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Independent Contractor Versus Employee: New Law Ups the Ante for Misclassification

Insight Michael Moradzadeh Michael Moradzadeh · November 27, 2011

This blog post was prepared by Inna S. Wood and Michael Moradzadeh. 

Approximately one month is left for California employers to revise their employment contracts. The bill (SB 459) introduced by Senator Ellen Corbett on February 16, 2011 on employees’ misclassification was signed into law by California Governor Jerry Brown on October 9, 2011. It adds two new sections to the California Labor Code (i.e., Sections 226.8 and 2753) which establish the liability of employers for misclassifying their employees as independent contractors. The law becomes enforceable on January 1, 2012.

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Domain Name Switch Costs More Than Banks Bargained For

Insight November 14, 2011

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Back when the internet was still the Wild West, prospectors raced to register domain names comprised of third parties’ brands for the purpose of selling the domain name registration to the brand owner at a premium.  Congress and ICANN acted to remedy this through the Anti-Cybersquatting Piracy Act (ACPA) and Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) respectively.  Somehow, some people missed that legal development, including a Canadian fellow named Dorian Banks.

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CA AG Gets Aggro Over False Claims of Bottle Biodegradability

Insight November 01, 2011

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The good folks at the Huffington Post last week reported that California Attorney General (AG), Kamala Harris, filed a lawsuit on October 26, 2011 against ENSO PlasticsBalance Water and Aquamantra for making the alleged greenwashing claims that their bottles are “100 percent biodegradable and recyclable.  “Such claims violate California law, specifically California AB 1972, which prohibits the sale of plastic bags, and plastic food and beverage containers that are labeled as “biodegradable,” “degradable,” “decomposable.”  AB 1972 was signed into law on September 27, 2008 by then-California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and became effective on January 1, 2009.  Recently, California Governor Jerry Brown signed California Senate Bill 567 into law, which expands AB 1972 to banning the terms “biodegradable,” “degradable,” “decomposable” from use on all plastic products sold in California starting in 2013 (manufacturers take note!).  Additionally, CA Business and Professions Code Section 17580.5 makes it unlawful to violate the FTC Green Guides, about which I wrote herehereherehereherehere, and here (yeah, I’m kinda passionate about responsible business and responsible marketing; can you tell?).

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SEC Loosens Control on Shareholder Limit under the Private Company Flexibility and Growth Act

Insight Michael Moradzadeh Michael Moradzadeh · November 01, 2011

This blog post was prepared by Inna S. Wood and Michael Moradzadeh.

The Private Company Flexibility and Growth Act (H.R. 2167), referred to as the “Facebook Rule” by many internet bloggers, was introduced in the House by Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ) on June 14, 2011. Its main theme is to increase the shareholders of record threshold requiring the mandatory registration of a private company with the SEC from 500 to 1,000 shareholders. The act modifies the original shareholder limit that was established by Section 12 (g) of the Securities Exchange Act in 1964 and has not been revised since. It also exempts accredited investors and employees from that count.

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2011 America Invents Act:  How will the patent reforms impact startups?

Insight October 19, 2011

After several sporadic decisions issued by the Supreme Court impacting the US patent system and years of debate about how the system should be improved, Congress recently passed the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (HR 1249).  President Obama signed the Act into law on September 16, 2011.  The text of the Act can be found here.

The provisions of the new law have a variety of effective dates.  Some of the changes take effect immediately.  Fee increases will be instituted on September 26, 2011.  Other changes will not be implemented until 2012 and 2013.

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Availability of Software Patents in the US, Europe, Japan, China and India

Insight October 19, 2011

The ongoing  “patent war” between Google, Apple and Microsoft has brought public attention to the value that these companies perceive in their patent holdings. These companies are aggressively buying patents, hoping to integrate those discoveries with their own, but also to preclude their use by competitors through the threat of patent-infringement litigation. Software patents, are playing a pivotal role in this competition, for example, patent-infringement actions against smartphone producers utilizing Google’s Android operating system.

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Cloud Computing Security (for Alternative Law Firms and Others)

Insight Yaacov P. Silberman Yaacov P. Silberman · October 19, 2011

In my first two blogs on the subject of cloud computing for lawyers, we learned the basics of cloud computing and how it’s being used by lawyers. We also briefly explored the principal ethical implications for lawyers who use such virtual law technologies in their practice. Lawyers practicing in alternative law firm models are increasingly relying on such technologies as a way to stay connected to their fellow lawyers and to their clients, and also as a way to to keep down operating costs.

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Imported, Indeed. Made in USA Foundation Confronts Automotive False Advertising

Insight October 11, 2011


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Yesterday, The Made in the USA Foundation (Foundation) filed two petitions with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).  The petitions requested that the FTC issue complaints, one against Chrysler (here) and the other against Ford (here), both for falsely advertising that certain automobiles they manufacture are made in the U.S. when they in fact are not.

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Geekview IP week(s) Review

Insight October 09, 2011


CA Water District’s new domain names unfairly drown out Central Basin Municipal Water District.

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Apple Tribute Infringement?

Insight October 07, 2011

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On October 5, 2011 Steve Jobs died and the world lost a great man.

In honor, one of my tech friends, Eric Greenspan of Make It Work, posted the above image to his Facebook page yesterday afternoon, which I immediately “Liked.”  (Eric also took part in a moving HuffPost Tribute to Steve Jobs, which can be seen here).  Let me correct myself; I immediately loved this image.  It’s so simple and powerful.  It’s the perfectly beautiful human side of Apple.  It made me teary-eyed.

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