Twitter, Lilly, Chicago Bears: Intellectual Property
Twitter Inc. (TWTR), the microblogging service that went public last year, agreed to buy 900 patents from International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) to gain access to new technology and build a defense against infringement suits.
The agreement, signed in December and announced Jan. 31, also resolves a dispute that prompted IBM to write to San Francisco-based Twitter last year about possible infringement of at least three patents.
Samsung, Super Bowl, Prince: Intellectual Property
Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) avoided the severe penalties Apple Inc. sought after being sanctioned by a U.S. judge for violating a court order protecting the confidentiality of the iPhone maker’s patent-licensing accords.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal said Jan. 29 that “public findings of wrongdoing” by Samsung’s law firm, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP, and Quinn Emanuel’s payment of Apple and Nokia Oyj (NOK1V)’s legal costs would be “sufficient both to remedy Apple and Nokia’s harm.”
Google, Tiffany, American Cowslip: Intellectual Property
Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) — Google Inc.’s Motorola Mobility unit is seeking a patent on a technology that would help drivers pass information about road hazards to drivers behind them.
Application 20140022108, published Jan. 23 in the database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, covers an inter-vehicle alert system, with a video camera in the front vehicle and a transmitter than sends a signal to those following.
Bitcoin Needs Tighter Rules Than Banks, Say Prosecutors
Virtual-currency firms should face regulations that are tougher than those for established financial-services providers because of their ability to hide criminal activity, according to law enforcement officials.
“Without stronger government oversight, we are allowing cybercriminals, identity thieves, traffickers of child pornography, and other malevolent actors to operate in a digital Wild West,” Cyrus Vance Jr., the district attorney for Manhattan, said at a hearing yesterday about possible state regulation of digital currencies.
New York State Regulator Promises Tough Bitcoin Rules
New York’s top financial regulator told Bitcoin entrepreneurs he’ll prevent their companies from abetting money laundering even at the risk stamping out innovation in the embryonic virtual-currency industry.
As he convened two days of hearings yesterday on the regulation of Bitcoin and other virtual currencies, Benjamin Lawsky, the state’s superintendent of financial services, said New York will be the first to propose rules for the new technology’s oversight. The hearings began a day after a Bitcoin promoter was indicted on money-laundering charges.
Apple, Cronut, Seahawks, Rovio: Intellectual Property
Apple Inc. (AAPL), maker of the iPad and iPhone, received a patent for a solar-powered laptop.
Patent 8,638,549, issued yesterday, covers an electronic device display module that includes photovoltaic cells on the back side of the display unit. The cells can produce power when activated by an external light source.
U.S. Anti-Bribe Head Joins Morrison & Foerster: Business of Law
Charles Duross, who secured almost $2 billion in corporate penalties as the head of the U.S. Justice Department unit devoted to pursuing foreign bribery cases, has left the government to join Morrison & Foerster LLP in Washington.
Duross led the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act unit from April 2010 through Jan. 24. He oversaw several of the largest FCPA settlements in U.S. history, including those involving Alcoa Inc., Weatherford International Ltd. and Total SA. Duross also secured convictions of more than two dozen individuals.
Ericsson, J&J, Microsoft, Snowden: Intellectual Property
Ericsson AB (ERICB) and Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) settled their patent dispute and struck a new licensing deal over wireless technology in smartphones, televisions, tablets and Blu-ray disc players.
The decision ends cases at the U.S. International Trade Commission and came just as a judge was scheduled to release findings in one.
Samsung, Google Sign Agreement to License Each Other’s Patents
Samsung Electronics Co. (005930), the world’s biggest maker of smartphones using Android software, signed a global patent-licensing agreement with Google Inc. (GOOG) to share their technologies.
The agreement covers existing patents and those filed during the next 10 years, according to an e-mailed statement today. The strengthened cooperation between the companies may reduce potential litigation, they said.
Qualcomm, Cochlear, Bridgestone: Intellectual Property
Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) said it bought a portfolio of patents from Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ), acquiring intellectual property that includes the fundamentals of mobile operating systems.
