EADS, EBAY, University of Texas: Intellectual Property
A unit of European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co., the European aerospace company known as EADS, has lost a patent-infringement case it brought against Telecommunications Systems Inc. (TSYS)’s MicroData GIS unit.
Utah Seeks Halt to Same-Sex Marriages Pending Appeal
Utah’s lawyers are scheduled to go back today before the federal judge who struck down the state’s ban on gay marriage as they seek a halt to the weddings until their appeal is heard.
Three Men Indicted in Alleged ‘Silk Road’ Drug Conspiracy
Three alleged former employees of “Silk Road,” the online marketplace prosecutors called a “sprawling black-market bazaar,” were accused of conspiring to traffic in drugs, hack computers and launder money.
Apple, InterDigital, China Trade, IFixit : Intellectual Property
Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Oracle Corp. (ORCL) won a judge’s order separating and putting on hold a dispute between them about indemnification until a patent-infringement case against Apple by U.S. Ethernet Innovations LLC is resolved.
Kirkland, Covington on Bristol Deal: Business of Law
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. received legal advice from Kirkland & Ellis LLP on its plan to quit the diabetes-treatment business by selling its stake in a venture to partner AstraZeneca Plc for as much as $4.3 billion.
Covington & Burling LLP, together with AstraZeneca’s in-house legal team, advised AstraZeneca on the deal. Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP is advising AstraZeneca on both U.S. and U.K. tax-law matters tied to the acquisition.
AstraZeneca, Microsoft, Adidas: Intellectual Property
AstraZeneca Plc (AZN) lost an appeals court ruling yesterday that clears sales by South Korea’s Hanmi Pharm Co. (128940) of a competing copy of the heartburn treatment Nexium.
AstraZeneca’s patent on the drug is limited to a specifically named salt, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington said in an opinion posted on its website. AstraZeneca had conceded that Hanmi’s version wouldn’t infringe the patent if the appeals court ruled in that way.
Target Sued by Shopper Over Data Security Breach Claims
Target Corp., the second-largest U.S. discount chain, was sued by a Christmas shopper claiming she may have been exposed to identity theft from a data breach affecting 40 million debit and credit cards.
The lawsuit, filed yesterday in federal court in San Francisco, follows the Minneapolis-based company’s statement that the information was breached from Nov. 27 to Dec. 15, and that authorities and financial institutions were alerted immediately.
New York Council Adds E-Cigarettes to Smoking Ban
The New York City Council approved adding electronic cigarettes to a ban on smoking in offices, restaurants, bars and parks, a move that may be followed by other U.S. cities.
The measure, backed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Health Commissioner Thomas Farley, passed 43 to 8 yesterday.
New Mexico Supreme Court Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage
New Mexico, the only state without a law specifically allowing or prohibiting gay marriage, was barred by its supreme court from denying same-sex couples the right to marry.
New Mexico’s high court issued its decision today in response to a request by county clerks to clarify their obligations after a judge in August ordered the clerks of Bernalillo County and Santa Fe County to issue marriage licenses to couples without regard to their gender or sexual orientation. New Mexico joins 16 other states and the District of Columbia that have legalized gay marriage.
Bryan Cave Selects Pritchard as First Woman to Lead Firm
Bryan Cave LLP named Washington partner Therese D. Pritchard as the next chairwoman, giving the firm its first woman head in its 140-year history and the first firm leader to come from an office outside St. Louis.
Pritchard, who is the head of the firm’s white collar, securities enforcement and litigation client service group, will take the helm in October after working alongside Don G. Lents, who has been firm chairman since 2004.
JPMorgan, Denmark Bitcoins, EU Securities: Compliance
The spread of Bitcoins is prompting regulators in Scandinavia to draft new rules in an effort to prevent virtual money from slipping into a legal gray zone.
Denmark is the latest nation to prepare standards to protect its consumers from risks associated with virtual currencies after the regulator found it lacked authority to prevent a company creating an exchange for the software.
Samsung, Apple, Coca-Cola, WWE: Intellectual Property
Samsung Electronics Co. (005930), Apple Inc.’s rival in the smartphone market, is seeking U.S. patent protection for a mobile device with dual screens.
Application 20130314338, published in the database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Nov. 18, covers a dual display apparatus and the method of its operation.
Eversheds’ Smith to Take Chairman Post: Business of Law
Paul Smith, an environmental lawyer and litigator, was elected chairman of Eversheds LLP for a four-year term beginning May 1. He succeeds John Heaps, who didn’t stand for re-election.
Smith, the firm’s client partner for DuPont Co., has defended multinational companies in relation to criminal investigations in the U.K., Europe and North America. He also has experience with law firm partnering and convergence.
Vodafone Pays 19% Less in U.K. Taxes After Spending Boost
Vodafone Group Plc (VOD)’s U.K. tax payments dropped 19 percent last fiscal year after the wireless carrier took advantage of breaks offered to companies that invest in local communication networks.
Vodafone paid 275 million pounds ($450 million) for the year ended in March 2013, down from 338 million pounds a year before, according to a statement from the Newbury, England-based company today. The sum includes fees paid on everything from garbage removal to property. Vodafone said its U.K. corporation tax, or the tax levied on profit, was negligible.
Viagra, Apple, KBC Groep, Huawei: Intellectual Property
Generic Viagra will hit the market more than two years earlier than expected under a settlement reached by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (TEVA) and Pfizer Inc. (PFE), the maker of the impotence drug.
Teva can enter the market on Dec. 11, 2017, and will pay patent royalties through the expiration of the Viagra patent in April 2020, New York-based Pfizer said in a statement. Other terms weren’t disclosed.
Facebook Post a Valid Reason for Firing, Tribunal Rules
Credit Corp., an Australian debt collection company, was justified in firing an employee who made comments critical of one of its clients in a posting on a Facebook Inc. (FB) web page, the country’s workplace relations tribunal ruled.
Fair Work Commission Deputy President Peter Sams dismissed an application from Cameron Little, a customer relationship manager until his firing June 28, seeking to get his job back, and ruled that the publication of Little’s comments was likely to adversely damage his company’s reputation.
GE Turbine, InterDigital, Panthers: Intellectual Property
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. (7011) and General Electric Co. agreed to settle their U.S. patent infringement dispute over wind-turbine technology by allowing each other to cross-license their products, according to a statement from Tokyo-based Mitsubishi Heavy yesterday.
WIPO Report, Rodina, Beatles, Seed: Intellectual Property
Patent filings around the world increased at a greater rate in 2012 than at any time in the previous 18 years, according to a report from the World Intellectual Property Organization, a United Nations agency.
Filings grew by 9.2 percent last year, with 2.35 million applications, WIPO said. China led both among countries doing the filing and as a destination for filings.
Covington Adds to Environmental Practice: Business of Law
Gary Guzy, who was the deputy director and general counsel of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, is joining Covington & Burling LLP in January. Guzy, who also served as general counsel of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the Clinton administration, is joining the firm’s environmental, clean-energy, public policy and government affairs practices.
12 Agreements Signed to Help U.S. Fight Offshore Evasion: Taxes
Twelve governments have reached agreement with the U.S. Treasury on easing the reporting of foreign-held bank accounts by U.S. taxpayers, part of the Internal Revenue Service’s effort to combat offshore tax evasion.
The agreements will help implement the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, which as of July 1 will require that information about such accounts be supplied directly to the U.S. Similar accords have been reached in substance with 17 other jurisdictions, and talks on the deals are in advanced stages with many other countries, Bloomberg BNA reported.