Disney pulls its application to trademark ‘SEAL Team 6’

The Walt Disney Co. has withdrawn its application to trademark the phrase “SEAL Team 6.”

The entertainment company stepped back after the Navy moved to protect the naming rights for the unit of elite operatives that killed terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.

Disney sought the trademark rights on May 3, two days after operatives raided a luxury compound in Pakistan and killed the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks.

It said it was looking to develop a TV show for its ABC subsidiary along the lines of like “NCIS” and “JAG,” which are also real-life Navy units.

Disney/ABC spokesman Kevin Brockman said the company pulled the plug on its bid in deference to the Navy’s application. 

Twitter buys TweetDeck for undisclosed amount

Twitter said it has bought TweetDeck, a London-based startup that helps people read, write and organize the short messages posted on the online network.

Twitter is not giving financial terms. The San Francisco company said Wednesday in a blog post that the TweetDeck team has joined Twitter. TweetDeck will continue to be based in London and users will continue to be able to use the application.

TweetDeck lets Twitter users organize the brands, celebrities, news feeds and people they “follow” on the short messaging platform. 

Toll Brothers bucking trend with rise in home contracts

Luxury home builder Toll Brothers Inc. said Wednesday that its mostly affluent customers are starting to shake off worries about the housing market and they’re buying homes again.

The builder said its contracts for new homes rose 7 percent and home deliveries increase 9 percent in February through April, compared with a year earlier.

It also posted a smaller quarterly loss and raised its forecast for the number of homes it expects to deliver this fiscal year. The results bucked recent trends among large home builders, most of which posted weaker sales numbers for the first three months of the year than a year earlier, when a federal tax credit helped stoke home sales.

Starbucks, Green Mountain raising bagged-coffee prices

Coffee drinkers are facing another round of price increases as Starbucks, J.M. Smucker, and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters pass along the rising costs of beans.

Starbucks confirmed Wednesday it will raise the prices for bagged coffee sold at its U.S. stores by 17 percent, and 6 percent at its Canadian locations, effective July 12.

Its move comes a day after J.M. Smucker raised prices for the fourth time in the past year. Smucker, which sells Folgers, Dunkin Donuts and Millstone, is upping those prices by 11 percent.

Since May 2010, Smucker has jacked up prices 34 percent to try to stay a step ahead of the commodities market.

Starbucks is raising prices for a 12-ounce bag of coffee at its U.S. stores to a range of $11.95 to $14.95. It is the first price increase since September 2009.

Green Mountain said May 3 it’s raising prices by 10 percent. 

SEC votes 3-2 to adopt whistleblower program

Whistleblowers who report corporate fraud or other misconduct to the government could receive sizable cash awards under new rules adopted Wednesday by federal regulators.

Tipsters would be eligible if they give the Securities and Exchange Commission information that leads to an enforcement action resulting in more than $1 million in penalties. The SEC would pay up to 30 percent of the money it recovers.

A divided SEC voted 3-2 to adopt the whistleblower program. The two Republican commissioners objected.

The new rules will take effect in about 60 days. Whistleblowers who provided information starting in July 2010, when the overhaul law was enacted, also would be eligible to receive awards.

— From news service reports