Has a Competitor Posted a False Yelp Review? It May Violate Federal Law

June 25, 2012 - from DRMA

False business reviews posted by an unscrupulous competitor on customer recommendation websites, such as Yelp, are becoming an increasing problem for advertisers. Such malicious attacks, however, may be a violation of federal law. In Colonial Marble & Granite (Colonial) v. AAA Hellenic Marble (Hellenic), a U.S. District Court in Eastern Pennsylvania considered whether an alleged “smear campaign” directed against Colonial could constitute false advertising by a competitor that is actionable under the federal Lanham Act.

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Google Cleared of Java Patent Violation

May 23, 2012 - from The New York Times

Google did not infringe on any Oracle patents when it used Java software in the Android operating system, a federal jury said on Wednesday.

The verdict, reached in Federal District Court in San Francisco, leaves Oracle with a relatively small claim of copyright infringement, making it almost certain that the judge will not demand a harsh penalty from Google.

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Twitter Gambles on a Patent Plan

May 14, 2012 - from Wall Street Journal

Twitter is trying to create a new movement among tech start-ups that limits software patent litigation. Twitter’s “Innovator’s Patent Agreement,” which was introduced last month, prevents the company from suing others for patent infringement unless it’s acting defensively or the employees whose creations were patented give it permission to do so. If tech founders adopt Twitter-like agreements, software engineers will be able to create new products that build on others’ innovations without as much fear they will trigger lawsuits, supporters say.

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