Eversheds’ Smith to Take Chairman Post: Business of Law
Paul Smith, an environmental lawyer and litigator, was elected chairman of Eversheds LLP for a four-year term beginning May 1. He succeeds John Heaps, who didn’t stand for re-election.
Smith, the firm’s client partner for DuPont Co., has defended multinational companies in relation to criminal investigations in the U.K., Europe and North America. He also has experience with law firm partnering and convergence.
Vodafone Pays 19% Less in U.K. Taxes After Spending Boost
Vodafone Group Plc (VOD)’s U.K. tax payments dropped 19 percent last fiscal year after the wireless carrier took advantage of breaks offered to companies that invest in local communication networks.
Vodafone paid 275 million pounds ($450 million) for the year ended in March 2013, down from 338 million pounds a year before, according to a statement from the Newbury, England-based company today. The sum includes fees paid on everything from garbage removal to property. Vodafone said its U.K. corporation tax, or the tax levied on profit, was negligible.
Viagra, Apple, KBC Groep, Huawei: Intellectual Property
Generic Viagra will hit the market more than two years earlier than expected under a settlement reached by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (TEVA) and Pfizer Inc. (PFE), the maker of the impotence drug.
Teva can enter the market on Dec. 11, 2017, and will pay patent royalties through the expiration of the Viagra patent in April 2020, New York-based Pfizer said in a statement. Other terms weren’t disclosed.
Facebook Post a Valid Reason for Firing, Tribunal Rules
Credit Corp., an Australian debt collection company, was justified in firing an employee who made comments critical of one of its clients in a posting on a Facebook Inc. (FB) web page, the country’s workplace relations tribunal ruled.
Fair Work Commission Deputy President Peter Sams dismissed an application from Cameron Little, a customer relationship manager until his firing June 28, seeking to get his job back, and ruled that the publication of Little’s comments was likely to adversely damage his company’s reputation.
GE Turbine, InterDigital, Panthers: Intellectual Property
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. (7011) and General Electric Co. agreed to settle their U.S. patent infringement dispute over wind-turbine technology by allowing each other to cross-license their products, according to a statement from Tokyo-based Mitsubishi Heavy yesterday.
WIPO Report, Rodina, Beatles, Seed: Intellectual Property
Patent filings around the world increased at a greater rate in 2012 than at any time in the previous 18 years, according to a report from the World Intellectual Property Organization, a United Nations agency.
Filings grew by 9.2 percent last year, with 2.35 million applications, WIPO said. China led both among countries doing the filing and as a destination for filings.
Covington Adds to Environmental Practice: Business of Law
Gary Guzy, who was the deputy director and general counsel of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, is joining Covington & Burling LLP in January. Guzy, who also served as general counsel of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the Clinton administration, is joining the firm’s environmental, clean-energy, public policy and government affairs practices.
12 Agreements Signed to Help U.S. Fight Offshore Evasion: Taxes
Twelve governments have reached agreement with the U.S. Treasury on easing the reporting of foreign-held bank accounts by U.S. taxpayers, part of the Internal Revenue Service’s effort to combat offshore tax evasion.
The agreements will help implement the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, which as of July 1 will require that information about such accounts be supplied directly to the U.S. Similar accords have been reached in substance with 17 other jurisdictions, and talks on the deals are in advanced stages with many other countries, Bloomberg BNA reported.
Bristol-Myers, McDonald’s, Budweiser: Intellectual Property
The Medicines Patent Pool and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMY) signed an agreement that will increase access to Atazanavir, a drug to treat AIDS, in 110 developing nations.
The Medicines Patent Pool, an organization backed by the United Nations and created to increase access to AIDS drugs in poorer countries, said in a statement the agreement is the first of its kind covering a second-line therapy preferred by the World Health Organization. According to WHO figures, more than 1 million people will be on second-line treatment by 2016, with many more needing access to this class of drugs.
Traders Losing $1 Million Build EU Case for Bitcoin Rules
Trading Bitcoins could bleed you dry, the European Union’s top banking regulator said as it weighs whether to regulate virtual currencies.
Thefts from digital wallets have exceeded $1 million in some cases and traders aren’t protected against losses if their virtual exchange collapses, the European Banking Authority said today in a report warning consumers about the risks of cybermoney.
U.S. Charges Chinese Man With Conspiracy to Steal Secrets
A Chinese national, employed in the U.S. by Beijing Dabeinong Technology Group Co. (002385), was charged by the U.S. government with conspiracy to steal corn seed genetically modified by companies including Monsanto Co. (MON) and sending it to China.
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.