No signs of inventory build
Qualcomm Inc, the world's second-biggest maker of mobile-phone chips, said manufacturers aren't stockpiling its IC chips ahead of a possible embargo by the US International Trade Commission (ITC) this week. "We haven't seen significant inventory build," chief executive officer Paul Jacobs told a Sanford C. Bernstein & Co conference in New York yesterday. The ITC is scheduled to rule on Thursday whether to ban phones with some Qualcomm chips after finding in December that they infringed a Broadcom Corp patent for a battery-saving feature.
Micron, IC makers win suit
Micron Technology Inc, the US' biggest memory IC maker chipmaker, and seven other chipmakers won dismissal of some claims they overcharged consumers by fixing prices of memory chips. US District Court Judge Phyllis Hamilton in San Francisco threw out claims that would have allowed lawyers for consumers and other indirect purchasers of memory chips in dozens of states to seek triple damages against chipmakers for alleged violations of state and federal antitrust laws. The other defendants are Infineon Technologies AG, Hynix Semiconductor Inc, Elpida Memory Inc, NEC Electronics America Inc, Nanya Technology Corp (南亞科技), Mosel Vitelic Corp (茂矽) and Winbond Electronics Corp (華邦電子). Hamilton said that consumers lacked standing to pursue the antitrust claims because they didn't purchase DRAM chips directly.
CSC inks iron ore deal
Kaohsiung-based China Steel Corp (CSC, 中鋼) signed a four-year contract on Friday with Samarco to secure its supply of iron ore pellets. Under the contract, the Brazilian mining company will supply 1.9 million tonnes of iron ore pellets from next year to 2011, securing 25 percent of CSC's annual iron ore pellet demand. The two companies have maintained good commercial relations since 1998, when CSC first contracted Samarco to buy iron ore pellets, said the state-run CSC, which produces 11 million tonnes of raw steel per year.
Oracle expands SAP suit
Business software maker Oracle Corp has added copyright infringement and breach of contract claims to a lawsuit alleging rival SAP AG trespassed on its computers to obtain secret product information so it would have a better chance to reel in new customers. The documents filed on Friday in San Francisco federal court expands on a complaint that Oracle filed against Germany-based SAP in late March. The lawsuit charges SAP with "corporate theft on a grand scale." Redwood Shores, California-based Oracle alleges that SAP trampled on its intellectual property rights by heisting computer code and claiming it as its own.
Aborigines seek damages
Aborigines in western Canada are seeking compensation from a local telephone carrier for every cellphone signal that crosses their lands. The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs determined at a recent economic development summit to negotiate revenue sharing with Manitoba Telecom Services for signals that cross their reserves and traditional territories. "[The request is] based on the understanding that we do have some fundamental rights as indigenous people to land, water and airspace," Chief Ovide Mercredi of the Grand Rapids First Nation told public broadcaster CBC.