Thursday, March 01, 2012, 06:40 pm PT (09:40 pm ET)
Briefly: Apple most admired; Tim Cook spotted in Paris; Motorola workaroundApple has been named the "Most Admired" company for the fifth year in a row. Meanwhile, Apple CEO Tim Cook was reportedly spotted in Paris on business earlier this week. Finally, Motorola Mobility has responded to a recent injunction by a German court against it by noting that it has already implemented a workaround.
Most Admired Company
Fortune pronounced Apple as the most-admired company with a score of 8.42. Google placed second on the list of top 50 companies with a score of 7.74. EMC, the second-most-admired computer company, had a score of 6.78.
"To say it was another big year for Apple would be a gross understatement," the magazine read. "With the passing of Steve Jobs, questions swirled around the companys future. But under new CEO Tim Cooks guidance, Apple continues to prosper."
Apple ranked first in its industry for nine different "key attributes of reputation," including innovation, people management, use of corporate assets, social responsibility, quality of management, financial soundness, long-term investment, quality of products/services and global competitiveness.
The publication's most admired list is generated through a survey partnership with global management consulting firm Hay Group. The surveys ask executives, directors and analysts to rate companies for each of the attributes.
Cook in Paris
French Mac site MacBidouille (Translation) reported on Thursday that, according to one of its informants, Cook was in Paris earlier this week for a business trip of the "greatest secrecy."
The report was unable to confirm the reason for Cook's trip, but it speculated that he may have traveled to the city to sign a contract, since he would presumably have only made the trip if his physical presence was required. The publication added that it would not be surprised to learn that Apple had bought a company in France.
Shortly after a German judge issued an injunction against several Motorola devices for infringing on a photo gallery patent by Apple, the company issued a statement declaring that it has already implemented a way around the patent in question. As such, the company said it expects the injunction to have no impact on supply or sales of its devices.
"Todays ruling in Munich, Germany on the patent litigation brought by Apple concerns a software feature associated with performing certain functions when viewing photos in a zoomed in mode on mobile devices," the statement read. "We note that the Court ruled that performing the functions in a zoomed out mode does not infringe on this patent. We expect no impact to supply or future sales as we have already implemented a new way to view photos on our products that does not interfere with the user experience."
However, Motorola's statement contradicts earlier claims from patent expert Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents who said that any workaround by the company would "definitely degrade the user experience."
The legal battle between Apple and Motorola has heated up in recent months after several victories on either side. Motorola has won injunctions against Apple's implementation of push services, forcing its rival to announce to German customers that it has shut down iCloud push services in the country while it appeals the ruling.
Last month, Apple won an injunction against Motorola with its slide-to-unlock patent.
Motorola could also face an inquiry over its wielding of FRAND-committed patents against Apple. In order to submit patents to standards organizations, Motorola agreed to license some of its IP on Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory terms. Apple has complained to the European Commission that Motorola was unfairly using these standards-essential patents in its litigation.
Apple also appears to have taken some of the venom out of Motorola's injunction threats by submitting a license offer to Motorola that has been accepted as reasonable by a German appeals court. Mueller called the victory a "breakthrough" for Apple, noting that the company's appeal is "highly likely to succeed." At this point, were Motorola to reject Apple's offer, the appeals court could potentially label the action an antitrust violation.
Motorola had previously asked for a 2.25 percent royalty rate, but Apple balked at the figure. Pundits have labeled the rate unreasonable, given that other contributing companies asking for a similar rate would quickly eat up any profits from device sales.
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