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Over twenty years ago, the Ninth Circuit decided the case of Dr. Seuss Enterprises., LP v. Penguin Books USA, Inc.  That case involved a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by Dr. Seuss over a book entitled The Cat NOT in the Hat! A Parody by Dr. Juice.  This book was about the O.J. Simpson trial presented in Seuss style rhyming verse and animation. The work begins: A happy town Inside L.A. Where rich folks play The day…
Gig Economy Workers Gain Security, But at What Cost? by Scott Rodd, Stateline SACRAMENTO, Calif. — It started with installing some red and green LED lights. Then came the disco balls, neon eyeglasses and a gold Bluetooth karaoke microphone. Daniel Flannery had transformed the car he drives for Uber and Lyft into a party on wheels. “You put everything together, and it encourages people to loosen up,” he said. “Sometimes, I have people call me…
The United States Supreme Court granted a writ of certiorari in Iancu v. NantKwest to determine whether a patent applicant, win or lose, must pay the salaries of the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (“USPTO”) in-house attorneys in district court actions challenging the rejection of patent claims by USPTO patent examiners. When a patent applicant files for a patent, the USPTO assigns an examiner to review the application and determine whether the claims are…
Scheduling employees is becoming more difficult for employers, and the State seems to be hurtling toward predictive scheduling laws. Last month, my partner Lukas Clary blogged about the recent California Supreme Court case, Ward v. Tilly’s, Inc., in which the Court ruled that “reporting time” pay is owed whenever an employee is required to “report” to work, even if that “report” is by phone, instead of physically showing up for work. In Tilly’s, the employer…
This week, the Supreme Court resolved a split in the circuits regarding an issue in copyright law that affects copyright owners in California.  Until now, the law in the Ninth Circuit was that a copyright owner could file suit for infringement as soon as they filed a copyright application in the Copyright Office.  However, in Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street.com, LLC (U.S. Supreme Court, March 4, 2019), the Court rejected this approach, holding…
Minimum Wage Hikes Leave Businesses Feeling the Pinch by Scott Rodd, Sacramento Business Journal California’s minimum wage is set to increase annually over the next three years, and businesses large and small are feeling the pinch. On Jan. 1, the minimum wage rose from $11 to $12 for companies with more than 25 employees, and from $10.50 to $11 for companies with 25 or fewer employees. The state minimum wage will increase to $15 in 2022…
Companies have a number of tools available to them to help protect their intellectual property, including trade secret and other proprietary information that give them a competitive advantage. Many employers utilize detailed provisions in their employee handbooks and employment agreements to protect this information. One key provision has been the use of coworker non-solicitation provisions that prevent a departing employee from seeking to “raid” his or her former coworkers to join him or her at…
As we previously wrote on this blog, Alfonso Ribiero, better known as Carlton Banks from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air filed suit against multiple videogame publishers, including the publisher of NBA 2K and Fortnite for featuring avatars that perform his signature “Carlton Dance.” Ribiero’s case, however, may have just encountered a dispositive roadblock. Last week, a letter from Saskia Florence, a supervisory registration specialist with the US Copyright Office, to Mr. Ribiero’s attorney,…
Figuring out how many employees to schedule each day can be an inexact science. Unexpected surges or lulls in customers, employee absences due to illness or emergencies, and various other circumstances can impact personnel needs.  Employers sometimes choose to navigate these situations by overscheduling and then cutting loose employees who are not ultimately needed.  That approach, however, triggers “reporting time” obligations, under which those employees are entitled to a minimum amount of pay for reporting…
In Continental Circuits LLC v. Intel Corp. et al., case number 18-1076, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, in a precedential opinion, recently clarified the rules for the incorporation of a limitation from a patent’s specifications into the claims during claim construction.  In the case, Continental sued Intel Corp.; its supplier, Ibiden U.S.A. Corp.; and Ibiden U.S.A. Corp.’s parent company, Ibiden Co. Ltd. (collectively, “Intel”), for patent infringement on four patents in…