Legal Updates

SEC Judge Sanctions Chinese Affiliates of the Big Four Accounting Firms

By Victor Dudas

On January 22, 2014, an administrative law judge for the SEC ruled that the Chinese firms affiliated with the Big Four accounting firms should be denied the privilege of practicing or appearing before the SEC for a period of six months, which means that a company could not use an audit report by these firms to satisfy their SEC filing obligations. The decision is under appeal and it will not take effect until the decision is finalized.

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Multistate Tax Update — February 6, 2014

The Nebraska Department of Revenue (DOR) updated its Nebraska Sales and Use Tax Guide for Computer Software (Software Guide) late last month which provides guidance regarding the taxation of cloud computing in the state. The DOR originally issued its Software Guide in July 2011.

In Nebraska, gross receipts from the sale, rental, lease, license, or transfer of prewritten or custom computer software are subject to sales tax. The sales tax is determined without regard to the seller’s method of delivery to the purchaser. Also, training on the use of software is a taxable service if performed by the seller of the software, and regardless of the nature of the seller. Maintenance or service contracts and charges for installing computer software are taxable. 

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Governor Cuomo’s Plan For Disaster Preparedness

At an NYLCVEF Eco-Partners Breakfast conducted at the offices of the Durst Organization on January 28, 2014, Jamie Rubin, the Director of the Governor Cuomo’s Office of Storm Recovery New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program, outlined the State’s plans for protecting critical systems and infrastructure.  Ably assisting Rubin at the presentation was New York Rising Policy Director, Kate Dineen.

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Credit Union Regulatory Alert

Thank you for taking the time to read this Howard & Howard Credit Union Regulatory Alert. This Alert continues our series on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s new mortgage disclosure requirements. If you missed them, be sure to review our previous Alerts on 7 Initial Items and the Scope of the new rules. More..

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Big Island Video News reports on copyright infringement case brought by Schneider Rothman on behalf of Hawaii artist

Big Island Video News, which serves residents and visitors on the island of Hawaii, has joined the growing media coverage of a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by Schneider Rothman Intellectual Property Group on behalf of local artist Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker. He is suing CafePress.com, claiming that it used one of his artworks without permission

Big Island Video News reports on copyright infringement case brought by Schneider Rothman on behalf of Hawaii artist

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Schneider Rothman Intellectual Property Law Group obtains settlement in patent infringement case for popular word game

Schneider Rothman Intellectual Property Law Group has obtained a settlement for a client who claimed patent infringement against one of the nation’s largest media companies and against publishers of electronic games. As part of the settlement, one of the defendants, UClick, now displays on Web pages for “Jumble” the fact that the word game involving

Schneider Rothman Intellectual Property Law Group obtains settlement in patent infringement case for popular word game

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FEDERAL GOVERNMENT INCREASES COVERAGE FOR NUCLEAR LIABILITY FROM $75 MILLION TO $1 BILLION AND IS POISED TO RATIFY INTERNATIONAL LIABILITY TREATY

Stanley D. Berger B.C.L.,L.L.B, Certified Specialist Environmental Law

On January 30, 2014 Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources introduced the Energy Safety and Security Act (Bill C-22). Part 2 of the Bill is the long-anticipated new Nuclear Liability and Compensation Act http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&DocId=6395896 More…

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Chicago Federal Court Holds That A Contractual Limitation On A Corporation’s Ability To Compete Should Not Be Analyzed Like An Employer/Employee Non-Compete

A federal judge in Chicago recently held that when a corporation enters into a contract with another corporation under which it agrees not to engage in certain competitive activities, that agreement not to compete should not be analyzed like an employer/employee non-compete. Owens Trophies, Inc. f/k/a R.S. Owens and Company, Inc. v. Bluestone Designs & Creations, Inc. and Society Awards (N.D. Ill. January 14, 2014). Rather, the Court held that because there is no imbalance of power between the parties in that situation, the enforceability of the contract should be analyzed like any other arms-length transaction, and the employer-employee restrictive covenant framework is inapplicable.

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Equity Crowdfunding: Are We There Yet?

Most of the approximately eighty crowdfunding websites (known as “portals”) in Canada are non-equity crowdfunding portals, such as Kickstarter. That is, they offer you a platform to raise money online from the general public for a particular project or purpose, but do not allow you to offer any shares or other type of equity interest in exchange for the contribution. More…

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CMS Proposes Far-Reaching Changes to the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Benefit Program and the Medicare Advantage Program

On January 10, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) published a proposed rule (“Proposed Rule”) setting forth sweeping changes to the Medicare Program’s outpatient prescription drug benefit (“Part D”) program and additional changes to the Medicare Advantage (“MA”) program. Comments are due by 5 p.m. ET on March 7, 2014.[1] Stakeholders comprise a wide range of organizations, including managed care organizations, prescription drug plan sponsors, pharmacy benefit managers, pharmacies, drug manufacturers, and the vendors that provide services and products to this segment of the health care industry. Stakeholders are urged to comment on the Proposed Rule. Please visit http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-01-10/pdf/2013-31497.pdf for more information about how to submit comments. Stakeholders will be significantly affected if the provisions in the Proposed Rule are adopted as proposed.

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