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Briefs

Monsanto fends off seeds suit

Monsanto Co., the world’s largest seed company, has won the dismissal of a lawsuit by growers of organic crops seeking to have its patents for genetically altered seeds invalidated.

U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald in Manhattan threw out the organic growers’ lawsuit in a ruling dated Friday, saying it represented no controversy and that she had no jurisdiction over the suit.

Organic farmers, seed companies and food safety groups sued St. Louis-based Monsanto in March 2011 seeking court protection against possible lawsuits by the company for patent infringement if genetically modified crops were mistakenly found among their yields.

“There is no evidence that plaintiffs are infringing defendants’ patents, nor have plaintiffs suggested when, if ever, such infringement will occur,” Buchwald wrote in her opinion.

Motorola buying shares from Icahn

Motorola Solutions Inc. is buying about $1.17 billion of its stock back from billionaire investor Carl Icahn.

The company, which sells communications equipment to government and corporate customers, also said Monday that board member Vincent Intrieri will resign as part of the transaction. Intrieri is general partner of Icahn Enterprises LP and an Icahn Enterprises G.P. Inc. director.

Motorola Solutions is purchasing approximately 23.7 million of its shares from Icahn at $49.15 apiece under an existing $3 billion repurchase program. Icahn will still hold a stake in the company after the transaction is complete.

Chipmaker Elpida files for bankruptcy

Computer chipmaker Elpida Memory Inc. filed for Japan’s largest manufacturing bankruptcy Monday after amassing debts from nose-diving prices, competition from Samsung and flooding in Thailand last year that stifled demand.

Elpida, the only manufacturer in Japan to specialize in DRAM chips used in cellphones and computers, reported debt of $5.5 billion in filing for bankruptcy at Tokyo District Court on Monday.

That was the largest ever for a bankruptcy in Japan in the manufacturing field, according to Teikoku Databank, which compiles such information.

Elpida, set up in 1999 as a joint venture between Japanese electronics companies NEC Corp. and Hitachi Ltd., has been struggling for years to close the gap with rival Samsung Electronics Co. of South Korea.

Nokia pins hopes on cheaper smartphone

Struggling cellphone maker Nokia kicked off the world’s largest mobile phone trade show Monday by unveiling a low-cost Windows smartphone that cellphone companies could give away free to customers, and another aimed at consumers demanding better photo quality.

CEO Stephen Elop said the new phones – a $254 smartphone that runs on Windows software and a handset with a high-resolution 41 megapixel camera – demonstrate “the actions necessary to improve the fortunes of Nokia.”

“With great products for consumers, I think the rest will fall into place,” Elop said at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The low price of the new phone means their out-of-pocket costs would be low, even if they give the handset away.

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