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Update on Initiation of FCC Rulemaking to Implement the New TCPA Exemption for the Collection of Government Debt

Some of you may remember that back in early November 2015, I wrote about a then little-noticed provision slipped into the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. That provision, designed to find more revenues to offset government spending (and…more

Hold the Phone! Obtaining Prior Consent under the TCPA Before Calling/Texting/Faxing Consumers

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) impacts any business that contacts consumers by phone, text or fax. Among other things, it limits the ability to place calls and send texts to consumers using an automatic telephone dialing…more

Five Easy Tips for Improving Your Company’s Non-Compete and Confidentiality Agreements and Related Practices Now

As January quickly passed by and new projects increase by the day, there is still a golden opportunity to capitalize on some low-hanging fruit to immediately improve your company’s practices and add immediate value to your company…more

Your daily dose of financial news The Brief – 2.10.16

We’ve all heard about the billions in tax savings associated with corporate tax inversions, but Deal Professor says the real tax-avoidance game is in a strategy called “earnings stripping”—a technique in which a multinational…more

Blog: The UK’s National Private Placement Regime For Non-EU PE / VC Fund Managers – “Financial Promotions”

If you’re planning to raise a non-EU PE / VC fund, and some of your investors will be in the UK when you talk or write to them, the UK’s financial promotions rules will apply. Get this wrong, and you’ll commit an offence. Get…more

Worth Another Look: Jobs that Pay

Like last year, Gov. Tom Wolf is encouraging the state legislature to provide for “jobs that pay” as part of the 2016-2017 budget. A robust economy that includes employment opportunities can help stave off property tax increases…more

Ask Permission, Not Forgiveness: PTAB Authorization Required Before Filing Anything With Patent Office, Even Before Trial Is Instituted

To fix clerical or typographical errors, patent owners typically file a request for a certificate of correction with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). However, during an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding, the Patent…more

Blog: Senator Calls on Med Device Leaders to Improve Cybersecurity

Late last week, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) wrote to the leaders of Johnson & Johnson, GE Healthcare, Siemens USA, Medtronic and Philips USA, to “express serious concerns” about potential cybersecurity vulnerabilities in their medical…more

Know Your Vendors: The Importance of Comprehensive Risk Assessment Programs

As companies continue to explore new outsourcing and cloud services models in search of improved cost and productivity efficiencies, service providers are being asked to handle increasingly sensitive types of data. However, some…more

New Life for Vitiation as a Defense to Doctrine of Equivalents Infringement

The doctrine of claim vitiation prevents application of the doctrine of equivalents in a way that would completely eliminate a claim element – i.e., renders the claim limitation inconsequential or ineffective. This doctrine has its…more

From Safe Harbor to Privacy Shield: New EU-U.S. Agreement for Transatlantic Data Flows

The European Commission (EC) and the U.S. Department of Commerce have reached an agreement to create a framework for transfers of personal data from the European Union to the United States. The framework, named the EU-U.S. Privacy…more

PATH Act Allows R&D Credit to Reduce FICA Taxes for Certain Small Businesses

The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015 makes permanent the research and development (R&D) tax credit, which had expired for amounts paid or incurred after December 31, 2014. In addition, the PATH Act gives certain…more

Delaware Bankruptcy Judge Rejects Effort to Circumvent Supreme Court’s Asarco Decision

The Supreme Court’s decision last term in Baker Botts v. Asarco, in which the Court ruled that professionals that are paid from a debtor’s bankruptcy estate cannot be compensated for time spent defending their fee applications…more

OEHHA Issues Final Regulations Related To Its Prop 65 Website

On January 25, 2016, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) announced the adoption of final regulations (Regulations) related to the development and maintenance of a website to "provide information to…more

OFCCP’s New Pay Transparency Rule: Are You Prepared?

As we reported in a previous blog post, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) Final Rule implementing Executive Order 13665 (titled Non-Retaliation for Disclosure of Compensation Information) took effect on…more

Recommendation That Certain Claims Be Dismissed As Patent Ineligible; Motion May Be Renewed Later

Burke, M.J. Magistrate recommends that defendants’ motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim based upon section 101 unpatentable subject matter be granted in part and denied in part. Briefing was completed on March 2, 2015 and…more

Annual Estate Planning Newsletter: Part Two

Action Item: This is the second installment of our Annual Estate Planning Newsletter, and focuses on specific gift and generation-skipping transfer ("GST") tax matters. We urge you to review this installment to ensure that your 2016…more

Specific and Manageable Ideas for Enhancing Legal Briefs

Writing is central to what we do, and I enjoy thinking about what makes writing effective. In this article, I raise several specific ideas for how to enhance legal writing. The ideas revolve around the notion of what I call “purposeful…more

OFAC Fines Foreign Bank For Violating 50 Percent Rule

The U.S. Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control ("OFAC") continued Monday, February 8, 2016, to direct the weight of its enforcement power at foreign banks, this time entering into a $2,485,890 settlement with United…more

Blog: Does Merit Pay Work?

