February 24th, 2012
08:10 AM GMT
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Hong Kong (CNN) - Proview Electronics - a little known Asia-based company that claims it has rights to the “iPad” trademark in China - has taken its legal battle against Apple to the technology giant’s home turf.

In a lawsuit filed last week in the U.S. Superior Court of California in Santa Clara County, the Taiwan affiliate of Proview International Holdings accuses Apple of deception when it purchased the iPad trademark in 2009, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The suit alleges that one of Apple’s law firms set up a company - IP Application Development Ltd (or IPAD) - to buy the trademark from Proview for $55,000, according to the report.

Apple has maintained the purchase gives it worldwide rights to the trademark; Proview Electronics claims that Apple acted deceptively by hiding its involvement.

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February 14th, 2012
07:46 AM GMT
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(Hong Kong) – Could it be a coincidence that diplomats chose to schedule an annual meeting of Chinese and EU leaders on Valentine’s Day?

On Tuesday, two of the EU’s biggest hitters, Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council, and José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, will meet with Premier Wen Jiabao in Beijing, before separate meetings with President Hu Jintao and Vice-Premier Li Keqiang. FULL POST



January 27th, 2012
04:18 AM GMT
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(CNN) - The delegates’ energy levels may be flagging, but there’s still plenty to get excited about on day three of the World Economic Forum, which begins with a report from the crucible of the Arab Spring by Hamadi Jebali, Prime Minister of Tunisia.

Jebali will then join Moroccan Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane and Egyptian presidential candidates Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh and Amre Moussa for a discussion of the future of governance in North Africa.

Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Barak will join Yukiya Amano, Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, for an interactive session on how the world would respond to the news that Iran had successfully developed a nuclear weapon. And the heads of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and the United Nations World Food Program, Angel Gurria and Josette Sheeran, will join Sweden’s Minister of Finance, Anders Borg, for a televised debate on an issue which has been at the very heart of Davos 2012: fixing capitalism. FULL POST

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January 26th, 2012
04:52 AM GMT
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(CNN) - The line-up of some of the biggest names in politics and business continues on day two of the World Economic Forum, but it’s not exclusively about the rich and powerful: the worlds of art and sport get a look in as well.

The second day of the relentless Davos schedule launches with one of the world’s wealthiest men and best-known philanthropists, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, taking part in a discussion on food security. In the evening, he will return to moderate a conversation with Mexican President Felipe Calderon on the role of the G20 in tackling the global economic crisis.

Map: Europe in crisis

Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg will form part of a panel on the way technological advances are driving economic growth and employment, and World Bank president Robert Zoellick will feature in a session on how development can continue without destroying the ocean. Pascal Lamy, director-general of the World Trade Organization, will take part in a discussion on China’s new role as world’s lender of last resort, and how the country can best deploy its massive current account surplus and private capital without triggering a backlash. FULL POST

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January 25th, 2012
10:06 AM GMT
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(CNN) – In the hours before President Obama strode up to the podium to deliver his State of the Union Address, Bill Gates was quietly publishing his own thoughts for the year ahead.

Well, he was doing it as quietly as Bill Gates does anything.

Posting a link to his letter on Twitter, the businessman, philanthropist and regular entry on world rich lists wrote:  “We cannot tolerate a world in which 1 in 7 people is undernourished, undernourished (sic), stunted, and in danger of starving to death.”

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January 25th, 2012
03:01 AM GMT
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(CNN) - The woman charged with saving the eurozone will launch proceedings at Davos with the crisis weighing heavy on her mind, a day after a major ratings agency announced the Greek debt exchange deal would put the country in default.

German Chancellor Angela Merkeldubbed her country’s “Iron Lady” – will provide the official opening address early in the evening on the first day of the World Economic Forum 2012, in the Swiss resort town of Davos.

Together with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Merkel has been at the heart of efforts to rescue the eurozone from the debt crisis engulfing its member states. The crisis will be at the forefront of discussions on the opening day, with a session after lunch on the “new context in Europe,” addressing levels of confidence in the Greek and Italian solutions, emerging faultlines on the continent and the eurozone’s future within the European Union. FULL POST

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January 18th, 2012
01:13 PM GMT
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Hong Kong (CNN) – More than 10 months after the Fukushima meltdown and Japan is still dealing with the fallout - this time the key industry of tourism is reeling from the catastrophe.

