Technically Legal

Technology and the law. Done right.

Episode 105: iCloud v. iCloud

SCOTUS Decides i4i, Apple Moves to Intervene in the Lodsys case, and iCloud sues Apple for iCloud.

Please download the podcast or subscribe to the feed.  Feel free to e-mail us with comments and suggestions.

SCOTUS Decides i4i case

The Opinion
Supreme Court rejects Microsoft’s arguments in i4i case

Apple Moves to Intervene in Lodsys case

Apple files motion to intervene in Lodsys patent suits against iOS developers
The Motion
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24

iCloud sues Apple over, you guessed it, iCloud

iCloud Communications Files Suit Against Apple Over ‘iCloud’ Name
The Complaint

Comments Off Posted in: Podcast on June 13, 2011

Lodsys Answers Some Questions

Lodsys, the company who has sent demand letters to many iOS developers, has posted a Q&A about their licensing scheme and practices.

You can read the ever-growing Q&A here.

Comments Off Posted in: Links on May 16, 2011

Apple Responds to Tracking Controversy

Apple has issued a press release explaining what location-based data they do and do not collect. The answers are a little surprising, in that Apple admits to collecting some encrypted, anonymous, data about users location in relation to cell towers and to traffic, but Apple explains that the cell tower information stored on the phone and backed up to the computer is kept to decrease the time it takes for the phone to display your location. The press release is short, and well worth the read.

1 Comment Posted in: Links on April 27, 2011

Apple sues Amazon over usage of “App Store” mark

Bloomberg is reporting that Apple has filed a compliant against Amazon for using “App Store” in the context of the “Amazon Appstore Developer Program,” (as of 10:42 EDT, Amazon still hasn’t taken down the reference) which will apparently be some kind of Android app stor… err, online market for, well, “apps.”

You may recall that we discussed the issues associated with Apple’s application for the “appstore” trademark in some detail on Podcast 92. In sum, Microsoft thinks this mark is generic (and is separately challenging it before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board).  I think there is a better argument that this mark is merely descriptive, without a strong secondary meaning.  On the other hand, there are only so many ways to describe a online marketplace (a “store”) of software applications (“apps”) without implicating those two words together.  So, it’s quite possible that a judge may hold Apple’s claimed mark to fail both for genericide and descriptiveness.  Either way, it seems like a tough claim for Apple to defend.

Just about every major tech blog and news site is now carrying this story; but, I’ve yet to see the actual compliant.  Once I find that I will post it back here.

3/22 update: Apple v. Amazon compliant added.

1 Comment Posted in: Links on March 21, 2011

Psystar case argued before Ninth Circuit

On Tuesday, November 30, 2010, the Apple v. Psystar case was argued before the 9th Circuit.  Groklaw continued its excellent coverage with another post which includes a link to an audio recording (file hosted by 9th Circuit) of the arguments by Kiwi Camara (on behalf of Psystar) and George Riley (on behalf of Apple).

In case you’ve forgotten, Apple filed this suit against Psystar for copyright infringement and breach of contract (among several other claims) after Psystar began marketing hackintosh PCs with OS X pre-installed on the hardware in 2008.  Apple’s EULA expressly prohibits using OS X  on any non-Apple hardware.

This is one of 3 Psystar cases going on across the nation.  The case at hand was originally filed in the N.D. California District court, another case was filed in the S.D. Florida District court by Psystar against Apple, and Psystar also filed for bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy court in Florida.  Groklaw has neatly organized documents from all the cases here.

It will be some time before the 9th Circuit issues an opinion on the case.  It’s worth noting that the arguments before the 9th Circuit are limited only to whether the District Court was correct to reject Psystar’s affirmative defense of copyright misuse.   Psystar’s opening brief was filed under seal, but Apple’s answering brief, and a reply from Psystar are available to catch you up on some of the arguments.

Here’s an interesting factoid to chew on while listening to the recording.  According to info on their respective bio pages, Apple’s attorney graduated law school prior to the year Psystar’s attorney was born.  Yikes!

