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Double Play: Security Warning; Apple Beats Motorola

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By William Peacock, Esq. on January 17, 2014 3:59 PM

It's been a big week at the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, with a decision in Motorola's patent war with Apple and a computer virus spreading via bogus court emails.

Ready for the roundup? It's Friday, so we'll make it quick:

Security Warning

Have you received any strange emails about court hearings in unfamiliar cases? Don't download the attachments.

Multiple state and federal courts have reported that spoof emails, some coming from apparently hijacked BigLaw email addresses, and others claiming to be from court clerks, are proliferating. The emails claim that a hearing has been scheduled in a case (that you've probably never heard of) and that the complaint or other paperwork is attached.

The attachments, of course, contain multiple viruses. The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts recommends contacting your local court if you receive any emails about unfamiliar cases. The Federal Circuit's general information line is (202) 275-8000.

For more information on the viruses' effects and tips for malware removal, see our Strategist coverage.

Apple Beats Motorola

In an unpublished decision (PDF), the Federal Circuit upheld an earlier ruling by the International Trade Commission that Apple did not infringe upon a Motorola "push notification" patent "push notification" patent, reports Bloomberg Law. (Motorola, of course, is now part of Google.)

In plain English, applications, such as email, can alert users with "push notifications" of new incoming data (such as messages). When you delete the app, the server is sent a status update to stop pushing notifications.

Both the ITC and the Federal Circuit held that not only does Apple's implementation of ceasing push notifications not fall under the patent at issue, but Motorola's example of a technical example of the claimed invention, the Droid 2, also didn't fall under the patent. Both the Apple and Droid 2 devices use similar methods for registering and unregistering for push notifications.

Have you received any of the fake court emails? Tweet us at @FindLawLP, and pass 'em along, and we'll update the post to warn others.

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