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Intellectual Property Dispute Looms in U.S.-China Trade Rift

As the United States and China continue to dig their heels into an ongoing trade debate, intellectual property questions remain a key element of the tensions between the two countries. The intellectual property lawyers at our firm are keeping a close watch on these developments. The focus of late has been on U.S. tariffs on Chinese products on one hand, and China’s efforts to devalue its currency on the other. President Donald Trump’s administration recently tagged China as a currency manipulator, a designation that experts fear will only ramp up the bad blood between the countries. Meanwhile, there appears to […]

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Victoria’s Secret Trademarks Play on Competitor’s Name

Lingerie giant Victoria’s Secret has always had a way of getting consumers’ attention. The company’s latest marketing moves, however, are also raising eyebrows in the intellectual property community. Victoria’s Secret recently sought a pair of trademarks for the name “Victoria’s Secret First Love,” one for beauty products and the other for clothing. If approved by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the trademarks would give parent company L Brands the exclusive right to use the name in association with its products. Victoria’s Secret started using the name “First Love” at an annual fashion show last year, according to WWD.com. […]

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California AG Moves Forward With Fraud Case Against Sutter Health

Skyrocketing health care costs continue to draw the attention of patients and their lawyers, as well as politicians in Sacramento and Washington. But little seems to have been done to actually cut down on medical and related bills. A lawsuit recently brought by California’s top attorney against a huge healthcare provider is being hailed by some as a test case. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra recently got an important early win in a lawsuit against Sutter Health. Becerra says the company overpriced patients and used anticompetitive moves to drive out other healthcare operators in the state. A judge in San […]

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Bank of Facebook Already Raising Consumer Concerns

Despite wild swings in the value of many of the most popular cryptocurrencies, it seems like every day a new e-coin is popping up. Now even Facebook is getting into the digital assets game. The social media giant boasting more than two billion users is set to roll out its own cryptocurrency by the end of the year. Mark Zuckerberg & Co. plan to offer the coin to allow users to send and receive payments through WhatsApp, the encrypted messaging service that Facebook also owns. The sheer size of Facebook and its following would make the coin an immediate competitor […]

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Fraud Tops FTC List of Consumer Complaints

Fraud is a general term often used to describe a wide range of shady and misleading conduct, from giving investors incomplete information to tricking consumers into buying products via false advertising. Technological advances have, unfortunately, broadened the horizons for fraudsters looking to get over on hard-working people. Apparently, consumers have taken notice. The Federal Trade Commission says fraud was the top consumer complaint received by the agency last year, the first time since the federal government started tracking that information. The FTC received some 1.4 million fraud complaints in 2018, the agency said in a new report. That represents nearly […]

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Lumber Liquidators to Pay $33 Million in Fraud Case

A popular home flooring retailer is paying big bucks to get out of a securities fraud case for misleading investors about the company’s use of potentially harmful products from China. Lumber Liquidators has agreed to fork over $33 million to settle claims it didn’t make investors aware that the company was selling Chinese flooring heavy in formaldehyde. The colorless gas is common in many building materials, but the flooring products had included enough formaldehyde to put people at risk of cancer and cause respiratory problems, according to prosecutors. “Lumber Liquidators lied to investors and to the public about its compliance […]

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SEC Charges Volkswagen With Fraud

Some four years after the Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal became front page news, the German automaker is still dealing with the aftermath. The Securities and Exchange Commission recently charged Volkswagen and former chief executive officer Martin Winterkorn with investor fraud for allegedly lying about the cheating scandal. Prosecutors say the company issued more than $13 billion in bonds and other asset-backed securities, despite knowing that some 500,000 vehicles far exceeded legal limits on emissions in the United States. The company and certain executives also knew that the cheating scandal in which engineers rigged cars to pass emissions tests put VW […]

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MoviePass Gets Close Look for Securities Fraud

Perhaps some of us could have predicted how this film would end. MoviePass theatre subscriptions have plummeted over the year. Investigators are also looking at possible securities fraud by the company that caught all kinds of attention by offering moviegoers a chance to see a whole lot of films on the cheap. The New York Attorney General late last year opened a probe into Helios and Matheson Analytics, which owns MoviePass. The state’s acting top lawyer said in a Tweet that prosecutors are looking into whether the company misled investors about MoviePass’s long-term viability. “My office is committed to protecting […]

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Elon Musk Accused of Violating Securities Fraud Settlement

It’s been an interesting year for Elon Musk, the Tesla chief executive officer who rose to fame as a leading voice in the tech sector. In the last 12 months, he made a head-scratching appearance on Joe Rogan’s podcast, announced the company was closing physical stores in favor of internet sales, and flirted with a plan to take Tesla private. Musk’s decision to ruminate on the last move via social media generated a securities fraud suit from the federal government. Now lawyers for the Securities Exchange Commission say Musk violated a settlement agreement in that case by talking too much […]

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Lawmakers Push Bipartisan Bill for Investor Fraud Victims

Bipartisanship isn’t exactly a common theme in Congress these days. If there’s one thing lawmakers on both sides of the aisle should be able to agree on, however, it’s that government investigators should have a full arsenal of tools to go after people who commit fraud. Sens. John Kennedy (R-La.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) recently introduced legislation that would strengthen the Securities Exchange Commission’s power to seek compensation for the victims of fraud. The Securities Fraud Enforcement and Investor Compensation Act would give the SEC more time to pursue those cases. The measure, which was referred to the Senate Banking, […]

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