Latest Updates

NAFTA Renegotiation Faces a Lengthy, Uncertain Future

On May 18, 2017, United States Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer notified Congress that he is seeking to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The notification triggers a 90-day consultation period… more

Foreign Investment Reporting to the United States: In-Bound Investment into the United States

Businesses making investments in the United States, directly or indirectly, are required to report this investment to the United States government. This “in-bound” investment is reported to the United States Department of Commerce… more

Reminder: Modern Slavery Statement Deadline

A gentle reminder for all those with a turnover above £36 million and doing business in the UK… more

Governor Signs Amendment to Tennessee Data Breach Notification Law

During the recent 110th Regular Session of the Tennessee General Assembly, Governor Bill Haslam signed into law an amendment to the Tennessee Identity Theft Deterrence Act of 1999… more

Legal Costs Don’t Have To Be Staggering

The cost of correcting plan errors can be expensive. It can be expensive through corrective contributions and it certainly can be expensive through legal costs… more

Ninth Circuit Confirms GOOGLE Is Not Generic

On May 16, 2017, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s finding that the GOOGLE trademark had not become generic, providing guidance on preventing genericide. Elliott et al. v. Google, Inc., No. 15-cv-15809, 2017 US App… more

FRANCHISEE 101: Contract Curveballs

In every Franchise Agreement, the franchisor and franchisee promise to fulfill obligations to the other. For some promises, whether or not they were performed can be a clear "yes" or "no." For example: either a franchisee paid the… more

Where Does One Find Bitcoin to Pay the Hacker When Your Computer is Locked? An ATM, Of Course!: Cybersecurity Trends

Needless to say, cybersecurity and its challenges have become even more of a hot topic than ever, with ransomware stories becoming more prevalent. If you want to learn more about how to prevent ransomware attacks, read below… more

Insured May Bear the Consequences of Insurer’s Negligence

For decades, California courts have mandated that an insurer is obligated to accept a “reasonable” settlement demand within policy limits on behalf of its insured. If it fails to do so, it is liable for the entire judgment, including… more

Drawing (Or, More Accurately, Pouring) a Blank?

In a guidance issued on May 24, 2017, the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission announced a loosening of the Commonwealth’s stringent growler-filling requirements..… more

Postponement of the Integrated Environmental Permit until 1 January 2018

The Flemish Parliament agreed on a (supplementary) postponement for the implementation of the integrated environmental permit until 1 January 2018… more

Implementation Decree for the Say-on-Pay Provisions of the Loi Sapin II Adopted

Adopted on 8 November 2016, the Sapin II Act (Loi Sapin II) introduced a compulsory ex ante vote on remuneration policy and an ex post vote on the amount of remuneration received in accordance with the policy passed the previous year… more

Hospital and its Clinic Agree to $34 Million Settlement to False Claims Act Allegation that Compensation to Oncologists Violated the Stark Law

Last week, the Department of Justice (DOJ) entered into a $34 million settlement with Mercy Hospital Springfield (“Hospital”) of Springfield, Missouri, and its affiliate Mercy Clinic (“Clinic”). The settlement resolves an allegation… more

Court Clarifies Meaning of “Ground for Invalidity” for Purposes of Post-IPR Estoppel

A district court judge recently addressed the scope of estoppel for a petitioner in an inter partes review (IPR). Specifically, the court clarified the meaning of a “ground for invalidity” as it relates to the estoppel effect of 35… more

Fiduciary Rule to Go Into Effect but DOL Provides Temporary Non-Enforcement Policy

As reported in our April 18th blog, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) officially delayed the applicability of the Fiduciary Rule for 60 days, until June 9, 2017. Given the multiple delays leading up to the proposed June 9th date and… more

What Activities Do You "Pay For"?

