Archive for the ‘victory’ tag
Financially troubled RIM probably doesn’t have two pennies to rub together, so the company must be thrilled that it just saved itself $147.2 million.
Mformation brought the case against RIM in 2008, arguing that RIM’s BlackBerry Enterprise Server software violated its patents. The jury agreed, and last month RIM was ordered to pay $8 for each of the estimated $18.4 million devices it sold in the U.S. (If there was ever a good reason to have poor smartphone sales, this was it.)
RIM, clearly, is happy with the way things turned out. “We’re pleased with the victory,” RIM’s Chief Legal Officer Steve Zipperstein said in a statement today. Zipperstein also used the victory to criticize the patent system, which he said is being exploited by unsavory characters for illegitimate reasons.
With defeat snatched from the jaws of victory, Mformation now has the option to appeal the latest decision. Doing so, however, would mean having to wrangle up an entirely new jury, and we’d have another trial on our hands.
We’ve reached out to Mformation to see if the company intends to go that route, and we’ll update this story when the company responds.
Filed under: mobile
[UPDATE: This is a fake ad, not created by Durex, entered into a Fauxlympics contest.] Usain Bolt's 9.63-second victory in the 100-meter dash at the London Olympics on Sunday cemented his status as the world's fastest man, as he became the second Olympian (after Carl Lewis) to win consecutive gold medals in track and field's signature event. But as Durex has cheekily pointed out, not every man wants to be the fastest in the world. The wink-wink, nudge-nudge billboard is decorated with colorful condoms styled like the Olympic rings. The understated headline reads: "Usain—not every man wants to be the fastest in the world." Durex, of course, is the official condom supplier of the Olympics. This year, organizers ordered a record 150,000 condoms for the Olympic village, getting Durex even more press and ensuring another Olympic season of record-breaking ribaldry.
Kodak, the formerly powerful but now bankrupt camera company, has tasted victory in its ongoing patent war with Apple.
Kodak has been scrambling to maintain its very existence lately, and part of that struggle includes a lawsuit it brought against Apple. The suit, which was fired up in June, claimed that Apple was standing between Kodak and a much-needed patent auction (part of Kodak’s bankruptcy proceedings).
While Apple said it owned the rights to technology for digital photo previews on a camera’s LCD screen, the judge disagreed, ruling in Kodak’s favor. Altogether, Apple has made claims on 10 of Kodak’s patents; today’s ruling covers two of those.
“If Apple’s claims proceed despite their unreasonably delayed commencement, Kodak might have to go back to the drawing board for ways to fund its case,” U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Allan Gropper wrote in his decision.
The patent auction, which involves more than 1,000 patents regarding how devices that capture, edit, manipulate, and share digital photographs, is scheduled to take place on August 8. However, if Apple’s counterclaims continue, that date could change.
Kodak filed for bankruptcy near the beginning of the year and announced it would be shutting down its camera manufacturing business.
As part of the bankruptcy, Kodak also sold its printing service, Gallery, to Shutterfly.
Filed under: VentureBeat
After a small victory in court this past July, NYC-based Aereo today announced a new set of pricing options and the end of the invitation only rollout for the live broadcast TV over the Internet startup.
The service is still only available to those physically residing in New York City but for those of us here, we can now choose from four different pricing options and even a free to watch option. The latter gives viewers access to the service for one continuous hour each day sans DVR functionality. A day pass (read: 24 hours) will set you back one George Washington with monthly and annual pricing at $8, $12 and $80, respectively.
Aereo currently carries 28 channels in New York City, including ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, Telemundo and others. Devices currently supported include the AppleTV, Roku and Safari on iPad, iPhone and Macs. Support for PC’s and Android is expected later this summer. No word on when Aereo will offer its service outside of NYC.
Although the 2012 presidential candidates are spending unprecedented amounts on television advertisements, the vast majority of voters can now be reached through other more effective mediums. Google, which began the “Four Screens to Victory” campaign in March, is urging candidates to use a large percentage of their campaign budgets to reach voters through non-traditional “screens.” [...]
A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators is close to a deal on legalizing online poker, a possible victory for supporters of greater liberalization of gambling laws. But the group is also considering tightening restrictions on other forms of Internet gambling, which could affect the growth of social casino games.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) are in talks about getting support for the agreement, according to a report in the National Journal.
“Here’s the issue. Sen. Kyl and I’ve worked very hard. What we need to do is get some Republican support. That hasn’t been forthcoming yet,” Reid told the Journal’s Tech Daily Dose on Tuesday.
Reid did not say where the deal stands. But a Democratic aide said Reid wants fellow Nevada senator, Republican Dean Heller, and Kyl to sell the GOP on the deal. Kyl was an author of a 2006 law the curbed online gambling by stopping banks, credit card companies, and others from processing payments for online bets.
