Monthly Archives: October 2011

Once Again, An Alleged International Trade Secrets Heist Draws A Federal Indictment

* Co-authored by Viktoria Lovei.

As we have noted in prior blog posts, alleged thefts of trade secrets are generally handled through the civil court system, and rarely result in criminal prosecution. Nevertheless, where there is an international component to the case or where the magnitude of the alleged theft is particularly significant, the prosecuting authorities will step in, as recently happened in Chicago.

Last week, Chunlai Yang, a former senior software engineer for Chicago-based CME Group, Inc., was indicted in federal court in Chicago and charged with two counts of theft of trade secrets. In the indictment, the government alleges that Yang stole the global exchange operator’s proprietary source code while pursuing, and in furtherance of, business plans to improve a chemical electronic trading exchange in China. Each count against Yang carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The government also seeks forfeiture of computers and equipment allegedly used by Yang as well as any property or proceeds derived from his alleged criminal actions. Yang pled not guilty earlier this week.

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Updated BC IPP Supply Map

Further to our April blog post, today, BC Hydro released some updated information regarding the supply of electricity from BC independent power producers (BC IPPs).

Included in the release is the following:

1. A map of current and future BC IPP projects;

2. A list of current BC IPPs supplying BC Hydro; and

3. A list of IPP projects currently under development in British Columbia,

(each current to October 1, 2011).

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ILN Today Post

That’s not reasonable! So what is? Managing misconduct under the microscope

A recent decision of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal is a timely reminder of the importance of acting reasonably in managing employee misconduct.  In the case, the tribunal emphasised that managers should not blindly follow a policy or procedure but must turn their minds to the particular circumstances to determine what is reasonable.  read more

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ILN Today Post

Are you getting the flexibility you are looking for?

A recent prosecution by the Fair Work Ombudsman has demonstrated the strict compliance requirements associated with the use and implementation of an individual flexibility arrangement in an employer’s business.  read more

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ILN Today Post

Common sense prevails at Fair Work Australia

In a decision which will bring comfort to employers, Fair Work Australia has found that employees should not have to be taught ‘common sense’ in finding that the dismissal of an employee was not unfair.  read more

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Employers Must Be Prepared To Implement New Meal And Rest Break Practice On Short Notice Now That The California Supreme Court Has Set A November 8, 2011 Hearing Date For Brinker

by Michael Kun

Some were beginning to wonder whether it would ever happen. After more than two years, the California Supreme Court has announced a hearing date in the much-awaited Brinker v. Superior Court case — November 8, 2011.

Unless the Court takes a detour, California employers should finally know the answer to a question that has long driven California’s billion dollar wage-hour class action industry — must an employer “ensure” that employers take meal and rest periods, or are they only required to make them “available” to employees.

Should the Supreme Court rule that employers need only make them “available,” wage-hour class actions will not grind to a halt. Plaintiffs’ counsel will merely change their allegations to allege that meal and rest breaks were not made “available.” But most employers should have valid defenses to such claims, and, perhaps just as importantly, they will not need to revise the way they operate.

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Counterfeit Goods: Significant Statutory and Punitive Damages

We have been following the line of cases dealing with counterfeit goods and the resulting damage awards, and note the most recent case from the Federal Court makes clear that a tougher approach to trademark  and copyright infringement can now be expected in Canada.  In Louis Vuitton Malletier S.A. v. Singga Enterprises (Canada) Inc., the Court awarded significant damage awards as well as punitive damages against the three defendant companies and their principals.

The Plaintiffs, Louis Vuitton and Burberry, hired a number of investigators to attend the stores and warehouses of the defendants Singga Enterprises Canada, Altec Productions and Guo (doing business as Carnation Fashion Company), as well as purchase items from their websites. While in attendance at the stores and warehouses, the investigators were shown and purchased a number of counterfeit items including handbags, sunglasses and jewellery, all of which contained unauthorized productions of the Louis Vuitton and Burberry trade-marks. The Plaintiffs were successful in showing that the defendants’ activities of manufacturing, importing, distributing, offering for sale and actual sale of bulk quantities of counterfeit and/or infringing items had been ongoing and, in the case of one of the defendants, had continued after the commencement of the proceeding and the motion for summary trial brought by the Plaintiffs.

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NLRB postpones notice posting requirement

On October 5, 2011, amid substantial criticism from Congress, and legal challenges by employer associations, the NLRB announced that it is postponing the effective date of its notice posting requirement to January 31, 2012.

Our August Alert on this subject said the following:

On August 25, 2011, the National Labor Relations Board (the “Board”) issued a final rule (the “Final Rule”), which requires employers to inform employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act (the “Act”). This Final Rule was designed to close a so-called “knowledge gap” in the workforce. The Final Rule contains minor changes from the Board’s Proposed Rule on this topic.

Click here to view our previous Alert regarding the Proposed Rule, “Ready or not, here they come – NLRB issues new Proposed Rule to revamp the union election process.” The Final Rule is expected to take effect on November 14, 2011.

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McDonald Hopkins applauds bipartisan effort to halt proposed regulation that will hurt pharmacies and physicians

McDonald Hopkins applauds bipartisan effort to halt proposed regulation that will hurt pharmacies and physicians

New policy would terminate longstanding Medicare Part B reimbursement to pharmacies

Chicago, Illinois, (October 6, 2011) –  McDonald Hopkins law firm, on behalf of its clients, has been involved in a major effort to persuade the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to rescind Change Request 7397 (CR), which was introduced on May 13, 2011 by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Yesterday, three Mississippi lawmakers—U.S. Senators Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker, and Congressman Gregg Harper– issued a news release urging CMS to rescind the CR. Click here to read news release issued by Cochran, Wicker, and Harper.

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Former partner of the leading Nordic law firm Hannes Snellman, Mr Magnus Pousette, and a former senior tax advisor at KPMG Baltics, Ms Aidi Kallavus, joined TARK GRUNTE SUTKIENE

From October, a former partner of the leading Nordic law firm Hannes Snellman, Mr Magnus Pousette, and a former senior tax advisor at KPMG Baltics, Ms Aidi Kallavus, will join TARK GRUNTE SUTKIENE.

Mr Pousette worked at the Helsinki office of the law firm Hannes Snellman for 27 years, 22 of these years as an equity partner. During the years Magnus served with Hannes Snellman it grew from a domestic Finnish law firm with 7 fee earners to a Nordic law firm with a strong presence in Russia with around 170 fee earners. Today, the firm has 5 offices in 4 countries and is mainly focused on transactions and conflict management. Magnus retired from active legal practice in Finland in 2009 and now lives permanently in Tallinn.

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