Pillsbury-Orrick Deal Dies on Conflicts: Business of Law
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP and Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, two law firms based in San Francisco, have decided not to pursue a merger, the firms said in a joint statement.
“We mutually determined that we will not be able to proceed due to prospective client conflicts that we have not been able to resolve, notwithstanding each firm’s best efforts,” according to the statement, which didn’t provide details on the conflicts.
Apple Defeats Patent Claim Over Invention of Smartphone
Apple Inc. (AAPL), the world’s most valuable technology company, was found by a federal jury not to infringe the patent of a 70-year-old electrical engineer who claims he came up with the idea for the smartphone.
The jury in Los Angeles yesterday rejected the claim by NetAirus Technologies LLC, the company owned by inventor Richard L. Ditzik, that Apple’s iPhone infringes its patent for a handheld device that combines computer and wireless-communication functions over both a Wi-Fi and cellular telephone network.
NHL Sued by Former Players Over Concussion Injuries
The National Hockey League was sued by former players accusing it of concealing the risk of severe brain injuries three months after the National Football League agreed to pay $765 million to settle similar claims.
The NHL ignored the dangers of concussions, wouldn’t address the issue of brain injuries, and refused to amend its rules and procedures to protect players, the ten plaintiffs said in a complaint filed yesterday in federal court in Washington.
Singapore Blogger Au Faces Contempt of Court Charges
Singapore blogger Alex Au Wai Pang faces possible contempt of court charges for writing and posting articles that the Attorney General’s Chambers said “scandalize” the country’s judiciary.
Au’s Oct. 5 article insinuates there was a plan to manipulate the hearing dates on a challenge to the constitutionality of Singapore’s ban on homosexual sex, according to papers filed by the attorney general’s office in the Singapore High Court. A closed hearing is scheduled for tomorrow.
BakerHostetler Will Combine With IP Boutique: Business of Law
Baker & Hostetler LLP and intellectual property boutique Woodcock Washburn will combine, pending a partner vote in early December, the two firms said in a statement.
Woodcock Washburn LLP’s 68 lawyers will double BakerHostetler’s current IP practice to 140. BakerHostetler has more than 800 attorneys in 11 offices in the U.S. By combining with Woodcock Washburn, it gains a presence in Atlanta, Philadelphia and Seattle.
Apple, Eaton, Google, Wockhardt: Intellectual Property
Apple Inc. (AAPL) won more than $290 million from Samsung Electronics Co. in a do-over damages trial by relying on the same tactics it used in a 2012 victory — and a witness who jurors said tipped the balance in Apple’s favor.
After a weeklong trial in San Jose, California, the jury restored most of the amount Nov. 21 that had been cut from a $1.05 billion verdict in favor of the iPhone maker last year over copying of technology used in smartphones.
Nokia, It’Sugar, Against the Grain: Intellectual Property
Sierra Wireless Inc. (SW), a Canadian maker of communications equipment, complained to European Union antitrust regulators over Nokia Oyj (NOK1V)’s royalty rates for key patents.
Sierra Wireless, based in Richmond, British Columbia, alleges that Nokia charges widely different royalty rates to license so-called standard-essential patents used for mobile phones, imposed “unfavorable and unreasonable” royalty terms, and has refused to license key patents for 3G technology, according to a company statement. It also asked the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to investigate Nokia.
Ropes & Gray Cleared on Bias Claim: Business of Law
A Boston federal jury ruled against a former Ropes & Gray LLP associate who alleged the law firm retaliated when he complained of racial discrimination after failing to make partner, the National Law Journal reported.
John H. Ray III, a Harvard-trained attorney who is black, joined the Boston office of Ropes & Gray as a fifth-year litigation associate in 2005. After initial positive performance reviews, his evaluations declined with time and in 2008 he was told he wouldn’t make partner.
Apple Juror Credits Witness for Outmatching Samsung
Apple Inc. (AAPL) won more than $290 million from Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) in a do-over damages trial by relying on the same tactics it used in a 2012 victory — and a witness who jurors said tipped the balance in Apple’s favor.
