Under the Gavel: Mighty fines

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It seems like hardly a day goes by without Apple and its competitors taking various legal actions against each other. We round them up—the legal actions, not the companies—and summarize them for you in a little intermittent segment we like to call “Under the Gavel.” You must provide that distinctive Law and Order “DUN DUN” on your own.

Patently obvious

HTC is suing Apple for patent infringement. Again. This time, the claim is that Macs, iPads, iPhones, and iPods all infringe upon HTC’s patents, and HTC isn’t asking for much: Just an injunction barring the import or sale of those products. The two companies are also reportedly in talks to costar in a remake of The Odd Couple.

Alt Tab

Earlier in August, Apple successfully sought an injunction barring the sale of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in much of Europe. Now, a district court in Düsseldorf has temporarily suspended enforcement of that injunction, at least until an August 25 hearing on the matter. So, attention European readers: Je suppose, en théorie, vous pouvez aller acheter un Galaxy Tab maintenant, au moins pour la semaine prochaine ou dans deux. Bien que je ne suis pas sûr pourquoi vous voulez.

Taking it data day

Apparently, you can’t gather personal data from children in your iOS app and get away with it. The Federal Trade Commission levied a $50,000 fine against W3 Innovations, the parent company of developer Broken Thumbs Apps—maker of kid-focused apps like Emily’s Girl World App, Emily’s Dress Up, Zombie Duck Hunt, and Truth or Dare. The FTC ruled that because the apps targeted children, gathered personal data, and sent that data over the Internet, they violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. There’s been no ruling yet from the FCOZDTTAGNE. (That’s the Federal Commission Of Zombies, Ducks, Truth-Tellers, And Girls Named Emily.)

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