Free Speech

News & Analysis as of

Michigan Attorney General Intervenes in Suit Against Consumer Reports to Defend Constitutionality of Michigan Privacy Laws

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette filed a brief this week intervening in a federal lawsuit between a subscriber of Consumer Reports magazine and publisher Consumers Union of the United States (“Consumers Union”) to...more

Exhibition Interference Shows That Public Institutions Still Struggle with First Amendment

Use of Confederate Flag in California Painting and Klan Imagery in Massachusetts Leads to Removal of Controversial Works - Two recent interventions by public authorities to remove controversial works of art underscore...more

See You In Court! - December 2016

The last game for the Nutmeg Knights couldn’t come fast enough for veteran Nutmeg Board of Education member Bob Bombast. A defensive tackle on the legendary 1984 team, Bob bleeds Nutmeg persimmon and gold and attends every...more

Texas Judge Blocks DOL Persuader Rule with Nationwide Permanent Injunction

On November 16, 2016, a Texas federal judge permanently blocked the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) from enforcing its persuader rule in National Federation of Independent Business, et al. v. Thomas E. Perez, et al., Case...more

Intellectual Property Bulletin - Fall 2016

Mean Girls v. The Right of Publicity: Lessons Learned From the Lohan and Gravano Lawsuits - On September 1, 2016, a New York appellate court ended two closely watched right of publicity lawsuits brought by Lindsay...more

Implementation of DOL's New Persuader Rule Permanently Blocked

A federal court in Texas has issued a decision permanently blocking the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) from implementing the final version of its "persuader rule." See National Federation of Independent Businesses v. Perez...more

Guest Post – The FDA’s Two-Day Meeting on Manufacturer Off-Label Communications

Today’s guest post is by Liz Minerd, a Reed Smith associate, who closely followed the online feed of the recent FDA meeting that the Agency called to discuss what changes would be appropriate in its off-label promotion...more

Can Trump Make the TCPA Great Again? A Highly-Speculative Look at the Future of the TCPA under a Trump Presidency

So the person that won the second-most votes in last-week’s presidential election will soon be our new commander-in-chief (isn’t the electoral college neat?) Now I like watching interest rates spike as much as the next...more

Supreme Court to Review Registrability of Disparaging Trademarks

On September 29, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States granted a petition for certiorari to consider the constitutionality of a provision of the US trademark laws directed to the registrability of disparaging...more

The Future of Airbnb in New York

One of the most controversial and popular topics in real estate today involves Airbnb, the online home rental service, and the concept of transient rentals. In New York City, Airbnb’s largest market in the United States, this...more

But First, Let Me Take A Selfie: The Changing Legal Landscape On Ballot Box Photography

If you take the time to vote in this year’s presidential election – but your ballot is not documented on social media – did you really vote at all? Many prolific social media users are determined to take ballot box...more

OSHA Proposed Citations Covered by Texas Judge’s Grant of Preliminary Injunction to Government Contractors Challenging...

Seyfarth Synopsis: The first of several anticipated challenges to Executive Order 13673, “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces,” has resulted in a preliminary injunction staying the implementation of some – but not all – aspects of...more

Election Day Concerns for Employers: Political Discussions in the Workplace and Time Off to Vote

With the highly contested presidential election on Tuesday, November 8, 2016, many employers are concerned about political discussions in the workplace, whether those discussions can be restricted, and how to handle...more

Did You Know…SCOTUS Ruling on Personnel Decision based upon Perceived Political Affiliation Impacts Public Employers

The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled on a matter involving “perceived affiliation”, bringing clarity to the matter, where the circuits provided discordant rulings. As a result, personnel actions based upon even mistaken...more

Supreme Court to Decide if Disparagement Provision in the Lanham Act is Invalid Under the First Amendment

On September 29, 2016, the Supreme Court agreed to review Lee v. Tam, better known as “THE SLANTS” case, to assess the constitutionality of the Trademark Office’s refusal to register disparaging marks under Section 2(a) of...more

Controversial Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Rule Partially Blocked

On October 24, 2016, a federal judge enjoined the U.S. government from enforcing certain provisions of the controversial Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces rule. The decision was handed down from Judge Marcia Crone in the U.S....more

The First Amendment: Without a Friend in the 2016 Election Cycle?

With Election Day less than two weeks away, it’s an interesting time for the First Amendment. Unlike the Second Amendment where party lines appear strong, the 2016 presidential candidates’ stance on First Amendment issues and...more

Preliminary Injunction Halts Enforcement of Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Rule

Federal contractors recently scored a significant victory when a preliminary injunction blocked much of the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces rule from taking effect. The rule, based on a 2014 executive order, was issued in August...more

Intellectual Ventures I LLC v. Symantec Corp. -- Judge Mayer on the First Amendment

Decided September 30th, this Federal Circuit case is already making waves. The majority opinion seems to be at tension with the Court's outcome in BASCOM Glob. Internet Servs., Inc. v. AT&T Mobility LLC, but the real...more

Upcoming FDA Public Meeting on Speech and Medical Products

As a reminder, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is holding a two-day public meeting on November 9 and 10, 2016 regarding “Manufacturer Communications Regarding Unapproved Uses of Approved or Cleared Medical Products.” ...more

A Contentious Presidential Election, #BlackLivesMatter and Bathroom Laws: Addressing Polarizing Current Events in the Workplace

It is practically impossible these days to turn on the news, get on the internet or listen to the radio without hearing about some polarizing event. Whether it is a debate over the presidential candidates, the...more

2016 presidential election dynamics in the workplace: Free speech? ‘You’re fired’

None of us are immune from this year’s presidential election dynamics. Disrespect and name-calling seem more prevalent than policy discussions. The election is highly polarizing, potentially pitting employee against...more

Lee v Tam

The Supreme Court agreed on September 29 to consider whether a provision of the Lanham Act that allows the USPTO to refuse to register “disparaging” trademarks violates the constitutional right to free speech. The case is...more

Intellectual Ventures I LLC v. Symantec Corp. (Fed. Cir. 2016) - Just When You Thought the Federal Circuit Was Softening...

Intellectual Ventures I LLC ("IV") sued Symantec Corp. and Trend Micro (defendants) for infringement of various claims of three U.S. Patents (Nos. 6,460,050; 6,073,142; and 5,987,610). The District Court held the asserted...more

Supreme Court Rejects Effort By Redskins to Join Slants

The Supreme Court rejected the effort by the Washington Redskins to skip the 4th Circuit and Join the hearing of the USPTO appeal of the SLANTS case....more

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