5 Companies That Dropped The Ball This Week

FusionStorm's Bad Behavior

Solution providers got a close look into the seamy side of the business as a result of a court battle between rivals FusionStorm (VAR500 No. 115 with $436.8 Million in sales) and Technology Integration Group (TIG) (VAR500 No. 155 with $256 million in sales).

When the six-week California Superior Court trial in San Francisco was over, FusionStorm and former TIG executives were found liable for, among other things, misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of loyalty.

The jury awarded TIG a total of $9.36 million in compensatory damages and $1.525 million in punitive damages from FusionStorm and six individuals at the center of the case.

Included in the list of FusionStorm executives who were found liable in at least some of the charges was CEO and Chairman John Varel.

Nvidia Faces Patent Infringement Fallout

In the rough and tumble technology business, patent violations can be costly. That certainly looks like it is the case with the US International Trade Commission ruling this week that Nvidia and several of its OEM and system builder partners infringed on three patents from Rambus, which bills itself as one of the world's premier technology licensing companies.

The ruling could impact branded PCs and those sold by system builders. In its final ruling, in fact, the ITC issued a limited exclusion and cease-and-desist order against Nvidia, HP, Asus, Palit Multimedia, Palit Microsystems, MSI Computer, Micro-Star International, EVGA, Diablotek, Biostar Microtech, and BFG Technologies.

Nvidia claims the ruling will result in no impact on its customers' business. What's more, it said it intends to appeal the case, which has been going on since 2008, to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. For now, at least, it looks like Nvidia is on the losing end of this patent battle.

Google, CSC Miss A Cloud Deadline

IT security fears caused Google and systems integration giant CSC to miss the completion deadline for a massive cloud computing project for the City of Los Angeles.

Google and CSC missed the June 30 deadline to complete the project partly due to IT security concerns from some city agencies, including the Los Angeles Police Department. The delay could force the companies to reimburse some of the project costs as they work to get the deployment back on track.

The incomplete project and missed deadline are major setbacks for both Google and CSC, the implementation partner that is leading the project.

Citi iPhone Banking App Security Flaw

You think you're safe doing banking on your iPhone? Not if you are using an old version of Citi's iPhone banking application.

Citi said that its U.S. Citi Mobile iPhone banking app was accidentally saving information related to customer accounts in a hidden file on their iPhones.

That left any user's customer account data vulnerable if they were synchronizing their iPhone with their computer via iTunes.

Citi released a new version of the app, version 2.0.3, on July 19, and notified Citi customers who might be affected in a letter on July 20.

IBM Faces European Commission Antitrust Investigation

IBM has faced countless antitrust suits over the years including a 12-year antitrust suit that was dropped by the U.S. Government in 1982. Now IBM faces yet another antitrust investigation.

This one is from the European Commission (EC) which has launched two investigations against IBM in which the computer manufacturer is alleged to have violated European Union antitrust regulations by abusing its dominant position in the mainframe market.

The EC said the investigations involve mainframe software and services. It sounds like the same kind of bundling and tying charges that IBM was subject to in the 70s. We thought things had changed a lot since then. But then again, maybe not.

Check out our roundup of vendors that came to win this week for a look at the companies that really brought their 'A' game.