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U.S. court orders Black to prison on Monday
Law Firm News | 2008/02/28 13:47
pMedia mogul Conrad Black has lost his bid to be freed on bond and will have to report to a Florida prison on Monday./ppA U.S. federal appeals court in Chicago on Thursday ruled that Black must go to jail while his appeal of his fraud and obstruction of justice convictions moves through the court system.

/ppThe Montreal-born Black was convicted July 13 of obstructing justice and defrauding shareholders of his former newspaper company, Hollinger International Inc. He was sentenced to 6½ years in prison and ordered to start serving his time on March 3./ppThe U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday did, however, agree to free Black's two co-defendants on bond while they appeal their own fraud sentences./ppFormer Hollinger executive John Boultbee was sentenced to 27 months in jail while his colleague Peter Atkinson received a 24-month jail sentence./ppIn explaining the decision not to free Black, the three appeal court judges who ruled on Black's case noted that he was convicted of one offence that the other Hollinger executives were not — the obstruction of justice./p


eBay Settles Patent Dispute With MercExchange
Legal Line News | 2008/02/28 11:17
peBay has agreed to settle a patent dispute with MercExchange. The online auction company told investors Thursday it would buy MercExchange's patents and MercExchange would dismiss all claims and appeals regarding a lawsuit it filed seven years ago. /ppWe're pleased to have been able to reach a settlement with MercExchange, Mike Jacobson, eBay senior VP and general counsel, said in a prepared statement. In addition to resolving the litigation, this settlement gives us access to additional intellectual property that will help improve and further secure our marketplaces. /ppMercExchange claimed credit for eBay's fixed price auction options through eBay's Buy It Now feature, saying the online auction infringed on three of its patents. According to records from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, MercExchange filed for the patents in 1995, 1999, and 2001. /ppeBay tried to fight a judgment that would have cost the company about $30 million. The case went up and back down the U.S. court system. In December of 2007, a U.S. District Court ruling concluded in December that the court lacked authority to consider eBay's motion for summary judgment. /ppeBay claimed then that it did not infringe on MercExchange's '265 patents and that it owed no damages. /ppeBay said it will buy three patents, related technology and inventions, as well as a license to a search patent portfolio that is separate from the lawsuit. /ppThe companies did not disclose other settlement terms, which eBay said are confidential. eBay said the settlement should not affect its 2007 results or 2008 financial guidance from January's fourth quarter earnings release. /p


Court Denies Altria Motions To Dimiss Claims
Legal Line News | 2008/02/27 13:57
pThe law firm of Broach amp; Stulberg LLP said the U.S. District Court denied orgAltria Group Inc.'sorgid value=NYSE:MO/org (MO) motions to dismiss an age discrimination and retaliation lawsuit brought by a former Swiss-based employee against orgAltriaorgid value=NYSE:MO/org and Philip Morris International Inc./ppThe motions sought to dismiss the claims on the ground that the U.S. court lacked subject matter jurisdiction because the plaintiff, D'Arcy Quinn, was employed by a foreign employer not subject to the U.S. Age Discrimination in Employment Act./ppJudge personLaura Taylor Swain/person ruled that orgAltriaorgid value=NYSE:MO/org failed to raise a meritorious issue as to lack of subject matter jurisdiction./ppThe suit alleges that firing, hirings and promotions within orgPhilip Morrisorgid value=NYSE:MO/org illegally considered ages of candidates and employees./ppThe suit was filed in October in the U.S. District Court for the Southern district of locationNew York/location on behalf Quinn, a former Philip Morris brand integrity director who served as in-house counsel for international anti-counterfeiting and anti-smuggling matters./ppAn orgAltriaorgid value=NYSE:MO/org spokesman wasn't immediately available for comment./p


US appeals court rejects California ship emission rules
Law Firm News | 2008/02/27 11:24
California must obtain approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency before enforcing new rules to require ships to burn cleaner diesel fuel as they enter and dock at the state's ports, a federal appeals court ruled on Wednesday.span id=midArticle_1/spanpThe California Air Resources Board had sought to implement stricter air pollution controls within 24 miles of the state's coastline. The rules would require ships to use fuel in their auxiliary engines that emits lower levels of sulphur oxide, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter./pspan id=midArticle_2/spanpBut the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal reinstated a lower court's injunction barring the state from enforcing its Marine Vessel Rules, finding that the Clean Air Act preempts them./p


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