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Administrative Agency Communications & Media

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Administrative Agency issues written by leading professionals.

“Do You Kiss Your Mother With That Post?” Second Circuit Rules on Foul Facebook Post about Employer

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals stepped in to support the NLRB’s finding that an employee’s profanity-ridden social media posting about his employer (and his employer’s mother) was not so offensive that it went beyond the...more

Second Circuit Holds Termination of Employee Who Attacked Supervisor in Obscene Facebook Post Violates NLRA

The Second Circuit said last week that an employer violated the National Labor Relations Act when it fired an employee who criticized a supervisor on Facebook during an election. The catch here is that the Second Circuit...more

FDA Delays Effective Date of Amended Regulations Affecting "Intended Use" Definition

by Jones Day on

One day before the final rule, "Clarification of When Products Made or Derived From Tobacco Are Regulated as Drugs, Devices, or Combination Products; Amendments to Regulations Regarding 'Intended Uses,'" would have taken...more

Mexico Courts Rule Telecom Agency's Interconnection Costs Model "Reasonable"

by Holland & Knight LLP on

Mexico's Telecom and Antitrust Federal Courts have issued three resolutions declaring that the model used by the Comisión Federal de Telecomunicaciones (COFETEL) for calculating interconnection costs for fixed and mobile...more

T-Mobile Ordered to Dismantle Company-Controlled "Union"

by Ballard Spahr LLP on

Notwithstanding the change in administrations, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) continues to be active in the non-unionized workplace, giving employers another reason to carefully review policies that affect workers,...more

D.C. Circuit Strikes Down TCPA Fax Opt-Out Requirement

by Bass, Berry & Sims PLC on

Last week, the D.C. Circuit overturned the Federal Communications Commission's requirement that fax advertisements always include opt-out notices. In Yaakov v. FCC, the court held that the FCC lacks authority under the...more

ALJ Rules that OFCCP Exceeded its Authority in Demanding Certain Employee Compensation Data from Google

by FordHarrison on

In January, the OFCCP filed an administrative complaint against Google for denying access to records in violation of applicable federal affirmative action laws and implementing regulations. The Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)...more

ExteNet v City of Houston: Who pays for access to Texas rights-of-way?

On March 30, 2017 the Texas Public Utilities Commission will decide whether companies with certificates of public convenience and necessity from the Commission may place their facilities in local rights-of-way and provide...more

New Trademark Office Audit May Result in Cancellation of Registrations

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) announced a final rule that took effect on February 17, 2017. To assess and promote the accuracy and integrity of the trademark register, the USPTO amended rules...more

Use It or Lose It: USPTO to Conduct Post-Registration Trademark Use Audits

by Jones Day on

Trademark owners take note: Affidavits to renew your U.S. trademark registrations may be getting a closer look. On March 21, 2017, the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") implemented a new rule aimed at...more

USPTO launches new proof of use audit program

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has launched a new program that will require some trademark owners to submit more “specimens” (i.e., proof of use) and information than was required in the past. As a...more

California Public Employees' Personal Accounts May Be Subject to Public Records Act Requests

by Holland & Knight LLP on

In City of San Jose v. Superior Court, No. S218066 (Cal. Mar. 2, 2017), the Supreme Court of California decided unanimously that communications made or stored on a public employee's personal account, including emails sent...more

Just Like You and Me: Difficulties with Celebrity Trademark Applications

Under U.S. trademark law, any person (including a celebrity) can obtain a trademark registration for their name if they can establish that the public recognizes the name as a source identifier for certain products or...more

Social Media and Public Records Laws

by PretiFlaherty on

Social media is ubiquitous these days. Facebook alone, for example, has nearly 1.5 billion monthly active users. Given social media’s widespread use, it is not surprising that some municipalities have sought to harness its...more

Is a Private Email a Public Record? Context Matters!

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

In deciding last week that communications on public agency employees’ private devices may be subject to disclosure under the Public Records Act, the California Supreme Court included some direction to help make the...more

US Patent & Trademark Office Issues New Trademark Use Rule

by Roetzel & Andress on

On January 19, 2017 the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a notice in the Federal Register introducing new requirements for declarations of use in commerce filed pursuant to Sections 8 and 71 of the...more

What's in a Name?: An Overview of the TTAB's Recent Surname Decisions

Barr. Aldecoa. Hechter. Adlon. Kepler. Butterfields. What do these words have in common, you may ask? They were all recently found to be "primarily merely a surname," and refused registration by the Trademark Trial and Appeal...more

MarkIt to Market® | January 2017

The January 2017 issue of Sterne Kessler's MarkIt to Market® includes an overview of the TTAB's recent surname decisions, the changes made by the USPTO to their trademark processing and services fees, and lists the new gTLD...more

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House

by Pierce Atwood LLP on

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House provides a high-level overview of recent activity at the Maine State House. Work Gets Underway at Maine State House - Momentum is building in the Maine Capitol as...more

FDA Takes Action in the Last Days of the Obama Administration to Clarify Some of Its Views on Off-Label Communications

by King & Spalding on

In the last few days of the Obama Administration, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA or the Agency) issued a number of documents with implications for manufacturer communications with health care practitioners and payors. ...more

Federal Circuit Narrows Patent Eligibility for CBM Review

by LeClairRyan on

In the recently decided Unwired Planet, LLC v. Google, Inc. case, the Federal Circuit significantly narrowed the eligibility standards for covered business method (CBM) patent review. Prior to the decision in Unwired Planet,...more

FCC Shot Clock Not Tolled by Applicant Delays or Vague Notice of Incompleteness, Court Finds

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

A city granting an applicant’s request for a continuance of a public hearing over installation of a wireless tower is not a mutual agreement to toll the FCC’s “shot clock,” a federal court has ruled. In addition, a vague...more

OFCCP Sues Google, Seeking Pay Data

On January 4, 2017, the Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (OFCCP) sued Google, claiming that the tech giant is illegally withholding information about the compensation it provides its employees.  OFCCP seeks...more

When the Strength of the Facts Cannot be Lifted – SDNY Dismisses Muscle Maker Slack-Fill Class Action

The Southern District of New York recently dismissed a putative class action against Cytosport, the maker of Muscle Milk protein powder. The plaintiff, Orlando Bautista, alleged that he bought a container of Muscle Milk...more

FTC Grants Summary Judgment Against California Naturel, Inc. Falsely Advertising “All Natural” Sunscreen Products

In its opinion in In re California Naturel, Inc., the Federal Trade Commission held that the California Naturel, Inc. advertising promoting its “all natural” sunscreen on its website as containing “only the purest, most...more

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