The Circuit: Tech titans in tight race, ICANN chief to step down, S. Korea privacy suit against Apple

August 17, 2011

LEADING THE DAY: Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility is only its latest move to get ahead in a tight race to the top of the tech world against Apple, Facebook and Amazon, The Washington Post reported. Pursuing the goal of a one-stop system for shopping, entertainment, business and information, the companies Google chairman Eric Schmidt called the “Gang of Four” are each pursuing the pieces of that equation that they are missing.

It’s a risky proposition — Forbes reported Tuesday that S&P has cut Google’s rating to sell from buy, saying that the Motorola deal is risky.

And as the companies expand their reach and power, they are also drawing the eyes of antitrust regulators in the U.S. and Europe. “Compared to, say, an earlier era of Microsoft dominance, these companies are much more ready to tell you what you can and can’t install on the devices that you physically own,” Ben Edelman, an assistant professor at Harvard Business School told The Post.

ICANN chief stepping down: The president of the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, Rod Beckstrom, announced on Twitter that he is stepping down once his term expires in July 2012. He has been the president and CEO of the California nonprofit, which oversees the world’s domain names, since 2009. During his tenure, the nonprofit expanded its oversight reach from the U.S. to the world and approved a controversial proposal allow entities to register generic top-level domains.

The organization confirmed Beckstrom’s announcement in a short press release late Thursday, though it did not give a reason for Beckstrom’s resignation.

I have decided to wrap up my service at ICANN July 2012. Press release soon.Tue Aug 16 23:23:06 via TweetDeckRod Beckstrom
RodBeckstrom

South Korean class action against Apple over location data: In South Korea, 27,000 Apple consumers are suing the company over what they say are privacy violations, the Associated Press reported. The suit alleges that Apple’s iPhone illegally collected location data; each person in the suit is seeking damages equivalent to $932. The lawyer in the case, Kim Hyeong-seok, won a privacy case against Apple in South Korea earlier this year.

HTC files new Apple patent lawsuit: HTC filed a new lawsuit against Apple with the International Trade Commission Tuesday, seeking to block imports of the iPhone and the iPad, Reuters reported. Two of the three patents at issue come from HTC’s acquisition of patents from S3. The commission ruled that Apple‘s Mac OS X operating system infringed on two graphics patents from S3 in July; the ITC also found that HTC smartphones infringed on two Apple patents.

German court partially lifts Galaxy Tab 10.1 ban: A German court has partially lifted a ban it placed on imports of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the European Union, Dutch news site Webwereld reported via intellectual property expert Florian Mueller.

The ban is still in place in Germany, but the court has reversed part of its order because of doubts over whether it had the jurisdiction to ban product sales outside of Germany.

Dell sales miss expectations: Dell reported lower-than-expected sales for its second quarter, due to slowing consumer PC sales, Bloomberg reported. On a conference call, chief executive Michael Dell said that Dell would continue to make acquisitions to strengthen the company. Consumer sales were particularly weak, the company reported, with 1 percent growth over the same period a year ago.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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