The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday sided with Samsung in its big-money smartphone patent fight with Apple, throwing out an appeals court ruling that the South Korean company had to pay a $399 million penalty to its American rival for copying key iPhone designs. The 8-0 ruling, written by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, held that a patent violator does not always have to fork over its entire profits from the sales of products using stolen designs, if the designs covered only certain components and not the whole thing. The justices sent the case back to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington to determine how much Samsung must pay.
The U.S. trade deficit recorded its biggest increase in more than 1-1/2 years in October as exports of soybeans and other products fell, suggesting trade would be a drag on growth in the fourth quarter. The Commerce Department said on Tuesday the trade gap rose 17.8 percent, the largest increase since March 2015, to $42.6 billion. "This widening of the trade deficit at the start of the fourth quarter puts trade on track to subtract a little more than one percentage point from fourth-quarter GDP growth," said John Ryding, chief economist at RDQ Economics in New York.