legal

CRISPR-Cas9 modifies your DNA, under legal fire

CRISPR-Cas9 modifies your DNA, under legal fire

A revolutionary method of editing the human genome has this week become the subject of a patent war. Back in April of 2014, patents were awarded by the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) to the Broad Institutes’ Dr. Feng Zhang, MIT, and Harvard to develop the technology behind "CRISPR-Cas9". This April, the UC Board of Regents’ legal team spoke with the USPTO about reconsidering their action, suggesting they award the patent to the inventor of the original method, UC Berkeley’s Jennifer Doudna. One way or another, this radical DNA modifier must be made.

We need X-Men, after all.

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Apple stops RadioShack’s customer data sale

Apple stops RadioShack’s customer data sale

As part of RadioShack long-expected collapse and bankruptcy filing, the company recently completed an auction of the data from some 117 million customers. The court-supervised sale was held in order to raise money to pay off $1.3 billion in debt, and the hedge fund Standard General came away as the highest bidder, paying $26.2 million for the RadioShack name and customer data. An interesting filing was made by Apple, however, which argued that customer data from the sales of its own products should not be resold.

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Sprint and Verizon settle FCC’s cramming charges for $158 million

Sprint and Verizon settle FCC’s cramming charges for $158 million

Verizon and Sprint have settled with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over a series of unauthorized customer charges. The government probe alleged that Sprint and Verizon charged customers subscription fees for third-party services such as horoscope, or daily humor services. Although the lawsuits have only just now been settled, the companies were asked to halt their dubious "premium short message services" back in late 2013. The unauthorized subscriptions were about $9.99 per month, and Sprint and Verizon typically took a forty percent cut from each "crammed" charge.

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FTC chides Michigan for banning direct-to-consumer vehicle sales, like Tesla

FTC chides Michigan for banning direct-to-consumer vehicle sales, like Tesla

The FTC has come out defending auto manufacturer's right to direct-to-consumer sales. The regulatory agency claims this is much bigger than Tesla, which has been getting all the press from forgoing dealerships and selling its electic vehicles directly to consumers, aggravating conventional manufacturers. The FTC's latest post is a direct comment on Michigan's new, legislation which has yet to be passed.

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Lawsuit seeking to ban in-flight gadgets gets dismissed

Lawsuit seeking to ban in-flight gadgets gets dismissed

Commercial airline passengers used to have to turn of their mobile devices before takeoff and landing, until a 2013 decision by the FAA finally allowed passengers to use mobile devices throughout entire flights. The freedom to play Angry Birds or tweet from takeoff was almost taken away by a 2014 lawsuit from the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA). That's right, if an army of flight attendants had their way, we would all be sitting in silence and twiddling our thumbs during every takeoff and landing.

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FCC marches on with open internet rules, AT&T stay denied

FCC marches on with open internet rules, AT&T stay denied

AT&T and fellow telecom companies are trying to prevent the FCC from rolling out new Net Neutrality rules. The telecom companies' latest strategy to slow down the new regulation process from taking effect was to request a stay, which would delay the reclassification of internet as a public utility. The court officially denied the stay in its latest ruling. The telecom companies claimed that because they didn't seek a say request against the three "bright-line" internet rules from the FCC's new Internet regulation, (no throttling, no paid prioritization, and no obstruction of legal content) their stay would not harm the public interest. Yet, the court failed to agree.

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Report: Apple ‘cutthroat’ about ending freemium music streaming

Report: Apple ‘cutthroat’ about ending freemium music streaming

As the company prepares for what could be an earth-shaking streaming announcement, a new report suggests Apple is using ‘cutthroat’ tactics to get there. According to music industry sources, Apple is urging music labels to end their support of freemium streaming services like Spotify. While the goal with free tiers is to encourage paid subscriptions, Apple wants none of it, and reportedly wants the feature out of streaming altogether. If true, we can safely assume whatever Apple’s streaming service is, it won’t have a free listening tier.

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Grooveshark yields, shuts down after 6-year legal battle

Grooveshark yields, shuts down after 6-year legal battle

It has been quite a while since we last heard about Grooveshark, and it wasn't for no reason. The service, and its company Escape Media, has been too busy trying to fend off legal sharks that have set their eyes on one of the earliest music streaming services the world has known. Now that battle is over, and unfortunately for Grooveshark, history will deem it as the loser as the service formally shuts down with an apologetic note attached. At least it might not have to pay up millions in damages.

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