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Saturday, May 26, 2018

Samsung directed to pay Apple $533m for copying iPhone design


Samsung directed to pay Apple $533m for copying iPhone design 


 A federal court jury on Thursday ordered Samsung to pay Apple $533 million for copying iPhone design features in a patent case dating back seven years. Jurors tacked on an additional $5 million in damages for a pair of patented functions. The award appeared to be a bit of a victory for Apple, which had argued in court that design was essential to the iPhone. The case was keenly watched as a precedent for whether design is so important that it could actually be considered the “article of design” even in a product as complex as a smartphone. “We don’t think it is supported by the evidence,” Samsung attorney John Quinn told US District Court Judge Lucy Koh after the verdict was read in her courtroom in Silicon Valley.
“We have every concern about the determinations about the article of manufacture.” Quinn declined an offer by the judge to send jurors back for further deliberation, saying Samsung would pursue post-trial motions to address its concerns about the verdict. Juror Christine Calderon said the panel agreed that one of the design patents — the grid of colored icons — did represent the whole phone, while the other two at issue in the trial were seen as the display assembly that gave the iPhone its look. She compared it to the Mona Lisa: “You use the paint, but it is not the article of manufacture.” “I had to really think about it,” the 26-year-old Calderon, a technical writer, said after Koh dismissed the jury. “We kind of felt like we ended up at a happy medium.” Long legal road The case had been sent back to the district court following a Supreme Court decision to revisit an earlier $400 million damage award. Apple reasoned in court that design was so integral to the iPhone that it was the “article of manufacture” and worth all the money Samsung made by copying the features.
The lower figure sought by the South Korean consumer electronics titan would have involved treating the design features as components. The jury had been asked to determine whether design features at issue in the case are worth all profit made from Samsung smartphones that copied them — or whether those features are worth just a fraction because they are components. Apple argued in court that the iPhone was a “bet-the-company” project at Apple and that design is as much the “article of manufacture” as the device itself. The three design patents in the case apply to the shape of the iPhone’s black screen with rounded edges and a bezel, and the rows of colorful icons displayed. Samsung no longer sells the smartphone models at issue in the case. Two utility patents also involved apply to “bounce-back” and “tap-to-zoom” functions. An original trial finding that Samsung violated Apple patents preceded a lengthy appellate dueling over whether design features such as rounded edges are worth all the money made from a phone. Technology vs Style Samsung challenged the legal precedent that requires the forfeiture of all profits from a product, even if only a single design patent has been infringed. The US Supreme Court in 2016 overturned the penalty imposed on the South Korean consumer electronics giant. Justices ruled that Samsung should not be required to forfeit the entire profits from its smartphones for infringement on design components, sending the case back to a lower court. “Today’s decision flies in the face of a unanimous Supreme Court ruling in favor of Samsung on the scope of design patent damages,” the South Korean company said in response to an AFP inquiry. “We will consider all options to obtain an outcome that does not hinder creativity and fair competition for all companies and consumers.” Apple did not respond to a request for comment.
The key question of the value of design patents rallied Samsung supporters in the tech sector, and Apple backers in the creative and design communities. Samsung won the backing of major Silicon Valley and other IT sector giants, including Google, Facebook, Dell and Hewlett-Packard, claiming a strict ruling on design infringement could lead to a surge in litigation. Apple was supported by big names in fashion and manufacturing. Design professionals, researchers and academics, citing precedents like Coca-Cola’s iconic soda bottle. The case is one element of a $548 million penalty — knocked down from an original $1 billion jury award — Samsung was ordered to pay for copying iPhone patents. Picked : https://arynews.tv/en/samsung-directed-to-pay-apple-533m-for-copying-iphone-design/

