Dallas, Jun 28 (AP/UNB) — A Texas jury ruled Wednesday that Chinese technology giant Huawei stole trade secrets from a Silicon Valley startup, but jurors declined to levy damages, saying Huawei didn't benefit from the theft.
The jury in U.S. District Court in Sherman, Texas, also rejected Huawei's claims that Cnex Labs Inc. co-founder Yiren Huang stole its technology while he worked at a Huawei subsidiary.
Huawei Technologies Co. is embroiled in a trade dispute between China and the U.S., which has accused Chinese companies such as Huawei of committing forced technology transfers and stealing trade secrets.
The Cnex case isn't directly related to that trade dispute, though it's overseen by the same federal judge, Amos Mazzant III, who is assigned to a Huawei lawsuit against the U.S. government. Huawei says that a ban on federal agencies and contractors buying its equipment is unconstitutional.
Cnex General Counsel Matthew Gloss called Huawei a "bully," saying, "We're a small company. We didn't seek this fight .... They wanted to shut us down."
In a statement, Huawei called the Cnex ruling a "mixed verdict" and said it was considering its next steps.
Cnex, which has financial backing from Microsoft and Dell Technologies, works on solid-state drives, the types of storage common in smartphones and other popular devices. They start faster and are more reliable than traditional hard disks, though they are typically more expensive.
Huawei said Huang started Cnex three days after leaving Huawei's Futurewei unit in 2013 and began filing patent applications less than a month later based on work he did there. Huawei also accused Huang of poaching its employees and alleged that one was caught downloading thousands of pages of confidential Huawei documents.
The jury found that Huang did violate a contract provision regarding disclosing patent applications, but it awarded no damages after concluding Futurewei didn't prove harm.
Lawyers for San Jose, California-based Cnex countered that Futurewei hired Huang in 2011 as a pretext to steal his ideas. In court documents, Cnex accused Huawei Deputy Chairman Eric Xu of directing an effort to reverse-engineer Cnex technology. Huawei lawyers denied the accusation.
New York, June 27 (AP/UNB) — Amazon is adding a new way to get your packages: head over to another store's sales counter to pick it up.
Starting Thursday, Amazon shoppers will be able to fetch their orders at more than 100 Rite Aid stores across the United States. It will expand to 1,500 Rite Aid locations by year-end. And Amazon said it's looking to bring the service to other stores, both big and small.
It's the first time Amazon is bringing the service to the U.S., after it began offering it at stores in Italy and the United Kingdom last month. Amazon has installed lockers in supermarkets and banks where packages can be picked up, but said this option is for shops that don't have space for lockers.
Amazon hopes the service will fill one of its weaknesses: physical locations where customers can buy online and pickup in stores if they want. The option has been popular with shoppers at Walmart, Target and other big retailers.
For Rite Aid, the service could bring in Amazon shoppers who may buy something off the pharmacy chain's store shelves. Investors seemed to like the partnership: Rite Aid Corp.'s stock soared 22% Thursday.
A similar partnership has worked for Kohl's, which accepts Amazon returns inside its department stores. Kohl's has said the deal has helped boost sales.
It may seem like an unusual tie-up, but more physical retailers are working with Amazon in the hopes that they can reach its millions of shoppers. Sears, for example, sells its Kenmore-branded appliances on Amazon.com. And some clothing and shoe brands, such as Chico's, J. Crew and Nike, are selling some of their fashions on the site.
Kohl's and Amazon have been working together since 2017, when Kohl's started selling Amazon Kindles, Echos and other gadgets at some of its stores.
With Amazon's pickup service, called "Counter," stores will receive Amazon packages daily. The packages will be scanned by store workers and an email will be sent to shoppers letting them know their order is ready. Shoppers have 14 days to pick it up. Amazon said customers will show store workers an emailed barcode and no IDs are needed.
Amazon said packages will be ready for pick up depending on shipping times, which could be on the same day its ordered, a day later or longer.
Shenzhen, Jun 27 (AP/UNB) — Chinese tech giant Huawei warned Thursday a U.S. senator's proposal to block the company from pursuing damages in patent courts would be a "catastrophe for global innovation."
The proposal comes amid mounting U.S. action against Huawei, the biggest maker of switching gear for phone carriers. The company has been devastated by the Trump administration's decision to impose restrictions on its access to American chips for smartphones and other components and technology.
Disrupting Huawei's access to U.S. patent courts would threaten the intellectual property system that supports technology development, said Song Liping, the company's chief legal officer.
