Minding Your Business

Proskauer’s perspective on developments and trends in commercial litigation.

Cryptic Guidance? Despite Regulatory Ambiguity, New SEC Enforcement Could Drive Increase in Cryptocurrency-Related Shareholder Class Actions   

In late-July, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission brought insider trading charges against a former manager at Coinbase—the largest crypto asset trading platform in the United States. The charges are the latest move in the agency’s efforts to regulate cryptocurrency, and could spur an increase in cryptocurrency-related securities litigation.

In SEC v. Wahi, et. al, the SEC alleged that the former manager, Ishan Wahi, improperly provided, or “tipped,” material nonpublic information about the timing and content of Coinbase’s “listing announcements” to his brother and a close friend. These individuals then allegedly used the information to trade ahead of multiple listing announcements and earn at least $1.1 million.

Read the full post on our Corporate Defense and Disputes blog.

Head-to-Head: Comparing Three Arbitration Regimes for US Based Asset Managers

The choice of arbitration institution can arise at any point in an investment cycle: from finalising initial agreements at fund or portfolio company level, or on an ad hoc basis when a dispute arises.

To help demystify some differences – this article sets out the key features of three commonly used international arbitration regimes that an asset manager should take into account when making such a choice.

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New York AG Files Suit to Compel Tyson to Comply with Price Gouging Subpoena

New York State Attorney General Letitia James has filed a petition to compel Tyson Foods to comply with a subpoena in connection with ongoing price gouging investigations by the state.  New York’s price gouging statute imposes civil penalties on sellers of essential goods charging unconscionably excessive prices during an abnormal disruption of the market.  The subpoena requests information relating to prices, dates of sale, purchasers, costs, and profit margin for Tyson’s meat products sold in New York from December 1, 2019 through April 2022.

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The Seventh Circuit Clarifies the Role Rejection of Settlement Offers Plays in Determining Attorney Fee Awards

The Seventh Circuit recently clarified an important distinction between offers of judgment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 68 and non-Rule 68 offers of settlement, and explained the role rejection of such offers plays in reducing statutory attorney fee awards.

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E-cigs & E-discovery: When Marriage Cannot Save Sloppy Document Productions

What began as a trademark infringement dispute concerning electronic cigarettes has evolved into a never-ending series of discovery issues, and lessons about the limits of Federal Rule of Evidence 502 and privilege waivers. DR Distributors, LLC filed its initial complaint against 21 Century Smoking, Inc and its owner, Brent Duke, in September 2012 alleging trademark violations. The defendants filed their counterclaim also alleging trademark violations about a month later. Though fact discovery was supposed to have ended in 2015, the parties continued to assert problems with discovery seven years later. The latest issue presented before the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Illinois in this case was whether the defendants waived the marital communications privilege by disclosing certain communications during discovery. In its decision finding that the privilege had been waived, the Court described the limited application of Rule 502 and warned against the dangers of arguing that a disclosure was “inadvertent” without providing any explanation of how the privilege review was performed.

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The Seventh Circuit Asks, “What’s Wrong With Having Lots of Patents?”

The answer? Not much, in itself. If one patent is good, 132 is probably fine too. That was Judge Easterbrook’s reasoning in a recent decision addressing indirect purchasers’ antitrust challenge to AbbVie’s so-called “patent thicket” of 132 patents around the blockbuster drug Humira, arguing the sheer number of patents blocked would-be biosimilar competition. But “if AbbVie made 132 inventions,” Judge Easterbrook asked rhetorically, “why can’t it hold 132 patents?”  As he noted, Thomas Edison alone held 1,093 patents. Having lots of patents shouldn’t be an antitrust issue, according to Judge Easterbrook. It’s how you use the patents.

Read the full post on the Proskauer in Life Sciences blog.

$264 Million Settlement in EpiPen Price Gouging Litigation

On July 11, 2022, the United States District Court for the District of Kansas approved a $264 million settlement against Mylan and certain of its subsidiaries in the case In Re EpiPen (Epinephrine Injection, USP) Marketing, Sales Practices, and Antitrust Litigation in a matter broadly tagged as price-gouging litigation. Plaintiffs filed class action lawsuits against Mylan, the owner of EpiPen, and Pfizer, Inc., a manufacturer and seller of EpiPen, alleging, “anticompetitive conduct including, among other things: engaging in a ‘hard switch’ and selling EpiPens only in packs of two; entering into discount agreements with schools that were conditioned on the schools not purchasing competing products; securing multiple overlapping patents on minor changes to the EpiPen and engaging in ‘sham’ patent litigation to forestall generic competition; and paying excessive rebates to commercial insurance companies, pharmaceutical benefits managers, and state-based Medicaid agencies conditioned on those companies and agencies not reimbursing the use of competing products.” The plaintiffs claimed that the defendants broke various state antitrust laws and the federal civil RICO statute. The suits, filed in the Northern District of Illinois, the District of Kansas, the District of New Jersey, and the Western District of Washington, were joined in August of 2017 in the District of Kansas. Continue Reading

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