Nichols Brothers Boat Builders seek bankruptcy shield
Pacific Northwest Nichols Brothers Boat Builders filed for Chapter 11 protection from creditors Friday, two weeks after the Whidbey Island-based...
Nichols Brothers Boat Builders filed for Chapter 11 protection from creditors Friday, two weeks after the Whidbey Island-based company laid off nearly all its workers.
Papers filed in bankruptcy court in Seattle by President Bryan Nichols said the company employed up to 250 in recent years but now has 20 workers and expects to shrink to half that by Dec. 1.
The builder of steel and aluminum vessels was unable to borrow money for operations because of pending litigation, Nichols wrote. A Louisiana company, Hornbeck Offshore Services, is suing Nichols over a $20 million contract.
Nichols Brothers said it has more than $1 million in assets and more than 200 creditors. It did not give a total for its debts.
The company said it has seven boat-building projects and hopes to negotiate court-approved arrangements to have subcontractors continue that work.
Vietnam plans to buy 12 787s
Vietnam plans to buy 12 Boeing 787s to meet growing demand for air travel in the booming Southeast Asian country, officials said Friday.
State-owned Vietnam Airlines will purchase four of the planes and a new joint venture called Vietnam Aircraft Leasing Co. (VALC) will purchase eight, company officials announced at a news conference. They expect to sign the deals soon.
Vietnam Airlines and Boeing declined to disclose the price of the deal. VALC said in a news release it would pay $1.42 billion for its eight 787-8 planes.
Vietnam Airlines also had ordered four 787s in 2005.
Patent finding left standing
Microsoft lost an appeals-court bid to throw out a finding that it must pay a Michigan company $142 million for infringing patents on a way to thwart software piracy.
"Substantial evidence supports the jury's verdict" that Microsoft infringed two valid patents owned by z4 Technologies, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington said in a decision posted on the court's Web site.
The dispute is over a method for using product-activation codes to prevent the use of software by multiple users. Microsoft argued the patents are invalid and were not infringed.
The Michigan firm sued Microsoft and Autodesk, the largest maker of design software used in construction and engineering, in 2004 in federal court in Tyler, Texas. Autodesk settled the case after the April 2006 verdict.
Compiled from Seattle Times staff, The Associated Press and Bloomberg News
Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company
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When vice president of Sub Pop Records Megan Jasper isn't running things at the office, she's working in her garden at her West Seattle home where she and her husband Brian spend time relaxing.