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ACLU sues US over law limiting data discrimination studies

It’s no secret that algorithms can be biased against certain demographics, but the American Civil Liberties Union wants more proof — and it’s willing to go to court to get it. The organization has sued the US in the belief that the Computer Fraud an…

Florida Man Sues Apple for $10+ Billion, Says iOS Devices Copy His 1992 Drawings

Florida resident Thomas S. Ross has filed a lawsuit against Apple this week, claiming that the iPhone, iPad, and iPod infringe upon his 1992 invention of a hand-drawn “Electronic Reading Device” (ERD). The court filing claims the plaintiff was “first to file a device so designed and aggregated,” nearly 15 years before the first iPhone.

Apple-vs-Ross
Between May 23, 1992 and September 10, 1992, Ross designed three hand-drawn technical drawings of the device, primarily consisting of flat rectangular panels with rounded corners that “embodied a fusion of design and function in a way that never existed prior to 1992.”

What Ross contemplated, was a device that could allow one to read stories, novels, news articles, as well as look at pictures, watch video presentations, or even movies, on a flat touch-screen that was back-lit. He further imagined that it could include communication functions, such as a phone and a modem, input/output capability, so as to allow the user to write notes, and be capable of storing reading and writing material utilizing internal and external storage media. He also imagined that the device would have batteries and even be equipped with solar panels.

Ross applied for a utility patent to protect his invention in November 1992, but the application was declared abandoned in April 1995 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office after he failed to pay the required application fees. He also filed to copyright his technical drawings with the U.S. Copyright Office in 2014.

Apple-vs-Ross-design-drawing
While the plaintiff claims that he continues to experience “great and irreparable injury that cannot fully be compensated or measured in money,” he has demanded a jury trial and is seeking restitution no less than $10 billion and a royalty of up to 1.5% on Apple’s worldwide sales of infringing devices.

Ross v. Apple, Inc. was filed with the Florida Southern District Court on June 27. The case number is 0:2016cv61471.

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Airbnb files suit against San Francisco over rental laws

Airbnb’s long-running tussles with home-city San Francisco have escalated even further. The rental outfit recently sued the city, claiming that a new law requiring hosts to register their living spaces with local government before listing them via Ai…

Expect a settlement in the Volkswagen emissions fiasco tomorrow

A federal judge has given Volkswagen until Tuesday, June 28th, to present a plan aimed at making amends in the diesel emissions scandal that’s been dogging the company for nearly a year. Reuters and Bloomberg report that the settlement will cost VW $…

AP: VW will shell out $10.2 billion to settle emissions claims

Volkswagen is set to pay $10.2 billion to settle claims in the emissions-dodging scandal, the AP reports. Last year, Volkswagen was caught using software that disguised the true emissions output of 600,000 of its diesel vehicles sold since 200…

Your iBooks price fixing credit is on its way

Don’t fret about your piece of Apple’s e-book price fixing settlement — the check is in the mail, virtually speaking. The attorneys behind the class action lawsuit have revealed that digital credits from the case will start reaching book buyers fro…

Twitch sues viewerbot sellers to curb fake popularity ratings

Twitch has long been the de facto prime source for streaming video game content, but with popularity comes internet crime. Seedy online outlets are selling bot followers in bulk to make accounts look more popular than they really are, which th…

Chinese firm claims Apple copied its design for iPhone 6

It’s tough for foreign companies to do business in China, so much that even Apple is having a hard time. After the iTunes Movies and iBooks Store ban back in April, the previous generation of iPhones have recently been accused of infringing the desig…

Google accused of stealing the idea for Project Loon

Did Google engineers steal the idea of Project Loon from a company that was already testing weather balloons to distribute the internet? That’s what Space Data Corporation alleges, having filed a lawsuit against the search engine in California this M…

Apple faces Caltech lawsuit over WiFi patents

Apple’s legal troubles with schools aren’t over yet: Caltech has sued Apple and chipmaker Broadcom for allegedly violating four WiFi-related patents. Supposedly, most Apple devices (including the iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch) from the iPhone 5…

Caltech Accuses Apple of Violating its Patented Wi-Fi Technologies

Apple and Broadcom have been jointly named as defendants in a legal complaint filed by the California Institute of Technology last week over alleged infringement of its various patented Wi-Fi-related technologies.

Caltech-Wi-Fi
Caltech’s patents, granted between 2006 and 2012, are highly technical and relate to IRA/LDPC codes that utilize simpler encoding and decoding circuitry for improved data transmission rates and performance. The technologies were implemented in both the 802.11n and 802.11ac Wi-Fi standards used by many Apple products.

In the court filing with the U.S. District Court for Central California, Caltech accused Apple of selling various iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch models, along with other Wi-Fi products, that incorporate these IRA/LDPC encoders and/or decoders and thereby infringe the four asserted patents in question.

Apple manufactures, uses, imports, offers for sale, and/or sells Wi-Fi products that incorporate IRA/LDPC encoders and/or decoders and infringe the Asserted Patents. Apple products that incorporate IRA/LDPC encoders and/or decoders and infringe the Asserted Patents include, but are not limited to, the following: iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5, iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad Pro, iPad Mini 4, iPad Mini 3, iPad Mini 2, MacBook Air [and] Apple Watch.

Apple has at least temporarily pulled stock of its AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule Wi-Fi base stations from its U.S. stores, but it’s unclear if the move is related.

Broadcom, as one of Apple’s main suppliers of Wi-Fi chips, is also named in the complaint. Apple currently uses Broadcom chips in the Apple Watch, iPhones, and iPads, as well as its line of Macs that support 802.11ac, including the MacBook Air, Retina MacBook Pro, and iMac.

