Kodak sells imaging patents
Eastman Kodak is selling its digital imaging patents for about US$525 million, money the struggling photo pioneer says will help it emerge from bankruptcy protection in the first half of next year. Apple Inc, Google Inc, Samsung Electronics Co, Research In Motion Ltd, Microsoft Corp, China’s Huawei Technologies (華為), Facebook Inc and Amazon.com Inc are among the 12 companies paying to license the 1,100 patents, according to court filings. Rochester, New York-based Eastman Kodak Co said on Wednesday that the patent sale will help it repay a substantial amount of a loan it received under the bankruptcy process.
Patent originality questioned
A filing on Wednesday in a high-stakes legal battle between Samsung and Apple revealed that a “pinch-to-zoom” patent central to the case has been deemed invalid. The patent was a centerpiece of the trial that ended in August with a jury ordering Samsung to pay Apple US$1.05 billion in damages for illegally copying iPhone and iPad features for its flagship Galaxy S smartphones. Samsung provided US District Judge Lucy Koh a copy of a US Patent and Trademark Office preliminary determination that, upon review, the Apple pinch-to-zoom technology was not original enough to merit a patent. Samsung hoped the filing would bolster its argument for a new trial or to have the damages slashed.
Surplus unlikely: Treasurer
Treasurer Wayne Swan yesterday conceded for the first time he was unlikely to deliver a budget surplus this financial year, after the Australian Finance Department’s latest monthly statement showed tax revenue in the first four months of the financial year was down A$3.9 billion (US$4.09 billion) on expectations. Earlier this year, Swan declared the “deficit years of the global recession” over and since then he has insisted a surplus was on the cards, despite plunging commodities prices sending clear signs that all was not well. The government of Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard had forecast a surplus of A$1.1 billion for 2012-2013.
Shift to online continues
Internet advertising hit a new high in the third quarter as marketers continued to shift money from print and broadcasting. The US$9.3 billion spent on Internet ads from July through September is an 18 percent increase from US$7.8 billion at the same time last year, according to a breakdown released on Wednesday by the accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Internet Advertising Bureau, a trade group. The third-quarter total marks the highest ad volume for any three-month period since 1995, when online marketing first began to move to the Web. Another record is expected in the current quarter ending this month.
Firm files for bankruptcy
The US videogame company behind popular titles Saints Row and Red Faction said on Wednesday it had filed for bankruptcy while wrangling to sell its assets to “a stalking horse bidder.” California-based THQ Inc planned to continue operating its business while positioning itself to be taken over. The company’s operations outside of the US were not included in the filing in US federal bankruptcy court. THQ’s moves came as the traditional console videogame industry grapples to adapt to the booming popularity of games played on smartphones, tablet computers, or via online social networks.