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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

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

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 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

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

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

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

Turning The Tide on “Trolls”

When a non-practicing entity (NPE) accused 16,000 small businesses of violating its patent by merely emailing scanned documents, the New York attorney general cracked down, forcing a settlement. Then the FTC threatened to sue...more

Uncertain Fate of Non-competes in Massachusetts: Senate Passes Compromise; Legislation Heads to Conference Committee Negotiations

On July 1, 2014 the Massachusetts Senate voted for a compromise on employee non-compete agreements, and the Joint Economic and Emerging Technology Committee heard testimony on the same issue. Governor Deval Patrick spurred...more

Update!—New TN Law Concerning Patent Infringement Allegations

In recent years, state legislatures have attempted to pass legislation regarding patent law – an area that the U.S. Constitution states is exclusively governed by federal law. The stated goal behind many of these laws is to...more

Why patent reform won’t wait for Congressional action

Last month, after repeated delays and countless compromises, Sen. Patrick Leahy took the Senate’s version of comprehensive patent reform legislation off the calendar — dashing the hopes of those seeking reform without even a...more

Weekly Update from the NC State House - June 2014: After giving its final approval to their version of the state budget just after...

Conflicting Budgets - After giving its final approval to their version of the state budget just after midnight Saturday morning, the Senate took a long weekend, not returning to Raleigh until Wednesday. The budget...more

Making a Federal Case Out of Trade Secret Misappropriation

NEWSFLASH-Congress may actually do something. There is talk of a bipartisan (you read that right, BIPARTISAN) bill to provide redress for trade secret theft in federal courts. Today trade secrets are the poor relations...more

Anti-Patent Troll Legislation Moves Forward in North Carolina

Just over a week into the new session of the North Carolina General Assembly, legislation aimed at the abusive assertion of patent infringement claims by “patent trolls” may be gaining traction, with a bill apparently headed...more

Weekly Update from the NC State House - May 2014: After a very busy first two days of session last week, the General Assembly...

Another Hectic Week - After a very busy first two days of session last week, the General Assembly returned to Raleigh this week with a fully packed agenda. Among other things, they took up fracking, regulatory reform,...more

Bad Times for Patent Trolls: What the Government Is Doing to Protect Small Businesses

Patent assertion entities—‘‘PAEs’’ or, if you are in a bad mood, ‘‘patent trolls’’—have been around in one form or another for decades. In the past few years, however, their ranks have grown. According to a U.S. Government...more

Patent Reform Legislation Off The Table -- For Now

Earlier today, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, announced that he was taking the Patent Transparency and Improvements Act of 2013 (S. 1720) off the Committee's agenda. He cited...more

“Patent Trolls” in the Crosshairs – But How Will Patent Reform Legislation Impact the Rest of Us

Both Congress and the White House have been actively pursuing patent litigation reform in an attempt to combat the perceived “patent troll” problem. Of course, any legislation will impact all patent holders, even though most...more

U.S. House Committee Holds Hearing on Abusive Patent Demand Letters

On April 8, 2014, the U.S. House Committee on Energy & Commerce, Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade held a hearing “Trolling for a Solution: Ending Abusive Patent Demand Letters.” The purpose of the hearing...more

What’s the best way to improve the odds in patent troll litigation?

One can hardly talk about the patent law or patent litigation anymore without addressing the issue of patent assertion entities (PAEs). PAEs develop nothing, make nothing, distribute nothing, and sell nothing. They exist to...more

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