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Waymo v. Uber Lawsuit Referred to Criminal Investigators by Federal Judge

If this story starts to sound like something you've heard before, don't worry. It gets better, or worse, depending on how you see it.

Google's self-driving car division, Waymo, sued Uber for allegedly stealing trade secrets for its own self-driving cars. Anthony Levandowski, a former Google engineer, downloaded 14,000 files from the company before he started his own and promptly sold the technology to Uber for $680 million.

The case is pending in federal court, where the judge has just dropped a bombshell. He denied Uber's request to move the case into arbitration, and instead referred it to the U.S. Attorney's Office for criminal investigation.

Megaupload Data Trapped on Servers for Five Years

Kyle Goodwin, a videographer of high school sports, got T-boned along the information super highway.

He was stopped at an information intersection when a reckless driver rear-ended him and sent him helplessly into internet traffic. A crossing vehicle smashed into him and there he sat -- or at least his video information sat -- stuck in a third-party server.

Unfortunately, it's been five years and his digital videos are still trapped in the same place. In internet years, that is like five lifetimes.

Theranos to Pay $4.65 Million in Settlement

Theranos, the troubled blood-testing company, has agreed to pay $4.65 million to settle claims in Arizona.

State Attorney General Mark Brnovich said the company misrepresented its blood tests in advertisements to customers, including more than 175,000 Arizonans. About 10 percent of some 1.5 million tests proved to be flawed.

"Everyone who paid for a test will receive a full refund, period," Brnovich said. "This is a great result and a clear message that Arizona's consumer protection laws will be vigorously enforced."

'Stupid Patent of the Month' Goes to Court

Adding injury to insult, an advocacy group has sued an alleged patent troll to protect its rights to publish a blog called "Stupid Patent of the Month."

The blog calls attention to "questionable patents that stifle innovation, harm the public and can be used to shake down unsuspecting users of commonplace processes or technologies," says the complaint filed by the Electronic Freedom Foundation in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco.

EFF had called out a patent claim by Global Equity Management, which then obtained an injunction against the company in Australia. The advocacy organization now seeks a declaratory judgment that the foreign court cannot enjoin the blog based on the First Amendment.

Amazon Seller Wins $6.8M in Court Battle Against Counterfeiter

Forget fake news. What about fake sales?

Americans are upset about fake news stories, but they are seething mad when it comes to fake sales online. Amazon, keenly aware of the problem through customer complaints, is fighting that battle in court. One of its retailers won a $6.8 million verdict against another that had used Amazon to sell knock-off fitness gear.

"This jury award should serve as a notice to all those determined to engage in intellectual property infringement or other similar unlawful activity that they are not beyond the reach of justice by federal court juries," said Paul Zadoff, president of TRX for Fitness Anywhere about its win against WOSS Enterprises.

Amazon helped Fitness Anywhere and is cracking down on other fakes online. In November, Amazon filed two lawsuits against more than 20 companies and individuals for allegedly selling knock-off equipment and furniture.

Copyright Law and the Future of 3D Printing

What came first in the world of copyright and 3D printing, the egg or the egg holder?

Like the chicken-and-the-egg question, the copyright question seems so simple at first. The egg, right? You can't have an egg holder without an egg?

But throw in a U.S. Supreme Court decision and an industry watching it like a hawk, and you have the potential for a scrambled mess. At least, some are predicting the death of 3D printing while its still emerging.

What Legal Tech Pros Must Know About China's New Cybersecurity Law

Don't know about China's new cybersecurity law set to take effect in June?

Well, they say that what you don't know won't hurt you, but that is not true when it comes to China's cybersecurity law. According to a recent survey, about 75 percent of legal technology professionals didn't know about it. What's troubling is that only 14 percent of the respondents said they were "very concerned" about it.

Legal tech professionals should be concerned because the law requires foreign companies doing business in China to store their data on Chinese servers and to help government officials police the internet. Oh, and failure to abide by the law may result in civil and criminal penalties -- including death.

You read that right. Let's sum it up in two words: kong huang. It means "panic now."

New Chatbot Helps Refugees

DoNotPay, an autonomous program that has helped beat more than 160,000 parking tickets, is moving into a new field of practice.

The brainchild of Stanford student Joshua Browder, the software robot now gives legal advice to refugees. It is available to those seeking asylum in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

The robot works through Facebook Messenger, asking a series of questions and helping immigrants complete required forms. Unlike your local barrister, the chatbot is available around the clock.

If you haven't heard of Prenda Law, well, where the heck have you been all these years? For the better part of the decade, the infamous Prenda Law firm has popped up in the news again and again and again. Prenda Law first came to the public's attention as one of the worst examples of copyright trolling, tracking down porn downloaders and threatening to reveal their smutty predilections in litigation -- unless they paid to settle quickly.

Now, the long-running Prenda Law controversy may finally be coming to an end, as one of Prenda Law's principal attorneys, John Steele, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy and money laundering charges and agreed to help the government take down others in the scheme. So, in memoriam of one of the most notorious legal schemes in recent history, here's a quick survey of FindLaw's favorite Prenda Law coverage over the past few years.

Lawyer Admits Making Porn to Trap Copyright Violators

It turns out that Prenda Law was Prenda Porn.

John Steele, formerly of Prenda Law, has admitted that his firm made pornographic films to trick people into downloading them from file-sharing websites. Then, Steele said, he and his former law partner Paul Hansmeier would sue those people for copyright violations.

The scheme was illegal and resulted in Steele's pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering. Making porn was not against the law, but it's just shocking that the participatory porn credits somehow were overlooked by the Oscars.