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Court Approves Google's Bid For Nortel's IP

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the go-hog-wild dept.

Google 130

Meshach writes "A court had approved Google's bid to take ownership of Nortel's arsenal of $900 million worth of patents and patent applications. Other bidders will have until June 13 to submit competing offers. Unfortunately, neither shareholders of Nortel nor the company's employees waiting for a pension will see any of that money."

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Since Google is an advertising company (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004236)

Can we really trust them not to "be evil" here? I'm personally suspicious of any company trying to stockpile patents...

Re:Since Google is an advertising company (5, Informative)

mr1911 (1942298) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004302)

If Google did not have a large patent portfolio they would likely be sued out of existence very quickly. Patent portfolios are a necessity.

Re:Since Google is an advertising company (0)

MichaelKristopeit418 (2018864) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004344)

right, just like nuclear weapons are a necessity for not doing evil.

you're an ignorant hypocrite.

cower some more behind your chosen masculine number based pseudonym, feeb.

you're completely pathetic.

Re:Since Google is an advertising company (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004376)

Why is it that every time I see your name you seem to be trolling, and looking through recent posts does nothing to dispel that notion...?

Re:Since Google is an advertising company (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004502)

Go ahead, click the link and browse his posting history to see what an erudite and valued contributor MK is./sarcasm

Re:Since Google is an advertising company (1)

MichaelKristopeit420 (2018880) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004710)

who do you think you're directing?

you're an ignorant hypocrite.

/truth

Re:Since Google is an advertising company (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005108)

Hey, cool! I didn't know that was on the /. achievement system!
man, wait 'til the guys in the office get a load of this!

Re:Since Google is an advertising company (1)

MichaelKristopeit422 (2018884) | more than 3 years ago | (#36006596)

i'm sure your load will thud.

you're an idiot.

Re:Since Google is an advertising company (1)

MichaelKristopeit419 (2018878) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004696)

why is it that you must use labels created by others to categorize your own misconceptions?

cower some more in my shadow behind your chosen failure to stand based pseudonym, feeb.

you're completely pathetic.

Re:Since Google is an advertising company (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004874)

as I only find good grammar intimidating, I won't be cowering from you...

Re:Since Google is an advertising company (0)

MichaelKristopeit422 (2018884) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004940)

you're an ignorant hypocrite.

cower in my shadow some more behind your chosen numerous stumble based pseudonym, feeb, and proclaim more the many things that leave you finding yourself intimidated.

you're completely pathetic.

Re:Since Google is an advertising company (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36004426)

you sound like a fat pussy

Re:Since Google is an advertising company (0)

MichaelKristopeit422 (2018884) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004830)

ur mum's face sound like a fat pussy.

cower in my shadow some more, feeb.

you're completely pathetic.

Re:Since Google is an advertising company (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36004910)

ur shadow is so sexy

sit on my face some more you hunk!

Re:Since Google is an advertising company (0)

MichaelKristopeit422 (2018884) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004996)

why do you cower? what are you afraid of?

you're completely pathetic.

Re:Since Google is an advertising company (1)

mr1911 (1942298) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004486)

But at least my shift key works!

Re:Since Google is an advertising company (1)

MichaelKristopeit420 (2018880) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004772)

capitalization is a tool of the weak minded to aide their poor reading comprehension skills. it does nothing to change the logical meaning of the statements i've made.

capitalizing a conjunction to start a sentance does not make it any less of a logical failure.

you're an ignorant hypocrite.

cower in my shadow some more behind your chosen abbreviated male title based pseudonym, feeb.

And you're completely pathetic1911.

Re:Since Google is an advertising company (2)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004548)

I hate to say it but both analogies are about right. It is 100% impossible to be in the mobile race without asinine patents that should have never been granted in the first place. Every company has them and the only way to counter is to respond with "oh yeah well you are infringing on my blatant obvious patent as well". So far in the patent suits I haven't seen Google actually pick a fight with anyone, only counter-suits after they are attacked. If they cannot counter they will be strangled, and there is no alternative. The only other alternative is to simultaneously abolish the moronic patents across the world, and that falls into the realm of it would be great, but not going to happen. Much like the only solution to nuclear weapons is to simultaneously erase everyone's memory of how to make them. Otherwise the only option is to want the people who aren't going to use them to "start" a fight, to be the ones who have them.

Re:Since Google is an advertising company (1)

MichaelKristopeit421 (2018882) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004814)

you hate yourself, and love to say it.

you're an ignorant hypocrite.

Re:Since Google is an advertising company (3, Insightful)

Reapman (740286) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004440)

If I've learned anything about mobile hardware, it's that it's a mine field of litigation and patents. Often the biggest complaint I hear about Android and Google is that they don't have enough patents to fight off the big guys of the mobile world - likely this is to resolve that situation.