Monday, May 21, 2018

Turkish court hands life terms to 104 over coup bid


Turkish court hands life terms to 104 over coup bid 


ANKARA: A Turkish court on Monday handed life sentences to 104 suspects over their involvement in the July 2016 attempted coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, state media reported. The former military personnel were given “aggravated life sentences” by a court in the western province of Izmir, state news agency Anadolu said, for “attempting to overthrow the constitutional order”. Such jail sentences, which replaced the death penalty in Turkey, carry harsher conditions than normal life sentences. In total, 280 military staff are on trial over the failed coup bid. Among the suspects receiving life sentences were former air force chief of staff lieutenant general Hasan Huseyin Demiraslan and ex-Aegean army command chief of staff major general Memduh Hakbilen. The court gave 21 suspects a 20-year jail sentence for “assisting the assassination of the president” while 31 were given sentences between seven years and six months and 10 years and six months for being a member of an armed terror group, the agency added.
There was an alleged plot to kill Erdogan on the night of the coup while he was on holiday in the Aegean resort of Marmaris with his family. The president has said the plot left him 15 minutes from death. The attempted putsch claimed more than 240 lives, according to the Turkish presidency, not including 24 coup-plotters killed on the night. More than 2,000 people were injured. Ankara accuses US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen of ordering the failed putsch, accusations which he strongly denies. Turkish authorities say the movement Gulen runs is a terrorist organisation, but his group insists it promotes peace and moderate Islam. Following the attempted coup, more than 50,000 people have been arrested and 140,000 public workers have been sacked or suspended over alleged links to Gulen or Kurdish militants under the state of emergency imposed in July 2016. Turkey has come under heavy criticism from its Western allies and activists over the scale of the crackdown and repeated calls for the emergency to come to an end.More than 240 people, most of them unarmed civilians, were killed on the night of July 15, 2016, when a group of rogue soldiers commandeered tanks and warplanes in an attempt to attack parliament and overthrow President Tayyip Erdogan. Since the coup attempt, authorities have detained 160,000 people and dismissed nearly the same number of civil servants as part of a sweeping crackdown, the UN human rights office said in March. Of that number, more than 50,000 have been formally charged and kept in jail pending trial. The scale of the crackdown has alarmed rights groups and Turkey’s Western allies, who fear the country is sliding further into authoritarianism under Erdogan and accuse the president of using the failed putsch as a pretext to quash dissent.
The government, however, says the measures are necessary, given the extent of the security threats it faces. Picked from : https://www.dawn.com/news/1409194/turkish-court-hands-life-terms-to-104-over-coup-bid

Monday, May 14, 2018

Revealed: Half of Ireland's TDs are millionaires... and here's how much they're worth


Revealed: Half of Ireland's TDs are millionaires... and here's how much they're worth

