One technique in the world of pharma that has started appearing here on Techdirt is “evergreening” — making small changes to a drug, often about to come off patent, in order to gain a new patent that extends its manufacturer’s control over it. The advantages for pharma companies are evident, but what about the public? What economic impact does evergreening have?
* The Zimmerman verdict allows us to sit back and reflect on how bad Atticus Finch really was at his job. [Criminal Defense Blog]
* In case you’d forgotten about the shenanigans at Louisville’s Brandeis School of Law, here’s your update: a former employee has been charged for promising students more scholarships than the school had. Rick Pitino needs to show the law school how to work within scholarship limits. [Courier-Journal]
* Fun with patents: Monkey Dog Saddle! [Lowering the Bar]
* Transgendered workers are successfully challenging workplace discrimination using the Civil Rights Act. These sound like cases Justice Alito will get right on overturning. [Buzzfeed]
* McDonald’s is trying to show how it provides its employees a living wage. It just requires working a second job for a total of between 62-74 hours. No biggie. [Lawyers, Guns & Money]
- Airplanes / Aviation, Biglaw, Billable Hours, California, Crime, Disasters / Emergencies, Gay Marriage, Law Schools, Money, Morning Docket, Partner Issues, Patents, Pranks, SCOTUS, Sexual Harassment, Supreme Court, Television, Trials
* Size matters when it comes to hourly rates. Because when you work in Biglaw, it’ll be all the more odious for your poor clients when you “churn that bill, baby.” [Corporate Counsel]
* Would you want this Cadwalader cad, a former mailroom supervisor, at your “erotic disposal”? The object of his affections didn’t want him either, and she’s suing. [New York Daily News]
* In the wake of the George Zimmerman verdict, the NAACP is pressing for federal charges and a civil suit may be in the works. This trial isn’t over in the court of public opinion. [Bloomberg]
* This experience inspired George Zimmerman, fresh off his acquittal, to go to law school to help the wrongfully accused. If it makes you feel better, when he graduates, he’ll be unemployed. [Reuters]
* Here’s the lesson learned by Prop 8 proponents: If at first you don’t succeed at the Supreme Court, try, try again at the state level and base your arguments on technicalities. [Los Angeles Times]
* You do not want this patent troll — one of the most notorious in the country — to “go thug” on you. Apparently this is just another danger of alleged infringement in the modern world. [New York Times]
* Asiana Airlines is considering suing the NTSB and a California television station over the airing of “inaccurate and offensive” information (read: wildly racist) about the pilots of Flight 214. [CNN]
* Ariel Castro was slapped with an additional 648 counts in the kidnapping case against him, bringing the total to 977. Prosecutors are not yet seeking the death penalty. [Cleveland Plain Dealer]
- Akin Gump, Antitrust, Crime, D.C. Circuit, Intellectual Property, Murder, Non-Sequiturs, Patents, SCOTUS, Supreme Court, Technology, Vault rankings
* Vault released its Regional and Practice Area rankings. Yeah, we get it Wachtell, you’re awesome. [Vault]
* Who ever said losing at the Supreme Court was the end? Myriad is suing to enforce its patents in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. [Patently O]
* Woman caught on camera planning her husband’s murder because it’s “easier than divorcing him.” Fair enough! [Lowering the Bar]
* Senators pledging to block court nominee “irrespective of [her] very fine professional qualifications.” Oh. [The Blog of the Legal Times]
* Some jurisdictional nerdiness regarding EPIC’s original filing seeking mandamus, prohibition, or certiorari from SCOTUS to review a FISA judge. [Lawfare]
- Bar Exams, Biglaw, Gay, Gay Marriage, Intellectual Property, Non-Sequiturs, Patents, SCOTUS, Summer Associates, Supreme Court
* A bleak, expressionist write-up of the bar exam experience. If you ever wondered what the subject of The Scream was doing right beforehand, it was apparently “taking the bar exam.” [Law of the Dead]
* The traditional summer associate program model needs restructuring. Are you suggesting four-hour lunches are passé? Because… shame, sir, shame. [SSRN]
* As our tipster put it, this may be a statement against interest: Snowden once declared that traitors should be “shot in the balls.” [NY Post]
* A breakdown of unconstitutional animus in U.S. v. Windsor. If the author could figure out Justice Kennedy’s train of thought all the way through, kudos! [Associate's Mind]
* If you’re ever planning a graduation party, just don’t do this. [Legal Juice]
* Examining the misappropriation of trade secrets on Earth-616, and whatever Earth the DC people are in these days. I gave up on them two Crises ago. [Law and the Multiverse]
* Federal prosecutors may go after Long Island Power Authority for their poor response to Hurricane Sandy. [Breaking Energy]
* And this recap of the Hollingsworth opinion concludes with a GIF that is sure to warm the hearts of many an ATL commenter. [Eff Yeah SCOTUS]
I have to admit that I’m still a bit surprised that pop-up/pop-under advertisements still exist. The concept is so annoying and so anti-consumer that pretty much all browsers figured out ways to build in pop-up blockers many, many years ago. Every so often one gets through (almost always advertising Netflix, by the way), and I get annoyed and try to remember never to visit that site again. However, Paul Keating alerts us to the news that a company called “ExitExchange” now claims to hold a patent on pop-up ads, and has sued seven porn sites and two travel companies [Ed. note: this link is from a porn industry publication so it's "safe-ish" for work, but be warned] for using them without a license.
