PATH: BS | Legal | Sue Me

Apple Seeks To Trademark Podcast, or PodANYTHING

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When Terry Wilson filed for trademark protection for her "Tightpod" laptop protectors, she received a cease-and-desist order. The order from Apple reads in part: "The Tightpod mark will inevitably cause consumer confusion as to the source of the products, and dilute Apple's famous iPod mark."

She's not the only one.

Apple Computer has slapped Podcast Ready with a "cease and desist" letter, claiming that the terms "Podcast Ready" and "myPodder" infringe Apple's trademarks, and that they cause confusion among consumers. The company has been cracking down on use of the word "pod" by all sorts of parties, even though its trademark is for the word "iPod."

READ MORE | 2 comments since 2006-09-26 18:34:28 | Comment on this Article

I Parody You, You Sue Me..EFF says go F U..

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The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) asked a federal court Wednesday to protect the free speech rights of a website publisher who has suffered years of baseless legal threats over his parody of the Barney and Friends television show.

Since 2002, the Lyons Partnership has repeatedly sent meritless cease-and-desist letters to Stuart Frankel because his website pokes fun at Barney the purple dinosaur, the well-known children's television character. Dr. Frankel, assisted by EFF, responded to these letters in 2002 and 2005, but Barney's lawyers have continued to harass him. The lawsuit filed by Dr. Frankel asks the court to finally resolve the matter by declaring that his parody does not infringe Barney's copyright or trademark rights.

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Maryland Humane Society Forced To Return Hurricane-Rescued Pets

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[Pets]
It's bad enough for the people in the South affected by hurricane Katrina's devastation. Many had to evacuate leaving their pets behind because there was no place to take them -- very few places are pet friendly down here like they might be in the midwest. In many areas of Florida for example, dogs aren't even allowed on the beaches!

So you can imagine the dismay when Belinda Sumrall from New Orleans tracked down her two German Shephards in Maryland where the local humane society had given them to someone else, and refused to return them to their original owner.

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Borders Sued Over Disfiguring Toilet Seat

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A woman sued Borders Books after a poorly attached toilet seat shifted, leaving her "permanently disfigured." She claimed that as she was sitting and touched the seat to steady herself, the seat shifted abruptly, causing her to fall on her backside, which resulted in "multiple spine injuries, including the need for multiple neurosurgical spine surgeries."

Apparently, someone needs to tell her lawyer the definition of "disfigured."

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Lawyers Make Out Like Bandits In Google Clickfraud Settlement

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An Arkansas judge on Thursday approved a $90 million settlement between Google and its advertisers who claimed the leading Internet search company improperly billed them for fraudulent "clicks" on their ads.

"Victims" of the fraud get "credits"; the lawyers walk away with $30,000,000.00.

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US Government Sues Missouri To Keep Wiretap Data Quiet

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The U.S. government, citing national security concerns, on Tuesday sued Missouri officials for demanding that AT&T Inc. disclose whether it gave customer data to the government's spying program.

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You The Man Now Dog: Scientology

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In response to a page a user put up covering Scientology, the church has supposedly threatened the parody/entertainment site ytmng.com with legal action. In response, YTMNG has dedicated a section of their front page towards showcasing more commentary on the Scientology religion.

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Threat of Lawsuits Stymies Free Speech in Campaign

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Remember the last election campaign? Remember how it was a bit rough-and-tumble, with all kinds of accusations? Remember those Swift Boat ads that basically stated the opposite of the facts as the US government had recorded them?

Well, the Republicans remember it, but they're not very happy when the same kinds of ads are used against them--even when the things in them are true.

In fact, they're so unhappy about it that they're threatening to sue TV stations that run ads (sponsored by MoveOn.org) referencing charges of corruption against its current candidate in Virginia.

Hey, remember when the Republicans hated the very idea of lawsuits, and wanted to pass legislation making it harder to pursue frivolous lawsuits? Remember the scorn they heaped on VP candidate John Edwards for being a dreaded "trial lawyer" who evilly sued big corporations for sucking the intestines from a 7-year-old child with its faulty pool drain cover?

I guess lawsuits aren't so bad when they keep your little peccadillos out of the public eye.

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City of New York Sues Spyware Company

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Attorney General Eliot Spitzer today sued one of the most elusive internet spyware companies, alleging that the firm surreptitiously installed millions of pop-up ad programs on consumers' computers under names like "Aurora" and "ABetterInternet".

The suit against the Direct Revenue company seeks a court order enjoining the firm from secretly installing spyware or sending ads through already-installed spyware. The suit also asks the court to compel the company to provide an accounting of its revenues and asks the court to impose appropriate monetary penalties.

