- May 22, 2017
In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled today in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC, No. 16-341, that patent infringement lawsuits must be brought in one of two places: (1) wherever the defendant is incorporated or (2) where the defendant has committed acts of infringement and has a regular and established place of business. This ruling will greatly reduce the number of patent cases litigated in the Eastern District of Texas, a forum popular with patent plaintiffs, and increase the number of filings in the Eastern District of Michigan, and the District of Delaware.May 18, 2017
At the direction of President Trump, the newly installed U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), Robert Lighthizer, formally notified Congress of the President’s intent to initiate negotiations with Canada and Mexico regarding “modernization” of NAFTA. Under section 102 of the Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (TPAA), the USTR will consult “closely” with Congress to develop the Administration’s “negotiating positions” to ensure that that they are “consistent” with Congressional priorities and objectives.May 16, 2017
As a firm founded in Detroit, Butzel Long sympathizes with the people of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico as they embark upon the uncertain path of governmental bankruptcy. By commencing its proceedings with an estimated $123 Billion in debt ($49 Billion in pension debt and $74 Billion in bond and other claims), Puerto easily surpassed Detroit as the largest ever United States governmental bankruptcy. Puerto Rico’s approximately 3.5 million citizens each carry an unsustainable pro rata debt burden of $35,125 (not including their share of the United States’ national budget deficit), and Puerto Rico’s government has not been able to provide adequate services to its people because of its debt load.May 12, 2017
One of the hallmarks of the Trump Administration is its intention to shake up the old way of doing things in Washington. To that end, the President has issued Executive Orders that require Executive Agencies to put in place procedures for reexamining all of their regulations and to develop a comprehensive plan for reorganizing the Executive Branch.May 10, 2017
Strong intellectual property (“IP”) rights are the cornerstone of success for many companies looking to keep pace in today’s rapidly developing marketplace for new and advanced automotive technologies. Butzel Long works with automotive suppliers to help them navigate each phase of the IP lifecycle, from procuring rights all the way through enforcement campaigns in federal and state courts, and before the International Trade Commission. To keep our clients informed and up to date on what is happening in the world of IP, the Butzel Long IP Bulletin highlights recent patent, trademark and copyright news, issues and case law with special emphasis on the automotive industry. If you would like to receive more information about a particular case, issue or news item, or have any questions regarding our practice, please feel free to contact your Butzel Long attorney.
Items in this Bulletin:
May 2, 2017
- NEW AUTOMOTIVE PATENT INFRINGEMENT COMPLAINTS
- MICHIGAN MAY BE SEEING MORE PATENT INFRINGEMENT CASES
- U.S. TRADE REP. SHINES SPOTLIGHT ON AUTOMOTIVE IP
Franchise industry watchers are drawn once again to the “Golden Arches,” as McDonald’s heads toward its annual shareholder meeting later this month in Oak Brook, Illinois. There, up for vote, will be a proposed shareholder resolution, which, if passed, would assign a new class of preferred stock to the company’s franchisees, enabling them to elect one person to the corporate board of directors without the consent of common shareholders. Each franchisee would receive one share of the preferred stock for each restaurant he or she owns. The shareholder that submitted the proposal is a single trust owning more than 5,000 shares in McDonald’s.April 25, 2017
Michigan Gets Aggressive in Its Efforts to Combat Opioid Abuse.
