Washington Daybook: Apple Eyed

Photograph by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

An Apple Store in San Francisco.

Are Apple Inc’s products too cool to ban?

The U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington may decide the issue when it announces today whether Apple’s iPhones, iPads and other devices infringe Google Inc’s Motorola Mobility patents and, if so, whether it will stop them from being imported into the U.S.

As part of its review, the ITC is weighing whether to limit use of import bans in disputes over patents that relate to industrywide standards. Some members of Congress, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and companies including Intel Corp. have urged such a step. An announcement is expected at 5 p.m.

So not cool. The Agriculture Dept. will give an update on food price inflation amid the worst heat and drought conditions in five decades. U.S. consumers may pay 3 percent to 4 percent more for food next year as the effects of drought work their way onto supermarket shelves, USDA said last month in its first forecast for 2013. Beef may rise as much as 5 percent in response to tight supplies of corn, which is used to feed cattle.

Tropical Storm Isaac is making organizers of the Republican National Convention hot under the collar. The storm is strengthening in the Caribbean Sea on a path projected to bring rain and heavy winds to the Gulf of Mexico next week, with a potential for threatening to disrupt energy production and the RNC that starts Monday. However, the predicted path of the storm is steering westward into the Gulf, with the projected eye moving toward the northern Gulf Coast and away from Tampa.

And fans of Rep. Ron Paul will show how cool they think he is as they celebrate his 77th birthday with a three-day festival of hard rock, swinging country music and libertarian politics starting today at the Florida state fairgrounds, located just down the road from the RNC in Tampa.

 With assistance from Susan Decker and Alan Bjerga.

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