So apparently the author almost got sued at some point, but then the plaintiff became an anime sponsor. Anyone have any idea who it was and when this happened?
I am not finding any reputable source, but according to both uncyclopedia (caveat emptor) and a Japanese quiz site about anime, Hata Kenjiro, the author of Hayate no Gotoku was sued by KONAMI.
This is the quote from the quiz site, which is asking whether the fact is true or false (and true was the answer according to the quiz):
Well the sponsors of the anime were Geneon Entertainment, Shogakukan , P&G, Jun Planning Co., INC. and KONAMI. So it could be one of those, but why and when? I don't know. Looks like the manga magazine covered the whole thing.
Probably Konami. The censor had 3 *'s which means three hiragana, and if it was an anime sponsor, Konami fits the bill. They did do a lot of Konami jokes, so it would be a possibility.