The federal jury of six women and two men, after a week-long trial in San Jose, California, yesterday restored most of the amount cut from a $1.05 billion verdict in favor of the iPhone maker last year over copying of technology used in smartphones.
Silk Road Cyber-Bazaar Suspect Denied Bail in New York
Ross Ulbricht, the man accused by the FBI of running Silk Road, a billion-dollar online market that sold drugs and hacking services, was denied bail after prosecutors accused him of trying to have six people murdered.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Kevin Fox in Manhattan yesterday declined to grant bail given the “powerful evidence” presented by the government. Ulbricht’s lawyer had asked for $1 million bail.
Jefferson County Debt Deal May Let Bankruptcy Case Return
To shed more than $1.4 billion in debt, Jefferson County, Alabama agreed to give up some of its power to set future sewer rates, a compromise that means the second-biggest U.S. municipal bankruptcy might be brought back to life decades from now.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Thomas Bennett yesterday approved the county’s debt-adjustment plan, which was built on a settlement with JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and other creditors. That deal requires the bankruptcy court to retain authority over the county until $1.84 billion in new sewer debt is paid off in 40 years.
Chiquita-SEC, Shell Records, Payday Lenders: Compliance
Chiquita Brands International Inc. (CQB)’s bid to stop the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission from releasing documents on payments to a Colombian terrorist group was dismissed by a federal judge.
U.S. District Judge Richard Leon in Washington rejected the company’s argument that the damage it would suffer from disclosure of the records should bar their release to a public interest group under the Freedom of Information Act.
Skadden, Simpson Advise on Devon Deal: Business of Law
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP advised Devon Energy Corp. (DVN), which will buy closely held GeoSouthern Energy Corp.’s Eagle Ford assets for $6 billion in cash, expanding its shale holdings in one of the most prolific oil basins in the U.S.
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP advised GeoSouthern.
NCAA Sues Electronic Arts Over Athlete Lawsuit Settlement
The National Collegiate Athletic Association sued Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), saying the video-game maker hasn’t agreed to indemnify the NCAA for legal claims by college athletes and hasn’t maintained insurance to do so.
The NCAA is a co-defendant in a consolidated lawsuit by student basketball and football players who allege their likenesses were used in video games without compensation. Electronic Arts in September agreed to settle the claims for $40 million. The NCAA wasn’t involved in the settlement.
Samsung, Zynga, LG, Givaudan: Intellectual Property
Largan Precision Co. (3008), a Taiwanese smartphone camera lens maker, sued Samsung Electronics Co. for infringing six of its imaging lens patents in Samsung’s Galaxy Note and S series smartphones.
The Nov. 14 complaint filed in federal court in San Diego seeks a court order barring unauthorized use of its patented technology, together with money damages, litigation costs and attorney fees. Claiming that the infringement is intentional, Largan asked the court to triple the damages award.
J&J Unveils Hip Accord That May Exceed $4 Billion
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) agreed to pay at least $2.47 billion to settle thousands of lawsuits over its recalled hip implants, lawyers for the company and patients told a judge in outlining an accord that may be worth more than $4 billion.
Authentic Brands, Apple, NetApp: Intellectual Property
Authentic Brands Group LLC, a New York-based licensing company, acquired the Elvis Presley intellectual-property assets from Core Media Group Inc.
Germany Seeks to Probe E-Plus Deal in Tug of War With EU Agency
Germany’s antitrust regulator sought the right to probe Telefonica SA (TEF)’s purchase of Royal KPN NV (KPN)’s E-Plus unit, setting up a possible tug of war with the European Union over who reviews the deal.
Gold Rigging Probe, EU Funds, China IPO Rules: Compliance
The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority is reviewing gold benchmarks as part of its wider probe of how global rates are set, a person with knowledge of the matter said.
Texas Abortion Restrictions Allowed by U.S. Supreme Court
By Greg Stohr - Nov 20, 2013 12:00 AM ET A divided U.S. Supreme Court let Texas enforce a law that requires abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a local hospital, a measure that prompted at least a dozen clinics to close. On a 5-4 vote, the justices yesterday left intact a federal appeals court decision that said the [...]