IN THE ISSUE:
- The Legal Challenge to the SEC’s Conflict Minerals Reporting Regulations:
In the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, the United States Congress required, inter alia, the SEC to promulgate regulations requiring certain manufacturers to trace the sources of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold that are contained in products they manufacture or contract to manufacture to allow them to report yearly to the SEC whether the products are “not DRC [Democratic Republic of the Congo] conflict free.” Conflict free was defined by Congress as meaning the products do not contain minerals that finance or benefit violent armed groups in the DRC or adjoining countries. Congress required the SEC action because “it [was] the sense of Congress” that the exploitation of conflict minerals from that region was financing armed groups that engaged in “extreme levels of violence” creating “an emergency humanitarian situation.”
- E-Mails and Automotive: A Quick Reminder:
We just successfully defended a lawsuit that turned on a critical issue – are e-mails sent by an employee to his personal attorney using his employer’s computer protected by the attorney-client privilege? In our case here in Tennessee, the court held that the employee and his personal attorney had lost privilege over their communications. The e-mails could be used against the employee in the litigation and any alleged merits to the employee’s lawsuit quickly dissolved...
- Auto Insurer Trade Groups Applaud the Introduction of the “PARTS Act” as a Step Towards Greater Competition in the Collision Parts Replacement Industry and Reduced Insurer Costs:
In late April, Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D- CA) in the House of Representatives, and Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) in the Senate, announced that they were introducing the “Promoting Automotive Repair, Trade and Sales (PARTS) Act of 2013” (H.R. 1663). The legislation would amend patent law to reduce the length of a design patent issued on the external automotive parts used in collision repairs (bumpers, headlights, door panels, etc.), from 14 years to 30 months. As such, if enacted, parts manufacturers would be free to copy the design of such parts much sooner, without fear of a claim of patent infringement from the patent holder arising from the design of the part. For this reason, proponents of the legislation claim that it would increase competition in the repair parts market, potentially lowering insurer costs and insurance premiums for insureds...
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