Lumen View, Redskins, Sony, NSA: Intellectual Property
Lumen View Technology LLC, a Delaware-based patent holder that has filed more than 20 infringement suits since 2012, asked a federal court to order a company it sued to stop talking to the news media about its settlement offers.
The request, filed in federal court in New York Oct. 22, came in a suit against FindtheBest.com, a company operating a website that enables customer research.
Man Making Ireland Tax Avoidance Hub Proves Local Hero
Google Inc., Facebook Inc. and LinkedIn Corp. wound up in Ireland because they could reduce their tax bills. Their success is leading European and U.S. politicians to label the country a tax haven that must change its ways.
The grand architect of much of that success: Feargal O’Rourke, the scion of a political dynasty who heads the tax practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Ireland. He advises both multinational companies and the government on tax policy and has emerged as his country’s leading defender.
Orrick, Pillsbury in ‘Exploratory’ Talks: Business of Law
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP and Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP said they are in talks about merging the San Francisco-based law firms.
“Our firms are in exploratory discussions about a possible combination,” the law firms said Oct. 25 in a joint statement. “These talks are serving to confirm the great respect our firms have for each other.”
Norway Seeks Probe Into Mortgage Caps in Push to Support Lending
Norway’s new government asked the financial regulator to evaluate whether limits on mortgage lending are placing unnecessary constraints on the housing market.
The Finance Ministry told the Financial Supervisory Authority to review the effects on banks and homeowners of guidelines in place since 2011 that cap mortgages at 85 percent of a property’s value, according to a letter released on Oct. 26. The ministry wants an assessment of whether an outright rule would function better than a guideline in regulating the loan limit. Before the September election, the Conservative-led coalition had promised to ease mortgage standards.
Texas Asks U.S. Judge to Dismiss Photo ID Voter Lawsuit
A federal judge should dismiss legal challenges to a Texas law requiring voters to show photo identification because the rule isn’t discriminatory and Texas has the right to set its own voter qualifications, state attorneys said in a court filing.
Texas also contends that the activist groups and elected officials suing to block implementation of the new law have no legal standing to challenge the rule. Only individual voters can sue to protect their own rights, the state said in a filing yesterday in federal court in Corpus Christi.
Qualcomm, Jack Daniel’s, Who Dat?: Intellectual Property
Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM), the most cash-rich semiconductor company, was told by a federal jury to pay $173 million to money-losing ParkerVision Inc. (PRKR) for infringing wireless-network patents used in smartphones.
While it’s the largest patent jury verdict of 2013, and ninth-largest of all U.S. jury awards this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, it’s less than half the $432 million in royalties ParkerVision was seeking.
CPSC Head to Join Nelson Mullins: Business of Law
Inez Tenenbaum, the chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission since 2009, is joining Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP on Dec. 1. She will work with the law firm’s product safety, risk prevention and regulatory practice group.
Tenenbaum was sworn in as head of the CPSC after the agency had been without a leader for three years. During her tenure, she directed the implementation of the 2008 Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act and created the Office of Education, Global Outreach and Small Business Ombudsman.
Bo Appeal Denied as China Court Upholds Life Sentence
Bo Xilai’s appeal of his life sentence for graft and abuse of power was rejected by a Chinese court, which upheld the harshest sentence in three decades for a former member of the Communist Party’s Politburo.
The Shandong High People’s Court upheld the original verdict, affirming a lower court’s decision on Sept. 22 to send Bo, 64, to prison for the rest of his life, according to a statement posted on its website. Bo’s appeal didn’t have a “factual or legal basis,” and the ruling was final, Hou Jianjun, a spokesman for the court, told reporters. Four of Bo’s family members attended the proceeding, he said.
S&C Advises on American Realty Deal: Business of Law
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, Morris Manning & Manning LLP, Venable LLP, Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz and Proskauer Rose LLP advised on American Realty Capital Properties Inc. (ARCP)’s agreement to buy Cole Real Estate Investments Inc. for about $6.85 billion as it seeks to become the largest owner of U.S. single-tenant buildings.
Ex-Madoff Employee Tells Jury of ‘Cut And Paste’ Trades
An ex-employee of Bernard Madoff on trial for allegedly aiding his $17 billion fraud oversaw backdating of trades for account statements that sometimes featured “cut and paste” data, a former assistant told a jury.
Annette Bongiorno, who worked for Madoff for 40 years and helped run the investment-advisory business at the heart of the Ponzi scheme, would request trade dates and prices as much as a year old be used on account statements to reach pre-determined profit goals for customers, and cut out and tape typed trades onto their statements, Winnie Jackson, the defendant’s former assistant, testified yesterday in federal court in Manhattan.