Compared to the alternatives I still would trust them more then the others. I guess I'm from the generation that still remembers Google as the ones that, in a way, saved the Internet from itself. Without a good reliable search engine the Internet is pretty useless - Google fixed that by not allowing better rankings by paying more $$$. They proved you don't have to pull crap like that to make money. With that said Google is a company - no company should be 100% trusted, but so far I haven't been burned by them.

The biggest complaint I've heard is that Google sells my information. Well, let's see.. I use Google.com, and I use an Android phone. So far nobodys broken my legs. I haven't received excessive spam (Well, maybe, but GMail does a good job of blocking them if I have), nobody calls my phone asking to sell me stuff. So far all I've seen are... local ad's when searching. I am ok with that.

Re:Since Google is an advertising company (3, Interesting)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004492)

IMHO, this is a good thing for open source. Google has proved its intentions are good with the webm project and google talk.

Re:Since Google is an advertising company (1)

DickBreath (207180) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004602)

Google can prove they are not evil by using these patents to immediately sue Microsoft and Oracle.
(Samsung already has Apple covered.)

Re:Since Google is an advertising company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36004604)

They have always been "evil" in the sense you are referring to. The difference is they claim never to be evil, and you believe it.

Re:Since Google is an advertising company (2)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004716)

Depends. One of the things with these patents is that Microsoft cross licensed them. The rest is just what I have heard so take it with a grain of salt. They did a cross licenses deal in perpetuity. with Nortel. If that is true and it transfers to Google then Microsofts attacks on Android based on patents could come to a screeching halt.
So is that good? Well for a lot of Android users it is and for companies that are using android it is. For Microsoft and it's share holders it is evil. For Google shareholders it is probably a good thing. In cases like this Good and Evil in a large part depend on who is writing your check.

Re:Since Google is an advertising company (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005226)

I'd expect them to announce lawsuits against Apple and Microsoft as soon as they can absorb information on everything contained in the portfolio (Which they've probably already done.) This will be followed by a period during which they resolve what things they have duplicate patents on and decide who loses if they start an all out legal war over the patents. If the answer is pretty close to "Everyone," they settle out of court and we never hear about it again. Pretty standard stuff, really.

IP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36004248)

Geez, maybe the IPv4 problem is worse than I... wait, what?

$900M does not go very far (4, Insightful)

RichMan (8097) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004272)

$900M is less than what the last 3 CEO's of Nortel walked out the door with in salaries and benefits. We really really need a corporate revolution where executives are not rewarded in ridiculous amounts.

John Roth pocketed $100M in 2000.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/story/2001/03/14/nortel010314.html

If CEO's get options they should be at only a slight discount on the current stock price and not execisable for 20 years. Long term value is what is needed. Not short term decisions which strip assets and long term strength in trade for short term magic accounting numbers.

Re:$900M does not go very far (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004318)

I think the system is working here. Companies that make smart decisions survive. Companies like Nortel that pay zillions of dollars to people running the company into the ground do not survive.

Re:$900M does not go very far (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004336)

Corollary - investors who put faith in good companies are rewarded. investors who do not are not.

Re:$900M does not go very far (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36004674)

Corollary - investors who put faith in good companies are rewarded. investors who do not are not.

Really? Have you ever traded stocks?

Re:$900M does not go very far (1)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004976)

Stock traders speculate, they don't invest. Therefore stock traders are not investors.

Re:$900M does not go very far (1)

Walking The Walk (1003312) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004370)

I think the parent poster was commenting that the CEO's shouldn't profit if the company doesn't.

Re:$900M does not go very far (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004392)

Perhaps the company should structure the contract that way?

Re:$900M does not go very far (2)

SETIGuy (33768) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004588)

When the compensation committee, hired by a board stacked with cronies, is stacked with cronies? I think you underestimate the power of the dark side. I think you also overestimate the power of the shareholders.

Re:$900M does not go very far (1)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004990)

Well when the largest shareholders occupy the board and own 50% +1 share, there is no way they are going to listen to the others. In fact, people tie up the value of the company to the share price on the exchange that they feel that a dropping price is the same as wealth reduction.

Re:$900M does not go very far (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005782)

Meh. All money is funny money anyway. If you believe otherwise, you need to read up on fractional reserve banking.

Stocks, dollar bills, government bonds... none of these hold any intrinsic value, and thus all of them can become worthless with a stroke of the pen.

Re:$900M does not go very far (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36004430)

Yes, and the parent here was pointing out that the free market was fixing exactly that problem by making companies that do what you described (like Nortel) fail.

Re:$900M does not go very far (1)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 3 years ago | (#36006750)

I think the government should make that decision. I mean, Obama killed Osama. Clearly he knows best.

