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Intel still chip, chip, chippin' away at the European Commission's anti-trust fine

Intel's rearguard action to avoid a billion-Euro-plus fine continued this week in a Luxembourg court, with the company arguing that the 2009 European Commission penalty was unfair. The ancient spat – it began with an October 2000 complaint by AMD – concerns whether or not rebates Intel paid to OEMs to use its processors …
Cartoon of employee asking wky boss makes hium wear suspenders (while pincer through open trapdoor remains poised above his head) illustration by Cartoon resource for Shutterstock

Hey cloud lawyer: Can I take my client list with me?

You spend months or years building up a client list for your employer. You nurture the relationship and build up personal ties with the client. When you leave the employer, naturally the client goes with you. And so does the client list, via a USB stick or Dropbox or your webmail account. If you don’t get all the details before …
Frank Jennings, 20 Jun 2016
Pennies in a jar. Photo via Shutterstock

Stopped buying Oracle's kit? You've literally decimated its profit

Oracle is talking up soaring sales for its cloudy operations – while the IT giant's profit has taken a big hit over the past 12 months. "We dramatically overachieved again in the cloud," gushed co-CEO Safra Catz in a conference call with analysts, putting her bruised revenue and net income figures aside. "As the business grows …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Jun 2016
Cash in brown paper envelope CC 2.0 attribution StockMonkeys.com

Ex-SAP exec and pals accused of $500,000 insider trading scam

A former SAP executive and his associates allegedly ran an insider trading ring to net hundreds of thousands of dollars. Chris Salis was, until recently, global vice president and general manager for procurement at SAP. US financial watchdog the SEC claims he used his inside knowledge of SAP's takeover of Business Objects in …
Iain Thomson, 16 Jun 2016
JC Boyle saluting device patent

Patent trolls, innovation and Brexit: What the FT won't tell you

Opinion In 2017, the EU is going to open the Unified Patent Court. This court will make it much easier for patent trolls and corporations in the US – armed with dodgy patent applications and IP attorneys – to reach into the UK and strangle your startup at birth. Think about it. Last week the Financial Times reported )that two-thirds …
Andrew Fentem, 15 Jun 2016

Post-Safe Harbor: Adobe fined for shipping personal info to the US 'without any legal basis'

A German regulator has fined three companies for failing to change the way they share people's personal information following the invalidation of the Safe Harbor agreement last year. The Hamburg Data Commissioner fined Adobe €8,000 ($9,084), Pepsi subsidiary Punica €9,000 ($10,220) and Unilever €11,000 ($12,491) because they …
Kieren McCarthy, 07 Jun 2016
Raining money

'We accidentally hit wrong button on Dell buyout – here's $194m for the cockup'

Some former Dell shareholders can thank a voting mishap for an upcoming windfall. Investment house T Rowe Price says it will refund its clients $194m in value lost when it mistakenly supported Dell's 2013 private buyout at a deflated price. According to the finance company, a "voting error" led it to sign off on the proposed …
Shaun Nichols, 07 Jun 2016
Larry Ellison and Nikita Khan

That didn't take long: Shareholders sue Oracle in 'fake cloud sales' row

Just days after Oracle was sued by an ex-employee, who accused the IT giant of making up its cloud sales figures, its shareholders are now hauling the company into court. A complaint [PDF] filed on behalf of Oracle stockholders by investor Grover Klarfeld alleges that the database goliath put their investments in the company …
Shaun Nichols, 06 Jun 2016
European Union Flag

Brexit: UK gov would probably lay out tax plans in post-'leave' vote emergency budget

The UK government would be likely to have an "emergency" budget shortly after next month's EU referendum if there is a "leave" vote. It would use that budget to give clarity on its priorities for changes to the tax regime. Its proposed changes to the corporate tax regime would be influenced by the eventual trading relationship …
OUT-LAW.COM, 06 Jun 2016
Lawyer up

Oracle to sue cloud sales 'whistleblower' for 'malicious prosecution'

