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Distillations: Glass Half Full

Here at the Distillations Desk we’ve talked about trademark disputes over the shapes of bottles, but now comes a case about the shapes of glasses. On October 12, Glencairn IP Holdings and Glencairn Crystal Studio filed suit in… more

Health Insurance for U.S. Employees - A New Option for an Old Problem

There is good news in the world of U.S. health insurance laws, at least for Canadian companies with fewer than 50 full-time U.S. employees. Effective this year, it is now possible to directly reimburse employees for the cost of… more

AMF Report Highlights Deficiencies in Disclosure Documents of Quebec Issuers

The Corporate Finance Division of Quebec’s Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) recently released its first Summary of Oversight and Regulatory Activities (Report), which provides general information and reminders about securities… more

EDPS Releases Recommendations on ePrivacy Regulation – Still a Long Way to Go

We are only eight months away from the new EU data protection regime entering into force. In addition to the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), which includes the general data protection provisions, the ePrivacy Regulation… more

Alert: China Issues New Policy for Drug and Medical Device Approvals

On October 8, 2017, the General Office of the CPC Central Committee and the General Office of China's State Council jointly issued Opinions of the State Council on Promulgating the Reform of Review and Approval System for Drugs and… more

Cracking Open a Cold One: Plaintiffs’ False Advertising Suit Against Brewer Survives Dismissal

Earlier this year, two plaintiffs launched a putative class action against Portland-based Craft Brew Alliance, the fifth largest brewing company in the U.S. and parent company of Kona Brewing Co. Craft Brew acquired Kona in 2010… more

State and Justice Departments to Share Information on Employment-Based Visa Fraud

As part of the Trump Administration’s “Buy American, Hire American” Executive Order, the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs (BCA) is joining with the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division to combat both visa fraud… more

How Were the Court’s Civil Cases Distributed at the Appellate Court (Part 4)?

Yesterday, we reviewed the year-by-year data for how the Court’s civil caseload was distributed in the Appellate Court for the years 2004 through 2010. Today, we review the data for the years 2011 through 2017… more

Sovereign Immunity and Inter Partes Review

Sovereign immunity refers to the doctrine that the government cannot be sued without its consent. Specifically, the 11th Amendment precludes federal courts from exercising jurisdiction over states in suits brought by private citizens… more

Puerto Rico Secretary of Labor Issues Opinion Regarding Employee Compensation Following Hurricanes Irma and María

On October 17, 2017, the Puerto Rico Secretary of Labor and Human Resources (Secretary) issued Opinion No. 2017-001 (Opinion) regarding the compensation of exempt and non-exempt private sector employees for workdays interrupted by… more

OCIE Publishes Risk Alert on Most Frequent Advertising Rule Compliance Issues Found During Examinations

The Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a National Exam Program Risk Alert on September 14, 2017 (Risk Alert). The Risk Alert highlights… more

Proposed Legislation Would Broaden Availability of Charitable Deductions

On October 5, Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC) introduced the Universal Charitable Giving Act of 2017 (H.R. 3988), which would allow individuals who do not itemize their deductions to receive income tax deductions for charitable contributions… more

Are You Owed Overtime Wages?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires covered employers to pay all non-exempt employees the federal minimum wage. It also requires covered employers to pay non-exempt employees 1.5 times their regular rate for any overtime… more

Oregon to Add Licenses to NMLS and Adopts Electronic Surety Bonds

Starting on November 1, 2017, the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation will accept applications for the Mortgage Servicer License and the Debt Buyer License on NMLS. The checklists for these licenses will be available here shortly… more

Action Required to Maintain DMCA Safe Harbor Protection

Parties that operate websites may enjoy immunity from copyright liability for the infringing posts of their users under the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”). The DMCA offers a “safe harbor” from copyright… more

The Demise of Rule 36 Judgments in Federal Circuit Decisions Relating to IPRs

The Federal Circuit issued a fairly mundane decision yesterday in Boundary Solutions, Inc. v. Corelogic, Inc.(PTAB October 17, 2017), affirming the PTAB’s decision to cancel all challenged claims of two related patents. Over the… more

What’s New in Immigration Law?

