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The Australian Government has recently released its response (which can be accessed here) to the Productivity Commission’s final report on Intellectual Property Arrangements in Australia.
The Intellectual Property Arrangements report by the Productivity Commission covered a range of intellectual property issues, including trade mark, copyright, patent and plant breeder’s rights and made a number of recommendations regarding reforms to Australian intellectual property laws.
California Court of Appeal Concludes That a Collective Bargaining Agreement Can Waive an Employee’s Right to Bring Statutory Claims in a Judicial Forum Continue Reading…
As courts continue to address whether and when employers can compel employees to arbitrate their wage-hour claims, the California Court of Appeal has issued a decision in Cortez v. Doty Bros. Equipment Company, No. B275255, ___ Cal. App. 5th ___ (2017), that should be of great help to many California employers with collective bargaining agreements (“CBAs”) that include arbitration provisions.
The United States Supreme Court and multiple California courts have held that a CBA may require arbitration of an employee’s statutory claims only if the CBA includes a “clear and unmistakable” waiver of the right to bring those statutory claims in a judicial forum. What constitutes a “clear and unmistakable” waiver has been a fact-based issue resolved on a case-by-case basis, often in favor of allowing employees to avoid arbitration of their wage-hour claims.
In the ongoing legal saga between internet retailers Wayfair, Overstock.Com, and Newegg, and South Dakota, the Supreme Court of South Dakota heard oral arguments last week on the familiar question of how much leeway states have to impose sales and use taxes on out of state internet retailers who arguably have no physical presence in the taxing jurisdiction.
South Dakota asserts that the main issue presented is whether precedent prevents “South Dakota from imposing an otherwise valid sales tax collection on retailers who lack a ‘physical presence’ within the state.” In addition, the State also presented a second issue on the court, “whether the United States Supreme Court should reconsider its decision in [the 1992 case] Quill Corp. v. North Dakota…” Quill prohibits states from imposing sales and use tax obligations on remote retailers in the absence of a physical presence in the taxing state, pursuant to the dormant commerce clause.
In an opinion issued on Aug. 30, 2017, the South Carolina Court of Appeals affirmed the Administrative Law Court’s (ALC) denial of DIRECTV and its subsidiaries’ (DIRECTV) claims for an $8.5 million refund. The amount is the sum of $6,646,168 in tax and license fees; $653,425 in interest; and $1,246,155.75 in penalties relating to the companies’ 2009, 2010, and 2011 income tax returns. The case turned on the scope of DIRECTV’s income producing activities in South Carolina, namely the delivery of the signal, from which subscribers receive national and local programming, into South Carolina homes and businesses and onto customers’ television sets.
On Aug. 31, 2017, Gov. Bruce Rauner issued a press release announcing his signature on “historic school funding legislation that puts children first and makes lasting changes that will help generations of children to come.” Characterized as “compromise legislation,” the legislation, SB 1947, keeps the lights on in the public schools in the wake of the two-year standoff that ended when the governor signed a new budget into law in early July. SB 1947 also establishes a tax credit scholarship program, designed to give poor families access to private schools.
Lawmakers have been feuding with each other and the governor over school funding for quite some time. In early August, the governor issued an amendatory veto, pursuant to which the governor returns legislation to the general assembly with specific recommendations for change. When they receive an amendatory veto, lawmakers can either do nothing (allowing the bill to die), override the veto, or accept the governor’s proposed changes.
Massachusetts Recreational Marijuana Regulatory Scheme Takes Shape; Newly Appointed Cannabis Control Commission Begins Work
In accordance with provisions of the comprehensive recreational marijuana legislation signed by Governor Baker in late July referred to as “an Act to Ensure Safe Access to Marijuana” (the Act), the Chairman and four other individual members of the new Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) that will broadly regulate both medical and recreational marijuana in the Commonwealth were appointed in early September 2017.
Data security measures are critical for all businesses to implement, but pose challenges for small businesses and entrepreneurs in particular. These data security threats are multiplying, as recently highlighted by the worldwide spread of the “WannaCry” and “Petya” ransomware viruses, but small businesses often lack the resources to retain specialized staff dedicated to implementing top-line protective measures.
Good news for fintech start-ups as Australia’s corporate regulators adopt a number of initiatives to help entry level players gain a meaningful foothold in the industry.
Hall & Wilcox recently attended an Innovation Hub event organised by ASIC where regulators such as the RBA, APRA, AUSTRAC and OIAC provided an update on various initiatives they are undertaking to assist start-ups in the fintech (and to some extent, the regtech) space to navigate the regulatory landscape.