Oracle isn't known as a shrinking violet when it comes to legal battles, and it's coming out swinging over allegations that it was playing fast and loose with its cloud revenue reporting. On Wednesday, Svetlana Blackburn filed a lawsuit with the US district court in San Francisco claiming that she was fired from the company …
Iain Thomson, 02 Jun 2016

Oracle pulled made-up cloud figures out of its SaaS – whistleblower

An ex-Oracle staffer claims she was fired for refusing to keep quiet about the database giant's exaggerated cloud sales. On Wednesday, Svetlana Blackburn filed a whistleblower lawsuit with the US district court in San Francisco, alleging that she was dismissed on October 15 last year – two months after being given a positive …
Iain Thomson, 02 Jun 2016
Titanic, image via shutterstock

That sinking feeling: Itanic spat's back as HPE Oracle trial resumes

Oracle is back in court, this time fending off a $3bn case brought by Hewlett Packard Enterprise. A week after it lost to Google on Java, Oracle is now resuming its fight with HPE over damages relating to HPE's claims that Oracle back-tracked on a commitment to put its software on HP servers running Intel’s Itanic chips. HPE …
Gavin Clarke, 01 Jun 2016
Michael Dell, photo: Dell

Michael Dell bought his PC biz for a bargain, must get checkbook out for stiffed shareholders

A small number of former shareholders in Dell could be getting a sizable payout after a Delaware court ruled the IT biz was undervalued when it went private. Delaware Vice Chancellor Travis Laster ruled that the fair price for the company's shares at the time it went private was $17.62 per share, 22 per cent more than the $13. …
Iain Thomson, 31 May 2016
Sorry we're closed

'Grey tech' broker DP Data Systems has gone titsup

DP Data Systems has given up the ghost just months after committing to quit the grey market in favour of “authorised” tech. The company’s website stated, “Sorry we have now ceased trading”. Suppliers and customers were then directed to email addresses of the firm's accounts and credit control departments respectively. Back in …
Paul Kunert, 25 May 2016
Privacy image

Committees: Wait! Don't strap on the Privacy Shield yet

The revelations by rogue NSA sysadmin Edward Snowden in 2013 caused indignant EU politicians to open a dialogue with the US government to update the data transfer regime to safeguard personal data. The Privacy Shield is the culmination of those discussions. The US's hands-off approach has always differed from the EU's …
Frank Jennings, 24 May 2016
management regulation2

Quadsys Five: Judge dismisses abuse of process application

A Crown court judge has dismissed an abuse of process application made by three former directors of reseller Quadsys, who are facing trial over allegations of hacking into a rival’s database to steal customer and pricing info. In August, Thames Valley Police charged five men at the reseller including owner Paul Streeter, MD …
Paul Kunert, 13 May 2016
Nexsan_BEAST

Nexsan sues EMC in tussle over Unity name

EMC is being sued by Nexsan, which claims the storage goliath is trying to rip off its Unity trademark. EMC is also trying to force Nexsan to give up the Unity name, it's alleged. Nexsan, the renamed Imation, launched its Unity array on April 26 only to see EMC launch its own Unity, the updated VNX/VNXe product line, on May 2 …
Chris Mellor, 09 May 2016
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EMC says Pure Storage dedupe is both in-line and post-process

EMC has won $14m in damages because Pure, it claimed, infringed its patented inline deduplication – yet it is also claiming Pure’s deduplication is not inline in a “Pure Top Ten Lies” document. According to Pure, Hopkinton is arguing in a Massachusetts District Court case1 concerning recruitment of EMC employees by Pure, that …
Chris Mellor, 09 May 2016

How 'flexible' can the UK actually be on EU data protection law?

