Latest Updates

Federal Circuit Vacates Judge Gilstrap’s Controversial Venue Test

The Eastern District of Texas has been the hotbed of patent ligation for years, and that is undoubtedly threatened in light of the Supreme Court’s decision on venue in TC Heartland.  But the Eastern District clearly won’t go down… more

CFTC Files Its First Anti-Fraud Enforcement Action Involving Bitcoin

The CFTC filed a federal civil enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against Defendants Nicholas Gelfman, of Brooklyn, New York, and Gelfman Blueprint, Inc. (GBI), a New York corporation… more

Hurricane Irma – Commercial Property Damage and Business Interruption Insurance Checklist

Hurricane Irma was one of the most devastating storms in United States history, with sustained winds of over 190 miles per hour. Insurance industry experts have estimated the insured damages arising from this storm may reach $50… more

Getting Closer: Progress on Nominations for CPSC Chairman and Commissioner

Yesterday, President Trump announced his intent to nominate Dana Baiocco as CPSC Commissioner. If confirmed, Ms. Baiocco would replace Commissioner Marietta Robinson when her term expires on October 27, and would serve a seven-year… more

Update: Another Court Gives Broad Reading to Illinois Biometric Privacy Act

Another court ruling this week concludes that the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (IBIPA) covers face geometry scans that are created from digital images, again rejecting the argument that the statute should apply only to… more

Supreme Court Set To Weigh In On Class Action Waivers

In late 2017 or early 2018, employers should anticipate clarity from the U.S. Supreme Court as to whether arbitration agreements requiring workers to waive their right to file class or collective actions violates the National Labor… more

Understanding the EEOC’s Shifting Stance on Pay Bias and Data Collection

Recently, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has sent mixed signals to employers regarding its efforts to collect salary and pay data to combat pay inequity based on gender and race. Many employers are left wondering… more

President Trump Blocks Foreign Acquisition by Chinese Firm: Isolated Case or Harbinger of Increased CFIUS Scrutiny?

On September 13, President Trump blocked the $1.3 billion acquisition of U.S. microchip manufacturer Lattice Semiconductor Corp. ("Lattice") by Chinese private equity firm Canyon Bridge Capital Partners Inc. ("Canyon Bridge"). The… more

Thoughts On National Registration For Service Dogs

I’ve posted before, regarding the dilemma business owners have when faced with a customer with a dog (fake service dog) or a customer with an animal (emotional support animal – which are not afforded the same protections as service… more

Ninth Circuit Weighs in on “Field and Obstacle Preemption,” Reversing District Court’s Finding of Preemption

Whenever a claim is made that a state law has been prempted by an analogous federal law, the courts will rigorously test the strength of the claim. As as example, in a preemption case decided on September 15, by the U.S. Court of… more

InterDrone And The Future Of Commercial Drones

Earlier this month, I attended the InterDrone Conference in Las Vegas. InterDrone brings together commercial drone operators, service providers, and tech companies, and included excellent key note speeches and informative panels on an… more

Judge Dow Orders New Trial Due to Unreliable Consumer Confusion Survey

Order Granting Motion for New Trial, The Black & Decker Corp., et al. v. Positec USA, Inc., et al., N.D. Ill. (September 11, 2017) (Judge Robert M. Dow, Jr.) - Trademark litigants often submit survey evidence to prove that there is… more

Another Case of Paid Sick Leave: BERKELEY Symptoms Begin Soon

Seyfarth Synopsis: On October 1, 2017, after more than a year of waiting, the Berkeley, CA paid sick leave ordinance goes into effect. The ordinance provides extraordinarily generous paid sick leave benefits to employees beyond those… more

[Video]Day 15 of One Month of Innovation in Compliance-Structural Innovation

Innovation can come in various forms for an organization. Innovation can appear in a structural form. You can move compliance more deeply into your organization with new or different structures. One I have seen have success is a… more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Lists Three New Species; National Marine Fisheries Services Lists Subspecies of Hector’s Dolphin

On September 20, 2017, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“USFWS”) listed three separate species under the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”). USFWS listed the Sonoyta mud turtle (Kinosternon sonoriense) as endangered, and the ‘I’iwi… more

Guardianship, Mental Incapacity and the Right to Vote

All U.S. citizens have a federally guaranteed right to vote, but those under guardianship (or conservatorship) may not have that right. Although things are slowly changing, some states still deny citizens the right to vote if they have… more

Effects of Insurance Marketplace Uncertainty

Even as Senators continue to consider “Graham-Cassidy,” the latest Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal legislation, insurance markets are already reacting to uncertainty and instability brought about by persistent GOP efforts to upend the… more

