- - Sunday, August 26, 2012

VERDICT

SAN JOSE, Calif. — After a year of scorched-earth litigation, a jury decided Friday that Samsung ripped off the innovative technology used by Apple to create its revolutionary iPhone and iPad.

The jury ordered Samsung to pay Apple $1.05 billion. An appeal is expected.

Apple Inc. filed its patent infringement lawsuit in April 2011 and engaged legions of the country’s highest-paid patent lawyers to demand $2.5 billion from its top smartphone competitor. Samsung Electronics Co. fired back with its own lawsuit seeking $399 million.

During closing arguments, Apple attorney Harold McElhinny claimed Samsung was having a “crisis of design” after the 2007 launch of the iPhone, and executives with the South Korean company were determined to illegally cash in on the success of the revolutionary device.

Samsung’s attorneys countered that it was simply and legally giving consumers what they want: smartphones with big screens. They said Samsung didn’t violate any of Apple’s patents and further alleged innovations claimed by Apple were actually created by other companies.

Samsung has emerged as one of Apple’s biggest rivals and has overtaken Apple as the leading smartphone maker.

LABOR

Most laid-off workers take pay cuts in new jobs

The U.S. economic recovery hasn’t felt much like one even for people who managed to find new jobs after being laid off. Most of them have had to settle for less pay.

Only 56 percent of Americans laid off from January 2009 through December 2011 had found jobs by the start of this year, the Labor Department said Friday. More than half of them took jobs with lower pay. One-third took pay cuts of 20 percent or more.

The figures would be even lower if people who could find only part-time jobs were included in the total.

The report provides an illustration of the job market’s persistent weakness well after the Great Recession officially ended in June 2009. It also documents that while the economy has added nearly 3 million jobs since the recovery began, many pay less than those that were lost.

And it points to the challenge for President Obama, who’s seeking re-election with unemployment at 8.3 percent. No president since World War II has faced re-election with unemployment above 8 percent. It was 7.8 percent when President Gerald R. Ford lost to Jimmy Carter in 1976.

Laid-off workers always have a harder time finding new jobs than do people who quit. But since the government began tracking such data in 1984, people who lost jobs in a recovery haven’t had it as hard as they did in the one that began three years ago.

PENSIONS

UPS restructures pensions, sees charge of $896M

NEW YORK | UPS said Friday that it is restructuring pension liabilities for about 10,200 of its workers, and that it will book related costs of nearly $900 million in the third quarter.

The world’s largest package company said it has reached a deal with the New England Teamster and Trucking Industry Pension Fund that creates a second pension plan pool. This will allow UPS to be responsible only for its own employees’ pensions and freeze its liability in the original multi-employer pension plan.

Under the agreement, United Parcel Service Inc. employees won’t see a reduction in their pension benefits, and UPS won’t be required to increase cash contributions for 10 years.

The Atlanta company said the charge of $896 million represents the present value of its $2.1 billion withdrawal liability from the original pool, which it will pay over the next 50 years.

The move is subject to approval by local unions. If approved, the withdrawal will be effective Sept. 16.

• From wire dispatches and staff reports