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JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM): Certain larger money managers now worry that the current boom in junk bonds is causing signs of the market overheating, according to the Wall Street Journal. Investors have flocked to junk bond mutual funds, putting a record level $34 billion into the sector in the past 12 months through September, enabling weaker firms to sell bonds, resulting in the credit ratings of many borrowers being lower with debt levels higher. This situation makes defaults more likely, and managers say that with yields near record lows, investors are not being compensated for that risk.
3M Company’s (NYSE:MMM) 3M Unitek and 3M Innovative Properties Co. report that they have brought a lawsuit against RMO, or Rocky Mountain Orthodontics – Lingual Jet, which alleges infringement of 3M’s patent that is related to lingual orthodontic braces in Los Angeles. The plaintiff asserts that United States Patents 6,776,614, 7,811,087, and 7,850,451, each entitled Modular System for Customized Orthodontic Appliances to cover 3M Unitek Incognito Lingual Braces. 3M also said that 3M Unitek, which does business as TOP-Service für Lingulatechnik GmbH, is bringing infringement proceedings in France under European Patent 1474064 against RMO Europe along with Lingual Jet. The Patent 1474064, Modular System for Customized Orthodontic Appliances, covers 3M Unitek Incognito Lingual Braces as well, and is registered in France.
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Microsoft Corporation’s patent (NASDAQ:MSFT) that permits applications to work on different handsets was not infringed by Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Motorola Mobility business, says a regional court in Germany, according to Reuters.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT) and Toys “R” Us introduced their layaway programs in September, which was more than a month earlier than in 2011 because parents are telling retailers that they need more time to pay for their holiday purchases, says the Wall Street Journal. But the act of reserving so many popular items so far in advance is making it difficult for other shoppers to find toys, as the big sellers are thus in shorter supply. At the same time, Wal-Mart and Sears (NASDAQ:SHLD) have reduced their layaway service fees.
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