Litigator in the Spotlight

Can copyright owners follow the lead of patent trolls? Las Vegas litigator Steve Gibson’s IP holding company, Righthaven LLC, is doing just that. After acquiring copyrights from the Las Vegas Review-Journal and other publications, Gibson has filed more than 100 suits against bloggers who allegedly posted stories without permission. About 30 percent of the suits have settled, Gibson says; in late summer, two survived motions to dismiss in federal district court. “Since the advent of the Internet, there has been an ocean of infringements of copyright that have gone unaddressed,” Gibson says.

Dealmaker in the Spotlight
You don’t need to tell Audra Cohen of Sullivan & Cromwell about the late-summer surge in M&A. In July she advised Avon Products, Inc., on its $650 million purchase of jewelry company Silpada Designs, Inc. Later that month, she represented vitamin giant NBTY, Inc., when it was acquired by private equity fund The Carlyle Group, L.P., in a $3.8 billion leveraged buyout. In August, she advised energy company Dynegy Inc. in a $4.7 billion LBO by The Blackstone Group. Although that purchase is contingent on a separate deal between Blackstone and NRG Energy, Inc., for four of Dynegy’s facilities, Cohen says she isn’t worried. “There’s always risk involved in any deal, but it’s rewarding,” she says. “I don’t know if I can do three deals a month, though!”