If EU member states can, by law, exercise legislative “flexibility” when implementing 50+ Articles of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), how can the regulation ever become harmonised across European Union? Pose this important question another way: given that the UK government intends to use legislative flexibility …

Tweak Privacy Shield rules to make people happy? Nah – US govt

The US government has poured cold water on the idea of making changes to the new Privacy Shield agreement that will cover transfers of people's private data between the US and Europe, potentially putting the entire agreement at risk. Under secretary of commerce for international trade, Stefan Selig, told Reuters that the US …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Apr 2016

Why we should learn to stop worrying and love legacy – Fujitsu's UK head

Interview In the UK, IT Godzilla Fujitsu is perhaps best known for its unwieldy public sector contracts, being responsible for running a sizeable chunk of the government's legacy technology. Indeed most of its UK and Ireland revenue has historically come from the public sector, some 70 per cent at the beginning of the last Parliament in …
Kat Hall, 15 Apr 2016
Brad Smith

Microsoft sues US DoJ for right to squeal when Feds slurp your data

Microsoft has sued the US Department of Justice (DoJ) over the software giant's right to alert users when their personal data has been accessed by cops and Feds. Redmond chief legal counsel Brad Smith announced on Tuesday that Microsoft will seek [PDF] a legal declaration confirming that it should not be silenced by …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Apr 2016
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Euro watchdogs give America's data-sharing Privacy Shield an 'F'

Europe's data protection authorities have graded the new Privacy Shield agreement that covers data sharing between the US and Europe a fail. In a formal response [PDF] published Wednesday by the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party, the influential group outlined a number of serious concerns about the agreement, including …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Apr 2016
Marc Benioff of Salesforce. Pic: Techcrunch

Shareholder rage freezes Salesforce boss Marc Benioff's package

Mark Benioff won’t be getting a pay rise this year thanks to shareholder discontent over the “excessive compensation” of Salesforce management. The CRM-as-a-Service chief exec and co-founder will take home just $1.55m in Salesforce’s fiscal year 2017, exactly the same as last year. Benioff’s potential cash bonus has been …
Gavin Clarke, 12 Apr 2016

Brexit: Time to make your plans, UK IT biz

Analysis The Brexit debate continues and, with the Leave and Remain camps neck and neck, it looks likely that the undecided few will carry the result. It seems that we can expect more headline-grabbing soundbites until the vote on June 23. The polarised nature of this debate is throwing up some interesting oddities, so you might be …
Frank Jennings, 31 Mar 2016
I would vote republican but I crave brains by https://www.flickr.com/photos/clarkmackey/  cc 2.0 attribution generic https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Zombie SCO rises from the grave again

The Santa Cruz Organisation (SCO) just doesn't know when it's dead: the bankruptcy trustee of the company that thinks it owns Linux is having another try at milking IBM for money. Back in February it looked like this long-running case, which hinges on whether IBM lifted some SCO code and popped it into its own operating …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Mar 2016
Oracle OpenWorld cloud

Oracle v Google: Big Red wants $9.3bn in Java copyright damages

The Oracle v. Google fight over Java took a couple of twists just before the Easter weekend. The database giant now reckons it is owed up to $9.3bn in copyright-infringement damages for Android's use of Java. Meanwhile, the judge in the trial wants to ban Oracle and Google lawyers from scouring jurors' social network profiles …
Chris Williams, 28 Mar 2016

Oracle fires big red Solaris support sueball at HPE

A new outbreak of hostility between former partners Oracle and HPE has seen Big Red fling a flaming sueball at Hewlett Packard spin-out over who has the rights to support the Solaris operating system. The basis of the spat is that an HPE-backed a third company, TERiX Computer, has pitched itself as offering Solaris support but …

EMC drags Pure to court again, claims FlashArray rips off dedupe patent

First, EMC dealt Pure a $14m blow when a court ruled that Pure's FA-300/FA-400 arrays infringed one of EMC's patents. Now the storage giant is suing Pure again – this time over the upstart's newer FlashArray//m systems, which also allegedly infringe the aforementioned data-reduction patent. EMC wants an injunction against its …
Chris Mellor, 21 Mar 2016

Quadsys Five enter 'not guilty' pleas to Crown court charges

The fraud case against five men from security reseller Quadsys will go to trial in September after they pleaded not guilty to allegations of hacking into a rival’s database to plunder customer and pricing data. The individuals charged include MD Paul Cox, owner Paul Streeter, director Alistair Barnard, account manager Steve …
Paul Kunert, 18 Mar 2016
Fly_swatter

