Commerce Clause

News & Analysis as of

California Cities To Tax Streaming Video?

Many cities in California are considering the expansion of their Utility User Tax (UUT) to streaming video services. Such an expansion may be inconsistent with the cities’ existing ordinances, be invalid under Proposition 218...more

Federal Circuit Clarifies What Constitutes Use “In Commerce” Under the Lanham Act

On November 14, 2016, the Federal Circuit clarified confusion regarding what is necessary to satisfy the registration requirement that a mark be used “in commerce.”...more

Facebook calls Illinois Biometric Law Unconstitutional

In the ongoing saga of Facebook’s challenge of the Illinois Biometric Law, it declared last week that the Illinois law violates the United State Constitution. According to Facebook’s Answer in a suit filed against it in...more

More Than Zero: Under the Lanham Act, One Interstate Sale Qualifies as Actual Use of a Trademark in Commerce

In 2009, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected shoe manufacturer Adidas’s application to trademark the phrase “ADIZERO,” due to a likelihood of confusion with an existing mark: “ADD A ZERO,” a clothing trademark held...more

BREAKING NEWS: No Physical Presence Required for Ohio CAT Imposition

On November 17, 2016, the Ohio Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated slip opinions in the three companion cases challenging Ohio’s Commercial Activity Tax (CAT) economic nexus standard. See Crutchfield Corp. v. Testa,...more

Supreme Court of Ohio Sustains Factor-Presence Nexus for Some, But Opens Door for Apportionment of CAT Receipts for All

Yesterday, the Supreme Court of Ohio upheld the Ohio Commercial Activity Tax’s (“CAT”) $500,000 factor-presence nexus test in the face of a Commerce Clause challenge. Specifically, in Crutchfield Corp. v. Testa, the court...more

ADD A ZERO v. ADIZERO

The long running trademark dispute between Adidas and a church in Illinois just had a decision handed down by a federal appeals court. Adidas thought it could outrun a church in Zion Illinois, but it appears that they...more

Mississippi Supreme Court Finally Disconnects The Line On Dividend Exclusion Statute In The AT&T Case

In a previous article, we summarized AT&T’s 16-year effort, in two separate lawsuits, to have declared unconstitutional two Mississippi income tax statutes on the alleged basis that they placed a greater tax burden on AT&T...more

Another Wynne for Taxpayers: Unconstitutional Limitations on Credits for Taxes Paid to Other States

Originally published by the Institute for Professionals in Taxation, November 2016. In Comptroller of the Treasury of Maryland v. Wynne, the U.S. Supreme Court declared Maryland’s income tax credit scheme...more

Lame-Duck Threat to Non-Competes

Not content to leave employers alone for the last few months of this term, the Administration wants to discourage, nationwide, the use of contract provisions that limit individuals from competing with their former employers,...more

US Supreme Court Asked to Clarify the Interaction Between the 21st Amendment and the Commerce Clause

The Texas Package Stores Association has asked the US Supreme Court (via a “Petition of Certiorari”) to hear a case that could clarify the interaction between the 21st Amendment and the non-discrimination between states...more

Third Circuit Deals Blow to Jersey City Ordinance Requiring PLAs on Privately Funded Projects in Exchange for Tax Abatements

Jersey City’s Municipal Code offers real estate developers generous tax exemptions that are designed to spur the City’s economic growth, but the tax incentives have strings attached. Specifically, to receive a tax exemption,...more

Out-of-State Taxpayers Can Reduce Pennsylvania Franchise Tax Under Wynne; Conduct Manufacturing? Your Franchise Tax Should Be Zero...

The Pennsylvania franchise tax has finally expired: 2015 is the last year that taxpayers are required to report and pay it. Because the tax rate has decreased over time, it can be little more than a nuisance for many...more

Local Tax Incentives Tied to Use of Union Labor —Preempted by the NLRA?

Seyfarth Synopsis: Third Circuit rejects market-participant argument, opening the door for preemption challenge to local law tying tax incentives to use of union labor. The case before the Third Circuit, Associated...more

Class Action Arbitration after Dell Webb

Agreeing to arbitrate disputes, in lieu of traditional litigation, is not a new phenomenon. As consumers, we all contractually agree to arbitrate disputes on an almost daily basis. While not everyone may read the entire...more

Texas Medical Board’s Appeal Must Proceed Under Existing Jurisdiction Arguments

In another procedural defeat for the Texas Medical Board (the “Board”) over its embattled telemedicine rule, last week, a federal judge held that the Board waited too long to request certification of appeal to the Fifth...more

Massachusetts SJC Reaffirms Decision Sourcing 100% of Taxpayer’s Loans to Massachusetts — Confirms Opportunity for Out-of-State...

On August 12, 2016, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court issued its decision in First Marblehead on remand from the U.S. Supreme Court. The decision reaffirms that many taxpayers that (1) file as financial institutions in...more

Financial Services Weekly News - July 2016 #4

Editor's Note - What Exactly Is Bitcoin? In a case featuring a sting operation beginning with meetings in a coffee shop, ice cream store and hotel lobby and ending with the sale of bitcoins to an undercover Miami Beach...more

Tennessee Takes Out-of-State Sales Tax into Its Own Hands

Are you an out-of-state retailer doing business in Tennessee? If so, take note. The Tennessee Department of Revenue is proposing a new rule mandating certain out-of-state dealers to collect and remit sales and uses taxes to...more

North Carolina Appellate Court Affirms that Taxation of Trust’s Income is Unconstitutional

On July 5, 2016, the Court of Appeals of North Carolina affirmed the 2015 decision by the superior court in The Kimberley Rice Kaestner 1992 Family Trust v. N.C. Dep’t of Revenue, which held that North Carolina was...more

Supreme Court Declines to Consider Curtailing NLRB’s Authority over Michigan Tribal Casinos

Recently, two Michigan tribes petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court challenging the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) authority to regulate labor practices at their casinos. Unfortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to...more

Breaking News: Federal Court Finds Delaware’s Unclaimed Property Enforcement “Shocks the Conscience”

On June 28, 2016, the much-anticipated memorandum opinion of the US District Court for the District of Delaware in Temple-Inland, Inc. v. Cook et al., No. 14-654-GMS was released on the parties’ cross-motions for summary...more

FERC says Nicatous microhydro doesn't need license

Federal energy regulators have ruled that a micro-hydroelectric project proposed by a remote Maine sporting camp does not require licensing under the Federal Power Act. The Nicatous case illustrates one expedited regulatory...more

Washington ALJ Upholds B&O Assessment on German Company’s Royalty Income

On May 31, 2016, the Washington Department of Revenue (DOR) Appeals Division released a Determination (No. 15-0251, 35 WTD 230) denying a German pharmaceutical company’s business and occupation tax (B&O) protest. The...more

Alabama Issues Remote Sellers Use Tax Assessments, Newegg Inc. Appeals

Ever since Alabama’s new economic nexus regulation went into effect, litigation over its constitutionality has been expected given that Alabama Commissioner Julie Magee and Governor Bentley said as much when announcing it...more

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