Press Release October 01, 2012

Good Wins Update

Goodwin Procter’s litigation attorneys have recently delivered key victories on a wide range of complex legal matters for clients including: 

Goodwin Litigators Win Appeal of Ancient Native American Land Claim Case

A Goodwin Procter litigation team recently prevailed on behalf of several New York cities, companies and citizens in a seven-year lawsuit between the Onondaga Nation and the State of New York. In March 2005 the Onondaga Nation filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York alleging that certain centuries-old treaties with the State of New York violated the federal Indian Trade and Intercourse Act and were void from the beginning. As relief, the Onondaga sought title to a 4,000 square mile parcel in upstate New York that includes the entire city of Syracuse as well as several other cities and private lands, affecting approximately 875,000 people living within the claim area.  On Oct. 19, 2012, the Second Circuit issued affirmed the district court’s dismissal. The win was important not only for the hundreds of thousands of landowners whose title was at risk, but for ancient Native American land claim defendants generally, as this it effectively precludes all future claims of this type.

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Goodwin Team Achieves Dismissal in Ariba-SAP Merger Litigation

Shortly before the May 2012 announcement of SAP AG’s planned acquisition of Ariba Inc. for $4.3 billion, Goodwin Procter was engaged to counsel Ariba and its board of directors on anticipated litigation related to the proposed deal. Beginning the day after the deal was announced, six plaintiffs filed class action lawsuits in two jurisdictions (California and Delaware). The plaintiffs alleged that Ariba’s board breached its fiduciary duties to company stockholders by seeking to sell the company through an allegedly unfair process and for an unfair price and on unfair terms, and that Ariba and SAP aided and abetted in those breaches. After discussions and negotiations with plaintiffs’ counsel, on July 24, 2012, the California plaintiffs dismissed the consolidated California action. The transaction obtained shareholder approval and closed successfully on October 1, 2012.

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Goodwin Attorneys Secure Securities Class Action Litigation Victory for MELA Sciences

Goodwin Procter litigators secured dismissal on October 2, 2012 of a securities fraud class action against client MELA Sciences, Inc., and three of MELA’s officers and directors in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The plaintiffs had alleged that MELA and certain of its officers and directors violated Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 because public statements concerning the clinical trial’s results for MelaFind®, an instrument designed to assist in the detection of melanoma, were false and misleading. Goodwin’s FDA group represented MELA Sciences in obtaining its approval. After the FDA’s approval of MelaFind undermined this claim, the plaintiff sought to amend the complaint to add a new theory based on the timing and scope of FDA approval. Judge Vincent Briccetti of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York denied the motion and reinstated and granted MELA’s motion to dismiss, resulting in a complete victory for Goodwin’s clients.

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Goodwin Procter Litigation Team Secures Win For Client Quanta Computer in Patent Dispute

Goodwin Procter’s intellectual property litigators recently won a victory for client Quanta Computer, the world’s largest notebook computer manufacturer, following a six-year dispute with LaserDynamics over a patent relating to optical disc drives used in notebook computers.

LaserDynamics had argued that Quanta Computer had infringed on its patent related to a feature of optical disc drives. But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed the district court and held that Quanta Computer had an implied license for optical disc drives that were manufactured by a related company, Quanta Storage. Quanta Storage manufactured the optical drives for two of the major suppliers in the optical disc industry.  Both of the major suppliers had licenses to LaserDynamics’ patent and each license included the right to have optical drives manufactured by third parties like Quanta Storage.

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Goodwin Attorneys Secure ITC Patent Litigation Win for OSRAM

Goodwin Procter litigators obtained a significant victory for client OSRAM, a subsidiary of Siemens, in the U.S. International Trade Commission. Goodwin prevailed against LG on a patent covering fundamental technology for light-emitting diodes (“LEDs”) which emit white light.

The ITC rejected eight categories of invalidity and unenforceability defenses, and held that OSRAM’s patent on conversion technology — one of the core patents in its licensing program — was infringed by LG. In the future, white LEDs will likely replace incandescent and fluorescent lights in residential and commercial settings. Today, white LEDs are critical to backlighting displays in consumer electronics including TVs and mobile devices. OSRAM is one of the world’s oldest lighting companies, and is best known in the United States under the Sylvania trade name.

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