Microsoft signaled it may not restart efforts to buy Yahoo by releasing nominees from agreements to serve on an alternate board of directors...

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Microsoft

Microsoft signaled it may not restart efforts to buy Yahoo by releasing nominees from agreements to serve on an alternate board of directors, a person familiar with the matter said.

Microsoft had recruited the nominees for a possible hostile bid. Its law firm, Sullivan & Cromwell, sent memos to 10 potential members and some alternates Thursday releasing them from their contracts, said the person, who asked to remain anonymous because the agreements were confidential.

Microsoft dropped its $47.5 billion bid for Yahoo on May 3 after failing to agree on a price.

Microsoft

Court revives patent claim

Microsoft and Dell face a patent claim over computer-data technology after an appeals court revived a lawsuit brought by Alcatel-Lucent, the world’s largest maker of telecommunications equipment.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said Thursday that a trial judge erred in saying Dell and Microsoft didn’t infringe on an Alcatel-Lucent patent for a system that allows information exchange between a computer server and a workstation or a mobile device. It affirmed a finding that a second patent wasn’t infringed.

The two patents are among a group that Alcatel-Lucent claims were violated by features within Dell computers that used Microsoft’s Windows operating system. Two trials involving other Alcatel-Lucent patents resulted in jury verdicts with almost $2 billion worth of damages against Microsoft, and another trial in the dispute is under way in San Diego. One jury verdict, of $1.52 billion against Microsoft, was thrown out by the trial judge and is on appeal.

T-Mobile USA

Customers top 30 million

T-Mobile USA, the fourth-largest wireless carrier in the country, said Thursday that it added 981,000 customers in the first quarter, which along with an acquisition brought its total to 30.8 million.

Bellevue-based T-Mobile USA completed its acquisition of SunCom Wireless in February, which added 1.1 million subscribers in the southeastern United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

T-Mobile USA is a subsidiary of Europe’s biggest telecom, Deutsche Telekom, which reported its quarterly earnings Thursday. The U.S. division had $5.19 billion in revenue, accounting for a sizable chunk of Deutsche Telekom’s overall $23.14 billion in sales.

Average monthly revenue per user was $51 in the U.S., down from $52 in the previous quarter.

Nation/ World

Pope & Talbot

Liquidation may be next move

Pope & Talbot, the bankrupt 150-year-old Portland wood-products maker, may liquidate its assets after failing to sell its pulp and paper mills to multiple buyers and losing a loan to continue operations in bankruptcy.

Pope & Talbot said in court documents filed Wednesday in Delaware Bankruptcy Court that a hearing to consider converting the case from a Chapter 11 reorganization to a Chapter 7 liquidation will be today.

Digital

N.C. town to feel first TV switch

Any glitches in the nationwide switch to digital television will be felt first in Wilmington, N.C.

The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday formally announced that five local stations will begin broadcasting only digital signals beginning at noon Sept. 8 — five months ahead of the much-advertised Feb. 17 nationwide flip.

General Motors

$200 million may help end strike

General Motors has agreed to kick in up to $200 million to help bring an end to a bitter 10-week strike at parts supplier American Axle and Manufacturing Holdings.

The automaker said Thursday in a government filing that the money would go for temporary payments to buffer reduced wages for the workers, as well as employee buyout and early-retirement packages.

About 3,600 United Auto Workers at five factories have been on strike since Feb. 26 in a dispute over American Axle’s quest for lower wages and benefits.

Google

Brin: Ad test gave Yahoo “choice”

Google, the company that sold some Internet advertisements for rival Yahoo last month, said the test gave Yahoo a “choice” amid takeover talks with Microsoft.

“We believe in companies having choices about their destiny,” Google co-founder Sergey Brin said Thursday.

Compiled from Bloomberg News, Detroit Free Press and The Associated Press