H&M, Tory Burch Settled Converse Lawsuits Out of Court

By; TFL

8018-Le-21eme-Adam-Katz-Sinding-Laight-Street-Mercedes-Benz-New-York-Fashion-Week-Spring-Summer-2015_AKS7529On the heels of its out-of-court settlement with Ralph Lauren last month, Converse is in the process of settling more of the 22 lawsuits it filed this past October against an array of brands (think: everyone from Tory Burch and Ralph Lauren to Walmart and K-Mart). The Massachusetts-based sneaker company has recently filed to voluntarily dismiss its lawsuits against H&M, Tory Burch, and Zulily, signaling the parties’ ability to come to an agreement regarding the defendants’ production of copycat shoes, which Converse claims resulted in federal trademark infringement and dilution, false designation of origin/unfair competition, and common law trademark infringement and unfair competition, among other claims. Of the 22 lawsuits filed against 31 different defendants, it hardly comes as a surprise that a growing number of these matters are being settled out of court. Continue reading

GRAPHIC FOOTAGE: LAPD officer shoots homeless man after responding to report of altercation

How to Keep Your Trade Secrets Safe

computer data security concept computer folder with with chain“I’d tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.” That line has been used jokingly in many circumstances ranging from overly dramatic spy movies to restauranteurs on the Food Network protecting a recipe. Not that we’re promoting violence, but a similar sentiment is felt by many entrepreneurs and business owners guarding their trade secrets. The formula for Coca Cola, Colonel Sander’s secret recipe of 11 herbs and spices, and the 40 ingredients in WD-40 are just a few of the most protected secrets kept by their respective corporate giants and for good reason; if you post these magic potions anywhere on the Internet, the competitive edge and demand for these products disintegrates. Just think about how many copycats there already are for each market. Coca Cola came before Pepsi and Sodastream, KFC battles for sales with Popeye’s, and WD-40 has imitators from the 3M Company (among other products in stores that I don’t frequent). Continue reading

Netflix Beats Antitrust Class Action at Appeals Court

By: Eriq Gardner

house_of_cards_season_1_spacey_wrightIt’s no secret that the law sometimes moves slowly. On the day that millions will begin binging on the latest season of House of Cards, most know Netflix as the company that streams videos. Once upon a time, Netflix was primarily recognized for the way its customers rented DVDs through the postal mail. In this stone age, Netflix had competition from Blockbuster and Walmart, but then Netflix came to an agreement to acquire Walmart’s customers, which triggered a class action lawsuit alleging violations of antitrust law. Continue reading

Lawyer’s claustrophobia ADA suit survives motion to dismiss

By: Debra Cassens Weiss

ElevatorA Philadelphia lawyer who claimed her law firm failed to accommodate her claustrophobia may proceed with her lawsuit, a federal judge has ruled.  U.S. District Judge Berle Schiller refused to dismiss the disability suit against the law firm Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, the Legal Intelligencer (sub. req.) reports. The plaintiff, former law firm associate Erica Serine, had claimed the law firm refused to accommodate her disability and then fired her. Continue reading

Partnerships vs. LLCs

By: Raad Ahmed

rsz_deathtostock_wired4It’s time for the third and final installment in our series on the best ownership structures for small businesses. First we looked at limited liability companies (LLCs) vs. sole proprietorships, then we compared corporations to LLCs. In today’s post, we’ll weigh the pros and cons of partnerships vs. LLCs.   Since there’s more than one type of partnership, this topic can be broken down even further. Really, the topic of today’s post could be: “general partnerships vs. limited partnerships vs. limited liability partnerships vs. limited liability companies”… but that doesn’t have much of a ring to it.   Continue reading

Stevie Wonder Owes Millions, Claims Ex-Lawyer’s Widow

By Eriq Gardner

stevie_wonder_2014_sWhat makes an effective entertainment lawyer?  According to a new lawsuit bySusan Strack, her late husband, Johanan Vigoda, was exactly that because he represented Stevie Wonder for four decades. And in that time, the singer’s “deals with music companies went from oppressive to … among the most lucrative contract terms in the music industry.”  Then again, maybe an effective lawyer is one who figures out how to enrich himself in the process. Continue reading