Blacklisted? Investors Rally Against Blackberry

Blackberry bowl, by flickr user ftchris, licensed by Creative Commons.

Sweet or sour?

Blackberry’s tough times continue as their shareholders cry foul.  In a recent class-action lawsuit, thousands of investors claim that they were misled by the company’s lofty sales expectations.  Many are complaining that the company failed to compete with industry leaders Google and Apple (let alone Microsoft). The lawsuit includes a number of those who bought stock in Blackberry over the past calendar year.  Unhappy campers are furious that they mistakenly placed their faith in the wrong smartphone/technology movement and are seeking damages.  Read more

Apple and Amazon Urged to Reach Settlement

Fifth Avenue Cube - Apple Store, by flickr user Rob Boudon, licensed by Creative Commons.

                 Think outside the box

Think of this as a teaser for a heavyweight match that will take place in a few months.  A judge has ordered that Apple and Amazon attempt to reach a settlement over use of the word “Appstore” before their big court date in the summer.  Apple, the technology giant, claims that they own rights to the phrase and had already sued the e-commerce site Amazon.com.  A judge had ruled that Apple had no claim to the fictional phrase.  U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Laporte has urged the two companies to gather this spring in attempts to avoid a later clash over the intellectual property, copyrights, or trademarks.  If no settlement is reached, Apple and Amazon will soon go before a judge in Southern California over using “Appstore”. Read more

Care to Share: Who Owns Your Instagram Pics?

 

Instagram collage by Flickr user ragesoss, licensed by Creative Commons

                   This could be on a billboard

You might think twice before uploading your next picture.  There is a class-action lawsuit has been filed against Instagram in regards to their newly updated Terms of Service.  The photo-sharing company recently announced a change in their TOS that, in some eyes, relinquishes their users’ ownership of personal photographs they chose to upload.  In theory, the Facebook-owned company would be able to use any added pictures and images to promote their own brand.  The civil suit, based out of Northern California, contends that the pictures’ rights should be retained by the photographer and technically do not belong to Instagram.  These proposed changes are scheduled to take effect early in 2013 and include the company’s advertising access to any personal information given by the end user. Read More

New Apple iPhone Patent Raises First Ammendment Concerns

iPhone Original/3G/4/5 by FLickr user Yutaka Tsutano Licensed Under Creative Commons

Apple recently acquired a patent  that would disable an iPhone’s camera, recording ability and even put it into sleep mode.  The patent characterizes its function as “forcing certain electronic devices to enter ‘sleep mode’ when entering a sensitive area”.  There are certainly some benefits of this feature that would make life a little less annoying.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to never enjoy a film without the interruption of someone’s cell phone?  College lectures would be silent of ringtones and it could even cut down on cheating.  While these functions appear to be harmless and even beneficial, there are serious legal questions being raised that cause some to worry about other uses of the patent.   What exactly is a sensitive area and who gets to determine this?

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Apple Settles Embarrassing False Advertising Case

Bullet through an apple, by Flickr user "nebarnix", licensed via Creative Commons.While you were gawking at the new kind-of-better-in-some-ways-I-guess Macbook Pro at this week’s Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple’s law team was quietly paying out a settlement to a Australian government regulators.  Apple shipped their newest 4G-compatible iPhones and -Pads to Australia, where ravenous consumers quickly snatched them up.  There was one catch: the electronics did not actually work with any LTE networks in the country.  Luckily, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission was ready to slap Apple around with a lawsuit, alleging that Apple knowingly advertised this whole 4G business despite being well aware that the technology wouldn’t work.  Sensing an uphill court battle, Apple quickly settled the case (if I had to guess, I’d say it was a pretty clever tactic to hide the negative press among all the buzz for their WWDC event).  The outcome: Apple must pay a fine of $2.25 million to the Australian government, and will also probably have to pick up the tab for $300,000 worth of legal fees.  Though they aren’t required to, Apple is also offering refunds to customers who felt cheated.  What a nice company.

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