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News from AGG's Retail Industry Team - Spring Edition

By now, we’ve all realized that rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft have materially impacted a number of industries during their relatively short lifetimes. For this real estate lawyer, 2016 represented the year in which these…more

Supreme Court’s Evolving Approach to Special Education

In Endrew F., et al. v. Douglas County School District (No. 15-827), the Supreme Court of the United States expanded on its long-standing interpretation of the substantive right to a “free appropriate public education” (known as FAPE)…more

Supreme Court Holds Cheerleader Uniform Designs Are Copyrightable

On March 22, 2017, the Supreme Court held that decorative designs affixed to cheerleader uniforms may be entitled to copyright protection under the Copyright Act of 1976. The decision determined the proper approach to analyzing whether…more

Sovereign Immunity and Inter Partes Review: Protection From Post-Grant Proceedings for Universities and Affiliated Entities?

Since its inception in 2012, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) has invalidated a slew of patents in inter partes review (IPR), leading some to characterize the nascent body as the “patent death squad.” As such, patentees’…more

U.S. Supreme Court Decides Special Education Case

On March 22, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision regarding a matter of significant concern to school districts. In the case of Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District RE-1, the Supreme Court held that, in order…more

Stirring Up The Hornet’s Nest: Political Risk and Infrastructure

As the agenda at this year’s Northeast U.S. Petrochemical Construction Conference (June 19-20, Pittsburgh) will attest, there’s one thing that any new buildout of downstream petrochemical facility needs and that is an ample and…more

Duty to Diversify – Texas Bankers Association’s Real Estate, Oil and Gas Conference

David F. Johnson, lead writer for the Texas Fiduciary Litigator blog, presented “Asset Concentrations and the Duty to Diversify” to the Texas Bankers Association’s Real Estate, Oil and Gas Conference, in San Antonio on March 24, 2017…more

Supreme Court of Canada to address jurisdiction issues in online defamation case - Leave granted in Goldhar v. Haaretz.com

On March 9, 2017, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) granted leave in Goldhar v. Haaretz.com1. This case is important because the SCC will address three key issues relating to the assumption of jurisdiction by Canadian courts, in…more

Employer Granted Summary Judgment on Claims of Hostile Work Environment by Equal Opportunity Harasser

A federal district court in Alabama granted an employer’s motion for summary judgment regarding a former general manager’s hostile work environment claims. Thrower v. Yedla Management Co. Plaintiff, a Caucasian female, alleged that…more

Asset Concentrations And The Duty To Diversify

David F. Johnson, lead writer for the Texas Fiduciary Litigator blog, presented “Asset Concentrations and the Duty to Diversify” to the Texas Bankers Association’s Real Estate, Oil and Gas Conference, in San Antonio on March 24, 2017…more

North Carolina Attorney General Secures $377,000 in Settlement with Private Student Lender

?On March 27, 2017, the North Carolina Attorney General (“AG”) announced that it had settled a lawsuit filed in the Wake County, North Carolina Superior Court against a student loan company. As a result of the settlement, the parties…more

The Federal Circuit Finds Broad Claims to Be Patent Eligible because the Claims Are “Nearly Indistinguishable” from Those in Diamond v. Diehr

Nearly 40 years ago, the Supreme Court held in Diamond v. Diehr that while patent claims directed solely to abstract ideas, such as mathematical formulas, are not patent eligible, a claim containing a mathematical formula would be…more

Supreme Court Rules Cheerleading Uniform Designs Are Copyrightable

On March 22, 2017, the Supreme Court held in Star Athletica, LLC v. Varsity Brands, Inc. that design elements of cheerleading uniforms may be protected under the Copyright Act. The 6-2 decision, written by Justice Thomas, clarified…more

California Bill Puts Employers Smack in the Middle of National Immigration Debate

Since the election of President Trump, the California Legislature has been vocal and active in efforts to resist announced or anticipated actions of the Trump administration. This includes efforts to make California a “sanctuary…more

New Mexico to Become 48th State to Enact Data Breach Notification Statute

Once Governor Susana Martinez signs the act into law, New Mexico will become the 48th state and 52nd US jurisdiction to adopt notification obligations for entities that have experienced a data breach…more

Budget 2017: Changes to Canadian Exploration Expense and Flow-Through Shares

Canadian exploration expenses (CEE) are certain types of expenses incurred by oil and gas, mining and renewable energy corporations. CEE is 100 percent deductible in the year the expense is incurred. Certain types of CEE also qualify…more

