Paw Print Rewind #016: May 28, 2015

Editor’s Note: This is the Paw Print Rewind, a daily recap of the top news headlines.

U.S. Supreme Court rules against Cisco in patent infringement fight

A Cisco Systems sign is shown at Cisco Systems headquarters in San Jose, Calif., Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2009. Cisco Systems releases quarterly earnings after the market close Wednesday, Feb. 4. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
A Cisco Systems sign is shown at Cisco Systems headquarters in San Jose, Calif., Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2009. Cisco Systems releases quarterly earnings after the market close Wednesday, Feb. 4. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled against Cisco over a patent infringement claim being fought by the tech giant.

On a 6-2 vote, with Justice Stephen Breyer rescued from the case, the court threw out a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Cisco’s favor.

The case concerns a patent held by Commil USA on a way to improve the implementation of a wireless network where multiple access point are needed. Commil sued Cisco for patent infringement and induced patent infringement based on the network equipment maker’s use of similar technology.

“[The good faith defense] can render litigation more burdensome for everyone involved.”

-Anthony Kennedy, Supreme Court justice

Singapore detains two ‘self-radicalized’ teens

Singapore has detained two “self-radicalized” teenagers, one of which wanted to join Islamic State militants in Syria, under an internal security law that allows for detention without trial for two years, according to the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The ministry identified one of the suspects as 19-year-old M Arifil Azim Putra Norja’i, who was detained in April for “terrorism-related activities.”

He intended to carry out attacks in Singapore if he was not able to join the Islamic State in Syria, according to the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The other teenager is 17 and was arrested this month, according to the ministry.

U.S. Air Force certified SpaceX for national security launches

The U.S. Air Force has certified SpaceX to launch U.S. military and spy satellites, ending a monopoly held by United Launch Alliance, a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Boeing, since its creation in 2006.

The decision means that SpaceX can compete for national security launches with its Falcon 9 rocket.

“SpaceX’s emergence as a viable commercial launch provider provides the opportunity to compete launch services for the first time in almost a decade.”

-Deborah James, Air Force secretary

Leveraging SpaceX’s investment in an alternate launch vehicle would help drive down the cost and help improve the U.S. military’s resiliency, according to James.

The Air Force spent over $60 million and dedicated 150 people to SpaceX’s certification, according to the agency, which included 2,800 discreet tasks, three certification flight demonstrations, 21 major subsystem reviews, and 700 audits aimed at establishing a technical baseline for future flight worthiness determinations.

Michael Kors posts slowest revenue growth since going public

Michael Kors has reported its slowest quarterly revenue growth since going public in December 2011 as demands for its handbags and accessories weakened in North America, the company’s largest market.

Michael Kors’ revenue rose 17.8 percent in Q4, slowing from the 29.9-74.4 percent growth it posted over the last 13 quarters.

Same-store sales in North America fell 6.7 percent.

Lower tourist traffic in the North/Southeast United States, weak watch business sales, and shipping delays due to the US West Coast port strike hurt North American sales, according to CFO Joe Parsons.

Watch sales are expected to fall further this year, according to CEO John Idol.

The company’s margins fell to 58.4 percent from 59.9 percent as the company aggressively offered discounts to attract shoppers.

Michael Kors forecast revenue of $4.7-$4.8 billion and earnings of $4.40-$4.50 per share for the year ending in March 2016. The handbag maker expected a strong dollar to hurt profit by about $0.20 per share.

Michael Kors expected same-store sales to be flat in fiscal 2016.

The company’s net income rose to $182.6 million ($0.90 per share) in the quarter that ended on March 28 from $161 million ($0.78 per share) a year earlier.

Revenue rose to $1.08 billion from $917.5 million.

Airbus wins board spat with Spain to renew CEO

Airbus faced down a revolt by government shareholders over a board appointment and invited its CEO to stay on until 2019.

Europe’s largest aerospace company, whose shareholders include the governments of Spain, France, and Germany, won shareholder support for its choice of a Spanish board candidate.

France and Germany own 11 percent each of Airbus Group, with Spain controlling 4.1 percent. About two-thirds of the company’s shares were represented at the meeting, where the company also reaffirmed its upbeat business forecasts.

EU outlines plans to make multinationals pay their tax share

The European Commission has outlined their plans to limit how much multinational companies can reduce taxes on their European earnings through the use of creative accounting.

The Commission determined in March that European Union countries would have to share information on tax deals agreed with major corporations.

“We agreed on the need to combat tax avoidance by re-establishing the link between taxation and where the company actually does business.”

-Valdis Dombrovskis, European Commission vice president

The Commission aimed to revive a 2011 proposal for a common consolidated corporate tax base (CCCTB), a single set of rules that companies operating in the European Union could use to calculate taxable profits.

Under that proposal, companies would have to comply with just one EU system for computing its tax liabilities, rather than different rules in each member state, and would only have to file a single tax return for all of their EU activity.

Dombrovskis acknowledged that consolidation of tax bases across borders would not be easy. Member states would need to agree on how to distribute tax revenues, something they have failed to do to date.

Any CCCTB system will have to be compulsory, according to the commissioner.

The Commission’s measures are designed to prevent aggressive tax planning by multinationals, such as artificially shifting profits to the country where the rates are lowest or security beneficial tax rulings.

Tiffany’s sales, profit up on higher Europe tourist spending

Luxury jeweler Tiffany reported higher quarterly sales and profit as it benefited from higher spending by tourists in Europe and growing demand for its T line of fashion jewelry.

The company reiterated its full-year earnings forecast.

European sales rose two percent in the first quarter that ended April 30, according to Tiffany, attributing the increase to more tourists shopping at its stores and strong local demand.

The weaker euro and the pound have made it attractive for foreign tourists to shop in Europe, according to company vice president of investor relations Mark Aaron, on a conference call.

The weaker euro and the pound have made it attractive for foreign tourists, according to Aaron.

First-quarter sales were lowered by six percent because of currency fluctuations, according to Tiffany.

“Some of these are big-ticket items, so when you’re spending $5,000-$10,000 on an item, [a weaker currency] can make a difference.”

-Brian Yarbrough, Edward Jones analyst

Sales in the Americas region rose one percent to $44 million due to higher sales to U.S. customers and growth in Canada and Latin America.

Same-store sales fell two percent in Europe and one percent in the Americas, according to the company.


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