Google Defeated in English Court of Appeal – Landmark Decision Opens Door for Litigation by Millions of British Apple Users

LONDON, March 28, 2015 /PRNewswire/ —

The Court of Appeal of England and Wales has dismissed an attempt by Google to prevent British computer users from being able to sue it in England.  

The landmark hearing followed an earlier defeat for Google in the English High Court in which it was unsuccessful in preventing three British computer users from having the right to sue it for breach of privacy, after the computer giant ignored users’ wishes not to have tracking cookies placed on their computers. Google took the matter to Appeal, arguing that the issue was not serious and, in any case, the claimants could not demonstrate they had lost out financially as a consequence of the company’s actions.  The Court of Appeal disagreed, stating in its judgment:

“These claims raise serious issues which merit a trial.  They concern what is alleged to have been the secret and blanket tracking and collation of information, often of an extremely private nature… about and associated with the claimants’ internet use, and the subsequent use of that information for about nine months. The case relates to the anxiety and distress this intrusion upon autonomy has caused.”

One of the three claimants against Google, Marc Bradshaw welcomed the decision:

“This is a David and Goliath victory. The Court of Appeal has ensured Google cannot use its vast resources to evade English justice. Ordinary computer users like me will now have the right to hold this giant to account before the courts for its unacceptable, immoral and unjust actions.”

The Court of Appeal also confirmed the Mr Justice Tugendhat judgement in the High Court that breach of privacy is a tort, dismissing Google’s argument that it should only be actionable if there is a financial loss.

The judgment set out clearly how Google profits from its advertising service that relies on tracking cookies, stating that the company “makes an annual profit of billions of dollars from the DoubleClick service” in which the DoubleClick ID Cookie, when placed onto a user’s browser, gathered data such as surfing habits, social class, race and ethnicity, sexual interests, trade union membership, religious and political beliefs, mental and physical health and financial situation.  This information was gathered through what is known as the ‘Safari workaround’ in spite of the Apple Safari web browser’s default privacy settings, that opted out of permitting tracking cookies for nine months in 2011 and 2012: “As a result of the operation of the Safari Workaround during the Relevant Period the Defendant, without Safari users’ knowledge or consent thereby obtained and recorded the private and personal information referred to [above].”

Dan Tench, partner at Olswang, acting for the Claimants, welcomed the decision: “This is an important decision that prevents Google from evading or trivialising these very serious intrusions into the privacy of British consumers. Google, a company that makes billions from advertising knowledge, claims that it was unaware that was secretly tracking Apple users for a period of nine months and had argued that no harm was done because the matter was trivial as consumers had not lost out financially. The Court of Appeal saw these arguments for what they are: a breach of consumers’ civil rights and actionable before the English courts. We look forward to holding Google to account for its actions.”

The decision opens the door to litigation by millions of Britons who used Apple computers, iPhones and iPads during the relevant period of Summer 2011 and Spring 2012.  The Google Action Group is a not-for-profit company that has been set up to manage claims against the Internet giant for breach of privacy through the Safari workaround. Anyone who used the Safari browser in England and Wales during the relevant period now has the right to join the Group’s action against Google.

Notes to Editors

The Google Action Group is a not-for-profit company set up to manage the claims of consumers against Google. Founded by the Google Governance Campaign, it has funding and a specialist law firm instructed to bring an action at the earliest possible opportunity. The Group’s website – http://www.googleactiongroup.com – will be launched on Monday and any consumer wishing to join the action should contact the Group via that vehicle.

Read More

Wolters Kluwer Hong Kong Launches PrimeLaw

Turning over a new leaf in legal research

HONG KONG, Dec. 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Wolters Kluwer Hong Kong announces the launch of PrimeLaw, a brand new legal database platform that will go live on Dec. 9, 2014. PrimeLaw combines essential legal tools (legislation, case law and commentary) into a single online platform and is Wolters Kluwer HK’s major product in the making for the past year. Wolters Kluwer HK operates under the global Wolters Kluwer group which possesses over 175 years of experience in professional publishing and information service. Wolters Kluwer HK specializes in tax, accounting and legal publications and, in more than 20 years of its publishing business, has collaborated with key accounting and legal figures such as Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and King & Wood Mallesons. In addition, Wolters Kluwer HK organizes executive events and provides workflow and software solutions to local and Greater China businesses.