Re:$900M does not go very far (4, Insightful)

rmstar (114746) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004422)

I think the system is working here. Companies that make smart decisions survive. Companies like Nortel that pay zillions of dollars to people running the company into the ground do not survive.

Is that sarcasm? You surely have not missed that those running the company to the ground and those that decided their pay were the same people? It is the common worker at such a company that suffers the consequences of the bad decisions taken by the good folks with the golden parachutes. The system is not working at all!

Re:$900M does not go very far (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004508)

The system is working exactly as it should. You are mistaken in what way the system is designed to work.

The people profiting are the ones in control of the system and implementing it. If you think this was not their intention you are very naive.

Re:$900M does not go very far (1)

memnock (466995) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004618)

It's too bad the employee get screwed along the way. I don't feel as bad for shareholders, but I do have some sympathy for them. The investors akin to speculators. I know some of those investors are people in a mutual fund who don't know a stock from a bond, but they're there because some other knownothing told them to buy a mutual fund share. Plus, they can't read the minds of the megalomaniacs who are the execs that are running the company into the ground and still walking away rich as if they had BUILT an empire, instead of screwing a bunch of people over.
The employees OTOH have put a lot more equity into the company than an investor. They get a dime for their efforts.

Re:$900M does not go very far (1)

memnock (466995) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004694)

Dang. Meant to say:
They DON'T get a dime for their efforts.

Re:$900M does not go very far (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36005648)

(Nortel is a "local" company for me)

Yea, but many peoples put their retirement into that thing and the action went from 120$ to 0.79$ in 6 month, it caused quite a lot of bankruptcy of honest peoples because the bank bought those actions for them.

Re:$900M does not go very far (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36004766)

Keep fucking the regular Joe and when they gain the right numbers they'll fuck you right back.

Re:$900M does not go very far (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36004952)

I don't feel as bad for shareholders, but I do have some sympathy for them.

I have no sympathy for the shareholders at all. It was there place to prevent this. They hired the executives. If they don't pay the price for this mistake, then there's no point in having a capitalist system.

Re:$900M does not go very far (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005342)

Even better for the employee is that they are going to be working for the same CEOs again at another company.

Re:$900M does not go very far (2)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004740)

This is why that every CEO that deliberately drives a company into the ground should be tied up and shot by the workers. Because he deserves it. Golden parachutes are worthless if you can't spend it. Maybe that will put some incentive into running a company correctly. Because as it is, there is no incentive.

Seriously.

--
BMO

Re:$900M does not go very far (2)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005254)

I'm gonna go long pitchfork futures.

Re:$900M does not go very far (1)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005000)

It's called capitalism. If you pray to it, then live with it.

Re:$900M does not go very far (1)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 3 years ago | (#36006788)

What does the "common" worker bring, outside of common skills that millions of others can bring?

If the best you can do is press a button over and over, you shouldn't feel too down about not really getting the big bucks. I know, I know... on populist Slashdot, we're all for the workers revolution. It's never worked before, but hope springs eternal in the mind of the middle class.

Re:$900M does not go very far (2)

mcmonkey (96054) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004526)

If CEO's get options they should be at only a slight discount on the current stock price and not execisable for 20 years. Long term value is what is needed. Not short term decisions which strip assets and long term strength in trade for short term magic accounting numbers.

The very idea of giving stock options to high level executives is antithetical to the purpose of retaining quality executives who will make good decisions for the benefit of the company.

Options given in addition to other forms of compensation are basically bribes, and as such necessarily pointless. The person who will provide an honest day's work for an honest day's pay will not be persuaded to be any more 'honest' as a consequence. The person who insists on extra benefit above salary will always want more.

The cult of the stock option is a cargo cult. The lavish compensation package doesn't create a good CEO any more than building a runway will create planes.

Re:$900M does not go very far (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004606)

The very idea of giving stock options to high level executives is antithetical to the purpose of retaining quality executives who will make good decisions for the benefit of the company.

Huh? If you're an exec with 100K options in Company X it's in your interest to make good decisions which in turn drive up the share value. If an exec makes bad decisions that drive down share value, it hurts *them* in the wallet. This is exactly what you want to see...

Re:$900M does not go very far (3, Insightful)

msauve (701917) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004744)

Huh? If you're an exec with 100K options in Company X it's in your interest to make good decisions which in turn drive up the share value.

If, by "good decisions," you mean illegally cooking the books to show greater profits than actually exist. That's exactly what happened at Nortel, and it was driven by executive compensation incentives. Of course, the ultimate result of those "good decisions" was the failure of the company.

Re:$900M does not go very far (1)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 3 years ago | (#36006780)

Is it your contention that you've described the norm, or do you realize that was an exceptional case?