Trump’s EEOC Nominations Are Rocking Along – And Here’s What We Can Expect

With President Trump in office for nine months now, it is hard to believe that none of his people are yet on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The four current Commissioners, including the Acting Chair, Republican Victoria… more

9th Circuit to Reconsider Employer Use of Salary History During Hiring

On Aug. 29, 2017, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit announced it will reconsider en banc whether employer use of salary history to determine an applicant’s compensation as a new hire violates the federal Equal Pay… more

Hurricane Maria Barrels Towards Puerto Rico

Hurricane Maria is set to strike Puerto Rico today, with forecast wind speeds of more than 150 miles per hour. Maria already struck the Caribbean island of Dominica as a category 5 storm, with sustained winds of 160 miles per hour… more

FCC Extends Regulatory Fee Filing Window for Those Regulatees Affected by Hurricanes Harvey or Irma

On Friday, the Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC’s” or “Commission’s”) Office of Managing Director released a Public Notice extending the deadline to pay annual regulatory fees from 11:59 PM, September 26, 2017 to 11:59 PM… more

Germany Sides with Institutional Investors in Competition Debate

Action Item: The German Government recently weighed in on the side of institutional investors on a competition issue that has generated vigorous academic debate in the United States: whether institutional investors’ minority… more

CPSC Announces Intent to Restrict Halogenated Flame Retardants in Consumer Products

This week, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted to form an advisory panel and begin drafting a rule to restrict the use of halogenated flame retardants in four consumer product categories: children’s products;… more

NYDEC Waived Right to Act on a CWA 401 Water Qualification

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) decision in the matter of Millennium Pipeline Company, LLC was issued on September 15, 2017. FERC determined that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC)… more

Employees In California? If So, These Are The Employment Bills To Watch

With the flurry of action by California lawmakers in the final weeks of the legislative session, there are approximately 640 bills waiting for action by California Governor, Jerry Brown. Here is a list of legislation which California… more

Blog: SEC Hack Provides Occasion For Chair Clayton To Revitalize 2011 Corp Fin Disclosure Guidance On Cybersecurity Risks And Incidents

As you probably read in the papers, SEC Chair Jay Clayton announced yesterday that, in 2016, the SEC’s EDGAR system was hacked and, in August 2017, the staff determined that the hack may have led to insider trading. The hackers took… more

An Often Overlooked Tool In Workplace Safety Prevention: The Near-Miss Investigation

OSHA defines a “near miss” as an incident in which no property was damaged and no personal injury was sustained, but where, given a slight shift in time or position, damage or injury easily could have occurred. Put simply, someone got… more

Intellectual Ventures v. Motorola: Use = Benefit for the Purposes of System Claims Infringement

On Sept. 13, 2017, the United States District Court for the Federal Circuit clarified the meaning of the term “use” as it applies to system claims in patent infringement actions. In doing so, the court held that an infringer must… more

CETA Now In Force: Are You Maximizing the Benefits?

On September 21, 2017, the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) comes into force on a provisional basis. If they haven’t already done so, it is now time for Canadian businesses to take steps to ensure… more

First District Upholds CEQA Categorical Exemption for Approval of Planned Parenthood Clinic in City of South San Francisco, Clarifies Implied Finding of No Exceptions is Analyzed for Record Support on Narrowest Possible Ground

When a lead agency finds a project approval to be categorically exempt from CEQA, this determination at the initial step of CEQA’s multi-tiered process necessarily includes an implied finding that no exceptions to the categorical… more

New Rules on Venture Capital Funds Adopted by the European Parliament

New rules to facilitate innovative and socially beneficial companies accessing capital in the European Union were adopted by the European Parliament on September 14, 2017. The European Parliament approved changes to Regulation (EU)… more

When Ripples Become Waves: The Equifax Cybersecurity Incident

Since September 7, 2017, Equifax, one of three credit rating agencies in the United States, has been dealing with the fallout from one of the largest (known) data breaches of personal information, putting 143 million Americans at risk… more

Upcoming CMS Clinical Diagnostic Lab Test Advisory Panel Meeting to Consider Lab Test Rates

The Medicare Advisory Panel on Clinical Diagnostic Laboratory Tests (CDLTs) is holding a public meeting on Monday, September 25, 2017. The Panel will discuss calendar year 2018 clinical laboratory fee schedule codes for which CMS… more