Here are three true statements:
(1) Monopolies are generally illegal.
(2) Like baseball, patents make monopoly laws get a little funky.
(3) Courts really really really like to encourage settlements.
So, when two companies get together, and work out a settlement that makes a whole patent infringement lawsuit go away, and the only objection is that pesky Federal Trade Commission complaining that the settlement is anticompetitive, you can understand why a federal court could meditate on points (2) and (3) and dismiss that FTC complaint.
Yet, in FTC v. Actavis, the Supreme Court yesterday made it harder to settle some patent infringement suits, saying that sometimes a settlement of a lawsuit can be an antitrust problem.
Here’s a bit of good news: the Supreme Court has effectively said you can’t patent genes, though in typical Supreme Court fashion, it hedged a bit. Basically, they found that merely separating out naturally occurring DNA is not patentable, but that synthetically made “complementary DNA” or (cDNA) can be patentable. This case has been going on for quite some time, involving a company called Myriad Genetics, which isolated two genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, where mutations indicate a high likelihood of developing breast cancer. Myriad then set up a very lucrative, extremely high priced set of tests to find those mutations and argued that others testing for those genes violated its patents — because stopping breast cancer should be prohibitively expensive, apparently.
- 5th Circuit, Attorney Misconduct, Bar Exams, Biglaw, California, Divorce Train Wrecks, Edith Jones, John Roberts, Legal Ethics, Morning Docket, Patents, Pro Bono, SCOTUS, Supreme Court, Women's Issues
* When SCOTUS cases involve public companies and rulings are misinterpreted, it can lead to some pretty volatile stock performance, as was evidenced by yesterday’s highs and lows for Myriad Genetics of BRCA1 patent fame. [Washington Post]
* The ethics complaint against Judge Edith Jones of the Fifth Circuit has been transferred to the D.C. Circuit after receiving a blessing from the Chief Justice of the United States. Uh oh, that’s serious business if Roberts is involved. [Times-Picayune]
* The number of women working in the NLJ 350 is sad. They make up only one-third of all attorneys working in Biglaw, and we’re stuck celebrating the tiniest positive changes. Sigh. [National Law Journal]
* Proskauer Rose’s former CFO, Elly Rosenthal, settled her $10M disability discrimination suit against the firm in anticlimactic fashion, “without costs to any party as against the others.” [Am Law Daily]
* California is obviously trying to one-up New York with this one. In addition to a 50-hour pro bono requirement, they’re pushing for 15 hours of real-world training before bar admission. [The Recorder]
* Try to stop a man from throwing a pie in your husband’s face and in return you’ll be served with your wifely walking papers a few years later. Aww, Rupert Murdoch is such a kind old man. [Bloomberg]
- Elena Kagan, Fashion, Labor / Employment, Mergers and Acquisitions, Non-Sequiturs, Patents, Securities and Exchange Commission, Supreme Court
* How often are you sitting around wondering about all the legal ins-and-outs of the assassination of James Garfield? Wonder no more. [The Legal Geeks]
* A love poem with citations to the U.C.C. You know, if you never plan on getting laid again. [Law Poetry]
* Justice Kagan dials 867-5309. [Slate]
* Underage models in New York are now covered by child labor laws. In related news, American Apparel stops making any ads whatsoever. [Fashionista]
* When a bank nixes your merger, just go ahead and do it another way and bury the bank’s opinion. There’s not much the SEC can do about it anyway. [Dealbreaker]
* Pepper Hamilton’s Nina Gussack is making it rain. [The Careerist]
* Eric Posner has no beef with the NSA. [Constitutional Daily]
* States: The New (Patent) Troll Slayers [Slate]