Monthly Archives: April 2012

Yahoo’s Five Counter-Counterclaims Against Facebook. #1: Throw Out Retaliatory Patents

TechCrunch

Today Yahoo hit Facebook with five big counter-counterclaims designed to invalidate the patents cited in the social network’s infringement countersuit. If the court concurs, Facebook could be left wide-open in settlement negotiations, and might have to pay Yahoo a hefty sum of cash and/or stock.

Specifically, the old web portal claims that after it sued for patent infringement, Facebook bought patents “for purposes of retaliation”.   Therefore they don’t meet the U.S. Patent Office’s “Duty of Disclosure, Candor, and Good Faith” and should be thrown out of Facebook’s countersuit against Yahoo.

Yahoo also claims Facebook broke their agreement to inform each other of IP issues, couldn’t legally know if Yahoo was violating its patents, and that several of Facebook’s new patents were illegally filed. Finally, Yahoo filed twomore advertising patent infringement claims against Facebook that look to be quite incriminating. Here’s breakdown of the five claims and how they’ll influence the outcome…

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Klouchebag: What’s Your Klouche Score?

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This week in the Oracle/Google trial: Week 2

Gigaom

One of the biggest trials in the recent history of the tech industry is in full swing, as Oracle (s orcl) and Google (s goog) slug it out in downtown San Francisco over whether Google pilfered Oracle’s Java technology to develop Android.

Here’s our recap of what happened during the first week, and highlights of the second week follow below:

Stick and move: Early in the week, Android chief Andy Rubin and Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt borrowed the same strategies used by their colleagues during the first week of trial, uttering things like “I do not recall” fairly often. But they both agreed that Google believed its arrangement with Sun was legal, an opinion that would be bolstered later in the week. (Wired)

Patent denied: Oracle wrapped up its presentation of the copyright phase of the trial on Tuesday, but was dealt a blow…

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A step-by-step guide to making CISPA less repulsive

Gigaom

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act is a lot like your old college buddy who used to get way too drunk and then puke in your lap: it claims to mean well, but its actions suggest otherwise. With its passage by the House of Representatives on Thursday, though, CISPA is one step closer to becoming law. Your old college buddy wants to work at your company, and he wants you to put in a good word.

It’s tough to figure out whether that’s good news or bad news. Maybe he’s changed and it will be a lot of fun to work together. Maybe CISPA could actually be used primarily for the legitimate cause of fighting cyber attacks, and critics are just reading too much into its myriad vagaries.

Just to make sure, though, here’s a step-by-step guide Congress can follow in order to quell any concerns about how…

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Even if carriers don’t like net neutrality, their investors should

Gigaom

AT&T’s shareholders today didn’t require the telecommunications giant to implement network neutrality on its wireline and wireless networks. The proposal lost with a mere 5.9 percent of the vote. But based on an interview I had two weeks ago with Jonas Kron, Vice President of Trillium Asset Management, the goal of the shareholder proposal was to get 3 percent of the vote so they could bring it back next year. So in that case, Trillium and other shareholders in favor of the proposal (including Mike D of the Beastie Boys) won.

In fact Kron told me that anything over 5 percent would be a substantial victory because it means that the company would have to pay attention to the issue.

Regardless of change coming from this particular vote, in our talk Kron offered me something far more interesting, an economic justification for broadband companies to embrace network…

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National Post editorial board: The ethics of ‘sometimes’ foods

National Post | Full Comment

In 2011, a San Diego mother filed a class-action lawsuit against Ferrero USA Inc., the company that makes Nutella hazelnut spread. The woman declared herself “shocked to learn … that Nutella was in fact not a ‘healthy,’ ‘nutritious’ food,” as she said its advertisements misleadingly implied. Similar suits followed, leading Ferrero USA to agree to a $3-million settlement, which will compensate the mother and other shocked and appalled (and nutritionally oblivious) U.S. consumers who bought Nutella in the last several years.

On the one hand, our sympathy is limited for anyone who thinks feeding their kids spreadable nut-flavoured chocolate is healthy just because said choco-spread appears on commercials juxtaposed with wholesome foods such as whole-wheat bread and skim milk. Consumers have to take some responsibility for reading between the lines. Nutella is made up of mostly sugar and modified palm oil. Anyone who truly cared to test the product’s “healthy”…

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Should we be as worried about CISPA as we were about SOPA?

Gigaom

Just a few months ago, internet companies and the technology community came together to protest two anti-piracy bills (SOPA and PIPA) because they would have breached free-speech protections and other social safeguards in the name of stopping copyright infringement. Now, a new bill called CISPA that just passed in the House of Representatives is getting a lot of negative attention, with some saying it is just as evil as SOPA, and others — including Facebook and Microsoft — supporting the legislation and arguing that it is much more nuanced than either of its predecessors. So which is it?

Formally known as the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, the bill is supposed to be aimed at “cyber-security” threats, and it gives federal authorities and law enforcement fairly broad powers to find and share data about web users, provided they believe the information is necessary to go after cyber-criminals…

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CMHC could be pulled out of mortgage insurance business, Flaherty says

Financial Post | Business

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty would consider taking Canada Mortgage Housing Corp. out of the mortgage default insurance business he told the National Post’s editorial board.

‘I don’t think it’s essential that a government financial institution provide mortgage insurance in Canada’

“Over time, I don’t think it’s essential that a government financial institution provide mortgage insurance in Canada. I think what’s key is that mortgage insurance is available at a reasonable cost in Canada. I think there is a role to regulate but whether we, the Canadian people, have to be the owners and shareholders of a financial institution to do this is a question. I don’t think it’s essential in the long run.”

He offered no timetable on when the government could get out of mortgage default insurance business, just offering it up as a possibility. “We have a list of Crowns, Crown agencies that are being reviewed,” said…

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CEO exports: How U.K. firms are eyeing Canada for corporate talent

Financial Post | Business

To the British Empire, Canada was once the place to go for furs and timber — a vast land an ocean away whose resources would be tapped to make beaver pelt hats for fashion-conscious Londoners and wooden masts for the Royal Navy.

These days, however, Brits are pining after a different type of commodity from their former colony: Canadian corporate talent. And their appetite for it shows no sign of abating.

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