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Kodak's claim against Apple to get a federal review

ROCHESTER (AP) -- A federal agency has decided to review Eastman Kodak's high-stakes patent claim against technology giants Apple and Research in Motion.

The U.S. International Trade Commission said Friday it will look at a judge's finding in January that Apple's iPhone and RIM's BlackBerry don't violate a 2001 Kodak image-preview patent.

The favorable decision revives Kodak's hopes of negotiating royalties worth $1 billion or more. The agency's six commissioners will decide by May 23 whether to alter the initial determination by its chief administrative judge or let it stand.

Kodak has amassed more than 1,000 digital-imaging patents, and almost all digital cameras rely on that technology. Mining its rich array of inventions has become an indispensable tool in its long and painful turnaround.


Deferred student loans back

NEW YORK (AP) -- Sallie Mae says it's bringing back an option that lets students wait until after graduation to start repaying loans.

The private student lender, formally known as SLM Corp., had done away with its signature deferred payment option loan during the credit crisis in 2009.

At the time, Sallie Mae began requiring borrowers to make interest payments right away while in school. The company said the in-school payments helped defray long-term costs for students by reducing the amount of interest that accumulated on the loan.

The deferred payment was made available again this week for loans in the 2011-12 academic year.


Borders plans bonuses

NEW YORK -- Borders Group Inc., after filing for bankruptcy in February with plans to close about a third of its stores, says it plans to pay key employees as much as $8.3 million in incentives and retention bonuses.

The second-biggest U.S. bookstore chain asked a judge to approve its plan in a filing Thursday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York, saying it historically compensated employees through incentives.

The main awards would be part of a program budgeted for as much as $7.1 million. The size would be calculated after the company files a reorganization plan or gets approval for a sale of the company, Borders said. The rest of the money is budgeted for retention bonuses, it said.

Under the incentive program, Borders President Michael Edwards, chief executive officer of the chain's parent company, Borders Inc., would get as much as $1.7 million in bonuses, according to the filing.

Employees would get no incentive payments if Borders was liquidated, it said. Nor will they get a bonus for 2010, "due to the debtors' declining financial performance," it said.

-- Bloomberg News


Carp barrier needs power

CHICAGO (AP) -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it might need to increase the voltage on the electric barrier built to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes.

A report released Friday says the barrier won't completely stop small carp on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal unless the barrier uses more power.

But the Corps of Engineers says it doesn't plan to increase voltage right away because the nearest carp of the size tested are more than 100 miles from the barrier. Officials say higher voltage also could pose safety risks.


BOA pays no income tax

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- After another money-losing year, Bank of America Corp. got the upper hand with Uncle Sam in 2010.

The Charlotte-based bank had no federal income tax expense for a second straight year and actually reported a tax "benefit" of nearly $1 billion. Also, the bank's billions in accumulated losses could reduce its taxes in future years, a tax expert said.

The bank says the reason is simple: Corporations pay taxes on their profits, and Bank of America posted a pretax loss of $5.4 billion in the United States in 2010.

But Ryan Clayton of the Washington-based U.S. Uncut group, said the bank is an "aggressive tax dodger." t

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