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Bitcoin - Fraud or Panacea?
Stout, January 2018

After a number of government enfourcement actions involving alleged fraud schemes related to cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin is under heightened scrutiny. Earlier this year, Jamie Dimon, the head of JPMorgan, the largest bank in the U.S., made headlines by calling Bitcoin a “fraud.” Dimon said, “The currency isn’t going to work. You can’t have a business where people can invent a currency out of thin air and think that people who are buying it are really smart...

The Conflict Over the CFPB and What it Means for the Future
Waller, December 2017

The federal agency now well-known as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was established by Congress in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. The CFPB is a uniquely independent agency, shielded from the executive branch in a way that other agencies are not. Doing away with that independence has the potential to significantly alter the CFPB and its regulatory work...

Michigan Seeks Comment on Tax Treatment of Marijuana Sales
Dykema, December 2017

The Michigan Department of Treasury (the “Department”) recently released a draft Revenue Administrative Bulletin (“RAB”) entitled Marihuana Provisioning Center Tax and Sales and Use Tax Treatment of Marihuana. An RAB is a directive issued by the Bureau of Tax Policy...

U.S. International Trade Commission Finds Domestic Solar Manufacturing Companies Harmed by Foreign Imports
Dykema, December 2017

The U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”) issued a determination on Friday, September 22, 2017, finding that solar panel imports are hurting domestic businesses that operate in the solar industry. The ITC’s determination was issued in connection with a trade case filed in April 2017 by a Georgia-based company, Suniva, Inc., shortly after filing for bankruptcy protection. SolarWorld Americas, Inc. joined Suniva’s petition in May 2017...

Three Things Employers Should Know When Seeking EPLI Coverage For Sexual Harassment Claims
Haynes and Boone, LLP, December 2017

At a time when tolerance seems to be an increasingly precious commodity, society can celebrate an awakening intolerance for sexual harassment. For all of the scandal and salacious detail dominating the media in recent months, there is the hope that victims of depravity can find empowerment and healing, if not justice, too...

Eleventh Circuit Finds Reproduction an Insincere Form of Flattery
Waller, December 2017

In October 2017, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a district court’s grant of summary judgement, finding that a college has potentially protectable rights that extend beyond the scope of its federal service mark registrations. Savannah College of Art & Design, Inc. v. Sportswear, Inc., No. 15-13830 (11th Cir. Oct. 3, 2017)...

Trademark Licensees Priority Derives from its Own Use and Not From its Licensors Use
Waller, December 2017

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (Board) held that the plaintiff licensee in an opposition and cancellation proceeding could not establish priority of use over the defendant based on any common law rights previously acquired by the plaintiff’s licensor. Julie A. Moreno v. Pro Boxing Supplies, Inc., 124 USPQ2d 1028 (TTAB Sept. 8, 2017). Julie A...

Fuels Storage Public Policy
Haynes and Boone, LLP, December 2017

Mexico maintains a minimum strategic storage inventory of crude oil and refined oil products, such as gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel, to guarantee market supply for a determined period of time. Under Article 80 Section II of the Hydrocarbons Law, the Ministry of Energy (“SENER”) has the authority to issue public policies to determine the required strategic storage volumes...

Mexico: SENER Announces Major Baja Transmission Line Bidding Process
Haynes and Boone, LLP, December 2017

On December 7, 2017, the Ministry of Energy (“SENER”) announced the first bidding process for the financing, installation, maintenance, management, and operation of the Baja California Electric System interconnection with the National Grid (“National Grid”). This is the first power transmission project allowing private participation in power transmission lines in Mexico. The estimated investment will be US$1.1 billion...

Partners Need to Consider Amending Partnership Agreements to Address New Partnership Audit Rules
Haynes and Boone, LLP, December 2017

New rules found in Internal Revenue Code sections 6221 through 6241, as amended by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, govern IRS tax audits of partnerships, limited liability companies, and other entities and arrangements classified as partnerships for U.S. federal income tax purposes. The changes made by these rules will significantly impact partners in partnerships and careful attention should be paid to these rules by all partners in partnerships...

