Corporations and securities brief ~ Medtronic to pay $400 million in damages to inventor

In Tuesday's corporations and securities law news, a federal jury in Memphis has ordered Medtronic Inc. to pay $400 million in punitive damages to a Los Angeles surgeon for infringing patents covering spinal-implant products. Just last month, jurors awarded the same surgeon $159 million for Medtronic's violation of contracts covering the same product. Medtronic has a press release here. Bloomberg has more.

In other news, a Delaware judge has delayed the trial involving a lawsuit brought by Walt Disney Co. shareholders which is seeking to recoup former company President Michael Ovitz's $140 million severance package. Disney shareholders asked for the delay to study newly discovered papers about Ovitz's tenure at Disney. AP has more.... As previously reported on JURIST's Paper Chase, Russia's Justice Ministry said Tuesday that it would sell off a subsidiary of Yukos to satisfy unmet claims for back taxes owed by the mammoth Russian oil company. The Russia Journal has continuing coverage of Yukos' court battles. AP has more.... The SEC is mulling new rules to require corporations to disclose its executives' retirement package and other compensation. CBS MarketWatch has more.... Chiron Corp. announced a federal grand jury is investigating the company relating to its failure to deliver flu vaccines because regulators did not consider it safe. Read Chiron's written testimony to a Government Reform Committee on the flu vaccine shortage here [PDF]. Reuters has more.... As previously reported on JURIST's Paper Chase, the Department of Justice has opened a probe into mortgage giant Fannie Mae to determine whether the company broke accounting rules to smooth earnings and boost executive bonuses. The investigation is in relation to a OFHEO report. Read the report here [PDF]. AP has more.... Amkor Technology Inc., a contract assembler and tester of semiconductor packages, announced the SEC is conducting an informal inquiry into insider trading in its securities. Read the Amkor press release disclosing the informal investigation here. The Philadelphia Business Journal has more.... US Airways reached an agreement with its lenders to extend financing which will allow the airline to fly through mid-January 2005. Reuters has more.

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