YouTube recently faced some controversy over its autoplay function that ultimately ended up in an FTC investigation. Google's algorithmic selection had a bad habit of leading children away from safe, joyful videos and instead would occasionally point them to violent and inappropriate content. And if that wasn't attracting enough negative attention, it turns out Google also collected personal information on minors and used it for targeted advertising without parental consent, violating the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Now the FTC and Google are coming to a settlement over these acts, with the company paying between $150 and $200 million as a fine. Read More
Back in 2017, some original Pixels and Pixel XLs started experiencing microphone failures — theorized to be due to a hairline crack in the mic's solder. Google RMA-ed these devices, but the problem persisted in some replacement phones too, and a class action lawsuit was filed the following year. We now have word that Google has agreed to settle this lawsuit for $7,250,000 pending final court approval. Read More
Over four years ago a bunch of people bought the Motorola Cliq XT thinking that it would eventually receive an update to a future version of Android. Instead, after months of putting up with silent delays, they were left stranded on Cupcake (yes, that's how long ago we're talking here). Now the class action lawsuit Haught v. Motorola Mobility taken up in the name of these jilted folks has resulted in a small reward. Anyone who purchased a Motorola Cliq XT prior to February 2, 2011 is entitled to a redemption code worth $25 on the Motorola Online Store.
I know, that's some settlement, right? Read More
The Transformer Prime (or TF201 if you're nasty) had its share of GPS problems when it first came out. So much so that the company began sending out dongles to fix the issue. Well, that didn't prevent a class action lawsuit from being filed and, as a result, ASUS has settled the case. What does that mean for you? Well, if you purchased a TF201 between December 1, 2011 and February 19, 2013 and you didn't get a refund, then you qualify to receive $17 and a free GPS dongle.
If you want to get in on this class action, you need to submit a claim by May 31st. Read More
Yesterday, Microsoft announced its latest Android licensing deal with Taiwanese manufacturer Compal, marking the company's tenth such agreement to date. While such a small manufacturer in terms of market share makes little overall difference in Microsoft's profits derived from Android, its deals with HTC and Samsung, combined with various smaller manufacturers like Compal, means it now receives royalties from over half of all Android smartphones sold in the US (the figure may be even larger on a global scale).
The major holdouts on the graphic above are Motorola Mobility and LG, though Moto is obviously the majority of that 47% chunk of green. Read More
It certainly seems like it. Yesterday, Microsoft announced via blog that it had concluded negotiations with Samsung and reached a licensing deal for the same seven patents it previously licensed to HTC for Android (along with other, smaller Android manufacturers). There were rumblings about just what royalty rate Samsung is paying, but the guess is anywhere from $5 to $15 per handset (it's likely on a percentage-of-MSRP basis - so think about 1-3% per $500 MSRP phone).
When it comes to royalty agreements, rates are usually internally fixed regarding certain categories of IP to avoid confusion about damages in lawsuits, but when there are allegations of continued infringement, the game changes. Read More
Android's latest indirect legal tussle to come to a head, a patent suit between HTC and Apple, was ruled on last week by the US ITC (Court of International Trade) - finding the Taiwanese manufacture liable for two counts of patent infringement. This news has spread like wildfire through every corner of the tech blog world. But is there really anything that's changed right now (or even in the near future) because of the outcome of this suit? Not really, no. Even the long-term, worst-case-scenario implications aren't exactly terrifying - and here's why.
As many sites have pointed out, HTC has vowed to appeal the ruling of the ITC. Read More
File this under "things that look good on paper." On Tuesday, a federal judge for the Northern District of California issued an order forcing Oracle and Google, in their fight over various Java patents allegedly infringed by Android, to reduce the number of patent claims and defenses thereto to a "triable" number. That number? Three. And Google will be allowed eight "prior art references" to defend against those claims. (Note: A "prior art reference" is a way of showing that a patent was trying to patent something someone else had already invented prior to the filing, a complete defense against patent infringement, invalidating the patent in question)
Oracle's complaint ended up amounting to 132 patent claims against Google's Android mobile operating system - a staggering number for any court. Read More