Tech wrap: Nokia wins big in patent fight with Apple

June 14, 2011

Nokia is likely to be paid hundreds of millions of dollars by Apple after victory in a legal wrangle over technology used in its arch-rival’s top-selling iPhone. Nokia said the deal would boost second-quarter earnings. Analysts said it was clear the sums involved would be significant, with some experts estimating Apple’s one-off payment at $650 million.

J.C. Penney is bringing in Ron Johnson, Apple’s senior vice president of retail, who oversaw the iPad maker’s wildly successful foray into brick and mortar stores as its new chief executive. Johnson will take the reigns November 1, Penney said.

The recent string of sensational hacker attacks is driving companies to seek “cyberinsurance” worth hundreds of millions of dollars, even though many policies can still leave them exposed to claims, writes Ben Berkowitz. Insurers and insurance brokers say demand is soaring, as companies try to protect themselves against civil suits and the potential for fines by governments and regulators, but also as they seek help paying for mundane costs like “sorry letters” to customers.

World leaders should put cyber security on the international agenda at forums such as the G20 and bring pressure to bear on “slower-moving” nations to take a stand against hacking, Peter Coroneos, co-founder of the International Internet Industry Association said. “Getting the issue elevated to a level like the G20 would be a good way to promote engagement with economies that might otherwise move a little slower,” Coroneos told Reuters.

It may take the Supreme Court to end a years-long battle between Olympic rowing twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. The identical twin brothers are challenging a San Francisco federal appeals court ruling that upheld a $65 million cash-and-stock settlement they reached with Facebook in 2008. While they appeal to the Supreme Court, related litigation will be on hold, the appeals court ruled late on Monday.

Advanced Micro Devices is launching new processors aimed at mainstream personal computers and challenging rivals Intel and Nvidia. AMD’s Llano chips, which include both central and graphics processors, are aimed at mid- to high-end laptops and desktop computers. The chips, part of AMD’s Fusion family, have much-improved battery life and will soon be available in laptop and desktop computers, the Sunnyvale, California-based company said.

Google and solar power company SolarCity formed a partnership to create a new $280 million fund designated for residential solar projects — the largest of its kind in the U.S.. Customers who want solar panels installed on their homes but do not want to make a big upfront investment, are able to tap the fund. SolarCity has more than 15,000 solar projects and finances about 80 percent of the its customers’ solar systems.

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