On January 23, 2017, Utah Jazz Owner Gail Miller made basketball news by announcing that she and her family had transferred the NBA team and the Vivint Smart Home Arena into a dynasty trust. Gail Miller and her late husband, Larry Miller, purchased the franchise in 1985 for $26 million. The transfer into the dynasty trust was part of a larger family estate plan. According to Miller, the trust will “last forever, as long as we have people who are willing and able to take care of it.”
On December 20, 2017, the final version of the GOP tax reform bill (the “Act”) was approved by both houses of Congress and sent to the President for signature. The provisions of the new legislation will generally become effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017. Many of the provisions of the Act applicable to individuals will sunset after 2025 unless extended by Congress.
All partnerships, including LLCs treated as partnerships for income tax purposes, should amend their partnership and operating agreements to designate a “partnership representative” and potentially provide for certain elections under new partnership audit rules coming into effect in 2018.
On March 21, 2017 the Supreme Court issued an opinion that abrogated the equitable defense of laches, for unreasonable and prejudicial delay in filing suit, in patent cases. SCA Hygiene Prod. Aktiebolag v. First Quality Baby Prod., LLC, No. 15-927, 2017 WL 1050978 (U.S. Mar. 21, 2017). In that case, Appellant SCA Hygiene argued that the Supreme Court’s 2014 Petrella decision, which conclusively eliminated laches as a defense in copyright cases, also mandated the elimination of laches as a defense to patent infringement. The Supreme Court agreed, reversing the Federal Circuit’s holding of unenforceability due to laches, and remanding for trial on infringement and Appellee First Quality’s equitable estoppel defense.
On October 20, 2016, we published an article discussing the Supreme Court’s decision to grant review of the Sixth Circuit’s August 2011 ruling in Varsity Brands, Inc. v. Star Athletica, LLC. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on October 31, 2016, and, on March 22, 2017, issued its highly anticipated decision. As discussed below, the Supreme Court has clarified the test to determine whether a design feature on a useful article is subject to protection under the Copyright Act of 1976.
Reflecting a trend of increased scrutiny, on March 8, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) posted two new Warning Letters providing important guidance on statements in cosmetics labeling and marketing amounting to the assertion of "drug claims."
On February 22, 2017, the Supreme Court in Life Technologies v. Promega ruled that “a single component does not constitute a substantial portion of the components that can give rise to liability under §271(f)(1).” This ruling limits the reach of §271(f)(1) and will benefit U.S. manufacturers across the board.
This is the next part of our series of posts on utilizing California Code of Civil Procedure, Section 1030, in patent cases, particularly as a strategy against nuisance suits. Section 1030 provides that a defendant may move the court to require an out-of-state plaintiff to file an undertaking to secure an award of costs and attorneys' fees upon showing a reasonable possibility of success on the merits. Part one of our series, discussing the requirements of Section 1030, can be found here.
The Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”) went into effect on May 11, 2016. As the DTSA passes its half-year anniversary, we take a look at DTSA developments through the end of 2016 and what they tell us about the future of the DTSA.
President Trump has proposed a number of tax reforms that would significantly change the taxation of both personal and business income. In particular, the proposals would broaden the income base and create significant nominal rate reductions on the income of businesses and high-income individuals.