Hogan Lovells to Open in South Africa: Business of Law
Hogan Lovells and Routledge Modise will combine on Dec. 1, with the South African firm expected to rebrand and reopen as Hogan Lovells in early 2014.
Squire Sanders Forms Link With Indonesian Firm: Business of Law
Squire Sanders and the Indonesian law firm Melli Darsa & Co. are forming an alliance to share a joint platform for business development and legal services in Indonesia and international markets.
“This alliance is a logical next step for the firm as we seek to support our clients who do business in Indonesia and across the Asia Pacific region,” James J. Maiwurm, chief executive officer and chairman of Squire Sanders, said in a statement. “We are seeing increasing investment in Indonesia from countries such as China, Japan and Korea, and with our presence in all of those locations, and our desire to offer extensive, integrated regional coverage, it was clear that Indonesia was a missing link.”
CFTC Swaps Pushback, Iceland-Hedge Funds, Rabobank: Compliance
The largest Wall Street banks are mobilizing to fight a new policy by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission that gives the regulator broader authority in overseas derivatives deals.
The policy, issued Nov. 14, negates a legal interpretation that banks have been using to keep some swaps trades off electronic platforms and away from CFTC rules enacted to make the market less opaque. The firms and their lawyers say the announcement, which the agency published as a “staff advisory,” is written so broadly it could expose their overseas deals to even more U.S. regulation.
Apple Can Seek to Block Samsung Smartphones, Court Says
Apple Inc. (AAPL) can seek a ban on sales of some Samsung Electronics Co. products found to infringe its patents on smartphone features after winning a U.S. appeals court ruling.
The patents cover features that Apple says make its iPhone unique, such as multitouch technology. The company can’t block Samsung products for infringing patented designs, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said in an opinion posted yesterday on its website. The ruling gives Apple another chance to curb sales of its top competitor in the $279.9 billion market for smartphones.
U.S., EU Officials Seek Data-Protection Plan by Mid-2014
U.S. and European Union officials agreed to try to complete an agreement by mid-2014 to protect individuals’ private data while sharing information for law enforcement, weeks after Europeans were angered by allegations that the U.S. eavesdropped on some world leaders.
Patent Legislation, Apple, Yahoo: Intellectual Property
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, and Senator Michael Lee, a Utah Republican, introduced legislation to protect businesses and innovators who are targeted by so-called patent trolls.
The objective of the bipartisan Patent Transparency and Improvements Act of 2013 is to increase transparency in patent ownership, make procedural reforms in patent litigation, combat frivolous demand letters and improve resources for small businesses that are targeted in patent infringement suits, among other provisions, according to a statement yesterday from Leahy’s office.
Federal Solution Sought for Disputes Over E-Commerce Law: Taxes
A thicket of state laws imposing sales taxes on electronic commerce is creating pressure for federal intervention to end the squabbles between states and online merchants, a lawyer monitoring the issue said.
The federal action may come on two fronts — in the U.S. Supreme Court and from Congress, said Kelley C. Miller, an associate with Reed Smith LLP in Washington, Bloomberg BNA reported.
Google, MGM, Papst Camera, Avatar: Intellectual Property
Google Inc. (GOOG)’s victory in a copyright suit challenging its project to digitally copy millions of books may help cement its dominance of online searches.
A federal judge in New York ruled Nov. 14 that the Google Books project doesn’t violate copyright law, dismissing an eight-year-old lawsuit against the biggest search-engine company.
Jackson Lewis Adds San Francisco Partner: Business of Law
Jackson Lewis LLP said Fraser A. McAlpine, Hunton & Williams LLP’s former California labor and employment head, joined the firm and will become managing partner of its San Francisco office on Jan. 1.
McAlpine will take over the management post from Bradley W. Kampas, who will return to his practice full-time. McAlpine was formerly the managing partner of Hunton & Williams’ San Francisco office.
Nobel Prize Winner Liu Appeals Conviction in China, Lawyer Says
Jailed Chinese political activist Liu Xiaobo, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010, is appealing his conviction for subversion, his lawyer said.