ABC Corporation sometimes conducts in-house, during-the-workday, performance-improvement training for its employees. Its Policy Manual includes a sentence saying, "The Company pays for the time employees spend in work-related… more

NLRB's Quickie Election Rule Lives Up to its Name

You may remember that the NLRB issued its “quickie election rules” a little over two years ago. Those rules took effect in April 2015, and now we can clearly see that this is one law that actually lives up to its name. Prior to the… more

Privacy Training Requirements for Federal Contractors

Under a final rule issued by the Department of Defense (DOD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), effective January 19, 2017, federal government contractors must now comply… more

Merely Because Petitioner Changes its Mind is not Enough to Stop Inter Partes Reexamination

In In Re: AT&T Intellectual Property II, L.P., [2016-1830] (May 10. 2017), the Federal Circuit affirmed the PTAB determination in Inter Partes Reexamination, that the claims of U.S. Patent No. 7,454,071, directed to methods of… more

Blockchain and the financial markets: Will 2017 be the year of the regulators? New rules covering blockchain and distributed ledger technology could be on the horizon following a flurry of consultation papers by leading financial regulators.

In 2016, policy makers and regulators started to take an active interest in blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT). However, many adopted a "wait and see" approach rather than producing binding regulations. 2017 is shaping… more

A victory for attorney-client confidentiality: DOL takes formal steps to rescind controversial persuader regulation

In March 2016, the DOL issued a new regulation that greatly expanded the obligations of employers and their attorneys to publicly file sensitive information regarding so-called “persuader activity.” Under the regulation, employers and… more

NYC Law Prohibits Employers from Asking Job Applicants for Salary History

New York City recently enacted a law prohibiting employers from asking about a job applicant’s salary history during all stages of the employment hiring process. The law, which was adopted on May 4, 2017, also prohibits an employer who… more

TCPA & Consumer Calling - Monthly TCPA Digest - May 2017

We are pleased to present the latest edition of our Monthly TCPA Digest, providing insights and news related to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). This month’s issue features updates on the latest regulatory activities and… more

Dealing with conflicts of interest for registrants - disclosure is not enough

On April 27, 2017, the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (“IIROC”) issued a rules notice and guidance note (the “Notice”) regarding dealer firm (“Dealers”) management of compensation-related conflicts. The review… more

Uber and Lyft to Return to Austin, Texas?

One year after Uber and Lyft terminated operations in Austin, Texas, the ride-sharing platforms may be ready to return. The issue stems from a City of Austin ordinance that requires all “transportation network companies” (TNCs) to… more

European Commission Consults on Operations of European Supervisory Authorities

On 21 March 2017, the European Commission published a consultation paper on the operations of the European Supervisory Authorities ("ESAs")..… more

Five Signs Your Law Firm Needs New Energy

Law firms that lack energy dim their prospects for the future. Too often law firms pass over the issue of their own vibrancy (whether by a failure of recognition or simple indifference) and plod along without taking corrective action… more

Paid Sick Leave in Maryland Passes

After several attempts at passage in previous legislative sessions, the Maryland General Assembly has passed the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act (HB1 (SB230)) and will send it to the Governor whose own version of a bill on paid… more

Beware the Default Provisions of the South Carolina LLC Act

The current version of the South Carolina Limited Liability Company Act (the “LLC Act”) has seen very little revision since its passage in 1996. The Uniform Law Commission’s model act, on which the LLC Act is based, has changed… more

Conservation Easement Opportunities: Protecting Natural Resources While Receiving Tax Savings

Conservation easements may be a great example of "doing well by doing good." They help conserve fish and wildlife, clean water, natural habitats, historic properties, farmland, and timberland. They also provide other public benefits… more

What a Nordstrom Personal Shopper Can Teach Us About Client Service

“Can anyone give us an example of a non-legal service that you love”? The question was posed by John Cunningham to the four GC panelists at LSSO’s RainDance Conference in Dallas on May 9th. “Nordstrom Personal Shopper” loudly… more

Circuit Split: Expansion of Title VII Protections and Sexual Orientation as a Subset of a Protected Class

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. Title VII has been supplemented via legislative action to also prohibit discrimination due to pregnancy… more

Supreme Court Limits Venue in Patent Litigation

In an 8-0 decision issued on May 22, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court, in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC, restricted the available venues for patent litigation claims under 28 U.S.C. § 1400. Under Section 1400(b), a… more

