Apple, Samsung, and the white queen's gambit

mobile mashup

Now the that the jury has given Apple almost everything it asked for in its infringement suit against Samsung, what should we expect to happen next? I think it's a given that Samsung will appeal. Given the damages awarded and the obvious determination of Apple to defend its patents, Samsung has little choice but to press forward wherever it can in court. » Read more

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The DRM graveyard part 2: A brief history of digital rights management in video and TV

AACS tattoo

A few months ago, we outlined a few of the major moments in the history of digital rights management (DRM) in the music industry. This time, we're talking about TV, video, and the events in the ongoing fight over copying. We're still calling it the "DRM graveyard"--but as you'll see, the failures that DRM has seen in the music world aren't quite yet as plentiful when it comes to video. » Read more

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New EFF campaign proposes seven changes to U.S. patent system

New EFF campaign proposes seven changes to U.S. patent system

Last week, the Electronic Frontier Foundation launched Defend Innovation, a campaign to end software patent abuse, promote seven alterations to the United States patent system, and initiate dialogue about the ways software patents actually hinder the inventors they are designed to protect.

"The software patent system is broken," said EFF Staff Attorney Julie Samuels in a statement released last Tuesday. "Patents are supposed to help promote new inventions and ideas, but software patents are chronically misused to limit competition, quash new tools and products, and shake down companies big and small." » Read more

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Oracle v. Google and API copyrightability

 Oracle v. Google and API copyrightability

As has been widely reported, the district court in the Oracle v. Google case has issued an order holding that the "structure, sequence and organization" (SSO) of 37 J2SE 5.0 API packages is not copyrightable. Oracle is expected to appeal. » Read more

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Need cash? NLnet advances open source technology by funding new projects

Laying fundaments

In April 1982, exactly 30 years ago, the European Internet was launched by the Dutch researcher Teus Hagen, at a European Unix User Group conference in Paris. EUnet was the very first European Internet backbone. NLnet Foundation subsequently took the lead of this initiative, and not only helped shape the European Internet, but was fundamental in establishing the currently biggest Internet exchange on the planet, and also built out a market leadership. In September 1997, so 15 years ago, it was acquired by UUnet, now Verizon. All money was put in a fund with the sole purpose to make the Internet better.

In the second half of its life NLnet became one of the leading » Read more

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SAS v. WPL decision addresses boundaries of copyrights on software

copyrights on software

Last week the European Court of Justice (ECJ), the highest court in the European Union on matters of EU law, issued a judgment in the case of SAS Institute Inc. v. World Programming Ltd., C-406/10, which was referred to the court for a preliminary ruling by the UK's High Court of Justice for England and Wales, Chancery Division. In keeping with the previous advisory opinion by Advocate General Yves Bot, the ECJ judgment affirms limits on the degree to which EU national copyright law can restrict the rights of software users, and clarifies the important distinction in copyright law between copyrightable expression and noncopyrightable idea. The judgment provides binding interpretation of certain EU Directives relating to copyright, namely Articles 1(2) and 5(3) of Directive 91/250/EEC (14 May 1991) and Article 2(a) of Directive 2001/29/EC (22 May 2001).

» Read more

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Oracle v. Google shows the folly of U.S. software patent law

Oracle v. Google shows the folly of U.S. software patent law

Oracle v. Google has all the ingredients of an epic, high-stakes courtroom battle: a damages claim of up to $1 billion over the use of Java in the popular Android operating system, testimony by both Larrys (CEOs Page and Ellison) in the first week alone, and, of course, the disposition of some interesting legal issues, not the least of them whether APIs can be copyrighted.

But, more than all of that, the case serves as an important teaching moment, illustrating much of what doesn’t work in our patent system. » Read more

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Supreme Court orders reconsideration of breast cancer gene patent decision

Yesterday, the Supreme Court vacated Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics and remanded the case for further consideration in light of last week's Prometheus decision, which stated that the laws of nature are unpatentable. The Myriad case concerns the patentability of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 breast cancer genes. » Read more

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Prometheus bound: An important precedent for the next software patent case

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court’s new opinion on patent eligibility is an important step in the right direction in addressing the problem of software patents. It shows that the Court is mindful of the risks that patents can hold for innovation, and will provide a useful precedent for the next big software patents case.  » Read more

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Pinterest and copyright: Why you should keep sharing--and keep pinning

Pinterest logo

Pinterest is a social site for image sharing around themes that launched in closed beta in March 2010. As the site proceeded through an invite system and finally registration requests, it gained a considerable following and was one of Time's "50 Best Websites of 2011." In January 2012, it drove more referral traffic to retailers than YouTube, Google+, and LinkedIn combined and became the fastest site to ever break 10 million unique visitors. As its popularity increases, so have concerns about whether its users aren't just sharing their favorite things, but engaging one another in the web's largest copyright infringement platform. » Read more

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