Marvell, Duckhorn, Yoga, Fracking: Intellectual Property
Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (MRVL), a mobile-phone chipmaker, lost its bid to cut $620 million from the $1.17 billion patent-infringement verdict awarded to Carnegie Mellon University over computer disk-drives.
U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer in Pittsburgh rejected Marvell’s arguments that the school shouldn’t collect damages for the time before it filed the lawsuit because it waited too long to complain. The judge still has to consider whether the damage award should be increased based on the jury’s finding that the infringement was intentional.
Hogan Lovells Opens Office in Sao Paulo: Business of Law
Hogan Lovells LLP opened an office in Sao Paulo, its second in Brazil.
Isabel Costa Carvalho, a capital markets lawyer formerly with Clifford Chance LLP, joined the firm as a partner in Sao Paulo. Costa Carvalho recently handled the largest initial public offering in Latin America in the past five years, an IPO for BB Seguridade SA with an estimated value of $6 billion, the firm said in a statement.
Verizon Victory on Net-Neutrality Rules Seen as Loss for Netflix
Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ)’s legal victory over the Federal Communications Commission lets the carrier charge extra fees for speedier delivery of online content, potentially increasing costs for Netflix Inc. (NFLX) and other Internet companies.
The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington decided in favor of Verizon yesterday, striking down the FCC’s so-called net-neutrality rules. The regulations would have required Internet service providers to treat all online traffic equally, rather than giving preference to companies willing to pay extra fees for faster service.
Jenner Adds Illinois Solicitor General: Business of Law
Illinois Solicitor General Michael A. Scodro will join Jenner & Block LLP on Jan. 27 as a partner in the appellate and supreme court practice in Chicago.
In 6 1/2 years as Illinois’s solicitor general, Scodro has overseen the civil and criminal appeals divisions of the Attorney General’s Office and argued on the state’s behalf in the U.S. Supreme Court, Illinois Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and Illinois Appellate Court. He supervised more than 40 attorneys in appeals involving the state and advised the Illinois Attorney General on constitutional and other legal issues, the firm said.
IBM, Allergan, Matryoshka, Frack: Intellectual Property
International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) amassed more U.S. patents than any other company for the 21st straight year, helped by its push into big-data services, which glean insights by mining large quantities of information.
IBM’s 6,809 patents in 2013 scored an annual record, the company said yesterday in a statement. With inventors in 41 countries, more than 31 percent of the patents came from overseas. South Korea’s Samsung Electronics (005930) Co. and Tokyo-based Canon Inc. (7751) ranked second and third. While computer-related patents can take almost three years to process, the annual list shows where companies are seeking growth opportunities.
Monsanto, Metso, Taser, Bizcloud: Intellectual Property
The U.S. Supreme Court refused to let organic farmers and seed sellers challenge Monsanto Co. (MON)’s patents on genetically modified seeds.
The justices yesterday left intact a federal appeals court decision that threw out a lawsuit against Monsanto, the world’s largest seed company. The lower court pointed to Monsanto’s promise not to sue farmers whose crops contain traces of Monsanto’s biotechnology products.
Beanie Baby Maker Warner May Get Prison for Tax Dodge
Beanie Baby billionaire H. Ty Warner, the founder of the company that makes the collectible plush toys, may get prison time for hiding income from U.S. tax collectors in a Swiss bank account.
U.S. District Judge Charles Kocoras in Chicago is being asked by prosecutors to impose at least some jail time when he sentences Warner today. Warner’s lawyers have asked for probation and community service.
Rodriguez Suit Challenges Arbitration in MLB Drug Ban
New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez sued Major League Baseball to overturn his suspension for the 2014 season after arbitrators found “clear and convincing evidence” that he used performance-enhancing drugs.
Rodriguez, 38, filed his lawsuit in Manhattan federal court yesterday, two days after arbitrators found by a 2-1 vote that he “committed multiple violations” of MLB’s drug policy, according to a copy of their confidential ruling included in court papers.
Clifford Chance Forms Indonesian Pairing: Business of Law
Clifford Chance LLP formed an association with Linda Widyati & Partners of Indonesia, a boutique law firm with experience in corporate mergers and acquisitions, banking and finance, and capital markets.
