Articles Tagged with Google

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US Capitol BuildingThe US Government  responded yesterday to the FISC’s order to conduct a declassification review in the Yahoo case. Their response asks for 45 and 60 days to complete the full review. They cite the need for interagency coordination, the volume and type of materials, and multiple FOIA requests in support of this request.

In the Microsoft and Google cases, the Government asked for a third extension of its deadline to respond to Microsoft’s motion. Microsoft and Google both consented to the extension.

In other news about the FISA Court, Reggie B. Walton, the presiding judge, responded to Sen. Patrick Leahy’s request for more information about the court processes and procedures. On July 18, Sen. Leahy requested this information in preparation for a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the implementation of FISA Authorities (scheduled for July 31).


Posted in: Laws, Legal News

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On November 30, Google was hit with yet one more class action lawsuit over Gmail’s method of scanning emails to deliver personalized advertising to its users. The named plaintiff in this case, Kristen Brinkman, filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Like in the other cases, this case alleges that the way Google automatically scans the emails of its Gmail users to deliver personalized ads is unlawful. The complaint cites Pennsylvania’s Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Control Act, 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. §5701 as prohibiting the behavior in which Google allegedly engaged.

There is nothing unusual about this case as compared to any of the other related cases filed against Google (in California, Florida, and Illinois). The complaint lays out as the proposed class of plaintiffs “[a]ll natural persons located within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania who sent e-mails from a non-@gmail.com account e-mail address to an @gmail.com account e-mail address the owner of which was also located within Pennsylvania from within” the statute of limitations.”


Posted in: Google, Legal News, Privacy

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Massachusetts company Lexington Luminance LLC (“Lexington”) filed a lawsuit against Google, Inc. yesterday, November 29, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. It its complaint, Lexington alleges that Google’s Nexus 7 and other similar products infringe on a patent the company owns.

According to the complaint, the patent at issue, U.S. Patent No. 6,936,851, is entitled “Semiconductor Light-Emitting Device and Method for Manufacturing Same” and was issued to Lexington in 2005.

A Massachusetts business entity search reveals that the registered agent of Lexington is Tien Yang Wang, the inventor of the patent at issue. Organized in July 2012, the business has stated as its purpose “Technology Research and Development.”


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Yesterday, November 29, Brent Matthew Scott filed a class action lawsuit against Google, Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida. The lawsuit alleges that through its Gmail product, Google violated state laws against wiretapping.

Specifically, the complaint alleges that Google intercepts the plaintiff’s emails (and those of the entire class of plaintiffs) before they reach the intended recipients, in violation of the Florida Wiretap Act, codified at Florida Statute § 934.03.

Most of the lawsuits against Google that are brought under state and federal wiretapping laws have alleged that Gmail’s automatic scanning of emails for personalized ad placement violates state and federal law. However, the present lawsuit does not elaborate on the nature of Google’s alleged violations other than to say that the provider “intercepts” the emails.


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Yesterday, Google was named in a class action lawsuit by a plaintiff identified only as “A.K., as next friend of minor child J.K.” Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, the lawsuit alleges that Google has violated (and continues to violate) the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (the “Act”) and various state privacy laws by its “intentional and willful interception, scanning, and use of” emails sent to and from J.K., a minor child.

The plaintiff claims to represent similarly situated minor children in the state of Illinois and alleges, among other things, that Google’s Gmail product violates federal and state law. Section 2511 of the Act makes punishable anyone who “intentionally intercepts, endeavors to intercept, or procures any other person to intercept or endeavor to intercept, any wire, oral, or electronic communication.”

This is not the first time Google has been sued for Gmail’s use of email scanning to deliver personalized ads. In November 2010, Keith Dunbar filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas alleging the same violations. The case was transferred in June 2012 to Judge Lucy Koh on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and is still in discovery at the time of writing.


Posted in: Google, Legal News, Privacy

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According to a new infringement lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court (read it below), the Google Wallet app violates a Canadian resident’s U.S. patent.

Plaintiff Peter Sprogis holds U.S. Patent No. 7,298,271 for a “Method and apparatus for providing awards using transponders.” The ‘271 patent abstract describes a customer loyalty program using ‘electronic data storage elements’ (EDSE) like RFID tages can be used to encourage customer loyalty by offering coupons or loyalty points for visiting a business.

Sprogis accuses Google of infringing at least nine claims listed in his patent.

The plaintiff’s claims appear to paint a wide swath over Google’s app. Google Wallet enables Android phone users to securely store credit and debit card information on their mobile devices to shop locally as well as online.


Tagged: Google, mobile, patent

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The European Union (EU) is expected to announce legal action against Google for allegedly violating EU law by failing to give users a choice to opt out its new privacy policy, according to The Guardian.

The French data commissioner, known as the ‘CNIL’ or Article 29 Working Party that has authority concerning protection of individual personal data, is anticipated to require that Google undo its recent privacy policy changes. The effect could be far-reaching, not only in Europe, but worldwide as governments scrutinize Internet privacy policies and their impact on users.


Posted in: Legal News, Privacy

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Here is a summary of legal developments in five federal and state court cases last week that involved technology companies, or alleged activities by their users.

Samsung Cries Foul, Claiming Jury Foreman in Apple iPhone $1B+ Lawsuit Was Biased

In a motion filed last Tuesday, Samsung’s lawyers asked U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh to set aside the jury’s $1.05 billion iPhone lawsuit verdict in favor of Apple. They alleged that jury foreman and retired computer engineer Velvin Hogan failed to disclose that his former Silicon Valley employer Seagate Technology Inc. sued him in 1993, despite being asked by the judge whether he had been involved in any lawsuits.


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On August 31, View 360 Solutions LLC, a subsidiary of Acacia Research Corp., filed a lawsuit against Google, Inc., alleging that Google’s Street View feature infringed on the following patents:

  • 6,157,385: “Method of and apparatus for performing perspective transformation of visible stimuli”
  • 6,323,862: “Apparatus for generating and interactively viewing spherical image data and memory thereof”
  • 6,243,099: “Method for interactive viewing full-surround image data and apparatus therefor”
  • 6,731,284: “Method of and apparatus for performing perspective transformation of visible stimuli”
  • 8,077,176: “Method for interactively viewing full-surround image data and apparatus therefor”
  • 7,542,035: “Method for interactively viewing full-surround image data and apparatus therefor”
  • 6,252,603: “Processes for generating spherical image data sets and products made thereby”
  • 6,271,853: “Method for generating and interactively viewing spherical image data”

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York and seeks damages, injunctions against Google’s continued use of the alleged patents.


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During a recent trip to Washington, D.C., I discovered that the reflecting pool between the Lincoln Memorial and the National World War II Memorial had lost a bit of its luster. From inside the Lincoln Memorial, my gaze at the National Mall was interrupted by fencing, heavy equipment, and an empty pool.

However, an aerial view of Washington, D.C. from Google Maps provided no hint of the ongoing construction. So, based on some online research, I wanted to determine when the aerial photo used by Google was taken, as well as whether Google, Microsoft/Bing or Yahoo offered the most up-to-date maps.


Posted in: Technology