On April 11, 2017, the State unveiled its new Michigan Automated Prescription System (“MAPS”), which significantly overhauled its predecessor system. The updated MAPS is just one step in the State’s Action Plan presented to Governor Snyder in October 2015 by his Michigan Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Task Force. Effective April 4, 2017, Users and Data Submitters of MAPS were no longer able to access the old System. Registration for the new MAPS opened March 8 and 9, 2017 for Data Submitters (Clearinghouses) and certain Users (Practitioners and Pharmacists), respectively. Registration for other Users (government agencies, law enforcement, and Pharmacy Benefit Managers) opened March 16, 2017.March 16, 2017
Starting April 3, 2017, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) will temporarily suspend premium processing for all H-1B petitions.March 2, 2017
On February 24, President Trump issued an “Executive Order on Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda” (“EO”) that requires every executive department and agency to establish within 60 days a Regulatory Reform Officer (“RRO”) to implement the president’s regulatory reform agenda for reviewing and reducing regulatory burdens.February 9, 2017Suppliers Beware: FCA’s Revised General Terms and Conditions May Hamper Suppliers in Recall and Warranty Disputes
FCA US has revised its Production and Mopar Purchasing General Terms and Conditions to include a new dispute resolution provision which among things, provides FCA with the unilateral right to compel an expedited baseball style arbitration “in cases of disputes relating to quality, warranty, or indemnification under Section 6, 8, or 11 of the terms, including claims in connection with vehicle recalls or customer satisfaction campaign.” (Hereinafter collectively “Recall/Warranty Disputes”). Other matters are arbitrable only by mutual agreement and they too are subject to the expedited rules. (FCA revised terms, § 26(c) and Annex A).February 1, 2017
We continue to receive information and updates concerning the Executive Order signed by President Trump on January 27, 2017.January 30, 2017
On Friday January 27, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order (“Order”) relating to visa issuance, admission to the U.S. procedures, and refugees. The Order is titled "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States."January 20, 2017
A New Outlook From The White House? Following eight years of a Democratic President with a career businessman will likely lead to a regulatory climate that is more friendly to business generally. However, the legal framework that emphasizes corporate compliance will not likely change in the near future.January 13, 2017
Does offering incentives to disclose medical information violate the ADA and GINA?
Many companies have jumped on the “wellness” bandwagon, offering programs in varying forms to their employees and employees’ families to promote health and prevent disease. These programs support companies’ legitimate interests in managing health coverage costs, encouraging employees to take a more active role in their health care coverage and promoting employee satisfaction. To induce participants, companies often offer incentives in the form of health coverage premium discounts.January 10, 2017NHTSA's Proposal to Mandate that Automobile Manufacturers Incorporate Vehicle-to-Vehicle Capabilities into New Cars – an Update
We previously published a Client Alert concerning NHTSA’s proposal to establish a new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) -- No. 150 – that would mandate vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications for new light vehicles and to standardize the message and format of V2V transmissions. client-alert-detail/NHTSAa-Proposal-to-Mandate-that-Automobile-Manufactures-Incorporate-Vehicle-to-Vehicle-Capabilities-into-New-Cars.html As we explained, because V2V communications can be a critical component of automated vehicle technologies, the automobile industry should take this opportunity to comment on the NHTSA proposals. NHTSA will rely on the record developed in this proceeding to determine whether V2V should be mandated, as well as whether any of the details of its proposals should be adopted as proposed or refined in some ways. The comment date will be triggered by the publication of the NHTSA Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register, which has now been scheduled to occur on January 12, 2017. Comments are due 90 days after that date, which would be April 12, 2017. Lawyers with Butzel Long will be happy to assist with formulating and submitting comments to NHTSA.January 6, 2017
Automotive technology continues to dominate the talk of CES. From ultrasonic holographic haptic controls to advanced mapping software that augments the driver’s reality, it is clear that mobility technology is a hot commodity. Accompanying these advances are specific legal issues that follow the 2017 legal takeaways highlighted in yesterday’s summary Staying Connected at CES 2017.January 5, 2017
With CES underway, it is clear that the automobile is poised to be the king of the show. Faraday Future demonstrated the ups and downs of emerging technology, particularly the default mode programming. The Toyota Concept-i offers a vehicle that wants to establish a "relationship" with its drivers. The Chrysler Portal highlights the ingenuity that millennial engineers bring to the user interface of electric and autonomous vehicles.January 4, 2017December 21, 2016Jump to PageTrump Administration Forecast – How Can President Trump Deliver on His Campaign Promises Regarding Trade?
Major changes to U.S. trade policy, such as withdrawal from NAFTA, were among the most prominent of Donald Trump’s campaign promises. Now that he is the President-elect, it is most appropriate to examine current law to ascertain whether he can deliver on those campaign promises.December 19, 2016
On December 9, 2016, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed landmark autonomous vehicle legislation, placing Michigan as one of the most manufacturer-friendly states to develop and test driverless systems. As we noted in our August 11, 2016 Alert, this legislation is unique in that it allows testing of vehicles without the presence of driver, a direction that will significantly impact the mobility economy.