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Business news in brief

Business news from around the region and elsewhere.


Teva settles Nuvigil patent litigation

Drugmaker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. said it settled patent infringement litigation over Nuvigil and will allow rival generic drugmaker Mylan Inc. to sell generic versions of the sleep-disorder drug. Teva, of Israel, has its Americas headquarters in North Wales. The deal allows Mylan to start selling three doses of Nuvigil by June 2016. Mylan, based in Canonsburg, Pa., expects to have six months of marketing exclusivity on the generic doses of 50, 150 and 250 milligrams. Teva acquired the drug's rights when it purchased Frazer-based Cephalon Inc. in a $6.8 billion deal that closed last fall. — AP

Groups: Disclose drilling settlement

A Western Pennsylvania court should disclose the legal settlement between a family that claimed natural-gas drilling threatened its health and several gas producers, a group of physicians and researchers said. Sealing the court records contributes to a veil of secrecy that makes it impossible for doctors to assess the potential health risks of drilling, Jerome Paulson, medical director at the Washington-based Child Health Advocacy Institute, said. The institute and other physicians' groups joined an appeal of a January order by Judge Paul Pozonsky in Washington County that sealed the documents. The case involves a family that sued Range Resources Corp. and other companies after parents and children began suffering health symptoms they blamed on hydraulic fracturing for gas on their property, according to a brief filed by the environment group Earthjustice on behalf of the physicians. Last year the parties reached a confidential settlement. — Bloomberg News

Unions announce effort at Revel

Union pickets could be going up soon outside Atlantic City's new Revel casino, even as the $2.4 billion month-old resort tries to build its business before a grand opening on Memorial Day weekend. Three major labor unions, including the Teamsters and the United Auto Workers, announced that they will press to unionize Revel workers. The unions are joining with Local 54 of the Unite HERE union to start a unionization drive. Local 54 has repeatedly clashed with Revel over tax subsidies that the casino has received, as well as four- or five-year term limits it has imposed on many customer service jobs. Revel has reached pacts with some other unions. — AP


22-year sentence for fraud

A former high-tech executive convicted of defrauding investors of at least $30 million was given one of the harshest sentences meted out in a white-collar criminal case. A federal judge in San Francisco sentenced Samuel "Mouli" Cohen to 22 years in prison. Judge Charles Breyer also set a Thursday hearing to consider fines against Cohen that could total $60 million. Prosecutors called Cohen, 53, a "congenital liar and serial fraudster." He was convicted of soliciting investments in his digital jukebox company, Ecast, by lying about its success. Prosecutors say his fraud caused the collapse of the Vanguard Public Foundation, a nonprofit tied to actors Danny Glover and Harry Belafonte. Cohen's lawyers were planning to appeal his conviction on wire fraud, money laundering and tax evasion charges. — AP

InBev profit jumps

The world's biggest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, said its first-quarter net profit jumped 75 percent thanks to lower financing costs and taxes as well as bigger beer sales. Revenue rose 3.7 percent to $9.33 billion, as strong sales in Latin America and Asia offset falling sales in Europe. In the U.S., beer sales improved due to warm weather and a decline in unemployment. And in Brazil, a minimum wage hike is expected to help both beer sales and margins. Budweiser is the company's top brand, and one that the company has been promoting heavily since InBev bought U.S.-based Anheuser-Busch in 2008. — AP

British judge orders Pirate blockade

Britain's main music industry association said a judge ordered Internet service providers to block file-sharing website The Pirate Bay. The BPI says a High Court judge told Sky, Everything Everywhere, TalkTalk, O2 and Virgin Media to prevent access to the Swedish site, which helps millions of people download copyrighted music, movies and computer games. The announcement follows a February ruling by the same judge that both the operators and users of The Pirate Bay infringe on the copyright of music companies. — AP

No shutdown for SUV factory

Sales of Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango SUVs are so strong that their factory will stay open through the normal two-week summer shutdown. Automakers typically close plants around the July 4 holiday to update cars and trucks for the new model year and maintain the machinery. But the Detroit factory that makes the SUVs will stay open all summer, a Chrysler spokeswoman said. Normally a plant is closed on weekends. Chrysler sold nearly 38,000 Grand Cherokees from January through March, up 44 percent from a year earlier. Durango sales jumped 33 percent to just over 11,000. — AP

Exec convicted in $485M fraud

A federal jury in Virginia convicted a former Costa Rican insurance executive on all counts in a $485 million fraud scheme. The jury found that 60-year-old Minor Vargas Calvo lied to clients and investors about his company's financial strength. Vargas was president of Provident Capital Indemnity Ltd., which sold bonds guaranteeing funding for life settlement companies, which buy life insurance policies from people at less than face value and collect the benefits when those people die. Vargas faced one count of conspiracy and three counts each of mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. — AP

Rates up in Treasury auctions

The Treasury Department auctioned $30 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 0.095 percent, up from 0.08 percent last week. Another $28 billion in six-month bills sold at a discount rate of 0.145 percent, up from 0.13 percent last week. The discount rates reflect that the bills sell for less than face value. For a $10,000 bill, the three-month price was $9,997.60 while a six-month bill sold for $9,992.67. Separately, the Federal Reserve said the average yield for one-year Treasury bills, a popular index for making changes in adjustable rate mortgages, was unchanged at 0.18 percent last week and the week before. — AP