Westlaw Journal weekly round-up

December 26, 2012

Westlaw Journals Weekly RoundupThe new Westlaw Journals blog brings you litigation headlines in over 30 substantive areas of law.  Here are some highlights from the past week:

Technology David achieves settlement with Goliath in patent suit:  A small company embroiled in a patent infringement lawsuit with Hewlett-Packard Co. over a WiFi-related invention has reached a settlement under which it will license its technology to HP.  The settlement, announced Nov. 28 by Nomadix Inc., ends litigation with Hewlett-Packard that began in 2009 when Nomadix filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, according to Fred Reeder, the plaintiff’s chief commercial and operating officer.  Other than the agreement to enter into a licensing pact, the details of the settlement are confidential, Reeder said.  Michael Thacker, a spokesman for Hewlett Packard, said the company had no comment on the settlement.  (Intellectual Property)

Philip Morris could be off the hook for $16 million damages award:  A Florida appellate court has determined that a trial court improperly rejected Philip Morris USA’s’ statute-of-repose defense in a post-Engle suit and ordered a new trial to determine whether the family of a long-term smoker is entitled to the $16.2 million in punitive damages awarded by the jury.  The tobacco company claims that the smoker was not subjected to the alleged fraud after May 5, 1982, 12 years before the original Engle suit was filed.   In post-Engle suits, Florida’s 12-year statute of repose is measured from the date of the original Engle complaint.  The 4th District Court of Appeal said Philip Morris should be allowed to argue its statute-of-repose defense and if successful be relieved of its obligation to pay the $16.2 million penalty.  (Tobacco Industry)

Web firm settles claims over ‘surreptitious’ Internet tracking: A San Francisco federal judge has approved a settlement in a class-action lawsuit that enjoins a Web analytics company from hacking users’ computer software and browser tools to track their Internet activity without their knowledge.  The settlement covers two named plaintiffs, their counsel and the defendant Web company but is not binding on the potentially “millions” of people who comprise the affected class, according to settlement papers filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.  Dominique R. Shelton, a partner at Edwards Wildman Palmer LP in Los Angeles, was not involved with the suit, but commented on the settlement.  “The name of the game in tracking is transparency and consent.  Companies can achieve this by using best practices and implementing a compliance program … for collection of tracking information that is reasonably linkable to an individual,” she said.  (Computer & Internet)