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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 118

Apple stock gets bashed over the holidays, at a new 10-month low

The days of $700-plus Apple Inc. (AAPL) stock seem to be well and truly over, but the iDevice maker has seen their stock getting bashed around for a couple of months now. In the last 24 hours, it has reached a new 10-month low of just $513 per share.


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Around six weeks ago we reported that it was dropping big time, and at that stage it had reached $558 - so we're another 10% or so down in the last six weeks alone. On December 14 we reported their stock dropping 4% based on poor iPhone 5 sales in China.


I've expressed my thoughts many times on this, and I don't think we're going to see Apple recover. They've released new devices in all categories, so now all they can do is try and excite the market with something new - but have they burnt bridges in their journey?

Marvell to pay $1.17 billion in damages over patents

Chip maker Marvell has been hit with a huge patent fine, with the company violating two patents that are held by Carnegie Mellon University, which has seen a Pittsburgh federal jury award the University $1,169,140,271 in damages.


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The two patents were issued in 2001 and 2002 and are in relation to techniques of using noise signals to more precisely record data sequences. With Marvell wanting to take on Intel in the huge enterprise data market with their ARM-based chips, this is a huge setback having to shell out over a billion dollars.


The jury also ruled that Marvell violated the patents in question internationally, which will allow Carnegie Mellon to ask the judge to triple the already huge $1.17 billion verdict. Of course, Marvell will appeal the ruling, and they'll most likely make a mess of the case as court records have already shown that the company have demanded a mistrial, with the reason behind this unknown.


You can go through the jury verdict right here if you wish.

25-year AMD veteran leaves, joins Samsung

AMD are already going through tough times, but a 25-year veteran has just jumped ship to Samsung. Michael Goddard's last title with the company was Corporate Vice President for Product Design Engineering and Chief Engineer on Client Products has left the company after a quarter of a century.


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He has been with AMD since 1988, and has changed jobs just this month according to his LinkedIn profile, where he has joined electronics giant Samsung as their Vice President and System Architect at their Austin, Texas-based facility.


In the last couple of months, AMD have seen some 26 executives leave the company - from the higher levels of power, all the way down the ranks. AMD sliced 15% of their workforce this fall and are expected to slash even more jobs when the new year arrives.

Samsung planning on selling half a billion phones in 2013

Samsung is quite the player in the mobile phone market, with an estimated 420 million devices shipped this year. Next year, it's looking to do even better by aiming to move a record 510 million mobile handsets. If Samsung manages this, they will further separate themselves from their bitter rival Apple.


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"Of the 510 million handsets it plans to sell, 390 million are slated as smartphones and 120 million, feature and budget phones," according to an executive from one of Samsung's key suppliers.


"There are some possibilities that smartphone demand will slow in general. But we are seeing new demand for devices using Long Term Evolution (LTE)," said Kim Hyun-joon, an executive at Samsung's telecommunications division.


Gartner had previously predicted that Samsung would sell between 250 million and 300 million smartphones next year.


"Samsung's proven ability to quickly produce and replace a wide range of handsets aimed at several different markets contrasts with Nokia's struggles and Apple's difficulties that are mainly related to parts sourcing problems," said Hwang Min-seong, an analyst at Samsung Securities.

Microsoft's next six retail stores get detailed, see if one will be coming to a mall near you

Microsoft has detailed the planned locations for the first six stores of 2013. The locations are across the United States, ranging from the east coast to the west. Microsoft says 2012 saw 51 stores opened, though that number includes numerous "popup" stores, which featured limited selection for the holidays.


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The next six stores will be located at the following places:


  • The Shops at La Cantera, San Antonio, Texas
  • Dadeland Mall, Miami, Fla.
  • Beachwood Place, Beachwood, Ohio
  • Westfield San Francisco Centre, San Francisco
  • City Creek Center, Salt Lake City
  • St. Louis Galleria, St. Louis


These six new permanent installations will bring Microsoft's store count to 37 across the US and Canada. For comparison, Apple has 250 retail locations in the US, with 140 internationally.