The proposal by Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida, followed reports Huawei Technologies Ltd. is asking for $1 billion from American phone carrier Verizon for use of the Chinese company's patents.
"If such a legislative proposal were to be passed, it would be a catastrophe for global innovation. It would have terrible consequences," Song said at a news conference. He said it would "break the foundation of IP protection."
American officials accuse Huawei of facilitating Chinese spying, a charge the company denies, and see it as a growing competitive threat to U.S. technology industries.
Huawei's founder, Ren Zhengfei, said this month it has cut its project sales by $30 billion over the next two years due to curbs on access to American chips and other components. He said smartphone sales outside China will fall 40%.
Huawei's U.S. sales of network gear evaporated after a congressional panel labeled the company a security threat in 2012 and told phone carriers to avoid it. But the Chinese company has a patent portfolio it licenses to manufacturers and carriers.
Song gave no confirmation of how much Huawei wants from Verizon or the basis of its claims.
"We aren't taking an aggressive approach to intellectual property rights," Song said. "We aim to protect our IP in order to safeguard our global business and we have no intention of weaponizing IP. We are against charging exorbitant royalties, and we think that the fees should be within reasonable realms."
Huawei, founded in 1986, has China's biggest corporate research and development budget at $15 billion in 2018. The company is a leader in developing next-generation telecoms technology.
On Wednesday, a U.S. federal court jury in Texas ruled Huawei stole trade secrets from a Silicon Valley company but awarded no damages, saying the Chinese company didn't benefit.
The jury rejected Huawei's claims that Cnex Labs Inc. co-founder Yiren Huang stole its technology while he worked at a Huawei subsidiary.
Huawei's head of intellectual property, Jason Ding, said the company was studying the verdict and deciding what to do next.
Asked about a report by Bloomberg News that some Huawei researchers had published papers with Chinese military personnel over the past decade, Song said the company wasn't aware of its employees publishing research as private individuals.
"We don't customize products or do research for the military," said Song. "We are not aware of employees publishing papers. We don't have projects of that kind."
Sydney, June 27 (Xinhua/UNB) -- An international group of scientists have observed for the first time ever two galaxy clusters on the verge of colliding, an event which is predicted to create a 100-million-degree shockwave across millions of light years, researchers have revealed.
Galaxy clusters are the largest known objects bound by gravity, and as the name suggests consist of hundreds of galaxies, each containing billions of stars.
Due to their size, which measures in the millions of light years, the collision of two galaxy clusters takes around a billion years to complete, meaning the first stage when the clusters touch is a relatively short and rare moment to witness.
"Merging galaxy clusters have been observed many times in various stages of the merger process but this is the first time we clearly observe one in which two large subclusters are just about to merge," Dr. Huib Intema from Western Australia's Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy told Xinhua.
"This observation provides the first clear view on what happens just before two large clusters merge, and allows us to study how the potential energy released in the merger is affecting and shaping the newly-to-be-formed larger cluster."
Computer simulations show that in the first moments before clusters touch, an immense shockwave of 100-million-degree gas is released, a theory which has been predicted but evidence of which is only now being revealed.
"X-ray and radio images of these clusters show the first clear evidence for this type of merger shock," lead author Liyi Gu from Japan's RIKEN research institute said.
"The shock created a hot belt region of 100-million-degree gas between the clusters, which is expected to extend up to, or even go beyond the boundary of the giant clusters."
Scientists intend to build up a collection of "snapshots" documenting the clusters' progress to increase understanding of collisions.
Los Angeles, June 27 (Xinhua/UNB) -- The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has selected two partner organizations to run a nationwide contest giving US students a chance to make history by naming the Mars 2020 rover, according to a release of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) on Tuesday.
Battelle Education, of Columbus, Ohio, and Future Engineers, of Burbank, California, will collaborate with NASA on the Mars 2020 "Name the Rover" contest, which will be open to students from kindergarten to 12th grade in the fall of 2019.
The student contest is part of NASA's efforts to engage the public in its missions to the Moon and Mars.
"We're very excited about this exceptional partnership," said Mars 2020 program executive George Tahu in NASA's Planetary Science Division.
"Contests like this present excellent opportunities to invite young students and educators to be a part of this journey to understand the possibilities for life beyond Earth and to advance new capabilities in exploration technology."
The currently unnamed rover is a robotic scientist weighing more than 1,000 kg, according to the JPL. It will search for signs of past microbial life, characterize the planet's climate and geology, collect samples for future return to Earth and pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet.
The spacecraft is targeted for a July 2020 launch and is expected to touch down on Mars in February 2021.