Pure swats away EMC patent punch, mulls $14m verdict appeal

Pure Storage has been given a mild slap on the wrist for infringing part of an EMC-owned patent describing deduplication. Mountain View-based Pure was accused of trampling over five EMC patents covering dedupe and RAID technology back in November 2013. The dispute went to a Delaware district court, and then to a jury trial …
Chris Mellor, 16 Mar 2016

How a Brexit could stop UK biz and Europe swapping personal data

Analysis If the UK decides later this year to leave Europe – the so-called "Brexit" – it would have a severe knock-on impact on sharing people's personal data between Blighty and Euro nations. So warns internet governance expert Emily Taylor in a piece for London-based international affairs think tank Chatham House. Taylor warns that …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 Mar 2016
Woman reads book, sips tea on couch. Photo by Shutterstock

Data protection: Don't be an emotional knee jerk. When it comes to the law, RTFM

How many times have you spoken to someone in a call centre who refused to give you information on the basis that the "Data Protection Act" prevents them? Any potential customers in Germany who told you they can’t buy your IT or cloud service because their law prohibits data transfers outside Germany? Has anyone told you that a …
Frank Jennings, 10 Mar 2016

Systemax bleeds cash, reports $100m net loss for 2015

The cost of exiting its North America reseller biz propelled Systemax’s net losses to nearly $100m in calendar 2015 - but European ops might just be finally showing some signs of recovery. The supplier, in the midst of a turnaround strategy, offloaded the Technology Group reseller biz in December to PCM for $14m but then …
Paul Kunert, 09 Mar 2016
Stop Light by Horia Varlan, CC license from Flickr

Broker DP Data Systems calls time on selling grey imports

Manchester-based broker DP Data Systems will no longer trade in “grey” market tech, according to its boss. Of course, this will only be the case once a new home is found for existing inventory already in the warehouse. The company told us it has just “ceased” buying grey market kit, which IT vendors term as any product …
Paul Kunert, 07 Mar 2016

Flinging £700m at courts' IT won't increase efficiency, says NAO

An ambitious plan to modernise Blighty's criminal justice system via a £700m digitisation programme will not cure its increasing inefficiencies, a government spending watchdog report has found. According to a report by the National Audit Office today, the £2bn annual spend on the justice system is "not currently delivering …
Kat Hall, 01 Mar 2016
management regulation2

SCO vs. IBM looks like it's over for good

The long-running SCO vs. IBM case looks like it might just be over. A new filing (PDF) scooped up by the good folks at Groklaw sees both SCO and IBM agree to sign off on two recent decisions in which SCO's arguments advancing its claims to own parts of Unix were slapped down by the US District Court. As The Register reads the …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Feb 2016
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Got Oracle? Got VMware? Going cloud? You could be stung for huge licensing fees

Oracle has been telling a number of organisations running its database software that they are breaking the company's licensing rules – and therefore owe it millions of dollars in unpaid licence fees. The issue hit the headlines in January after US confectionery giant Mars took Oracle to court in the US over claims Mars had …
Gavin Clarke, 24 Feb 2016

International Trade Commission pens patent love letter to Cisco

The International Trade Commission has handed Cisco another gun to fire at antagonist Arista, finding that the latter violated three Cisco software patents. The patents in question cover router management (US 7,162,537), and private VLANs (US 6,741,592 and 7,200,145). Since Cisco reckons Arista's in violation of twelve …
Sparta

Safe Harbor ripped and replaced with Privacy Shield in last-minute US-Europe deal

European and US legislators have hammered out a last-minute deal to allow data flows across the Atlantic to continue without breaking the law. "For the first time ever, the United States has given the EU binding assurances that the access of public authorities for national security purposes will be subject to clear limitations …
Iain Thomson, 02 Feb 2016

Microsoft vs US.gov, Internet of Stuff, etc: What's up with 2015's legal cloudy issues?

