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Patent requests in Europe reach record in 2011

Patent requests in the Europe reached a record high in 2011, in a telling sign that companies are determined to stay on the cutting edge despite a debt crisis and an uncertain economy.

In total 244,437 requests for patents were filed in 2011 at the Munich-based European Patent Office, the body's annual report showed. That is 3.7 percent more than 2010.

The office, which centralises requests from 38 European nations, maintains a strict qualitative control and on average approves four requests out of 10. In 2011, the office approved 62,115 patents, 6.9 percent more than 2010.


http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-03-patent-europe.html
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With Oracle vs. Google trial about to begin, judge orders settlement talks

High-level executives at Google and Oracle were ordered to hold one last round of settlement talks, with the trial over Google's alleged use of Java technology in Android set to begin April 16.

The suit began in August 2010 when Oracle sued Google for patent and copyright infringement over use of the Java programming language in development of Android. Settlement talks have been ordered multiple times, but so far no deal has been made. On Friday, Judge Paul Grewal of US District Court in Northern California ordered Android chief Andy Rubin and Oracle Chief Financial Officer Safra Catz to hold "a further settlement conference" no later than April 9.

The last-ditch effort to avoid a trial seems unlikely to succeed. The trial date of April 16 was recently confirmed, after Oracle narrowed the scope of its claims against Google.

Oracle initially accused Google of violating seven patents, but has since dropped most of them. This is due to the US Patent and Trademark Office ruling the patents described technology that was not patentable. Two patents assigned to the Oracle-owned Sun Microsystems remain: #6,061,520, which covers "an improvement over conventional systems for initializing static arrays by reducing the amount of code executed by the virtual machine to statically initialize an array," and #RE38,104, which covers a type of compiler and interpreter.


dalej: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/.....-talks.ars
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Graphics Properties sues Apple, Samsung, others

The company formerly known as Silicon Graphics also targets HTC, RIM, LG and Sony in a patent infringement suit

Top mobile device makers including Apple and Samsung were sued on Tuesday by Graphics Properties Holdings, which is alleging that the smartphone vendors infringed on a single graphics-related patent in their smartphones and other consumer electronics.

Formerly known as Silicon Graphics, Graphics Properties Holdings (GPH) is seeking damages and has filed six separate cases against Apple, Samsung, Research In Motion, HTC, Sony and LG with the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware.

The patent at issue in the lawsuits relates to floating point calculations to render graphics, and is registered as patent number 8,144,158 with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.


dalej: http://www.techworld.com.au/article/4198.....ung_others
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Windows 7 może zniknąć z niemieckiego rynku. Z ujawnionych dokumentów sądowych dowiadujemy się, że Motorola odrzuciła propozycję przyjęcia 300 milionów dolarów w obligacjach, w zamian za wstrzymanie się z wykonaniem wyroku sądowego.

Motorola pozwała Microsoft do sądu o naruszenie praw patentowych do standardu wideo H.264 oraz 802.11 WiFi. Wyrok ma zapaść 17 kwietnia. Jeśli Microsoft przegra, jego produkty, takie jak np. Windows 7 mogą zostać usunięte z niemieckiego rynku.


dalej: http://kopalniawiedzy.pl/Microsoft-Motor.....2-11,15537
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Australian WiFi inventors win US legal battle

Australian government science body CSIRO said Sunday it had won a multi-million-dollar legal settlement in the United States to license its patented technology that underpins the WiFi platform worldwide.

Scientists from the agency invented the wireless local area network (WLAN) technology that is the basis of the WiFi signal employed by computers, smartphones and other Internet-ready devices around the world.

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) patented the technology in the 1990s, and has been suing companies using it without a licence since 2005.


dalej: http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-04-australian-wifi-inventors-legal.html
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EU probes Motorola in patent war with Apple, Microsoft

The European Commission opened on Tuesday two antitrust investigations against Google's Motorola Mobility following complaints from Apple and Microsoft in a patent war between the technology giants.

The EU competition watchdog said it would check whether Motorola had abused a dominant market position on patents by seeking injunctions to stop Apple and Microsoft from selling their iPhone, iPad, Xbox and Windows products.

Microsoft and Apple accuse Motorola Mobility of unfairly using its extensive patent portfolio to try to block competing products through court orders across the EU, and by charging excessive licensing prices for essential patents.

