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Individuals are filing business litigation against Apple

Technology giant Apple has made billions of dollars selling its popular devices such as the iPhone. People sitting in their living rooms here in Florida and across the globe can purchase many of Apple's products from the company's website. Recently, the company's iPhone and its website have become the subject of business litigation filed in separate jurisdictions by two unrelated individuals.

One man claims that Apple is infringing on his 2008 patent regarding his design for web-based carousel technology. The patent covers a method and system of displaying information on a website. The man claims that Apple is using technology based on his patent to sell its products on the Apple website. He is requesting that the court order Apple to pay him royalties for the use of his patented technology, along with the maximum rate of interest allowed by law.

Developer converts to Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Since Florida's housing market is still recovering, it would not be difficult to envision that some real estate developers continue to struggle financially. Many of them here in the state and around the country have either voluntarily filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or were forced into it by other parties due to their financial situations. However, one out-of-state developer might just get a reprieve as a new loan prospect -- and other funding -- made it possible to convert its bankruptcy to a Chapter 11.

The company began developing a 15-unit luxury condominium complex in 2013 and pre-sold most of the units, but it then encountered financial and other problems. In Nov. 2015, the general contractor and project partner was removed. The builder filed a breach of contract complaint in federal court that resulted in the scheduling of a foreclosure auction.

Business litigation dismissed against potential Olympian

Competing to be an Olympic contender requires a certain amount of focus and commitment. Until recently, Boris Berian -- a runner who is favored to make the U.S. Olympic team -- was not able to give all of his time and attention to the tryouts for the team because of business litigation filed by Nike against him. Florida fans of the Olympics might be surprised to hear that the sports shoe giant decided to drop its case against Berian the day before he was to compete in the first round of trials.

The company claimed that it did so in order to remove the distraction the litigation was causing for Berian. That concern did not stop the company from filing the lawsuit back in April, however. Nike and Berian had a short-term contract that began in June 2015 and terminated on Dec. 31, 2015. Even after the termination date, the contract provided that Nike had the right to match any deal brought to Berian by other companies for 180 days.

Outcome of business litigation could help Florida vets

One of the benefits of having served and/or fought for this country is being given preferential treatment for federal contracts to a business owned by a veteran, whether located here in Florida or elsewhere in the country. Federal laws are in place that require federal agencies to ensure that veteran-owned companies receive this benefit. Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court entered a business litigation ruling that bolsters the position of these businesses when it comes to bidding for federal contracts.

According to the law, anytime two or more businesses that are owned by veterans are willing to offer a reasonable and fair price to provide services to a federal agency, a bidding process must take place. It is this "rule of two" that came under scrutiny in a lawsuit filed by an out-of-state company. The suit claimed that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) failed to use the prescribed bidding process as dictated by this law.

Mergers and acquisitions of financially distressed companies

When a Florida business falls on hard financial times, it might not be possible to recover. Selling the business could provide its owners with a way to recoup their personal losses and possibly allow the company to remain open and get a second chance at success. Mergers and acquisitions of distressed companies can be complex; whether you are buying or selling, it would not be a good idea to enter into the process alone.

If you are looking to expand your existing business, finding a company that is faltering due to financial issues could provide you with a unique opportunity. Before agreeing to purchase it, however, it's important to make sure that it is the right fit for you. Just because a company is for sale at an attractive price does not mean that it is ultimately a good deal for you and your business.

Rehab center files business litigation against insurance giant

It can sometimes be a challenge to deal with the requirements of health insurance companies. Many Florida residents have experienced the need for a certain type of care or treatment, but they first had to satisfy the insurance company of their medical necessity. These struggles are not limited to individuals. A drug and alcohol rehabilitation center recently filed business litigation against Wellmark Blue Cross-Blue Shield, alleging that the insurance giant owes it nearly $12 million in claims that remain outstanding.

Last year, the insurance company quit making payments to the rehabilitation center. It claimed that the treatments for which the payment requests were submitted were not medically necessary. Wellmark goes on to say that the medical records it received regarding the payments in question did not support the amounts requested. The company further asserts that it attempted to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement with the Iowa rehab center, but no settlement was achieved.

Some companies use Chapter 11 bankruptcy as a defense

Creditors can be demanding to the point that a Florida company must begin to consider strategic legal and business moves in order to remain intact. One creative option that some companies use is Chapter 11 bankruptcy. During the proceedings, creditors are kept at bay, which provides the companies that file the time they need to reorganize their finances.

This is what an almost 100-year-old recycling and trash company in New England is doing. The company recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but not because its owners consider it to be in financial distress. The company has a creditor that was demanding to take possession of some of the company's property, and the owner did not want that to happen. He sought the protections provided by the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, including the stay that halts all collection activities by creditors.

Another oil and gas company files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

When oil prices dropped below $30 a barrel, however briefly, it had a significant impact on the oil and gas industry. Many of the country's oil and gas companies experienced financial difficulties, and some filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Florida readers might not be surprised that the latest of these is SandRidge Energy.

The financially distressed oil and gas company was busy working out a restructuring plan with its creditors prior to filing its petition. In its petition, SandRidge claimed to have approximately $4 billion in debts and $7 billion in assets. The plan would allow the company to turn nearly $3.7 billion of its debt into equity.

Business litigation heats up between Groupon and IBM

Nearly everyone in Florida has heard of both IBM and Groupon. IBM has been a recognized brand for decades, and Groupon provides discounts to its members for a variety of products and services in its customers' geographic locations. However, it is safe to say that not everyone has heard that the two companies are involved in business litigation surrounding the use of each other's patents -- and it is heating up quickly.

A couple of months ago, IBM filed a lawsuit alleging that Groupon violated some of its patents. In response, Groupon filed a lawsuit alleging that IBM is infringing on its patents. In its suit, Groupon refers to IBM as a "dial-up era dinosaur" that is using its patents in an attempt to revive its company and shed its reputation as a relic in the technology business.

Another retailer seeks Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

Many retailers here in Florida and across the country have been hit hard in recent years due to the recession and the housing market crisis. Aeropostale recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after its plans to turn around the company did not turn out as anticipated. A dispute with one of its largest suppliers made it necessary to take more drastic measures to ensure the future of the company.

According to court filings, the company has $390 million in debts and only $354 million in assets. Crystal Financial LLC has agreed to provide the retailer with bankruptcy financing in the amount of approximately $160 million, so that the company can continue to operate and pay its employees. However, that may mean that some of the company's 739 stores in the United States will need to be closed in order to save the company.

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