Diane's Feed
Jan 16, 2014

Apple to refund at least $32.5 million in disputed kids’ app purchases

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Apple Inc will refund consumers at least $32.5 million to settle a longstanding complaint that the technology company billed U.S. consumers for charges incurred by children through mobile apps without their parents’ consent.

Under the terms of the settlement, announced on Wednesday by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, Apple also will be required to change its billing practices to ensure it obtains consent from parents before charging for such in-app spending.

Jan 15, 2014

Apple reaches consent decree with U.S. over kids’ app purchases

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Apple Inc will refund consumers at least $32.5 million to settle a longstanding complaint that the technology company billed U.S. consumers for charges incurred by children buying mobile apps without their parents’ consent.

Under the terms of the settlement, announced on Wednesday by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, Apple also will be required to change its billing practices to ensure it obtains consent from consumers before charging for items sold in mobile apps.

Jan 13, 2014

U.S. Supreme Court refuses to hear Internet shopping patent case

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court said on Monday it would not take on an Internet technology patent case that pitted a company accused of aggressively enforcing weak patents against another with an equally tough reputation for fighting patent infringement claims.

The closely watched case involved the online shopping site Newegg Inc, which specializes in computer products, and software company Soverain Software LLC, which had accused Newegg of infringing three patents known as the “shopping cart patents,” which describe a way to buy products online and pay for them.

Jan 9, 2014

U.S. targets ‘deceptive’ car dealer advertisements

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Nine auto dealerships in six states have agreed to stop what the U.S. government called deceptive advertising, and the Federal Trade Commission said on Thursday it would litigate against another as part of an effort to convince dealers to make sure their advertising is accurate.

The dealers who settled with the commission were accused of behaviors that included advertising car prices that were $5,000 higher than real prices, advertising zero-dollar-down leases when there were actually substantial upfront fees, and advertising low interest rates when in fact rates went up shortly after a loan agreement was signed.

Jan 7, 2014

Lose weight with skin cream? Fat chance, says U.S. govt

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Americans putting their faith in miracle cures to shed unwanted pounds are likely to be disappointed, U.S. regulators said on Tuesday in announcing settlements with four firms accused of falsely advertising weight-loss products such as skin creams.

The Federal Trade Commission won agreements from L’Occitane, Inc.; Sensa Products LLC; HCG Diet Direct LLC; and LeanSpa LLC. The settlements required them to drop unsubstantiated claims from their ads and, in some cases, return money to consumers.

Jan 7, 2014

U.S. cracks down on fad weight-loss powders, skin creams

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Americans putting their faith in so-called miracle cures to shed unwanted pounds are bound to be disappointed, U.S. regulators said on Tuesday in announcing settlements with four companies accused of deceptively advertising such weight-loss products.

The Federal Trade Commission won agreements from L’Occitane, Inc.; Sensa Products LLC; HCG Diet Direct LLC; and Leanspa LLC. The settlements required them to drop unsubstantiated claims from their ads and, in some cases, to return money to consumers.

Dec 17, 2013

Senators discuss “unintended consequences” of U.S. patent bill

WASHINGTON, Dec 17 (Reuters) – U.S. senators discussed on
Tuesday whether a proposed bill aimed at reining in unnecessary
patent litigation could also hurt companies whose patents have
been genuinely infringed.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, has
sponsored legislation aimed at targeting aggressive “patent
assertion entities,” often known derisively as “patent trolls” -
companies that buy or license patents and then extract licensing
fees or file infringement lawsuits often viewed as frivolous.

Dec 17, 2013

Ireland’s Ardagh in talks with U.S. on Verallia deal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Irish packaging company Ardagh Group SA ARDG.UL is in settlement talks aimed at saving a proposed $1.7 billion deal to buy the U.S. business of Saint-Gobain (SGOB.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) unit Verallia in time to meet a mid-January deadline, according to court documents.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has filed a complaint against Ardagh, saying the deal for Verallia North America, a rival glass bottle manufacturer, is illegal, but the two sides seem to be finding common ground.

Dec 11, 2013

Former Google executive to run U.S. patent office

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former Google Inc executive Michelle Lee has been named deputy director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and will run the agency until a new director is named, the agency said on Wednesday.

Lee is a former deputy general counsel and head of patents and patent strategy at Google, the search engine giant.

Dec 6, 2013

Southwest, Virgin win waiver to purchase LaGuardia slots

ATLANTA/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Southwest Airlines (LUV.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is purchasing 22 of the 34 takeoff and landing slots at New York’s LaGuardia Airport that American Airlines (AAMRQ.PK: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has given up in return for government approval of its merger with US Airways Group Inc (LCC.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

Virgin America plans to buy the remaining 12.

US Airways and American agreed to give up dozens of airport slots to settle a lawsuit brought by the Department of Justice that sought to block the airlines from merging to create the world’s largest carrier.