Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, PLLC

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Ray Bennett

Can You Keep a Secret? Confidentiality Clauses in Settlement Agreements Are For Real

If a party to a confidential settlement agreement blabs about the settlement, could the party lose some of the benefits of the settlement? A recent Florida appellate decision is a good reminder to think carefully about the…more

ADEA, Age Discrimination, Confidentiality Agreements, Non-Judicial Settlement Agreements

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Ryan Cagle

More Changes to U.S. Patent Laws Coming From Implementation of 2012 Treaties Act

While much attention has been given to the recent, significant changes in U.S. patent law arising from the America Invents Act (“AIA”), lesser attention has been given to patent law changes brought about by further congressional…more

America Invents Act, Patent Applications, Patent Reform, Patents, PLTIA

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Marina Carreker

Removal to Federal Court Based on Diversity Jurisdiction: How Long Do You Have?

Complaints filed in state court routinely allege only damages “in excess of $10,000.” If you’re a defendant considering removal to federal court based on diversity, such an allegation doesn’t meet the $75,000 amount in…more

Car Accident, Diversity Jurisdiction, Jurisdiction, Removal, Trucking Industry

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Steve Cave

A Reduction in the Utility of Civil Investigative Demands and the Interpretive Narrowing of "Person" under the False Claims Act

Executive Summary: False Claims Act actions against government contractors are on the rise. But two recent decisions offer potential limitations to false claims exposure, and may aid defendants in future FCA litigation…more

CID, Eleventh Amendment, Enforcement, False Claims Act, Federal Student Aid

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Saxby Chaplin

North Carolina Legislature Uncovers "Hidden Liens"

Executive Summary: North Carolina implements “lien agent” law for construction projects. The North Carolina General Assembly recently enacted significant changes to North Carolina's mechanics lien laws. These changes…more

Land Titles, Lien Agents, Liens, Mechanics Lien, Mortgages

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Sarah Crotts

Healthcare Alert: Better Late than Never - The Sunshine Act Final Regulations are Finally Here!: Applicable Manufacturers

“Applicable Manufacturers” - Common Ownership Considered to be Ownership by the Same Individuals or Entities of 5 Percent or More in Two Entities - In the Final Rule, CMS defines “applicable manufacturer” as an entity…more

Applicable Manufacturers, CMS, Final Rules, Medicare, Reporting Requirements

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Meredith Francis

Be Careful What You Wish For: SEC Permits Company Disclosures Via Social Media If Regulation FD Requirements Are Met

Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued a report clarifying that companies can use social media channels, such as Facebook and Twitter, to disseminate material nonpublic company information under Regulation Fair…more

Facebook, Investors, Netflix, Public Disclosure, Reed Hastings

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Jill Girardeau

A Detailed Analysis of Changes to HIPAA and the Implications for Healthcare Providers and Others in the Healthcare Industry: HIPAA Breach Notification Rule

Changes to the HIPAA Breach Notification Rule - Background: The HITECH Act required Covered Entities to notify individuals, HHS, and in some cases, the media, of a Breach of Unsecured PHI. A Business Associate is required…more

Business Associates, Covered Entities, Data Breach, HIPAA, HIPAA Omnibus Rule

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Peter Gutmann

Broadcast Client Advisory: FY 2013 Regulatory Fee Proposals

Executive Summary: The FCC has issued a schedule and explanation of the annual regulatory fees it proposes to collect late this Summer for Fiscal Year 2013. It also has proposed a change in its methodology that most likely will…more

FCC, Fees, Radio Stations, Rulemaking Process, Television Broadcast Stations

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Christopher Hall

Apparatus for Delivering a Patent Application on April 1

In the spirit of Rube Goldberg (July 4, 1883-December 7, 1970, inventor, engineer, cartoonist), we present the following novel and useful invention. The purpose of the invention is to deliver a patent application on a specified…more

April Fool's Day, Patents

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Preston Heard

Verint Files Multiple Actions to Enforce Patented Call Center Technology

Verint Systems, Inc. ("VSI"), of Melville, New York, and Verint Americas, Inc. ("VAI"), of Alpharetta, Georgia (collectively, "Verint"), have filed several suits in the Northern District of Georgia against competitors to enforce…more

Patent Litigation, Patents

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Jason Hicks

Supreme Court Creates New Standing Test For Asserting False Action Claim Under Lanham Act

On March 25, 2014, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion, authored by Justice Scalia, in Lexmark International, Inc. v. Static Control Components, Inc. In a previous post, I discussed my involvement in this case at the…more

False Advertising, Lanham Act, Lexmark, Lexmark v Static Control Components, SCOTUS

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Jonathan Howell

T-12 Entertainment Speaks Up in Trademark Complaint Over Use of "I Plead the 5th" Mark

On March 24, 2014, T-12 Entertainment, LLC and Kareem Hawthorne, both of Georgia (collectively, “Plaintiffs”), filed a complaint against Young Kings Enterprises, Inc., Ego Entertainment, LLC., Troy Williams, Anthony Adighibe,…more

Fraud, Infringement, Marketing, T-12 Entertainment, Tortious Interference

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Rebecca Jacobs

Consistent With Precedent, FCC Finds Violation of Competitive Bidding Rules Where Price Is Not Primary Factor

In a newly released Order, the FCC upheld a Universal Service Administrative Company finding that a school district had violated the Commission’s competitive bidding rules by failing to weigh price as the primary factor in its…more

Competitive Bidding, Contract Price, FCC, Vendors

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Chris Jeffers

How Monsanto Applies to Nonagricultural Biotechnology

The facts behind the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Monsanto v. Bowman are simple enough. Farmers are able to buy soybeans containing Monsanto’s patented glyphosate resistance technology under a license that permits them to…more

