Microsoft may be working on a two-sided smartphone display system

By on April 20, 2012 at 6:10 PM.

Microsoft may be working on a two-sided smartphone display system

The United States Patent and Trademark Office recently published details on a Microsoft patent relating to a two-sided smart device display system for phones and tablets, PatentBolt reported on Friday. The invention features an integrated second low-power, possibly E Ink, display on the back side of a smartphone or tablet that would contain certain types of information. The secondary display could provide vendors with an opportunity to move standard items like a clock off of the main display to free up space, or it could display a variety of other information that might otherwise not be shown. The second display would use its own low-powered processor and may reduce the power load from a device’s primary display. The patent appears to be similar in intent to Samsung’s “smart-device-skins” invention — a technology that may allow users to change the appearance of a handset using chameleon-like technology — and it could be used to display images or animations on the back side of a device. More →

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Samsung asserts eight more patents against Apple in California

By on April 19, 2012 at 9:00 PM.

Samsung asserts eight more patents against Apple in California

Despite Samsung and Apple’s chief executives scheduled settlement talks, the Korean manufacturer has asserted eight additional patents against the Cupertino-based company. Two of the patents are part of the fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory licenses (FRAND) because they are essential to ETSI standards, according to FOSS Patents. Five of the patents, including the two FRAND patents, were originally applied for and granted to Samsung, while three others were acquired from different owners. The two battling companies have been in a bitter patent war since last April that includes dozens of complaints across 10 countries. A trial regarding the eight new Samsung patents is scheduled for July in the United States. More →

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New York sues Sprint for $300 million over alleged tax fraud [updated]

By on April 19, 2012 at 11:40 AM.

New York sues Sprint for $300 million over alleged tax fraud [updated]

New York on Thursday filed a lawsuit against Sprint Nextel Corp looking to collect more than $300 million, Reuters reported. The wireless company is accused of tax fraud for deliberately not collecting or paying more than $100 million in taxes over the past seven years. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed the complaint in the New York State Supreme Court on Thursday. The tax suit, which is the first filed under the state’s False Claims Act, could require Sprint to pay triple the amount it is accused of underpaying. Since 2002, New York state has required mobile phone companies to collect and pay sales taxes for their mobile services. Schneiderman claims Sprint has underpaid and submitted false records since 2005, however, in an alleged effort to undercut its competition and offer cheaper rate plans.

UPDATE: Sprint has issued a statement, which can be found after the break. More →

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Larry Page: Android is important, but not critical to Google

By on April 18, 2012 at 2:15 PM.

Larry Page: Android is important, but not critical to Google

According to Google CEO and co-founder Larry Page, the Android mobile operating system is an important asset for Google, but it is not critical. Page made the claim during courtroom testimony as he took the stand for a second day in the company’s legal dispute with Oracle. The CEO’s testimony is rather puzzling — Page has previously claimed the company’s Android platform was “on fire” and a “tremendous example of the power of partnership” that “gets better with each version.” During an earnings call in October, Page said the company was “seeing a huge positive revenue impact from mobile, which has grown 2.5 times in the last 12 months to a run rate of over $2.5 billion.” Furthermore, Google’s $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility was meant to protect Android and further its mobile dominance according to statements the CEO made when the deal was announced. More →

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Samsung and Apple CEOs agree to meet and discuss patents

By on April 17, 2012 at 4:24 PM.

Samsung and Apple CEOs agree to meet and discuss patents

Samsung and Apple’s CEOs have finally agreed to meet to discuss a possible settlement to the companies on-going legal battle, Reuters reported on Tuesday. U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh referred the companies to a San Francisco-based magistrate judge who will mediate the talks, which have a 90-day deadline. The two battling companies have been in a bitter patent war since last April that includes more than 20 cases in 10 countries. A trial between the two is scheduled for July in the United States. More →

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Megaupload was working on IPO prior to shutdown

By on April 17, 2012 at 12:50 PM.

Megaupload was working on IPO prior to shutdown

Before Megaupload was shut down by the United States government, the company was preparing to go public and enter the U.S. stock market with a multi-billion dollar initial public offering, TorrentFreak reported on Tuesday. Megaupload was reportedly having discussions with top auditors and several of the world’s largest investments banks, however these plans ended abruptly in January. The company’s founder Kim Dotcom, along with six others, were arrested and charged with racketeering, copyright infringement and money laundering. Read on for more. More →

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U.S government attempts to silence Megaupload’s lawyers

By on April 13, 2012 at 1:30 PM.