Suiting customer needs
Over the years, Wolters Kluwer HK has established and maintained amicable relationships with many local and international professional bodies, including the Hong Kong and Chinese Institutes of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA/CICPA), the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the Hong Kong Institute of Chartered Secretaries (HKICS).

David Chang, General Manager of Wolters Kluwer HK, explained, “Our clients span from accounting and law firms to education institutions and multinational corporations. As an example, over 200 accounting firm users employ our world-leading CCH audit workflow software solutions. For many of them, ProSystem fx® Engagement in particular serves as a flexible and powerful paperless analytical tool that is able to respond to the rapid-changing audit sector.”

“As our client base expands, we recognize and act upon their need for an effective and efficient online platform combining accurate information and practical tools in tax, accounting and legal services. With a product team consisting of legal and accounting professionals, Wolters Kluwer HK presents what our clients are looking for: a unified research platform. The Prime Platform is our answer.”

The One-Stop Integrated Platform Vision
PrimeLaw is the first of the Prime Platform featured products. As of now, it covers both Hong Kong legislations and court judgments, combined with great functionality and user experience, Chang said.

“PrimeLaw also integrates many of Wolters Kluwer HK’s (CCH) best-selling print titles, such as Hong Kong Listed Companies: Law and Practice, Hong Kong Company Secretary’s Practice Manual and the flagship Hong Kong Master Tax Guide series, in digital format which complement legal research as trusted analytical sources. A multitude of developments in PrimeLaw’s future functions are underway, such as integrated workflow solutions, search and compare function across jurisdictions as well as continuous strengthening of database content quantity and quality.”

PrimeLaw’s target users include lawyers, accounting firms and companies of various sizes. Practitioners in alternative dispute resolution and company secretaries will also find it useful. The Prime Platform will become the go-to website for professionals. “We think this unification of professional information is much sought after in the market,” commented Chang.

The Bridge to Greater China
With the rise of cross-border operations and businesses being present in both mainland China and Hong Kong, PrimeLaw is the bridge between the jurisdictional gap our users (both local practitioners and foreign expatriates) are looking for. “We intend to work closely with our regional head office, Wolters Kluwer China, to bring and localize mainland Chinese legal and regulatory information to users via PrimeLaw,” said Chang. One example might be the extensive China Laws for Foreign Businesses, which is an indispensable tool for overseas businesses wishing to start a venture in mainland China.

Media contact: Sherlock Lam (Tel: +852-3718-9119; Email: sherlock.lam@cch.com.hk).
Sales contact: Charles Yeung (Tel: +852-3718-9188; Email: charles.yeung@cch.com.hk).

About Wolters Kluwer Hong Kong Limited
Wolters Kluwer Hong Kong (also known as CCH Hong Kong) is a Wolters Kluwer company. Wolters Kluwer is a market-leading global information services company. Professionals in the areas of legal, business, tax, accounting, finance, audit, risk, compliance, and healthcare rely on Wolters Kluwer’s leading information-enabled tools and software solutions to manage their business efficiently, deliver results to their clients, and succeed in an ever more dynamic world. Wolters Kluwer has annual revenues (2013) of EUR3,565 million and employs approximately 19,000 people worldwide serving customers in over 150 countries. Wolters Kluwer is headquartered in Alphen aan den Rijn, the Netherlands. Its shares are quoted on the Euronext Amsterdam and are included in the AEX index and Euronext 100 index. The CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board is Nancy McKinstry.