USCIS Permits Certain EAD Applicants to apply for a Social Security Number on Form I-765 - Based on a new information-sharing partnership between U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Social Security… more

Restructuring and Insolvency Bulletin Issue 2 - 2017: Offshore and off limits: SDNY Bankruptcy Court finds foreign transfer unavoidable amid shaping split

Can foreign transfers of a U.S. debtor be avoided under the Bankruptcy Code’s avoidance provisions? While the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York recently found that the answer is no, that court, as well as other… more

ISO 37001: Board, Top Management and Anti-Bribery Compliance Responsibilities (Part III of V)

In Part III of my continuing series on ISO 37001, today I examine the board and top management’s respective responsibilities in the implementation and oversight of an anti-bribery management system… more

Service Advisors at Auto Dealerships: An FLSA Exemption Case Makes its Way Back to the Supreme Court

The United States Supreme Court will address again whether service advisors are exempt from overtime compensation requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”)… more

Summary Judgment Win for Insurer in “Stable Value” Interest Rate Setting Case

In July, MetLife obtained a win in the Northern District of Illinois when the court granted summary judgment in its favor on a claim that it had breached the duty of good faith and fair dealing in setting interest rates for a… more

UC Merced Celebrates One-Year Anniversary of Groundbreaking for 2020 Project

This week, the Regents of the University of California and the University of California, Merced are celebrating the one-year anniversary of groundbreaking for the $1.3 billion, 1.2 million GSF UC Merced 2020 Project (the “Project”)… more

Drone Collides with Commercial Jet in Quebec City

On October 12, 2017, a drone collided with a commercial aircraft while it was approaching Jean Lesage International Airport, in Quebec City. This is the first time that a drone has hit a commercial plane in Canada, according to… more

New SEC C&DIs on Non-GAAP Financial Measures for Business Combinations

The SEC staff has issued two new Compliance and Disclosure Interpretations, or CD&Is, on non-GAAP financial measures in the context of business combinations… more

Telephone Access Might Be Valid Alternative to Accessible Website, But Court Needs More

Seyfarth Synopsis: In denying Dave & Buster’s motion to dismiss and for summary judgment, a federal judge said that telephonic access might be an alternative to having an accessible website, but cannot decide until the record is much… more

Is it HIPAA or HIPPA? Either way, it still applies.

I have negotiated hundreds of SaaS agreements for dozens of software companies and I always hated when the company on the other side was a healthcare provider. Invariably, they would bring up Protected Health Information (PHI) and the… more

Your Daily Dose of Financial News

Representatives of the US’s biggest stock exchanges have questioned the SEC’s plan to change how markets work by altering the current “maker-taker” system and imposing new transparency and conflict-of-interest rules on platforms run by… more

Noreika-Cordray Dispute Escalates as Senate Nears Vote on CFPB Arbitration Rule

Since last summer, Acting U.S. Comptroller of the Currency Keith A. Noreika and CFPB Director Richard Cordray have exchanged polar-opposite views on whether the CFPB’s final arbitration rule should be repealed… more

Liz Wiseman-Multiplying the Influence of Compliance

On the second full day of the SCCE Compliance and Ethics Institute (CEI) Liz Wiseman was one of the keynote speakers. Wiseman is the co-author with Greg McKeown of Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter, which is a… more

Sticking Firmly to Contract Terms, Court Dismisses Premium and COI Overcharge Claims

In July, in Hancock v. Americo Financial Life & Annuity Co., Americo achieved a total victory on its motion to dismiss a putative class action in the Eastern District of North Carolina that challenged its premium and COI charges… more

Costly Thy Habit As Thy Purse Can Buy: Implications of the Proposed HVADC Rules for Borrowers and Lenders of Acquisition, Development and Construction Loans

On September 27, 2017, the Office of Comptroller of the Currency, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the “Agencies”) released a joint Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (the… more

Make Effective Introductions in Special Situations

This is the third of three posts on introductions. In our first post, we focused on introduction fundamentals of effective in-person introductions. Introductions are personal, positive and connective… more

Comprehensive Embargo on Sudan Lifted, Although Some Restrictions Remain

Effective October 12, the Trump administration revoked the U.S. embargo on Sudan in accordance with Executive Order 13761 (Jan. 13, 2017) and Executive Order 13804 (July 11, 2017). As a result of this action, Sudan and the government… more

American Apparel Preference Actions Filed in Delaware Bankruptcy Court

Earlier this month, APP Winddown, LLC (formerly known as American Apparel, LLC) and its chapter 11 affiliates (the “Debtors”) filed approximately 201 complaints seeking the avoidance and recovery of allegedly preferential and/or… more