Most employers in North America don’t think so, according to CFO.com, reporting on a new survey by the compensation consulting firm, Willis Towers Watson. The survey, conducted in the last quarter of 2015, was directed at 150 large and…more

Court Of Chancery Explains Section 115

Bonanno v. VTB Holdings Inc., C.A. 10681-VCN (February 8, 2016) - Section 115 of the Delaware General Corporation Law addresses forum selection provisions in corporate charters or bylaws…more

Illinois Supreme Court Narrows Misconduct Disqualification for Unemployment Benefits

The Illinois Unemployment Insurance Act (Act) provides that employees who are discharged for "misconduct" are ineligible for unemployment benefits. In Petrovic v. Department of Employment Security, 2016 IL 118562, decided Feb. 4, 2016…more

IRS releases guidance on mid-year amendments to Safe Harbor 401(k) Plans

A few years back, an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) official opined that the IRS would not look favorably on safe harbor 401(k) plan making any amendments mid-year except in some circumstances such changing a trustee, changing a plan…more

UK Financial Regulatory Developments - February 2016 #4

ESRB approves expansion of macroprudential policy framework - ESRB has published two recommendations relating to expanding the European macroprudential policy framework. The first concerns the counter-cyclical buffer rates for…more

[Video]The Overlap Between The FMLA and the ADA

In this video, McNees Attorney Kelley Kaufman address the intersection of the FMLA and ADA with respect to employee personal medical leaves of absence…more

Liquidation Court Grants Receiver’s Application For Authority To Enter Into Reinsurance Settlements With Three Reinsurers

A Texas court presiding over the liquidation of Santa Fe Auto Insurance Company approved an application by the Special Deputy Receiver for the liquidating company (“SDR”) to enter into a reinsurance settlement with three reinsurers…more

NJ High Court Declines to Review “Borgata Babes” Case, Effectively Doubling Down on Appellate Court’s Acceptance of Atlantic City Casino’s Stringent Rules on Grooming, Dress and Weight Gain

The BorgataBabes Are Subject to Specific Personal Appearance Standards - The Borgata, which when it opened in 2003, marketed itself as Atlantic City’s first Las Vegas-style resort and distinguished itself in the marketplace with…more

From Safe to Schrems to Shield - and Other Alliterations Shifting Grounds in the EU Privacy Landscape

In October 2015, the European Court of Justice abruptly invalidated Commission Decision 520/2000/EC on the adequacy of Safe Harbor (Case C-362/14, “Schrems”), mainly on grounds of (i) overly broad access by U.S. law enforcement…more

It Ends Not with a Bang but a Whimper - Commil USA, LLC v. Cisco Systems, Inc.

The patent case between Commil and Cisco, a case that made new law at the Supreme Court on the issue of the intent requirement in cases of induced infringement allegations, came to an end with a whimper on remand back to the Federal…more

Retail Industry Leaders Association Tells FAA That Point-Of-Sale Registration For Small Unmanned Aircraft Would Pose Consumer Data Privacy Concerns

In a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) regarding the FAA’s recent Registration and Marking Requirements for Small Unmanned Aircraft Interim Rulemaking (“Interim Final Rule”), the Retail Industry Leaders Association…more

District Court Concludes Mortgage Servicer’s Actions Violated RESPA

On January 28, the U.S. District Court for the Western Division of Washington, having determined that a mortgage loan servicer violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and committed the tort of outrage, ordered the…more

Injunctive Relief Claims Lead to Defense Opportunities

It’s not all that common, but every now and then our opponents feel their oats and seek injunctive relief – usually against the continued marketing of an FDA-approved product. A state-law plaintiff seeking such injunctive relief…more

Federal Circuit Finds No "Way" To Support Doctrine Of Equivalents

In Akzo Nobel Coatings, Inc. v. Dow Chemical Co., the Federal Circuit upheld the district court’s grant of summary judgment of no infringement under the doctrine of equivalents because the patent holder had failed to establish a…more