According to government figures released Tuesday, the number of foreign nationals entering Japan dropped 24.4% from a record of 9.45 million in 2010 to 7.14 million in 2011.

New entries of foreign nationals - a figure that excludes working or studying expatriates that may have returned after home leave - made a similarly dismal showing. The Immigration Bureau of the Justice Ministry said new entrants fell from 7.92 million in 2010 to 5.45 million in 2010, slumping 31.2%.
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December 19th, 2011
04:29 PM GMT
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London (CNN) – Asian markets fell on news of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il’s death, but analysts and ratings agencies say the ongoing economic impact will depend in part on the ease at which power is transferred to his youngest son, Kim Jong Un.

In contrast to Asian stocks, those in Europe and the U.S. were unmoved by the death of North Korea’s self-titled “Dear Leader,” as the rapid naming of his successor appeared to alleviate some fears of a power vacuum.

However, concerns the Korean peninsula would be destabilized by Kim's death prompted ratings agencies Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings to warn the sovereign rating of North Korea’s neighboring South Korea would come under scrutiny.

It also reinvigorated debate around whether the North Korean regime could collapse, and the peninsula be reunified.
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December 8th, 2011
01:54 PM GMT
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Paris, France (CNN) – Fancy vacationing at the five star presidential estate the Obamas used during their luxury Hawaii vacation? For $3,571 per night you too can stay there thanks to global travel site Airbnb.

Airbnb is a platform that offers a global network of accommodation offered by local people who register on the site. It effectively lets people rent out their homes as like mini-hotels.

Describing the platform as “tourism 2.0,” founder Brian Chesky explained that Airbnb is part of a new "sharing economy."

"We are in 191 countries,” he told the Le Web tech conference in Paris on Thursday, where his startup was hailed by event host Loic Le Meur as “the biggest threat to the hotel industry.”

“Our vision from the start was ‘what if you could hire a room from someone like you would an hotel room?’ We started with the couch-surfing idea, before realizing that people want their own rooms.”

Chesky says the platform, launched in 2008 has now been used for more than two million nights’ worth of accommodation. There are about 100,000 listings posted on the site.

Key to that success, he says, is the hiring of 2,000 photographers to take high-resolution pictures of people’s homes for free to attract potential customers.

Most of the photographers were also found among the users registered on Airbnb, Chesky said.

Chesky said that people earned on average $4,000 to $5,000 a year renting out their room for an average of four nights a month.

But using the service is not without its risks. Last July, one registered landlords had her property vandalized and robbed by someone letting it.

The user, identified as EJ, wrote a blog documenting how her home was ransacked.

She wrote: "They smashed a hole through a locked closet door, and found the passport, cash, credit card and grandmother’s jewelry I had hidden inside. They took my camera, my iPod, an old laptop, and my external backup drive filled with photos, journals… my entire life.

“They found my birth certificate and social security card, which I believe they photocopied -– using the printer/copier I kindly left out for my guests’ use.

“They rifled through all my drawers, wore my shoes and clothes, and left my clothing crumpled up in a pile of wet, mildewing towels on the closet floor."

However, Chesky says these security issues have now been addressed with the implementation of a 24-hour security plan and a ratings system.

“We have also offered a $50,000 guarantee against vandalism and theft. We will continue to use the community to improve the product. We try to have relationships with all host on our website. If they don't play by the rules, they're out,” he said.

Chesky also noted that while Paris is a key market for the service, its fastest growing markets are in Asia and Latin America, which now account for 70% of Airbnb’s business.

Airbnb has received $112m in funding, which Chesky says will be used to “invest in the next 10 years of growth.”

The service is currently available on iPhone and will be released on Android next month, Chesky said.



November 9th, 2011
12:38 PM GMT
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London (CNN) - Italy’s bond yields passed 7% Wednesday morning, breaching a psychological point at which markets consider countries at risk of being unable to fund themselves.

The dramatic rise in 10-year bond yields comes the day after Italy’s flamboyant Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said he would resign after the country’s budget is passed. The 75-year old Berlusconi has been a dominant force since forming the Forza Italia party in 1994, and his pending departure marks the end of an era for Italian politics.

But while the political spectacle that came with Berlusconi could now fade, the financial show might be just beginning. The pricing – set by traders who are selling Italy’s bonds – hit 7.3% by mid morning after breaking through 7% a short while earlier. “It’s like tectonic plates,” a desk analyst told CNN. “You have this pressure and then it breaks.”
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