THE NEWS WRAP: Telstra loses to Amazon over patent dispute

Telstra has lost a landmark patent dispute with global eCommerce giant Amazon over who invented the idea of using a single mouse-click to purchase an item online, ending a seven-year battle between the companies.


Amazon’s 1-Click mechanism allows online buyers to pay for items without having to type in their details for every purchase.


Telstra claimed that prior to Amazon’s filing of a patent application in 1998, it invented a similar system. The company could appeal the decision in the Federal Court but is yet to indicate its intentions.


Second Qantas strike looming

Less than 24 hours after announcing a one-hour work stoppage this Friday, the union representing Qantas’s engineers has planned widespread strikes at peak hour times on Monday.


According to a letter to Qantas by union secretary Steve Purvinas, all entitled members of the Engineers Association will stop work between 6am and 6.30am and between 5.30pm and 6pm on Monday.


The engineers, who have the power to delay or ground flights, will also limit work by refusing to use Qantas vehicles at Melbourne’s Tullamarine airport, and restricting towing of Boeing 737 aircraft nationwide for the entirety of Monday.


Westfield confirms forecasts

Westfield Group has confirmed its forecasts for annual earnings, distributions and operating income, and has increased its expected development starts over the next two years.


According to the company, operating segment earnings in 2010-11 would be 74.6 cents, leading to a distribution of 48.4 cents. Net operating income would also be in line with forecasts.


Westfield says it expects to start new developments worth between $750 million and $1 billion during the year, but it upgraded its forecasts of starts over the next two years to between $1.25 billion and $1.5 billion in each of 2011-12 and 2012-13.


The markets

The Australia dollar was trading three quarters of a US cent higher this morning, following gains on US equities and rising commodity prices. At 7am, the dollar was trading at 108.39 US cents, up from 107.63 cents at close yesterday.


US shares pushed higher today after Microsoft’s $US8.5 billion deal to buy Skype gave a strong bump to tech stocks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 75.68 points at 12,760.36 in closing trade. 


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