The San Diego-based company said in a statement Jan. 23 that the purchased portfolio consists of about 1,400 granted patents and pending applications in the U.S., and about 1,000 granted and being applied for in other countries. The statement didn’t disclose the price of the deal.
Novo Nordisk, Big Sky, Tudou: Intellectual Property
Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk A/S (NOVOB) quit the Innovative Pharmaceutical Association of South Africa amid disagreements over a proposed publicity campaign against new laws that favor cheaper generic drugs.
Ipasa had e-mailed members including global drugmakers Merck & Co. and Pfizer Inc. (PFE) to ask whether they supported a document prepared by Washington-based lobbying firm Public Affairs Engagement that said drug companies should support the campaign against South Africa’s overhaul of intellectual property laws.
Hogan Joins Arnold & Porter in Houston: Business of Law
Arnold & Porter LLP opened an office in Houston with a litigation team from Hogan Lovells LLP.
Thad Thano Dameris, who has 25 years of legal experience with a focus on energy and transportation litigation, will lead the office.
Locke Lord Re-Elects Chairwoman Clements: Business of Law
Jerry Clements, the Austin, Texas-based lawyer who has headed Locke Lord LLP since 2006, was re-elected chairwoman of the firm.
Daniel Schlessinger and Bill Swanstrom were re-elected as vice chairmen.
Vringo, VF Corp., DC Comics, King.com: Intellectual Property
Vringo Inc. (VRNG) won a patent ruling entitling it to additional royalties from Google Inc. (GOOG) over its AdWords product.
A modified version of AdWords is “nothing more than a colorable variation of the infringing system,” U.S. District Judge Raymond Jackson in Norfolk, Virginia, said in an opinion posted yesterday on the court’s website.
Security Firm Sued by U.S. Over Bad Background Checks
United States Investigations Services LLC, whose background checks helped National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden and Washington Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis get security clearances, was accused of fraud by the government in a whistle-blower lawsuit.
SAP, King.com, AARP, Palin: Intellectual Property
The U.S. Supreme Court let stand a $391 million judgment against software maker SAP AG (SAP) in a patent-infringement dispute over database management tools.
The justices yesterday, without comment, turned away an appeal by the largest maker of business-management software.
Vikings Stadium Bond Suit Thrown Out by Minnesota Court
Minnesota’s top court threw out a legal challenge to the planned sale of $468 million in bonds to help pay for a new stadium for the National Football League’s Vikings.
The state supreme court said in an order issued yesterday that it lacked jurisdiction to hear the lawsuit filed by three Minneapolis residents on Jan. 10.
Charter, Nestle, Prince, Nosal: Intellectual Property
Charter Communications Inc. (CHTR), the fourth-largest U.S. cable company, sued an organization backed by Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) to force it to license patents acquired from Nortel Networks Inc. on fair terms.
Rockstar Consortium US LP, based in Plano, Texas, controls 4,000 patents, some covering industry standards for networking gear, Charter said in a complaint filed Jan. 17 in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware.
Geithner Said U.S. Would Respond to Downgrade, S&P Says
Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told McGraw Hill Financial Inc. (MHFI) Chairman Harold W. McGraw III in 2011 that Standard & Poor’s downgrade of the U.S. debt would be met by a response, S&P said.
S&P filed a declaration by McGraw yesterday in federal court in Santa Ana, California, as part of a request to force the U.S. to hand over potential evidence the company says will support its claim that the government filed a fraud lawsuit against it last year in retaliation for its downgrade of the U.S. debt two years earlier.
Proskauer Adds Two Partners to Head Practices: Business of Law
Proskauer Rose LLP announced two new international partner hires, including Robert Gaut, previously of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP, who will head the firm’s tax practice in London.
David Chu, who previously led Dechert LLP’s Asia litigation practice, will lead the firm’s Asia litigation practice in Hong Kong, the firm said in a statement last week.