What a Sears Lawsuit Against a Supplier Means for Retailers
Lowenstein Sandler LLP, December 2017

  A lawsuit filed earlier this year by a Sears Holdings subsidiary could have far-reaching implications for suppliers selling to a customer suspected of financial distress. The lawsuit is particularly significant to those in the retail sector, as brick-and-mortar operations across the country struggle amid growing online competition...

Mixed Results as IPR Petitions for Biosimilars Soar
Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, December 2017

Inter partes review proceedings for biosimilar products are soaring. Biosimilar makers are taking advantage of IPR proceedings to challenge patents protecting some of the world's most important biologic medicines due to the advantages that these proceedings offer: no standing requirement, no presumption of validity, a lower burden of proof and potentially broader claim construction. More than half of the IPR petitions challenging these patents were filed in fiscal 2017...

Updates and Highlights in the Mexican Energy Sector, November 2017
Haynes and Boone, LLP, December 2017

As part of the implementation of the Mexican energy reform of 2013, several new regulations and administrative guidelines affecting the hydrocarbons and power industries were issued during November 2017. These are of particular importance to oil and gas producers, midstream companies and power generators, traders and others looking to invest or expand operations in Mexico’s dynamic energy sector. I. Hydrocarbons November 8, 2017...

Is Winter Coming to Pay TV?
Stout, December 2017

The kings of multichannel TV have been buffeted by winds of change. While their future is uncertain, they have some weapons to rely upon. Netflix vs. Hulu vs. Amazon. YouTube TV vs. Yahoo View. HBO vs. Starz vs. Showtime. The 126 million U.S. television watchers have never had more options for how to consume entertainment. And at the same time, approximately 20% of U.S...

New Guidance from the SEC Incorporates Directors within the Shareholder Proposal Process
Haynes and Boone, LLP, November 2017

As registrants prepare for the upcoming proxy season,Staff Legal Bulletin No. 14I(the “Bulletin,” or “SLB 14I”), recently issued by the SEC Division of Corporation Finance (the “Division”), provides helpful interpretations by the Division’s staff and reveal a number of relevant changes in the way certain shareholder proposals will be evaluated...

The Bitter and the Sweet: Potential Split on Constitutionality of Inter Partes Patent Review
Haynes and Boone, LLP, November 2017

Is a defeated patentee atInter PartesReview an embittered citizen whose private rights were taken without due process by a government agency lacking requisite Article III guarantees of impartiality? Or is the public getting a sweet deal when the Patent Trials and Appeals Board (PTAB) eliminates or revokes a public right that was wrongfully granted in the first place? The Supreme Court wrestled with the constitutionality ofInter PartesReview during oral argument on Monday morning, and the

Strategic Partnerships Between Investor-Owned Companies and Nonprofit Hospitals or Health Systems Top Ten Key Considerations
Waller, November 2017

Strategic partnerships between investor-owned companies and nonprofit hospitals or health systems are an unmistakable trend in the health care industry today. Such strategic partnerships can consist of a myriad of structures and variations thereof. The most common transaction structures include affiliations, management arrangements, joint operating arrangements, joint ventures, asset leases, and asset sales/acquisitions...

Blockchain Basics: Overview of Distributed Ledger Technology Application in Health Care and Legal Considerations
Waller, November 2017

In August 2016, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) co-sponsored the Use of Blockchain in Health IT and Health-related Research Ideation Challenge, soliciting whitepapers on how blockchain technology can be used in health care...

Mexico: Outage Scheduling Guidelines
Haynes and Boone, LLP, November 2017

On November 13, 2017, the Ministry of Energy (“SENER”) published the Outage Scheduling Guidelines (Manual de Programación de Salidas) (“Guidelines”), establishing the principles of calculation, instructions, rules and procedures that Market Participants, Transporters and Distributors shall observe to schedule their outages and obtain the corresponding authorizations from CENACE; as well as the criteria that CENACE must follow to schedule mid-term outages an

The Battle Over Mandatory Resort Fees
Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP, November 2017

  More hotels are imposing mandatory “resort fees” on their guests for amenities, and the amount of those fees is increasing at many of those hotels. Many consumers dislike these fees, even when they appreciate the value of the included amenities. A legal battle is underway over mandatory resort fees...