Re:$900M does not go very far (1)

SETIGuy (33768) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004760)

Except that if the stock goes down, they'll backdate the options far enough back that they're in the black. "Backdating options" sound so much more pleasant than "stealing from the shareholders."

Re:$900M does not go very far (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36004782)

Huh? If you're an exec with 100K options in Company X it's in your interest to make good decisions which in turn drive up the share value in the short term. If an exec makes bad decisions that drive down share value before they can sell all their stock, it hurts *them* in the wallet. This is [not] what you want to see...

FTFY

Re:$900M does not go very far (1)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005034)

And the execs make "good decisions" that benefit stock traders that speculate on stocks and benefit their income when they sell the stock. Investors, I mean proper investors that care about actual profits and company value, are in for the long haul. CEO will cash out ASAP. He has no interest in driving up income, he has interest in driving up profit expectations and profit margins. These drive up the price of their stock, so that they can sell it back to the long term investors. At that time long term investors are given shares at an inflated price of a company that will go down in a few years. Not all companies are like that, but even IBM's CEO did that to cash out his stocks and that is a company that is about 120y/o.

Re:$900M does not go very far (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36005186)

Don't get me started on Nortel... oh, too late...

Not when the CEO/CFO inflate the numbers to drive up the price, so that they can exercise their options before the truth came out and the price sinks. The last jackass^H^H^H^H^H^H^H CEO that Nortel had, "negotiated" a pension that if he worked there for 5 years would guarantee him a retirement salary of $500,000, and if he should die first, his wife would get $350,000. This was on top of the $27 million they had to pay him, so that he could pay his Motorola for violating his non-compete clause (it was only $20 million he had to pay Motorola, but Nortel also covered the tax on that payment so that it was tax neutral). Back on the subject of pension, within 6 months he tells the employees that these 'defined benefit' pensions are unsustainable. And at the end of next year, whatever you've accrued is all that you get. And he made a point to say that even though he didn't have to, he was voluntarily cutting his pension down to "only" $350,000 per year.
He also got $7.5 million in restricted shares, a $1.2M salary (which was 50% higher than the CEO was making in 2000), a hire-on bonus of between 200-400% of his salary - to be determined later, and a yearly bonus of 100-300% of his salary.
Taxes are higher in Canada, vs. Chicago, IL were he was from, so he also negotiated that taxes would be calculated as if he lived in Chicago, and the company would pay he enough extra such that his take home pay would be the same as if he was living in Chicago.
With one of these "extras", any regular worker would be able to retire, but even with all of the the CEO still needed the company to pay for his retirement. I sure hope he doesn't get to claim the pension.
The CEO in 2000 - Roth also had some interesting perks. The one I remember, was his 0%, $1,000,000 house loan. It was structured with no payments for the first 3 years, then 20%/year for the next five years. When it came time to make his mortgage payment, the CEO paid a quarter of what was due ~$50k, and the remaining $150k was "forgiven" by the company (as stated in the annual reports). Since it was kind of embarrassing that our CEO couldn't make his house payment, I posted the information on my cube wall and suggested that all the employees donate for the CEO's mortgage payment. At the time I think it would have just been about $3/employee. ;-) Apparently my director had walked by my cube, when I wasn't there, and was NOT happy with it. I was told that I should take it down... I think I left it up until that CEO was gone and replaced with the CFO that caused all the "accounting.

Options can provide the opposite of what you want to see, if their short-term decisions drive the price up first before crashing down ( Nortel had two 1 for 10 reverse stock splits - meaning after both of those for every 100 shares you used to have, you now have 1 share. The price also went from ~$80 to about $0.03 now, so factoring the reverse split, for every $8000 of shares, you now have $0.03, or $8,000,000 down to $300.) At least the CEO in 2000 got out with all the cash before the shares came crashing down.

Re:$900M does not go very far (2)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004718)

The cult of the stock option is a cargo cult. The lavish compensation package doesn't create a good CEO any more than building a runway will create planes.

Oooh, an aviation analogy instead of automotive. Very nice.

Lavish compensation will not create a good CEO. Very true. It will, however, reward (when that compensation is in options) one that works to keep the stock prices high. Just as you don't create planes by building a runway. If you build a very large and expensive runway, however, you will attract large and expensive airplanes, the owners of which are more likely to spend a lot of money at your airport.

A 1700 foot grass strip is good for Cessna 150-type aircraft. A 10,000 foot paved surface with a precision approach at each end will attract 747s filled with people who will buy trinkets and a company that will buy a lot of gas.

The very idea of giving stock options to high level executives is antithetical to the purpose of retaining quality executives who will make good decisions for the benefit of the company.

Very very wrong. If the company benefits, the value of the company stays high, which means the stock price stays high. That makes stock options worth even more.

