Savient Drug Auction Doubles Price: Bankruptcy
Savient Pharmaceuticals Inc. (SVNTQ), a developer of a treatment for gout, held an auction this week where the price more than doubled, with the winning bid of $120.4 million made by Crealta Pharmaceuticals LLC.
A hearing to approve the sale will take place tomorrow in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.
Washington Litigator New Hogan Lovells CEO: Business of Law
Hogan Lovells LLP’s global co-head of litigation, Washington-based partner Steve Immelt, will take over as the sole chief executive officer of the firm in July.
Immelt, who was unanimously recommended for the post by the firm’s board, will succeed current co-CEOs Warren Gorrell and David Harris, after being approved by the firm’s partnership in a vote. London finance partner David Hudd, who currently heads the global finance practice and helped develop the firm’s structured finance practice, will be the deputy CEO.
Nokia, Dow, AARP, Beastie Boys: Intellectual Property
Nokia Oyj (NOK1V)’s preliminary victory in its efforts to collect royalties from Taiwanese phonemaker HTC Corp. (2498) will be reviewed by a U.S. trade agency with the power to keep the smartphones from entering the country.
The U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington will consider parts of a judge’s findings that HTC violated two Nokia patents and not a third, the agency said in a notice dated Dec. 9 and posted on its website yesterday. The six-member commission, which is being asked to block HTC phones that infringe the patents, is scheduled to make a final decision by Jan. 23.
Catalyst Ends Up Top Bidder for Advantage: Bankruptcy
Catalyst Capital Group Inc. will buy the Advantage Rent A Car business, assuming there are no problems at the Dec. 17 sale-approval hearing.
Advantage filed for Chapter 11 reorganization on Nov. 5 in Jackson, Mississippi, intending for Catalyst to be the buyer in exchange for as much as $46 million in debt financing the bankruptcy effort.
Akin Gump’s Millett Confirmed to Circuit: Business of Law
Patricia A. Millett, co-head of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP’s Supreme Court and national appellate practices, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as a federal appeals court judge for the D.C. Circuit.
Millett’s confirmation was stymied Oct. 31 by Senate Republicans who said there isn’t enough work to justify filling the vacancy. They didn’t dispute Millett’s professional qualifications as a Supreme Court litigator but contended that her nomination was part of President Barack Obama’s plan to “pack” the court with judges more likely to uphold rules proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency and other regulatory bodies.
Nixon Peabody Adds Bulger Prosecutor: Business of Law
Brian T. Kelly, the prosecutor who tried mobster James “Whitey” Bulger, is joining Nixon Peabody LLP as a partner in the government investigations and white-collar defense practice in Boston.
Smith & Nephew, Proterro, Aldi: Intellectual Property
The U.S. Supreme Court left intact an $85 million patent-infringement verdict won by Smith & Nephew Plc (SN/) in a fight with Arthrex Inc. over anchoring devices used in shoulder surgery.
SAC Fund Manager Wants Jury to Hear Kinnucan Discussion
A lawyer for SAC Capital Advisors LP fund manager Michael Steinberg said an excerpt of a secret recording that he says depicts the money manager as wary of inside information should be heard by a jury to demonstrate his innocent mindset.
Software Protection, RPX, Symantec: Intellectual Property
The U.S. Supreme Court will rule for the first time in decades on patent protection for computer software, taking up a case that has divided the industry and may reverberate through the American economy.
The justices agreed Dec. 6 to hear arguments on a patented system for limiting the risk that one party to a derivative trade won’t follow through on its obligations. The case splintered a federal appeals court in a ruling that one judge said called hundreds of thousands of patents into question.
Obama’s Pollution-Control Agenda Goes to Court Tomorrow
Two of President Barack Obama’s top pollution-control measures face courtroom tests tomorrow as coal-dependent utilities, miners and some states challenge what they call overreach by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Efforts to regulate pollutants that cause smog and soot, as well as mercury from coal plants, have moved in fits and starts for more than a decade. If both rules go forward it would cause power producers such as American Electric Power Co. (AEP) and Southern Co. (SO) to shutter old plants or invest billions of dollars in pollution-control technology.