Giving Patent Enforcement the Personal Touch May Create Personal Jurisdiction

Clarifying what type of patent enforcement action might create personal jurisdiction, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit found that where a patent owner visits a forum to negotiate licensing, that activity supports…more

Benefits Litigation Update – Spring 2017

Welcome to the Spring edition of Benefits Litigation Update, brought to you by The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) and the law firm Epstein Becker & Green. As a new Congress, and a new executive branch, work on major legislation to…more

Patentee’s Teaching Away Argument Fails to Overcome Substantial Evidence of Unpatentability

An obviousness challenge can be overcome by showing the prior art teaches away from the claimed invention. However, “teaching away” is a question of fact and thus subject to the substantial evidence standard in appeals from IPR…more

Interstate Versus Intrastate Business – What’s The Difference?

Some words are easily confused such as hyperthermia and hypothermia. In the case of the former, one is overheated and in the case of the latter, one is not warm enough. The difference becomes more understandable when one knows the…more

The Supreme Court reinforces the SAAMCo Principle

The Supreme Court in BPE Solicitors v. Hughes-Holland [2017] UKSC 21 (also known as Gabriel v. Little) has considered for the first time, and reinforced, the principles set out in the landmark professional negligence case of South…more

Southern District Of Ohio Holds Defendants Cannot Challenge The Manner In Which Shares Were Purchased At The Class Certification Stage And Endorses Price Maintenance

On March 17, 2017, Judge Michael Watson of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio certified a securities class action brought against Big Lots, Inc. (“Big Lots”) and various current and former officers for…more

Workplace Investigations and Privacy of Electronic Communications

The situation is common enough: an employee is alleged to have engaged in misconduct and, as part of its investigation, the employer decides to search the employee’s company-issued computer for any relevant documents and…more

CFPB Enters Into Consent Order with Credit Reporting Agency Over Alleged Misrepresentations

On March 23, 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it had entered into a consent order with a California-based credit reporting agency (CRA) and its subsidiaries, resolving allegations that the CRA…more

Finally! Government Contractor Blacklisting EO and Implementing Regulations Bite the Dust . . Perhaps Forever!

It's official. On March 27, 2017, President Trump signed the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution (H.J. Res. 37) invalidating the regulations that implemented President Obama’s Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order (EO…more

California Appellate Court Holds D&O Insurer Must Pay Cost of Insured’s Appeal Despite Criminal Conviction

In Stein v. Axis Ins. Co., No. B265069, 2017 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1628 (Ct. App. Mar. 8, 2017), the Second District California Court of Appeal had occasion to consider whether a criminal conviction is a “final adjudication” such that…more

MA net metering, Single Parcel and Subdivision rules

Massachusetts utility regulators have opened an inquiry to review the current standards and procedures by which distributed generation projects seek exceptions to the net metering rules and regulations that generally require each…more

Something in Common with a Secret Service Agent: eDiscovery Trends

I have something in common with a Secret Service agent. We both have had a laptop stolen out of a vehicle. In the case of the Secret Service agent, as reported by CBS New York (and covered by Ride the Lightning), an unoccupied…more

Export of Single Component of Patented Combination Does Not Impose Liability Under § 271(f)(1)

In reversing the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, an essentially unanimous Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the “supply of a single component of a multi-component invention for manufacture abroad does not give…more

What to do when the winner of a sweepstakes or contest wants a different prize

What if you offer a sweepstakes and the winner wants to receive only a portion of the prize? Recently, a winner won a vacation for her and a travel companion. However, she did not want anyone to travel with her even though it was part…more

Out-Of-State Investment in Washington’s Marijuana Industry on Hold

Several Washington regulations limit the growth of the state’s marijuana industry. Those limitations have kept nonresident investors at bay. For the second year in a row, however, the Washington legislature has considered allowing…more

SEC Issues New Sources of Custody Rule Guidance

On February 21, 2017, the SEC's Division of Investment Management provided additional guidance with respect to Rule 206(4)-2 under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended (the Custody Rule). The guidance addressed the following…more

Bridging the Week - March 2017 #4

Clearing Firm’s Failure to File Suspicious Activity Reports in Response to Red Flags Charged as Violation of FINRA Requirements: Electronic Transaction Clearing, Inc., a registered broker-dealer, was charged by the Financial Industry…more

