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Judge upholds $1.53B verdict vs. Microsoft

By TIMES WIRES
Published May 3, 2007


LOS ANGELES

A federal judge signed off on a $1.53-billion jury verdict in favor of Alcatel-Lucent SA in a digital-music patent dispute against Microsoft Corp. U.S. District Court Judge Rudi M. Brewster in San Diego entered his judgment Monday, concluding Microsoft's Windows Media Player software infringed on patents owned by Lucent Technologies Inc., a U.S. telecommunications equipment maker acquired last year by France-based Alcatel. The damages were awarded by a jury in February.

Washington

Factories' orders counter slowdown

Orders to U.S. factories surged in March by the largest amount in a year, an encouraging sign that the recent slowdown in manufacturing may be ending. The Commerce Department said Wednesday that total factory orders rose by 3.1 percent in March, pushed higher by a big jump in demand for commercial aircraft and the biggest rise in the category that tracks business investment in new equipment in 2 1/2 years. The good news on factory orders followed a report from the Institute for Supply Management that its closely watched gauge of manufacturing activity rose to 54.7 in April, the best showing in 11 months.

Feds checking out Jeep Commander

U.S. regulators stepped up an investigation of DaimlerChrysler AG's Jeep Commander sport utility vehicles after 495 complaints that the engine can stall during driving. The inquiry covers 2006 and 2007 models and affects as many as 136, 444 of the SUVs, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said on its Web site. The agency said the complaints included 445 reported to the automaker. Two cases involved crashes. The automaker is working with the agency to determine the cause of the stalling, Chrysler said.

NEW YORK

Another choice for BlackBerry users

BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Ltd. is introducing its third model in less than a year, a mid-sized device geared toward consumers who might prefer a full keyboard for typing text rather than the abridged one on the popular Pearl. The Curve, named for its smooth edges, will be offered first by AT&T Inc., though no launch date or pricing was disclosed in a news release.

BENTONVILLE, Ark.

Wal-Mart pulls bibs off shelves

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. pulled sets of baby bibs Wednesday from its stores nationwide after the bibs tested positive for high levels of lead, a store official said. The bibs, sold under the Baby Connection brand name, came in packs of two to seven bibs, with embroidered prints or images of Sesame Street characters. Some were sold as long ago as 2004. The bibs were made by Hamco Inc. exclusively for the retailer. Mia Masten, a Chicago-based spokeswoman for Wal-Mart, said the vinyl portion of the bibs exceeded the lead levels set by Illinois for children's products.