By Christopher Seward
Atlanta-based Home Depot was on the winning side of a $250 million patent lawsuit that accused the home improvement retailer, J.C. Penney and Toys ‘R’ Us Inc. of infringing on an invention that allowed retailers to activate and recharge gift and other stored-value cards. The win, however, was by default, according to a Bloomberg report.
Alexsam Inc., which filed the patent suit in 2010, dropped its claim this week after a federal judge in Marshall, Texas, refused to delay an Oct. 22 trial to give the Texas-based licensing company more time to obtain new legal counsel. Alexsam lost similar cases it filed against Gap Inc. and Barnes & Noble Inc.
In 2011, a jury awarded Alexsam $9 million after finding IDT Corp. infringed on the company’s patents. Alexam also has filed suits against Best Buy and McDonald’s.
'How Aflac built an empire on Japan's unspeakable nightmare'
An interesting article on Columbus-based Aflac’s rise to dominance in Japan by cornering the market on cancer insurance appears on QZ.com, a business news publication of Atlantic Media Co.
The piece, “How Aflac built an empire on Japan’s unspeakable nightmare,” is a recap of Aflac’s foray into the market in the 1970s, at a time when Japan was dealing with a rise in the incident of several forms of cancer, most prominently lung cancer. It charts the company’s near monopoly until deregulation allowed other competitors in, including Prudential and Metlife.
Cancer was and, to some extent, still is an illness that is not discussed openly due to the fear and stigma of having the disease and other cultural sensitivities. John Amos, who founded the American Family Life Assurance Co. with brothers William and Paul in 1955, was able to channel that fear into a multibillion-dollar business.
About 75 percent of Aflac’s profits come from its business in the Land of the Rising Sun, but its market share has dropped to about 52 percent today. John Amos, a heavy smoker, died of lung cancer in 1990.
Job fair for veterans Oct. 31 at Georgia Dome
A job fair for veterans will be held Oct. 31 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m at the Georgia Dome in downtown Atlanta. Organizers say the event is designed to connect hundreds of veterans with “veteran-friendly” employers.
Recruiters from Home Depot, USAA, Norfolk Southern Corp., Bank of America, Kroger Co. and Lockheed Martin are expected, among others. The job fair is sponsored by the advocacy group RecruitMilitary with help from the American Legion.