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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 115

Apple losing the battle for its claim to "App Store," part of case against Amazon dismissed

Apple sued Amazon over its use of the term "app store" to describe its online marketplace for Android apps. In a ruling today, a judge has dismissed part of the case, the part alleging that Amazon committed false advertising by using the term.


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Judge Phyllis Hamilton said there was "no support for the proposition that Amazon has expressly or impliedly communicated that its Appstore for Android possesses the characteristics and qualities that the public has come to expect from the Apple App Store and/or Apple products."


Apple has also sued for trademark infringement, though Apple does not yet own the trademark to "App Store." It has applied for the trademark, though several companies have moved to block the trademark. Microsoft has said in a motion for summary judgement that "Any secondary meaning or fame Apple has in 'App Store' is de facto secondary meaning that cannot convert the generic term 'app store' into a protectable trademark."


Apple argues that "The vastly predominant usage of the expression 'app store' in trade press is as a reference to Apple's extraordinarily well-known APP STORE mark and the services rendered by Apple thereunder."


Should Apple be able to own the trademark on "App Store"? A court will have to decide that at a later date. As it stands, it appears that Amazon will be allowed to continue using the term app store to describe its online marketplace for Android apps.

Polaroid to open 'Fotobars' that will let you print Instagram pics on different materials

Polaroid will be opening up 10 retails stores in 2013 that will be called FotoBars. These locations will allow you to edit and print pictures, applying filters if your picture isn't from Instagram. The pictures can then be printed on a variety of materials, framed if you want, and be shipped to you within a couple of days.


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From the image, it looks like editing will be done on Apple computers, which are probably used to make the whole experience "hip." Material options will include wood, bamboo, metal, acrylic, and canvas. Users will also have the option to print out a normal photo. According to Polaroid, a "critical aspect of the customer experience" is the ability to see and feel examples of the materials, which sounds very Appleish.


The first location will be Delray Beach in Florida, which opens in February. Further locations will open throughout the year, including New York and Las Vegas.


Chief executive Scott W. Hardy:


Unfortunately, even the very best of those pictures rarely ever escape the camera phone with which they were taken to be put on display around our homes and offices. Why? Because turning those pictures into something tangible, creative and permanent is neither easy nor fun. Polaroid Fotobar stores are going to change all of that.

Avis buys Zipcar for $500 million

Avis has tossed its hat into the $400 million US car sharing market by purchasing Zipcar for about $500 million. Zipcar has a reported 760,000 members in 20 major US cities.


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The acquisition comes at a 45% premium over Zipcar's closing price on Dec 31 2012 with the transaction set to complete in the spring of 2013. Zipcar was formed in January, 2000 as a way to bring the popular European concept of car sharing to the US


"By combining with Zipcar, we will significantly increase our growth potential, both in the United States and internationally, and will position our company to better serve a greater variety of consumer and commercial transportation needs," said Ronald L. Nelson, Avis Budget Group Chairman and CEO in a press release.

Apple to sell E-books in Japan

The Japanese newspaper Nikkei is reporting that Apple is planing on launching fully fledged iBookstores in Japan this year. It is unclear where the store will be open for business.


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Japan has been slow to embrace E-books, but with companies like Amazon, Google and Sony retailing the format, Apple had no choice but to follow suit. Apple has reportedly signed agreements with Japanese publishers Shogakukan, Kodansha and Kadokawa.


Manga has been dominating the Japanese E-book market lately, but Apple is banking on the arrival of western book publishers to fuel its fire and help turn its newest venture into something profitable.

Continue reading 'Apple to sell E-books in Japan' (full post)

Paris Apple Store robbed on New Year's Eve, more than $1 million taken

Apple's Paris store was robbed on New Year's Eve by armed robbers. The store had only been closed for about three hours when two people broke into the store through an employee entrance and attacked the security guard and janitor inside. The janitor is said to be lightly injured.


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The suspects reportedly stole Apple products, with the estimated loss to be around 1 million euros, or approximately $1.25 million. The police won't confirm: "It is too early to give an accurate estimation of the damage. An inventory is taking place to determine the exact amount of the damage," a Paris police spokeswoman said.