“Indonesia is a strong and vibrant economy and represents an important jurisdiction for many of our clients, including in sectors such as energy and resources, financial institutions, insurance, consumer goods and retail, and telecoms,” Clifford Chance’s managing partner for Asia Pacific, Peter Charlton, said in a statement.
Apple, Google, Disney, Comcast: Intellectual Property
Apple Inc. (AAPL) didn’t infringe a patent owned by Google Inc. (GOOG)’s Motorola Mobility unit over mobile-phone technology, a U.S. appeals court ruled Jan. 10.
The ruling, posted on the website of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, affirms a victory Apple won at the U.S. International Trade Commission.
Duane Morris to Open Shanghai Office: Business of Law
Duane Morris LLP is establishing a five-lawyer office in Shanghai through Duane Morris & Selvam LLP, its joint law venture in Asia, which will have an emphasis on facilitating outbound investment for Chinese corporations.
Leon Yee, managing director of Duane Morris & Selvam, will be the chief representative of the new office. He will be joined by Chong Eng Wee, an associate director in Singapore.
Apple, J&J, Kanye West, Fullscreen: Intellectual Property
Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) agreed to a mediator in an effort to resolve their patent disputes over smartphone technology before their next trial in San Jose, California, set to begin in March.
Senior legal executives at the companies met Jan. 6 to discuss “settlement opportunities,” according to the agreement filed Jan. 8 in federal court in San Jose.
Sidley Gets Corporate Governance Lawyer Gregory From Weil
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP were legal counsel to Forest Laboratories Inc. (FRX), maker of the Alzheimer’s drug Namenda, which agreed to buy Aptalis Pharma for $2.9 billion, adding treatments for gastrointestinal ailments and cystic fibrosis. Aptalis was advised by Ropes & Gray LLP.
Sony, Sears Canada, News Corp.: Intellectual Property
Sony Corp. (6758), maker of the PlayStation game consoles, is seeking a patent on a technology that would make it easier for players to add new content to a game.
Application 20140004957, published in the database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Jan. 2, covers an invention through which game players could suspend the state of cloud-based applications for games, permitting the streaming of new content.
Manufacturers Must Pay $1.15 Billion in Lead Paint Suit
Sherwin-Williams Co. (SHW), NL Industries Inc. (NL) and ConAgra Grocery Products LLC were ordered by a judge to pay $1.15 billion to replace or contain lead paint in millions of homes after losing a public-nuisance lawsuit brought by 10 California cities and counties.
Bass Pro Shops, Anheuser-Busch: Intellectual Property
Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World Inc. was sued for patent and trademark infringement by a Japanese company.
The suit, filed Jan. 6 in federal court in Miami, Florida, accuses the Cincinnati-based chain of infringing a patent covering a fishing lure. According to patent 7,752,801, the invented lure changes colors depending on the angle at which it’s viewed, and moves through the water more like a fish than conventional lures do.
Sidley Gets Corporate Governance Lawyer: Business of Law
Holly J. Gregory joined Sidley Austin LLP as a partner and a global coordinator of the firm’s corporate-governance practice in its New York office. She was previously at Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP.
Gregory counsels clients on governance issues, including fiduciary duties, risk oversight, conflicts of interest, board and committee structure and board leadership structures. She also advises on special committee investigations, board audits and self-evaluation processes, shareholder initiatives, proxy contests and governance best practices, the firm said.
Spherix, Aristo, Motley Crue: Intellectual Property
A consortium created by Apple Inc. (AAPL), Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and other technology companies to acquire $4.5 billion of patents from Nortel Networks Corp. agreed to sell Spherix Inc. (SPEX) a portfolio of more than 100 patents and patent applications, Spherix said.
Shearman Adds Expands Project Practice: Business of Law
Shearman & Sterling LLP’s global project development and finance practice is expanding with the additions of partners Robert L. Nelson Jr. in San Francisco and Anthony Patten in Singapore.
Nelson joins from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, where he worked in the San Francisco and Abu Dhabi offices. Patten joins the firm from Allens, where he led the oil and gas sector team in Asia and Australia.
Fraternity Hazing Sparks Calls for Tougher Penalties
The head of the University of Maryland system and a state legislator called for tougher penalties on fraternity hazing following revelations of student abuse at an initiation ritual.
A local prosecutor said he is reviewing the incident at Salisbury University, which the school found involved forced drinking, immersion in ice, and basement confinement of recruits at a Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter. SAE’s national organization reopened its investigation into the case.