Stories by Peter Sayer

IBM and reconcile over patents has paid IBM an undisclosed amount of money to settle all outstanding patent lawsuits between the two companies. They have also agreed to a long-term patent cross-licencing agreement, giving Amazon access to IBM's patents on web technology, the vendors say.

Apple and Apple sing in tune

Apple., the computer and digital music company, has bought rights to all "Apple" trademarks from Apple Corps the record company set up by The Beatles, ending a long-running trademark dispute between the two. However, there was no word on whether Apple will soon begin selling The Beatles' music through its iTunes Store.

Flat screens outsell tubes in Europe

Despite a fall in demand for flat-panel televisions in Europe, liquid-crystal display (LCD) models outsold old-fashioned "tube" televisions for the first time there during the third quarter.

IBM's single sign-on tool for SMEs

IBM has added a new single sign-on tool to its Tivoli software range to assist small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) to link their web sites with those of partners and customers.

Software joins food and phones in UK supermarkets

UK supermarket chain Tesco is to launch six PC software applications under its own brand, including a word processor and antivirus software, later this month. The software packages will sell for under £20 (around NZ$55), and will include free online support via email.

Skype VoiP opens for business

Skype is working to make its Internet telephony service more enterprise friendly, and expects to introduce a beta version of its software with support for enterprise management functions within weeks.

HP to cut 14,500 jobs

Hewlett-Packard hopes to save US$1.9 billion a year through a massive reorganization in which it will cut 14,500 jobs, or around 10 percent of its workforce. It will also link sales and marketing efforts more closely to business units, eliminating the Customer Solutions Group which sold to enterprise customers, it said Tuesday.

Symantec buys Veritas for US$13.5B

Symantec will buy Veritas in an all-stock transaction, the companies announced Thursday (December 16). Based on Wednesday's closing stock prices, the deal values Veritas at around US$13.5 billion, they said.

Nortel Networks restatements due next week

Nortel Networks will provide preliminary, unaudited results for the first and second quarters of 2004 on Aug. 19, it said Tuesday in the latest of a series of biweekly progress reports requested by the Ontario Securities Commission. On that date it will also provide an update on the impact of the restatement of its results for earlier quarters.