Maybe you don't know how stock options work. An option means that you have the ability to buy stock at a fixed price (say, $1/share) even if the stock is currently trading at $1.10/share. If you are a good CEO and make the company worth more, the stock price will go up, but you can still buy shares at $1 each. If you are a bad CEO, the company goes bust, the stock plummets, and your ability to buy stock at $1/share is worthless. (I know -- as an employee I was given options as part of my hiring. The company tanked, the options were worthless.)

Now, you may be thinking of put options, where you are guaranteed a buyer for any stock you have at $1/share no matter how high or low the price goes. This is a wash for the CEO (and thus why it isn't the kind of options used in this context) because he gets the same amount of money for his 1000 shares whether the stock tanks or it stays the same. He only profits from the 1000 shares if the price goes up, but then, he doesn't need the option to sell at a higher price.

Re:$900M does not go very far (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005228)

A good option (for the employees and regular investors) would allow the CEO to buy that $1/share option only if the share price is over $2/share, and only if it has been over $2/share for the last twelve successive quarters (or over $3/share for the last ten, or over $4/share for the last eight).

Any CEO in the job for the good of the company should readily agree to that.

Re:$900M does not go very far (1)

Imrik (148191) | more than 3 years ago | (#36006836)

How about if the CEO can exercise it whenever he wants but he can't sell the stock for 10 years after he buys it.

Re:$900M does not go very far (2)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005280)

Ah... You're an idealist. Let's see how much money and how worthless executive compensation was for Lehman Brother's CEO? Yep, he netted over half a billion over 14years. Granted, it's OK. Over 14 years he actually earned between 50-100 million, the rest were stocks. So why wasn't that wealth wiped out when he ran the company into a bankruptcy? That is why the system is broken.

Re:$900M does not go very far (1)

yuhong (1378501) | more than 3 years ago | (#36006496)

Long term value is what is needed. Not short term decisions which strip assets and long term strength in trade for short term magic accounting numbers.

Yea, I have considered stock price based compensation fundamentally flawed for a while now.

The Stock Market Is Not Your Mother (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36004288)

It does not exist to provide you with a steady flow of warm fresh milk poured into your mouth. It is thousands of other men and women looking to take money out of your pocket and put it into their own.

- Alexander Elder.

If you don't like those terms, then don't play the mother-fucking stock market. Get a life and go put your money elsewhere. If you're a Nortel pensioner, or some stupid ass pension fund who bought Nortel stock, then you ought to be smart enough to know that bondholders get paid out from [what is essentially a bankruptcy] sales first. Not shareholders. Bondholders.

Little bit of wikipedia on how the bond/equity holdings work and then no one will be pussy-sore over the fact that this money isn't going to a bunch of stupid retired fucks.

Re:The Stock Market Is Not Your Mother (1)

mingot (665080) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004312)

I like the cut of your jib.

Re:The Stock Market Is Not Your Mother (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004316)

Some day you will become old.

--
BMO

Re:The Stock Market Is Not Your Mother (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36004404)

Yes, and I'll still understand 100% of the above.

Re:The Stock Market Is Not Your Mother (1)

SETIGuy (33768) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004612)

You might be pretty pissed if you don't have any money, food, or housing to go along with your 100% understanding.

Re:The Stock Market Is Not Your Mother (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004614)

Then you will realize why you are going to be fucked over in your old age, when that tidy nest egg that you've built is stolen by thieves.

Because that's where we're headed. The individual investor is the chump. And it doesn't matter how educated you are on the market, those on the inside always know more than you and have more pull.

Seriously, you are 12 years old and living at home.

--
BMO

Re:The Stock Market Is Not Your Mother (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36004672)

I'm not going to subject my nest egg to thieves. Currently, that includes Bernanke and Obama, who are more interested in stealing my current earnings and shoveling them to their banker and union thugs (respectively, and collectively). Which is why I will vote Tea Party every time until we restore sanity to the dollar and sanity to our fiscal matters.

And for the record, I trade the stock market for a living, and do quite well. And I'm a great deal older than 12.

Re:The Stock Market Is Not Your Mother (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36004832)

That's the wonderful thing about the Internet.
12 year olds can pretend to have what ever job they want!

Re:The Stock Market Is Not Your Mother (1)

SETIGuy (33768) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004886)

How does that kool-aid taste? Restore sanity to the dollar and sanity to fiscal matters? All I see from the tea party are demands to do the opposite. And they tie their insane fiscal policies with insane social ones. "Give the rich a break. Tax them cheapskate poor people, and make sure they can't get news from anyone but Fox. I know that 85% of welfare goes to white women, but its 'the blacks' that are the problem. And I'm not racist because I have lots of black friends. Look at this picture I drew of Obama throwing spears. But don't you dare cut Defense. Old people aren't going to need health care 10 years from now anyway."

