Morning Roundup: Uber changes biz tactics; Nike partners with Apple

In today’s news, Uber tests up-front pricing, Nike partners with Apple and Oregon pot labs could be delayed.

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1. Uber changes business tactics 

Uber is changing the way it does business, at least in Portland. The rideshare app is rolling out “up-front fares” which will change how consumers see surge pricing. The upfront method is already active in 21 other U.S. cities. The new system will require users to enter their destination and receive an exact price before booking the ride. The Oregonian reports Uber drivers will still be paid according to the actual ride.

2. In other Uber news, a recent court decision could prevent class-action lawsuits against the company.

As the Portland Business Journal reports, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed an earlier decision, instead finding that Uber’s drivers have to submit to arbitration to resolve disputes. The decision applies to just one case, Mohamed v. Uber Technologies, but it’s likely to set a precedent for any future suits. 

3. First there were Nike bikes, now there are Nike watches

Apple unveiled the iPhone 7 yesterday, and introduced the latest Apple Watch at the same time. For those who enjoy both Apple and Nike, the Apple Watch Nike+ will soon be within reach. The new watch models are marketed toward runners, and come with a Nike-themed wristband. 

4. Speaking of partnerships, Lemelson Foundation, Business Oregon and Portland State University announced a new program called InventOR.

The Portland Business Journal reports the program is modeled after PSU’s existing competition, The Cleantech Challenge. InventOR will allow students statewide to test their hands at invention and entrepreneurship. The first competition is scheduled for fall 2017.

5. Pot lab rollout could be delayed

Oregon recreational marijuana labs are supposed to rollout starting next month, but the agency in charge of issuing licenses is “on the precipice of collapse.” The Oregon Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program lacks the necessary resources to process the dozens of applications already received. The Statesman Journal reports only three labs have been accredited so far.

6. An Oregon lawsuit heads toward class action certification

Linn County’s lawsuit against the state will likely be certified as a class action — which means other counties could sign on. Linn County alleges insufficient logging has cost the area (Benton, Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Coos, Douglas, Josephine, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Polk, Tillamook and Washington counties) more than $1.4 billion. The Register Guard reports the suit states Oregon violated its contract to maximize timber revenue.

7. From landfill to retail

Portland’s latest retail center could be built atop a landfill on Northeast 82nd Avenue. Capstone Partners intends to purchase a 12.5 acre site and work with developer Mike Hashem — responsible for Grant Park Village — to create a retail hub. The Oregonian reports the sale is expected to close next year.