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White House Releases Control Strategy
03/05/2015
First published in The American Oil & Gas Reporter, February 2015
The Obama administration has taken additional steps to regulate methane emissions from oil and gas operations.

SEC to Corporate Officers, You Too Can Whistle(blow) While You Work
03/04/2015
V&E Securities Litigation and Enforcement Update E-communication, March 4, 2015
On March 2, 2015, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC” or “Commission”) announced its first ever whistleblower award under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank Act” or “Dodd-Frank”) to a former company officer who learned of a violation of the U.S. securities laws as a result of another employee reporting misconduct through corporate and compliance channels.

Federal Circuit Holds Service Must be Performed Before Applying for Service Mark
03/03/2015
V&E IP Insights E-communication, March 3, 2015
On March 2, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held that a service mark cannot be properly registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office unless the applicant has actually rendered the relevant service as of the filing date of a use-based application.

Energy Restructuring and Reorganization Part I – The Company
02/26/2015
V&E Energy Restructuring and Reorganization Updates E-communication, February 26, 2015
The recent decline in oil prices has created a challenging financial environment for a number of energy companies. Negatively impacted companies face numerous, immediate strategic issues.

Where the Rubber Meets the Road: How Companies Like Goodyear Can Avoid FCPA Liability
02/26/2015
V&E Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Update E-communication, February 26, 2014
On February 24, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued an Order instituting cease-and-desist proceedings pursuant to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the Exchange Act) against The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (Goodyear) for purported violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

Federal Circuit Upholds PTAB Decision in First IPR Appeal
02/05/2015
V&E IP Insights E-communication, February 5, 2015
On February 4, 2015, in In Re Cuozzo Speed Techs. LLC, No. 14-1301, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) in its first opinion involving an appeal of an inter partes review (IPR) under the America Invents Act (AIA). 

The Most Important Current Research Questions in Urban Ecosystem Services
02/05/2015
First published by Duke Environmental Law & Policy Forum, Fall 2014
Nature is important to cities, not only for environmental protection, but also for economic productivity, fiscal soundness, community life, and governance. We tend to take nature’s ecological systems — or ecosystems — for granted, but they provide critically valuable services to society and to urban areas. 

Here Be Dragons: Legal Threats to EPA’s Proposed Existing Source Performance Standards for Electric Generating Units 
02/03/2015
First published in Environmental Law Reporter, February 2015
A 104-page “Legal Memorandum” accompanying the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) proposal of §111(d) Existing Source Performance Standards (ESPS) for Electric Generating Units under the Clean Air Act (CAA) charts the legal waters the Agency will have to traverse if it adopts rules anything like those it proposed. 

The Federal Trade Commission Issues 2015 Annual Updates to the United States Premerger Notification and Interlocking Directorates Thresholds
01/22/2015
V&E's Antitrust Update E-communication, January 22, 2015
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has revised the thresholds that govern pre-merger notification requirements under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended (HSR Act), as well as the thresholds for interlocking directorates under Section 8 of the Clayton Act. 

Supreme Court Holds Trademark Tacking Is a Jury Question
01/21/2015
V&E IP Insights E-communication, January 21, 2015
On January 21, 2015, the United States Supreme Court unanimously held that the availability of tacking as a defense to trademark infringement is an issue for the jury, not the judge. Hana Financial, Inc. v. Hana Bank, No. 13-1211 (U.S. Jan. 21, 2015).

Fracking Litigation to Watch in 2015
01/19/2015
First published in Texas Lawyer, January 19, 2015
For nearly a decade, hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has played a critical role in the United States' energy revolution. 

Departments of Commerce and the Treasury Issue New Rules Easing Sanctions on Cuba
01/16/2015
V&E Export Controls and Economic Sanctions E-Communication, January 16, 2015
On January 16, 2015, the Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published amendments to regulations related to dealings with and exports to Cuba, the first step in furtherance of the major shift in U.S. policy announced by President Obama on December 17, 2014.

Federal Circuit Addresses Rejections of Trademarks as “Primarily Geographically Descriptive”
01/16/2015
V&E IP Insights E-communication, January 16, 2015
On January 15, 2015, the Federal Circuit reversed a decision by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO)’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) affirming the rejection of a trademark application for NEWBRIDGE HOME as primarily geographically descriptive. 

House Report May Taper Hopes For Clean Power Plan
01/09/2015
First published by Law360, January 9, 2015
Climate change policy is a priority for the Obama administration. During the past few months, the administration has made several international pledges to cut U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases. 

Mass Customization — Brought To You By 3-D Printing
01/07/2015
First published by Law360, January 7, 2015 
Mass customization is somewhat of an oxymoron. How can a company achieve scalable production and distribution of its products on the one hand, yet achieve true personalization on the other?

 

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