Before high court
Other cases before the Supreme Court on Monday:
Drug patents: The court gave drug companies more freedom to develop new disease-fighting therapies, ruling that rival firms' patents do not bar them from starting research on competing medications. The unanimous ruling set aside a lower-court ruling for patent holder Integra LifeSciences Holdings Corp. It means that major pharmaceutical companies such as Eli Lilly & amp; Co. and Pfizer Inc. can start experiments sooner, leading to faster drug development, perhaps billions in savings and lower costs for consumers.
Media owners: Broadcast and newspaper groups suffered a setback when the court declined to hear their appeals to restore federal rules easing local media ownership limits. Without comment, the justices let stand a lower court ruling that threw out the new Federal Communications Commission rules as unjustified. The agency will now take a new look at the subject, though no timetable was given. The proposed changes would have allowed a single company to own TV stations and a newspaper in the same area.