We'll see how well your investments do after the Republicans force default on the debt in another attempt to defund Planned Parenthood.

Re:The Stock Market Is Not Your Mother (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005510)

Have you ever actually talked with a Tea Partier? It's amazing how the American left ascribes all sorts of beliefs to those they disagree with, without actually taking the time to learn their actual beliefs. You do make one good point: your strawman really is one evil bastard.

BTW, do you support corporate welfare in general, or just for your favorite corporation(s)? (And you do know failing to raise the debt ceiling won't mean default on the debt, right? That was just hyberbole, not ignorance, right?)

Re:The Stock Market Is Not Your Mother (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#36006692)

Protip: We have a self tea partier in the thread.

He's a lunatic. As are a vast majority of them are. All you have to do is go over to the Free Republic echo chamber to get more than enough evidence that the Tea Party is composed of idiots.

And I am on the left, and I think that corporate welfare is a fucking crime. No favorite corporations. They all should stand on their own or fail on their own. The thing is, the Right confuses welfare for the rich and corporate welfare with "investing" in the "free" market.

--
BMO

Re:The Stock Market Is Not Your Mother (1)

SETIGuy (33768) | more than 3 years ago | (#36006734)

Yes. I have lots of relatives and even a few friends that are Tea Partiers. The ones who complained about having to send their children to a private school because of the Mexicans. The same Mexicans who wrecked their church. The same ones that don't mind using the N-word in their facebook posts. Beyond racism, their main concern is money, and how baby killers and black people are getting all their tax money. And how they pay so much in taxes that it's tough to afford a second house (because they didn't want to sell the first one when they moved) and $22k/year in private school tuition. Or $35k/year a year in Private College tuition. Of course they can't send their kids to a public college, because budgets have been cut so much that their kids can't get in. (When I went to a public college, it promised admission to the top 50% of high school grads. Now it's got a top 5% guarantee, because nobody wanted to pay for building new campuses.

I unfortunately own some property with one of these jerks, who bitches about property taxes and never pays on time and wants to split the penalties. He just turned 56, so he's all for Ryan's medicare destruction. And they all want capital gains taxes eliminated.

Of course, these are all people who went to public schools when they were kids, and went to public colleges. One set's father was a public school math teacher. If he was still alive, they'd cut his pension. The rest have parents are on social security and medicare. All these people took what they wanted from the system and don't want to give anything back. They want a flat tax, which they are wrongly convinced would lower their taxes. I try to convince them that you'd only pay less if you're in the top 2%, but they don't want to hear it. Stop telling me my taxes are lower than they've ever been, I want the lower.

Anyway, your strawmen don't work either. I might be a bit more knowledgeable than you thik. I don't support corporate welfare either as subsidies or tax breaks. I would support a flat tax for corporations lower than 35%, assuming it would be on income where earned. In other words no shuffling profits to the caymans while lobbying congress for a tax holiday so you can repatriate them.

I know that failure to raise the debt ceiling doesn't necessarily mean default. The practical effects on the country and the markets are the same and it's going force default anyway. I know you think there's tons of unnecessary spending in the budget there really isn't. What, are you suggesting preserve defense and social security and get rid of everything else? Who needs the FAA anyway! Or VA hospitals! Or Healthcare for seniors. It would usher in libertarian utopia. For a few seconds, at least, followed by 30% unemployment, and hyperinflation. You may find that desirable. I do not.

Re:The Stock Market Is Not Your Mother (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36005072)

Even when you're old, the stock market is still not your mother.

Re:The Stock Market Is Not Your Mother (1)

pavon (30274) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004748)

And beyond that, the majority shareholders of Nortel allowed the executives to take out loans from creditors, presumably because they thought it might save the company. The board could have just as easily prevented the company from going into debt, and instead liquidated it while it was still in the black so the shareholders would get something. But they didn't, and it is only fair now that the creditors get paid before them.

Pensions on the other hand ...

why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36004298)

>Unfortunately, neither shareholders of Nortel nor the company's employees waiting for a pension will see any of that money.

Why?

Re:why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36004682)

Stockholders a just about last in the line of creditors, just ahead of pensioners who get nothing regardless of whether there's money left over thanks to recent court decisions. The government gets to cover their pension (at significantly less that they were promised). The people disassembling the company are first in line at the trough, bond holders are next, followed by executives. Then come general creditors and employees owed back wages. Stockholders split the remaining nickle.

On Election day, this comes out... (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004352)

Great. This comes out on election day... when the once bright star of Canadian high-tech companies is sold in pieces to various non-Canadian interests.

(trying to be as non-political about it...)

Re:On Election day, this comes out... (2)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004398)

Yeah well nortel tanked pretty hard on their own stupidity. Much like how BCE is doing.

Re:On Election day, this comes out... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36004408)

Get use to it. The USA has been doing it for decades.

