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Lenovo Adware Class Action Lawsuit Settled, Claimants Get $40 on Average

The class action lawsuit levied against Lenovo and Superfish for the Visual Discovery adware has long since been settled. With roughly 800,000 laptops sold between September 2014 and February 2015 having been affected and therefore qualifying for a claim estimated at up to $40. While claims can go higher with proof, the majority of claimants will likely pick the easy option. That said, a rumor from Media Post is now stating users may be eligible for up to $55 thanks in part to fewer people coming forward than initially expected. This is likely not true as the settlement came out January 11th. Even so, this new rumor gaining traction at least serves as a good reminder that if you haven't done so and you have a system that qualifies (listed after the break) you can go here and submit a claim. All claimants have until March 25th, 2019 to file there claim.

NVIDIA Faces New Class Action Lawsuit Over Cryptocurrency-related GPU Demand Drop

The new year does not seem to bring good tidings alone for NVIDIA, with yet another class action lawsuit promising to keep their legal team busy. When we first posted about NVIDIA stock prices falling 2.1% following the launch of their Turing microarchitecture cards, there was no warning that just a few days after that post things would get worse. Indeed, as of today, the NVIDIA stock price on the NASDAQ stock market has fallen nearly 54% from the 1-year high that was only this past calendar quarter. California-based Schall law firm believes this drop in price can be attributed to more than just the volatile trading that has been ongoing in general in the stock markets, and has decided to file a class action lawsuit against NVIDIA.

Schall Law believes, and we quote, "the Company made false and misleading statements to the market. NVIDIA touted its ability to monitor the cryptocurrency market and make rapid changes to its business as necessary. The Company claimed to be "masters at managing our channel, and we understand the channel very well." NVIDIA also claimed to the market that any drop off in demand for its GPUs amongst cryptocurrency miners would not negatively impact the Company's business because of strong demand for GPUs from the gaming market. Based on these facts, the Company's public statements were false and materially misleading throughout the class period. When the market learned the truth about NVIDIA, investors suffered damages." These are strong words indeed, as oft is the case with the launch of class action lawsuits, and they have put out a press statement to accompany a link for those wanting to join along which can be seen in the source below.

Samsung, Micron, and Hynix Accused of DRAM Price Fixing

Law firm Hagens Berman has filed a class action lawsuit against Samsung, Micron, and Hynix in the US District Court for the Northern District of California. According to the firm's investigation, the three DRAM manufacturers conspired to limit the supply of DRAM chips between 2016 and 2017 with the purpose of inflating their prices. The firm affirmed that DRAM saw a 47 percent increase in price during 2017, which made it the largest jump ever in the last 30 years. As noted by the filing, Samsung, Micron and Hynix collectively own 96 percent of the worldwide DRAM market as of 2017. The "conduct changed abruptly" when the Chinese government launched an investigation to look into the matter. This class action is opened to consumers in the U.S. who've purchased a device that uses DRAM between July 1, 2016 and February 1, 2018.

"What we've uncovered in the DRAM market is a classic antitrust, price-fixing scheme in which a small number of kingpin corporations hold the lion's share of the market," stated Hagens Berman managing partner Steve Berman. "Instead of playing by the rules, Samsung, Micron and Hynix chose to put consumers in a chokehold, wringing the market for more profit."

AMD "Llano" Securities Fraud Lawsuit Ongoing; Class Action Status Granted

As you may remember, "Llano" was somewhat of a disappointment for AMD, to put it mildly. Production issues with partner Global Foundries meant that Llano's roll-out was affected and extended beyond its predicted time-frame. This, in conjunction with other various factors, such as lack of product appeal over disappointing performance and the usual competition from Intel, forced AMD to pull in its second-generation "Trinity" APU too soon. By the time production finally caught up, it ended up overproducing relative to diminishing demand, which resulted in unsold inventory, thus forcing an inventory write-down of "Llano" chips valued at around $100 million. This reduced the company's worth by nearly that much overnight, and tanked the value of the AMD stock. This, of course, didn't sit well with investors.

