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Today in the Market (3/30/2023)

Good Evening! Wall Street was looking to close the first quarter of the year on a positive note, and U.S. equities advanced Thursday, extending gains from the previous session.

The S&P 500 grew by 0.57%, while the Dow Jones rose by 0.43%. The Nasdaq Composite climbed by 0.73%.

CELEBRATED TOO EARLY...

In the ongoing dispute between Apple Inc. (AAPL) and patent licensing company VirnetX Inc. (VHC) regarding privacy-software technology, Apple Inc. was successful in persuading a United States appeals court on Thursday to uphold a patent tribunal’s ruling that could put at risk a $502 million verdict for VirnetX Inc.

The history behind the two firms… The two businesses have been engaged in a legal dispute for the last 13 years, during which time there have been many trials and appeals. An East Texas jury decided that Apple violated the virtual private network (VPN) patents that were at issue in Thursday’s verdict, and as a result, the jury awarded VirnetX $502 million in damages in the year 2020.

However… The judgment of the United States Patent and Trademark Office to invalidate the two patents that VirnetX had accused Apple of infringing upon was upheld by the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

The company celebrated too early… As a direct result of the verdict, the value of VirnetX shares dropped by more than 14% by Thursday afternoon.  As the business said it would issue a special cash dividend to shareholders and expected a future possible payment from the Apple lawsuit, it had already increased by 55% by morning before the judgment was revealed.

A WARNING...

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Elon Musk and other industry executives have signed an open letter urging developers to halt large-scale AI research. The petition, which has been signed by more than 1,000 AI experts, warns that artificial intelligence presents “profound risks to society and humanity” and requests that AI researchers freeze their projects for at least six months.

How did it go from discovering what it can do to this? The letter discusses the potential for artificial intelligence to “outsmart” and “replace” humans to the point where we “risk loss of control of our civilization.” It also calls out the tendency of AI systems to confidently pump out misinformation and calls attention to the potential for AI to automate jobs.

The letter requests that AI laboratories utilize the so-called “AI summer” to design and implement safety standards that increase supervision of the creation of artificially intelligent systems. If not, it requests that governments intervene and impose a stop.

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