Last year, I highlighted five legal issues for cloud firms and consumers to watch out for in 2015. Here’s a quick recap of how those topics developed during the year. 1. Microsoft and the US government go back to court Microsoft is taking a stand against the ability of US law to reach into its Dublin data centres and, against …
Frank Jennings, 02 Feb 2016
networking plugs

Safe Harbor crunch time: Today's the day to hammer out privacy deal

US and EC (European Commission) officials have until the end of the day today to reach a new Safe Harbor agreement or risk a breakdown of transatlantic e-commerce. Despite furious efforts over three months and, for the past few weeks, daily meetings between officials, the two sides are still reportedly at loggerheads over two …
Kieren McCarthy, 01 Feb 2016

Quadsys Five trial delayed yet again

The trial of five men from security reseller Quadsys, who all stand accused of fraud, was delayed yet again today. The men were charged last summer and attended a plea and case management hearing at Oxford Crown Court in December – but proceedings were held up until today's scheduled hearing, which was deferred by the court …
Paul Kunert, 29 Jan 2016

BT scoops £100m network provision deal from the BBC

Updated The BBC has picked BT to provide its internal network, in a £100m deal that will run for the next seven years. The broadcaster estimated the deal will save it tens of millions of pounds and will provide extra network capacity for major events. The deal will begin in April 2017, with the option of extending the contract for a …
Kat Hall, 29 Jan 2016
Ciscoblood

Arista slaps Cisco with countersuit in network hardware row

Arista Networks has countersued Cisco, accusing the network giant of unfair competition practices. On Monday, Arista submitted paperwork with the US Northern California District Court alleging that Cisco unfairly stifles competition by wielding copyright claims against rivals and coercing customers to only use Cisco hardware …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Jan 2016
Doomsday clock

Safe Harbor 2.0: US-Europe talks on privacy go down to the wire

United States and European Commission officials have promised they are doing everything possible to reach agreement over transatlantic data-sharing before a critical deadline at the end of this week. After the Safe Harbor agreement – put in place in 2000 – was struck down by Europe's highest court back in October due to NSA …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Jan 2016

Bigger than Safe Harbor: Microsoft prez vows to take down US gov in data protection lawsuit

Europeans should sit up and take more notice of Microsoft’s lawsuit against the US government over secret access to their data. Why? Because it affects much more of their data than the Safe Harbour case, according to Microsoft president and lead counsel Brad Smith. “The Department of Justice does not need to wait for data to …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Jan 2016
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Former prez of Misco parent Systemax declared bankrupt

To say 2015 wasn’t exactly a vintage year for former Systemax EMEA president Perminder Singh Dale – AKA Pim Dale – is an understatement. He lost his job in the summer and by Christmas the man was bankrupt. According to the London Gazette, a bankruptcy petition was filed against Dale on 7 October by London Law Funding (LLF) Ltd …
Paul Kunert, 12 Jan 2016
Boy writes a letter to Santa. Pic via Shutterstock

Dear Santa: Can gov.UK please stop outsourcing?

Comment Here's a cheerful factoid that gets gleefully wheeled out by family lawyers each year: the first Monday after Christmas is the busiest day for divorces. Contributory factors seem to be post-Christmas financial strains, holiday season stresses and misjudged prezzies ("why the hell did/didn't this person buy me a wearable - it's …
Kat Hall, 24 Dec 2015
A cute cat in a jumper waves goodbye.... Pic via Shutterstock

No £160m for you: BT to receive termination notice from Cornwall before Christmas

The High Court has ruled in favour of Cornwall Council's decision to ditch its 10-year £160m outsourcing deal with BT, following moves by the telco provider to stop the authority canning the deal. Back in August, BT filed an injunction preventing the termination of the agreement after Cornwall sought to formally can the …
Kat Hall, 22 Dec 2015

Opinion

Woman cuddles 'sly-looking' Fennec fox. Photo by Shutterstock
Cartoon of employee asking wky boss makes hium wear suspenders (while pincer through open trapdoor remains poised above his head) illustration by Cartoon resource for Shutterstock

Frank Jennings

It's not like my boss painstakingly nurtured the contacts, right?

Features

Girl and computer, photo via Shutterstock
Middle-class terror of engineering also part of problem
Nerd fail photo via Shutterstock
Shouting match
Single market vs. rest of the world