Logo – http://photos.prnasia.com/prnh/20141201/8521407200LOGO

Read More

Britain’s Information Commissioner Steps Into Google Privacy Breaches Legal Action

LONDON, Dec. 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — The UK’s privacy regulator, the Information Commissioner, is to make a dramatic final hour intervention in an English Court of Appeal hearing in which Google will seek, once again, to prevent consumers from suing it in England. In its legal filings Google argues that if consumers do not lose out financially from a privacy breach, they should not be allowed to sue it.

The Information Commissioner, which regulates internet companies and the use of private data, has asked the Court of Appeal to intervene in the case. It marks the first step by the regulator to help British consumers hold Google to account.

In a submission to the court, lawyers for the Commissioner wrote: “the Commissioner wishes to make submissions that there are serious issues to be tried… on whether the interpretation of damage under section 13 DPA should include non-pecuniary damages” – whether Google’s argument is legally correct. 

Google has argued that a decision in January by High Court Judge, Mr Justice Tugendhat, to allow the consumers to sue the company in England was wrong, as there is “no serious issue to be tried” given that the “alleged incursion into the private life by [Google’s] use of cookies does not reach a level of seriousness to engage Article 8 [of the Human Rights Act 1998]”. It argues that the claim lacks merit as consumers suffered no financial harm.

Marc Bradshaw, one of three claimants in the case, welcomed the Information Commissioner’s intervention: “We are delighted to see this action by the Commissioner. We’ve written to his Office several times urging him to get involved and help British consumers to protect their right to privacy. Google may be a massive company with huge resources, but it must treat consumers with respect by abiding by their wishes and not abusing their right to privacy. We truly hope that the Information Commissioner will witness for himself in court Google’s vast array of technical and legal excuses for its actions and its desperate attempts to avoid answering to English courts. Then he will realise that he must act to prevent any further wrongdoings by this monopolistic giant. Every citizen of this country has privacy rights and Google infringes those fundamental rights whether it costs us cash or not. It’s typical for Google to argue that it’s all about money. “

Dan Tench, the Olswang partner who represents the claimants, said: “We are very pleased that the Information Commissioner has intervened in this case. This is a crucial test of whether Google can be held to account in the English courts or whether there is only justice for a privacy breach where the consumer loses money. Already a High Court Judge has said that it is time for Google to answer the claims substantively.”

Next Monday, Google will call on the Court of Appeal to dismiss the case, which is being brought by three members of the Google Governance Campaign as a test case.  170 potential claimants have registered interest, and millions of Apple users across the world could potentially have a claim. 

Read More

Google to Enter English Court of Appeal to Stop Consumer Privacy “Test Case”

LONDON, Dec. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Google returns to the English courts on Monday, determined to prevent British consumers from continuing a legal action which accuses the internet giant of flouting their right to privacy.

The consumers claim that Google ignored their wishes, bypassing security settings, to install tracking cookies on their computers which enabled the company to target them with advertising.  Google was fined GBP13.8m in the US after its circumvention of privacy settings on Apple devices was found to be a violation of an earlier order from the US Federal Trade Commission.  It also paid out a further GBP10.5m to settle another claim.  The consumers argue that British internet users deserve similar action to deter internet companies from ignoring their right to privacy.

Google argues that a decision in January by High Court Judge, Mr Justice Tugendhat, to allow the consumers to sue the company in England was wrong, as there is “no serious issue to be tried” given that the “alleged incursion into the private life by [Google’s] use of cookies does not reach a level of seriousness to engage a right to privacy under Article 8 [of the Human Rights Act 1998].”  It argues that the claim lacks merit as it claims that consumers suffered no harm.

The consumers, all members of the Google Governance Campaign which campaigns for better corporate behaviour by the internet company in the UK, are outraged that Google should seek to underplay the gravity of its actions.  “Google needs to start treating British consumers with respect and honesty,” said Judith Vidal-Hall, one of the three claimants.  “Attempting to trivialise this serious matter and claim that this abuse of consumers’ wishes is not serious is a disgrace.  This is exactly why this case must go ahead in England, for English justice to hold this company to account once and for all.”

