Litigation

The Recent Explosion in Design Patent Litigation: What You Need To Know

When most people think of patents, they think of what is technically known as a “utility patent.” This is the protection granted to inventions. But there is another form of patent that is granted exclusively to protect the original ornamentation of industrial designs. These “design patents” protect the appearance of the non-functional aspects of a …

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It’s the Holiday Season…and OSHA Reporting Changes are Coming to Town

For employers this year, it will not matter if they have been naughty or nice, they are all getting the same gift in their stockings – changes in OSHA reporting requirements.  Effective January 1, 2015, all employers get to ring in the New Year with these changes, which are the result of OSHA rule-making activities …

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Designing A Credit Application That Works For Your Business (And Not Your Customer)

Few customers offer to pay in cash.  Most want some form of credit.  What credit you extend results from an objective and subjective assessment of the prospective customer’s credit-worthiness.  The steps you take to assess credit worthiness can mean the difference between a good paying customer and one who can, quite literally, put you out …

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You’re Not From Texas…But a Texas Court Wants You Anyway! Frequently Asked Questions About Litigating in Texas

We often collaborate on trial teams with lawyers from around the country.  Here are some of the questions we are routinely asked as we move through the life-cycle of a lawsuit.  Obviously, there are unique features to every case, or particular local rules, which may result in a different answer than is given here.  However, …

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Texas Supreme Court Issues New “Spoliation” Rules with Implications for Company Document-Retention Policies

Earlier this month, the Texas Supreme Court issued a key decision on a subject every business owner and executive should know about: the duty to preserve company documents and the consequences for failing to do so.  A court, in some circumstances, can hold a company that has destroyed or failed to preserve documents responsible for …

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U.S. Supreme Court Clarifies Defense of Laches

Earlier this year, the U. S. Supreme Court came out with an interesting opinion clarifying the defense of laches. While this case was decided in the context of copyright law, the ruling likely affects all areas of federal law. The entire holding is summarized by Justice Ginsberg in three sentences: courts are not at liberty …

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Selection of Counsel Disputes Between Insureds and Insurance Company

Most businesses know that one of the first things it should do when it is sued, is to forward a copy of the petition or complaint to all potential insurers to put the insurance company on notice of the claim. The next question is who has the right to select counsel to represent the insured/company. …

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Bankruptcy Court’s Equitable Powers Not Unlimited

Lest we forget, the U.S. Supreme Court recently reminds us that Bankruptcy Courts, unlike other federal courts, are courts of equity and law; however, while bankruptcy judges have a great deal of discretion to carry out the philosophy and purpose of the Bankruptcy Code, that power is constrained. In Law v. Siegel, the Supreme Court …

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Owning the Fruit of our Labors

Increasingly, companies are requiring their employees to assign to their employers any inventions or ideas they may come up with during, or after, the course of their employment. This Op-Ed in the New York Times discusses an interesting study the author made examining this question: “How does a reality in which we own so little …

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Eyes in the Sky – What drones are allowed to see in Texas

While Amazon may simply want to deliver packages to your home using drones, a vast field of public (law enforcement, military) and private (mapping, surveying, inspecting) uses for such unmanned aircraft is developing.  On September 1, 2013, the Texas Privacy Act (Tex. Gov’t Code Ch. 423) became law and set ground rules for the lawful …

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The Eminent and Inverse Environment – Interplay Between Environmental Issues and Condemnation

“THE EMINENT AND INVERSE ENVIRONMENT – The Interplay Between Environmental Issues and Condemnation” was presented to the Tarrant County Bar Association, Environmental Law Section in Fort Worth, Texas on February 27, 2014, by Mary Colchin Johndroe, 817-877-2810, mjohndroe@canteyhanger.com.  The following summary contains highlights of the presentation. In a statutory condemnation, the condemnor compensates the property owner before appropriating property.  If the government appropriates property without first paying adequate …

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Texas Expedited Trial Rules: Removal from the Expedited Actions Process

This is the fourth and final post in a series discussing the new rules for Expedited Actions in Texas mandated by the 2011 Amendments to Texas Government Code § 22.004(h) and implemented through the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, including amendments to Rules 47 and 190, and the addition of new Rule 169. In many …

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Blackmail Ransomware: Beware!

This week, the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Bureau of Investigations issued a warning about an aggressive blackmail ransomware referred to as Cryptolocker.  Cryptolocker first appeared last fall and again this winter in an updated, copy-cat version. The ransomware uses strong cryptography to encrypt all files that an infected computer has access to and demands …

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Texas Expedited Trial Rules: Trials Under the Expedited Action Rules

This is the third post in a series discussing the new rules for Expedited Actions in Texas mandated by the 2011 Amendments to Texas Government Code § 22.004(h) and implemented through the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, including amendments to Rules 47 and 190, and the addition of new Rule 169. As previously discussed, Rule …

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Texas Expedited Trial Rules: Discovery Under the Expedited Action Rules

This is the second post in a series discussing the new rules for Expedited Actions in Texas mandated by the 2011 Amendments to Texas Government Code § 22.004(h) and implemented through the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, including amendments to Rules 47 and 190, and the addition of new Rule 169. The new Expedited Action …

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Getting “Hometowned”: U.S. Supreme Court Enforces Forum Selection Change

Forum selection clauses in contracts are important terms which govern where a certain dispute will be litigated.  For example, parties to a contract which provides for performance in one state may agree that all disputes will be litigated in another state.  Forum selection clauses are not to be confused with choice of law provisions in …

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