U.S government attempts to silence Megaupload’s lawyers

Lawyers representing the six major Hollywood studios, the United States government and Megaupload met in District Judge Liam O’Grady’s courtroom on Friday, CNET reported. The appearance pertains to digital files belonging to as many as 60 million people throughout the world that are stored on Megaupload’s 1,100 servers. The files are currently located on servers owned by Carpathia Hosting, which is now housing them at its own expense, however the company is looking to delete the information or possibly sell off the servers. Carpathia claims the cost of hosting the data is a financial burden and has asked the court for relief. The U.S. government in January arrested and charged Megaupload’s founder Kim Dotcom, along with six others, with racketeering, copyright infringement and money laundering. But before the trial even starts, the first order of business will be to determine whether Megaupload’s lawyers will be allowed to address the court. More →

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Australian government considering lawsuit against Apple over eBook price-fixing

By on April 12, 2012 at 7:55 PM.

Australian government considering lawsuit against Apple over eBook price-fixing

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has urged local retailers to voice their concerns about eBook price-fixing as it considers a lawsuit against Apple and five of the world’s largest book publishers, The Financial Review reported on Thursday. “The ACCC has previously stated that impediments to emerging competition involving online traders is an area of priority,” a spokesperson said. “Competition concerns may arise where traders seek to restrict the discounting of products by way of respective arrangements with suppliers. Retailers with concerns should raise them with the ACCC.” The United States Department of Justice on Wednesday filed a similar suit against Apple, Simon & Schuster, Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, Penguin Group and Macmillan for allegedly conspiring to fix eBook prices. More →

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Federal appeals court revives Viacom’s $1 billion lawsuit against YouTube

By on April 5, 2012 at 9:45 PM.

Federal appeals court revives Viacom’s $1 billion lawsuit against YouTube

A federal appeals court on Thursday revived Viacom’s $1 billion lawsuit against Google’s YouTube video-sharing website, The Wall Street Journal reported. The media conglomerate had alleged that YouTube allowed users to post unauthorized Viacom content between 2005 and 2008. The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals remanded the case to a lower court, instructing a district judge to determine whether YouTube had knowledge or awareness of infringing material and if it was unwilling to remove it. “We are pleased with the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals,” Viacom said in a statement. “The court delivered a definitive, common sense message—intentionally ignoring theft is not protected by the law.” Tensions between the two companies looked to be easing; just yesterday, Viacom-owned Paramount Pictures struck a deal with the Internet giant to allow more than 500 of its movies to be rented through YouTube and the Google Play marketplace. More →

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Facebook files patent countersuit against Yahoo

By on April 3, 2012 at 4:40 PM.

Facebook files patent countersuit against Yahoo

Yahoo filed a massive patent infringement lawsuit against Facebook last month, claiming that Facebook’s News Feed, advertising methods, privacy settings and more infringed on its intellectual property. Facebook on Tuesday fired back at Yahoo with a countersuit, accusing the company of infringing upon 10 of its patents. Among its claims, the social networking giant says Yahoo’s Flickr photostream and its recent activity feature infringe a Facebook patent related to generating a personalized feed of stories on a social network. “While we are asserting patent claims of our own, we do so in response to Yahoo’s short-sighted decision to attack one of its partners and prioritize litigation over innovation,” Facebook general counsel Ted Ullyot said in a statement to Reuters. Facebook, the world’s largest social networking site, is in the process of its initial public offering that is expected to raise as much as $10 billion. More →

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Arizona legislature passes Internet censorship bill to make trolling illegal

By on April 3, 2012 at 2:10 PM.

Arizona legislature passes Internet censorship bill to make trolling illegal

The advent of the World Wide Web has delivered instant knowledge to the masses. As the Internet grows, however, danger begins to lurk around every corner. From hackers who steal credit card numbers to cyberbullies, many experts have argued that the Internet has turned into a lawless wasteland where knowledge enters and ignorance exits. The Arizona State Legislature on Monday passed an Internet censorship bill that extends telephone harassment laws to the Internet and other means of electronic communication. The legislation aims to put an end to cyberbullying and states that virtually anything said online that the state deems “offensive” can be a punishable offense. Law enforcement officials will be able to charge Internet lawbreakers with a Class 1 misdemeanor, which is punishable by a $2,500 fine and up to six months in jail. Opponents of the legislation argue that the vague wording of the bill could lead to a crack down on public message boards such as 4Chan and Reddit, thus infringing upon basic American freedoms. The bill is currently on the Governor’s desk waiting to be signed into law or vetoed. More →

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Australian court finds Google guilty of misleading consumers

By on April 3, 2012 at 9:35 AM.

Australian court finds Google guilty of misleading consumers

An Australian court on Tuesday ruled that Google engaged in “misleading and deceptive” advertising practices, Reuters reported. The court said that between March 2006 and July 2007, Google published search results for queries related to Honda Australia with paid advertisements for Honda competitor CarSales. The advertisements led users to believes that CarSales was linked to Honda Australia. The search giant argued that it was not responsible for misleading search results since it was merely a conduit for advertisers. The court disagreed, however, and ordered Google to set up a compliance program that will ensure paid advertisements will not mislead consumers. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission praised the ruling, saying that Google and other Internet search engines will now be held responsible for “deceptive paid search results.” More →

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