Ontario Superior Court dismisses summary judgment motion in Lansoprazole Section 8 Claim

On February 27, 2017, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (2017 ONSC 1348) dismissed a motion for summary judgment brought by Abbott Laboratories and Takeda Pharmaceuticals, the defendants in an action for damages brought by Apotex…more

Idaho Modifies Oil and Gas Statutes (Again)

Both houses of the Idaho Legislature unanimously approved House Bill 301a last week following a seven-hour negotiation and two days of hearings earlier this month. Supported by Governor Otter, this bill will (among other things) amend…more

You're Not the Boss of Me: Parents Don't Answer to Children

Should the Court consider why a donor is making or revoking a Power of Attorney? This was the question before the Court in Pirie v Pirie, 2017 ABQB 104…more

Can a Creditor’s Inaction Violate the Automatic Stay?

The filing of a bankruptcy case puts in place an automatic injunction, or stay, that halts most actions by creditors against a debtor. But can a creditor violate the automatic stay by not acting? The Tenth Circuit recently addressed…more

The Tax Man Cometh For Bitcoin - NC Privacy Blog Talks To Digital Assets Tax Policy Coalition Counsel Cameron Arterton

A federal judge recently ruled that America’s largest Bitcoin service was obligated to provide the Internal Revenue Service with extensive transactional records concerning the financial transactions of its members. The federal…more

Delaware Supreme Court Reverses Dismissal Of LPA Breach Claims, Holding General Exculpatory Provisions Did Not Preclude Claims For Breaches Of Specific Provisions And Easing The Standard For Pleading Bad Faith

On March 20, 2017, the Supreme Court of Delaware reversed the Court of Chancery’s dismissal of a lawsuit challenging a transaction between affiliated entities. Brinckerhoff v. Enbridge Energy Co., No. 273, 2016 (Del. Mar. 20, 2017)…more

The Affordable Care Act is here to stay

In the last few weeks we have talked to hundreds of employers about the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which was proposed in the U.S. House of Representatives on March 6. Many of you have asked about the AHCA, how it might impact the…more

A Hefty False Advertising Case: When the Competition Calls You Wimpy

If you’re interested in garbage, the crass objectification of male celebrities, or both – or if you consider the two roughly equivalent – have I got a false advertising case for you! Despite their “Don’t Get Mad; Get Glad” tagline…more

New Ethics and Campaign Contribution Rules Enacted in San Francisco

San Francisco voters enacted Proposition T by an overwhelming majority in the November 2016 election; the measure was placed on the ballot by a unanimous vote of the San Francisco Ethics Commission. The measure will make an impact on…more

Actually, Hotel Franchise Agreements Are Negotiable

There is a widespread assumption that brand franchise agreements are not negotiable. This assumption is so prevalent that many real estate investors will devote substantial effort to negotiating the terms of a hotel purchase agreement…more

State of Texas Sues Federal Government to Prompt Action on Yucca Mountain

The state of Texas sued the federal government on March 14, 2017, under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, stating that the executive branch failed to comply with the Act’s mandate that the federal government establish a permanent…more

Construction E-Note - March 2017

In an article published on March 10, 2017 by Construction Executive, Meghan Cox provides guidance on how businesses can reduce the risks associated with violence in the workplace and how businesses should handle this violence if it…more

French Data Protection Authority Provides Guidance on Preparing for GDPR

Companies have one year to comply with the new EU regulation on data privacy, and it is estimated that only 10% of companies having operations in France are currently ready. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a new…more

President Trump Revokes Government Contracting Executive Orders And Signs Disapproval Resolution of “Blacklisting” Regulations

Seyfarth Synopsis: Yesterday, President Trump issued an Executive Order revoking President Obama’s “Blacklisting” Executive Orders pertaining to the government contracting community. The President also signed the joint resolution of…more

Trademark Owners Beware of Chinese Domain Name Marketing Ploy

Some e-mail marketing ploys are pretty clever and some spam or phishing attempts brilliantly disguised as valid e-mail. While there are many great reasons to register your trademark with the United States Patent & Trademark Office…more

Top Ten International Anti-Corruption Developments for February 2017

In order to provide an overview for busy in-house counsel and compliance professionals, we summarize below some of the most important international anti-corruption developments from the past month, with links to primary resources. This…more

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