The Cardiologist Who Spread Heart Disease
Mehmood Patel still wakes up early, just as he did when he was a popular heart specialist seeing patients who waited hours for minutes of his time.
Instead of surgical scrubs, he climbs into the khaki drabs of the Federal Correctional Complex in Oakdale, Louisiana. He leads health-conscious inmates on a morning walk, then cracks open one of the medical journals on his prison-approved reading list. Counseling fellow convicts to keep their blood pressure down is about the extent of the doctoring done by the man who once boasted he was the busiest cardiologist in the nation.
Singapore in Talks With Regulators on Currency Rigging
Singapore, Asia’s biggest foreign-exchange center, is in discussions with regulators around the world investigating the potential rigging of the $5.3 trillion-a-day currency market.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore “has been in touch with foreign regulators on the issue of alleged manipulation in the WM/Reuters foreign-exchange benchmark rates,” the central bank said in an e-mailed statement today in response to queries. “We stand ready to assist in their investigations.”
Wi-Lan, ITV, Motorola Mobility: Intellectual Property
Apple Inc. (AAPL) won a patent-infringement trial in which Wi-Lan Inc. was seeking $248 million from the iPhone maker over an invention for wireless technology used in mobile devices.
Apple didn’t infringe a patent for technology used in wireless networking, a federal jury in Marshall, Texas, decided yesterday. The jury, which deliberated for just over an hour, also said the two patent claims were invalid.
Ecuador Judge Testifies to Taking Bribes in Chevron Suit
A former Ecuadorean judge who presided over a pollution case against Chevron Corp. (CVX) testified that he and a colleague who issued a $19 billion judgment against the company in the environmental lawsuit were bribed.
The judge, Alberto Guerra, took the stand yesterday in Manhattan federal court during the trial in a racketeering suit in which Chevron alleged that the verdict in Ecuador was procured through fraud.
Detroit Averted ‘Payless Payday,’ Analyst Tells Court
Detroit faced a “payless payday” before it filed its $18 billion bankruptcy, a financial analyst told the judge conducting a trial to determine whether the city should be stripped of court protection from creditors.
To avoid running out of money for basic services, the city moved cash around, canceled payments to its pension funds and defaulted on debt in the months before it filed for bankruptcy, Gaurav Malhotra, a partner at Ernst & Young LLP, testified yesterday in Detroit.
White & Case Adds to Johannesburg Office: Business of Law
White & Case LLP hired three partners in its Johannesburg office as it relocated two others to its London office to enhance the firm’s project finance and bank-finance activity in sub-Saharan Africa.
Joz Coetzer, Johan de Lange, and Craig Whitley, will join White & Case as new partners in its banking and project finance groups in early 2014. De Lange joins from Webber Wentzel, where he was head of the banking and finance department. Coetzer and Whitley join from Bowman Gilfillan, where they practice banking and finance law and project finance and bank finance respectively.
Australia Government Sues ACT Over Same-Sex Marriage Law
Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s government sued to overturn a day-old law allowing same-sex marriage in one of Australia’s territories.
The federal government urged the High Court to hear the case at the earliest possible date, saying in the writ of summons that uncertainty hangs over the validity of the Australian Capital Territory’s marriage act.
Coller Capital, Goldman Sachs: Intellectual Property
Coller Capital, the private-equity firm founded by British financier Jeremy Coller, is in talks with multiple bidders to join in an offer for BlackBerry Ltd. (BBRY), a person familiar with the discussions said.
Coller will put up some financing as part of the bids, said the person, who asked not be identified because the talks are private. The firm, which buys and sells intellectual property, is seeking to acquire about 10 percent of BlackBerry’s patents if it makes a deal, the person said.
Detroit Unions, Retirees Face Battle to Kill Bankruptcy
Detroit’s unions and retired workers face longer odds of ending the record-setting bankruptcy than the city does of winning continued court protection in a trial set to open today, lawyers not involved in the case say.
Creditors have lost four of five court battles mounted since 2008 to strip municipalities of bankruptcy protection. Detroit also has a lot of evidence it can present to justify the filing by its state-appointed emergency manager, bankruptcy attorney Lee Bogdanoff said in an interview yesterday.
Ex-Madoff Employee Was Sick Over High Returns, Jury Told
A former employee of Bernard Madoff on trial for allegedly aiding the con man’s $17 billion fraud told investigators in 2008 that he closed his personal investment account two years before the Ponzi scheme unraveled because the consistently high returns made him feel “sick.”