Next Monday, Google will call on the Court of Appeal to dismiss the case, which is being brought by three members of the Google Governance Campaign as a test case.  170 potential claimants have registered interest, and millions of Apple users across the world could potentially have a claim.

Dan Tench, a partner at the law firm Olswang, who represents the claimants, highlighted the case’s importance:

“The Court of Appeal hearing will decide whether British consumers actually have any right to hold Google to account in this country.  This is the appropriate forum for this case: here in England where the consumers used the internet and where they have a right to privacy.  Google clearly does not want to answer to the English courts.  Instead it relies on highly technical, but flawed, arguments to seek to overturn the High Court’s decision to allow this case to proceed.  They have given no principled explanation as to why the rules should be interpreted to prevent these types of claims to be taken against overseas defendants.”

Read More

Ningbo Signatronic Technologies and TaLa announce Resolution of Patent Dispute with Tyco

MONCHENGLADBACH, Germany and NINGBO, China, Nov. 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Ningbo Signatronic Technologies, Ltd., and TaLa UG & Co. KG announce a resolution of pending patent litigation involving European Patent No. 0 922 274.

In June 2013, Tyco Fire & Security GmbH, Neuhausen am Rheinfall, Switzerland, filed actions against TaLa before the court of Dusseldorf to prohibit the offering and selling of certain Ningbo acousto-magnetic (AM) electronic article surveillance systems (EAS) labels in Germany. As a reaction to this lawsuit TaLa and Ningbo filed a nullity action against the German part of the European Patent.

Under a settlement agreement resolving both the infringement and the nullity actions and involving Germany, France, Great Britain, Sweden and Japan, the parties have agreed that TaLa and Ningbo will withdraw the offering and selling in the said countries of the following EAS label models: T3, K3, H3, T2, K2, H2, RK2, OY, AQ, GPL(2), GPL(3), RL and RH2, until the Patent expires.

The obligation to withdraw does explicitly not include the following label types: T3M, K3M, H3M, T2M, K2M, H2M, NTL, NKL, NHL, RK2M and RH2M (“M-type-labels”).

Furthermore it does not include “hard tags” (model labels SPHT and MHT, SPLB, SPLK) or “dummy tags” (model labels KN and RKN).

Referring to “M-type-Labels” the settlement agreement does explicitly constitute that those labels do not infringe the European Patent.

As a result of the agreement the infringement action as well as the nullity action have been finished.

“We are pleased with the outcome of this patent dispute,” said Dr Lin Li, Ningbo Signatronic’s General Manager. “Ningbo Signatronic has always denied infringing the Tyco patent, and a resolution of this matter by settlement, rather than trial, puts the cost and uncertainty of litigation behind us. Furthermore we do now have legal certainty – even and especially for our customers.”

Media Contact:
RA Dr. Rainer Utz
RSW Rechtsanwalte
+49 (0) 7351-503-146
Rainer.Utz@rsw-bc.de

Read More

Yuchengcos’ companies face fraud claims by Verotel in US Superior Court

– Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation and Bankard, Inc. sued for role in alleged international credit card processing scam.

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Fraud and negligence claims were filed against Philippines based Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation and Bankard in Los Angeles Superior Court in the State of California by Verotel Merchant Services, a Netherlands based registered European Payment Institute. The jury trial in California is deemed to start this Thursday November 13th, where the jurors will decide whether the Yuchengco owned companies were indeed acting fraudulent by paying the wrong beneficiaries for credit card processing in the period from 2004 to 2006.

Verotel filed the claims in California because both Rizal and Verotel have a large customer footprint in that area. The California court agreed to assert jurisdiction in California over both Rizal and Bankard. The complaint was filed against Rizal and Bankard in regards to Bankard sponsored credit card processor CNP. In 2006, just before Bankard lost one of its MasterCard licenses, the companies allegedly did not wire money to the merchants that were processing with CNP and Bankard – merchants that already provided products and services to cardholders in return. Instead, the companies wired these funds to other companies and/or individuals, of which some of them seem to have had very close connections to Bankard.

