Reynolds's Feed
Nov 28, 2011
via Breakingviews

“No harm, no foul” legal concept worth preserving

By Reynolds Holding
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The legal concept of “no harm, no foul” is worth preserving. Privacy laws and other statutes enable consumers to sue companies without claiming actual injury. That only encourages dubious claims against corporate America and upends constitutional logic. The U.S. Supreme Court gets a chance on Monday to start coming to the same conclusion.

Nov 17, 2011
via Breakingviews

U.S. patent law mission creep needs to be reversed

By Reynolds Holding The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

 

The U.S. Supreme Court has a chance to reverse the mission creep in patent law. The system is supposed to reward inventors but not stifle innovation. Fuzzy and overly broad concepts like thought processes generally aren’t protected. Yet one company, Prometheus Laboratories, reckons it owns a method for interpreting how patients react to a drug.

Thomas Jefferson, the first U.S. patent commissioner, questioned whether ideas should be owned at all. In 1840, a skeptical court limited patents to specific inventions. The Supreme Court followed suit in 1853, rejecting a claim from Samuel Morse. The justices said Morse, the inventor of the telegraph, had sought patent protection so broad that it would block discoveries he had not even thought of.

Nov 15, 2011
via Breakingviews

MF Global could finally help SarbOx prove itself

By Reynolds Holding
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

MF Global could finally help the Sarbanes-Oxley Act prove itself. The reform inspired by Enron, WorldCom and other accounting scandals helped clean up U.S. company books, albeit at a cost. But approaching 10 years on, enforcers have filed few cases under the law. They could finally get their big chance if questions surrounding MF Global’s failure prove to have substance.

Oct 26, 2011
via Breakingviews

Gupta arrest puts Corporate America on notice

By Reynolds Holding
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The arrest of Rajat Gupta has put Corporate America on notice. U.S. prosecutors have nailed dozens of insider traders, including Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam. But those cases now look like prologue to the one against the former McKinsey boss and Goldman Sachs director. The charges against Gupta will be tough to prove, but a conviction would be the ultimate deterrent.

Oct 25, 2011
via Breakingviews

Sprint’s antitrust pitch hedges against DoJ miss

By Reynolds Holding
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Sprint’s antitrust pitch hedges against a swing and a miss by the U.S. Justice Department. The third-largest mobile operator has said it just wants to help the feds squelch AT&T’s $39 billion takeover of T-Mobile USA. But its separate lawsuit suggests a lack of confidence in Uncle Sam’s arguments. Though a court hearing on Monday showed the case faces hurdles, it may give Sprint insurance in case the government stumbles.

Oct 19, 2011

Closed-door justice will leave dealmakers in dark

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions
expressed are his own.)

By Reynolds Holding

NEW YORK, Oct 19 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Closed-door
justice may leave U.S. dealmakers in the dark. An attempt by
chipmaker Skyworks Solutions (SWKS.O: Quote, Profile, Research) to renege on its
acquisition of Advanced Analogic Technologies (AATI.O: Quote, Profile, Research) will
play out in private instead of open court under Delaware’s new
arbitration system. That may save the companies time and money.
But it deprives the M&A world — and investors — of valuable
legal guidance.

Oct 19, 2011

Closed-door justice will leave dealmakers in dark

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions
expressed are his own.)

By Reynolds Holding

NEW YORK, Oct 19 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Closed-door
justice may leave U.S. dealmakers in the dark. An attempt by
chipmaker Skyworks Solutions (SWKS.O: Quote, Profile, Research) to renege on its
acquisition of Advanced Analogic Technologies (AATI.O: Quote, Profile, Research) will
play out in private instead of open court under Delaware’s new
arbitration system. That may save the companies time and money.
But it deprives the M&A world — and investors — of valuable
legal guidance.

Oct 13, 2011

Rajaratnam sentence shows value of court process

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.)

By Reynolds Holding

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) – Raj Rajaratnam is going to jail for 11 years. But his lawyers’ tough defense helped the judge get it about right. The Galleon Group founder’s prison term may still seem excessive to those who think insider-trading penalties are overdone. But there was no shortcut deal, and the court process was thorough. That gives Rajaratnam’s sentence unusual credibility.

Sep 26, 2011
via Breakingviews

U.S. courts make death arbitrage a tougher game

By Reynolds Holding
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

A U.S. court has just made death arbitrage a tougher game. Cashing out life insurance can keep a policyholder afloat if he suddenly needs the dough. But an active secondary market tempts some to buy insurance just to sell the policy on. Delaware judges have wisely made such ghoulish bets on life expectancy easier for insurers to kill.

Aug 22, 2011
via Breakingviews

Next wave of patent rulings could ease tech wars

By Reynolds Holding
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Today’s costly technology patent wars in many ways can be pinned on the courts. Google, Apple, Microsoft and others are spending billions of dollars for the rights to ideas and inventions powering devices like smartphones. But what they’re actually buying is legal protection. The next wave of rulings ought to sync up the law with the real world.

    • About Reynolds

      "Reynolds Holding is a Breakingviews columnist who writes from New York about the law in conjunction with Reuters Legal. Before joining Breakingviews, he was a national editorial producer for the Law & Justice Unit at ABC News, a senior writer for Time magazine and the executive editor of Legal Affairs, the first general interest magazine about the law. He spent more than a decade as an investigative reporter and columnist for The San Francisco Chronicle, where he was named a Pulitzer Prize finalist for explanatory writing. Before becoming a journalist, he practiced corporate law at the New York firm of ..."
    • Follow Reynolds