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Morrison & Foerster attorneys may be able to catch up on their rest after putting to bed a settlement hatched across three continents. Firm lawyers negotiated the terms of a recent $145 million settlement on behalf of Japanese client Nikon Corp. in a dispute with Dutch competitor ASML Holding N.V. over patent licensing of photolithography technology, used to produce semiconductors. Also involved was ASML’s German supplier, Carl Zeiss SMT. “There’s been a lot of long hours,” said MoFo business partner Robert Townsend. “Because of the time zones, we worked 24/7.” He credits San Francisco litigation partners Harold McElhinny and Jack Londen, who took the lead on the case from the moment Nikon first brought in MoFo back in early 2003. “Harold did a fabulous job of winning the client’s confidence,” Townsend said. McElhinny was traveling and unavailable for comment. The settlement — reported to be one of the largest in patent litigation — pays Nikon $100 million this year and $45 million over the next three years. “That’s a lot of money for R&D or to pay down debt,” Townsend said. The deal cross-licenses all three companies worldwide to use each other’s patents dealing with photolithography, according to Townsend. The settlement also resolves years of fighting and litigation in California, Japan and Korea between two of the only companies making this equipment, according to MoFo litigation partner Michael Carlson. Canon Inc., a third maker of photolithography technology, was not involved in the dispute. The litigation started when Nikon filed an International Trade Commission proceeding against ASML in December 2001, according to Carlson. The outcome was not favorable to Nikon, which appealed in the Federal Circuit. That appeal has since been dismissed. MoFo’s Nikon representation was directed by McElhinny, Londen and Carlson. They were joined by business partners Townsend and John Hou. Other participating attorneys from the firm included litigation partners Alison Tucher from the San Francisco office, Michael Vella from San Diego, Emily Evans in Palo Alto, John Corrado, Peter Davis and Scott Doyle from Northern Virginia and Peter Stern in Tokyo. Other American firms assisting Nikon over the years of this dispute included Miller & Chevalier; Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner and Oliff & Berridge. — Marie-Anne Hogarth ORBITZ DEAL TOUCHES DOWN Latham & Watkins‘ local lawyers played significant roles in the billion-dollar wedding of online travel agency Orbitz Inc. Chicago-based Orbitz announced last week that it had been sold to Cendant Corp., the owner of the Days Inn and Super 8 hotel chains, Budget Rent A Car and Cheap Tickets. Under the terms of the transaction, Cendant will acquire all Orbitz shares for $27.50 per share at a value of approximately $1.25 billion. “This is probably one of the only industry consortiums that got off the ground,” said Chicago partner Mark Gerstein, who led Latham’s team. The fact that Orbitz was profitable and got through an IPO and successful sale, “that’s remarkable.” Gerstein said the management team faced enormous challenges on a variety of fronts, including antitrust issues. “There were challenges in having five strong competitors own a business,” he said. Orbitz was founded in 2001 by five airlines — American, Continental, Delta, Northwest and United. It’s the third-largest online travel site, behind Expedia Inc. and Travelocity.com. Latham helped Orbitz launch its initial public offering in December 2003. Gerstein got the business in part through his ties to Orbitz General Counsel Gary Doernhoefer. The two got to know each other at the University of Chicago Law School. While Latham’s Chicago office did the lion’s share of the work, Gerstein drew on the expertise of lawyers in its Silicon Valley and San Francisco offices. San Francisco partner Karen Silverman handled ongoing antitrust issues — a significant aspect of the deal — with an assist from associate Joshua Holian. And Joseph Yaffe, a partner in the Menlo Park office, assisted with employee benefits matters. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom represented New York City-based Cendant. Partner David Fox led the Skadden team. — Brenda Sandburg

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