But the Justice Department reversed itself in December and decided that the Interstate Wire Act of 1961 did not bar all Internet gambling, but rather just sports gambling. States have since been considering legislation to make online gambling legal on a local basis. Delaware and Nevada have moved to legalize online gambling within state borders. Reid reportedly wants Nevada casinos to host online gambling operations.
All of this activity has caught the attention of investors, who are putting money into social casino game companies in the hopes that the barriers between online gambling and social casino games will melt away. But this law as proposed seems like it would narrowly allow online poker and not much else. Since poker is a game of skill and players play against each other, it is reportedly less prone to fraud.
[Photo credit: Vegas chatter]
The year 1996 was a great one for Nike. The brand spent millions on its Summer Olympics campaign, plastering Atlanta with ads and erecting a majestic Nike building to overlook Olympic Park.
Then, in an epic climax, American sprinter Michael Johnson broke a world record, crossing the finish line with a gleaming pair of golden Nikes strapped to his feet. He was later featured on the cover of Time magazine with those sneakers draped around his neck, along with his two gold medals.
Too bad Reebok spent $20 million to be the Games’ official sportswear sponsor.
Nike’s marketing victory proved an embarrassment for both Reebok and the event’s organizers. The incident prompted the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to clamp down on ambush marketing and ever since then such incidents have been kept to a minimum.
But that’s all about to change. With London 2012 being heralded as the first truly “social” Games, this year’s official Olympic sponsors are more vulnerable than ever.
The business of sponsorships
The London Olympics are expected to be the most regulated Games ever in terms of protecting brand sponsors, and a major reason for that is the proliferation of social media.
Sponsorship is big business. The IOC has already raised $957 million from the Olympic Partner programme (TOP), which is the organization’s second-largest money-maker after broadcasting rights.
TOP includes 11 worldwide brand sponsors on its roster, each of which enjoys exclusive marketing rights for the duration of the four-year Olympic term. Another 14 brands are affiliated as official supporters and partners of the 2012 Olympic Games and are given similar privileges, including product category exclusivity.
The promise of sponsorship rights protection was one of the central reasons London won the bid for the Summer Games. The London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act, passed in the U.K. Parliament in 2006, allows for “brand exclusion zones” to be set up across the city for the duration of the Games.
Extending one kilometre around venues, the zones prevent any brands that aren’t sponsors from displaying ads or logos.
The strong measures have stirred up controversy. McCann Worldgroup attorney Marina Palomba told BusinessWeek, “it’s the most draconian law so far in advance of an Olympic Games ever.”
When sponsorship meets social
Making matters more complicated are the online restrictions. According to ticket purchase terms and conditions, fans could be punished for taking photos or videos at the events and uploading them onto public sites. Access to wireless networks might also be restricted, as well as the size of cameras spectators can use.
The IOC’s social media guidelines [PDF] also stipulate that athletes are not allowed to comment on the performances of their competitors, nor are they “permitted to promote any brand, product or service within a posting, blog or tweet or otherwise any social media platforms or on any websites.” Unless, of course, that brand is a sponsor.
In other words, Michael Phelps will be out of luck if he wants to tweet about the Subway sandwich that propelled him to victory. Too bad he didn’t eat a Big Mac instead.
These rules may have been easy to enforce four years ago (back then the IOC didn’t even bother with a social media policy), but with nearly a billion people on Facebook, 140 million on Twitter and 18 percent of the world owning smartphones (not to mention netbooks and tablets), the IOC’s efforts may be too little too late.
Brand exclusion: Helpful or harmful?
Nevertheless, the IOC remains enthusiastic about the engagement opportunities that social networks offer sponsors and fans.
The committee has created the Olympic Athletes’ Hub where fans can follow the online lives of their favourite sports stars. It funnels content from the various social media feeds of Olympic athletes into one platform, making monitoring easier for everyone – including the IOC, of course.
Sebastian Coe, chairman of the London 2012 organizing committee, told The Guardian that the need for regulation to prevent ambush marketing is more pressing than ever.
Of course, regulating and monitoring virtual spaces will be more of a challenge than at the physical venues. IOC Head of Social Media Alex Huot warns that mechanisms are in place in case of online copyright infringement but acknowledges the impossibility of monitoring every tweet and webpage.
“We don’t police but we’re working closely with all the platforms to make sure the trademark and (internet protocol) rights are respected,” he told The Guardian.
Is sponsorship worth it?
With social media making it easier than ever for unofficial brands to piggyback off the success of international events, it stands to be asked: Are sponsorships even worth it anymore?
A 2010 case study published in the Journal of Managing and Marketing Research found that sponsor-event fit and brand equity were the most important factors when measuring the long-term financial success of brand sponsors, and that so long as those factors are in place, sports sponsorship remains lucrative.