Evaluating human rights risks for mega-sporting event hosts

Businesses involved in major sporting events will increasingly need to have a more sophisticated understanding of how their activities, products and services might be involved in adverse human rights impacts. In recent months a number… more

InterConnect FLASH! No. 61 - Regardless of Status (Broker/Motor Carrier): Contract & Control Still Matter

Courts continue to review the circumstances surrounding the degree of control exercised over transportation service providers. This has held true in several different segments of the transportation industry whether it is home delivery… more

Ultrasonic Cross-Device Tracking: A Consumer Management Tool with FTC Warnings

A consumer’s television or computer may be emitting silent signals that her smartphone can hear, recognize and answer back, but the consumer can’t sense them at all. These signals are telling retailers about their customer’s habits and… more

The Life Sciences Report - Summer 2017

Factoring in Human Factors - According to a recent British Medical Journal research report, the mean rate of death from medical error in U.S. hospitals is estimated to be over 251,000 people per year. Though many medical errors are… more

The Netherlands proposes changes to dividend withholding tax

The Dutch government has released an attractive proposal to fully exempt withholding tax on dividends paid to non-resident shareholders in treaty countries provided certain conditions are met. Many multinational enterprises should be… more

A Sea of Change: The Congressional Review Act and Energy Regulation

The beginning of 2017 has brought a sea change within the US regulatory regime, with yet unknown global effects. While Congress and the administration targeted many regulations, only 15 were reviewed and only 14 were repealed… more

Portuguese courts consider the enforceability of derivatives

Within the last few years, derivatives have been under scrutiny by Portuguese courts, affecting not only derivatives entered into under agreements subject to local law, but also derivatives subject to International Swaps and… more

Modernization of French Bondholders' Rights

On 10 May 2017, an ordinance was adopted by the French government ("Ordinance") in order to promote the use of bonds as a financing vehicle for French issuers that represents a major step forward in the French debt capital markets… more

Banking fraud The power of well drafted account opening documents in the age of e-mail

When a banking customer falls victim to a fraud on his or her account, the bank that unknowingly facilitated the fraud may be faced with the question of whether it acted with sufficient care to prevent it. The decision of the Ontario… more

Health Care Reform Weekly Roundup – Issue 2

Below are key health care reform developments from the week of May 15th: ACA Repeal Efforts. Efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) continue despite slowing down as the House of Representatives’ American… more

Iowa Gun Legislation & Its Impact on Government Health Care Facilities

Last month, former Governor Branstad signed House File 517 which significantly expands the rights of gun owners in Iowa. The legislation also allows Iowans to sue cities or counties that enact “gun-free zones.”… more

Is the NCAA Out of Bounds on Academics?

An ongoing controversy regarding fraud and academic dishonesty among student-athletes at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (“UNC”) has brought to the forefront an important question: Who is responsible for ensuring… more

Cinfa Biotech Announces Positive Clinical Trial Results for Neulasta Biosimilar

Cinfa Biotech, a Spanish company focusing on the development of biosimilars, announced positive results from their second clinical trial evaluating a biosimilar version of Amgen’s Neulasta (pegfilgrastim). According to the company’s… more

Changes coming soon for pharmaceutical patent litigation in Canada: key points

As a result of the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement with the European Union, significant changes to the patent linkage provisions and patent litigation framework relating to generic and biosimilar drug approval in Canada are on… more

Why Design Patents Are Surviving Post-Grant Challenges

As of January 2017, the institution rate for Patent Trial and Appeal Board trials involving design patents was 37 percent. That is significantly lower than every other technology area and makes design patents the only technology area… more

FDA Approves “First-of-its-kind” Infant Medical Device

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently authorized the use of what it described as a “first-of-its-kind” medical device to treat infants for a birth defect called esophageal atresia, in which the upper esophagus is… more

OSHA Indefinitely Postpones Electronic Submission of Injury and Illness Records

With a July 1, 2017 deadline looming, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) just announced on its website an indefinite extension for the electronic submission of injury and illness logs. This extension delays the… more

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