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$147M Patent Infringement Bill Rattles RIM

$147M Patent Infringement Bill Rattles RIM

Today in international tech news: RIM is hit with a $147 million patent fine; a British ISP looks at the effectiveness of the UK's block on The Pirate Bay; Apple's $60 million settlement looms over its China iPad release; the BBC launches its unprecedented Olympic app; and France's president speaks out on the Twitter soap opera involving his past and present partners.

By David Vranicar
07/16/12 10:37 AM PT

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion has been ordered to pay US$147.2 million in damages for patent infringement, according to Cnet.

The patents in question, which allow companies to remotely manage their employees' devices, belong to Mformation Technologies, a New Jersey-based mobile device management company that first sued RIM in 2008. RIM was docked $8 for each of the 18 million-plus units sold, according to the report.

This is the latest in a seemingly never-ending stream of bad news for once-mighty RIM. Last month the company reported a first-quarter loss of more than $500 million.

Pirate Bay Blockade Not Stopping File-Sharing

File-sharing in the UK has returned to normal after a brief dip, according to the BBC.

In April, UK courts ruled that ISPs must prohibit access to The Pirate Bay. ISPs started implementing the block within weeks, spurring an 11 percent drop in file-sharing. However, the volume of peer-to-peer sharing activity has now returned to normal, according to the BBC.

The data did not specify which sites were being used to share files, meaning that users could be using alternative sites other than The Pirate Bay or using proxies to continue using The Pirate Bay.

The Netherlands, which ordered its own block of The Pirate Bay, has also had limited success thwarting file-sharing.

iPad in China

Apple has announced that it will release the newest iPad in China later this month, but ZDNet is reporting that the company will still likely be in the red after its recent settlement to claim the "iPad" name.

Apple is pricing the new iPads at $580, according to ZDNet. As such, it would have to sell at least 100,000 units to make up for its $60 million settlement with China-based company Proview. ZDNet cites reports which state that sales of the new iPad won't be that high.

Apple had bought "iPad" from Proview years ago, but Proview argued that it still owned the naming rights within China.

BBC Launches Olympic App

The BBC, which will offer unprecedented digital coverage of this year's Summer Olympics, launched its London 2012 app for Android and iOS smartphones.

The app will offer more than 20 live streams, as well as schedules, news and results, according to the BBC.

In the U.S., Comcast is offering extensive Olympic coverage with its smartphone app. YouTube will also be streaming Olympic events in countries throughout the world.

French Prez Addresses Twitter Spat

French president Francois Hollande publicly addressed a Twitter rift involving his former and current partners, according to The Guardian.

Last month, Hollande's current partner took to Twitter to support the political opponent of Hollande's former partner -- and mother of his children -- who was up for election.

Hollande, who was elected in May, had been mum on the issue, but he recently said that he supports a "clear distinction" between public and professional lives, adding that private disputes -- like, say, a Twitter feud between past and present lovers -- should be handled privately.

Hollande and his children were irate about the situation, according to The Guardian.

Slow China Sales Hurting Intel, Microsoft

Intel and Microsoft are experiencing weak sales growing in part because of China's slowing economy, according to Bloomberg.

China's "slackening" growth is causing concerns that electronics makers won't be able to count on Asia to compensate for recession-induced problems in Europe and the U.S.

Last week, Advanced Micro Devices, a competitor of Intel which manufactures PC processors, blamed China and Europe for a revenue decline, according to Bloomberg.


Tech Trek is a blog that looks at tech news from around the world. David Vranicar is a freelance journalist currently living in the Netherlands. His ECT News Network archive, with links to articles and podcasts, is available here. You can email him at david.vranicar@newsroom.ectnews.com



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