"Surreptitiously installed spyware and adware harm consumers and businesses, and my office will continue to prosecute these practices aggressively," said Spitzer, whose office last year spurred industry-wide attention to this problem with his suit and settlement against adware distributor Intermix Media. "These applications are deceptive and unfair to consumers, bad for businesses that rely on efficient networks to do their jobs, and bad for online retailers that need consumers to trust and enjoy their online experience. We will continue to side with consumers in their fight for control of their desktops."

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Southpark Tackles Scientology Because Showtime Didn't Have Balls

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[Television]
Trey Parker, one of the creators of Southpark, claims in a GQ interview that they chose to do an episode parodying Scientology in protest of the rumors that Showtime refused to let Penn and Teller do an episode of Bullshit exposing Scientology. Furthermore, the offensive Southpark episode, "Trapped in the Closet" that mocks the controversial church often called a "cult" and ridicules Tom Cruise will not be run in Britain due to threats from the litigious former "Top Gun."

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Beware Death by Flying Shrimp

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So, you're at one of those Japanese restaurants where they cook the food right in front of you. Your chef hurls a sizzling-hot shrimp right into your brother-in-law's forehead like a blazing crustacean third eye. Then he sears your son's arm with another shrimp. So when he slings yet another hot grease-slicked shrimp straight at your face, you twist to dodge it. And you hurt your neck.

A year later, you're dead--the clear victim of shrimpicide.

Thank goodness your family can sue for $10 million to assuage their grief.

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LA Republicans Launch Bumper Sticker Compaign Against Blanco

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[News Media]
In what appears to be the first shot of the next governor's election, the Louisiana Republican Party is selling a bumper sticker that read, "Don't blame me. I voted for Jindal."

READ MORE | 2 comments since 2005-12-06 17:36:01 | Comment on this Article

The Onion Gets Cease And Desist From Bush Administration

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You might have thought that the White House had enough on its plate late last month, what with its search for a new Supreme Court nominee, the continuing war in Iraq and the C.I.A. leak investigation. But it found time to add another item to its agenda - stopping The Onion, the satirical newspaper, from using the presidential seal.

In the spirit of things, we're posting Pete Trbovichs's protest image of the Presidential Seal on some toilet paper.

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FedX Threatens Kid Who Made Website Showing Box Furniture

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[Your 15m]
Jose Avila was a little short on cash and had no furniture, so he improvised, equipping much of his house with makeshift furniture fashioned from Federal Express boxes. After he put up a web site showing off his creations, FedX apparently wasn't happy and is threatening legal action using, among other things, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) as the basis.

This seems to be the latest in mean-spirited efforts on the part of Federal Express. The company in the past was instrumental in getting Bill Maher's television show "Politically Incorrect" cancelled after its host spoke out against the administration's position on terrorism and war with Iraq. In this issue, we find FedEx claiming that because this guy is using a .COM address, he intends to operate some commercial endeavor using their logo, and must be stopped.

READ MORE | 12 comments since 2006-09-14 11:42:04 | Comment on this Article

AMD Suing Intel Over Claim Their Compiler Sabotages AMD Software

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AMD has filed suit against Intel claiming the company is employing monopolist-like powers in sabotaging AMDs efforts to be competitive. Among the many claims is that Intel's compiler which prepares software to run on both Intel and AMD machines, checks to see which CPU is being used and intentionally generates less-efficient and slower code for machines running a non-Intel/AMD CPU.

IMO, considering how much faster and more-efficient AMD CPUs are over Intel, we may be looking at even more performance gains when using AMD CPUs if this claim is proven true and Intel has to correct their AMD-sabotaging code.

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Supreme Court Overrules Legal Immunity Of Chemical Companies

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[Industry]
Yesterday the Supreme Court struck down lower court rulings that favored Dow Chemical and President Bush's contention that many companies (especially those that contribute to Republicans) shouldn't be held responsible if their products harm people or destroy things.

Imagine you're a peanut farmer and a big chemical company wants you to try their new "EPA approved" pesticide on your crops. You do so and the stuff kills your plants and ruins your crop, and the chemical company ignores their promise to compensate you, and instead tells you to go screw yourself because they're immune to lawsuits because their hellish product was "EPA approved" (based not on EPA tests, but the manufacturer's own submitted data indicating it was safe). Would you try to seek justice?

Well, 29 peanut farmers in Texas did just that and for once, the nation's highest court agreed that they have a right to sue the chemical company for doubly-screwing them over.

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2005-05-13 13:51:23 | Comment on this Article

Universal Music Accused of Racketeering/Ripping Off Artists

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[Music]
Two independent music promoters have sued Universal Music Group for $100 million, claiming the record company forced them to submit false invoices so Universal could recoup promotional costs from artists such as rapper Nelly.

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Republicans Sue Each Other Over Infringement of Letter "W"

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A supporter of President Bush is suing the Republican National Committee and one of its suppliers, claiming they stole his design for the ubiquitous "W" bumper sticker logo in the 2004 campaign.

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