The as-of-yet ongoing securities fraud lawsuit over AMD's "Llano" APUs has just achieved a milestone, in having been authorized by the Court to proceed as a class action. The Court's decision doesn't imply that the defendants (Rory P. Read, Thomas J. Seifert, Richard A. Bergman, and Dr. Lisa T. Su) did anything wrong. The defendants have not been ordered to pay any money, no settlement has been reached, no money is available as of now and there is no guarantee that there will be in the future.

Seagate Hit with Class Action Lawsuit over High HDD Failure Rates

Hard drive major Seagate has been hit with a class action lawsuit, accusing it of abnormally high failure rates for its 1.5 TB and 3 TB internal and external/portable hard drives. It also accuses the company of false claims over "reliability" and "dependability" in its marketing.

The lawsuit cites data aggregated by cloud solutions company Backblaze. According to this data, a 3 TB Seagate hard drive is three times as likely to fail, as a Western Digital (WD) 3 TB hard drive. It's also ten times as likely to fail as a Hitachi drive. The data appears to look at percentage failure rate, and not raw failed drive volumes, so market-share and volumes shipped by each company is not relevant. Seagate is yet to respond to the lawsuit.

OCZ Announces Settlement of Consolidated Shareholder Class Action Litigation

OCZ Technology Group, Inc., a leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs) and power management solutions for computing devices and systems, today announced that it has reached a settlement in principle in the federal shareholder class action litigation filed in connection with the Company's financial restatement.

The settlement is subject to negotiation of final documentation and court approval. Subject to Court approval, the settlement of $7.5 million will be funded by the Company's D&O liability insurance. The settlement may include an additional payment of the lesser of $6M or 4% of the net proceeds in the event that the company or any portion of it is sold within six months of the executed settlement agreement. This settlement would resolve the consolidated shareholder class actions pending in connection with the restatement.

Plantiffs' Counsel Announces that Federal Jury Finds Toshiba Fixed LCD Prices

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP and Pearson, Simon, Warshaw & Penny, LLP today announced that a federal court jury this morning found that Toshiba Corporation and its subsidiaries conspired with the world's other leading manufacturers of Thin Film Transistor-Liquid Crystal Displays ("TFT-LCDs") to raise and fix the prices of TFT-LCD panels and certain products. The jury awarded damages of $87 million. Federal antitrust law requires the trebling of these damages, resulting in a $261 million award against Toshiba.

Richard M. Heimann, co-lead counsel for plaintiffs, stated, "We are very pleased the jury found in favor of the plaintiffs and found that Toshiba violated the law, particularly in light of the government's decision not to criminally prosecute Toshiba for its misconduct. The case demonstrates once again the critical role our civil justice system plays in holding corporations, no matter how powerful or where they are based in the world, accountable for violating U.S. antitrust laws."

Toshiba Responds to Jury Verdict in a U.S. Class Action for LCD Price Fixing

Toshiba Corporation (Toshiba) and its subsidiary, Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. (TAEC), announced today that a jury in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California (San Francisco) has issued a verdict against Toshiba in the amount of US$87 million due to alleged antitrust practices in the LCD business. Given credits for settlements by other defendants, Toshiba expects that it will not have to pay any damages as a result of this verdict, even after trebling under U.S. antitrust laws.
This class action was filed in 2007 by direct purchasers of LCD panels and related products in the United States.

Toshiba has consistently maintained that there was no illegal activity on its part in the LCD business in the United States, and Toshiba continues to hold that view. While Toshiba appreciates the jury's time and effort, Toshiba believes that the jury's verdict is in error as to the finding of wrongdoing on Toshiba's part. Toshiba plans to pursue all available legal avenues to correct that finding.

AMD Flogging Dodgy Chips? Gets Slapped With Lawsuit

AMD has been slapped with a lawsuit by Quanta for allegedly selling faulty CPUs & GPUs that were unfit for purpose, since they didn't meet specified heat tolerances and subsequently failed. Taiwan-based Quanta may not have a name that the general public immediately recognizes, however they are actually the world's largest contract manufacturer of notebooks, so this lawsuit is a big deal. They claim that the faulty parts were used in notebooks made for NEC. The lawsuit was filed in a district court in San Jose, California and in the filing, Quanta claims they have "suffered significant injury to prospective revenue and profits". As Bloomberg reports, "the lawsuit also claims breach of warranty, negligent misrepresentation, civil fraud and interference with a contract."