In February, European Union and US regulators cleared the acquisition of Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion (9.4 billion euros) by Google.


http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-04-eu-probes-motorola-patent-war.html
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Yahoo! pozywa Facebooka, Facebook pozywa Yahoo! – wojna jak w telenoweli rozkręca się na dobre

Kiedy kilka tygodni temu Yahoo! pozwało Facebooka o kilka patentów nie spodziewałem się, że Facebook odpowie tym samym. Nie miał wtedy przecież zbyt wielkiego portfolio patentów. Potem jednak FB kilka patentów dokupił – ok. 750 sztuk przeszło z IBM do FB. A teraz Facebook pozywa Yahoo! w odpowiedzi na wcześniejszy pozew. I korzysta ze swoich starych patentów. Powoli zaczyna to przypominać dobrą telenowelę.


dalej: http://antyweb.pl/yahoo-pozywa-facebooka.....-na-dobre/
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Farm-fresh infringement: Can you violate a patent by planting some seeds?

Can a farmer commit patent infringement just by planting soybeans he bought on the open market? This week, the Supreme Court asked the Obama administration to weigh in on the question. The Court is pondering an appeals court decision saying that such planting can, in fact, infringe patents.

In 1994, the agricultural giant Monsanto obtained a patent covering a line of "Roundup Ready" crops that had been genetically modified to resist Monsanto's Roundup pesticides. This genetic modification is hereditary, so future generations of seeds are also "Roundup Ready." Farmers had only to save a portion of their crop for re-planting the next season, and they wouldn't need to purchase new seed from Monsanto every year. The company didn't want to be in the business of making a one-time sale, so when Monsanto sold "Roundup Ready" soybeans to farmers, it required them to sign a licensing agreement promising not to re-plant future generations of seeds.

czytaj dalej: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/.....-seeds.ars
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AOL to sell 800 patents to Microsoft for $1 billion

(Reuters) - AOL Inc (AOL.N) said it would sell over 800 of its patents and related applications to Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O), and would grant Microsoft a non-exclusive license to the patents it retains, for slightly over $1 billion in cash.

AOL's shares jumped 37 percent to $25.16 in trading before the bell on Monday. They closed at $18.42 on Friday on the New York Stock Exchange.

The Internet company said it plans to return a "significant portion of the sale proceeds" to shareholders.

AOL will continue to hold over 300 patents including advertising, search, and mapping, and said it received a license to the patents being sold to Microsoft.

"This is a valuable portfolio that we have been following for years and analyzing in detail for several months," Microsoft's General Counsel Brad Smith said.


dalej: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/09/us-aol-microsoft-idUSBRE83809X20120409
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Niews nie za bardzo o wojnach patentowych, ale stwierdziłem, że wkleję tutaj:

Congress Asks Patent Office To Consider Secret Patents

The USPTO is considering a rather interesting request straight from lobbyists via congress. That certain 'Economically Significant' patents should be kept secret during the process (PDF Warning) of being evaluated and granted. While this does occur at the moment on a very select few patents 'due to national security' for things like nuclear energy and the like — this would allow it to go much, much further. 'By statute, patent applications are published no earlier than 18 months after the filing date, but it takes an average of about three years for a patent application to be processed. This period of time between publication and patent award provides worldwide access to the information included in those applications. In some circumstances, this information allows competitors to design around U.S. technologies and seize markets before the U.S. inventor is able to raise financing and secure a market.


Fluffeh / http://yro.slashdot.org/story/12/04/30/0.....et-patents
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Nokia dołącza do wesołej, bezsensownej wojny patentowej

Wszyscy pozywają wszystkich. A jeśli nie pozywają, to straszą, wymuszają, kupują sobie przyjaźnie. Prawo patentowe jest chore i archaiczne, dochodzimy do absurdów, w którym więcej pieniędzy trzeba wydać na prawników, niż na dział R&D. Do wesołej gromadki pozywających wszystkich o wszystko wkracza Nokia. I to z impetem.

Jak pomyślimy o terminie „Pierwsza Wojna Patentowa”, to zapewne nasza pamięć sięga pierwszych sporów pomiędzy Samsungiem i Apple’em. Ci bardziej pamiętliwi przypomną sobie kilka innych awantur. A tymczasem już w 1929 roku wybuchła kłótnia o to, kto wynalazł radio. Artykuł opisujący sprzeczkę pojawił się w magazynie Time, 10 czerwca tamtego roku. Firmy techniczne właśnie wtedy nauczyły się, że można zarobić jeszcze więcej na swoich wynalazkach. Nauczyły się, że można nie tylko zarobić grube miliony na innowacji, ale jeszcze kolejnych kilka na niedopuszczaniu do niej innych podmiotów.


dalej: http://www.spidersweb.pl/2012/05/nokia-d.....towej.html
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The Patent Mafia and What You Can Do To Break It Up

