Archive for February, 2012

Motorola Mobility Begins Reality Distortion Field Tests in Germany

February 28, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

So that setback Motorola Mobility suffered in its patent battle with Apple today? The one that saw a German court bar it from enforcing an injunction that would require Apple to remove its iPhones and iPads from store shelves in Germany? The one that said to rebuff the licensing terms Apple offered Motorola Mobility for the standards-essential patents at issue in the case would be to invite antitrust scrutiny? Not a setback at all. A victory! According to Motorola, anyway. “We believe that inventors should be paid for their innovations, and the Appellate Court in Karlsruhe, Germany has agreed,” the company said in a statement. “After years of fruitless negotiation with Apple, Motorola Mobility was compelled to bring patent infringement proceedings and enforce a resulting injunction because Apple refused to negotiate a license agreement. MMI’s determination to collect fair compensation for Apple’s use of MMI’s patented technology has now been vindicated by the Appellate Court’s decision, which clarified and confirmed that Apple’s licensing offer to MMI in January is a contractually binding commitment to pay royalties to MMI on all of Apple’s cellular devices.” That’s some epic spin, right there. Nice to hear that Motorola is as happy with the court’s decision as I imagine Apple is.

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Walmart Gives Hollywood a Hand

February 28, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

The movie industry is recruiting Walmart Stores Inc. to help attract users to its struggling online video-library service, Hollywood’s latest step to combat the challenges of digital piracy and a fading DVD market. Walmart is in discussions to provide an in-store service that will assist customers in registering DVDs they already own with the movie industry’s UltraViolet system, according to several people familiar with the matter. Read the rest of this post on the original site »

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Proview’s New PR Attack: Apple Cheated Us Out of the iPad Trademark

February 27, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Bankrupt though it may be, Proview, the company embroiled in a legal battle with Apple over the Chinese rights to the iPad trademark, has found money enough to hire a slick PR firm to make its case in the United States. And on Monday that firm — Powell-Tate , a division of Weber Shandwick — issued a blistering press release on Proview’s behalf accusing Apple of all manner of wrongdoing and malfeasance. Fraud by intentional misrepresentation, fraud by concealment, fraudulent inducement and unfair competition are among the allegations detailed in the release, which cites an amendment to the Feb. 17 lawsuit Proview filed against Apple in Santa Clara . But the gist of Proview’s legal argument is simple: Apple deceptively orchestrated the purchase of the iPad mark through a holding company that concealed its affiliation with Apple. Said Proview spokesman Cal Kenney, “Apple obtained the iPad trademark by defrauding Proview Taiwan through tactics that involved explicit misrepresentations, and the use of foreign entities specifically created to perpetrate the fraud.” And for that alleged duplicity Proview seeks not only an injunction against further use of the iPad trademark and compensatory damages, but “disgorgement of Apple’s profits from the unfair competition,” as well. Clearly, Proview and its creditors are out for blood here, but the chances of getting any seem slim. Using shell companies to negotiate transactions like the one in this case is a common practice. Sure, it’s obfuscatory, but necessary if a company of Apple’s size and renown wants to pay fair market value free of the inflation its deep pockets would inevitably invite. The mark is only worth what Proview agreed to sell it for, which is the entire point of establishing a holding company through which to negotiate its purchase. In the end, what Proview is asking the court for is permission to gouge Apple for the iPad mark after the fact, ignoring the reality that the iPad mark is only worth what it is today because of the success of the iPad and the massive investment Apple made in creating it. If the iPad mark was worth whatever huge value Proview now claims, perhaps it should have held out for that price in 2009 when it first sold it. Certainly that would have been far easier than lawyering up now in pursuit of a quick and easy payday that may end up being neither. Proview’s release in full, below: Proview Taiwan Charges Apple with Fraud and Unfair Competition NEW YORK, Feb. 27, 2012 — Taiwan-based Proview Electronics Company, Ltd., (“Proview Taiwan”), a leading producer of high-quality monitors for computers and media devices, announced today that it has filed an amended complaint in California Superior Court in Santa Clara, accusing Apple Inc. of fraud and unfair competition. Separately, in another action, Shenzhen-based Proview Technology Shenzhen Co, Ltd. continues to pursue litigation against Apple in China. In the Chinese lawsuit, Proview Technology Shenzhen Co, Ltd

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iPad 3 May Feature More Muscular A5X Chip While Apple Works on Its Quads

February 27, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

When Apple’s forthcoming iPad 3 finally ships and is inevitably torn down, its innards will reveal a new system-on-a-chip — but perhaps not the one many have been expecting. The “A” series naming convention that Apple has chosen for the processors that power its iOS devices suggests that the one inside the iPad 3 should be the A6. And that makes perfect sense, given its lineage: the A4 processor, which powered the original iPad and iPhone 4, was succeeded by the A5, which now runs inside the iPad 2 and the iPhone 4S. So what comes after the A5? Not the A6, but the A5X. BlueFin Research Partners analyst Steve Mullane says information coming out of the semiconductor supply chain suggests that Samsung, Apple’s chip fab partner, isn’t equipped to manufacture 28-nanometer quad-core chips, as the A6 is presumed to be. “[Samsung's] Austin logic fab … supports the mass production of the 45-nanometer AAPL A5 processor, and is ramping on a 32-nanometer process,” Mullane says. “Since the A6 processor is based on a 28-nanometer process, we believe the 32-nanometer ramp validates the recent rumors that the iPad 3 will likely use a higher speed, die-shrink version of the A5 dual-core processor, named the A5X processor, as opposed to the next-generation A6 quad-core processor.” Mullane’s information lends further credence to earlier rumors that Apple intends the iPad 3 to run on the A5X. We’ll find out in early March just how accurate such speculation is.

