Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Business Digest

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Business Digest

Article excerpt

Sweden bans M&Ms due to trademark dispute * A Swedish court has ordered candy maker Mars to stop selling M&Ms in the Scandinavian country, at least not with the customary lower-case letters it uses on the packaging and on the colorful chocolates.

The Svea Court of Appeal ruled Wednesday against McLean, Va.- based Mars in a trademark dispute with Kraft Foods, which sells chocolate-covered peanuts under the Marabou brand with a single "m" on the packaging. It said Kraft had exclusive rights to the trademark in Sweden. However, it added that using the upper-case M&Ms, as Mars does in its corporate communications, doesn't constitute a trademark infringement in Sweden.

Yahoo to sell patents * Yahoo is hoping to auction off most of its technology patents as part of a purge that also could culminate in the sale of its internet operations.

More than 3,000 patents that have already been issued or are under approval review are on the sales block. The Sunnyvale, Calif., company says it hasn't set a minimum bid for the patent portfolio that it calls "Excalibur." Analysts have estimated that Yahoo Inc.'s patents are worth more than $1 billion.

Yahoo says it intends to retain more than 2,000 other patents that have been issued or awaiting approval in the U.S. and abroad.

A report published earlier this week by The Wall Street Journal said Verizon Communications has offered $3 billion for Yahoo's internet operations, below the $4.4 billion that it paid to acquire AOL last year. The report, which cited an unidentified person familiar with the negotiations, said Verizon wasn't interested in owning Yahoo's real estate or patents. Other parties interested in Yahoo's internet operations include the private-equity firm TPG and a group led by Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert with backing from investor Warren Buffett.

Ashley Furniture settles with OSHA * The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration says Wisconsin-based Ashley Furniture has agreed to pay $1. …

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