Re:On Election day, this comes out... (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004730)

Wait for RIM to be next.

Disability Pension (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36004372)

Nor will my aunt, who is disabled and who has lost her *ENTIRE* pension, see a penny.

Re:Disability Pension (1)

vakuona (788200) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004586)

Not that it will help your aunt, but this is one good reason to _not_ have a pension that is dependent on your company's survival. Not unless you are the CEO and/or wouldn't mind losing your pension.

Re:Disability Pension (1)

SETIGuy (33768) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005050)

It's not like you get a choice in the matter. Not too long ago pensions weren't dependent upon a company's survival. Pensions needed to be prefunded, and were not considered a part of the company's assets during bankruptcy. A (Republican) judge changed that during one of GM's bankruptcies. So, of course, GM threw it's pensioners onto the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp., a government run fund that guarantees pensions. So the billions that GM owed pensioners became billions that the government owes pensioners.

Since then, companies treat their pension trust funds like a slush fund. They underfund them, despite laws that a supposed to require full funding. And once bankruptcy comes around they grab the money and put it on the taxpayer's credit card. Not that the Congress has done anything to prevent this theft of public money.

So, if you're one of the few people left that actually gets a pension, hope you're in an industry where the union runs the pensions. Otherwise, never look at your pension benefit statement because it won't be there for you. Fully fund your 401k, and hope that your employer doesn't force 100% to be invested in company stock. The instant you smell trouble, jump ship and roll over your 401k into an IRA. Even then don't be surprised if you lose it all. There's no such thing as a safe asset. Even gold isn't safe, unless you're holding it in your hands. Futures for about 5 times more gold than exists have been sold. If everyone wants delivery, there will be another crisis as all the houses that sold gold futures collapse. Investors who shorted gold won't be able to cover. People who thought they owned gold won't actually have any. Not pretty.

Re:Disability Pension (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005594)

Defined benefit pension plans just need to be outlawed - nothing good can come from that practice.

401Ks (and the similar programs) work fine (just avoid stock in the company you work for - that should be illegal as a 401k choice), are immune to the sort of theft you mention, and, since those assets actually belong to us, make us the owners of the means of production (at least to some extent).

Have any links to quantity of outstanding gold futures being so high? That sounds like a misunderstanding of how the market works, to me.

Re:Disability Pension (1)

SETIGuy (33768) | more than 3 years ago | (#36006866)

Defined benefit pension plans just need to be outlawed - nothing good can come from that practice.

Apart from people actually having pensions which is a good thing that comes from that practice. Have you checked what the average 401k balance is? To which you'll probably respond "That's not my fault." To which I respond in advance, "It's not the pensioners fault that their employers don't fund their defined benefit plans, either, and it's only congress's fault that pension assets can be liquidated in bankruptcy. When you're working for $9/hr it's tough to keep that 401k fully funded."

Regarding the gold futures markets: Gold clearing houses don't need to be in possession of gold they write contracts for, and most contracts are never exercised through to delivery. It's a big weakness in most commodities markets that encourages speculation, like the type that is happening in the oil market now. Most people buying oil futures wouldn't be doing so if there was a chance that they would have to take delivery. The actual numbers I saw in a article about the University of Texas taking delivery of a billion dollars of gold and how the clearing house had some difficulty doing so. That house estimated they could come up with about 5% of the gold needed to make delivery on all of their contracts. I did some Googling and found the 1/5 elsewhere.

That's why we call it "bankruptcy" (1)

kriston (7886) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004472)

Unfortunately, that's why we call it "bankruptcy."

Nor should they see any of the $$$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36004572)

The people who loaned the company money, aka "The Creditors" should always get first dibs as defined by law. Duh. I hate it when people add stupid comments like the one about no one will see the money. Idiots that don't care about the law will remain idiots, and poor ones at that.

Agreed on the shareholders (2)

pavon (30274) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004798)

For the pensioners, it should be considered criminal fraud to offer a defined benefits pension without having money in the bank to back those promises.

Re:Agreed on the shareholders (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36005096)

In the US at least, private sector pension benefits up to $5400 at age 65 (reduced for ages less than 65) are guaranteed by the PBGC. That only kicks in if the backing corporation goes bankrupt. If they don't go bankrupt, they're required to put in the money it takes to fund the benefits.

I don't know about Canada, but in the US, after the Pension Protection Act, private sector pension funding is currently pretty strict with funding requirements which require a funding period of 7 years. Arguably, the funding could be stretched over the remaining lifetime, or the remaining working lifetime of the participants.

For the record, guy who works in defined benefit pension consulting here. And FYI, when the economy turns back around, you really should be pushing for companies to reinstate their defined benefit pensions, because defined contribution plans like 401k's are a raw deal for employees.

