Five Companies That Dropped The Ball This Week

Jury Says Google Guilty Of Copyright Infringement, But ...

More bad news for Google this week -- a federal jury found the search giant had infringed on some of Oracle's copyrights for Java, leading to more trouble over Google's highly popular Android operating system. The news wasn't all bad (see the next slide for more), given that the jury deadlocked over whether or not Google's use of Java APIs violated "fair use." But it's never a good thing when you're found guilty of software copyright infringement, especially when Steve Jobs once called Android a "stolen product."

... Oracle's Damages Claims Get Reduced

Even though Oracle technically won with the jury's copyright infringement ruling, it's a Pyrrhic victory of sorts for the software company. Oracle had sought $6 billion in damages from Google, but U.S. District Judge William Alsup stated that because the amount of copied software code was so limited -- just nine lines in all -- Oracle will likely be entitled to just statutory damages, which would amount to a paltry $150,000. Judge Alsup also hinted that he may eliminate the third and final phase of the trial, which would assess damages, and push both sides for a settlement. All in all, this trial looks like it's cost Google and Oracle a lot of time and money and produced nothing but headaches.

Cisco Issues Weak Q4 Outlook

Just when it looked like Cisco was back on track, the networking giant was forced to deliver some bad news. While the company's third-quarter earnings were mostly positive (6.6 percent revenue increase and a nearly 20 percent profit increase), Cisco's disappointing guidance for the fourth quarter sent its stock price plunging after hours. Analysts had expected revenue for the quarter to improve 7 percent, but Cisco said it expects growth of between 2 percent and 5 percent.

Proview Loses Legal Battle Against Apple In U.S.

Proview Electronics' crusade to win back the "iPad" trademark came to an end this week in the U.S. when a California Superior Court judge dismissed its lawsuit against Apple. The Chinese technology manufacturer accused Apple of fraud when Apple purchased the iPad trademark from Proview's parent company in 2009, claiming that Apple misled the company about the true intentions of using the iPad name. But Apple sought a dismissal of the case, arguing that the two sides had agreed to settle in Hong Kong. The judge agreed, throwing out Proview's case in the U.S.

Microsoft Accused Of Unfair Browser Competition

Seems like old times, doesn't it? Both Mozilla and Google this week slammed Microsoft for restricting third-party Web browsers on the upcoming Windows 8 operating system version for ARM (dubbed Windows RT). Both Mozilla and Google claim that Internet Explorer 10 will be able to run the "Windows classic" environment as well as the Windows Metro environment, but competing browsers such as Firefox and Chrome will be prohibited from running in the "Windows classic" environment. While browser competition complaints are nothing new for Microsoft, the software giant doesn't need any antitrust roadblocks ahead of its all-important Windows 8 launch.

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