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After 10 years of litigation, it's finally over. (Except for the appeals. Oy.) Apple prevailed in a jury trial alleging anticompetitive practices in the operation of its original iPod, which didn't even last through this litigation (Apple quietly discontinued the "classic" iPod at its iPhone 6 event in September.)

So what's going on here? Did Apple win a Pyrrhic victory, a regular victory, or a nominal victory?

On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to re-examine an oft-criticized, decades-old intellectual property precedent, Brulotte v. Thys Co. In Brulotte, the Court held that patent royalty agreements could not extend past the life of the patent -- no contractual extension of a patent right beyond its expiration, in other words.

Who is challenging this ruling? It's not quite Spider-Man, but it is an inventor who seems to be a big fan of his. Steven Kimble invented a toy that mimics the comic book character's ability to shoot webs from his wrists. Marvel promised to provide royalties if they made the web shooter toy, and eventually they did -- after years of litigation. In 2001, Marvel purchased the patent -- No. 5,072,856 -- for a lump sum plus annual royalties in perpetuity.

The patent expired in 2010. The agreement, however, was supposed to last forever.

First, employers tried to spy on employees by making them hand over their social media account credentials. Then a bunch of states made that illegal, so that didn't work anymore.

Then, employers monitored Internet traffic. But that only meant employees chatted offline. So that didn't work anymore. What's the next big thing? Impersonating a union member!

This is something you don't see every day. Last week, we told you about the impending Apple antitrust trial over claims that the company used anticompetitive tactics, including DRM-protected songs sold via iTunes, to keep iPod prices high in the mid-2000s.

The trial began as scheduled, but the parties and the court ran into a little problem: The class representative plaintiffs turned out to not be plaintiffs at all -- they were all ineligible. Instead of halting the $1 billion lawsuit (the $351 million figure previously quoted could be tripled under antitrust law), the judge allowed the plaintiffs' lawyers to substitute in a new plaintiff, one that read about the lawsuit on a tech blog.

Many class action lawsuits revolve around legitimate concerns, like "Gee, my car's ignition switch stopped working in the middle of a freeway" or "Wow, this medication poisoned me." A small number of class action suits, however, really are much ado about nothing. Think Apple "antennagate." Or the recent hand-wringing over state bar exam software.

One law firm is going on the offensive by going on the defensive, refusing to settle silly claims, says Forbes. What could your company learn from this strategy?

Stop me if you've heard this one before: Apple is being sued for anticompetitive behavior, and the evidence includes an email from the late Steve Jobs.

Yep. It's the e-book antitrust lawsuit all over again, except this time, the claims are swirling around the company's legendary iPod and related iTunes service. When the products were launched, the two were inseparable: Only iTunes music files would play on iPods.

Lawyers say this is anticompetitive behavior. Apple said that the record companies forced it to use the security measures. According to 9 to 5 Mac, Steve Jobs allegedly said this in a 2003 email:

We need to make sure that when Music Match launches their download music store they cannot use iPod. Is this going to be an issue?

Apple was hit with a $23.6 million loss in federal court on Tuesday, with a ruling that the tech company infringed on five patents owned by Mobile Telecommunications Technologies (MTel).

According to Inside Counsel, the Texas federal court found that Apple infringed on five of MTel's two-way pager network patents from the '90s by using MTel's tech in its iPhones and "other devices." So iPads and iPods? In any case, Apple has to pay up for six years of patent infringement.

How did Apple lose this patent case when it has won so many others?

When you're the CEO of a new company, when is the time to sell your shares and make some actual cash? The answer is probably "not very soon" -- at least not so soon that it looks like there's some impropriety.

Case in point: Mark Pincus, CEO of Zynga, the company that makes those Facebook games where you grow pumpkins or mine diamonds, or something. Thanks to some questionable conduct, some of Zynga's directors are in Delaware Chancery Court.

You'll recall that back in September, Judge Carl Barbier laid out a comprehensive, 153-page order filled with 111 pages of facts that concluded BP was grossly negligent in the operation of the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig, leading to the largest marine oil spill in history.

BP petitioned Barbier to reconsider his finding of gross negligence (after being caught manipulating the line spacing to get more words into a brief). In a November 13 order, Barbier declined to amend his giant order.

When a John Doe plaintiff signed up for the dating website PositiveSingles.com, he thought his information was being kept private. And why not? The website, if you can deduce from the URL, is a dating site for people who are HIV-positive, as well as those who are interested in dating HIV-positive people (who are not, themselves, always HIV positive).

The website is part of a larger network of websites, all owned by the same company -- SuccessfulMatch Network -- that caters to different types of people, like Christians or HIV-positive African Americans. And that was part of the problem.