Re:Agreed on the shareholders (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36005356)

In the US at least, private sector pension benefits up to $5400 at age 65 (reduced for ages less than 65) are guaranteed by the PBGC. That only kicks in if the backing corporation goes bankrupt. If they don't go bankrupt, they're required to put in the money it takes to fund the benefits.

I don't know about Canada, but in the US, after the Pension Protection Act, private sector pension funding is currently pretty strict with funding requirements which require a funding period of 7 years. Arguably, the funding could be stretched over the remaining lifetime, or the remaining working lifetime of the participants.

For the record, guy who works in defined benefit pension consulting here. And FYI, when the economy turns back around, you really should be pushing for companies to reinstate their defined benefit pensions, because defined contribution plans like 401k's are a raw deal for employees.

My mistake, it's $4,500 per month, $54,000 per year for 2011. The rest stands.

Patents =/= IP (1)

wall0645 (1665631) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004842)

Can we stop using the term "Intellectual Property" to refer broadly to trademarks, copyrights, and patents, which all operate under different rules and have different motivations? By lumping them all together you are muddling the important issues and giving unfair advantage to potentially undesirable ideas. It's quite simple: "Court Approves Google's Big for Nortel's Patents"

Was that so hard?

Re:Patents =/= IP (1)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 3 years ago | (#36006832)

By lumping them together in discussions where the details don't matter, you avoid worrying about details that don't matter. I know the holy book of RMS says you have to fight this wherever you found it, but that war is lost. The world isn't getting rid of intellectual property anytime soon, no matter how amazingly utopian you're sure it will be.

Buying Patents at a Bankruptcy Sale (1)

Grond (15515) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004882)

A frequent comment here on Slashdot is that patents should not be transferable or that a company should not be allowed to own a patent covering technology that it did not invent or that a company shouldn't be able to own a patent covering technology that it doesn't intend to use. Here, Google is doing all of these things, since no doubt at least some of the patents cover technologies that Google will never put into practice.

Many licensing-focused non-practicing entities got their patents from bankruptcy sales. This process encourages investment by ensuring that investors will be able to recoup some of their investment via the sale of IP assets. The NPEs then focus on extracting value from the IP assets in much the same way that a company that buys a warehouse at a bankruptcy auction might try to extract value from it by renting warehouse space to others. This is especially valuable for startups that may have significant IP assets but comparatively little in the way of tangible assets.

Here, Google will try to extract value from the IP assets in its own way. For some of the patents it means not having to take a license from whomever else might have bought them. For others it might mean adding patents to a defensive portfolio. Others might even be licensed or sold to other companies.

It's fine to argue that patents shouldn't be transferrable or that NPEs shouldn't be allowed to exist, but those policies would also prevent sales like this one and lead to less investment in companies with significant IP assets, particularly startups.

Re:Buying Patents at a Bankruptcy Sale (1)

mr1911 (1942298) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005060)

company should not be allowed to own a patent covering technology that it did not invent

Companies do not invent anything. Employees at companies invent things. The employees assign the patent to the companies. If you remove the ability to assign a patent, invention stops. OK, not all invention, but the invention that people are paid to do, which is probably not much more than 99% of all invention.

Re:Buying Patents at a Bankruptcy Sale (1)

Grond (15515) | more than 3 years ago | (#36005266)

Companies do not invent anything. Employees at companies invent things. The employees assign the patent to the companies.

I'm aware of this, but the distinction was not particularly important in this case. Furthermore, most of the world outside the US does not take that approach. In Europe, for example, the company is the applicant, not the inventing employee.

Re:Buying Patents at a Bankruptcy Sale (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36006616)

You cite building a defensive portfolio as a way of extracting value from IP assets. That is only a value in a highly artificial legal environment, for the buyer - no actual value for society is being created by the amassment of defensive portfolios or by the business of patent trolling. Nobody would need to build defensive portfolios if the patent system were not so broken and anti-competitive. By requiring defensive portfolios, the system punishes tech companies (PARTICULARLY small inventive companies without the resources to build expansive defensive portfolios as a deterrent). The system rewards huge companies which are aggressively litigious, as other IP holders, unable to defend themselves, will only be viable insofar as they sell their IP to the biggest fish.

The logic of mutually assured destruction might work out for Microsoft and Google - and we can understand why Google would pursue an effective deterrent given the legal environment - but it is exactly the little startups which can't "go nuclear"

Do No Evil (1)

kidinthehall (949690) | more than 3 years ago | (#36006382)

If Google were really to stick to its motto and would like access to the brightest minds here they would pickup those pour souls lost at Nortel. The rich tank the company and buy it back for nothing later, muuuch cheaper to operate that way...my old man taught me the ways as he's been around and seen it as well as been told by his ancestors the same story of how this trick works.
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