U.S. Dodges OPA Claim But Must Defend Against Insurer’s Negligence Claims

On September 15, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit released a significant Oil Pollution Act (OPA) ruling. The case is Ironshore Specialty Insurance Company v. U.S., et al. The Court of Appeals affirmed the District… more

Federal Circuit Affirms 16-Year Import Ban Against Indian Stainless Steel Producer Viraj Profiles  

On September 11, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“Federal Circuit”) issued a judgment without opinion affirming the International Trade Commission’s (“ITC”) decision in Viraj Profiles Limited v. ITC (2016-2482)… more

EPA Issues Direct Final SNURs for Carbon Nanotube (Generic) and Nanocarbon (Generic)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promulgated on September 21, 2017, significant new use rules (SNUR) for 37 chemical substances that were the subject of premanufacture notices (PMN). Six of the chemical substances… more

Washington Bad Faith Law At A Glance

In all insurance matters, all persons owe a duty of good faith, to abstain from deception, to practice honesty and equity, and to preserve inviolate the integrity of insurance. RCW 48.01.030; Appendix A. A cause of action for… more

U.S. Trade Negotiator Calls China “Unprecedented” Threat

On Monday September 18th, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer warned that China’s trade practices represent “a threat to the trading system that is unprecedented.” This was his first public speech since being confirmed in May… more

The State AG Report Weekly Update

AG Elections- Illinois Attorney General Will Not Seek Reelection in 2018; Democrats Scott Drury and Kwame Raoul Announce Bid for Seat- Illinois AG Lisa Madigan, a Democrat, announced on her campaign website that she will not seek… more

Blog: SEC Issues Some (Limited) Guidance In Connection With Pay-Ratio Disclosure

This afternoon, the SEC announced that it had adopted interpretive guidance in connection with the pay-ratio disclosure requirement, which mandates public company disclosure of specified pay-ratio information, beginning with the… more

California Bill Would Require Disclosure of Cleaning Product Ingredients

On September 13, 2017, the California Senate passed the final version of the Cleaning Product Right to Know Act of 2017 (S.B. 258), which would require manufacturers of cleaning products to disclose certain chemical ingredients on the… more

Department of Labor Announces Increase to Minimum Wage for Government Contractors

Effective January 1, 2018, the minimum wage for federal contractors working on or in connection with contracts covered by Executive Order 13658 will increase to $10.35 per hour. The current minimum wage under Executive Order 13658 is… more

Air Modeling and Effects Review Applicability: Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Updates Guidance

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (“TCEQ”) announced the release of an updated Modeling and Effects Review Applicability guidance document (“Guidance”). See APDG 5874. TCEQ intends for the document to provide a general… more

4 No-Nonsense Reasons to Take Good Minutes – Part 1

Taking minutes arguably tops the list of “most thankless jobs,” and those who assume the role often wish they hadn’t been such a willing volunteer. But accurate minutes are a parliamentary procedure “must” for all non-profits –… more

Celgene Notches Rare Win On PTAB Request For Rehearing

The recent decisions of the USPTO Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) granting Celgene’s requests for rehearing in parallel Inter Partes Review proceedings brought by Kyle Bass’s Coalition for Affordable Drugs (CFAD) are notable in… more

Tennessee Department of Health Grants COPA Request for Health Care Alliance

On September 19, 2017, the Tennessee Department of Health (“TDOH”) granted the request for a Certificate of Public Advantage (“COPA”) from Wellmont Health System and Mountain States Health Alliance. This approval paves the way for the… more

Veil Piercing/Alter Ego Determinations – How Fund Managers Can Protect Themselves

A veil piercing claim can be a worst-case scenario for a private fund manager dealing with a struggling portfolio company investment – the company fails, and ensuing legal claims are brought not only against the portfolio company, but… more

Lewisville Medical Practice Sued by EEOC for Religious Discrimination and Retaliation

Employee Fired for Requesting to be Excused From Mandatory Morning Bible Study, Federal Agency Charges - DALLAS - Shepherd Healthcare, a medical practice in Lewisville, Texas, violated federal law when it fired an employee because… more

Calculating Patent Term Adjustment: Part 2

This article is second in a series focusing on various issues related to Patent Term Adjustment for U.S. patent applications. While Part 1 is a general overview of how to calculate patent term adjustment (“PTA”), this article… more

Rhode Island General Assembly Passes Paid Sick Leave Law

On September 19, 2017, the Rhode Island General Assembly passed The Health and Safe Families and Workplace Act (the “Act”), House Bill 5413B and Senate Bill 0290B, respectively, guaranteeing roughly 90 percent of the state’s workforce… more

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