U.S. Supreme Court Notebook

High court ruling limits international patent laws reach


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has sided with California-based Life Technologies Corp. in a patent infringement case that limits the international reach of U.S. patent laws.

The justices ruled unanimously on Wednesday that the company's shipment of a single part of a patented invention for assembly in another country did not violate patent laws.

Life Technologies supplied an enzyme used in DNA analysis kits to a plant in London and combined it with several other components to make kits sold worldwide. Wisconsin-based Promega Corp. sued, arguing that the kits infringed a U.S. patent.

A jury awarded $52 million in damages to Promega. A federal judge set aside the verdict and said the law did not cover export of a single component.

A federal appeals court reversed and reinstated the verdict.

 

2 Texas death row inmates lose in U.S. Supreme Court
 

HOUSTON (AP) — Two men on death row for separate slayings in the Dallas-Fort Worth area lost appeals Tuesday before the U.S. Supreme Court.

The justices refused without comment to review the cases of Joseph Lave, 52, and Juan Segundo, 54.

Lave was condemned for a November 1992 robbery at a suburban Dallas sporting goods store where two 18-year-old employees — Justin Marquart and Frederick Banzhaf — were fatally bludgeoned with a hammer and nearly decapitated. He received a life prison term for Banzhaf's killing at the store in Richardson and a death sentence for Marquart's slaying.

Segundo was arrested nearly 19 years after an 11-year-old Fort Worth girl was raped and strangled in her home in 1986. A DNA match in a national database in 2005 tied Segundo to the slaying of Vanessa Villa.

Neither Lave nor Segundo has an execution date.

Lave was set to die in 2007 but the Dallas County District Attorney's Office withdrew his execution date after prosecutors discovered evidence that had not been turned over to his lawyers.

The following year, the Supreme Court returned Lave's case to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals for additional review after lawyers argued his trial attorneys weren't able to cross-examine a co-defendant and challenge damaging statements from him.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last year rejected Lave's appeal that contended the judgment against him was the result of prosecutorial fraud and misconduct. That is the appeal the high court refused to review Tuesday.

In Segundo's case, DNA evidence also linked him to the rapes and strangling of two women in the Fort Worth area in 1994 and 1995.


 

U.S. Supreme Court asked to hear death penalty case
 

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Indiana officials have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to take up a death penalty case stemming from a 1998 triple homicide in Mishawaka.

The South Bend Tribune reports that 49-year-old Wayne Kubsch was twice convicted of three counts of murder and sentenced to death for the brutal killings of his wife, Beth Kubsch, her ex-husband, Rick Milewski, and her 10-year-old son, Aaron Milewski.

A federal appeals court reversed the convictions in September, ruling Kubsch's second trial in 2005 violated his right to a defense because the court barred evidence that might've cast doubt on his guilt.
The U.S. Court of Appeals ordered Indiana officials to release Kubsch or give him another trial. Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill's office filed a petition this week that asks the Supreme Court to intervene, arguing the appeals court misinterpreted the law.

 

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