Law Stories May 5, 2016

AAPL: 93.24

-0.95

Earlier this year Immersion Corporation, one of the leading companies in haptic feedback technology, filed a lawsuit against Apple over haptic technology used in the iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, and Apple Watch. Today, the company has filed a second lawsuit against Apple and AT&T in which it says the MacBook and MacBook Pro violate one patent relating to haptic feedback. Additionally, Immersion says the iPhone 6s infringes on three more of its patents not mentioned in the first lawsuit.

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Law Stories May 2, 2016

AAPL: 93.64

-0.10

For the first time in a federal case, a suspect has been ordered to use her fingerprint to unlock her iPhone using Touch ID. The LA Times reports that a federal judge signed a warrant allowing the FBI to compel a suspect in an identity theft case to to unlock the phone just 45 minutes after her arrest.

Authorities obtained a search warrant compelling the girlfriend of an alleged Armenian gang member to press her finger against an iPhone that had been seized from a Glendale home […]

In the Glendale case, the FBI wanted the fingerprint of Paytsar Bkhchadzhyan, a 29-year-old woman from L.A. with a string of criminal convictions who pleaded no contest to a felony count of identity theft.

The warrant is consistent with a 2014 case where a Virginia District Court ruled that while passcodes are protected by the 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination, fingerprints are not. Legal experts, however, have differing views …

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Law Stories December 14, 2015

AAPL: 112.48

-0.70

The long-running investigation into the legality of Apple’s tax arrangements in Ireland has been expanded, with the European Commission now seeking additional information from the Irish government, reports the FT. This means that the investigation is likely to be extended well into next year. A ruling had originally been expected before the end of the year.

While Irish authorities had expected the case to be concluded soon, they have instead been sent bulky sets of supplementary questions, meaning it will be difficult to reach a final verdict until after the 2016 election, which is expected as early as February […]

The Irish finance ministry confirmed that the government was supplying the requested additional information to the commission. “We do not expect any decision until after the new year,” said a spokesman.

If the ruling goes against Apple, it could face a bill for billions of Euros in underpaid tax …

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Law Stories November 27, 2015

AAPL: 117.81

-0.22

Backing up your own music now illegal for Brits, and Apple Music terms may need to change

Back in the summer, the UK’s High Court overturned legislation allowing citizens to duplicate copyrighted material for personal use. The British government has now accepted this ruling, meaning that the private-copying exception to anti-piracy laws no longer applies – and the government will not attempt to reintroduce it.

This means that we’re back where we started: doing something as simple as ripping a CD, backing-up your music to Time Machine or uploading it to a cloud service is once more illegal, reports copyright blog 1709.

So where does this leave ordinary users in the UK? Clearly some will have been unaware of the introduction of the exception last year, and possibly a larger minority will have been unaware of the rescinding of the exception, so they will no doubt continue to format shift their personally owned music and store tracks on the cloud in blissful ignorance that that is not legal in most cases.

It also means that Apple may need to change the terms of both iTunes Match and Apple Music in the UK.

Operators of cloud services may face pressure to amend their terms of service to reflect the new status quo, and some streaming services may be forced to tighten up their procedures to prevent users from creating multiple copies of the same download.

Yep, technically you can’t have the same music on your iPhone and Mac …

It seems unlikely that anyone will actually enforce the law, but these days, who knows. Just as plastic bags come with warnings that they should be kept out of the hands of infants, technology should come with a warning that it should be kept out of the hands of governments.

Via Gizmodo

Law Stories November 4, 2015

AAPL: 122.00

-0.57

Wikipedia founder says Apple should stop selling iPhones in the UK if govt bans end-to-end encryption

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has tweeted that Apple should stop selling iPhones in the UK if the British government succeeds in passing a “stupid” new law completely banning end-to-end encryption. The tweet was reported by the Independent.

[tweet https://twitter.com/jimmy_wales/status/661604239794376704 align=’center’]

The Investigatory Powers Bill would require all Internet and technology companies to hand over to the government any communications data it requests. As things stand, Apple would be unable to comply with this requirement as it uses end-to-end encryption for services like iMessage and FaceTime.

As an illustration of the technological illiteracy of the government’s proposals, it originally wanted to ban encrypted communication altogether. It had to be pointed out to ministers that this would make Internet banking and online shopping illegal …

Apple has come under fire in the U.S. for its uncompromising stance on the privacy of customer data, with DOJ and FBI officials complaining that was Apple winning the PR battle. Apple lobbied Obama to reject similar proposals in the USA.

Photo: Apple Store in Regent Street, London (Foster & Partners)

Law Stories November 3, 2015

AAPL: 121.18

1.68

With Apple Pay, Google Wallet and other services transforming the way people carry out transactions, Apple has joined forces with four other companies to ensure that lawmakers don’t end up ‘inadvertently’ stifling innovation in the financial services field.

Technology industry leaders Amazon, Apple, Google, Intuit and PayPal today announced the formation of Financial Innovation Now, a coalition that will promote policies to help foster greater innovation in financial services.

While the new organization uses relatively diplomatic language, it’s pretty clear that the aim is to ensure that politicians don’t screw things up by introducing poorly thought-out legislation, like the infamous example proposed by Democratic Rep. Joshua Peters …  expand full story

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