Comments Off Posted in: Links on December 2, 2010

Episode 69: Exhausted Patents

T-Mobile blocks third-party text messages, Apple butts heads with patent exhaustion, Likelihood on Confusion over Paper Towels

Please download the podcast or subscribe to the feed.  Feel free to e-mail us with comments and suggestions.

T-Mobile Blocks Third-Party Text Messages

T-Mobile Sued Over Blockade of Text Messages
The Complaint
T-Mobile Issues Statement On SMS Lawsuit, Says EZ Texting Didn’t Follow The Rules
EZ Texting Responds To T-Mobile Statement Over SMS Lawsuit

Apple Butts Heads with Patent Exhaustion

Apple’s MagSafe lawsuit tests limits of first-sale doctrine
The Complaint

Paper Towels

Georgia Pacific’s Effort to Control Towel Dispenser Refills Fails in 8th Circuit–Georgia Pacific v. Myers Supply
Selling Replacement Supplies Could Constitute Contributory Trademark Infringement–Georgia Pacific v. Von Drehle

Comments Off Posted in: Podcast on September 27, 2010

Podcast 67: Do You Really Want to Hurd Me

First Sale v. EULAs, HP Sues Mark Hurd, and Apple Revises App Store Guidelines.

Please download the podcast or subscribe to the feed.  Feel free to e-mail us with comments and suggestions.

First Sale: Vernor v. AutoDesk

Vernor v. AutoDesk – Vacated (first sale) and remanded (copyright misuse)

Impenatrable EULAs and the Dying First Sale Doctrine: Vernor v. Autodesk
The Opinion

HP Sues Mark Hurd

HP Confirms It Is Suing Mark Hurd For Potential Leakage Of Trade Secrets To Oracle

Apple Revises App Store Guidelines

Statement by Apple on App Store Review Guidelines
A Taste of What’s New in the Updated App Store License Agreement and New Review Guidelines

Comments Off Posted in: Podcast on September 13, 2010

Podcast 65: iLike Facebook Ads

HP and Lexmark Sue over Ink Jet Cartridges, again, Facebook Sued over Kids Liking ads, iPad and People

Please download the podcast or subscribe to the feed.  Feel free to e-mail us with comments and suggestions.

HP and Lexmark sue over Ink Jet Cartridges

Lexmark, HP Using Patent Law To Try To Block Replacement Ink Cartridges From The Market
Arizona Cartridge Remanufacturers Association Inc. v. Lexmark International Inc.
HP guns for printer ink competition
Lexmark sues 24 cartridge makers over patents

Facebook Sued over Kids Liking Ads

Lawsuit Says Teens Should Not Be Allowed To Like Ads On Facebook
Facebook Offers Exhibit A In Its Defense Against Teen Lawsuit

People Magazine and the iPad

iPad News: People Magazine Launches Delayed App
17 USC 106

Comments Off Posted in: Podcast on August 30, 2010

Episode 64: Big, Scary Design Patents!

Apple gets a couple of scary design patents, AT&T thinks wireless is different, and Oracle sues the Java out of Google.

Please download the podcast or subscribe to the feed.  Feel free to e-mail us with comments and suggestions.

Apple Design Patents

Article (via TUAW)

Patent #s: D621848, D621849

AT&T on Net Neutrality

AT&T’s Statement

Oracle (d/b/a Sun) Sues Google Over Java (N.D.CA, No. 1418106)

Article (via Tech Crunch)


Ben and David Lu!! are MIA this week.


Comments Off Posted in: Podcast on August 23, 2010

Apple Awarded Design Patent on Slide to Unlock

The blogosphere was abuzz today with the news that Apple was awarded two patents. One was for slide to unlock, the other for virtual keyboard keys popping up when you tap them.

Both of these, however, were design patents, and not utility patents. That means that other people can implement the same features, as long as they don’t look substantially similar to Apple’s implementation.

Think of design patents more of trademarks than regular patents. This just keeps people from making a lock screen that’s so similar to the iPhone that it will risk confusing people.

Comments Off Posted in: Links on August 17, 2010

Disclaimer. Licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.