“We were 1.5 million US Dollars short,” says Joost Zuurbier, CEO of Verotel. “Our claim, including interest and lawyer fees has increased to 3.3 million in the last seven years. If the jury grants our fraud claim, the total damage for Rizal and Bankard may increase to over 30 million dollars. We are ready to go to trial. Rizal and Bankard has been delaying this trial already for a long time. The judge will hold a final status conference tomorrow. We hope the trial starts the next day – on Thursday.”

Verotel is a small company based in Amsterdam with only 30 employees. Yet, despite its size, it is fighting a large Philippines conglomerate, which employs more than 5000 people. “We are fighting this case against Rizal and Bankard as David fought against Goliath,” Zuurbier continues. “This is not only about the money. It’s about fighting a company owned by a rich Philippines family that may have found ways to circumvent fraud claims at home in Manila, but certainly not in the United States. We will prevail.”

About Rizal: Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) provides commercial banking services. The Bank offers foreign exchange, trust, depositary, loans, financing and fund transfer services to its customers. In October 2013 Rizal has agreed to sell Bankard – RCBC’s credit card issuing and acquiring business – to the Philippine Business Bank Trust and Investment Center on behalf of various clients. RCBC filed the sale of its 89% stake in Bankard in January 2014 with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

About Verotel: Verotel Merchant Services is an internet payment service providers based in Amsterdam, Netherlands. It’s registered as European Payment Institute with the Dutch Central Bank, MasterCard Payment Facilitator and VISA Merchant Agent. Verotel started its business in 1997 in San Francisco, California and moved its headquarters to the Netherlands in 2001.

More information about the case:
Verotel Merchant Services, B.V. v. Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation, California Superior Court, Case BC467109

Read More

SMART Technologies Files Patent Infringement Lawsuit Against CTOUCH in the Netherlands

CALGARY, Alberta, Sept. 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — SMART Technologies ULC today announced the filing of a patent infringement complaint in the Netherlands before the District Court of The Hague against CTOUCH EUROPE B.V. for infringement of SMART’s European Patents EP 1 739 528 and EP 1 420 335 by the CTOUCH Leddura, Leddura XT (excluding the 84″), Lexinus and Laser lines of interactive displays. 

SMART respects the intellectual property rights of others and expects CTOUCH to do the same. SMART invests tremendous time and resources in developing innovative solutions that change how the world works and learns. As a result, SMART is very serious about protecting its intellectual property and will continue to take legal action against organizations around the globe that violate its rights.    

About SMART Technologies

SMART Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: SMT, TSX: SMA) is a world leader in collaboration solutions that are redefining the way the world works and learns. We are an innovator in interactive touch technologies and software that inspire collaboration in both education and enterprises around the globe. To learn more, visit www.smarttech.com.

SMT-M

Reader’s advisory

Certain information contained in this press release may constitute forward-looking information or statements. By their very nature, forward-looking information and statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties, both general and specific, and risks that predictions, forecasts, projections and other forward-looking information and statements will not be achieved. We caution readers not to place undue reliance on these statements as a number of important factors could cause the actual results to vary materially from the forward-looking information or statements. We do not assume responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of the forward-looking information or statements. Any forward-looking information and statements contained in this press release are expressly qualified by this cautionary statement.

# # #

©2014 SMART Technologies ULC. All third-party product and company names are for identification purposes only and may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Please note that SMART is written in all capital letters.

