States Moving Beyond U.S. Minimum Wage as Congress Stalls
President Barack Obama is pushing to raise the U.S. minimum wage higher than $7.25 an hour — the rate it’s been for four years.
Half of the U.S. population won’t have to wait: They live in places where the bottom rate is already higher than that.
Davis, Skadden Help on $4.2 Billion Deal: Business of Law
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP advised Shire Plc (SHP), which agreed to buy ViroPharma Inc. (VPHM) for about $4.2 billion to gain treatments for rare diseases and lessen dependence on its best-selling Vyvanse pill for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP advised ViroPharma.
Intellectual Ventures, Canonical: Intellectual Property
Intellectual Ventures Inc., the company started by former Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) chief technology officer Nathan Myhrvold, wants to shift its image from patent troll to innovation facilitator, the Puget Sound Business Journal reported.
Myhrvold told the publication that people “misunderstand our business and how we do it.”
Apple Heads to Trial With Inventor Over Smartphone Patent
Apple Inc. (AAPL), the world’s most valuable technology company, faces a trial over claims by a California inventor that a patent he holds covers key features of the iPhone.
Apple maintains the NetAirus Technologies LLC patent is invalid because the technology was known long before the company filed its patent.
Disney, Piggy Pushers, Dunlop: Intellectual Property
Walt Disney Co. (DIS) and other movie and TV studios have asked a federal court to dismiss their copyright-infringement case against the file-sharing website Lime Wire LLC and its founder, Mark Gorton, according to a Nov. 7 court filing.
The studios, including Viacom Inc. (VIAB), News Corp.’s Twentieth Century Fox Film and Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros. Entertainment, filed the suit in federal court in New York in February 2012. They claimed a “staggering” amount of infringement took place through the site, and that “millions of users copied billions of files using Lime Wire” without paying anything to copyright owners.
Google, Pier 1, Time Warner, Apple: Intellectual Property
Nov. 8 (Bloomberg) — Google Inc.’s Motorola Mobility unit is seeking a patent on a technology covering the use of an electronic neck tattoo as microphone for a mobile electronic device.
According to application 20130297301, published in the database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark office on Nov. 7, the electronic skin tattoo can include an embedded microphone, a transceiver for enabling wireless communication with the mobile device and a power supply configured to receive energizing signals from a personal area network associated with the device.
Suspect Detained in North China Explosions That Killed One
Chinese authorities detained a suspect in connection with Nov. 6 blasts in the northern city of Taiyuan that killed one person and sparked security concerns ahead of a Communist Party gathering in Beijing tomorrow.
The 41-year-old man, who had served a nine-year prison term for stealing, confessed after he was captured at 2 a.m. today, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. Police found homemade bombs at his residence, Xinhua said.
Microsoft Patent Chief to Join Shook Hardy: Business of Law
Former Microsoft Corp. chief patent counsel Bart Eppenauer is joining Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP as a partner and will be the managing partner of the firm’s new Seattle office, opening Dec. 1.
Eppenauer, who was chief patent counsel at Microsoft starting in 2003, led the patent group in the legal and corporate affairs department, where he developed Microsoft’s portfolio of more than 35,000 issued patents worldwide, the firm said. He also managed a team of more than 100 patent professionals and worked closely with government and judicial officials, academics and industry leaders on IP policy issues.
OSX Said Planning to File for Bankruptcy Protection Today
Eike Batista’s shipbuilder OSX Brasil SA (OSXB3) is planning to file for bankruptcy protection today, according to two people familiar with the matter.
OSX, which intends to exclude from the filing three vessels used as collateral for $1.77 billion of debt, will submit documents in a Rio de Janeiro court, the people said, asking not to be named as the decision hasn’t been made public. Shares fell 2.1 percent to 46 centavos at 11:32 a.m. in Sao Paulo.
Affymetrix, Mondelez, Tyler, Uinta: Intellectual Property
Affymetrix Inc. and Life Technologies Corp. (LIFE)’s Navigenics unit didn’t infringe a patent owned by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and E8 Pharmaceuticals LLC over a system to analyze genes, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said yesterday.
Pot-Smoking Quadriplegic’s Firing Shows Haze Over Rules
The marijuana that Brandon Coats smokes under a doctor’s supervision helps calm muscle spasms stemming from a car accident that left him a quadriplegic. It also cost him his job.
