Morning Business Memo
It’s a draw. A court in South Korea has ruled that Apple and Samsung both infringed on each others’ patents. The decision comes as a global fight between the two tech rivals is played out in legal cases across the globe. The court in Seoul ordered a partial ban on sales of iPads and some smartphones from both companies. Judges said Samsung – a South Korean company – did not copy the look and feel of the iPhone, while Apple infringed on Samsung’s wireless technology. But in a split decision on patents, the panel also said Samsung violated Apple technology behind the bounce-back feature when scrolling on touch screens, and ordered both sides to pay limited damages.
South Korea is not a big market for Apple, and the ruling is unlikely to have a big impact on jury deliberations in the United States. A jury at a patent infringement trial in San Jose, Calif., has been considering a verdict.
He wants more time to start paying down a huge load of debt. New Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras holds talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel today. It could be an awkward meeting. Germany is deeply skeptical about the Greek claim that it needs more time to put austerity in place. Merkel and French President Francois Hollande Thursday urged Greece to keep pushing through painful reforms and made no mention of allowing more leeway.
Spending and budget reforms are a pre-condition for bailout loans. If Greece doesn’t get the money, it’s likely to default on its loans and drop out of the eurozone. That could trigger a new crisis.
Stocks are up in value so far this year and so is gold. With widespread speculation about the of easing by central banks in the United States, Europe and Asia, gold prices have been up 11 days in a row, reaching a four-month high. But Bloomberg News reports, “Physical demand is slowing elsewhere, with sales of American Eagle gold coins by the U.S. Mint dropping 49 percent to 30,500 ounces last month, the lowest since April.”
There’s renewed talk of the gold standard. Republican drafters of the party’s 2012 platform called for the creation of a commission to “consider the feasibility” of returning the U.S. dollar to the gold standard “to set a fixed value” for the currency. President Nixon ended the dollar’s link with gold in 1971.
How’s manufacturing doing? A government report today will provide a snapshot. Analysts expect the July durable goods reports to show an increase of about two and-a-half percent.