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BUSINESS BRIEFLY

Gemcor improves service with venture in China

Gemcor has formed a joint venture in China to help the West Seneca aircraft fastening systems manufacturer serve the fast-growing Chinese aircraft market.

The joint venture with the AVIC Beijing Aeronautical Manufacturing Technology Research Institute will provide technical service for Gemcor's customers in China and also provide spare parts and routine maintenance services.

Each company owns a 50 percent stake in the venture.

Gemcor makes fastening systems that are used to rivet the skin to aircraft. The company has a long history of selling its products in China.

"As our installation base continues to grow in China, it is important we have the infrastructure in place to support these important customers," said William Mangus, Gemcor's president and chief executive officer.

Gemcor's growth in the Chinese market is tied to the increased production of airframe assemblies by companies such as Boeing, Airbus, Embraer and Bombardier, as well as increased production by Chinese aircraft producers.

China has accounted for an average of 40 percent of Gemcor's sales during the last four years, said Tony Goddard, Gemcor's executive vice president and chief operating officer.

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Patent portfolios shared

NEW YORK (AP) -- Microsoft and Samsung Electronics have agreed to cross-license each other's patent portfolios, with Microsoft getting royalties for the mobile phones and tablets Samsung sells that run Google Inc.'s Android operating system.

Microsoft Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co. said Wednesday that they also will work together to develop and market Microsoft's Windows Phone software, which is likely to increase exposure for the Windows Phone.

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'Toning' charges settled

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Reebok will need to tone down advertising for the shoes it says will help reshape your backside.

The athletic shoe and clothing company will pay $25 million in customer refunds to settle charges by the Federal Trade Commission that it falsely advertised its "toning" shoes could measurably strengthen the muscles in the legs, thighs and buttocks. As part of the settlement, Reebok also is barred from making some of those claims without scientific evidence.

"Settling does not mean we agree with the FTC's allegations," Dan Sarro, a Reebok spokesman, said. "We do not. We have received overwhelmingly enthusiastic feedback from thousands of EasyTone customers."

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Bernanke calls out Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Wednesday that long-term unemployment is a "national crisis" and suggested that Congress should take further action to combat it. He also said lawmakers should provide more help to the battered housing industry.

Bernanke noted that about 45 percent of the unemployed have been out of work for at least six months.

"This is unheard of," he said after a speech in Cleveland. "This has never happened in the post-war period in the United States. They are losing the skills they had, they are losing their connections, their attachment to the labor force."

Bernanke suggested that Congress should take more responsibility to rejuvenate the economy.

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'Net neutrality' spurs suit

NEW YORK (AP) -- A media and Internet advocacy group sued the federal government Wednesday over its new rules covering Internet traffic, saying they don't protect wireless traffic from interference by phone companies.

The group Free Press filed its challenge to the Federal Communications Commission's so-called "net neutrality" rules in federal court in Boston.

The rules were adopted in December and take effect in two months. They prohibit Internet service providers from favoring or discriminating against Internet content and services.

They give greater leeway to cellphone companies to manage data traffic because wireless systems are more easily overwhelmed. But Free Press objects to that distinction.