Apple raises the stakes in patent battle with Samsung

Apple has amended its existing complaint against Samsung over intellectual property rights violations, removing a few infringement claims, but adding many more. The Mac-maker also clarified language in an attempt to deflect Samsung’s recent request to see unreleased iPhone and iPad hardware related to the case.

Trademark tiff is burning Twitter’s bridges

The surprise death of London’s much-loved Tower Bridge Twitter account over a trademark claim has upset its fans. But with the service facing increasing demands from litigious trademark owners and well-funded businesses, should we really expect Twitter to hold a higher standard?

Lodsys making enemies besides Apple as patent challenges begin

Patent holder Lodsys is busy suing small developers making apps for Apple’s platform, but it now also faces an incoming complaint of its own. A Michigan analytics firm has filed a declaratory judgment action against Lodsys that could eventually lead to the invalidation of its patents.

Can Twitter Survive the British Privacy Onslaught?

A string of libel lawsuits in the U.K. have put Twitter’s approach to user privacy on the stand — the company is getting a bashing for its treatment of “Mr Monkey.” But should it be applauded for its approach to privacy, rather than pilloried by the media?

British Courts Try to Stop the Tide of Social Media

Just like the media industry, the legal system is being disrupted by social media and the democratization of information distribution — in the latest example, a British court has issued an injunction that bans any mention of the details of a case on Twitter or Facebook.

The Book Deal May Be Dead, But Google Is Still Right

The fact that the Google Books settlement has been rejected puts the spotlight back where it should be: on the fact that Google is doing nothing wrong, legally or morally, in scanning books without the permission of the authors or the publishers of those books.

Congress Proposes Sweeping Internet Privacy Bill

Two Congressmen have proposed a sweeping bill to govern online privacy that would require companies to provide clear notices of what information is being collected by either their site or service or a third-party ad network, and would allow users to opt out from such services.

RealNetworks Loses First Ruling in RealDVD Case

Well, this isn’t too much of a surprise, but a federal court found that RealNetworks’ DVD ripping software RealDVD violated copyright law. U.S. District Court Judge Marilyn Patel issued a preliminary injunction yesterday that will prohibit the company from selling RealDVD until a jury can decide the case.
It’s hard to believe this has been going on for almost a year already. RealDVD was launched — complete with a pre-emptive lawsuit against Hollywood studios — in September of last year, and the studios immediately responded with their own suit, claiming that the software violated the DMCA. Patel issued and extended a restraining order last October that barred Real from selling the software.
Patel found that in accessing content from a hard drive RealDVD was “circumventing CSS technology and violating the access-control provision of the license.” You can read her full ruling here.
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Changes in UK Law Promote Flexible Working

Neil Kay-Jones — of screensharing vendor Yuuguu — has put together a useful overview of recent shifts in UK employment law regarding flexible working arrangements. These changes allow working parents the right to request more flexible working arrangements and could swell the ranks of web workers.
Businesses have been concerned at the potential impact of these changes and, as such, Neil’s guide focuses on five tips to help employers prepare for a potential influx of flexible working applications from employees.

  1. Understand the process of application
    The entire process of review and negotiation can take up to 14 weeks. Employers need to be prepared with transparent processes to tackle each case consistently.
  2. Take time to understand your staff and the roles they play
    Preempt applications by identifying potential candidates early.
  3. Trust your staff
    There’s a mismatch between what web workers think they can achieve and the trust employers place in them to work effectively in remote conditions. Kay-Jones suggests that presence and IM-based tools can act as useful technological measures to help create “remote trust.”
  4. Understand the effects on your business
    Efficiency, morale, reduced absenteeism, retention, loyalty and competitiveness are all potential upsides to proactively encouraging flexible working patterns.
  5. Security
    It’s harder to maintain the security of your data with remote workers. It’s important to take steps to ensure that your business-critical data is secure..

It’s interesting to see that remote working is practically codified in this legislation. The British government sees increased flexibility in working as a means to address social issues. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this thinking extended to environmental issues, too.
What do you think of these changes to UK law?