THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING
Business in brief

IRobot settles 2 lawsuits on patent infringement

Email|Print| Text size +
December 22, 2007

IRobot Corp. of Burlington has settled its lawsuits against a Chicago-area firm accused of stealing intellectual property. In filings at federal courts in Boston and Birmingham, Ala., Robotic FX Inc. of Alsip, Ill., conceded it infringed two iRobot patents and that Robotic FX founder Jameel Ahed misappropriated iRobot trade secrets when he worked there between 1999 and 2002. IRobot spokeswoman Amy Reardon said the company spent $2.9 million on the two lawsuits and added that Robotic FX will be liquidated and any remaining assets will become the property of iRobot. Ahed and his company have been enjoined from further violations of the patents, and Ahed has been barred from working in the robotics industry for five years. (Hiawatha Bray)

THE REGION

Two more car insurers win approval of '08 rate filings
Insurance Commissioner Nonnie S. Burnes approved the 2008 rate filings of Liberty Mutual Insurance of Boston and MetLife Auto & Home of Warwick, R.I., the fourth- and fifth-largest automobile insurers in Massachusetts. The approvals mean 10 of the 19 insurers operating in the state now have rates approved for policies renewing April 1. Five companies face hearings on their filings and no action has been taken on the remaining four. (Bruce Mohl)

Analyst says Icahn might want Biogen Idec seat
Billionaire investor Carl Icahn may not be finished with Biogen Idec Inc. In a note to investors Thursday, Bear Stearns analyst Mark Schoenebaum said it's "possible" Icahn might try to seek representation on Biogen Idec's board at the shareholder meeting next year. Icahn, who reported owning about 3 percent of Biogen shares at the end of September, recently helped spur the Cambridge biotechnology company to pursue a sale of the company, but Biogen Idec said it didn't receive any serious bids. (Todd Wallack)

EU OK's Boston Scientific Taxus stent for diabetics
Boston Scientific Corp.'s Taxus Liberte won European approval for diabetic patients, making it the first drug-coated stent cleared specifically for propping open clogged arteries in those high-risk patients. Taxus Liberte, still under review in the United States, was just as effective in diabetic and nondiabetic patients at keeping the arteries clear and preventing heart attacks, clotting, and deaths, the Natick-based medical device maker said. Diabetes raises the risk for heart disease and contributes to the buildup of fatty plaque in the arteries. Boston Scientific is counting on Taxus use in diabetic patients to retain sales amid mounting competition from Medtronic Inc.'s Endeavor and Abbott Laboratories' Xience. (Bloomberg)

THE NATION

Medtronic to pay $114m in defibrillator lawsuits
Medtronic Inc., the world's largest maker of electronic heart devices, agreed to pay $114.1 million to settle lawsuits over claims it hid defects in its Marquis line of defibrillators. The settlement, which includes $18.5 million in attorneys' fees, resolves 2,682 claims over battery defects in implantable defibrillators. Medtronic doesn't admit any wrongdoing in the settlement, the company said. Battery failures and other problems with the devices prompted voluntary recalls by Medtronic and rivals Guidant Corp. and St. Jude Medical Inc. starting in 2005. At least 19,000 patients had the devices surgically removed after Medtronic's February 2005 recall. (Bloomberg)

IRS: FedEx owes $319m for taxes from 2002 filing
FedEx Corp said the Internal Revenue Service found that its FedEx Ground independent contractors should be reclassified as employees for tax purposes and that the company faced related taxes and penalties of more than $319 million for 2002. The IRS is auditing similar issues for 2004 through 2006, the package delivery company said in the Securities and Exchange Commission filing. "Given the preliminary status of this matter, we cannot yet determine the amount or a reasonable range of potential loss. However, we do not believe that any loss is probable," Fedex said in the filing. The company also said it has "strong defenses to the IRS's tentative assessment and will vigorously defend" its position that FedEx Ground's owner-operators are independent contractors. (Reuters)

more stories like this

  • Email
  • Email
  • Print
  • Print
  • Single page
  • Single page
  • Reprints
  • Reprints
  • Share
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Comment
 
  • Share on DiggShare on Digg
  • Tag with Del.icio.us Save this article
  • powered by Del.icio.us
Your Name Your e-mail address (for return address purposes) E-mail address of recipients (separate multiple addresses with commas) Name and both e-mail fields are required.
Message (optional)
Disclaimer: Boston.com does not share this information or keep it permanently, as it is for the sole purpose of sending this one time e-mail.