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Business Highlights

Mannheim state court spokesman Joachim Bock said judges dismissed both cases involving alleged patent infringements of the companies' respective slide-to-lock technology on mobile devices.

Samsung Electronics welcomed Friday's dismissal of Apple's case against the firm, but it vowed to appeal the dismissal of its lawsuit against Apple. It also said a separate case regarding four alleged patent infringements is still pending with the Mannheim court.

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Citigroup says Parsons to step down as chairman

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ Richard Parsons, who was named chairman of Citigroup in 2009 just after the bank accepted $45 billion in federal bailouts, will step down from the position, the bank said Friday.

The bank said Michael O'Neill, a Citi board member and the former CEO of Bank of Hawaii Corp., was expected to succeed Parsons. The Citi board will elect a chairman at the bank's annual shareholder meeting in April.

Parsons, 63, a former CEO of Time Warner, has a reputation as a skilled negotiator, diplomat and crisis manager and is one of the most prominent black executives in corporate America.

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APPA: Annual pet spending reaches all-time high

LOS ANGELES (AP) â¿¿ Americans spent $50.96 billion on their pets in 2011.

That's an all-time high and the first time in history more than $50 billion has gone to the dogs, cats, canaries, guppies and the like, the American Pet Products Association said in a report issued Thursday.

Food and vet costs accounted for about 65 percent of the spending. But it was a service category â¿¿ one that includes grooming, boarding, pet hotels, pet-sitting and day care â¿¿ that grew more than any other, rising 7.9 percent from $3.51 billion in 2010 to $3.79 billion in 2011.

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Union Pacific CEO to take medical leave

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) â¿¿ Union Pacific said Friday that chief executive Jim Young will take a medical leave of absence to be treated for pancreatic cancer. He will remain chairman of the railroad's board while on leave.

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