News & Analysis as of

European Competition Law Newsletter – November 2015

A company that helps with or facilitates a cartel is at just as much risk of sanctions and penalties as are the actual cartelists. This was confirmed by the EU’s highest court (the European Court of Justice (ECJ)) on 22...more

Starbucks Brews Successful CBMs - Starbucks Corp. v. Ameranth, Inc.

Addressing patent eligibility for a covered business method (CBM) review under Section 18 of the America Invents Act (AIA), the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB, the Board) found the patents-at-issue to be eligible and...more

Second Circuit Upholds NLRB's Triple Play Decision, Expanding Section 7 Protections for Employees' Social Media Activity

Obscenities alone—even when viewed by an employer's customers—do not deprive employees engaged in protected concerted activity of the National Labor Relations Act's ("NLRA" or the "Act") protections. So held the U.S. Court...more

New Jersey Commercial Landlord Finds Loophole in Lease to Avoid Tenant Exclusivity Restrictions

On October 21, 2015, the New Jersey Appellate Division affirmed a trial court ruling that a South Jersey landlord did not violate a coffee-related exclusivity provision in its lease with Starbucks when it subsequently rented...more

The EC Challenge on Tax Rulings. Why it’s Important that Your Business Acts Now in Relation to EU Challenges to Tax Rulings

21 October 2015: Following state aid investigations, the European Commission has ordered Luxembourg and the Netherlands to recover unpaid taxes of €20-30m from each of Fiat and Starbucks. The Commission has confirmed that...more

European Commission adopts first two decisions in EU tax probe in push for corporate tax reform

On 21 October, the European Commission (“EC”) adopted its first decisions in its investigation into Member States’ tax rulings. The investigation, which began in June 2013, has also targeted tax rulings given to Apple and...more

The European Commission’s New Pandora’s Box – Reopening Final Tax Rulings as a Form of “State Aid”

In Short - The European Commission (Commission) has adopted a decision on 21 October 2015 on the tax rulings – also referred to as “comfort letters” – granted by Luxembourg to Fiat Finance and Trade (FFT) and by The...more

Keeping the Data-Breach Headlines In Perspective

From the Sony Pictures settlement, to the Ashley Madison debacle, data breaches are making big headlines of late. And when it comes to one case in particular — the data breach at luxury retailer Neiman Marcus (Remijas v....more

Africa Update - September 2015 #4

Leading the News - Burkina Faso: On September 17th, U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice condemned the unconstitutional seizure of power by elements of the Presidential Security Regiment in Burkina Faso and...more

Seventh Circuit Finds Article III Standing for Data Breach Class Action Based on Allegations of Future Harm

In the wake of numerous data breach cases dismissed for lack of Article III standing based on the Supreme Court’s decision in Clapper v. Amnesty Int’l USA, 133 S. Ct. 1138, 1147 (2013), the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals...more

Neiman Case a Harbinger For Data Breach Cases? Not So Fast

Much has been said in the past couple weeks about the decision by Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Remijas v. Neiman Marcus. Some have suggested that the ruling makes it easier to sue over data breaches, or...more

Spoliation: How to Stop Trouble from Brewing

When a business is faced with the potential for litigation, it is imperative that all evidence be preserved to avoid the dreaded “s” word: spoliation. Starbucks Corporation recently learned this lesson the hard way when a...more

Will Starbucks Be a Closer at the USPTO?

We’ll soon see whether coffee truly goes hand in hand with closers, at least in one famous brand owner’s quest for registration of a non-verbal, non-traditional color trademark at the USPTO. I’ve been noticing Starbucks focus...more

If Your Baristas Can Show Off Their Tattoos, Will Your Employees Be Next?

Coffee giant Starbucks recently announced a major change to its dress and appearance policy, allowing baristas to visibly display tattoos for the first time in the company’s 44-year history. The company decided that employee...more

Nevada Federal District Court Follows National Trend, Dismisses Data Breach Class Action for Lack of Standing

In granting a motion to dismiss a data breach putative class action lawsuit, the District of Nevada joined the majority of federal district courts in holding that plaintiffs whose personal information was stolen lack Article...more

Avid Fan Co-Creation of Branding Symbols

When my daughter walks into a Starbucks (given her avid fan status, she does so often with her spending money in hand), she is typically greeted by an employee who says, “I love your shirt, where did you get it”?...more

A Conversation About Race

I start my new job as a Starbucks barista tomorrow. I am super-excited!!!!! I just hope I can handle the fast pace!...more

European Commission extends State aid probe into Belgian tax scheme

The European Commission (“Commission”) has opened a fifth formal State aid investigation into national tax rulings. This investigation concerns the Belgian “excess profit” provision, which allows multinational groups to...more

Common Mistakes in Petitions

Attorney Argument in the Claim Charts - In Tissue Transplant Technology Ltd. v. MiMedx Group, Inc., IPR2015-00320, Paper 6 (December 31, 2014), the Board granted the petition a filing date, but found the claim charts...more

Food Litigation Newsletter - December 2014 #2

In This Issue: - RECENT SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENTS AND RULINGS ..Mott’s Defeats Class Certification in Apple Juice Labeling Fight ..Court Tentatively Approves Classes in ConAgra “Natural” Cooking Oil...more

No Smoking = No Vaping?

The days of lighting up at the office are making a comeback in some workplaces, thanks to the growing popularity of electronic cigarettes. According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2013, one in five adult smokers...more

What is all the Frap About?

Even in a small town in Germany or Mumbai, India, you will find a Starbucks Coffee Company (“Starbucks”) on the corner. Starbucks sells a billion dollars of my favorite Frappuccino drink a year throughout the world. To...more

Status Updates - November 2014 #6

That’s a lot of latte. It turns out that Starbucks—not a company in the mobile payments business—was the first company to make in-person payments by mobile phone mainstream. According to recent statements by the coffee...more

Battle of the Experts Still Brewin’ in Starbucks Trial

In April 2010, the Council for Education and Research on Toxics (CERT) sued Starbucks Corp. and other coffee sellers alleging they violated California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, passed by California...more

Is Just-in-Time Scheduling Good for Business?

Ten years ago, retail managers created schedules for hourly employees using a paper, pen, and a working knowledge of the store’s busy periods and their employees lives....more

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