Apple’s Patent Rejected and 4 Hot Stocks to Watch

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Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) “pinch-to-zoom” patent has been rejected after re-examination by the United States Patents and Trademark Office, dealing a blow to the company in its ongoing litigation with Samsung Electronics. The patent was one of six held by a jury in August to have been infringed and Apple subsequently won $1.05 billion in damages against Samsung. This is the second patent out of the six that the USPTO has rejected after re-examination. Apple has appealed the decision of the USPTO, and is likely to do the same in respect of the second decision.

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France is rallying to the aid of struggling telecom equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE:ALU). According to reports, France Telecom may acquire its fleet of submarine cable laying ships in a deal that may be worth between €100 million-€150 million. French sovereign fund Fonds Strategique d’Investissement is also weighing the purchase of a stake in Alcatel-Lucent.

The UK government proposes to auction 4G spectrum next year and regulator Ofcom confirmed that seven bidders are likely to compete in the auction. These include Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD), BT (NYSE:BT) and Telefonica (NYSE:TEF)-owned O2. Ofcom has fixed a reserve price of £1.3 billion for the 4G spectrum, but the government’s budgetary estimates include a credit of £3.5 billion on this account. The regulator intends to boost competition in the mobile market with at least four mobile wholesalers participating and the auction is said to have been designed to achieve this.

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