Public Use

News & Analysis as of

Judge, not Jury, Must Consider the Constitutionality of a Dedication Requirement and Whether it Qualifies as a "Project Effect"

One issue that can arise in eminent domain actions involving undeveloped (or under developed) property is whether the property being acquired is potentially subject to a dedication requirement. If the property’s overall...more

Judge Should Consider Constitutionality of a Dedication Requirement, Not the Jury

Every year or so, a new appellate court decision comes out addressing the proper role of the judge versus the jury on some certain eminent domain issue. Most recently, a trial court, appellate court and the California Supreme...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - August 2016 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - In California's climate debate, state lawmakers push for more authority - Los Angeles Times - Aug 11 - Over the last two weeks, a bipartisan group of assembly members have...more

Eminent Domain in California – What You Should Know and What You Can Do BEFORE the Government Comes to Take Your Property

Public development and infrastructure projects are on the rise in California. This is a good thing for the economy. InfrastructureBut it also means that private property will often be needed to complete these projects. Public...more

Government May Use Eminent Domain to Save Mobile Home Park from Closure

Santa Clara County, the City of Palo Alto, and the local Housing Authority have come together to acquire the Buena Vista mobile home park from its current owner, the Jisser family, in an effort to save the mobile home park...more

So the Government Wants Your Property: Answers to 10 of the Most Common Landowner Questions

If the government is seeking to take your property, it’s important to ensure you receive fair treatment and compensation. Read on for an outline of what to expect and tips to protect yourself during the condemnation process....more

MBHB Snippets: A review of developments in Intellectual Property Law - Volume 14, Issue 2 (Spring 2016)

Pre-AIA and Post-AIA Issues Presented by the On-Sale Bar - The “on-sale” bar to patentability refers to a sale or offer for sale of an invention that can invalidate the patent for that invention. The...more

Pre-AIA and Post-AIA Issues Presented by the On-Sale Bar

The “on-sale” bar to patentability refers to a sale or offer for sale of an invention that can invalidate the patent for that invention. The America-Invents-Act (AIA), which altered the language in the statutes that apply to...more

Prior Art: When On Sale Is Not 'On Sale'

Pursuant to Section 102 of the Patent Act, the “on-sale” bar can invalidate a patent when the claimed invention has been the subject of a commercial sale or offer for sale, and the invention is ready for patenting. Prior to...more

May 2016: Patent Litigation Update

District Court Rules Non-Public Sales or Offers for Sale No Longer Apply to the “On-Sale” Bar Under the AIA. The on-sale statutory bar is a limitation on patentability that prohibits an inventor from obtaining a patent, when...more

Another Case Addressing a Potential Trap for Real Estate Investors: Dedication of Private Property to the Public

In a prior post, Implied Dedication of Private Property to the Public: the Law is Unsettled, we saw that California courts have struggled with the interpretation of Civil Code section 1009, which generally makes it more...more

Taxpayer Entitled to Section 1033 Gain Exclusion Despite Holding Only a Beneficial Ownership Interest in Condemned Property

In PLR 201609003, the IRS determined that a taxpayer was entitled to exclude gain attributable to the forced transfer of the taxpayer’s ownership of public use facilities, even though the taxpayer did not hold legal title to...more

FERC staff recommends against Bear River dam

Staff of the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission have recommended against licensing a dam, reservoir, and hydropower project proposed for the Bear River near Preston, Idaho. The case involves a 2013 application by...more

MassDEP Proposes Revisions to Facilities of Public Accommodation Regulations

After a multi-year study process involving an advisory group of stakeholders, the Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) is proposing revisions to regulations implementing the state waterways licensing program under...more

District Court Holds that a Sale Must Make the Invention Public in Order to be an On-Sale Bar under AIA

On March 3, 2016, a U.S. District Court judge held that the entering into and publicizing of a licensing and supply agreement did not constitute an on-sale bar under the America Invents Act. The pre-AIA statute relating...more

UPDATE: Pa. Commonwealth Court Affirms Trial Court Decision Permitting Use of Eminent Domain by Pa. Gas Utility to Supply Private...

A three-judge panel of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court, in a pair of memorandum opinions, recently affirmed a trial court decision authorizing a natural gas public utility to use its eminent domain power to condemn an...more

School district’s condemnation of a private road passes the test

The power of eminent domain allows a government or quasi-governmental entity to condemn (take) private property for a public use upon a showing of necessity. In exchange, the property owner must receive “just compensation”...more

Implied Dedication of Private Property to the Public: the Law is Unsettled

Let’s say you own private property including a roadway that connects to public streets on either end. The public has, for a couple of decades, used your private roadway for vehicular ingress and egress to and from the public...more

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US: Court Rules That Happy Birthday to You is In the Public Domain

In a prior blawg post, I wrote about the then-recently filed case of Good Morning To You Productions Corp. v. Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., in which the issue was whether or not the song, Happy Birthday To You, is still...more

“March-in” Rights – The (Paper) Damoclean Sword of Federal Procurement Patent Law

Given the recent PilieroMazza webinar on Data Rights in federal contracting, we have had a number of clients raise concerns or questions about the government’s “march-in” rights under the Bayh-Dole Act, which controls certain...more

Denbury Part II: Big Changes Coming in Texas Pipeline Condemnations ?

Is Denbury’s Green Pipeline a common carrier? That question is alive and well in Texas. In Texas Rice Land Partners Ltd. v. Denbury Green-Texas Pipeline, LLC, the Beaumont court of appeals reversed a summary judgment granted...more

Industry Challenging County and Municipal Bans on Multiple Fronts

Municipalities and counties have joined forces with environmental groups to halt hydraulic fracking and related well stimulation techniques. Environmental groups have filed suits under the National Environmental Policy Act...more

United States Trade Secrets Law

The America Invents Act (AIA) changes the traditional calculus in determining whether to seek patenting an invention or to maintain it as a trade secret. This shift in intellectual property protection is the result of two...more

Planned Use of Eminent Domain Powers to Condemn Underwater Mortgages Faces Uncertain Constitutional Outcome

Amidst reports of rising home prices throughout California and fears of a new housing bubble, controversial plans floated by California cities to deal with the lingering effects of the mortgage meltdown by invoking their...more

Lenders React to Richmond's Plan to Condemn Mortgages by Filing Suit

We all knew this was coming (see my post from July 23). If you poke a sleeping giant, it's going to file a lawsuit against you in federal court. Yesterday, in response to the City of Richmond's preliminary actions to...more

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