Samsung seeks U.S. sales ban on some Ericsson products

In the seemingly never ending patent wars, Samsung has announced that, last week, it filed a complaint against Ericsson to ban U.S. sales on some of Ericsson's products. This move comes a month after Ericsson sued Samsung in the U.S for patent infringement.


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The company said in a statement that "we have sought to negotiate with Ericsson in good faith. However, Ericsson has proven unwilling to continue such negotiations by making unreasonable claims, which it is now trying to enforce in court."


These recent developments come after 2 years of failed negotiations, and licensing agreements. Twenty-four patent's are involved in the litigation. Ericsson said "the dispute concerns both Ericsson's patented technology that is essential to several telecommunications and networking standards used by Samsung's products as well as other of Ericsson's patented inventions that are frequently implemented in wireless and consumer electronics products."

Sprint salesperson denies customer an iPhone, says his "fingers are too fat" to use it

It looks like one Sprint salesperson isn't going to be around for much longer, as a customer has asked a Sprint rep for the older iPhone 4 which was part of his free upgrade, where the rep has called the device "a piece of sh**".


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The Sprint representative stated that the device breaks too easily, and is too small for most users. The rep instead recommended the Samsung Galaxy S III, to which the customer refused. Once he refused the S III, the rep went a few steps too far and told the man that his fingers were too fat to use on the iPhone, and that he would need a larger screen to use a smartphone properly.


Say what! The customer was pissed off enough to walk out of the store, where if it were me I'd be walking right up to the manager and demanding something far more serious than just walking out of the store.

ISP used by Pirate Bay founder has their accounts seized, Merry Christmas PRQ

PayPal has attacked the ISP setup by Pirate Bay founders, PRQ, where they've banned them from using the payment service and have seized all funds active in their accounts.


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This isn't the first time either, where they were initially slapped with an account freeze that would stay in place for up to 180 days. At this time, PayPal recommended that PRQ set up a second account while the dispute was active for the first, and that after the dispute was finalized, the second account would be merged with the original.


After PRQ had done this, PayPal slapped a freeze order on their second account. PRQ have taken to a statement to say:


First they froze our primary account without any prior notice - we can't even receive funds to it. After we contacted their 'support' they stated that the support could not help us, BUT the person who was responsible for our account should contact us within a couple of days.

Netflix goes down, pushes the blame onto Amazon

An outage to Netflix happened 24 hours ago, but the company have confirmed that they've restored their video streaming services a day after the outage happened, which was because of technical issues with their Web service provider, Amazon.


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Amazon engineers worked the entire night to get the services up and running again for Netflix, with Netflix saying that the outage began at around 3:30pm Eastern Time on Monday. This outage stopped all video streaming on a bunch of devices with a Netflix spokesman saying "we are investigating the cause and will do what we can to prevent reoccurrence".


Amazon's outages to certain services caused other companies like Heroku Inc. and social media app Score to experience problems, too. Everything appears to be back to normal now, thankfully as Netflix is the host to over 25.1 million streaming Americans.

UK court invalidates Motorola patent, could end German iCloud ban

A ruling from a High Court judge in England may have wide-reaching implications. The ruling invalidates one of Motorola's patents, a key that Motorola used to get an injunction against Apple's iCloud in Germany. With this invalidation, the groundwork is laid for a repeal of the injunction gained in Germany.


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The patent in question is one that deals with syncing messages across multiple mobile devices. Originally granted in the 1990s, the patent uses old technology, with Apple's implementation using new modern tech. The injunction was granted, with the judge ruling that the patent applies to modern technology.


If the decision is not overturned on appeal, the German iCloud ban should be overturned, as well as Motorola and Google will be in a weaker position for future litigation. The judge specifically noted in his ruling that if the patent was upheld, Microsoft's Live Messenger and Exchange e-mail services could be shutdown for violation of the patent.

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