Biotechnology, Bowman v Monsanto, Genetically Engineered Seed, Monsanto, Patent Exhaustion

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Jim Kahl

Supreme Court Opens New Political Contribution Opportunities for Big Donors

In a divided 5-4 ruling in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court today struck down the federal election law’s long-standing “biennial limit” – the aggregate amount that a person can give to federal…more

Aggregation Rules, Campaign Contributions, Campaign Finance Reform, McCutcheon v. FEC, SCOTUS

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Katherine Lange

Eleventh Circuit Joins Fourth Circuit in Rejecting Continuing Breach Approach to ERISA's Statute of Limitation

When a participant of a defined contribution plan complains that the plan fiduciaries breached their duties in failing to remove poor performing funds from the 401(k)’s investment options, is the date of the breach when the…more

401k, Breach of Duty, ERISA, Fiduciary Duty, Statute of Limitations

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Janet Lowder

A Cautionary Tale Under Code § 409A: Case Evidences IRS' Willingness To Seek 409A Penalties For Discount Options

The United States Court of Federal Claims recently issued an opinion confirming that § 409A of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 applies in the context of discount stock options. The case, Sutardja v. United States, is one of…more

Discount Stock Options, IRS, Penalties, Section 409A, Stocks

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Carl Massey

How Monsanto Applies to Nonagricultural Biotechnology

The facts behind the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Monsanto v. Bowman are simple enough. Farmers are able to buy soybeans containing Monsanto’s patented glyphosate resistance technology under a license that permits them to…more

Biotechnology, Bowman v Monsanto, Genetically Engineered Seed, Monsanto, Patent Exhaustion

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Bob Numbers

Field Set for NC Supreme Court Races

In November, North Carolina voters will select the individuals who will hold of the majority of the seats on the Supreme Court of North Carolina until 2022. Four of the seven seats on the Supreme Court are up for grabs and…more

Political Campaigns

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Tiffani Otey

ICANN To Provide Trademark Clearinghouse to Assist Brand Owners With Protecting Their Rights at the New gTLDS

ICANN, the international agency responsible for oversight of the domain name system, is scheduled to make an unknown number of new generic Top-Level Domain Names (“New gTLDs”) available in mid-2013. The process to roll out the…more

Brand, gTLD, ICANN, Trademark Clearinghouse, Trademarks

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Mark Palchick

Consistent With Precedent, FCC Finds Violation of Competitive Bidding Rules Where Price Is Not Primary Factor

In a newly released Order, the FCC upheld a Universal Service Administrative Company finding that a school district had violated the Commission’s competitive bidding rules by failing to weigh price as the primary factor in its…more

Competitive Bidding, Contract Price, FCC, Vendors

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Amanda Ray

The New Rule 37(e) Pushes Forward

The proposed revision of Rule 37(e), which recently cleared another hurdle in the rulemaking process, could dramatically limit the exposure companies face from spoliation claims. It may also go too far…more

Discovery, Evidence, Rule 37, Spoliation

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Bob Rhodes

New Patent Law to Create “First to File” Rule on March 16th

As we begin a new year, we wanted to bring you up to date on the most recent happenings in the patent world. I'm sure you have seen the publicity in the past year concerning changes in the patent laws, sometimes referred to as…more

America Invents Act, First-to-File, Patents

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Phil Runkel

Affordable Care Act Good for Health Care REITs

It's been awhile since we've blogged anything, which must mean we're busy, right? Maybe this is why ..…more

Affordable Care Act, Healthcare, REIT

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Jesse Schaefer

You want to arbitrate? You must authenticate

A recent order in the Middle District of North Carolina highlights a potential pitfall for defendants in the perennial cat-and-mouse game of enforcing arbitration agreements…more

Arbitration, Arbitration Agreements

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Gregg Skall

Pilfered Funds & The FCC’s Online Political Public File Rule: The Law Of Unintended Consequences

In recent months, a number of media buyers have had funds stolen from their bank accounts. Even after repeatedly opening and closing accounts to stop the theft, tens of thousands of dollars have been diverted to accounts across…more

Cybersecurity, Data Breach, Data Protection, FCC, Political Public File Rule

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Michael Thelen

"Rails to Trails" or "Rails to Trespass": Supreme Court Speaks on the Abandonment of Certain Railroad Rights of Way

Last month, the Supreme Court of the United States (please, there is no such thing as the "United States Supreme Court") decided a very interesting case about easements. "Easements?", you ask. Yes, easements. We use them…more

Easements, Railroads, Railways

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Mitchell Tuchman

Consumers 1, Publishers 0 in Recent Supreme Court Copyright Decision

Do you manufacture copyright-protected goods in the U.S. for distribution in the American market and abroad for distribution at lower cost elsewhere? The Supreme Court handed down a decision March 19 with the potential to make…more

Copyright, Exports, First Sale Doctrine, Imports, Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons

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Kirk Watkins

Intellectual Property in the Gutter: Claims Construed in Sewer Line Resin Lining Patent Dispute

Sumner C. Rosenberg issued a Special Master’s Report and Recommendation construing terms at issue in three patents -- U.S. Patent Nos. 5,927,341 ("the ‘341 patent"), 6,337,114 ("the ‘114 patent"), and 6,899,832 ("the ‘832…more

Claim Construction, Patent Litigation, Patents

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Willie White

SEC Finalizes NYSE and NASDAQ Rules Regarding Compensation Committee and Compensation Adviser Requirements

Earlier this month, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) finalized rules approving the New York Stock Exchange LLC (“NYSE”) and The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC (“NASDAQ”) proposals regarding compensation committee…more

Compensation Committee, Compliance, Independence Rules, Nasdaq, NYSE

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