OSHA Quarterly Newsletter, November 2017
Haynes and Boone, LLP, November 2017

  OSHA "Injury Tracking Website" Presents Issues as Employer Deadline for Compliance Looms On August 1, 2017, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration ("OSHA") launched the "Injury Tracking Application" for Electronic Submission of Injury and Illness Records to OSHA in an effort to comply with its electronic record-keeping rule...

Amicorp Group: Assurance Solutions
Amicorp Services Ltd., November 2017

Amicorp Group: Assurance Solutions One of Amicorp’s core businesses is the provision of global compliance and regulatory services through its Assurance solutions platform. More than half of the top 10 global private banks, asset managers, family offices and independent financial advisors have chosen Amicorp as their preferred business partner because of our specialist knowledge and services in the regulatory and compliance field across various continents...

Patterson Belknap Publishes New York Commercial Division Practice Guide
Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, November 2017

Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP announced today the publication of its New York Commercial Division Practice Guide.  This new publication is part of Bloomberg BNA’s Litigation Practice Portfolio Series, and an excerpt is available to download at: http://on.bna.com/H1KM30gCY7v...

Shrinking Reimbursement and the Impact on Uncompensated-Care Payments
Moss Adams LLP, November 2017

Hospitals across the country have seen many changes in the past seven years as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has evolved and states have implemented various optional components of the legislation. Under the ACA, many states have expanded their Medicaid coverage, attempted to roll out exchanges for commercial plans, or both...

Inflection Point for VR?
Lowenstein Sandler LLP, November 2017

 Despite predictions over the last several years that virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) were going to dominate consumer technology, adoption and sales have been slower than many had forecasted...

The United States Changes its Cuba Sanctions Rules
Haynes and Boone, LLP, November 2017

The Trump Administration has followed up on the President’s June 16, 2017 speech in Miami regarding U.S. policy toward Cuba by announcing new restrictions on trade with Cuba that become effective November 9. At the heart of the new policy is a “Cuba Restricted List” in which the State Department names 180 Cuban entities with which new commercial relations (after June 16, 2017) are to be prohibited...

Senate Approves Trump Nominee for General Counsel of NLRB: How This Will Impact Non-Union Lawyers
Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC, November 2017

On November 8, 2017, the U.S. Senate confirmed Peter Robb as the new General Counsel for the National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB" or "Board"). In private practice, Robb was a noted critic of the NLRB under the Obama administration, particularly the Board's so-called quickie election rules and what he has termed the Board's narrow definition of supervisory status...

Health Law Vitals - A Healthcare Newsletter from Haynes and Boone, November 2017
Haynes and Boone, LLP, November 2017

View a PDF of the November 2017 edition of the Haynes and Boone Health Law Vitals newsletter. FDA Improving Regulatory Oversight of Stem Cell Therapies and Regenerative Medicine Products Regenerative medicine is a burgeoning interdisciplinary research field aiming to offer new therapies that replace or regenerate human cells, tissues, or organs with the goal of restoring or establishing normal function...

Business Work Visas, Two Developments that Affect Employers
Haynes and Boone, LLP, November 2017

The current Administration continues to be active in the area of immigration law and policy, and has promulgated several Executive Orders (“EO”), mostly directed to immigration enforcement and national and public security. The exception is the April 2017 Buy American, Hire American Executive Order, which extends to and impacts professional work visas...

E&P Companies and the OCC’s Leverage Test – October 2017 Update
Haynes and Boone, LLP, November 2017

In August 2016, we reviewed publicly available data for a group of 58 E&P companies and predicted how they would fare under the leverage test that had, at the time, recently been introduced by the OCC.Based on that review, we predicted that, in 2016, over 91 percent of the companies reviewed would be non-passing credits under the OCC’s leverage test. The average leverage ratio of the E&P companies reviewed in 2016 was 6.0x...

