VICTOR THE LOSER IN TRADEMARK LAWSUIT: Victor isn't allowed to have a little secret anymore. A federal judge has permanently enjoined Victor and Cathy Moseley from using the names "Victor's Secret" and "Victor's Little Secret" on their adult novelty and lingerie shop in central Kentucky. U.S. District Judge Charles Simpson said in a ruling issued Wednesday that the names violate the trademark of Ohio-based lingerie retailer Victoria's Secret under the Federal Trademark Dilution Act. "The use of the remarkably similar 'Victor's Secret' or 'Victor's Little Secret' in connection with the sale of intimate lingerie along with sex toys and adult videos tarnishes the reputation of the Victoria's Secret mark," Simpson wrote. An e-mail message left with Victoria's Secret and its parent company, Limited Brands, was not immediately returned. Phone messages left for the Moseleys were not immediately returned. The case has been bouncing around the legal system for 10 years, since the Moseleys opened their shop in Elizabethtown, Ky., about 45 minutes south of Louisville.
MICROSOFT MOVES ON TO PLAN C IN GOOGLE EFFORT: Microsoft Corp. is offering cash rebates when people make purchases after using its search engine as the software maker begins to reveal how it plans to take on Google Inc. following the failure of its $47.5 billion bid for Yahoo. Analysts and investors have been eagerly awaiting details about "Plan C" after Microsoft acknowledged that its Plan A of going solo was troubled but also withdrew its Plan B -- acquiring Yahoo. Under the cash program revealed Wednesday, Web shoppers who sign up for an account and buy items found using Microsoft's Live Search cashback site will receive a percentage of the purchase price deposited into their account. When the total reaches $5, the shoppers can redeem their "cold, hard cash."
IT FIRMS ARE MAKING A RECOVERY IN MARKETS:
Is the Internet boom back? No, but information technology companies have again overtaken the financial industry as the largest sector in the S&P 500 index, Standard & Poor's said Wednesday. IT was last the top dog of the index in early 2002 as tech bubble was deflating, according to Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at Standard & Poor's. At Tuesday's close, IT represented 16.26 percent of the S&P 500, compared with 16.19 percent for financials, Silverblatt wrote in a report. It expanded its lead on Wednesday. At the peak of the boom in March 2000, the IT sector made up 34.51 percent of the index, Silverblatt said. This time, the IT sector is not the biggest because of giddy growth, but because it's been hit less hard than the financial sector by the credit crunch and economic weakness. Financial stocks have retreated 29.11 percent since their peak on Oct. 9 last year, according to Silverblatt's calculation, while IT companies have lost 8.74 percent.
FACEBOOK TO CLEAR AWAY CLUTTER ON SITE: Having nearly tripled its audience and added about 20,000 new applications over the past year, Facebook Inc.'s popular online hangout is about to undergo a housecleaning. Visitors who can't stand the clutter that's been piling up will be glad to see that the site's new look sweeps disparate bits of information into categories marked by tabs at the top of each user's customized home page. Basic personal background and interests will be filed under an "info" tab, for instance, while pictures will be corralled in a "photo" section and applications will be easily located under a "programs" tab. The face-lift is to debut in June.
FREE GAS CARDS GIVEN AWAY IN MANTECA: A Manteca gas station will help drivers out with free $40 gas cards for the first 200 visitors starting at 11 a.m. today. The Shell station on East Yosemite Avenue in Manteca will give out those cards as part of a promotion with Verizon Yellow Pages and Superpages.com. The promotion will last until 1 p.m. or supplies run out. Millions of drivers are expected to hit the road this weekend for the Memorial Day holiday.
BEE NEWS SERVICES
88: Percentage of the nation's top divorce attorneys who say they have seen an increase in the number of cases using electronic data as evidence during the past five years, according to a American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers survey.
82: Percentage who cited e-mail as the main source and most commonly used form of technological evidence.
79: Percentage who reported an increase in the frequency of Internet browser histories being used as evidence in divorce cases.
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