Fitbit Force rash debacle leads to possible class-action lawsuit

Could this be the beginning of a Fitbit rash-gate? After company apologies, medical investigations, a full recall, and putting an end to sales of the Fitbit Force activity-tracking device -- some users still aren't satisfied.

A lawsuit against Fitbit, which is seeking class-action status, was filed on Monday in the Superior Court of California in San Diego County, according to The Wall Street Journal. The suit alleges that Fitbit didn't do a good enough job at alerting consumers about possible rashes caused by the Force in its promotional and advertising material.

The suit is being led by aviation … Read more

Drones allowed to fly the US skies, for now

Drone enthusiasts should get flying while they can. All commercial use of small drones became legal in the US on Thursday -- but it's unclear how long it will last.

National Transportation Safety Board Judge Patrick Geraghty ruled Thursday that the Federal Aviation Administration's six-year ban on drone flying isn't actually legally binding, according to Motherboard. This means people are now allowed to fly small unmanned aerial devices.

The ruling centers on a case in which the FAA fined drone-maker and Team BlackSheep founder Raphael Pirker $10,000 for filming the University of Virginia campus with a … Read more

Amazon workers' lawsuit to be heard by US Supreme Court

The US Supreme Court selects very few cases to hear, but it appears a case involving Amazon workers is on its way to the country's highest court.

The Supreme Court decided on Monday to hear a case about employees having to wait in long lines to go through security checks at the end of their shifts, according to Reuters. The case will address whether the e-commerce giant should pay workers for this time spent, which can last as long as 30 minutes.

The employees involved in this case worked at Amazon warehouses in Nevada; they are former temporary workers … Read more

US sues Sprint for allegedly overcharging on wiretaps

Sprint has come under fire from the US government over claims that it tacked on excessive charges for court-ordered wiretaps.

The government filed a complaint against Sprint in US District Court in San Francisco on Monday. The complaint says that government agencies, like the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration, were allegedly overcharged $21 million for wiretaps by Sprint.

"Sprint inflated its charges by approximately 58 percent," the complaint reads. "As a result of Sprint's false claims, the United States paid over $21 million in unallowable costs from January 1, 2007 to July 31, 2010." … Read more

US sides with networks against Aereo in Supreme Court fight

The US government's representative to the Supreme Court filed a brief Monday arguing that Aereo, the service streaming broadcast TV over the Web, is violating copyright law -- but that doesn't mean all cloud-storage services should be put under the same scrutiny.

In an amicus brief, which is essentially an official memo to the Supreme Court justices recommending a decision, Deputy Solicitor General Edwin S. Kneedler classified Aereo's Internet transmissions of broadcast TV as a public performance -- the kind you have to pay a copyright holder to do.

Aereo is set up to assign an individual, … Read more

IPCom's $2.2 billion Apple lawsuit tossed out

IPCom, a company that owns patents and asserts those in infringement trials, has lost in its bid to generate $2.2 billion in damages off Apple.

The company, which has been referred to by some as a "patent troll" because it doesn't actually make products but uses its patent portfolio as a revenue generator, was rebuffed on Friday by the Mannheim Regional Court, which found that Apple did not in fact infringe on two standard-essential patents brought before it by IPCom. The case also included a patent-infringement claim against HTC, which was also thrown out.

According to Foss Patents' Florian Mueller, … Read more

Utah district court is first to temporarily shut down Aereo

A US district court has granted the first preliminary injunction against Aereo out of the patchwork of lawsuits against the company, handing broadcasters their first clear win ahead of a Supreme Court fight.

A decision by Judge Dale A. Kimball of the District Court of Utah on Wednesday granted a preliminary injunction sought by broadcasters. He also denied Aereo's motion to transfer the case but granted its motion to stay proceedings until the Supreme Court rules on the case later this year. Oral arguments are slated for April 22.

Such preliminary injunctions sought by broadcasters have been denied in … Read more

Apple, Samsung reportedly fail to reach truce in patent wars

Apple CEO Tim Cook and Samsung Mobile head JK Shin reportedly met last week to hammer out an agreement to their long-running patent feud. The result? No agreement.

Neither company has fessed up to such a meeting. But ZDNet Korea and other sources claim the two execs met in the US after being ordered by the court to try to settle their legal differences amicably. The court reportedly wanted to see a settlement by February 19, but the bad blood between the two companies seems to have been too much of an obstacle.

The court could reveal its final verdict … Read more

Giving peace a chance: HTC, Nokia settle suits in patent deal

HTC and Nokia on Friday said that they would settle their legal differences over disputed patents, just the latest in a recent trend of surprising camaraderie between tech companies.

Under the agreement, the two companies will end all their pending patent lawsuits. HTC will pay Nokia a fee -- the amount of which was undisclosed -- for access to Nokia's technology and the two will collaborate on work involving HTC's LTE patents. The companies also will look at future technology collaboration projects.

There have been a surprising number of such deals struck in recent weeks. Google and Samsung … Read more

Lawsuit claims professor cut out of Square's original patent

A St. Louis professor has sued mobile payments company Square, arguing that he originally came up with the concept and first technology for a credit card-reading dongle, yet was denied any formal credit or equity.

In the lawsuit, which was first reported by The New York Times, Washington University professor Robert Morley said that he came up with Square's signature product, the dongle that allows almost anyone with a smartphone or tablet to take credit card payments, as well as developed the first version of the technology. Morley also said he was denied founder's credit or any equity … Read more