In a decision with potentially wide-ranging implications for Silicon Valley's battling tech giants, a federal jury ruled unanimously that Google did not infringe Oracle's patents when it developed its Android software. Judge William Alsup of the U.S. District Court of Northern California dismissed the jurors and canceled the third phase of the trial over damages. Oracle, the largest maker of database software, alleged Google stole two patents for the Java programming language when it developed Android, which now runs on more than 300 million smartphones.TV makers ask retailers to resist discounting
Sony and Samsung Electronics are asking U.S. retailers to maintain minimum prices for TVs to boost profitability as global demand declines. Sony's policy, effective last month, covers about 120 models of TVs, camcorders, audio players and tablet computers, though it excludes Vaio computers, said Keizo Masuda, a spokesman for the company. Samsung's program, in place since early this year, will cover some new TV models, said Nam Ki Yung, a Seoul-based spokesman for the company.Sales chief leaves BlackBerry maker RIM
Research In Motion Ltd.'s Patrick Spence resigned as head of global sales, marking the latest management change for the struggling maker of BlackBerry smartphones. Spence is taking a job in a different industry after 14 years at RIM, said Rebecca Freiburger, a spokeswoman for the Waterloo, Ontario-based company. The sales team will report to Kristian Tear, RIM's new operating chief, who will start this summer, Freiburger said in an e-mail. Until then, the division will report directly to Chief Executive Thorsten Heins.Teamsters walk out on Canadian Pacific
A Teamsters strike on Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd.'s freight network is snarling cargo shipments and frustrating customers who rely on the country's second-largest rail carrier to deliver supplies and carry products to buyers. Talks between Canadian Pacific and the union resumed after negotiations overseen by Labor Minister Lisa Raitt failed to prevent the work stoppage. The strike halted the company's fuel shipments to mines nationwide as well as deliveries of grain.Fed isn't a jobs cure-all, Kocherlakota says
Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Narayana Kocherlakota said the Fed probably can't repair all the damage to U.S. employment from the credit crisis and fiscal policy could help to revive the job market. The Federal Open Market Committee "faces an especially large amount of uncertainty about the level of maximum employment that it can hope to achieve," Kocherlakota said, according to remarks prepared for a speech in Rapid City, S.D. In addition, "the FOMC has no control over" factors that influence the jobless rate like tax policy.Mazda, Fiat to team up on new sports car
Mazda, Japan's least profitable carmaker, and Fiat in Italy agreed to jointly develop a sports car and discuss further cooperation in Europe as part of a broader partnership. The vehicle, based on technology from Mazda's MX-5 roadster, will be sold under both the Mazda and Fiat's Alfa Romeo brands, the companies said Wednesday. The rear-wheel-drive car will be manufactured in Mazda's factory in Hiroshima, and production for Alfa Romeo may begin in 2015, according to the statement.Seagate to buy controlling stake in LaCie
Seagate Technology, the world's largest maker of computer disk drives, has agreed to buy a controlling stake in LaCie SA in a deal valuing the Paris-based manufacturer of consumer storage products at about $186 million. Seagate offered to purchase all shares held by Philippe Spruch, LaCie's chairman and chief executive, and his affiliate, for a 64.5 percent stake, the companies said. Seagate agreed to pay 4.05 euros ($5.12) a share in cash.
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