Legislation to Alter State Water Rights Enforcement Action Processes Fails

California Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed AB 313, which would have shifted the hearing process for certain water rights enforcement actions to a new Water Rights Division within the Office of Administrative Hearings. However, his veto Sunday… more

A Lesson on Good Faith and Fair Dealing in Solar Construction

Late last year, a federal trial court in New York awarded a solar development company $11.6 million in damages against Suffolk County arising out of a dispute on a multi-site carport solar construction project. The basis for this… more

How to Reverse Medicare Surcharges When Your Income Changes

What happens if you are a high-income Medicare beneficiary who is paying a surcharge on your premiums and then your income changes? If your circumstances change, you can reverse those surcharges… more

California Governor Approves Three More Employment Laws: “Ban The Box”; Expansion of Sexual Harassment Training; and Contractors Liable for Subcontractors’ Wage and Benefit Obligations

The deadline for California Governor Jerry Brown to sign new bills into law officially expired October 15, 2017. In addition to signing five bills last week, the Governor signed three more employment-related bills into law over the… more

[Audio]Podcast Episode 4 -- Too Big to Fail, Too Big to Jail -- The Justice Department's Outsourcing of Criminal Investigations and Prosecutions

The Department of Justice's approach to criminal prosecution of corporations and individuals has evolved over the last 20 years. Beginning with the traditional model of building criminal cases, brick-by-brick, by investigating and… more

FDA Announces Public Meetings and Requests Comments on Agricultural Biotechnology Education and Outreach Initiative

On October 13, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (the “FDA”) announced in the Federal Register a notice of two upcoming public meetings and request for comments related to the initial phase of the Agency’s Agricultural… more

WINTER IS COMING… and the PTO Will Be Pruning Your Deadwood!

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has a new random audit procedure for trademarks aimed at removing deadwood from the Register. The random audit is the result of a multi-year pilot program launched in 2012 to assess the accuracy… more

December 31 Deadline for DMCA Safe Harbor Copyright Agent Designations

All companies that conduct business online should take note of an upcoming deadline for “safe harbor” from copyright infringement liability. Online service providers that allow users to store or post content (essentially, any… more

Conditional Optimism or Securities Fraud? Appellate Court Affirms Dismissal of Class Action against Biopharmaceutical Company; Shows Importance of Communicating Adequate Caveats to Balance Optimistic Statements and Factual Omissions in Order to Avoid Finding of Scienter under Rule 10b-5

On August 22, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (the “Court”) affirmed the dismissal of a securities fraud class action against Sarepta Therapeutics, Inc. (the “Company”), a biopharmaceutical company… more

Payday Loan Rule Finalized: “Ability to Repay” Requirements Narrowed, but Challenges and Risks Loom Large

On October 5, 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the “CFPB”) released its final rule targeting what it refers to as “payday debt traps” (the “Rule”). Among other things, the Rule will require lenders to make “ability to… more

I Won’t Back Down: Another Company Refuses to Permit FDA to Inspect

Not long ago, we wrote about a company that refused to permit an FDA investigator to conduct an inspection. Well, here we go again. Apparently a fan of the late, great Tom Petty, the company told the agency, “I won’t back down.”… more

More ACA: President Trump’s Termination Of Cost-Sharing Reduction Payments

Late Thursday evening after President Trump issued an Executive Order earlier in the day directing various administrative agencies to take suggested actions for the hope of reducing the cost of health insurance, discussed here, the… more

New Protocol Circular Notes on Loss or Theft of Special IDs and Residence Permits in Belgium

The Protocol Directorate of the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued two new Circular Notes with information on the procedure to follow in case of loss or theft of a special identity card or a special residence permit held by… more

House Bill Aims To Encourage Public Offerings

In an effort to facilitate capital formation, the SEC's Division of Corporation Finance expanded its nonpublic review process to permit all companies to submit draft registration statements relating to an initial public offering (IPO)… more

Caution with the Models of the “Commission de Bons Offices” when Employing Local Staff in Belgium as a Diplomatic Mission

The Good Offices Commission, better known under its French name “Commission de Bons Offices”, has developed model work rules and a model employment agreement for local staff of diplomatic missions. Although both the Commission and the… more

Ambitious Tax Reform Takes Center Stage

The Trump Administration and certain members of Congress recently released an ambitious, conceptual plan for tax reform that would drastically alter current U.S. tax law, affecting a wide array of taxpayers. The plan (called the… more

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