Young man, I hear you and your friends are stealing goods. But you don't even send a dress to my house. No respect! You know I've got three daughters. This is my neighborhood. You and your friends should show me some respect. You should let me wet my beak a little. I hear you and your friends cleared $600 each. Give me $200 each, for your own protection. And I'll forget the insult. You young punks have to learn to respect a man like me! Otherwise the cops will come to your house. And your family will be ruined. Of course, if I'm wrong about how much you stole, I'll take a little less. And by less, I only mean - a hundred bucks less. Now don't refuse me. Understand, paisan? Understand, paisan?... Tell your friends I don't want a lot. Just enough to wet my beak. Don't be afraid to tell them!  ~ Don Fanucci, The Godfather, Part II

Just like the organization of which Don Fanucci was part of in the Godfather, Part II, there is another "organization" today seeking to "wet their beak" every time some company comes up with a new or better way to use technology. This "Patent Mafia" is building patent stockpiles like the US and USSR stockpiled nuclear missiles at the height of the cold war. A difference between the real Mafia and the Patent Mafia is that the Patent Mafia actually uses the government and the courts to strong arm and enforce their will.

The lawsuits are raging all across the tech world. Oracle sues Google, Yahoo sues Facebook, they counter-sue. Others threaten, others buy more patents and the circle goes round and round.

Don't be fooled by the lawsuits between these tech titans though. The real cost that the patent mafia extracts from the tech world is on the smaller companies who can't afford to battle the Apples and Microsofts of the world. Their choices are far simpler. They can abandon their innovations or they can choose to pay and allow the Mafiosos to wet their beaks. Also, don't be fooled about who the real losers are here. The the real losers are you and me. We lose out on being able to leverage innovative new ideas and technologies that come to market or have to pay more for them so that the the mafia can wet its beak.

This system of software patents has been called out by many. While companies are certainly entitled to the fruits of their inventions, many of these patent rackets are based on patents improperly issued, improperly enforced or improperly applied.


czytaj dalej: http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/80496
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Cytat:
With Oracle vs. Google trial about to begin, judge orders settlement talks

High-level executives at Google and Oracle were ordered to hold one last round of settlement talks, with the trial over Google's alleged use of Java technology in Android set to begin April 16.

Oracle might only receive $150,000 in damages from Google

Oracle was trying to go after Google with the intent to receive up to $6 billion in damages. Slowly that figure has dwindled down to somewhere around $1 billion and then a few hundred million. Now, it looks like Oracle could end up with just $150,000 — if anything at all given that the threat of a mistrial looms and we’re still in the middle of the second phase of the trial covering patent infringement.

Judge William Alsup warned Oracle at the U.S. District Court of Northern California on Thursday morning that the “most” the plaintiff might end up with is statutory damages over the nine lines of code in the rangeCheck method — the only item on the verdict form during phase one of the trial in which the jury found Google’s conceded use was copyright infringement.

“The fact that they have nine lines out of many millions, you have no damage study tied in,” Alsup exclaimed to Oracle.


całość: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/btl/oracle-mig.....ogle/76611
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ITC Judge Calls For US Xbox Import Ban

In the long running dispute between Motorola and Microsoft, Judge David Shaw of the ITC recommended Monday an import ban on Xbox 360 S consoles, as they are found to infringe Motorola's patents (PDF). The judge also ordered Microsoft post a bond of 7 percent of the retail price of all unsold U.S. Xbox inventory. The decision will go to the ITC's board of commissioners, who will either uphold the recommendation or overturn it. 'Microsoft argued that Shaw's exclusion order does not serve the public interest because it would leave consumers of video game consoles with only two options to satisfy their needs: the Sony Playstation and the Nintendo Wii. Shaw rejected that argument, finding that the public interest in enforcing intellectual property rights outweighs any potential economic impact on video game console buyers. /symbolset


http://games.slashdot.org/story/12/05/23.....import-ban

This follows news last week of Microsoft winning an import ban on Motorola's Android devices.
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Jednolity Patent: Profesorowie są przeciw, upominają rząd

Niebawem w Polsce może się pojawić mrowie nowych patentów, a ewentualne spory trzeba będzie rozstrzygać poza Polską, w postępowaniu prowadzonym w obcym języku - takie ryzyko wiąże się z inicjatywą Jednolitego Patentu, do której polski rząd chce przystąpić. Dziś apel ws. wycofania się przez Polskę ze wzmocnionej współpracy patentowej wystosowali profesorowie będący autorytetami w dziedzinie prawa własności intelektualnej.