Defendants Find Relief from Burdensome Discovery Requests

Litigation often involves lengthy battles over the proper scope of discovery. Defendants with substantial resources frequently find themselves on the receiving end of unreasonable discovery requests in an attempt to overwhelm the party…more

What Is the Printed Matter Doctrine? - In re DiStefano

The U.S. Court of Appeals to the Federal Circuit addressed the obscure “printed matter doctrine,” concluding that a claim limitation should be considered as printed matter only if the claim pertains exclusively to the content of…more

February and March 2016 Filing and Notice Deadlines for Qualified Retirement and Health and Welfare Plans

Employers and plan sponsors must comply with numerous filing and notice deadlines for their retirement and health and welfare plans. Failure to comply with these deadlines can result in costly penalties. To avoid such penalties…more

The PSC Regime – Persons with Significant Control

Background This is the third in a series of client alerts published about the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 (SBEEA) - the impetus for a number of changes to the Companies Act 2006…more

EEOC’s Proposed Retaliation “Guidance” Muddies the Waters for Employers

For the first time in 18 years, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has offered proposed revisions to its official guidelines on workplace retaliation. In its proposed revisions, the agency expresses a very broad view of…more

Five Key Lessons for Business Litigators from National Abortion Federation v. Center for Medical Progress

On February 5, 2016, Morrison & Foerster secured a preliminary injunction on behalf of its client, National Abortion Federation (“NAF”), in National Abortion Federation v. Center for Medical Progress. The firm’s work on this…more

French Class Action Law Has Less Impact Than Expected

Since the entry into force on 1 October 2014 of the provisions of the “Hamon” law of 17 March 2014, which introduced class actions into French law in relation to consumer and competition law matters, only six class actions have been…more

Latest Renewal of the Production Tax Credit Could Spark Development of Wind Farms (at Least in the Short Term)

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016, which passed through Congress and was signed into law last month, included the latest iteration of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for renewable generating resources. The PTC was first…more

YouTube Rulings Emphasize the Importance of an OSP’s Terms of Service in Social Media Marketing

Two recent cases serve as a reminder of the key role an online service provider’s (OSP) terms of service play in social media marketing. The courts in Darnaa, LLC v. Google, Inc., 2015 WL 7753406 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 2, 2015) and Lewis v…more

Proposed EEO-1 Pay Data Requirement Will Increase Risks and Burdens

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) just announced a proposal to require large employers to provide pay data in the EEO-1 reports submitted annually to the government. While the proposal is completely…more

Will free apps soon be dead in Europe?

As we’ve discussed previously, the GDPR significantly limits user consent as a basis for processing personal data. One interesting question is whether the new rules on consent will kill free apps in Europe. Free apps typically…more

European Court of Human Rights Rules Employers Can Read Employees’ Emails

Last month, the European Court of Human Rights (“ECHR”), in the case of Barbulescu v. Romania, issued a ruling about the rights of employers to monitor their employees’ online communications, including those via personal email and…more

Recent Eleventh Circuit Reversal Sparks Upward Trend in Estimated-Fee FDCPA Litigation

On December 3, 2015, the Eleventh Circuit issued an opinion that has carved a path for plaintiffs challenging their communications with loan servicers. The decision, Prescott v. Seterus, Inc., reversed a grant of summary judgment in…more

Maryland Environmental Reporting Regulations On Hold For Now

Property owners and developers in Maryland have dodged another bullet, at least for now, with respect to their environmental reporting obligations. On October 31, 2014, the Maryland Department of Environment (“MDE”) proposed onerous…more

TransCanada Challenges Denial of Permit for Keystone XL Pipeline

As previously reported in the Trade & Manufacturing Alert, on November 6, 2015, President Obama officially rejected TransCanada’s application to build the Keystone XL Pipeline. As proposed, the pipeline would have transported Canadian…more

Federal Circuit Rejects Disparaging Trademarks’ Ban on First Amendment Grounds

A December ruling by the Federal Circuit emphasized the value of commercial speech through trademark registration, and the case may have implications for the Washington Redskins. The NFL team’s Super Bowl dreams may be over, but the…more

Student Aid Enforcement Unit Formed To Protect Students, Borrowers, And Taxpayers

On February 8, 2016, the Obama Administration’s Department of Education announced the creation of a Student Aid Enforcement Unit to respond more quickly and efficiently to allegations of illegal actions by institutes of higher…more

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