Articles about troll

Scheming copyright scam lawyer John Steele disbarred in Illinois

Notorious copyright troll and scammer John Steele of Prenda Law has been disbarred by the Illinois Supreme Court. The decision is not surprising, given the law firm's long history of legally dubious efforts to extract money from people – something that culminated in Steele pleading guilty to mail fraud, wire fraud, and money …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 May 2017

Apple ordered to fling some spare change at wireless patent troll

Apple has been ordered to pay Core Wireless Licensing $7.3m for infringing on two patents covering mobile communication. The amount is a rounding error on the iPhone giant's books. A federal jury in California reached the decision on Thursday, agreeing that the company's iPhones and iPads infringe US patents 6,477,151 (which …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Dec 2016

Protect your staff from Toronto's terrible Twitter trolls, bosses told

Far from gently wading in the cesspool of Twitter, a Canadian arbitration body has told employers they need to actively push back against trolls. The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) was taken through arbitration by its workers union over the abuse some staff were receiving through the TTC's official Twitter customer service …
Crown courtroom. Pic: Shutterstock

Encyclopedia Dramatica user hit with £10k damages after calling ex-councillor a 'paedo'

A user of satirical wiki Encyclopedia Dramatica has been hit with libel damages of £10,000 in England, UK, after posting untrue accusations of paedophilia and mocked-up sex photos featuring a former Labour councillor on the site. The case, heard earlier this month in London's High Court, was brought by Samuel Collingwood Smith …
Gareth Corfield, 29 Jul 2016
A bad day for Prenda Law

Prenda Law's copyright-trolling shakedown scam slammed AGAIN

A Ninth Circuit US Court of Appeals judge has tossed an appeal by the masterminds behind the notorious Prenda Law copyright trolling activity. The appeals court agrees with other courts that Prenda operated a “national trolling scheme” that engaged in “abusive litigation” in trying to sting people for copyright violations. …
Toilet roll printed with fake US $100 bills

Smut-seeding Prenda Law ringleader must sell home to pay $2.5m debt

One of the key players in Prenda Law, a troll group that seeded smutty films onto file-sharing networks and then harassed the downloaders for payment, has been told he must sell his home and possessions to cover his creditors' bills. In 2013, the civil courts found that Paul Hansmeier and two associates had set up Prenda Law …
Iain Thomson, 5 Dec 2015

Hacker mag 2600 laughs off Getty Images inkspots copyright claim

Venerable hacker publication 2600 is fighting off what looks like an early candidate for the most egregious copyright infringement accusation of 2015. On a 2012 cover, 2600 used an ink-splatter effect. A group naming itself the Trunk Archive – ultimately owned by Getty Images – is now playing the pay-up game because it's got …

Apple slapped in YET ANOTHER patent battle

Apple has to fork out US$23.6 million to a former pager company after a jury decision in the US District Court, Eastern Texas. Mobile Telecommunications Technologies, which had filed a variety of patents back in the 1990s when it operated the SkyTel pager network, wanted US$237 million from Cupertino but didn't get it. Its …

Amazon granted patent for taking photos against a white background – seriously

You sometimes have to wonder if the US Patent and Trademark Office is augmenting its staff with a few barely trained gibbons – and its latest patent does nothing to ameliorate that view. On March 18, the USPTO granted a patent to Amazon for photographing people and products against a white background. To answer your next …
Iain Thomson, 9 May 2014

Apple sued in Texas troll territory for iMovie patent infringement

Apple has been sued by a small Texas firm for patent infringement related to how it tags, stores, and assembles video content in its consumer-level video-editing app, iMovie. The patent in question, US Patent No. 5,684,514, "Apparatus and method for assembling content addressable video," was filed in May 1994 and granted in …
Rik Myslewski, 7 Apr 2014
Zombie cloud

Zombie Nortel grabs Cisco by the neck, again

Cisco must by now be getting sick of acting as defender-by-proxy of the entire computer networking industry, with yet another pile of ex-Nortel patents being wrapped up in a lawsuit delivered to San Jose. Spherix, once a biotech and now a patent toll-collector, picked more than 100 former Nortel patents from troll-in-chief …

Apple beats off troll in German patent fracas

A court in Mannheim, Germany, has ruled in Apple's favor in a patent-infringement lawsuit brought by patent troll non-practicing entity IPCom of Munich. The patents in question were European patent EP1841268 and German patent DE19910239, both acquired by IPCom from Bosch in 2007 along with hundreds of others, and both related …
Rik Myslewski, 28 Feb 2014

Handcuffed Obama administration pokes patent trolls, pleads for Senate legislation

The Obama administration has renewed its call for legislation to combat patent trolls, and has issued three new executive actions that – although limited in scope – underline its intent to do whatever it can without Congressional help, as Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker put it, "to encourage innovation, not litigation." …
Rik Myslewski, 21 Feb 2014
hands waving dollar bills in the air

'That was quick!': AT&T ends $450 T-Mobile poaching promotion

Less than a month after launching a scheme to lure customers away from T-Mobile by paying off termination fees up to $450, AT&T has cut the program and changed course. Multiple reports note that the company is no longer pitching customers on the plan, in which users who opted to switch from T-Mobile to AT&T could have their …
Shaun Nichols, 5 Feb 2014

Troll-hunting cases SPIKED in 2012... but remain high

Prosecutions under section 127 of the 2003 Communications Act last year declined dramatically, seemingly after then-DPP Keir Starmer changed guidelines to try to prevent troll-hunting cops from clogging up UK courts, it has been reported. According to the Times (paid subscription needed), which submitted a Freedom of …
Kelly Fiveash, 30 Jan 2014
Troll in cross hairs

Nintendo: We didn't just slay Wii Fit 'troll', we've now gobbled its patents

"Patent troll" InterActive (IA) Labs not only tried to sue Nintendo and lost: it's now had its patent portfolio bought by the gaming giant in a sheriff's sale. The fun began in 2010, when Maryland-based US peripheral maker IA filed suit alleging that Nintendo infringed its fitness gadget and exercise sensor patents by …

Rockstar swells Spherix patent portfolio with 100 new licenses

The voice and data industries could find themselves fielding a new bunch of sue-balls, with patent management outfit Rockstar putting more than 100 patents in the hands of Spherix. Readers will remember that Rockstar was backed by Apple, BlackBerry, EMC, Ericsson, Microsoft, and Sony to scoop up a bunch of patents that came …

US House and Senate push patent troll bills

The US House of Representatives' Judiciary Committee has voted 33-5 to send a bill to the full House that aims to stop abusive patent lawsuits and so-called patent trolls. The panel approved the measure yesterday that particularly hopes to put a stop to patent-holding firms whose only purpose is to aggressively pursue …

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