Alibaba, China’s largest e-commerce company, recently made headlines by committing to purchase an 18% stake in Weibo, China’s largest microblogging platform, for $586 million. The deal reportedly gives Alibaba an option to increase its stake to 30%.

The alliance will allow Alibaba to drive more web traffic to its e-commerce sites.  With over

On Tuesday, Microsoft announced a deal with ZTE under which ZTE will license Microsoft’s worldwide patent portfolio for use in cell phones, tablet computers, and other devices running the Android and Chrome operating systems.  Although the terms of the ZTE deal were not released, Microsoft’s agreements with other device manufacturers have required a royalty payment

The Department of Justice (“DOJ”) is ramping up efforts against the illegal distribution of cell phone applications.  On August 21, 2012, Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer, Northern District of Georgia U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates, and FBI Special Agent in Charge Brian Lamkin announced a first of its kind seizure of three website domain names used to engage in the unlawful distribution of copyrighted Android cellular phone apps.  All three of the domain names—applanet.net, appbucket.net and snappzmarket.com—now resolve to websites displaying a message warning that willful copyright infringement is a federal crime.

Assistant Attorney General Breuer explained:  “Software apps have become an increasingly essential part of our nation’s economy and creative culture, and the Criminal Division is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to protect the creators of these apps and other forms of intellectual property from those who seek to steal it.”  Special Agent in Charge Lamkin added that this type of intellectual property theft “cost[s] companies millions of dollars and can even inhibit the development and implementation of new ideas and applications.”

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