If you’ve been following the news lately you’ve probably noticed that that the Trump administration, along with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), have not exactly been getting along with the state of California. Just last week the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against the Golden State, claiming that three of its laws interfere with the federal government’s authority to regulate the country’s immigration system. View Full Post
Serial IPR petitions directed to previously-challenged patents account for many of the petitions filed with the PTAB; however, 35 U.S.C. § 325(d) provides the Board with discretion to reject petitions where the same, or substantially the same, prior art or arguments have already been presented to the USPTO.  View Full Post
Why is China Relevant for International Companies? China will be too big for international autonomous car suppliers and service providers to ignore. Biggest automotive market, continued strong growth, right infrastructure, ability for government to implement, early adopter consumers, popularity of car sharing and sharing economy, new and innovative companies on the rise all point to China being pivotal to the development of autonomous cars. View Full Post
When state and local governments impose unreasonable conditions or exactions on private property, owners pursuing a regulatory takings claim often face a maze of procedural obstacles just to have their case heard. I once described these procedural obstacles as resembling Alice’s trip through Wonderland, with the parties falling in and out of state and then federal court (instead of a rabbit hole) based on procedural and substantive rules that often seem as logical as the Mad Hatter’s recitals at the Tea Party. View Full Post
Two different panels of the Second Circuit issued opinions about class arbitration on the same day last week.  One creates a circuit split over how specific parties must be to delegate the availability of class arbitration to arbitrators, and the second addresses when bankruptcy law can preempt the federal arbitration act. View Full Post
Mossack Fonseca, the beleaguered law firm at the center of the international Panama Papers scandal, has announced that it is closing its doors.  The firm cited “reputational deterioration” that has caused “irreversible damage.” Founded in 1977 by Jurgen Mossack and Ramon Fonseca, Mossack Fonseca had been perched at the top of offshore legal services providers until April 2016, when it became ground zero for a global controversy because approximately 11.5 million of the firm’s internal legal and financial documents were leaked to the media. View Full Post
In a blog post yesterday, Professor Sovern referenced Politico’s report that at the Consumer Bankers Association’s annual conference this week, unlike from 2012-2016, the “regulatory environment” was not identified as a “top worry” by bankers.  According to Professor Sovern, this “raises a question about why Congress is working on a bill to reduce the regulatory burden banks face.”  S. View Full Post
When a company’s intellectual property is core to its business, investors and prospective acquirers want to know that the company owns all the rights to that intellectual property. In most cases, owning intellectual property is preferable to licensing it. Throughout a company’s life cycle, there are times when the company’s ownership of intellectual property may not be a given (for an overview of intellectual property rights, please see our articles on copyrightspatentstrade secrets and trademarks). View Full Post
As seen in this recent PwC article, global automotive M&A activity was strong in 2017.  Automotive deal value increased 29.9% to $53.2b from 2016 to 2017 primarily as a result of two mega deals in the Auto-Tech sector, which PwC defines as “investments in connectivity, autonomous, electrification, ride-sharing and the software, sensors, intellectual property and other components that support these trends.”  For 2018, it is expected that investments in the Auto-Tech sector will continue to drive global automotive M&A activity. View Full Post
As data privacy and security risks increasingly become more of a business and operational concern, there are certain principals investors should consider when seeking new opportunities, according to experts who spoke on a data privacy and security panel at the 15th Annual Healthcare and Life Sciences Private Equity & Finance Conference held in Chicago on February 21, 2018. View Full Post
It was almost exactly one year ago that we reported that the National Collegiate Athletic Association filed a trademark infringement action in federal court against a company that ran online sports-themed promotions and sweepstakes under the marks “April Madness” and “Final 3.”  The NCAA prevailed because the defendant entered into an agreement not to use the marks, but failed to file an answer to the complaint.  View Full Post
Here in Philadelphia, less than a week before the first day of Spring, it is sunny and calm, albeit a bit chilly. Not so last week, when we were hit with the second Nor’easter in less than a week.  As much as sixteen inches of snow fell in some suburbs, and thousands of people, some of whom had just regained electric power after the last storm, were knocked into the dark and cold when tree limbs felled by heavy snow took power lines with them.  View Full Post
The first two weeks in March 2018 have seen a number of developments on the regulation of cryptocurrencies in the United States. Regulation of Online Cryptocurrency Trading Platforms On March 7, 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued a release addressing the regulation of online trading platforms (or exchanges) on which investors have bought and sold digital assets, including coins or tokens sold in initial coin offerings (“ICOs”).  View Full Post
Many employers have programs allowing employees to donate their own time off to another employee with serious medical or family issues.  A dilemma often faced by employers with these policies is whether continued use of such donated time means the employee is not performing the essential function of attendance.  View Full Post
Like the recent proliferation of sexual harassment discussions in the workplace, issues concerning transgender employees are slowly but surely confronting employers and policies that may reinforce sex and gender stereotypes. How should employers react if (and let’s be honest, when) they learn that an employee is transitioning from one sex to another? View Full Post