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Dec 5, 2013

U.S. House passes bill to rein in ‘patent trolls’

WASHINGTON, Dec 5 (Reuters) – The U.S. House of
Representatives on Thursday approved a bill aimed at reining in
“patent trolls,” companies that buy or license patents from
others, then extract licensing fees or file infringement
lawsuits viewed by many as frivolous.

The House passed the bill easily, by a vote of 325 to 91. A
Senate panel considering a similar measure has scheduled a
hearing on the issue on Dec. 17.

Dec 5, 2013

Southwest, Virgin America to buy LaGuardia slots -sources

ATLANTA/WASHINGTON, Dec 4 (Reuters) – Southwest Airlines
and Virgin American will buy the take-off and landing
slots at New York’s LaGuardia Airport that US Airways Group Inc
and American Airlines must sell as part of their agreement to
merge, three sources said on Wednesday.

Last month, US Airways and American
agreed to divest 17 pairs of slots at LaGuardia, a busy airport
with limited capacity, as well as certain other assets, as part
of a settlement of an antitrust lawsuit by the U.S. Justice
Department.

Dec 4, 2013

U.S. says online ads should be clearly marked, undeceptive

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The growing online usage of ads designed to blend in with the rest of a website’s content, a practice known as “native advertising,” may be illegal in some instances, the Federal Trade Commission warned on Wednesday.

The FTC said that a survey of online publishers found that 73 percent allowed native advertising, the digital descendent of the newspaper “advertorial” and television’s infomercials.

Nov 21, 2013

U.S. takes action in two auto parts price-fixing cases

WASHINGTON, Nov 21 (Reuters) – Three executives of Japan’s
Takata Corp will plead guilty to conspiring to fix the
price of seatbelts sold to automakers in the United States and
will go to jail for 14 to 19 months, the Justice Department said
on Thursday.

Takata settled with the Justice Department in October,
agreeing to pay $71.3 million to settle antitrust charges.

Nov 18, 2013

U.S. Senate gets bill clamping down on ‘patent trolls’

WASHINGTON, Nov 18 (Reuters) – Two leading U.S. senators
introduced a bill on Monday aimed at making it harder for
“patent trolls” to file frivolous infringement lawsuits.

Patent assertion entities (PAEs), called patent trolls by
critics, are companies that typically do not invent or make
products but buy patents to obtain licensing fees or file
infringement lawsuits. Lawsuits have been triggered by the use
of such common technologies as a coffeehouse offering wireless
internet access to customers or a hotel using online ordering.

Nov 18, 2013

U.S. appeals court revives Apple bid for Samsung injunction

WASHINGTON, Nov 18 (Reuters) – A U.S. appeals court on
Monday breathed new life into Apple’s long-running attempt to
secure an injunction banning the sale of some devices made by
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, ordering a California judge to
reconsider imposing a permanent sales ban on some Samsung
products.

Apple, which makes iPhones and iPads, has been incensed by
what it considers Android knockoffs of its devices, many made by
Samsung. The two companies have been in a long-running and
global battle over patent infringement.

Nov 13, 2013

US Airways-American Airlines deal may mean higher prices: experts

ATLANTA/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Consumer advocates worry the decision to green-light another big airline merger will mean higher prices before long, even though upstart airlines will get more access to busy airports near Washington D.C. and New York as part of the deal.

In the short term, the industry is waiting for the sale of takeoff and landing slots by the merging US Airways Group Inc (LCC.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and AMR Corp’s (AAMRQ.PK: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) American Airlines, a process that will take several months and be overseen by the Department of Justice.

Nov 13, 2013

US Airways, American to merge after settling antitrust suit

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – US Airways Group Inc and American Airlines will be allowed to merge to become the world’s largest airline after they agreed to give low-cost competitors more access to several key U.S. airports, including in New York and Washington.

The agreement, subject to court approval, ends a U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit filed in August. The government opposed the merger of US Airways and AMR Corp, parent of bankrupt American Airlines, on the grounds it would hinder competition and lead to higher fares.

Nov 12, 2013

US Airways, AMR reach antitrust settlement on merger

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – US Airways Group Inc and American Airlines will give low-cost competitors more access to a half dozen key U.S. airports, including New York and Washington, D.C., in exchange for permission to merge and create the world’s largest airline.

The agreement announced on Tuesday settles a government lawsuit filed in August that argued that US Airways and AMR Corp, parent of bankrupt American Airlines, should be forced to scrap the merger because it would hinder competition and lead to higher fares.

Nov 5, 2013

Top U.S. court hears arguments in pacemaker patent fight

WASHINGTON, Nov 5 (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on
Tuesday heard arguments in a case of warring legal doctrines
raised by a heart pacemaker patent fight between giant medical
devices company Medtronic Inc and privately owned
Mirowski Family Ventures LLC.

The case stems from Medtronic’s decision to request a
declaratory judgment that some of its pacemakers do not infringe
on technology patented by Mirowski and licensed to Boston
Scientific and Guidant Corp, part of Boston Scientific
and Abbott Laboratories.