The sex scandal that led to CIA Director David Petraeus’ downfall widened Tuesday with word the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan is under investigation for thousands of alleged “inappropriate communications” with another woman involved in the case, the Chicago Tribune reports. Even as the FBI prepared a timeline for Congress about the investigation that brought to light Petraeus’ extramarital affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta revealed that the Pentagon had begun an internal investigation into emails from Gen. John Allen to a Florida woman involved in the case. Allen succeeded Petraeus as the top American commander in Afghanistan in July 2011, and his nomination to become the next commander of U.S. European Command and the commander of NATO forces in Europe has now been put on hold, as the scandal seemed certain to ensnare another acclaimed military figure.
A U.S. judge rejected bids by Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Deutsche Bank AG to dismiss a federal regulator’s lawsuits accusing them of misleading Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into buying billions of dollars of risky mortgage debt. In separate decisions on Monday, U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan said the Federal Housing Finance Agency may pursue fraud claims over some of the banks’ representations in offering materials regarding mortgage underwriting standards. The FHFA had sued over certificates that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, known as government-sponsored enterprises, had bought between September 2005 and October 2007. Goldman underwrote about $11.1 billion of the certificates, and Deutsche Bank roughly $14.2 billion, the regulator has said.
How much is a patent really worth? That’s one of the most contentious questions in the technology patent wars. And it can be especially difficult to answer when the patent is one that’s tied to an industry standard. The question of what’s fair to charge for a license to a standards-essential patent may finally get an answer in a trial beginning at 9 a.m. PT today in Seattle federal court. The US District Court case stems from a lawsuit Microsoft filed against Motorola (now owned by Google) on November 9, 2010. The company accused Motorola of violating the promises it made to standards organizations to license patents at fair and reasonable rates. Motorola Mobility bases much of its patent litigation and licensing strategy on video and Wi-Fi patents that are incorporated into industry standards codified by groups such as the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) and the ITU (International Telecommunications Union).
Oral arguments are scheduled on Tuesday in a long-pending court case that may determine if U.S. stock exchanges will have to reveal their costs for producing market data, a key cog of high-frequency trading and the electronic marketplace, Reuters reports. A trade association of brokers, bankers and money managers, along with a group of companies including Google Inc, eBay Inc, Yahoo Inc and Bloomberg LP, has accused the Securities and Exchange Commission of abdicating its duty to uphold “fair and reasonable” fees for market data. The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (Sifma) and the NetCoalition technology trade group took the SEC to court for not objecting to new market data fees filed with the agency by units of NYSE Euronext and Nasdaq OMX. The case before the U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit could be thrown out because NYSE and Nasdaq, the two largest U.S. exchange operators, say the court lacks jurisdiction to review the complaint.
South Carolina’s immigration law, considered among the nation’s toughest before the U.S. Supreme Court tossed out much of the Arizona law upon which it was modeled, is going back before a federal judge, Aiken Standard. U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel, who blocked most of the South Carolina law from taking effect last December, holds a hearing today in Charleston. The Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that much of the Arizona law was unconstitutional, tossing out provisions making it a state crime not to carry immigration papers and for illegal immigrants to transport or house themselves. South Carolina’s law had similar provisions. But Gergel also blocked a section of the South Carolina law allowing police to check the immigration status of those they pull over if officers suspect they are in the country illegally. The Supreme Court let a similar provision in the Arizona law stand.