abuse Stories August 8, 2013

Apple looking to hire iCloud mail engineer to build new anti-spam/abuse system

Apple today posted a job listing on its website seeking a software engineer to help “implement new mail anti-abuse infrastructure” for iCloud mail services. The candidate will join Apple’s iCloud team and must have experience with mail and spam systems/architecture, so it appears Apple is looking to cut down on the amount of spam that iCloud users receive.

Consider joining a small team writing the software which provides mail services to iCloud customers. We are looking for an extremely capable engineer who has a strong background in building high-performance, scalable and extensible systems. In this highly visible position, the successful candidate will both further develop existing mail systems while collaborating with cross-functional engineering teams to define and implement new mail anti-abuse systems.

There have been some hiccups with Apple’s iCloud mail service in the past (apart from frequent iCloud service outages), including a problem with the service’s automated spam filters that caused legitimate emails to be sent to spam. Apple does have a way for users to report spam and set up filters with iCloud mail, but complaints of users frustrated with spam have continued.

abuse Stories May 6, 2013

European-CommissionAs if we needed someone to tell us that the ongoing patent lawsuits between Apple and Motorola in Germany were getting a little out of control… Today the European Commission has finally stepped up calling Motorola’s enforcement of an injunction against Apple with mobile standard essential patents “abuse of a dominant position prohibited by EU antitrust rules.” The EU Commission, however, does note that the statement of objections sent to Motorola does not reflect the final outcome of its investigation into its use of standard essential patents (SEPs):

The Motorola Mobility SEPs in question relate to the European Telecommunications Standardisation Institute’s (ETSI) GPRS standard, part of the GSM standard, which is a key industry standard for mobile and wireless communications. When this standard was adopted in Europe, Motorola Mobility gave a commitment that it would license the patents which it had declared essential to the standard on FRAND terms. Nevertheless, Motorola Mobility sought an injunction against Apple in Germany on the basis of a GPRS SEP and, after the injunction was granted, went on to enforce it, even when Apple had declared that it would be willing to be bound by a determination of the FRAND royalties by the German court.

The EU Commission essentially states that Apple should be able to license the technology under fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms decided by a third-party, and that Motorola’s approach with its latest injunction could “distort licensing negotiations and impose unjustified licensing terms.” Back in February of 2012, Apple was for a short while forced to remove all 3G devices from its online store in Germany following the injunction, and at the time Apple noted that “Motorola repeatedly refuses to license this patent to Apple on reasonable terms, despite having declared it an industry standard patent seven years ago.” expand full story

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