The United States Justice Department has filed a civil action against Standard & Poor’s and it’s parent company McGraw-Hill over the ratings it gave to financial derivatives which are widely blamed for causing the Great Recession.
A float in today’s Rose Bowl Parade honored Korean War veterans by depicting the National Korean War Memorial on the Mall in Washington. Fifty-five years after the war ended, the artist who created the central feature of the memorial had to fight a battle of his own over the copyright to his work. Here is his story. The Stamp War – Copyright
The United States District Court for the Northern District of California has ordered Apple Computer to disclose the details of the global settlement agreement it reached with HTC dismissing all patent infringement lawsuits between the two companies. Apple had sought a permanent US sales ban on eight Samsung smartphone models and one tablet computer. Samsung claimed the iPod Touch 5, the iPad 4, and the iPad mini infringed its patents.
GlaxoSmithKline LLC agreed today to plead guilty and pay $3 billion to resolve criminal charges brought by the U.S. Justice Department for introducing misbranded Paxil and Wellbutrin into interstate commerce, and failing to report safety data about the diabetes drug Avandia, and also to resolve civil claims brought by the government for alleged false price reporting practices. It is the largest payment ever by a drug company. http://1.usa.gov/M1nehB
The Supreme Court today released its opinion upholding the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. http://www.scotusblog.com/
The First National Bank in Sioux Falls v. First National Bank South Dakota
In this service mark infringement suit over two banks using similar names, on May 25, 2012 the Eighth Circuit affirmed the issuance of a permanent injunction. It held that there was sufficient evidence in the record of likelihood of confusion that the District Court of South Dakota’s factual finding of likelihood of confusion was not clearly erroneous.
In an earlier decision, the court had not extended the injunction to prevent First National Bank of South Dakota from using its full name. In a redesigned logo and in advertising materials, FNB SD then used its full name but highlighted “First National” and “First National Bank” and minimized “South Dakota.”
After the first suit, First National Bank of Sioux Falls federally registered its mark, so the second suit was brought under the Lanham Act. In this second suit, the use of the redesigned logo and advertising materials was enjoined; however, the court held this was not an “exceptional case” meeting the statutory standard for the award of attorneys fees.
On January 10, 2012, twenty-six states filed a brief with the US Supreme Court challenging the provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that expands Medicaid for the poor and disabled. The brief argues that PPACA’s expansion of Medicaid is so integral to the law that PPACA in its entirety should be declared unconstitutional. The government predicts that the enrollment in Medicaid will increase by 16 million people by the end of 2020. The states argue that PPACA would in practice make the states’ participation in Medicaid mandatory because federal funding for other programs would be eliminated if they do not. The federal government’s brief on this issue is due February 10.
On January 7, the federal government filed a brief with the Supreme Court arguing that the minimum coverage provision of the PPADA, which requires most US citizens to obtain health insurance by 2014 or face a tax penalty, should not be looked at in isolation and that the entire Act should be upheld.
A report from the Congressional Research Service including discussion of the 12-member budget reduction “super committee.” http://bit.ly/sMALa4
Liberty University has petitioned the US Supreme Court to review the case it brought seeking to invalidate the individual mandate and the large employer assessment provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The District Court upheld the provisions. On appeal, the Fourth Circuit vacated the judgment holding that the Anti-Injunction Act strips the court of jurisdiction since those provisions of the act are not yet in effect.
This is the fourth petition regarding the PPACA to reach the Supreme Court. The Eleventh Circuit has struck down the individual mandate. The Department of Justice, as well as 26 states, has sought review of that decision. The Sixth Circuit upheld the law. The Third Circuit dismissed a lawsuit brought by a physician organization for lack of standing.
It is becoming increasingly likely the Supreme Court will grant the requests and hear the cases this term.
US Intelligence Officer’s Torture Suit against Rumsfield in his Personal Capacity Allowed to Proceed
The US District Court for the District of Columbia ruled against Rumsfield on a motion to dismiss. The US citizen, formerly employed as an intelligence officer by a US Defense Department contractor, claims he was abducted and tortured while imprisoned in Iraq without charges having been formerly brought concerning allegations he passed information to the enemy. The Justice Department is defending Rumsfeld. This is the second time Rumsfield has been allowed to be sued personally in a torture case. http://bit.ly/o4Xv5j