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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 270

RIM just can't catch a break, sued by Dutch firm for infringing on patents

It seems as though RIM, the makers of Blackberry, just can't catch a break. Earlier today, we reported that there were reports circulating that a possible stabbing occurred at a RIM party. Now we are reporting about how they are being sued by a Dutch company which is accusing them of infringing on 6 patents.




Dutch semiconductor company NXP filed a lawsuit in a court in Orlando, Florida on Monday. The suit accuses that some of RIM's BlackBerry phones, together with the PlayBook tablet, have infringed on patents issued to the company between 1997 and 2008. RIM's stock, which has already fallen around 80% in the last year, fell another 9.6% after the news of the lawsuit broke.


In its complaint, NXP said it was seeking "recovery of damages at least for lost profits, reasonable royalties, unjust enrichment, and benefits received by RIM as a result of using the misappropriated technology." RIM will want to avoid a similar outcome to what happened back in 2006 when they were forced to pay out over $600 million after a 5 year legal battle.

Facebook counter sues Yahoo for infringing on 10 of its patents

Facebook is playing the Yahoo vs. Facebook lawsuit by the book. Facebook, in its turn, has counter sued Yahoo for infringing on 10 of its patents. This move was predicted by Erin-Michael Gill, the chief intellectual property officer for MDB Capital. "Facebook is following the playbook," he said. "They're doing exactly what potentially Facebook investors would expect them to do. They're leveraging the IP that they've acquiring the past few years. They're putting their best assets on the table and now can engage in negotiations from a far stronger position."




Ted Ullyot, Facebook's General Counsel, said, "From the outset, we said we would defend ourselves vigorously against Yahoo's lawsuit, and today we filed our answer as well as counter-claims against Yahoo for infringing ten of Facebook's patents.... While we are asserting patent claims of our own, we do so in response to Yahoo's short-sighted decision to attack one of its partners and prioritize litigation over innovation."


Yahoo has sued Facebook because Yahoo has been unable to keep up in the changing landscape of the modern internet. They used to be an internet pioneer, but have fallen behind with the times. They are losing the search wars to Google. The counterclaim paints a different picture. Facebook is claiming that they are the damaged party. They want the court to dismiss Yahoo's case and award Facebook damages.

Continue reading 'Facebook counter sues Yahoo for infringing on 10 of its patents ' (full post)

Arizona attempts to outlaw cyberbullies, Internet trolls

A new law in the state of Arizona could make my favorite pastime illegal. No, I'm not a cyber bully, I'm an internet troll. The new law has implications that could turn every chat room and comment section on the web illegal. The law is set to make just about any annoying, harassing or offensive online comment, reply or message illegal in the state of Arizona.




If I were to continue being a troll after the passing, I could be fined $250,000 and put in jail for 6 months. The bill takes an older telephone bill regarding these issues and just updates it to read "electronic or digital communications." No one took the time to consider the differences in the media, such as, you know, the internet doesn't sit there ringing at you. You actually have to voluntarily seek out the internet.

Continue reading 'Arizona attempts to outlaw cyberbullies, Internet trolls' (full post)

TripAdvisor latest to file antitrust complaint against Google in EU

The online site TripAdvisor joins the fight against the behemoth that is Google. TripAdvisor follows Expedia who filed a complaint last week. TripAdvisor claims in the European Union filing that Google is using "anti-competitive and unfair practices...that harm the marketplace and consumer welfare."




Both Expedia and TripAdvisor are claiming that Google is using its dominant position in the search market to harm the marketplace. These two are added to the growing list of people who have complained about Google over the past year. The European Commission said, during its November 2010 investigation, it was examining whether Google artificially lowered rankings while boosting its own services.


Last year, Microsoft filed a formal complaint saying that it has "taken to entrench its dominance in the markets for online search and search advertising to the detriment of European consumers." Google has said that they will comply and help any investigation that occurs as a result of the complaint.

Apple and Samsung make up 95% of all handset profits in Q4 2011

A new study from Canaccord Genuity is claiming that Apple and Samsung account for a combined 95-percent of all handset profits in Q4 2011. Apple accounts for 80-percent of profits, while the company behind the GALAXY range of handsets, Samsung, takes 15-percent. The remaining 5-percent is left to all of the other manufacturers.




This leave companies such as Research in Motion (RIM), HTC and Nokia with just 5-percent of the profits, considering they were at once time all top dogs of the market, this is a big change and I'm sure it's hard to swallow for these companies. CNET reports that Apple's iPhone is outselling all other phones combined at AT&T and Sprint, and with Verizon Wireless they are even with all Android phones available.


Samsung has seen incredible success with their GALAXY S range of phones, with the GALAXY S II selling 20 million units in 2011. The GALAXY S III is the most anticipated phone ahead of its official announcement, and Samsung's GALAXY Note has been selling quite well, even if it is half way between a tablet and smartphone. I'm predicting this market share will change with HTC dishing out their One series, and the GALAXY S III should be Samsung's home run this year.