A research project by the Sunday Independent has revealed the wealth of those whom we have elected to serve us • • ALMOST half of all TDs in Leinster House are worth more than €1m, according to the Sunday Independent's Political Rich List. The first-of-its-kind research project has estimated the combined potential wealth of all 158 TDs to be in excess of €216m. The analysis by this newspaper and financial expert Karl Deeter found that central to this wealth is the gold-plated public service pensions which TDs receive on retiring from politics. Comprehensive research by Mr Deeter shows how pensions accumulated by the country's most senior politicians would cost millions of euro to buy in the private sector. The Political Rich List also provides voters for the first-time with an estimated value of the non-political assets of TDs - whose decisions impact on the finances of every home in the country. The research project examined several publicly available sources of information to calculate estimated values for property, land and businesses owned by TDs.
The insight into the wealth of the people who govern the country estimated that controversial Independent TD Michael Lowry is the wealthiest politician in the Dail. Mr Lowry's State pension and personal assets are estimated to be worth a massive €6.4m. The second wealthiest TD is Kerry TD Michael Healy-Rae, with an estimated value of €5.4m. Mr Healy-Rae is by far the biggest landlord in the Dail with 10 rental properties. However, Mr Healy-Rae told the Sunday Independent he is "up to my eyes in debt and trying to pay off mortgages every week". His brother Danny Healy-Rae's assets are valued at €1.6m, bringing their combined estimated family wealth to €7m. Minister for Education Richard Bruton, with a €4.9m estimated value, is the highest ranked member of Cabinet. Former Taoiseach Charles Haughey's son Sean Haughey is estimated to be worth €4.8m but this does not include his share in the €9m will recently left by his mother Maureen. Former Taoiseach Enda Kenny is fifth wealthiest TD with an estimated value of €4.7m. Fine Gael is by far the richest political party with all 50 TDs having a combined wealth of €80m. Fianna Fail's 44 TDs are worth almost €70m, while Sinn Fein's 23 members of the Dail are worth an estimated €12m. The research also established a significant gender divide among the country's national politicians when it comes to their personal wealth.
Of the 75 TDs estimated to be worth €1m, just 11 are female politicians. Former Tanaiste and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald is the first female on the list in 18th place. She is worth €3m based on the value of her pension in private market. Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin is the richest party leader with an estimated value of just under €4m. Mr Howlin is closely followed by Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin with a value of almost €3m. Meanwhile, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is worth €1.2m while Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald is valued at €791,035. The Sunday Independent established that seven TDs, including three junior ministers, are in receipt of EU-funded farming grants. The research also established significant differences in the Dail Register of Members' Interests which TDs are required to complete once a year. The comprehensive level of detail of assets provided by some TDs is in stark contrast to limited information provided by others. Tanaiste Simon Coveney owns three properties - two houses in Cork and an apartment in Dublin - but only declares a rental property he owns in Cork. Mr Coveney, a former Minister for Housing, does not have to declare his interest in the other properties as they are personally used by him. However, former Taoiseach Enda Kenny lists every property he owns in his declaration, including his family home and the Dublin apartment he stays in while in the capital on Dail business. There is also a contrast in the level of details provided by TDs who own farmland. Some TDs give the exact acreage for the land while others merely give the townland where their fields are based. In most cases, the vast amount of a TD's estimated wealth is based on value of their pension in the private market. The cost of paying political pensions is part of the more than €430bn in pension liabilities which this country has (CSO figures for 2015). Of that sum, €350bn is unfunded, which means we have not put aside any money in advance to pay for those pensions, of which political pensions are only a small portion. Instead it comes out of whatever taxes are collected in the year in question, hence the description 'unfunded liability'.
As part of the research, each TD was contacted and asked to verify the details they gave about their assets in the Dail Register of Members' Interests - a declaration of assets and interests which TDs are legally obliged to provide each year and which is published by the Oireachtas. The Rich List's political valuations are based on assets and do not include the annual €93,599 wage of TDs, the generous allowances, expenses or additional incomes they receive by sitting on committees. That income is subject to tax, PRSI, USC, pension levy and pension contributions. The List just focuses on termination payments (a €15,600 lump sum they can get when they stop being a TD), the one-off lump sum at retirement (a maximum of €140,399 tax free), the TD annual pension (a maximum of €46,800 a year) and the office holders' pensions, which we'll consider next. When a TD holds an 'office' (Taoiseach, Tanaiste, minister, minister of State or Ceann Comhairle) for two years, they qualify for a 20pc pension of the higher office salary earned at retirement. This goes up by 5pc every year to a maximum of 60pc of the office salary if they serve 10 years. Sunday Independent https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/revealed-half-of-irelands-tds-are-millionaires-and-heres-how-much-theyre-worth-36901002.html

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Save room for dessert – royal wedding cake slices to be sold


Save room for dessert – royal wedding cake slices to be sold 

LOS ANGELES: As Prince Harry’s wedding to Meghan Markle inches closer, public hunger for all things royal will get its dessert as decades-old slices of cake from British royal weddings – including those of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, and Prince William and Kate Middleton – go up for auction. The five cake slices from royal weddings are expected to fetch hundreds and perhaps thousands of dollars each next month as memorabilia at the sale in Las Vegas, Julien’s Auctions said. But for those looking to play royal taster, there is a word of caution. “They’re not edible,” Darren Julien, the Los Angeles-based auction house’s chief executive, said ahead of the June 23 sale.
A slice from Charles and Diana’s wedding, presented in a white box with “CD Buckingham Palace 29th July 1981” in silver printing and wrapped in a paper doily, is estimated to fetch $800-$1,200 (£590-£885), the auction house said. More than 600 guests have been invited to Harry and Meghan’s May 19 wedding, which will take place at Windsor Castle’s St. George’s Chapel, with a further 200 being invited for the reception. The fruit cake made for Prince William and Kate Middleton’s 2011 wedding comes in a tin presented to guests with an enclosure card saluting attendees that said: “With best wishes from TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall in celebration of the wedding of TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.” It is pegged to sell for $600-$800. Julien’s sold a slice of William and Kate’s cake for $7,500 in 2014.
Other cake slices include Charles’ 2005 wedding to Camilla Parker Bowles and Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson’s 1986 nuptials, which each are estimated to fetch $600-$800. The piece of royal cake from Princess Anne’s 1973 marriage to her first husband, Captain Mark Philips, is expected to sell for $300-$500. Picked : https://arynews.tv/en/harry-meghan-markle-wedding-cake/