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Legal Alert: Change in U.S. Policy Towards Cuba

President Obama recently announced that the United States and Cuba would begin talks to reestablish diplomatic relations and partially lift the economic and travel sanctions that have existed between the two nations for over...more

Secrets in the Spotlight

Companies May Get a New Weapon in the Fight Against Economic Espionage - Efforts to protect property from global threats gained momentum in Washington this summer with the introduction of a pair of bills that would...more

More Misinformation Regarding the Patent System and Non-Practicing Entities

The press has been all too eager to decry the so-called "broken" U.S. patent system and the alleged "scourge" of non-practicing entities (NPEs). However, few if any articles attempt to provide an even-handed analysis of...more

FTC Commissioner Brill Urges Congress to Act on Patent Trolls

In a speech at the American Antitrust Association (AAI) and Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) Conference on Innovation, Patents and PAEs on December 10, 2014, Federal Trade Commissioner (FTC) Julie Brill...more

FLORIDA SUNSHINE? State High Court Orders Gerrymandering Documents Made Public, Justice Thomas Rejects Last-Minute Appeal

This past summer, we reported on an emergency petition to Justice Clarence Thomas of the United States Supreme Court to stay a Florida Supreme Court’s decision permitting disclosure of documents submitted under seal during a...more

Federal Trade Secret Legislation Gathers Momentum, But Questions Remain

In many ways, trade secret protection has been the “odd man out” among intellectual property rights. While patents, trademarks, and copyrights are dominated by federal statutes, trade secret rights arise under state law. In...more

Anticipating a Federal Trade Secret Law

Unlike patents and copyrights, trade secrets have historically been protected primarily under state law rather than federal law. That long history may soon change, as bills to create a federal cause of action for trade secret...more

Federal Trade Secrets Legislation: What Is It? Will It Pass? What Does It Mean for Employers?

Theft of trade secrets is a constant concern for many employers. Congress has listened, and over the course of this year, it has been moving forward with federal legislation aimed at protecting trade secrets. ...more

Political Ad’s Use of Trademark until Election Day Not Infringement

On October 28, 2014, Judge Paul Grewal of the Northern District of California ruled that a political advocacy website’s confusing use of the mark CHOOSE ENERGY could stay up . . . but perhaps only until election day....more

Patent Litigation Reform -- Will the Outcome of the Mid-Term Elections Matter, and Is Reform Still Necessary?

Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you are probably aware that mid-term elections are next Tuesday. And the issue on every voter's mind is obviously patent litigation reform. In all seriousness, even though the...more

Trade Secret Plaintiff Goes Three Rounds, Takes a Beating

Last week, New York attorney Douglas R. Dollinger asked the Honorable Vince Chhabria of the Northern District of California to reconsider an order sanctioning Dollinger and his client to the tune of $93,365.92 in monetary...more

Federal Trade Secrets Protection Act Approved by House Judiciary Committee

On September 17, 2014, the House Judiciary Committee approved the bi-partisan federal Trade Secrets Protection Act of 2014, H.R. 5233, which we previously wrote about when introduced in July, 2014 by North Carolina...more

House Judiciary Committee Approves Trade Secrets Legislation

Congress has taken another step toward enactment of federal civil trade secrets legislation. On September 17, 2014, the House Judiciary Committee approved H.R.5233, the Trade Secrets Protection Act of 2014, with a single...more

2014 End of Session Legislative Report - The 2013-14 session of the North Carolina General Assembly, which began its "short...

The Very Long, Short Session - The 2013-14 session of the North Carolina General Assembly, which began its “short session” on May 14th, finally concluded its business on August 20th. The 2014 session which was...more

Patent Troll Watch - States Are Pushing Patent Trolls Away from the Legal Line

Oregon introduces bill to make improper patent license demands a violation of its unlawful trade practices law - In February 2014, Senate Bill 1540 was filed, which would make patent trolling a violation of the...more

New North Carolina Law Provides Tool to Battle Patent Trolls

The North Carolina General Assembly recently passed a bill aimed at the abusive assertion of patents. It was part of the Commerce Protection Act of 2014 (S 648, S.L. 2014-110, section 2.1) and was signed into law by Governor...more

Trade Secrets – Protecting the (Corporate) Family Jewels

Disputes regarding trade secrets and corporate espionage are becoming perpetual fixtures in the news. One of the most common scenarios is that a key employee departs to join a competitor and his or her former employer quickly...more

USPTO and "Telegate"

By now, we've all heard of the controversy regarding the lax oversight at the USPTO of examiners in the Office's Telework Program--what I'll unofficially dub as "Telegate." Now, the House Oversight and Government Reform...more

Beware the Death Squad

On August 14, 2014, Law360 quoted PTAB Chief Judge James Smith commenting that the Board’s reputation as a patent “death squad” – a phrase coined by former Federal Circuit Chief Judge Randall Rader. ...more

Patent Trolls Laughing All the Way to the Bank

Invent something, patent it and watch your creative enterprise grow into an empire. That’s what inventors are supposed to do. Some of them still follow the rules. Others do not. Among the more unscrupulous are...more

Patent Troll Legislation: Oregon State Courts Curb Abuse of Patent Laws by NPEs

Patent trolls, or more politely, Non-Practicing Entities (NPEs), are firms that collect “license” fees on patent rights by threatening lawsuits. Rarely do NPEs make any products, provide any services or operate any systems...more

Highlights of Congressional Hearings on Copyright Remedies: Statutory Damages, Small Claims and Felonious Streaming

On July 24, 2014, the Judiciary Committee of the United States House of Representatives, through its Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet, held hearings on the subject of copyright remedies. Most of...more

The House Introduces Another Trade Secrets Bill: Is It Really Any Better Than Before?

The Trade Secrets Act of 2014 (H.R. 5233) was introduced in the House by Congressman George Holding on July 29, 2014. Representatives Steve Chabot (R-OH), Howard Coble (R-NC), John Conyers (D-MI), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), and...more

Significant Legislation Affecting Business Passed by General Assembly

At the end of last week, the North Carolina General Assembly passed significant legislation affecting the State’s business legal climate. With large bipartisan majorities, the Legislature adopted Senate Bill 853 (SB 853),...more

Duke, Hershey, and Winston: Who gets to trademark a famous name?

Common sense tells you that you can always use your own name. But under trademark law, that’s not always true. Three recent cases illustrate this conundrum, which plays a major role in many Internet marketing and domain name...more

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