Bloomberg Law’s Summer Associate Success Secrets looks at how to increase odds of an offer.
According to The Financial Times, US regulators have opened a new front in their antitrust investigations into Google, launching an inquiry into technology licensing practices at recently acquired mobile handset company Motorola Mobility. More specifically, the article notes that the US antitrust investigation of Motorola Mobility and preliminary injunction against Samsung highlights the intense legal landscape relating to the booming smartphone and tablet markets.
The investigation is centered on whether Motorola has demanded excessive payments to license patents that other companies involved in the mobile industry are forced to use, according to one person who has seen a copy of the subpoena. So-called standards-essential patents, which are adopted by industry standards bodies and become common technology that all companies in the market must use, are generally required to be licensed on less stringent terms than other patents.
It should be interesting to see how the politics play out after the Supreme Court’s recent ruling to uphold the major provisions of President Obama’s health care law. Will the decision energize Conservatives and elevate Mitt Romney to the White House this Fall?
Hat Tip: The Big Picture
As I’m sure many of you know, the US Supreme Court upheld the major provisions of the health care overhaul. The controlling opinion, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, upheld the mandate as a tax, although concluded it was not valid as an exercise of Congress’ commerce clause power.
Below is some notable language from the opinion:
“The individual mandate cannot be upheld as an exercise of Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause,” Roberts wrote. “That Clause authorizes Congress to regulate interstate commerce, not to order individuals to engage in it. In this case, however, it is reasonable to construe what Congress has done as increasing taxes on those who have a certain amount of income, but choose to go without health insurance. Such legislation is within Congress’s power to tax.”
With respect to Medicaid expansion, the Court upheld the expansion but with a critical caveat: The federal government may not threaten the states that don’t comply with the loss of their existing funding. Essentially, the Medicaid expansion is now optional for the states.
The Huffington Post highlighted the following language from the controlling opinion:
“As for the Medicaid expansion, that portion of the Affordable Care Act violates the Constitution by threatening existing Medicaid funding,” Roberts wrote. “Congress has no authority to order the States to regulate according to its instructions. Congress may offer the States grants and require the States to comply with accompanying conditions, but the States must have a genuine choice whether to accept the offer. The States are given no such choice in this case: They must either accept a basic change in the nature of Medicaid, or risk losing all Medicaid funding. The remedy for that constitutional violation is to preclude the Federal Government from imposing such a sanction.”
To read the full Supreme Court opinion, please see this link from The New York Times.
How much of an effect do oil prices really have on the US and global economy? In a recent post, the Wonkblog noted that Crude traded in the United States sunk from $108 per barrel back in February down to $78 per barrel yesterday.
According to James Hamilton, an economist and oil expert at the University of California San Diego, gasoline prices have always tightly followed oil prices, so prices at the pump in the United States are likely to drop by quite a bit in the months ahead. Drivers are thus likely to have a little more money in their pockets. However, Mr. Hamilton warns that’s not enough of a boost to overcome all the other problems in the world:
If gasoline prices do fall from their value in April near $3.92 to $3.12, that would be an 80 cents/gallon swing. With Americans buying about 140 billion gallons of gasoline each year, that translates into an extra $112 billion over the course of a year that consumers would have available to spend on other things besides gasoline.
So should we be celebrating? I’m afraid not. The primary reason that oil prices have come down is because of growing signs of weakness in the world economy. I am very concerned about where events in Europe are going to lead, and recent U.S. data indicate some weakening. Cheap gas helps, but not so much if you don’t have a job.
Read the full article:
The Supreme Court is expected to rule this week on the constitutionality of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul. Since this case is no walk in the park, below is a chart to help understand potential SCOTUS decisions.
Source: National Journal