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The federal judge presiding over the lawsuit by plaintiff Paul Ceglia, the convicted felon claiming to own half of Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook, just ordered Google to divulge Ceglia’s Gmail account data and logs by March 5, 2012

Ceglia’s email accounts are at the heart of this lawsuit. Some were known, many were only recently discovered by lawyers for Zuckerberg and Facebook after an electronic forensics investigator learned about four previously previously unknown webmail accounts held by Ceglia. The electronic discovery could shed light on whether or not the contract he claims gives him a fifty-percent ownership stake in Facebook is real, or the fabrication that Facebook and Zuckerberg’s lawyers say it is.
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Three GOP presidential candidates got slapped with a patent infringement suit yesterday (read it below) by a California partnership that holds a patent with social media implications for the candidates’ Facebook pages.

EveryMD, a California partnership, contends that one of its patents that enables individual Facebook members like Defendants Santorum, Romney, and Gingrich “to create individual home pages (‘Facebook Pages’).” Instead of suing Facebook, however, EveryMD opted to sue the GOP presidential candidates.

What makes this lawsuit particularly fascinating is that it comes on the heels of plaintiff’s unsuccessful attempts to get Facebook to buy its patent. (view the patent below).
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In October, we blogged about a lawsuit against the editors of tz info, the time zone database for Unix. The editors were sued by a company called Astrolabe, Inc., who claimed a copyright interest in data used to populate the database.

The lawsuit was voluntarily dismissed by the plaintiff this week. It turns out the EFF got involved. According to their statement,

“In January, EFF advised Astrolabe that Olson and Eggert would move for sanctions if Astrolabe did not withdraw its complaint. Today’s dismissal followed.”
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The 10th Circuit decided an interesting FOIA case this week. In World Pub. Co. v. United States Dept. of Justice, the Court held that Tulsa World magazine was not entitled to six mugshots under the Freedom of Information Act. For more on this case, see posts on Politico and ABA Journal.

The Maryland Supreme Court denied a negligence claim against the state for serving a peanut butter sandwich to an allergic child through the free lunch program. In Pace v. State, the court found that the National School Lunch Act simply establishes a subsidized lunch program to benefit children at participating schools and did not impose a specific statutory duty of care towards children with food allergies.
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Yesterday, the UC Davis protestors who were pepper sprayed by campus police in response to a non-violent protest filed suit in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California. The plaintiffs, who were students or recent graduates of the university, had occupied the campus quad to protest university privatization, tuition increases, and earlier police beatings of protestors at Occupy Cal.

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Continental Appliances, Inc., a California manufacturer of a gas wall heater sold at Lowe’s, sued the unknown poster of a YouTube video on Friday for claiming that its product creates “an imminent danger of fire and serious injury” because of “uncertain fuel settings.” (see below)

The lawsuit appears likely to fail, however.

Here’s why.
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I’m from Chicago, where everyone knows someone who knows someone in the mob. That’s why I loved this case, U.S. v Ambrose, sent to me by Laurel. It’s chock full of good mafia stories and lingo involving a crooked Deputy U.S. Marshal and a made guy in the “Chicago outfit” who turned state’s evidence.

In other criminal law cases, a defendant in the 10th Circuit was convicted of selling drugs at his apartment and for selling them within 1000 feet of a playground. Defendant challenged the definition of playground, which the court did not find convincing, holding that even if there was “one apparatus…intended for recreation of children,” then the place was a playground under the statutes. US v. West. In other words, “that’s nice.”
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The U.S. Magistrate Judge overseeing Paul Ceglia’s ownership claim case against Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook ordered Ceglia to pay nearly $76,000 in attorneys’ fees to Facebook’s and Zuckerberg’s lawyers for having to repeatedly go to court to compel Cegila to comply with the judge’s earlier orders.

That is in addition to the $5,000 in sanctions that a judge order Ceglia to pay last month.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie G. Foschio’s only reduced the $84,196 that Facebook sought in attorneys’ fees by 10% in order “to ‘trim’ any ‘fat.'”

Magistrate Judge Foschio’s 39-page decision and order (you can read it below) painstakingly details the legal morass that this litigation has become.
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The Associated Press (AP) filed a copyright lawsuit in federal court this morning against the Meltwater Group over the company’s Meltwater News product, charging that the competing site collects, stores, translates, and redistributes AP content to paid subscribers, but without paying the 165-year-old company a penny. Other online news aggregators like Google, Yahoo, and AOL pay licensing fees to use AP content, as do local and national newspapers and media sites.

According to the lawsuit, Meltwater generated more than $100 million in revenue in 2010, in part because it doesn’t pay a thing for content:
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Silicon Valley-based solar panel giant SunPower sued five former employees and competitor SolarCity today, contending that shortly before they left SunPower, the employees connected USB drives to the company’s computer network, “and used them to steal tens-of-thousands of computer files” with confidential and non-confidential proprietary information.

In addition to civil damages and injunctive relief, SunPower also wants to hold the ex-employees criminally liable for violating a California law prohibiting unauthorized computer data access and fraud.

The case raises important questions about what, if any, data loss prevention (DLP) systems were in place to prevent employee theft and the loss of such highly confidential and proprietary data. How could the alleged data transfer of information on hundreds of millions of dollars in sales at a Silicon Valley company occur so brazenly?
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