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Goodman books ‘Jungle Book’

February 27, 2012  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Legit News: Chicago theater sets 2012-13 season

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Shtick’s Ahoy: Billy Crystal’s Oscars Draw 39.3M Viewers

February 27, 2012  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

ABC may have played it safe with its telecast of the 84th Academy Awards, but Sunday’s rather toothless affair appears to have paid off in the ratings. According to preliminary Nielsen data, ABC’s Oscars presentation averaged 39.3 million total viewers, marking a 4 percent improvement from last year’s 37.9 million. If the numbers stand—deliveries for live events generally undergo a good deal of adjustment between the release of fast nationals and final ratings—Sunday’s show will rank as the second most watched Oscars in the last five years. Only the 2010 Oscars, which served as a coronation of sorts for Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker , outdelivered this year’s model. The 82nd Academy Awards delivered 41.7 million viewers. The all-time low-water mark was reached in 2008, when the Coen Brothers’ No Country for Old Men was crowned Best Picture in front of a national TV audience of 32 million viewers. Oscar’s greatest triumph was reached in 1998, the year James Cameron’s Titanic ran the table. That broadcast served up 55.2 million viewers. In handing the hosting duties to Billy Crystal and his Borscht Belt shtick and dispensing with the traditionally bloated musical performances, ABC doled out a familiar, if less than bracing, Oscars brew. Pinch-hitting for Eddie Murphy—the comedian resigned his commission in November, shortly after the Academy fired producer Brett Ratner—Crystal delivered an uninspired performance, trotting out his familiar song-and-dance opener before easing into a steady stream of Catskills-friendly gags. A typical Crystal groaner, following an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink performance by Cirque du Soleil: “We’ve got Muppets, acrobats…We’re a pony away from a bar mitzvah!” In his opening bit, Crystal engaged the services of Justin Bieber, who chirped that he was there “to get you the 18-to-24 demographic.” Bieber’s cameo played like a cutesy goof on last year’s disastrous pairing of youth-bait James Franco and Anne Hathaway, but like so many of the gags in last night’s show, it was an inside joke. (It’s unlikely that the nation’s movie buffs know or care that the median age for the last two Oscars broadcasts was 51 years.) Crystal has hosted the Academy Awards a record nine times. While the final time-zone adjusted numbers have yet to be tallied, it appears that last night’s show was essentially flat in the all-important 18-to-49 demo (11.7 versus an 11.8 in 2011). The average cost of a 30-second spot in this year’s broadcast was $1.7 million a pop , on par with last year’s going rate. The high-water mark remains the premeltdown year of 2008 when ABC commanded as much as $1.82 million for a single spot. The silent, black-and-white film The Artist won Best Picture, beating out a field that included The Help , Midnight in Paris ,

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New ‘Mad Men’ Poster Hints at Unsettling Season to Come

February 27, 2012  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Life won't be getting much easier for psychologically tortured Don Draper in season 5 of Mad Men , judging by the just-released poster. His new fianc

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YouTube Boss Salar Kamangar Takes On TV: The Full Dive Into Media Interview

February 27, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Some 800 million people visit YouTube every month, and they watch and upload a staggering amount of video there every day. It works really, really well. So why is Google trying to overhaul the site, using “channels” filled with clips from professionals ? YouTube head Salar Kamangar has a bunch of answers for this question, but eventually you can get to the one that really matters: He thinks that making the site look more like traditional TV will convince marketers to pay traditional TV ad rates. He explained the concept at D: Dive Into Media last month: “If you see a dog on a skateboard video, the CPMs, the cost per thousand impressions, are about $2. Now, if you package that [video] as part of a dog lover’s channel or a skateboarding interest channel, that same video can command a $20 CPM.” YouTube is going to depend on advertising for most of its revenue, but Kamangar also discussed YouTube’s interest in offering subscription services down the road. Given that Kamangar, Google’s ninth employee, oversees all of the company’s video efforts, that’s worth keeping in mind as it edges closer to selling cable TV . [ See post to watch video ]

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‘Bosses’ writers take New Line ‘Vacation’

February 27, 2012  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Film News: Daley, Goldstein in talks to direct Griswold comedy

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George Lopez inks pact with Debmar-Mercury

February 27, 2012  |  Variety  |  No Comments

TV News: Deal calls for comic to develop sitcom for indie distrib

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