That’s especially true for high-profile international events like the Olympics, which have long been considered the Holy Grail for brands. The event tends to have a “halo effect” and brand sponsors bask in those good-vibes associations.
But as Mary Lou Costa argues in a 2011 Marketing Week article, the halo effect can go both ways: People often assume popular brands are affiliated with international events.
And with social media making it easier to spread content, non-affiliated brands have the potential to practise online ambush marketing.
Meanwhile, the Olympics and their sponsors are getting a bad rap for the very regulations meant to protect them.
When tickets went on sale for London, Visa was the only method of payment available, causing a media uproar. Then, the company replaced the 27 existing cash machines at the main Olympic venue with 8 of its own, subsequently facing allegations that Visa is intentionally starving the venue of cash.
So how does one measure the value of building brand equity through sponsorships against the potential bad press that results from strict protections? One way is through dollars.
Local sponsor Adidas hopes to make more than $156 million in U.K. sales from the deal. Those earnings alone might be worth the investment.
But just like in 1996, main rival Nike is hoping to upset Adidas’ strategy with a plan of its own. The brand has opened a giant concept store at a shopping centre near the main venue, which nearly 70 percent of ticket holders are expected to pass through on their way to an event.
Nike has also found a clever way of bypassing the online restrictions with their #MakeItCount campaign, which pulls off the balancing act of referencing the Games without actually mentioning them.
The result? According to a study by BrandWatch, Nike is outpacing Adidas as the apparel brand most associated with London 2012.
Finally, in a recent online poll, The Guardian asked responders to vote whether Olympic sponsors should be protected with strict laws: 91 percent voted “No.”
So let the games begin and may the best brand win.
While the Android buzz is now firmly focused on the recently unveiled Jelly Bean, the previous major update, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, has finally reached double-digit penetration in the market.
It’s a bittersweet victory though, as it took 8.5 months since Android 4.0′s release to scrape together 10.9 percent of the Android market. Meanwhile, the majority of Android users (64 percent) are running the 15-month old Gingerbread update.
The latest statistics, gathered at Google’s Android developers website, won’t do much to satisfy critics who say that Android is horribly fragmented. Google has historically avoided forcing Android updates on device manufacturers, who usually need several months to tweak the software for their products.
At least the adoption of Android 4.0 seems to be speeding up. Last month, Google reported that only 7.1 percent of devices were running Android 4.0.
Come next month, Google will add Android 4.1 Jelly Bean statistics to its market report. That update will officially hit Nexus devices later this month, and it’ll give us some idea if how well Google’s new Nexus 7 tablet sells.
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A U.S. judge on Tuesday issued a preliminary injunction against all sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab, giving Apple a home-court victory in its ongoing legal battle against its handset rival.
AOL fended off activist shareholder Starboard Value today, as all of the company’s existing directors were re-elected to the board. All eight of them — Tim Armstrong, Richard Dalzell, Karen Dykstra, Alberto Ibargüen, Susan Lyne, Patricia Mitchell, Fredric Reynolds and James Stengel — are staying according to a preliminary vote count, while the three candidates Starboard suggested were not elected.
It’s a short-term victory for Armstrong, although he still faces the very formidable task of making AOL a sustainable business that can withstand the decline of subscription dial-up revenue. Shares fell 5.7 percent today to $25.55, giving the company a market capitalization of $2.4 billion.
We caught up with Armstrong after the call. “We have one of the most public company strategies in the world,” he said. “Investors knew what they were investing in. They saw us buying back a lot of shares, the patent transaction and the operational results.” AOL sold 800 patents to Microsoft for $1.1 billion in April.
How much time does this buy him? ”You know better than I do that in the Internet space, every second is a day,” he said. “We’re on a fast mission to be a growth company again.”
AOL’s dial-up revenue declined at a rate of 15 percent year-over-year to $182 million in the first quarter. Meanwhile, display advertising revenue — which is what the company is betting on — grew just 5 percent year-over-year to $330.1 million.
The timeframe for AOL’s controversial local media effort, Patch.com, remains the same. They’re looking at profitability by the end of 2013. AOL filed a fairly long slide deck defending the unit last week (excerpted below). Groupon, Google, Yelp and others are all gunning for the same local business advertising market with varying success.
As for the premium brands like The Huffington Post, Armstrong says he’s going to continue investing in them. He’s not planning any bigger acquisitions in the near-term. ”We don’t have any plans for any major acquisitions. As for the acquisitions that we’ve done over the last two years, we’re very interested in growing those and putting resources into them.”
“We went from the worst merger in history to where we are today,” he said. “We have a lot of long-term thinkers behind us and we’re going to maniacally execute for those shareholders.”