Oscar winner '12 Years a Slave' sees illegal downloads triple

The movie "12 Years a Slave" swept the Academy Awards on Sunday and apparently it's also now sweeping movie download sites. According to TorrentFreak, the number of people illegally sharing the movie tripled the day after it won the Oscar for best picture.

On Monday, the movie saw 100,000 more downloads that the usual amount, according to TorrentFreak. Reportedly, the downloads are being shared through BitTorrents.

It's not only "12 Years a Slave" that's experiencing massive downloads, the movie "Gravity" also saw double the downloads after it won seven Academy … Read more

Judge again denies Samsung an Apple mistrial over 'racist' remarks

Despite Samsung's protestations over "racist" comments by an Apple attorney, the Korea-based gadget maker has been denied for a second time a mistrial in a patent-related case.

On Friday, Judge Lucy Koh again admonished Apple's legal team over remarks made last November during closing arguments in the case, which involved determining the damages Samsung should pay for patent infringement. But she ruled that the remarks didn't influence the jury's verdict and that the verdict would stand.

"Particularly in light of...the high-profile nature of this litigation, the Court expresses its disapproval and disappointment … Read more

Apple to defend itself against $2 billion patent infringement suit

Apple is facing yet another lawsuit accusing it of patent infringement.

In a suit filed in Germany, patent owner IPCom GmbH claims that Apple is illegally using a patented technology that gives priority to emergency phone calls on overcrowded cellular networks, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. As such, IPCom wants Apple to pay 1.57 billion euros ($2.12 billion) in damages.

The suit against Apple goes to court on February 11, according to Foss Patents. Munich-based IPCom has been busy the past few years filing lawsuits against the likes of Nokia and HTC, winning some cases and … Read more

Prince drops $22M copyright suit against Facebook fans

The pop artist Prince is known for getting sue-crazy when it comes to copyright infringement of his work, but when he filed a $22 million lawsuit against some of his die-hard fans, it seemed he might have gone too far. Apparently, the artist has now dropped the suit, according to TMZ.

Prince originally filed the lawsuit in the Northern District of California on January 16 against 22 fans. He alleged that they linked to bootleg recordings of his concerts on Facebook and Google's Blogger platform and that each of them owed him $1 million for posting copyrighted material without … Read more

Airbnb sued for birdhouse marketing campaign

Airbnb rival HomeAway has filed suit against the peer-to-peer housing rental startup, saying a recent birdhouse campaign was an attempt to confuse consumers.

HomeAway, which sports a birdhouse as its company logo, alleged that Airbnb's birdhouse marketing campaign -- the display of 50 custom-made birdhouses depicting popular Airbnb rental properties -- is trademark infringement, travel site Skiff reported Friday. While Airbnb does peer-to-peer vacation rentals, HomeAway is a traditional online vacation rental service.

Airbnb didn't comment on the suit specifically, but said in a statement to CNET that the marketing campaign, titled "Every Traveler Deserves a Home,&… Read more

InterDigital execs threatened with arrest in China

Executives from patent licensing firm InterDigital have been threatened with arrest should they try to attend a proposed meeting in China.

What's behind this threat? The story starts with InterDigital, a wireless R&D company that licenses patents for its inventions.

As outlined by Reuters on Monday, InterDigital filed a patent infringement complaint with the US International Trade Commission against certain Chinese companies, including ZTE and Huawei Technologies.

That complaint clearly upset China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), an agency that holds much power over the Chinese economy. As a result, the NDRC launched an investigation … Read more

Judge dismisses Samsung suit seeking to ban iPhone 4 sales

Apple's older iPhones and iPads will still be allowed for sale in South Korea.

A judge for the Seoul Central District Court dismissed a lawsuit on Wednesday that was brought by Samsung and aimed to ban sales of Apple's iPhone 4 and iPad 2, according to Reuters. Samsung's claim was for more than $95,000 in damages.

"We are disappointed by the court's decision," a Samsung spokesperson told CNET. "As Apple has continued to infringe our patented mobile technologies, we will continue to take the measures necessary to protect our intellectual property rights.&… Read more

Hotfile forks over $80 million to settle MPAA copyright suit

Another digital locker appears to be on the verge of biting the dust.

Hotfile agreed on Tuesday to pay $80 million to settle a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by the Motion Picture Association of America. It was also ordered to cease all operations unless it instituted "digital fingerprinting" copyright filtering technology.

Hotfile is an uber-popular cyberlocker reportedly operated by Florida resident Anton Titov. The site made a business out of offering digital file storage and letting users swap files. The MPAA has alleged that Hotfile was "one of the 100 most trafficked sites in the world."… Read more

Apple's bid to ban Samsung products may be back in play

Apple's request to ban certain Samsung products amid last year's patent court battle might be back on the table.

A federal appeals court said on Monday that U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh erred when she denied Apple's request to ban 26 Samsung products found to have violated Apple patents, The Wall Street Journal reported. The appeals court agreed with part of Koh's ruling but said she should review the evidence given by Apple and reconsider her decision to deny Apple's request for a product ban.

In August 2012, a jury found Samsung guilty of patent infringement, … Read more

Google, Samsung, and more sued over Rockstar's patents

Several new patent lawsuits surfaced Thursday in which some of tech's top companies have split up into two opposing teams. On one side is Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Ericsson, and Sony -- otherwise known as the Rockstar Consortium -- and on the other side is Google, Samsung, Huawei, HTC, and others.

The suits are being brought by the Rockstar Consortium against Google and the other companies over a host of patents that allegedly infringe on various technologies, according to Reuters. Google is specifically accused of infringing on seven patents, which use technology that pairs Internet search terms with related advertising. … Read more