U.S. Supreme Court Sides With Apple Over University of Wisconsin

· · Link

For several years Apple has been in a patent fight with the University of Wisconsin. But recently the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a bid by the university to reinstate its legal victory over Apple.

The licensing body, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), filed suit in 2014, alleging infringement of a 1998 patent on a “predictor circuit” to help speed the way processors carry out computer program instructions. The patent was developed by computer science professor Gurindar Sohi and three of his students at the university, located in Madison, Wisconsin.

Apple Files Amicus Brief in Support of DACA

· · Link

Apple has filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court to support the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration policy.

Apple has filed many briefs before the Court, but this is the first time that Apple’s CEO Tim Cook and Vice President of Retail and People Deirdre O’Brien are named too.

In its brief, Apple notes that it employs 443 Dreamers who come from more than 25 different countries spanning four continents. Dreamers at Apple run the gamut of roles within the company, including hardware engineering, software engineering, retail, customer support, and operations across 36 states.

Facebook Abuses Collected in Snap's 'Project Voldemort'

· · Link

Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, reportedly has a dossier of anticompetitive behavior Facebook carried out over the years, dubbed Project Voldemort.

According to the WSJ, Snap’s legal team recorded instances where Facebook discouraged prominent social media influencers with a presence on multiple platforms from mentioning Snap on their Instagram accounts. Snap executives also suspected Facebook was suppressing content that originated on Snap from trending on Instagram, when such content was shared there.

The United States Sues Edward Snowden Over Book

· · Link

Edward Snowden recently published a book called Permanent Record. The United States filed a civil lawsuit against him and his publisher, saying that he violated nondisclosure agreements because he didn’t submit the book to the CIA and NSA for pre-publication review.

The United States’ lawsuit does not seek to stop or restrict the publication or distribution of Permanent Record. Rather, under well-established Supreme Court precedent, Snepp v. United States, the government seeks to recover all proceeds earned by Snowden because of his failure to submit his publication for pre-publication review in violation of his alleged contractual and fiduciary obligations.

Hotel Lobbyists Fight Airbnb by Undermining the Internet

· · Link

Hotel lobbyists don’t like Airbnb and its competition, so they’re introducing a bill to amend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

And they’re not just focused on pushing this loophole for Airbnb. It appears they’re going all in on stripping Section 230 protections from any internet service hosting 3rd party content. As part of this, they recently released what can only be described as a push poll to mislead people about Airbnb, the laws around these issues, and Section 230. Each question in the poll is at best actively misleading and at worst, completely bullshit.

India Just Passed a Law That Will Help Apple

· · Link

Apple India

As part of a new proposal, India said that single-brand retail companies like Apple can open online stores before they set up physical stores in the country.

This would allow Apple, which has yet to set up retail stores in the country, to start selling a range of products through its own online store. Currently, Apple sells its products in India through partnered third-party offline retailers and e-commerce platforms such as Amazon India, Flipkart and Paytm Mall.

India is Apple’s next—and perhaps last—country for big potential growth in the electronics market. Keep a close eye on this relationship in the future. I expect Apple to build data centers and other resources in the country, if they don’t have such things already.

Florida Judge Sides With Matthew Pollard Over iPhone Passcode

· · News

A Florida appeals court sided with Matthew Pollard, a defendant who refused to give police his iPhone passcode (via Orlando Weekly). Passcodes Matthew Pollard was charged in an armed robbery of two victims who thought they were buying drugs. Mr. Pollard was accused of providing a firearm and had communicated with co-defendants through texts. During this…

How Surveillance Affects the Legal System: A Judge’s View

· · Link

We often read about surveillance from the perspective of us, the users, or technology companies. Here is a judge’s view on it.

Congress is way behind in determining how far the police can go in using technology to invade people’s privacy, and many of the legal disputes arising from this collision have not reached the Supreme Court. For the public, as a practical matter, the rules of the road are being decided by prosecutors. Your privacy is not their highest priority.

I think that’s ultimately the heart of the matter: We have a technologically-inept government.