Two additional AMD execs leave for better prospects

It seems as though AMD execs have been jumping ship left and right. Is AMD really doing this poorly, or is there something else going on that's resulting in all of these resignations? Emilio Ghilardi left less than two months ago, and now Pat Patla, former General Manager and Corporate VP of AMD's Commercial Business unit, and Godfrey Cheng, Director of AMD's Client Technology Unit have left or are in the process of leaving.




First, let's look at Pat Patla. His departure is official. His LinkedIn profile confirms it as well as the Wall Street Journal. He has reportedly defected to Samsung where he holds the title of Vice President. The WSJ blog speculates that Samsung wants to build some ARM-based server chips, and Patla is a good fit because he oversaw the Opteron series from AMD.


Then we have Cheng. He hasn't officially left yet, but according to a Facebook post by him, he's tendered his resignation. "after almost 12 years at ATI Technologies / AMD, I tendered my resignation last week. I will be here for approximately the next week then I may wander the earth and get into adventures......" Cheng oversaw AMD's graphics marketing as well as the Client Technology Unit.

Continue reading 'Two additional AMD execs leave for better prospects' (full post)

Dell purchases Wyse, strengthens enterprise arm with cloud, virtualization

Acquisitions and mergers are a common occurrence in business and today sees Dell acquiring Wyse. Dell purchased Wyse for an undisclosed amount in order to focus more on its corporate customers. Wyse specialized in thin-clients, offering vertically integrated, centralized computing solutions for corporations.




Dell could benefit from Wyse's experience in the business computing market. Also, Dell may be setting its sights on the cloud as they referred to Wyse as a "cloud client" leader. Wyse has about 500 employees, 180+ patents, and is valued at roughly $350 million. Dell will probably combine Wyse's experience in centralized computing with its own reach and ability to produce inexpensive computers. This sounds like a match made in heaven.

Teacher's aide finds herself suspended after she refuses to share Facebook access

Today's news has been filled with business and legal happenings, so here's one more! A teacher's aide has found herself on administrative leave after refusing Facebook access to her employer. This all started back in April of 2011 when Kimberly Hester posted a picture on her own time of her co-worker's pants around her ankles and a pair of shoes.




Hester felt the image was harmless enough, but someone disagreed. A parent of a student at the school where she worked felt that it wasn't appropriate filed a complaint with the school district. Hester was summoned to the office of the Intermediate superintendent Robert Colby. Colby asked to see her Facebook account.


"He asked me three times if he could view my Facebook and I repeatedly said I was not OK with that," Hester told WSBT. Because of this refusal, Hester received a letter from the Special Education Director which informed her that " the absence of you voluntarily granting Lewis Cass ISD administration access to you[r] Facebook page, we will assume the worst and act accordingly."


"I stand by it," Hester told WSBT. "I did nothing wrong. And I would not, still to this day, let them in my Facebook. And I don't think it's OK for an employer to ask you." I think most people would agree with her. This has been on the minds of many people these days, and the lawmakers are even trying to pass a law regarding it in the United States.

Microsoft leaving Germany to protest Motorola's patent trolling

I'm sure most of us know about the lawsuit going on between Motorola and Microsoft, but in case you don't, here's the quick rundown. Motorola is trying to block Microsoft from selling Windows 7 and the Xbox 360 based on a patent claim regarding H.264 video technology. Motorola is demanding way more money than other companies for licensing its patent.




A decision in the case is expected April 17. If Motorola succeeds, the Xbox and Windows 7 could be banned from being sold in Germany, effectively gutting business. This is where Microsoft's move comes in. If Microsoft moves to the Netherlands, it could possibly reduce the vulnerability to legal actions if Motorola wins.


Microsoft ended teamwork with Germany company Arvato for software distribution. This move will cause a loss of about 50 jobs and is retaliatory to Motorola's patent lawsuit. Germany's patent system favors the suing party by allowing bans to be enforced by the winning party and and having court precedent that often finds in the favor of the suing party.

Continue reading 'Microsoft leaving Germany to protest Motorola's patent trolling' (full post)

A new service wants to allow you to skip those pesky pre-roll ads by paying up

I'm sure that everyone here will agree that those pesky, annoying ads that come on before your favorite cat video starts playing on YouTube are really annoying. But SkipIt, a new service from the video advertising company SpotXchange has your back. If you don't want to watch the ad, you can just pay $0.10 to skip it. That's $0.10 per ad.



Meanwhile, SkipIt claims that web publishers will make more money from people skipping ads than if they had watched the ad in the first place. Additionally, they claim that the rest of the site's ads will be more valuable because people will only be seeing ads they really like. I can't really see any consumer reaching for their credit cards just to skip an ad. I know I wouldn't.

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