Coats, 34, was fired as a customer service representative at satellite TV provider Dish Network Corp. after failing a random drug test, even though Coats lives in Colorado where marijuana is legal for medical use. A state appeals court in April upheld the company’s right to fire him based on the federal prohibition on pot.
Ex-Antitrust Official Joins Gibson Dunn: Business of Law
Scott Hammond, the former head of criminal enforcement in the U.S. Justice Department’s antitrust division, will join Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP as a partner in Washington focusing on criminal antitrust and international cartel matters.
Hammond was hired by the antitrust division after graduating from University of North Carolina School of Law in 1988. In 2000, he was promoted to director of criminal enforcement and named deputy assistant attorney General in 2005.
Silk Road Pirate Trained as Eagle Scout Before Charges
The man accused by the FBI of running a billion-dollar online market for illegal drugs, who allegedly also paid hit men to murder people threatening his business, was no trigger-happy junkie.
He was an Eagle Scout who earned an advanced degree in physics from Penn State University before abandoning academia to pursue a career in finance.
Skadden, Torys on Endo Deal for Paladin: Business of Law
Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP and Torys LLP advised Endo Health Solutions Inc. (ENDP) on its agreement to buy Canadian drugmaker Paladin Labs Inc. (PLB) for about $1.6 billion to expand in that country and emerging markets.
Paladin was advised by Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP.
Patent Reform, Apple, Barnes: Intellectual Property
U.S. lawmakers, influenced by companies including Cisco Systems Inc., Eli Lilly & Co. and Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM), are considering the second set of patent-law changes in three years as the courts try to race ahead of Congress.
The goal is to rein in entities that buy patents and demand royalties from as many companies as possible. Often derided as “trolls,” such firms filed 19 percent of all patent lawsuits from 2007 to 2011, the Government Accountability Office found.
Ohio Plan to Grow Jobs Using Liquor Profit Goes to Court
JobsOhio, Governor John Kasich’s initiative to spur private economic development by selling bonds backed by state liquor sales profits, has twice eluded a legal challenge by a nonprofit citizens’ group that claims the program is unconstitutional.
Today, ProgressOhio.org, which says it has 350,000 members, is set to ask the state’s highest court to revive the case. Two lower Ohio courts have ruled the group hasn’t shown it suffered any injury that would entitle it to redress under Kasich’s plan to use public money to spur private development.
MF Global Trustee Can Distribute 100% of Customer Funds
MF Global Inc.’s trustee will get court approval to complete distributions to former customers of the failed brokerage, allowing all missing funds to be returned by the end of the year.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Martin Glenn said today he’s prepared to approve a plan to make the final determination of what 26,000 former customers are owed and distribute the money to them. The motion will ensure customers are paid by Dec. 31, satisfying all claims more than two years after the brokerage failed.
Gibson Dunn, Cravath on Tri Pointe Deal: Business of Law
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP counseled Tri Pointe Homes Inc. (TPH), a developer backed by investor Barry Sternlicht, in its deal to buy Weyerhaeuser Co. (WY)’s residential real estate unit in a transaction valued at about $2.7 billion.
Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP was counsel to Weyerhaeuser.
Nokia, Twitter, Victoria’s Secret: Intellectual Property
Nokia Oyj (NOK1V) said Samsung Electronics Co. (005930), the world’s largest mobile-phone maker, agreed to license its patents for five more years, a boon for the Finnish company as it seeks to rebuild revenue after selling its handset unit.
Samsung agreed to pay Nokia additional compensation starting Jan. 1, according to a statement from Espoo, Finland-based Nokia yesterday. The amount will be settled in a binding arbitration expected to be concluded in 2015. The previous agreement was set to close at the end of this year.
SAC Agrees to Plead Guilty to End Insider-Trading Case
Billionaire Steven A. Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors LP, the hedge fund accused of fostering a culture of rampant insider trading, has agreed to plead guilty to securities fraud and wire fraud, pay a record $1.8 billion and shutter its investment advisory business.
The company, indicted this year, was accused of operating a conspiracy stretching back to 1999, reaping hundreds of millions of dollars in illicit profit. Cohen, 57, wasn’t charged in the indictment of the Stamford, Connecticut-based firm. He still faces an administrative action filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for his alleged failure to supervise the hedge fund’s activities.