Dziennik Internautów kilkakrotnie pisał o problemach związanych z Jednolitym Patentem. Chodzi o wspólną ochronę patentową w Europie, która ma być ustanowiona trzema aktami prawnymi, tzn. rozporządzeniem Parlamentu Europejskiego i Rady, rozporządzeniem Rady oraz umową międzynarodową o Jednolitym Sądzie Patentowym.

Jednolita ochrona patentowa może być ułatwieniem dla międzynarodowych korporacji, ale firmy z Polski nagle znajdą się na rynku, na którym pojawi się wiele nowych patentów, należących także do firm spoza UE. Procedury patentowe będą prowadzone w językach innych niż polski, a przedsiębiorcy mogą być zmuszani do bronienia swoich racji w sądach zagranicznych, również prowadzących postępowania w obcym języku.

Polska ma jeszcze czas na wycofanie się z inicjatywy. Apelują o to przedsiębiorcy oraz rzecznicy patentowi. Strona rządowa robi natomiast wrażenie, jakby w ogóle nie rozumiała, w czym problem. Ministerstwo Gospodarki powołuje się na szacunki Komisji Europejskiej i mówi: "no przecież będzie taniej, Komisja tak mówi".


czytaj dalej: http://di.com.pl/news/45432,0,Jednolity_....._rzad.html
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Patent Troll Now Armed With Thousands of Nortel Patents

You may recall last summer that Apple, Microsoft, EMC, RIM, Ericsson and Sony all teamed up to buy Nortel's patents for $4.5 billion. They beat out a team of Google and Intel who bid a bit less. While there was some antitrust scrutiny over the deal, it was dropped and the purchase went through. Apparently, the new owners picked off a bunch of patents to transfer to themselves... and then all (minus EMC, who, one hopes, was horrified by the plans) decided to support a massive new patent troll armed with the remaining 4,000 patents. The company is called Rockstar Consortium, and it's run by the folks who used to run Nortel's patent licensing program anyway — but now employs people whose job it is to just find other companies to threaten.

In a semi-related note, there is a new petition to the Whitehouse to make a law that patent lawsuits that find for the defendant automatically fine the plaintiff three times the damages they were seeking.


http://yro.slashdot.org/story/12/05/27/1.....el-patents
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Amazon Patents Electronic Gifting

Simply giving your mother an e-book for her birthday could constitute patent infringement now that the USPTO's gone and awarded Amazon.com a patent on the 'Electronic Gifting' of items such as music, movies, television programs, games, or books. BusinessInsider speculates that the patent may be of concern to Facebook, which just dropped a reported $80 million on social gift-giving app maker Karma Science


http://yro.slashdot.org/story/12/05/31/0340203/amazon-patents-electronic-gifting
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Google wins crucial API ruling, Oracle's case decimated

Java API packages "free for all to use under the Copyright Act."

Oracle's legal battle to break itself off a chunk of the smartphone market by attacking Android looks dead in the water today, after a federal judge who recently finished presiding over the six-week Oracle v. Google trial ruled that the structure of the Java APIs that Oracle was trying to assert can't be copyrighted at all.

It's only the code itself—not the "how-to" instructions represented by APIs—that can be the subject of a copyright claim, ruled Judge William Alsup. "So long as the specific code used to implement a method is different, anyone is free under the Copyright Act to write his or her own code to carry out exactly the same function or specification of any methods used in the Java API," wrote the judge.


dalej: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/.....decimated/


Czytaj też po polsku na osnews.pl: Oracle v. Google - jeszcze piękniejsza katastrofa
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Google Points Finger at Microsoft, Nokia

Google Inc. GOOG said it filed an antitrust complaint Thursday in Europe arguing that Microsoft Corp. MSFT and Nokia Corp. are using proxy companies to brandish patents and hurt the prospects of Google's Android mobile-phone software to the advantage of Microsoft's technology.

Google also plans to share its complaint about patent "trolls" with U.S. competition regulators.

The Internet-search giant alleges that Microsoft and Nokia have entered into agreements that enable entities such as Canada-based Mosaid Technologies Inc. to legally enforce their patent rights and share the resulting revenue.


dalej: http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB10.....DEyWj.html
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Oracle Sues Lodsys

The constellations have shifted again. Oracle has just sued Lodsys, seeking to invalidate four of its patents. The complaint actually claims noninfringement and invalidity.

I know. Oracle is now the good guy. Major good guy.

See why I always tell you that to avoid whiplash, don't look at the parties in litigation and decide who you like, but anaylze the issues involved and plant your flag accordingly? Hence, here we are, on the same side of this issue, Groklaw and Oracle. Who'd-a thunk it last week?

