On July 21, 2010, President Barack Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act into law. The Act, which marks the biggest expansion of government power over banking and markets since the Great Depression, sets its aims at remedying the perceived regulatory holes that permitted the financial crisis of the early twenty-first century to have such far reaching and...Read More
Having grown up in a far off land I have always been slightly bemused by the furor and hype that surrounds US college sports. Maybe that’s because when I played rugby at university in the UK the only people that came to watch a match were the odd hopeful girl, two old men and a dog, which may have just been a stray. The culture behind college sports is a shining example of what matters...Read More
Any owner or developer will tell you that they want their project to be completed quickly, cheaply and to the highest quality. While this may sound good in theory, in the real world it is nothing more than fantasy.
Most people are familiar with the game “rock-paper-scissors” and the strategic conundrum it places players in – rock beats scissors, scissors beats paper, paper beats rock. Owners...Read More
It is not difficult to feel old, from a legal perspective, as one can remember testing the bounds of fingerprinting, skin cell shedding, DNA profiles (and databases, of course) in court. One of the more recent battles has been the use and accuracy of cell site evidence which also has the added benefit of being able to use the word ‘azimuth’ in everyday conversation. However, the...Read More
While on a Sunday cruising down I-87, keeping abreast of developments in modern pop music, I was comparing by the track “We are Young” by Fun featuring Janelle Monáe to that of “What Makes You Beautiful” by the Cowellian outfit One Direction. Both, in their own way, fabulous pop songs, the latter being a decent, catchy summer tune that makes body dysmorphic teenage girls feeel that they have...Read More
Nothing is juicier than the squabbles of the elite. At least that would explain the recent national obsession with Downton Abbey. In keeping with that maxim, a squabble between luxury fashion designer Louis Vuitton (LV) and the University of Pennsylvania caught our eye this week.
It started when the Penn Intellectual Property Group—a student club—began to publicize its March 20, 2012 symposium...Read More
When you think of New York City icons, who pops to mind? Donald Trump. Fran Lebowitz. Jerry Seinfeld. Woody Allen. A whole list of creative, business and media stars are associated with the city.
New York being the legal capital of the world, you can bet that all of these celebrities are heavily invested in protecting their brands. Whether in the form of vigilant copyright enforcement or...Read More
This blog generally covers issues of intellectual property—one of the strengths of Garson, Segal, Steinmetz, Fladgate. But this week, we take a slight detour as the Supreme Court hears arguments in a really interesting question at the intersection of First Amendment and information law: Can Congress criminalize a lie?
In United States vs. Alvarez, the Court is considering the constitutionality...Read More
A battle is brewing in the media world. The protagonist is an established news organization, and the antagonist is an ambitious young Internet company. Oh wait, you’ve heard this one before?
As even casual observers of the media industry know, this is not exactly a novel type of conflict. Ever since the rise of the Internet, traditional television and newspaper outlets have scrambled to adapt....Read More
If you’re in the business of software creation and distribution, a current California case is worth paying attention to. In Adobe Systems Inc. v. Hoops Enterprise LLC, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California held on February 1, 2012 that Adobe’s distribution of certain software to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) was a license, not a sale of the software. The...Read More
This Supreme Court term is filled with blockbuster cases. What is a “blockbuster” case, you might ask? It’s a case of such significance, where the conflicting interests are so clearly articulated and the outcome so uncertain, that the general public actually begins to pay attention. Sure, every case the High Court touches really matters. But certain cases really become part of the national...Read More
Last week, as the Internet world was still reeling from the SOPA and PIPA controversies, the Department of Justice (DOJ) was busy enforcing existing copyright infringement laws. On Thursday, January 19, the government shutdown Megaupload, the massive file-sharing website.
The site was one of the most popular on the web, receiving some 50 million unique visits per day—nearly a quarter the...Read More
Most people believe that intellectual property is an arcane subject, relevant only to stodgy lawyers and judges. Apart from the occasional public controversies around Napster in 2001 and the scandal over the Mike Tyson tattoo in the Hangover II movie, IP is a field that mostly stays out of the public spotlight.
That changed on January 18, 2012. On Wednesday, many of the country’s most popular...Read More
In the UK, the Football Association Premier League Ltd (FAPL) markets TV broadcasting rights for the EPL and grants exclusive live broadcasting rights for territory, under an open competitive tender procedure. As a result of global reception each broadcaster is mandated to encrypt its signal so viewers can only watch the broadcast of their territorial provider. Similarly, a broadcaster is not...Read More
Music Artists are facing a new threat to their royalty income, as satellite broadcaster Sirius/XM is seeking to bypass the standard system of paying royalties. If such bypass was granted, artists and producers would suffer substantial losses, as the value of performance royalties would be lowered, potentially creating unnecessary conflict between artists and their labels.
The Surrent System:...Read More
Small businesses often face financial difficulties, due to a lack of capital. Developing a new project can indeed be costly, and banks can be reluctant to provide funding to small business owners.
A good alternative to raise capital is to sell shares or “securities” of the company to external investors. However, offering securities to the public usually falls under the Securities Act of 1933...Read More
Europe decided with quintessential clarity… We are still confused.
A European judgment has been given which is going to cause cyber ripples throughout the matrix with the ECJ ruling against eBay for permitting and promoting sales of L’Oréal product without L’Oréal’s consent.
Two years ago in EWHC 1094 (Ch) Arnold J. sitting in the High Court of England & Wales...Read More
Any corporate finance deal always carries a set of required disclosures. Target companies want to know as much as possible about the plans and financial capabilities of prospective acquirers and buyers want to make sure there are no undisclosed skeletons in the target company’s closet. This broad disclosure is also essential, in particular, for the protection of shareholders: on the one hand,...Read More
Businesses should be afraid, in fact they should be very afraid. On the 1st July 2011 the new Bribery Act came into force. It takes no prisoners. No facilitation payments are tolerated. Any and all corrupt business conduct is criminalized. And the Bribery Act is international. It is, like Apple Corporation’s “Cloud”, criminal legislation, which hangs over the entire business world. And the...Read More
Since 2008, the number of SEC and DOJ prosecutions of FCPA violations has increased significantly. More and more cases have been brought; penalties and settlement amounts have also skyrocketed, to the point that nine digit figure are becoming standard.
While most of the attention was usually focused on companies, enforcement authorities do not hesitate to go after individuals. In March 2010,...Read More