rmdingler quotes a report from Consumerist: A corporate squabble over printer toner cartridges doesn't sound particularly glamorous, and the phrase "patent exhaustion" is probably already causing your eyes to glaze over. However, these otherwise boring topics are the crux of a Supreme Court case that will answer a question with far-reaching impact for all consumers: Can a company that sold you something use its patent on that product to control how you choose to use after you buy it? The case in question is Impression Products, Inc v Lexmark International, Inc, came before the nation's highest court on Tuesday. Here's the background: Lexmark makes printers. Printers need toner in order to print, and Lexmark also happens to sell toner. Then there's Impression Products, a third-party company makes and refills toner cartridges for use in printers, including Lexmark's. Lexmark, however, doesn't want that; if you use third-party toner cartridges, that's money that Lexmark doesn't make. So it sued, which brings us to the legal chain that ended up at the Supreme Court. In an effort to keep others from getting a piece of that sweet toner revenue, Lexmark turned to its patents: The company began selling printer cartridges with a notice on the package forbidding reuse or transfer to third parties. Then, when a third-party -- like Impression -- came around reselling or recycling the cartridges, Lexmark could accuse them of patent infringement. So far the courts have sided with Lexmark, ruling that Impression was using Lexmark's patented technology in an unauthorized way. The Supreme Court is Impression's last avenue of appeal. The question before the Supreme Court isn't one of "can Lexmark patent this?" Because Lexmark can, and has. The question is, rather: Can patent exhaustion still be a thing, or does the original manufacturer get to keep having the final say in what you and others can do with the product? Kate Cox notes via Consumerist that the Supreme Court ruling is still likely months away. However, she has provided a link to the transcript of this week's oral arguments (PDF) in her report and has dissected it to see which way the justices are leaning on the issue.
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An anonymous reader quotes a report from MIT Technology Review: A streamlined set of goals for reducing carbon emissions could simplify the way nations approach the quest to reduce human impact on the planet. A group of European researchers have a refreshingly straightforward solution that they call a carbon law -- or, as the Guardian has coined it, a "Moore's law for carbon." The overarching goal is simple: globally, we must halve carbon dioxide emissions every decade. That's essentially it. The rule would ideally be applied "to all sectors and countries at all scales," and would encourage "bold action in the short term." Dramatic changes would naturally have to occur as a result -- from quick wins like carbon taxes and energy efficiency regulations, to longer-term policies like phasing out combustion-engine cars and carbon-neutral building regulations. If policy makers followed the carbon law, adoption of renewables would continue its current pace of doubling energy production every 5.5 years, and carbon dioxide sequestration technologies would need to ramp up in order for the the planet to reach net-zero emissions by the middle of the century, say the researchers. Along the way, coal use would end as soon as 2030 and oil use by 2040. There are, clearly, issues with the idea, not least being the prospect of convincing every nation to commit to such a vision. The very simplicity that makes the idea compelling can also be used as a point of criticism: Can such a basic rule ever hope to define practical ideas as to how to change the world's energy production and consumption? The study has been published in the journal Science.
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Without reference to delays, the Roberts Space Industries website announces the kickoff of Year Five of the Star Citizen development subscriber program. Here's word: We are kicking off the Year Five...
Vikings ? Wolves of Midgard is now available in North America on Steam, offering an action/RPG with some Norse flavor. The release includes the Windows version, but OS X and Linux editions are to...
Battle Brothers is now available on Steam after a very successful early access run for this tactical, turn-based role-playing game. A look at the game and its story can be found in a brand-new launch...
The Ringed City is the destination of this new trailer showing off this upcoming expansion for Dark Souls III. This will launch next week for the action/RPG sequel, coming to Windows on Monday and to...
Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition is not due for two weeks, but publisher Gearbox Publishing and developer People Can Fly now offer the launch trailer for what some wish was called the Full Magazine...
A new trailer from The Sexy Brutale shows off some of the characters in this puzzle game from Tequila Works and Cavalier Game Studios. Word is this will be released on April 11th for Windows, Xbox...
Blitzkrieg 3 Boris Update. Adds the ability to do combat with the AI. Warframe: Octavia's Anthem Update launches.
The Weekly Sale Vol. 2 on GOG.com. Save up to 80%. League of Legends March Early Sales- 3.24.17 - 3.27.17.
League of Legends 2017 Mid-Season Invitational Tickets.
Capcom Recruters Q&A: how to get into games.
Arcade to eSports: How Your Competitive Game Influences Player Culture and Values.
The Drop: New PlayStation Games for 3-28-2017. This Week On Xbox- March 24, 2017. PlayStation Flash Sale: Save 70% or More on the Entire Lineup.
Adam Sandler will do four more movies for Netflix. No number of petitions will deter them?
Intel Declares Quarterly Cash Dividend. Thanks Hypothermia.
How ISPs can sell your Web history?and how to stop them. Emirates laptop-handling service counters US ban on electronics in cabins. Thanks Ant.
"You can't expect to krump in front of a green screen and expect this NOT to happen..."
Earlier this week, CEO of Microsoft Greater China, Alain Crozier, told China Daily that the company is ready to roll out a version of Windows 10 with extra security features demanded by China's government. "We have already developed the first version of the Windows 10 government secure system. It has been tested by three large enterprise customers," Crozier said. The Register reports: China used Edward Snowden's revelations to question whether western technology products could compromise its security. Policy responses included source code reviews for foreign vendors and requiring Chinese buyers to shop from an approved list of products. Microsoft, IBM and Intel all refused to submit source code for inspection, but Redmond and Big Blue have found other ways to get their code into China. IBM's route is a partnership with Dalian Wanda to bring its cloud behind the Great Firewall. Microsoft last year revealed its intention to build a version of Windows 10 for Chinese government users in partnership with state-owned company China Electronics Technology Group Corp. There's no reason to believe Crozier's remarks are incorrect, because Microsoft has a massive incentive to deliver a version of Windows 10 that China's government will accept. To understand why, consider that China's military has over two million active service personnel, the nation's railways employ similar numbers and Microsoft's partner China Electronics Technology Group Corp has more than 140,000 people on its books. Not all of those are going to need Windows, but plenty will.
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