U.S. Factory Orders Rise 1% in JuneU.S....

From Associated Press From Bloomberg News From a Times Staff Writer

U.S. Factory Orders Rise 1% in June

U.S. factory orders increased for a fourth straight month in June, a sign that production gains will help the economy accelerate in coming months.

The value of orders received by manufacturers rose 1% during the month after a revised 3.6% increase that was larger than initially estimated, the Commerce Department said. Orders increased for machines, computers and military equipment.

Unfilled orders surged in June by the most in four years, suggesting that factories were having trouble keeping up with demand, which may prompt them to boost production in coming months.


Reality TV Workers Join Editors Guild

Some 80 motion picture editors and their assistants on three shows produced by reality TV guru Mark Burnett have been organized by the Motion Picture Editors Guild, the union announced.

The guild, part of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, said union authorization cards were counted for workers on the shows “The Apprentice,” “The Apprentice: Martha Stewart” and “Rock Star: INXS.”

Hollywood unions have been trying to organize employees in the burgeoning reality TV genre. The Editors Guild has already organized such shows as “Big Brother” and “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.”


Lawsuit Targets States’ 1998 Tobacco Settlement

A Washington advocacy group filed a lawsuit in a federal court in Louisiana challenging the state’s participation in a $206-billion settlement with the tobacco industry.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute sued on behalf of a tobacco distributor, two manufacturers that weren’t part of the settlement, a tobacco store and an individual smoker.

The case challenges the 1998 agreement between cigarette makers and 46 states on constitutional grounds. The complaint, filed in federal court in Shreveport, claims that the accord violates a prohibition against states making compacts among themselves without the approval of Congress.


BlackBerry Ruling Delays Sales Injunction

A U.S. appeals court upheld most of a ruling that Research in Motion Ltd.'s BlackBerry e-mail pager infringed patents, delaying a judge’s order to halt sales of the device in the U.S.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington told U.S. District Judge James Spencer to rewrite his 2002 injunction to reflect decisions made on appeal.

Research in Motion had agreed to pay $450 million to settle a dispute with NTP Inc., a closely held patent-licensing company. The accord began to fall apart when NTP sought more money for use of the BlackBerry service on other devices. Research in Motion has said it will ask Spencer to order NTP to abide by the settlement.


Whirlpool Must Make Maytag Offer by Tuesday

Whirlpool Corp. must submit a firm offer to buy Maytag Corp. no later than noon Tuesday, according to an agreement outlined in documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

A confidentiality agreement between Whirlpool and Maytag signed July 26 specifies that for a period of three years after Maytag opened its books to Whirlpool, neither company can try to acquire control of the other without permission.

Whirlpool’s offer, which remains tentative, stands at $18 a share, or $1.43 billion.



* Toyota Motor Corp. said it would boost production at a plant being built in San Antonio by 50,000 trucks a year. The Japanese carmaker said it would invest $50 million more in the plant, bringing the total to $850 million.

* A judge set a Sept. 19 sentencing date for ex-Tyco International Ltd. Chief Executive L. Dennis Kozlowski and his finance chief, Mark Swartz, who were found guilty of stealing more than $150 million from the company.