Updates and Highlights in the Mexican Energy Sector, September-October 2017
Haynes and Boone, LLP, November 2017

During the months of September and October 2017, new regulations and administrative guidelines in the Mexican energy sector were issued. These are of particular importance to oil and gas producers, midstream companies, power generators, traders, developers and others looking to invest or expand operations in Mexico’s dynamic energy sector. I. Hydrocarbons September 5, 2017. NOM-167-SEMARNAT-2017...

Take Action by December 31st or Lose DMCA Safe Harbor Protection for User-Generated Content
Haynes and Boone, LLP, October 2017

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (the “DMCA”) provided a safe harbor to shield website owners, ISP’s, and other online service providers from certain claims for copyright infringement based on user generated content. This safe harbor has been very successful...

A Checklist for Victims of Napa/Sonoma Fires: Recovering from Your Insurance
Haynes and Boone, LLP, October 2017

The purpose of this alert is to provide victims of the Napa/Sonoma fires a checklist to use when seeking recovery from their insurance companies. Property Insurance policies may provide coverage for damage to both your property and your business. Business losses can result from a variety of causes, all of which may be covered under a property policy...

Design Risk: What Have You Agreed?
Haynes and Boone, LLP, October 2017

Contractual negotiations for ships and offshore units commonly involve commercial, legal, and technical teams negotiating different parts of the contract. It is however crucial that before the contract is signed, it is read as a whole to ensure consistency in a party’s obligations throughout the contract. The English Supreme Court’s judgment in MT Højgaard A/S v. E...

Applying Blockchain Tech to Medical Records for Improved Security and Access
Haynes and Boone, LLP, October 2017

  The technology that forms the foundation for digital currencies like Bitcoin could be the technology that provides unprecedented security for and access to medical records. The Blockchain For years, online communities sought increased freedom and autonomy by shielding their economic activities from the government and corporate intermediaries...

Michigan Gets Recommendations for Medical Marijuana Rules, New Advisory Panel Members
Dykema, October 2017

Earlier this year, Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) announced the formation of “work groups” to provide input as LARA adopts emergency rules to govern activities under the State’s new Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA). Organized around the MMFLA’s five license types, those work groups met last month...

Don't Just Say Your IT System is Secure, Prove it
Ulmer & Berne LLP, October 2017

In today’s environment, where cybersecurity threats are becoming more and more pervasive, even small healthcare organizations understand that purporting to have comprehensive data privacy and security policies and procedures in place isn’t enough. Business partners want more. Regulators demand more. They want implementation and efficacy. They want to know that health and other sensitive data will truly be protected from threats – in actuality...

In the Race to Win the Autonomous Vehicle Market, Covering Risk Is Key
Hunton & Williams LLP, October 2017

 The autonomous vehicle industry is pressing forward, full speed ahead. The conveniences and efficiencies created by shifting to self-driving vehicles are expected to drive vast economic growth and generate widespread consumer demand. Given the potential benefits, it is no wonder that autonomous technologies are now being embraced by a variety of market players— ranging from small start-up tech companies to perennial automotive giants...

Surviving the Loss of Your Home
Hanson Bridgett LLP, October 2017

I lost my home in the 1991 Oakland Firestorm. As such, my heart goes out to the residents of Napa, Mendocino and Sonoma counties whose homes were damaged or destroyed, to the firefighters and first responders who have risked and are risking their lives, as well as to the community, which will also experience the aftermath of such devastating fires...

Nobilis-Maximino - Fifth Pemex Farmout Public Bid
Haynes and Boone, LLP, October 2017

On September 18, 2017, the National Hydrocarbons Commission (Comisión Nacional de Hidrocarburos) (“CNH”) called an international public bid for the selection of a partner for Pemex Exploración y Producción (“Pemex”) to pursue exploration and production activities in the Nobilis-Maximino field, located in deep waters in the Perdido Belt in the Gulf of Mexico...

Mexico: Round Three – First Public Bid
Haynes and Boone, LLP, October 2017

The Mexican government announced on September 28, 2017 the first bid of Round 3. This will be the sixteenth upstream bid round in Mexico since the enactment of the energy reform in mid-2014. The new bid round (named Round 3...

