Business news

Patent holder sues 6 smart phone makers


NEW YORK --- The patent-holding company that won a settlement of more than $600 million from the maker of the BlackBerry said Friday it has sued six other companies in the smart phone industry.

Patent company NTP Inc. is suing Apple Inc., Google Inc., Microsoft Corp., HTC Corp., Motorola Inc. and LG Electronics Inc., claiming infringement of the same patents that were at issue in its case against BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd.

The lawsuit against RIM ended with a $612.5 million settlement in 2006. However, changes in court practices have reduced NTP's power to win large settlements, and if NTP prevails, it's likely to receive much less from each defendant this time.

NTP was founded by Thomas Campana, an inventor, and Don Stout, a lawyer. Campana worked on wireless e-mail technology in the early 1990s, but never commercialized the technology. He died in 2004.

Wholesale inventories rise as May sales fall

WASHINGTON --- Inventories held by wholesalers rose for a fifth consecutive month in May but sales fell for the first time in more than a year, sending a cautionary signal about the strength of the recovery.

Wholesale inventories increased 0.5 percent while sales dropped 0.3 percent, the Commerce Department said Friday. It was the first decline for sales since March of 2009.

The May sales decline is the latest sign that the economic recovery could be losing momentum in the second half of the year.

Weakness in sales could discourage businesses from boosting their orders. That would translate into a slowdown in factory production.

Bilingual magazine coming in September

Morris Communications is launching a local bilingual publication in September.

Eco Latino magazine will be published monthly and be available to the public at newsstands in a six-county region, beginning Sept. 6.

The free English-Spanish magazine will provide the Hispanic communities with news and information, including coverage from correspondents in Latin America.

Ten thousand copies will be available in 200 locations, including gas stations, grocery stores, airports and universities in Richmond, Columbia, Aiken, Edgefield, McDuffie and Saluda counties.

A Web site will be launched to accompany the print edition.