Hurt Locker Copyright Extortion Racket In Tatters, Plaintiffs' Hypocrisy

Voltage Pictures, producers of movie Hurt Locker attempted to use a reverse class action tactic to extort hundreds of millions in 'settlement' claims aka extortion demands over alleged 'losses' due to 'piracy' - something that has never and can never, be quantified and proved. However, their attempt has failed miserably - plus read on for how Voltage Pictures did a little content 'theft' of their very own to make the movie.

The idea was to use the services of the US Copyright Group (USCG) to extract personal subscriber information from ISP's via subpoenas and then send demand letters averaging US $2,000 to hapless victims, with the hope of racking in a grand total of around US $94 million - way more than the film ever made, about US $12.6 million.
The USCG quickly unloaded lawsuit claims against 47K members of the unwitting American public, even as Voltage Picture spewed a stream of vitriol suggesting that the children and families of file sharers would hopefully "end up in jail".
explained DailyTech, putting it very well. Yes, let's get the kiddies in the name of corporate copyright and profit...

Sony's Anti-Class Action ToS Attracts Class Action Lawsuit!

In perhaps one of the more ironic legal moves to be seen recently, Sony's clause in its Terms of Service preventing PlayStation 3 owners from filing class action lawsuits has itself attracted a class action lawsuit! The lawsuit was filed in Northern California in November, by a man on behalf of PS3 owners who signed up for the PlayStation Network before September, when the ToS were updated and this anti-class action clause added.

The killer clause is buried deep into the contract and is very hard to spot, requiring the contract to be read all the way through with a fine toothcomb - if the reader can rise to the challenge of reading the complicated and dry legalese it's written in. Compounding the problem is that the agreement isn't even readily available online for anyone to study - it can only be viewed on the PS3 itself (so the console is already used before you can even see the agreement - hardly fair?) and appears near the bottom of the 21-page form. Previous agreements had been posted online for anyone to inspect. On top of that, the only way of opting out of it, is to mail a physical letter to Sony within 30 days of agreeing to the ToS - very inconvenient and likely to be forgotten by the average person. The main thrust of the lawsuit are allegations of unfair business practices, since PS3 owners are forced to choose between forfeiting their rights or access to the PSN. Note that since Sony introduced this clause, Electronic Arts and Microsoft have both introduced similar clauses, which doesn't put them in a very good light either and potentially at the receiving end of a lawsuit themselves.

HP's Hackable Printers: The Lawsuit

Three days ago, we brought you news of how researchers have made proof-of-concept attacks on HP printers by reprogramming their firmware. Among other things, these attacks could deliberately cause the fuser in a printer to overheat and singe the paper, until shut down by a built-in unoverridable thermal switch, preventing a fire. Now, in light of this, a lawsuit has been filed by David Goldblatt of New York, seeking damages for fraudulent and deceptive business practices and is looking for class action status: "As a result of HP's failure to require the use of digital signatures to authenticate software upgrades, hackers are able to reprogram the HP Printers' software with malicious software without detection," the suit says. "Once the HP printers' software is maliciously reprogrammed, the HP printers can be remotely controlled by computer hackers over the Internet, who can then steal personal information, attack otherwise secure networks, and even cause physical damage to the HP printers, themselves." Note that HP has used digital signatures since 2009 to authenticate the firmware updates, helping to mitigate this potential problem in recent models.

Despite this though, HP still intends to patch the firmware to eliminate threats from this hack, which exploits bugs in the firmware. As these attacks have only actually been demonstrated in the lab and no actual losses have been incurred by Goldblatt, it makes one wonder if he is just using the prevailing American "victim culture" to try and make a quick buck off HP. HP are the top printer brand, mainly because their products are excellent, performing well and lasting a long time, plus other companies' printers and embedded devices have the same problems, so it seems unlikely that he would really not have bought HP printers.
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