STLR Link Roundup – March 11, 2009

YAHOO! IS ON THE HUNT DURING RESTRUCTURING: Yahoo! Inc. has threatened to sue popular social networking company Facebook for allegedly infringing on Yahoo’s patent rights. Yahoo has not publicly announced which patents it believes are infringed but are asking for Facebook to either pay licensing fees or risk a lawsuit. This news comes on the eve of Facebook’s IPO and amidst plans of a major restructuring of Yahoo! Inc. by its CEO Scott Thompson. Yahoo’s restructuring is likely to include thousands of layoffs and “significant strategic change.”

“MOBILE PHONE WARS” HEAT UP BETWEEN APPLE AND MOTOROLA: Google Inc. (GOOG) and Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. (MMI) have been ordered by U.S. Circuit Judge Posner of Chicago to hand over information to Apple Inc. (AAPL) regarding the development of Google’s Android operating system. This information comes following Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion and is in connection with Apple’s suit against Motorola filed in 2010 regarding multi-touch technology.

YELP! HITS THE MARKET RUNNING: In one of the most highly anticipated IPO’s this year, online local business review and community rating website Yelp! (YELP) began trading on the New York Stock Exchange on March 2nd. Yelp’s first day proved to be very successful ending with share prices up 64% from the IPO price of $15 selling for $24.58. At closing this put Yelp at a market value of nearly $1.5 billion, a surprisingly high valuation for a company who has yet to show any profits.

KODAK FIGHTS APPLE IN BANKRUPTCY: 131 year old Eastman Kodak Co. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on January 19th of this year in response to decline in photographic film business in recent years. Attempting to survive their liquidity crisis, Eastman Kodak has set forth a goal of selling a portfolio of digital-imaging patents for up to $2.6 billion but may be encumbered by stayed patent litigation with Apple Inc. Eastman Kodak has asked a bankruptcy judge to block Apple Inc. from restarting patent litigation over a dispute between the two companies over who owns a patent for a digital camera that can preview the image on a liquid crystal display (LCD).

TALK OF THE TABLETS: Apple Inc. unveiled the latest version of its extremely popular iPad tablet computer (the “latest iPad” rather than what people believed would be called the iPad 3) on Wednesday, March 7. Although the new tablet comes with new features such as high-speed 4G networking, a higher definition “retina display” screen and a better camera, some people believe that it isn’t enough to ensure Apple retains its competitive lead in the marketplace.

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