No. The API claims in Oracle v. Google are still from the Devil, as far as I'm concerned. But now there is a new issue in new litigation, and Lodsys... well. We've been covering Lodsys for quite a while.


reszta: http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20120604161143147
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Samsung sues Aussie patent office in Apple suit

Samsung has sued the Australian patent commissioner, and by extension the Federal Government, in an attempt to force a review of patents key to its ongoing, high-profile battle with smartphone rival Apple.

The South Korean manufacturer has battled Apple in Australian courts for nearly a year over attempts to block both companies' competing products from sale.

In the latest move, however, Samsung filed a statement of claim in the Federal Court on May 22 seeking a judicial review of four patents it claimed were inappropriately granted to Apple between 2009 and 2010.

The document, sighted by iTnews, claimed the patents were granted "ultra vires", or beyond the powers of the patent commissioner.

Samsung hoped the review would effectively nullify the patents, which sit at the core of Apple's case against Samsung's iPad rival tablet, the Galaxy Tab 10.1.

Court documents indicated that the patent commissioner will be represented in the new case by the Australian Government solicitor.

A directions hearing is scheduled for June 25 before Justice Annabelle Bennett, who has presided over the majority of hearings between Apple and Samsung in Australia to date.

Bennett also ordered the initial ban on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, which was later overturned by a full bench of judges.

Samsung said the four patents should not have been granted, as they were duplicates of innovation patents that had already been granted by the commissioner under Australia's patent system.


czytaj dalej: http://www.itnews.com.au/News/304068,sam.....-suit.aspx
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Anti-Piracy Patent Stops Students From Sharing Textbooks

A new patent granted this week aims to stop students from sharing textbooks, both off and online. The patent awarded to economics professor Joseph Henry Vogel hopes to embed the publishing world even further into academia. Under his proposal, students can only participate in courses when they buy an online access code which allows them to use the course book. No access code means a lower grade, all in the best interests of science.

For centuries, students have shared textbooks with each other, but a new patent aims to stop this “infringing” habit.

The patent in question was granted to Professor of Economics Joseph Henry Vogel. He believes that piracy, lending and reselling of books is a threat to the publishing industry.

“Professors are increasingly turning a blind eye when students appear in class with photocopied pages. Others facilitate piracy by placing texts in the library reserve where they can be photocopied,” Vogel writes.

The result is less money for publishers, and fewer opportunities for professors like himself to get published. With Vogel’s invention, however, this threat can be stopped.


dalej: http://torrentfreak.com/anti-piracy-pate.....ks-120610/
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Dutch court rules against Apple in Samsung case

A Dutch court ruled on Wednesday that Apple has infringed on a patent held by South Korean rival Samsung and ordered the US computer giant to pay an unspecified amount of damages.

"The court orders that the defendant pay Samsung for the damages it suffered since August 4, 2010 as the result of an infringement on (patent) EP 269," The Hague district court said in its ruling.

Samsung took Apple to court on June 30, 2011 for alleged infringements on four of its 3G, or third-generation telephone technology patents as part of a world-wide legal fight between the companies over alleged patent breaches.


http://phys.org/news/2012-06-dutch-court-apple-samsung-case.html
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Patent Wars Worth the Pricetag?

It´s beginning to feel like a TV series, a weekly patent war drama. Apple and Samsung have consistently been going back and forth with claims of IP infringement, to the point where who is accusing who of what is exhausting to follow. The question I would like to ask and try to answer is what the opportunity costs are of pursuing litigation versus just toughing it out? Would it be more economic for both companies to live and let live, or is there value to be captured in legal finger pointing? My best guess would be that this isn´t about stopping sales this quarter or next, nor is it about defending the small-scale tech features that merely mildly differentiate. It´s instead about momentum and branding. Winning these cases is PR that says, `we are the leaders in smartphone technology, we are the innovators.´


czytaj dalej: http://www.patexia.com/feed/patent-wars-worth-the-pricetag-20120625
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US Patent Trolling Costs $29 Billion a Year

This piece of research from Boston University seems to put an end to claims that patent trolling is 'socially valuable,' and instead is a social loss. 'We estimate that firms accrued $29 billion of direct costs in 2011. Moreover, although large firms accrued over half of direct costs, most of the defendants were small or medium-sized firms, indicating that [non-practicing entities] are not just a problem for large firms.' The total cost to society could be around $80 billion, according to the researchers. What's more, the costs have gone up fourfold since 2005.


Bismillah / http://yro.slashdot.org/story/12/06/27/0.....ion-a-year
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