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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.

We covered the train wreck that was the launch of Battlefield 4 by gaming company Electronic Arts last year: Despite loads of hype and a ton of pre-release awards at the E3 industry tradeshow, the game's release was an unmitigated disaster. Servers crashed, the game was plagued with glitches, online play was nearly unplayable. The issues weren't sorted out for months, other projects were delayed as a result, and sales across the board suffered.

A lawsuit was unsurprising, but the issue wasn't the glitchy game (at least not directly). Instead, stockholders sued over the company's allegedly misleading statements, claiming that EA defrauded investors while insiders sold off their shares of company stock. Unfortunately for the current plaintiffs, their case was as inadequate as Battlefield 4 was.

However, it's not game over yet: An amended complaint could revive some of the claims.

You remember the circular patch with the star, the canvas, the white rubber, the white stitching? They're Chuck Taylors, right? Except when they're not -- and that's the problem. Nike, which owns Converse, is suing companies like Walmart, Kmart, and Sketchers, alleging infringement on the trademarks it claims in Converse's iconic Chuck Taylor All Star shoes.

How bad could it be? The Huffington Post provided screen shots of Walmart and H&M websites selling "sneakers" or "canvas lace" shoes that look eerily (maybe illegally) similar to Chucks. In all, 31 companies are being accused of trademark infringement in the United States and globally in a separate complaint with the International Trade Commission.

Here's an interesting statistic: According to a 2013 study by the Open Technology Institute, 75 percent of VCs and 20 percent of venture-backed startups had been affected by patent trolls. In the biotech/pharmacy/medical device industries, only 13 percent were affected.

But according to a recent article by Inside Counsel, that may be changing: Patent trolling against the medical device industry is on the rise, spurred in part by the higher royalties, damages awards, and nuisance settlements.

You've probably heard of "Call of Duty." It's one of the biggest video game series, in terms of sales, of all time. In "Call of Duty: Black Ops II," real-life dictator-turned-prisoner Manuel Noriega makes an appearance as ... a dictator.

Turns out Noriega (the real one, not the video-game character) is mad and is suing over the use of his likeness. Activision, the company behind the game, is trying to get the case tossed and has enlisted a very interesting choice of counsel to help: former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Attorneys for BP, the multinational energy company, were called out this week for sneakily reducing the line spacing in a court filing. What can lawyers learn from this incident?

As if it weren't enough for BP to recklessly operate the Deepwater Horizon, sending millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, causing millions in economic damage to the Gulf Coast, killing some people, and incurring billions in fines, they had to go and pull a junior high trick.

Here's what happened:

Imagine you run a website. We'll call it "Schreddit." It's a website where millions of people around the world post interesting news items, comments, and images. One day, a user posts a link to stolen celebrity nude photos -- celebrities like, oh, we'll call her "Schmennifer Schmawrence." Does your company have to take the posting down?

Naturally, it's the same as the answer to all legal questions: "Maybe. It depends." The Communications Decency Act (CDA) prohibits online obscenity, but that's not very important. Within the Act is a so-called safe harbor provision, found in 42 USC § 230, which immunizes computer service providers from torts committed by users of those services.

If your company operates any kind of online forum, you should make sure you know all about it.