settlement Stories September 4, 2014

An ongoing investigation conducted by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission that has accused Google — and other major tech companies — of making it too easy for children to make in-app purchases is finally set to come to a close for the Mountain View-based company.

Google has reached a settlement with the FTC that will see it pay out at least $19 million to parents billed for unauthorized in-app purchases by children. The FTC order also requires Google to change its mobile app billing practices to ensure that parental consent is properly obtained before charges are applied. expand full story

settlement Stories August 8, 2014

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Image via <a href="http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-05-01/tech-hubris-the-silicon-valley-antitrust-hiring-conspiracy#p2" target="_blank">Bloomberg</a>

A judge has rejected a settlement that was reached earlier this year between employees of Google, Intel, Apple, and Adobe and their respective companies, CNBC reported today. According to reports from the courtroom, Judge Lucy Koh ruled that the settlement was not high enough and should actually be $380 million.

The lawsuit was brought against the tech giants in question by current and former employees who believed (correctly) that their employers had created agreements to avoid attempting to hire engineers from one another. The idea was that if no competitors were making offers, each company was free to pay its employees whatever it wanted without having to worry about them jumping ship for a better offer.

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Deal: Get Pixelbook at 25% off: $750!

settlement Stories April 25, 2013

Earlier this month we heard that Google had handed in a formal offer of concessions to the  European Union Competition Commissioner in the ongoing antirust investigation into whether some of Google’s practices with its search and ad businesses create unfair competition and abuse the company’s dominance. At the time we didn’t get to see what the settlement proposal actually included, but today the commission issued a press release asking for feedback on the proposed commitments and detailing some of the proposals Google submitted:

Google has made proposals to try to address the Commission’s four competition concerns. Interested parties can now submit their comments within one month. The Commission will take them into account in its analysis of Google’s commitment proposals. If the Commission concludes that they address its four competition concerns, it may decide to make them legally binding on Google.

Among the most interesting commitments submitted by Google: For 5 years Google has agreed to “label promoted links to its own specialised search services”, as well as allow websites the ability to opt out from having specific pieces of content indexed by Google. Google would also no longer require publishers to utilize online search advertisements through sourced only through it.

A breakdown of Google’s proposals is below and the full version of its commitments can be found on the DG Competition’s website hereexpand full story

settlement Stories April 11, 2013

apple_motorolaIn an ongoing case in which Apple and Google’s Motorola have accused each other of infringing various mobile related patents since 2010, U.S. District Judge Robert Scola said in an order yesterday that the two companies have no interest in reaching a settlement. Bloomberg reports Scola said in his order that both companies are using the litigation as a “business strategy that appears to have no end”:

“The parties have no interest in efficiently and expeditiously resolving this dispute; they instead are using this and similar litigation worldwide as a business strategy that appears to have no end,” U.S. District Judge Robert Scola in Miami said in an order dated yesterday. “That is not a proper use of this court.”

“Without a hint of irony, the parties now ask the court to mop up a mess they made by holding a hearing to reduce the size and complexity of the case,” he wrote. “The court declines this invitation.”

The result is Apple and Google will now have a four month period to narrow their claims related to the case that now includes over 180 claims for 12 patents. Bloomberg notes that Scola said the case currently includes “disputes over the meaning of more than 100 terms,” and that the case would be put on hold until the disputes are resolved if the two companies are unable to come up with a solution before the four month timeframe expires… expand full story

settlement Stories April 17, 2012

According to a report from Foss Patents (and confirmed by Reuters), Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook and Samsung Chief Executive Officer Gee-Sung Choi will meet within the next 90 days for settlement talks over ongoing patent disputes. Judge Lucy Koh, who is presiding over the two cases in California, initiated the meeting after ordering the companies to submit their CEOs and legal counsels to an Alternative Dispute Resolution.

“As directed by the Court, Apple and Samsung are both willing to participate in a Magistrate Judge Settlement Conference with Judge Spero as mediator. At Apple, the chief executive officer and general counsel are the appropriate decision-makers, and they will represent Apple during the upcoming settlement discussions. At Samsung, the chief executive officer and general counsel are also the appropriate decision-makers, and they will represent Samsung during these settlement discussions.”

The report called the talks “semi-voluntary,” because the companies did not have to submit to the Alternative Dispute Resolution. However, as pointed out by Foss Patents, “if only one of them had made the CEO available, the other one would have appeared to be less than constructive.” Apple and Samsung executives will meet in San Francisco with U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero sometime over the next three months: expand full story

settlement Stories March 28, 2012

Stemming from a lawsuit in 2010 where Oracle claimed Google was infringing on its Java-related patents with Android, a court document today reveals Oracle rejected Google’s offer to pay a percentage of Android revenue if the alleged patent infringement is proven in court. Reuters reported:

Google proposed to pay Oracle a percentage of Android revenue if Oracle could prove patent infringement of the mobile operating technology at an upcoming trial, but Oracle rebuffed the offer as too low, according to a court filing late on Tuesday.

As for Google’s offer, Reuters said the company would give approximately $2.8 million in damages to cover 2011, and a future 0.5-percent royalty of Android revenue for one patent that will expire in December. A second patent included in the case would provide Oracle with an additional 0.015-percent until it expires in April 2018. According to the court document, Oracle is holding out for a possible injunction:

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