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House Approves CFTC Reauthorization, Changes to Dodd-Frank

After a nearly two year process, on June 24, 2014, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 266-144 to pass H.R. 4413, the Customer Protection and End-User Relief Act, which would reauthorize the Commodity Futures Trading Commission…more

Doing Business in Canada - Privacy

Canada has enacted generally applicable privacy laws that govern most private sector activities. Each province and the federal government also have privacy and freedom of information legislation that governs government institutions…more

The Perfect Package: A Checklist to Avoid Legal Challenges

Your product teams surely have already finalized their lineup of holiday winners, the new gizmos and must-have widgets that you hope end up on everyone’s wish lists. Unless the product gets noticed by consumers, however, those…more

Interior Designs: Is space the final trade mark frontier?

Sometime after I’d piloted Wagamama to victory against the awful Rajamama copycat Indian-themed restaurant, my late friend Paul O’Farrell, who was the COO, asked whether we could get additional trade mark protection by seeking to…more

Calif. High Court Ruling Changes Class Action Landscape

“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.” The California Supreme Court could have been channeling Mark Twain when it rejected, emphatically, the unbridled use of statistical sampling to prove liability in a…more

Employee Benefits: Important Wellness Plan and Mental Health/Substance Use Disorder Parity Effective Dates Have Arrived!

Employers and insurers offering medical plans: take note! Two important final regulations issued jointly by the IRS, DOL and HHS (the “Departments”) apply to plan years (or, in the individual market, policy years) beginning on or after…more

USPTO Holds Forum on Subject Matter Eligibility -- Part IV

On May 9, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office held a four-hour long forum to receive public feedback on the Myriad-Mayo Guidance, which was issued by the Office on March 4. According to the Office's Guidance webpage, the forum was…more

Commercial Success But No Nexus

Smith & Nephew, Inc. v. ConvaTec Technologies, Inc. - In the final written decisions of two related inter partes reviews (IPRs), the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) sided with the petitioner…more

Nuisance Verdicts in the Barnett Shale: Two claims arising out of the same natural gas operations yield two very different verdicts

On April 10, 2014, a Fort Worth jury rejected a landowner's nuisance claim against a well operator in Teri Anglim v. Chesapeake Operating Inc., 2011-008256-1. Plaintiff Teri Anglim claimed that Chesapeake's operations at two wells—the…more

Infrastructure Alert - July 2014

President Obama and Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx have been urging Congress to fix the Highway Trust Fund before a projected funding depletion at the end of August. On July 1, Secretary Foxx sent letters to states informing…more

STOA Schemes Face Increased Regulatory Scrutiny

Increased SEC and Justice Department prosecution is bad news for stranger-originated annuity (STOA) schemes. The SEC recently announced that enforcement actions were taken against brokers Michael A. Horowitz of California and Moshe…more

Federal Government Bars Immigration Checks By Schools

The U.S. Departments of Education and Justice have recently issued new guidance – in the form of a “Dear Colleague” letter to school administrators nationwide – barring public schools from conducting immigration checks on students. The…more

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