LG seeking ban on Samsung Note 10.1 in South Korea

The patent wars continue to move forward with the latest move being LG trying to ban the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 in South Korea. LG alleges that the Galaxy Note infringes upon three of LG's patents on LCD technology used by the display panel. "Through this action, LG Display seeks to completely stop the sale, manufacture and importation of the infringing Samsung product," LG Display said in a press release.


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LG has said that they would request compensation of $933,000 per day of continued non-compliance. This patent dispute started back in September when LG Display sued Samsung for infringing upon seven organic light-emitting diode patents. LG alleges five of Samsung's devices infringe, including Samsung's Galaxy S-series of smartphones.


Samsung counter-sued LG alleging that the latter company lured senior Samsung OLED researchers away from the former company, even though they had contracts preventing the working for a rival firm.

LOLTT: Hollywood studio IPs caught pirating movies using BitTorrent

The companies that have been leading the charge against piracy and copyright infringement have been caught infringing upon other company's intellectual property. TorrentFreak, with the help of Scaneye, tracked IPs associated with Hollywood Studios and logged what Torrents the IPs were downloading.


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As it turns out, the studio IPs had lots of torrents associated with their IPs. For instance, you can see above that Paramount Pictures employees were downloading several different movies from competing studios. Warner Brothers, Sony, 20th Century Fox, and even Walt Disney had similar lists of downloads.


This shouldn't really surprise anyone. We've known that this occurs for a while now, but it's always good for those advocating against increased copyright laws to be able to show that the companies championing the changes are infringing as well. This new data comes right before the new Six Strikes policy is set to take effect in the US.


This likely isn't the last we'll hear about this.

Google directed users to Apple stock when they typed 'Sell' in Google Finance

Earlier this past week, when users typed "Sell" into the search bar on Google Finance, they were directed to the page for Apple's stock. Claiming the result on its algorithm, Google said that there was no secret plot to overthrow Apple.


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"This isn't deliberate," the company said in a statement. "Our algorithms seem to be keying off of the words 'sell' and "sells" in the description of this very popular stock symbol. We're working on how to adjust things so it doesn't happen anymore."


Google has since tweaked the algorithm so that typing "Sell" into the search bar on Google Fininance brings up a list of stocks including Selestra, who's Ticker name is SELL.

Continue reading 'Google directed users to Apple stock when they typed 'Sell' in Google Finance' (full post)

Yahoo's plan of leaving South Korea is complete

Yahoo said they'd be reversing out of the South Korean market by the end of this year, and they've now completed this move. Yahoo have posted on their site with detailed instructions to users on when exactly all of their services will stop, with most of them stopping today - December 31.


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The company revealed the plans to pull out of the South Korean market back in October, as part of their plan of "reinventing" themselves with Marissa Mayer now in control. The move is said to cost Yahoo as much as $94 million and the loss of 200 jobs. The company said in October:


This decision is part of our efforts to streamline operations and focus our resources on building a stronger global business that's set up for long-term growth and success.

Zynga flicks the switch on PetVille, and 10 other games in order to save money

Most of my Facebook feed used to be filled with game requests, until I began blocking all game requests - I'm looking at you, Nanna. But, it looks like Zynga CEO Mark Pincus has started his cost-reduction plan which was announced last month.


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Zynga has either shut down or pulled from app stores, stopped accepting new players to eleven games with some of those games turning off today. Zynga will reallocate resources from the games gone or cut down to the titles that are actually doing well, or put them into creating new games.


The company have had a very rocky year after bursting out of the gate to be a huge success, where their share price is down from their IPO launch of $10 to just $2.33 now. Zynga have announced huge cost-cutting measure which will see over 100 employees cut, offices shutting their doors, ceasing to renew deals with contractors, shutting down 13 games, as well as reducing investments into The Sims-style game, The Ville.

Continue reading 'Zynga flicks the switch on PetVille, and 10 other games in order to save money' (full post)

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