Cease and Desist

News & Analysis as of

Simple Steps to Help Keep Your Trade Secrets Safe

As illustrated by the recent lawsuit by America’s Test Kitchen against celebrity chef Christopher Kimball, companies in a variety of industries are vulnerable to losing their trade secrets....more

Forum Shoppers Beware (But Not in Alabama)!

Since non-compete law can vary drastically by state, many employers who operate in a multistate environment can benefit from utilizing forum-selection and choice-of-law clauses. These clauses are intended to ensure employers...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - December 2016 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - Trump picks Perry for top U.S. energy job - Reuters - Dec 15 - President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday named former Texas Governor Rick Perry to head the U.S. Department...more

California DMV Demands Halt to Uber Autonomous Vehicle Testing

On December 14, 2016, Uber announced a highly publicized test of its autonomous vehicle technology on the streets of San Francisco. The test included rides for various politicians, including State Rep. Steve Glazer and...more

Celebrity Brands: The Line Between Fair Use and Infringement

All brand owners are faced with difficult decisions regarding how aggressively to police their brands. The decision is particularly difficult when the unauthorized use is by a loyal customer or fan. While some traditional...more

Who’s Watching (What) You Create?

This past weekend, with what appears to be our first lasting snowfall, I enjoyed following my daughter around the chilly alleys of downtown Minneapolis while she created for her photography class. As you can see from the...more

Supreme Court May Cut Back Laches in Patent Infringement Cases

The United States Supreme Court is considering whether the doctrine of laches will bar a patent infringement claim filed within the Patent Act’s six-year damage limitations period set forth in 35 U.S.C. §286. The case before...more

IP Part 3: Enforcing Your Intellectual Property

"We are certainly flattered by your affection for the brand" - Christy Susman made news for her surprisingly kind words to Patrick Wensink, author of Broken Piano for President, in a cease-and-desist letter after...more

SEC Files Two Fraud Actions

The Commission filed two more “to good to be true” fraud actions yesterday. One centered on an offering fraud involving a recycling firm which repeatedly promised investors that it was about to obtain the financing that would...more

Job Seekers Become Offering Fraud Victims

Unemployed professionals thought they were being requested to appear for a job interview. On arrival they were solicited to purchase shares in a group of companies. In the end the the unemployed professionals were the victims...more

New Questions Raised by Judge Rakoff: Misuse of the ® Symbol and Literal Falsity Examined

Judge Rakoff is back at it in Classic Liquor Importers, Ltd. v. Spirits International, B.V. We previously blogged about the dangers inherent in sending a cease and desist letter without the concurrent appetite for...more

Using Pop Culture References in Advertisements? Just Do It Right

In this age of smartphone cameras and hashtags, an impromptu remark or a right place-at-the-right-time snapshot can “go viral” and create instant and immense goodwill. Businesses today use social media as a tool to promote...more

SEC Brings Second Whistleblower Retaliation Case

The SEC has brought its second case for retaliation against a whistleblower against International Game Technology. According to the SEC, the whistleblower, a director of an IGT division, started working at IGT in 2008 and...more

Ninth Circuit Issues Two Recent Decisions Further Definining Liability Under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

In July, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued two decisions by which it intends to clarify liability under the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1030 (“CFAA”). The CFAA imposes criminal penalties and...more

SEC Announces Enforcement Actions Against 71 Municipal Issuers

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently announced enforcement actions against 71 municipal issuers of bonds in connection with the Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation (MCDC) Initiative. The...more

Gladys Knight Files Unfair Competition Lawsuit Against Her Son

This Monday, seven-time Grammy Award-winning recording artist Gladys Knight commenced a federal unfair competition lawsuit against her own son and his businesses in connection with a chain of Atlanta-area chicken and waffle...more

SEC Announces 71 Issuer MCDC Settlements

On August 24, 2016, the SEC announced that it had entered into settlement orders with 71 municipal issuers and other obligated persons for violations of federal securities laws in municipal bond offerings. The issuers and...more

A Tale of Two Stephens: Stephen Colbert and his Right to Use his Own Name

In a recent episode of CBS’ The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, the host lampooned an apparent cease and desist demand from lawyers contending that Colbert improperly revived his “character” from The Colbert Report, his prior...more

Time to Review Your Severance Agreements

In August 2016, the SEC issued cease-and-desist orders against two different companies for using severance agreements which required exiting employees to waive their ability to obtain monetary awards under the SEC’s...more

You Are the Victim of Defamation: Should You Sue?

It is not unusual to get a telephone call from a client or prospective client (let’s call him John), who says, “Somebody is saying false things about me. I want it to stop, I want an apology, and I want damages.”...more

Update: Another SEC Enforcement Action on Whistleblower Waivers and Releases

Summary - Earlier this month, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced its second significant enforcement action against an employer based on confidentiality and release provisions that the SEC asserts...more

SEC Targets Employment Agreements Requiring Waiver of Whistleblower Awards

The SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower continues to examine employee severance, settlement and confidentiality agreements for language that might chill reporting of securities violations to the SEC and other regulators. The...more

NYAG Announces Settlement with Synergy Fitness for Improper Billing

This week, the New York State Attorney General (the “Attorney General”) announced that it had settled with nine Synergy Fitness (“Synergy”) health clubs over alleged deceptive and improper billing practices. Specifically,...more

Public Companies to Revise Employee Confidentiality and Severance Provisions

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued two Cease and Desist Orders that dramatically change the landscape for employee contractual confidentiality provisions, as well as for employee waiver and release...more

Standard Severance Agreements May Need to Be Revised

Many employers offer severance agreements to departing employees which, at least in part, are designed to protect the employer from disclosures of confidential information and from any future claims or recovery by the...more

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