A lawsuit was filed in a California court on May 14 against the transportation network company Uber Technologies Inc. as well as its two founders by a businessman who claims that he came up with the idea for the mobile app first. Several of Uber's investors were also named in the lawsuit. The entrepreneur claims that he developed a business model in 2002 that he later shared in confidence with two individuals. One of the individuals went on to become Uber's CEO while the other invested in the San Francisco-based company. Uber was founded in 2009 and now operates in 57 countries.
On May 18, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit handed down a mixed verdict in the latest installment of Apple Inc.'s epic intellectual property battle with Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. The ruling upheld Apple's patent infringement win against Samsung, but it tossed out a finding that the iPhone's most basic features could be trademarked. Because of the decision, up to 40 percent of a $930 million verdict previously awarded to the California-based smartphone giant must be reconsidered.
Entrepreneurs and investors in California may be interested in understanding more about copyright infringements resulting from the new video platform offered by Facebook. Celebrities are currently one of the most prominent groups responsible for uploading videos onto Facebook without rights holders' permission. Famous people earn money from the clicks generated by the video lifted from the original creator. The clicks convert to dollars when they are linked to work or products associated with the celebrity.
One thing that California businesses may have trouble doing is protecting trade secrets. This was the case for DuPont, a chemical company headquartered in Delaware, which filed a trade secrets lawsuit against Kolon Industries Inc. and Kolon Corporation, two industrial companies in South Korea that are collectively represented as Kolon. On April 30, Kolon pleaded guilty to conspiring to misappropriate and convert trade secrets regarding DuPont's Kevlar technology.