The year 2011 was a remarkable one in securities litigation, with notable decisions from the Supreme Court and a number of interesting rulings from Circuit and District Courts as well. The Supreme Court issued three decisions covering important merits-related and class certification-related issues in securities class actions, following two significant securities decisions in 2010. Three of these five decisions from the last two years could be characterized as “plaintiff-friendly”— from a Supreme Court generally considered to be “pro-business.”
The Federal Reserve Board March 13 cleared capital plans submitted by 15 of the nation’s 19 largest banks, saying the latest round of bank stress tests shows a solid capital buildup among major institutions over the past three years.
A unanimous U.S. Supreme Court determined March 20 that claims on methods of use in the field of personalized medicine—adjusting a drug dosage after observing a patient’s reaction to a drug administration—are not patent-eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. §101 (Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories Inc., U.S., No. 10-1150, 3/20/12).
On March 6, the U.S. Senate approved by voice vote a bill seeking to increase the maximum penalties for trafficking in counterfeit pharmaceuticals.
In First Action Stemming from HIPAA Breach Notice Rule, Tennessee BlueCross BlueShield Agrees to Pay $1.5 Million
RALEIGH, N.C.—BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee (BCBST) agreed to pay $1.5 million and institute a corrective action plan to resolve Department of Health and Human Services claims of insufficient protection of personal health information in the first enforcement action stemming from the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act’s Breach Notification Rule, HHS announced March 13.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Senate leaders are vowing to continue to try to extend an array of clean energy tax incentives after an amendment that would have done so failed in the Senate March 13.
Senior officials from the Securities and Exchange Commission March 6 hinted that the commission could overhaul its portion of a joint proposal with federal banking regulators to implement the Volcker rule.
In Major Win for SEC, Appeals Court Stays SEC/Citigroup Case, Slams Lower Court Rejection of Parties’ Pact
In a major win for the Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit March 15 granted the agency and Citigroup Global Markets Inc.’s (C) request for a stay of lower court proceedings that rejected their proposed $285 million settlement of securities fraud charges (SEC v. Citigroup Global Markets Inc., 2d Cir., No. 11-5227, 3/15/12).
The Senate adopted an amendment (S. Amdt. 1818) to the surface transportation bill (S. 1813) by voice vote March 8 that would prohibit foreign financial institutions from having access to the U.S. financial system if they are found to be aiding tax evasion.
As many intellectual property attorneys know, a patentee bringing suit at the International Trade Commission must meet the “domestic industry” requirement before the ITC will award an exclusion order as a remedy for patent infringement. One path to meeting the domestic industry requirement is to demonstrate “substantial investment in [the patent’s] exploitation, including engineering, research and development, or licensing.”