STLR Link Roundup – March 25, 2016

Supreme Court Will Now Hear Apple v. Samsung Patent Case

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday (March 21) agreed to hear part of the patent case between Apple and Samsung. The Court will consider Samsung’s argument that the damages for infringing a design patent should be based on an assessment of the significance of the design to the overall value of a product. Currently, courts award full value of a product. However, the court refused to hear a second argument that would bring greater clarity to the interpretation of patents when design embeds the functional aspects of a product. 

The Supreme Court’s decision to take up the case is a major victory for Samsung. The justices will specifically determine whether a $399 million judgment against Samsung for allegedly mimicking certain aspects of Apple’s iPhone design are indeed “slavishly” copying Apple’s products, as Apple has said, or if the patents hold no weight. The court has also set the timeline and says it will hear the case in the term that begins in October.

Following this decision, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh granted Samsung’s motion to put a damages retrial on hold until the Supreme Court can review the case. The trial was scheduled to start Monday in San Jose, California, and would have taken about a week.

AlphaGo Computer Beats Go Champion 

Google DeepMind’s AlphaGo defeated Lee Sedol, a 33-year-old professional player from South Korea, for the fourth time in a five-game match. The program AlphaGo’s 4-1 victory was a historic stride for computer programmers and artificial intelligence researchers trying to create software that can outwit humans in board games.

After three straight losses, a South Korean expert clinched his first victory against a Google computer program playing Go. DeepMind founder Demis Hassabis told reporters the loss was a valuable learning tool and would help identify weaknesses in the program that his team needed to address.

Mr. Lee has admitted to underestimating AlphaGo’s skills but also said the program was not perfect. Ke Jie, the world number one Go player, said on his microblog account that he can beat the program. Mr. Ke has beaten Mr. Lee eight times over ten matches in the past.

France Fines Google Over “Right To Be Forgotten”

Google was fined $112,000 on Thursday (March 24) by French privacy regulators for failing to comply with demands to extend a European privacy ruling across its global domains, including in the United States.

The financial penalty relates to the “right to be forgotten” ruling issued in 2014 by Europe’s top court. The ruling allows anyone with connections to Europe to ask search engines like Google to remove links about themselves from online results.

While Google has fought hard to limit the legal decision to its European operations, French regulators, among others, have demanded that the company apply the “right to be forgotten” across its global domains.

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