handset companies in the Eastern District of Texas for patent infringement. That consortium consisted of Apple, Ericsson, Microsoft, Sony, and Blackberry, companies that bought up a heap of Nortel patents related to telephony and internet technology. Read More
Both Samsung and Microsoft have announced that they ended this contract dispute and the ICC arbitration, while keeping the terms of the agreement confidential.
Update: Microsoft's PR agency reached out to clarify that the lawsuit is not over a failure to pay, but merely a failure to pay on time and with accrued late payment interest. Read More
In what has become modernly an exceedingly rare circumstance, the US's highest lawmaking body today introduced a bill that would do something moderately useful: remove utterly useless FCC etchings from the back of electronics. The bill is known as the E-Label Act, and the bill was introduced by two US Senators, Deb Fischer and Jay Rockefeller. Read More
While Apple was eventually forced into settling for $32.5 million in customer reimbursements during a similar investigation launched by the FTC last year, it seems Amazon isn't interested in paying out for unauthorized purchases on its own Appstore, and the FTC isn't taking it lying down.
Today, the de facto consumer protection agency in the US filed a federal lawsuit against Amazon under the wide-reaching FTC Act's section 45, which prohibits "unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce." Yes, that is a law. Read More
In one of his typically brief opinions, Justice Clarence Thomas of the US Supreme Court today wrote for a unanimous Court striking down a generic software patent using a long-known loophole in the patent system for protecting an abstract idea simply by linking it to implementation on a computer.
The case, Alice Corp. Read More