Volcker-Rule Critic Raskin Seen as a Voice for Consumers
When Federal Reserve governors voted in 2011 on the Volcker rule ban on banks’ proprietary trading, Sarah Bloom Raskin was alone in opposition. For her, it wasn’t tough enough.
Raskin will be among the regulators voting next week on the final version of the rule, which is likely to be stricter than the original proposal. Later this month, the Senate may decide whether to confirm her as the Treasury Department’s No. 2 official and its highest-ranking woman ever.
Winston & Strawn Expands in Houston: Business of Law
Two oil and natural-gas partners joined Winston & Strawn LLP’s energy practice group in Houston.
The arrival of Denmon Sigler, most recently with Baker Botts LLP, and Craig S. Vogelsang, with Norton Rose Fulbright, follows the firm’s hiring in October of four partners from Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP who joined the litigation and bankruptcy practices.
Obama to Propose Curbs on NSA Spying to Safeguard Privacy
U.S. President Barack Obama plans to propose curbs on the National Security Agency to guard against unwarranted snooping in Americans’ private affairs.
The president is scheduled to get a report next week from a five-member panel of lawyers and former security officials that’s reviewing the spy agency’s sweeping collection of communications data worldwide. It was created after the leaks of secret government documents by former government security contractor Edward Snowden.
Congress, Bayer, Orange, Sanrio: Intellectual Property
The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that technology companies say could reduce the time they spend fighting some patent lawsuits.
The vote yesterday was 325-91, with 27 Republicans and 64 Democrats opposing the measure. The Senate has its own version of the legislation, which it may take up early next year.
Eversheds Expands With African Firms: Business of Law
Eversheds LLP is expanding in Africa by combining with law firms based in South Africa and Tunisia.
Mahons Attorneys in South Africa will rebrand with the Eversheds name in 2014, giving the firm offices in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Port Louis in Mauritius. Mahons has 10 partners who advise on business matters.
Apotex, Fandango, High Times: Intellectual Property
Apotex Inc. defeated Sanofi (SAN), France’s biggest drugmaker, in an Australian patent dispute over the rheumatoid arthritis drugs Arava and Arabloc, with the country’s highest court ruling for the first time on the patentability of medical treatments for humans.
NCAA Concussion Suits Merger Sought Even With Differences
Ex-football players’ head-trauma lawsuits against the National Collegiate Athletic Association, unlike National Football League cases consolidated by federal judges and later settled for $765 million, defy easy grouping.
The former student athletes have filed 10 class-action suits — two of them this week — accusing the NCAA of failing to protect them from concussions and, in the first of the cases, seeking to represent all current and former students who participated in contact sports. At least one case includes two football helmet makers as defendants.
BP, Anadarko Ask Appeals Court to Reverse Spill Decision
Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (APC) and BP Plc (BP/) asked an appeals court to toss out a judge’s finding they were both liable under the U.S. Clean Water Act for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier found BP and Anadarko, partners in the doomed Macondo project, are automatically responsible under the law for polluting the water because they owned the well. The 2012 ruling allowed the federal government to seek fines of as much as $1,100 per barrel of oil spilled — multiplied by as much as 4.2 million — without having to prove the issue of liability at trial.
Australia Gay Marriages May Be Short-Lived Pending Ruling
Australia is set to hold its first legal same-sex marriage ceremonies on Dec. 7. Five days later, those unions may be invalidated by the nation’s top court.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s government wants legislation passed by the Australian Capital Territory allowing same-sex marriages declared unconstitutional, and the High Court has reserved judgment on the matter until Dec. 12. Unless the government seeks an injunction, 47 ceremonies are scheduled in the five-day window, according to Rodney Croome, national director for lobby group Australian Marriage Equality.
HTC, ParkerVision, Disney, Baidu: Intellectual Property
A London judge said HTC Corp. (2498) couldn’t sell its One Mini phone in the U.K. starting Dec. 6 after it was found to have infringed patents owned by Nokia Oyj. (NOK1V)
While Judge Richard Arnold also ruled that HTC’s One phone contained microchips that breached Nokia’s patent, he delayed an injunction against the product so HTC could appeal. Blocking U.K. sales of the One would cause “considerable” damage to HTC, he said in a ruling today.