ILPA Calls on GPs for Subscription Line Transparency
Haynes and Boone, LLP, October 2017

ILPA’s Paper Earlier this year the International Limited Partner's Association (ILPA) published its paper "Subscription Lines of Credit and Alignment of Interests: Considerations and Best Practices for Limited and General Partners." Since then there''s been a lack of on the record industry commentary from general partners (GPs) on this paper, but it has not gone unnoticed and has triggered much discussion behind closed doors...

Media, Entertainment, and First Amendment
Haynes and Boone, LLP, October 2017

  The Libel Suit Strikes Back Much has changed since 1972 when reporters Woodward and Bernstein exposed President Nixon of wrongdoing. Through their extraordinary reporting, the public learned of “dirty tricks,” criminal actions and a cover-up led by this country’s leaders inside the White House. All resources available to these reporters including unnamed sources of information provided details that fueled these stories...

Tenth Circuit Dismisses Litigation Over Federal Hydraulic Fracturing Rule
Haynes and Boone, LLP, October 2017

Earlier this year, the Tenth Circuit dismissed two appeals in connection with the Bureau of Land Management’s (“BLM”) Final Rule implementing its regulations imposing new standards and obligations on hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands (“Fracking Rule”). The appeals had been filed challenging the district court’s prior ruling that struck down the rule in the face of industry, state, and tribal challenges...

SEC Announces New Cyber and Retail Investor Initiatives
Haynes and Boone, LLP, October 2017

After weeks of headlines dominated by Equifax’s cyber breach affecting 143 million consumers and the breach of the SEC’s own EDGAR system, the SEC recently announced the creation of (i) a Cyber Unit to target cyber-related misconduct and (ii) a Retail Strategy Task Force to strengthen its protection of retail investors...

SEC Issues Additional CEO Pay Ratio Disclosure Guidance, Affording Companies More Flexibility to Reduce Compliance Costs
Haynes and Boone, LLP, October 2017

On September 21, 2017, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) issued new guidance on compliance with pay ratio disclosure requirements, including an SEC release (“Interpretative Release”), commentary from the SEC staff in question and answer format (“Q&A”) and updated Compliance and Disclosure Interpretations (“C&DIs”)...

Changing How Products Get From the Manufacturer to the Customer: Common Questions and Risks
Haynes and Boone, LLP, September 2017

  It starts with the best of intentions: A startup medical device company has just sold to a larger enterprise with an established sales team and customer base and no longer needs distributors. A consumer packaged goods company has just bought a brand and needs to transition to a new team of brokers. A growing company is finally ready to take its supply chain captive, including the distribution of products to customers, and no longer needs small distributors or sales representatives...

Summary of Updates and Highlights in the Mexican Energy Sector, July-August 2017
Haynes and Boone, LLP, September 2017

As part of the implementation of the Mexican energy reform of 2013, several new regulations and administrative guidelines affecting the hydrocarbons and power industries were issued during July-August 2017. These are of particular importance to oil and gas producers, midstream companies and power generators, traders and others looking to invest or expand operations in Mexico’s dynamic energy sector...

The Food Fight: Winning Strategies for a Dynamic Industry
Stout, September 2017

The food and beverage industry is undergoing rapid change. Consumer tastes and shopping habits are evolving in dramatic fashion, and the battle for relevance is intense. In the wake of the recent acquisition of Whole Foods by Amazon, a large group of food-focused finance and law professionals gathered in Chicago to assess the state of the industry. Gian Ricco, a Director in Stout’s Investment Banking group, was a featured panelist at the event hosted by OPUS Connect...

"Will Growth Consolidation Lead Residential Addiction Treatment Industry to Police Itself in Terms of Ethics & Marketing" by Colbey Reagan Nashville Medical News
Waller, September 2017

At this year’s annual meeting of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers in Austin, there was a clear divide on display between the “old school” and the “new school” during a session on electronic marketing strategies. The number of residential addiction treatment providers operating in the United States has exploded since the passage of the Affordable Care Act in March 2010...

 

 

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