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On September 12, 2019, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held for the first time that “claim language can limit the scope of a design patent where the claim language supplies the only instance of an article of manufacture that appears nowhere in the figures.”  The Federal Circuit’s order affirming the dismissal of a complaint for design patent infringement based on a narrowed construction of the patent-in-suit makes clear that words matter in a design patent.

Categories: Business

In May of this year, Chief Judge Colleen McMahon in the United States District Court for Southern District of New York issued a highly anticipated opinion and order in U.S. v. Connolly, finding that the government improperly “outsourced” its criminal investigation to Deutsche Bank and its outside counsel. The decision could significantly impact how companies and outside counsel cooperate with government and enforcement investigations in the future.  While Judge McMahon’s opinion was primarily an admonition to the government, companies facing investigations need to be aware of potential conflicts that could arise when interviewing employees regarding potential wrongdoing. 

The California Supreme Court recently issued the latest in a series of decisions concerning the applicability of Code of Civil Procedure § 425.16 (the “anti-SLAPP law”), which was designed to enable early dismissal of lawsuits that are filed primarily to discourage the free exercise of speech and petition rights. 

On July 12, 2019, the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board (“CUIAB”) recently added the latest stick to a growing pile of authority that linguists working for interpretation or translation companies are independent contractors.  This holding clarified that under the Borello standard (which still controls in the context of the Unemployment Insurance Code) interpreters and translators can be, in certain circumstances, properly considered independent contractors.

Invitation to partnership is often the culmination of years of hard work and dedication.  Therefore, partners are highly selective of those who are invited to join the ranks of partnership.  Careful consideration and forethought should be given when the partnership is contemplating the amendment of its partnership agreement.  The recent decision by the Court of Appeal in Han v. Hallberg demonstrates how perceived minor changes to the partnership agreement can have an everlasting impact upon the membership of the partnership.

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