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Facebook, Groupon, IBM and hackers

Selection of articles in the press

Facebook wins landmark case

Facebook has won a trademark case in China against a local company over the name ‘facebook’, prompting local media to speculate this could lead to the site being unblocked in the country.

The win comes amid efforts by the social media giant to win over Chinese officials in a bid to be let over the “Great Firewall”, which would allow Facebook access to a huge market of Chinese consumers.

Local reports have suggested the ruling could mean Chinese authorities are warming up to Facebook, as executives including CEO Mark Zuckerberg have been working hard to woo them.

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Groupon sues IBM

The online marketplace Groupon Inc has sued IBM Corp, accusing it of infringing a patent related to technology that helps businesses solicit customers based on the customers' locations at a given moment.

Groupon filed its lawsuit on Monday with the federal court in its hometown of Chicago, two months after IBM accused Groupon of patent infringement in a separate lawsuit.

"IBM is trying to shed its status as a dial-up-era dinosaur" by infringing the rights of "current" technology companies such as Groupon, according to Groupon spokesman Bill Roberts.
Doug Shelton, an IBM spokesman, said: "This counter suit is totally without merit."

The latest lawsuit concerns IBM's WebSphere Commerce platform, which Groupon said lets merchants send messages to customers with GPS-enabled devices based on their real-time locations, and their use of social media including Facebook.

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Court refuses request to hand over passwords

An alleged hacker fighting extradition to the US will not have to give the passwords for his encrypted computers to British law enforcement officers, following a landmark legal ruling.

Lauri Love, a 31-year-old computer scientist, has been accused of stealing “massive quantities” of sensitive data from US Federal Reserve and Nasa computers. His lawyers say he faces up to 99 years in prison if found guilty in the US.

The National Crime Agency raided Love’s family home in Stradishall, Suffolk, in October 2013, seizing encrypted computers and hard drives. No charges were brought against him in Britain and Love, the son of a reverend, is suing the NCA for the return of six bits of encrypted hardware, which he says contain his entire digital life.

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