Google adding IBM patents
Google on Wednesday confirmed that it has added more IBM patents to its technology arsenal as smartphone rivals increasingly battle in courts over innovations. Google bought 188 patents and 29 patent applications related to mobile phones from IBM but did not disclose how much it paid. Last year, IBM sold Google 2,000 or so patents ranging from mobile software to computer hardware and processors. Google has been strengthening its patent portfolio as the fight for dominance in the booming smartphone market increasingly involves lawsuits claiming infringement of patented technology. It last year transferred a set of patents to smartphone titan HTC Corp (宏達電) to help the Taiwan-based company in an intellectual property clash with iPhone maker Apple.
Verizon’s iPhone sales soar
Verizon Wireless, the largest US mobile carrier, sold 4.2 million Apple Inc iPhones in the fourth quarter, more than doubling from the third quarter, said Fran Shammo, finance chief of the company’s parent. The demand suggests Verizon Wireless is winning an increasing share of new iPhone users, after gaining rights to offer the handset to its subscribers last year. In the third quarter, Verizon added 2 million customers for the device, trailing the 2.7 million iPhone activations at AT&T Inc, which has offered the handset since 2007.
JAL reportedly planning IPO
Japan Airlines Co (JAL), the carrier that exited bankruptcy last year, is planning an initial public offering (IPO) that may raise as much as ￥1 trillion (US$13 billion) as early as September, two people familiar with the matter said. The government-backed fund that holds about 97 percent of JAL voting rights and other investors are considering selling ￥500 billion to ￥1 trillion of shares, the sources said. Taro Namba, a JAL spokesman, declined to comment on the size of the planned sale. Nomura Holdings Inc and Daiwa Securities Group will lead the offering, Namba said.
German sales drop
The Federal Statistical Office says German retail sales dropped unexpectedly in the early Christmas shopping season in November. The agency yesterday reported that sales were down 0.9 percent during the month according to seasonally adjusted data, following a 0.2 percent drop in October. According to provisional data, retail sales were up 0.8 percent in November over the same month the year before. Based on the first 11 months of the year, the agency says overall retail sales for 2011 are expected to be 1.1 to 1.3 percent higher than the year before.
Bonds sold at 5% yield
The government has sold US$1.5 billion worth of 25-year dollar global bonds as it boosts spending to rev up the economy. The Department of Finance yesterday said the bonds were priced at a 5 percent yield. Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima says they are pleased to have once again extended the country’s maturity profile while achieving the lowest yield for the new offering. The proceeds will help boost spending on much-needed projects to spur economic growth. Officials announced this week that 142 billion pesos (US$3.2 billion) worth of projects, including roads, classrooms and harvest facilities will be implemented beginning this month.