Letter from AmeriKat II: Bits 'n Pieces

• UK MPs frozen out of ACTA negotiations – Last Wednesday, MP David Lammy answered a question asking what steps he was taking to increase the transparency of the ACTA negotiations. The junior business minister stated that he could not put the ACTA documents in the House of Commons Library (right) because
“Disclosure of any documents without the agreement of all our ACTA negotiating partners would damage the United Kingdom's international relations. [No prizes for guessing which government is not agreeing to this…] This would harm our ability to protect, promote and secure an outcome in the UK's interest, and the premature release of documents that are not agreed and not fully developed may also have a negative effect on the Government's reputation.”
Reiterating her sentiment in last week’s letter, the AmeriKat asks that if, as the EU has stated, ACTA will " not go further than the current EU regime for enforcement of intellectual property rights", why all the secrecy? For further information see this report in the Register.

• Rambus settles for a cool $900 million - After almost five years of litigation, Rambus and Samsung have agreed to settle all legal claims between them in exchange for a $200 million payment made to Rambus from Samsung, as well as buying another $200 million worth of Rambus’s shares.

Left: the Rambus ram

Samsung will additionally make quarterly payments of $25 million for the next five years to Rambus for a licence for its patents. These payments would in effect double Rambus’s quarterly revenue. This settlement, a result of numerous actions brought by Rambus against Samsung and other chip manufacturers such as Hynix Semiconductor Inc and Micron Technology, came just before an antitrust trial was scheduled to begin against Samsung in San Francisco. Addressing last week’s settlement, Rambus’s President and CEO, Harold Hughes, stated that
“Bringing together Samsung's market and technology leadership with our innovations for high-performance and high-efficiency memory architectures will make possible an exciting new generation of mobile, computing and consumer electronics products."
Although $900 million may seem like a significant sum for Samsung to shell out, this is a fraction of a potential $4-12 billion award they could have had to pay had they proceeded to trial and lost. However, despite suggestions that this deal could have brought Samsung’s former co-defendants to the negotiating table, a statement released by one of the co-defendants, Micron Technology, stating that “We do not anticipate this settlement to have any impact on our ongoing litigation.” For more information see this article in Bloomberg.

• Judge slashes damages in Thomas-Rasset case – Last week a US district court has slashed the amount that a Minnesotan mother must pay from $1.9 million to $54,000. Judge Davis stated that "[t]he need for deterrence cannot justify a $2 million verdict for stealing and illegally distributing 24 songs for the sole purpose of obtaining free music.” As reported by CNET, Joe Sibley, one of Thomas-Rasset’s lawyers, stated that the judge’s “decision reflects that the jury committed an abuse and the judge corrected it. He made it much more equitable and this was much closer to the $0 award that we were seeking." For further information in this case see the AmeriKat’s first ever post here.
Letter from AmeriKat II: Bits 'n Pieces Letter from AmeriKat II:  Bits 'n Pieces Reviewed by Annsley Merelle Ward on Sunday, January 24, 2010 Rating: 5

1 comment:

  1. Re the ACTA transparency, I blogged about this at http://tracs.co.nz/gripping-hand/
    More at http://acta.net.nz


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