Apple is one of Broadcom’s largest customers. In 2012, 2013 and 2014, sales to Apple represented 14.6%, 13.3% and 14.0% of Broadcom Corp.’s net revenue, respectively. […] During this timeframe, Broadcom’s Wi-Fi products that incorporate IRA/LDPC encoders and decoders and infringe the Asserted Patents were incorporated into Apple’s key products including iPhones, iPads, and Mac computers. […] Broadcom and Apple are jointly and severally liable for infringement of the Asserted Patents.

Caltech has demanded a jury trial against Apple and Broadcom, along with a preliminary and permanent sales injunction in the U.S. against the aforementioned products. The university also seeks “adequate” damages, and other relief that the court deems “just and equitable,” but it did not specify a specific settlement target.

The asserted patents include U.S. Patent No. 7,116,710, U.S. Patent No. 7,421,032, U.S. Patent No. 7,916,781, and U.S. Patent No. 8,284,833.

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4K copy protection removal shop settles for $5.2 million

Intel and Warner Bros. are still very much embroiled in a war on companies stripping copyright protection from 4K and Blu-ray videos. Hardware seller Ace Deal has agreed to pay the two industry giants $5.2 million to settle a lawsuit over all…

Senator behind biometric privacy act tries to remove its teeth

The Illinois Biometric Privacy Act became law in 2008, making it illegal in the state to capture a person’s biometric identifiers — things like fingerprints, iris scans or faceprints — without explicit consent. This has led to three lawsuits agains…

Peter Thiel is the one behind Hulk Hogan's Gawker lawsuit

Confirming rumors that had grown over the past few days, Paypal cofounder Peter Thiel admitted to the New York Times that he is financing Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against Gawker Media. Its Gawker blog published an article in 2007 titled “Peter Thiel is t…

Huawei sues Samsung over cellphone patents

No, the fighting between top smartphone makers isn’t done just yet. Huawei has sued Samsung in both China and the US for allegedly violating its patents on cellular technology and software through its cellphones. Unlike what you see in many such laws…

Lyft agrees to double California drivers' lawsuit settlement

Lyft has more than doubled its original offer to settle the class action lawsuit its drivers filed in California in an effort to be recognized as employees. The ride-sharing service has agreed to pay them $27 million after a San Francisco Dist…

ESPN and Verizon settle lawsuit over customizable FiOS TV plans

It’s been more than a year since ESPN sued Verizon over Custom FiOS TV, a channel bundle that allows subscribers to make à la carte selections. But today, the companies announced they have settled their lawsuit, which was filed in New York’s S…

Apple Hit With $2.8 Billion Patent Lawsuit Over VoIP Technology

iMessage-duoVoIP-Pal announced today that it has filed a lawsuit against Apple in a U.S. District Court in Las Vegas, Nevada, seeking over $2.8 billion in damages for alleged infringement of its patented internet communication technologies.

The Bellevue-based company calculated its $2,836,710,031 figure using a 1.25-percent royalty rate based on an apportionment of Apple’s estimated historical profit from iPhone (55-percent), iPad (35-percent), and Mac (10-percent).

VoIP-Pal (VPLM) has over a dozen issued or pending patents, primarily related to VoIP technologies, a few of which it accuses Apple of infringing upon with services like FaceTime and iMessage on iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

Apple employs VPLM’s innovative technology and products, features, and designs, and has widely distributed infringing products that have undermined VPLM’s marketing efforts. Instead of pursuing independent product development, Apple employed VPLM’s innovative caller attribute classification and routing product design, in violation of VPLM’s valuable intellectual property rights.

The court filing cites multiple ways that Apple is allegedly infringing upon the patents, including the following iMessage claim:

In particular, devices running the iMessage application initiate a communication between a caller and a callee. The callee may be an Apple subscriber or a non-subscriber. In the case that the callee is an Apple subscriber, the communication is sent using iMessage. On the other hand, if the user is not an Apple subscriber or if iMessage is not available, the communication is sent using SMS/MMS. Apple’s messaging system directly and/or indirectly practices certain claims of the ‘815 patent in order to determine the classification of a user, and, subsequently, how the call should be routed.

The lawsuit was originally initiated on February 9, but VoIP-Pal delayed pursuing legal action until Monday as the company says it remains engaged in discussions with Apple outside the courtroom regarding an amicable resolution. The company appears to be open to a sale or licensing of its patent portfolio.

“We are confident the current good will on both sides will result in a favorable outcome for all parties involved,” said Emil Malak, CEO of VoIP-Pal.

VoIP-Pal, which acquired network operator Digifonica in 2013, describes itself as “a technical leader in the broadband VoIP market.” The company does not currently generate income, but insists it is “absolutely not” a patent troll, noting that Digifonica began designing its system back in 2004.

We designed, built and tested super-nodes and nodes in Canada, England, and Norway, spending more than $17 million on development and execution in the process. At one time, we had more than twenty (20) engineers working on the software design and implementation. […]

Due to the Great Recession in the mid 2000’s, Digifonica was unable to continue supporting the platform, while it was continuing its significant investment in protecting the intellectual property it had developed. […]

The infringing companies are making billions of dollars using technology that were conceived, designed, built, tested and patented by Digifonica.

VoIP-Pal has filed similar lawsuits against AT&T and Verizon in Las Vegas court.

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Uber faces lawsuit over aggressive Austin voting ads

Uber is known for being aggressive when it wants changes to the law — just ask anyone who has received email after email asking for support. However, its latest effort might have crossed the line. The app-hailed transportation service is fa…

Facebook can't stop lawsuit over its facial recognition software

Facebook will have to battle it out in court over a lawsuit that claims the social network’s facial recognition software violates an Illinois privacy act. This week, a San Fransisco federal judge denied Facebook’s motion to dismiss the case. The suit…

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