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Google Wrests Controls Of GooglePlay.Com From Squatter

After what was a pretty obvious application of the ICANN anti-squatting policy, it seems Google has now gained control of GooglePlay.com from an ad-serving Japanese squatter. Google filed a complaint under ICANN anti-squatting regulations, and after the case's short stint at the National Arbitration Forum (a non-court but legally binding decision-making body in the US), Google now shows as the registrant of GooglePlay.com.

A quick 'whois' of the domain yields the following:

Registrant Name: DNS Admin
Registrant Organization: Google Inc.
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Californians Seek Damages Over Faulty Apps, Play Store's 15-Minute Return Window

Seeking damages for California residents who have purchased defective Android apps and were disallowed a refund, Android users Dodd Harris and Stephen Sabatino are suing Google under the pretext that the search giant's 15-minute refund window is unfair.

The pair claim that Google's pocketing of a 30% commission on defective apps and denying a refund after 15 minutes is wrong, using the practices of other app stores (those run by Amazon and Apple) to illustrate their point.

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Google Attempting To Seize GooglePlay.com With ICANN's Help, Will Probably Win, Here's Why

Cybersquatting, one of the more profitable forms of trolling, is nothing new to anyone familiar with the interwebs. In fact, it's often a source of some pretty funny disputes.

That gets us to today's story: a lot of people have noticed Google doesn't actually own GooglePlay.com (link goes to WhoIs.Net - not the actual page). Now, Google wants that page, and they've filed an ICANN dispute to get it.

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PSA: California's New App Privacy Policy Requirement Just Made Life Harder For Developers Everywhere, Here's What You Need To Know

Privacy is a good thing in the digital world - you'll get no argument from me. I don't like my data floating around in cyberspace without my consent, but I also realize that much of what makes the internet (and computing generally) so great is that I can use my own judgment to decide who I will and will not trust with my information.

Things like app permissions, which have been a part of the Android package installation process for quite some time, are nice, but let's face it: 95% of us don't read them.

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Comcast Sues Sprint For Patent Infringement On SMS/MMS, Mobile Broadband, And Network Technologies

It seems Sprint just can't catch a break lately. After the LightSquared LTE fiasco (it seems eminently likely Sprint will be forking over $65 million and have to cancel the deal), this just seems a bit like kicking the company when it's already down. Comcast has filed suit in Pennsylvania against the nation's number-three carrier, and it's for patent infringement.

Namely, Comcast alleges that Sprint is violating patents it owns covering technologies like SMS/MMS, mobile broadband cards and hotspots, as well as certain traffic routing technologies (IP/MPLS).

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In-Depth Analysis: Android's Notification Bar Patent (And How Apple May Or May Not Infringe It)

There has been a lot of interest of late in a patent filed (by Google) back in 2009 for what is obviously a rendition of Android's notification bar system. There are a number of pretty (well, as pretty as black and white gets) figures in the patent showing the notification bar we all know and love, and lots of language about notification systems and the like.

As many of the Android-faithful know, Apple recently implemented as part of iOS 5 the "Notification Center," and it looks an awful lot like Android's in some respects.

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Apple Receives Injunction Against Motorola In Germany For Slide Unlock - Will Have To Use Circle Unlock Now, Might Have Mattered Two Years Ago

Apple is causing more mischief over in Germany today, having received an injunction from a Munich Regional Court against phone manufacturer Motorola for utilizing slide-to-unlock style lockscreen methods patented by Apple. Motorola intends to appeal the ruling. The basic point to take away is this: the court ruled that Apple's patent on the concept of moving a tracked image from left to right in order to unlock a phone is valid, and it seems likely that every slide-to-unlock implementation on Android would be infringing in their eyes.

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Apple Seeks Preliminary Injunction Against Galaxy Nexus In U.S. Based On The "Four Horsemen" Of Patents

Apple is at it again, bringing a motion for preliminary injunction against Samsung's Galaxy Nexus in the United States Thursday. The motion is based on a handful of powerful patents, which FOSS Patents has labeled "the patent equivalent of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse." Here's FOSS' breakdown:

 

  1. the "data tapping" patent based on which the ITC ordered an import ban against HTC

  2. a patent related to Siri and unified search, which must be of huge concern to Google with a view to its core business

  3. a new slide-to-unlock patent that even had the head of the Taiwanese government profoundly worried

  4. a word completion patent that provides major speed improvements for touchscreen text entry

Three of the above patents were apparently granted only recently (after September 2011), while the "data tapping" patent may sound familiar to those who followed Apple's case to the ITC against HTC.

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Mobile Device Privacy Act Wants To Require Carriers To Notify You Of Any Tracking Software On Your Phone

Congress is a lot like a slot machine - once in a while, something good comes out. A new bill introduced by Representative Ed Markey of Massachusetts would require cellular carriers in the US to disclose to end users upon purchase of a mobile device any tracking software present on said device, or any such software that might be installed at a later date by the carrier, manufacturer, or OS provider (that would be Google for Android).

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Editorial: Android May Be Winning (Or Not Losing) Battles Against Apple In Court, But Don't Expect An End To The Lawsuits Any Time Soon

A recent Newsweek article has been making the rounds claiming, through an unnamed Apple "insider," that Apple has spent north of $100 million litigating its various grievances against HTC since late 2010. Verifying the accuracy of this number is pretty much impossible. But that doesn't really matter. It may just as well be $80 million, $150 million, or $300 million - the conclusion drawn would remain the same: Apple is spending quite a chunk of income on its growing lawsuit habit.

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