Read More

ResMed Wins Initial Decision in ITC Patent Infringement Action

Judge Finds Nine BMC Products Infringe ResMed Patents

Judge Recommends Excluding U.S. Sale of BMC Masks and BMC Humidifier

SYDNEY and SAN DIEGO, Aug. 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — An administrative law judge at the International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled Friday August 22 in a patent infringement case brought by ResMed (NYSE: RMD) against Chinese medical device manufacturer BMC Medical Co., Ltd., that each of nine BMC products named in the action infringes one or more ResMed patents.  As a result, ITC Judge Thomas Pender recommended that the ITC ban BMC and its U.S. distributor, 3B Medical, from importing or selling any of the infringing BMC products in the United States.  Judge Pender also recommended a cease and desist order that would enjoin BMC and 3B from selling, advertising, marketing, storing or testing the infringing products in the United States.  ResMed is the innovation leader and pioneer in designing and manufacturing devices for the treatment of sleep-disordered breathing.

Judge Pender found that BMC’s InH2 humidifier, as well as original and redesigned versions of the following BMC masks infringe ResMed’s patents:

  • iVolve nasal mask
  • iVolve N2 nasal mask
  • Willow nasal pillows mask
  • iVolve full face mask

“The Judge’s decision is not just a victory for ResMed and the product innovation that is core to our brand, but it’s also a win for patients who deserve high quality, comfortable care,” said David Pendarvis, ResMed chief administrative officer and global general counsel. “We will continue innovating and continue protecting our intellectual property anywhere we identify infringement.”

About ResMed:
ResMed changes lives by developing, manufacturing and distributing medical equipment for treating, diagnosing, and managing sleep-disordered breathing, COPD, and other chronic diseases. We develop innovative products and solutions to improve the health and quality of life of those who suffer from these conditions, and we work to raise awareness of the potentially serious health consequences of untreated sleep-disordered breathing. For more information on ResMed, visit www.resmed.com.

Contacts:

For News Media

For Investors

Gretchen Griswold

Agnes Lee

Director, Global Corporate Communications

Senior Director, Investor Relations

O: +1-858-836-6789

O: +1-858-836-5971

news@resmed.com

investorrelations@resmed.com

Logo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140310/LA79234LOGO-a

Read More

TMT Chairman and CEO Hsin-Chi Su Files US$100 million IP Suit over Vessel Sale

HONG KONG, Aug. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Hsin-Chi Su, Chairman and CEO of Today Makes Tomorrow Group (“TMT”) launched a suit in Texas federal court on July 28, 2014, alleging that a planned bankruptcy sale of three company ships, including M.V.D Whale, M.V.G Whale and M.V.H Whale, to Mega International Commercial Bank Co. Ltd. (Mega Bank) will strip him of intellectual property worth more than US$100 million for each ship. According to Ken Liang’s deposition at the court, Mega Bank is the agent for vulture fund Oaktree Capital Group.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Marvin Isgur recently signed off on a sale of the ships to Mega Bank without adequately protecting Su’s interest in the boats’ patented technology. For this reason, Su wants the federal district court to either issue a declaratory judgment clarifying that Judge Isgur’s order approving the sale of the ships “free and clear” of any liens did not extinguish his rights under several Asian patents he holds, or force Mega Bank to immediately compensate him for the loss of his intellectual property, over US$100 million for each ship.

Judge Isgur declined to adjudicate his patent rights, but left open the possibility that the TMT executives could pursue infringement claims against either Mega Bank or TMT if it is later determined that Su’s intellectual property was improperly transferred.

Su said “I deeply regret that Judge Isgur declined to adjudicate the patent rights. The practice of selling the ships of TMT to a US company without securing the permission of patent rights owners is tantamount to selling pirated copies. This reminds me of the Asian financial crisis in 1997, when foreign funds aggressively acquired Asian companies at low prices.”

Su designed an underdeck piping structure for the ships, which he patented in Japan, Korea and China, but allowed TMT to use it without a license.

In this case, the sale orders did not determine ownership of the Asian patents. Hence, Su owns the Asian patents and retains his rights to enforce the Asian patents by, among other things, suing infringers regardless of the sale orders.

Read More