Liu gave approval to his wife Liu Xia to entrust his lawyers to file the appeal last week, lawyer Mo Shaoping said today by phone. Liu was sentenced to 11 years in prison in late 2009 after he helped organize Charter 08, a letter signed by more than 300 Chinese academics, lawyers and activists calling for direct elections and freedom of assembly.
Arbitration Group Creates Appeal Right: Business of Law
The American Arbitration Association adopted new rules that will allow some parties in an arbitration to appeal within the arbitration process.
WikiLeaks, Kraft, Rolex, Google: Intellectual Property
Access to cheaper drugs in other countries may be limited by a provision sought by the U.S. in a Pacific trade deal, according to patent specialists who reviewed a document exposed by the WikiLeaks anti-secrecy group.
Google Win in Copyright Suit May Bolster Web Search Domin
Google Inc.’s (GOOG) victory in a copyright suit challenging its project to digitally copy millions of books may help cement its dominance of online searches.
Prim Capital Founder Guilty of NBA Union Fraud Scheme
Prim Capital Corp. founder Joseph Lombardo, whose firm helped manage as much as $250 million for the National Basketball Players Association, pleaded guilty to trying to defraud the organization of $3 million.
Apple Sticks to Winning Script in Samsung Damages Retrial
Apple Inc.’s do-over trial on what Samsung Electronics Co. owes for infringing patents was envisioned by the judge overseeing the case as “Groundhog Day.” Apple is doing its part to make good on her plan.
Harold McElhinny, who was Apple’s lead attorney when it won a $1.05 billion verdict against its Suwon, South Korea-based rival last year, stood in front of a new jury yesterday in the same San Jose, California, courtroom in a bid to recoup most of the 39 percent chunk of the award the judge cut in March.
Housing-Bias Accord Scuttles U.S. Supreme Court Case
The settlement of a New Jersey housing-bias lawsuit scuttles a U.S. Supreme Court showdown that might have shielded lenders from discrimination suits pressed by the Obama administration.
The Supreme Court had been set to hear arguments next month in the case, a clash between the town of Mount Holly and residents who sued over the redevelopment of a predominantly minority neighborhood. The Mount Holly town council yesterday approved settlement of the dispute.
Robins Kaplan Wins Kraft Arbitration: Business of Law
Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi LLP bested Kellogg Huber Hansen Todd Evans & Figel PLLC in the arbitration between Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) and Mondelez International Inc. (MDLZ) that resulted in a $2.79 billion victory for Mondelez.
The award settles a dispute over distribution in the Starbucks bagged-coffee unit as grocery-store sales become a growing part of the business. The written arbitration decision is confidential.
Pepper Opens Silicon Valley Office: Business of Law
Pepper Hamilton LLP opened a Silicon Valley office yesterday with a team of lawyers from Goodwin Procter LLP. The office is the firm’s third outpost in California and first in the northern part of the state.
The three former Goodwin partners are Gregory S. Bishop, Thomas F. Fitzpatrick and Andy H. Chan. Bishop will be the new office’s partner in charge. Fitzpatrick will join Philadelphia partner Paul J. Kennedy and Washington partner Goutam Patnaik as co-chairmen of the national intellectual property litigation practice.
Enron Revisited as Court Reviews Whistle-Blower Shield
The U.S. Supreme Court revisited the 2001 Enron Corp. collapse as the justices debated whether a federal law protects whistle-blowers working for auditors, law firms and other advisers to publicly traded companies.
Hearing arguments yesterday in the case of two onetime mutual-fund industry workers, the justices wrestled with a 2002 law that represented Congress’s response to the accounting fraud behind Enron’s failure. The fast-paced session was laced with questions about a hypothetical butler working for the late Kenneth Lay, who was Enron’s chairman, and the role of the company’s accounting firm, Arthur Andersen LLP.
Google’s EU Antitrust Offer Is ‘Ineffective,’ Publishers Say
A group of European publishers criticized Google Inc. (GOOG)’s offer to settle a European Union antitrust probe as “ineffective,” saying it doesn’t solve competition issues.
Google’s proposal to auction links on its search results to some rivals would generate additional revenue for the world’s largest search engine without addressing alleged discrimination in search rankings, the German newspaper publishers’ federation BDZV and other publishing associations said in a statement.