Monthly Archives: December 2012

The Product Liability Dilemma: Product vs. Service.

Courts have long struggled with hybrid fact scenarios that  involve both a product and a service. When a corporate defendant is sued for personal injury, is it more advantageous for the defendant to be characterized as a service provider rather than a product manufacturer? The knee jerk reaction of some defense lawyers is that they would prefer their client to be cast as service providers. After all, who wants their client to be subjected to a strict liability product claim if it could be avoided, right? Not so fast. The answer to this question may be more complicated that it appears at first blush.

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Bodum Gets French Pressed by Federal Court In Trademark Dispute

Canada’s Federal Court has recently handed Bodum USA, Inc. (Bodum) another loss in its ongoing fight to enforce its trademark and other intellectual property rights in this country.  In the most recent decision, the Court has found that the Canadian Registration for the trademark FRENCH PRESS is invalid and unenforceable.  This Registration is owned by Pi Design AG (Pi), a related entity to Bodum and the licensor of the mark to Bodum in Canada and covers wares described as non-electric coffee makers.

As a result,  Bodum’s infringement claims against Meyer Housewares Canada Inc. (Meyer) over its use of the FRENCH PRESS mark have been dismissed.  Even worse for Bodum, the Registration for FRENCH PRESS has been ordered expunged on the grounds that it should never have been issued in the first place and even if it was properly registered, that Registration is now invalid on the basis that the mark is descriptive and not distinctive of Bodum as the sole source of the goods that this mark is registered in association with.

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Pro Kapital Grupp shares admitted to trading on NASDAQ OMX Baltic Market

On 15 November 2012, the Listing and Surveillance Committee of the NASDAQ OMX Tallinn Stock Exchange decided to accept the application by AS Pro Kapital Grupp and to admit the company’s shares to trading on the Secondary List of NASDAQ OMX Baltic Market. The first day of trading in the shares of AS Pro Kapital Grupp was Friday, 23 November 2012.

TARK GRUNTE SUTKIENE team, led by partner Risto Vahimets and senior associate Andres Siigur, advised AS Pro Kapital Grupp on the admission of its shares to trading on the Secondary List of NASDAQ OMX Baltic Market.

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OSHA Criminal Referrals on the Rise

By: Jordan B. Schwartz and Eric J. Conn

Section 17(e) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (“OSH Act”) provides for a Class B misdemeanor criminal penalty, including imprisonment up to six months and substantial monetary fines if an employer’s willful violation of any OSHA standard causes the death of an employee.  Section 17(e) states:

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Investigation into the rise in underemployment

One impact of the recession has been the increase in people taking on part time jobs or work that does not utilise all the skills they have. What is known as ‘underemployment’ is not well understood.

To find out the impact on those ‘underemployed’ and on Scotland’s economy, the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee has launched an inquiry.

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20 attorneys at McDonald Hopkins named Ohio Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

Cleveland, Ohio (December 18, 2012) – Twelve attorneys at McDonald Hopkins have been recognized by Ohio Super Lawyers as among the top attorneys in Ohio. No more than five percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. In addition, eight of the firm’s attorneys have been named to the Ohio Rising Stars list as among the top up-and-coming attorneys in Ohio. Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state receive this honor.

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Intellectual Property Alert: Trademark licensees beware

Bankruptcy of the trademark owner may affect your rights in unexpected ways

If a trademark owner grants you a license to use a trademark on your products, and that owner enters bankruptcy and rejects your license, can you still use that trademark? Surprisingly, the answer can depend on the location where the trademark owner filed the bankruptcy. If the bankrupt trademark owner files in Illinois, Indiana or Wisconsin the answer appears to be that you can continue to use that trademark in your business. If, however, the bankrupt owner files in Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, or West Virginia, then the answer appears to be the opposite. You likely need to stop using that trademark once the bankrupt trademark owner rejects your license.

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White Collar and Government Compliance Alert: More aggressive enforcement yields record-breaking health care penalties

OIG Report highlights recent cases

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued its semi-annual report to Congress in which it highlighted the agency’s work between April and September of this year (OIG Report) and the record-breaking amount of money it recovered from providers during this period. The OIG Report illustrates the government’s expanding scope and effort to combat health care fraud and further demonstrates the challenges facing the government as it seeks to fully implement the Affordable Care Act. 

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Miami office featured in The Florida Bar on KidSide not-for-profit organization

Arnstein & Lehr Attorney Ronald R. Fieldstoneq

Ronald Fieldstone

Arnstein & Lehrs Miami office was acknowledged in a December 15 article in The Florida Bar regarding their involvement, since 2009, with KidSide organization, a Miami-Dade not-for-profit that raises funds for Family Court Services, with a $2,500 sponsorship of the organizations 2012 softball tournament fundraiser. In addition to a $2,500 sponsorship of the organizations softball tournament, Arnstein & Lehr also was a $400 sponsor of the groups judicial luncheon. Miami Partner Ronald R. Fieldstone and Office Administrator John Santarone led a team of Arnstein employees at the November 11 softball tournament. The mission of KidSide is to provide services for those children most victimized by family conflicts.

To read more about KidSide, please click here.

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Peter E. Shapiro honored by Florida Broward Sheriffs Office as citizen hero

Arnstein & Lehr Attorney Peter E. Shapiro

Peter Shapiro

Arnstein & Lehr Fort Lauderdale Partner Peter E. Shapiro was honored on December 13 by the Florida Broward Sheriffs Office at a ceremony for citizen heroes. Mr. Shapiro rescued a man whose car left the road and went into a lake in Weston. Mr. Shapiro jumped into the lake and swam to the man as the mans car was sinking.

For more information about the ceremony, please click here.

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