Monthly Archives: June 2013

Energy Alert: Mega brands invest in solar energy

We have seen significant growth in the implementation of solar energy. In just the last three months, major companies with large footprints have announced new solar projects. Walmart indicated in March that it would install solar power arrays on the top of a dozen stores in Ohio. According to reports, these solar arrays represent a tenth of all the solar currently installed in the state of Ohio. In May, Verizon announced its expansions of solar initiatives saying it would invest $100 million on solar and fuel cell projects at 19 of its facilities in seven states. In June, Walgreens announced it would build more than 200 new solar installations at its drugstores throughout six states, bringing the total solar installations at its stores to 350. Mega brands like Apple, IKEA and Toyota have also announced solar expansion in recent months.

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Intellectual Property Alert: Reverse-payment patent settlements

Imagine this scenario: after years of research, development and testing, Company A wins FDA approval for a new – and patented – drug product, and takes the drug to market. Company B seeks FDA approval to market a generic version of Company A’s drug, and, as it is required to do, Company B certifies to the FDA it believes its generic product does not infringe Company A’s patents, or alternatively, that the claims of those patents are invalid. And as it is required to do based on Company B’s filings at the FDA, Company A files suit for patent infringement. But instead of engaging in the costly – and risky – battle over the patent infringement and validity issues, Companies A and B settle the lawsuit, with Company B agreeing to keep its generic drug off the market until Company A’s patents expire in exchange for payment of millions of dollars from Company A.

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The Supreme Court Strikes Down DOMA—Benefit Plan Sponsors Have Much to Consider

Today, in its decision in United States v. Windsor, No. 12-307 (U.S. June 26, 2013), the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) is unconstitutional. DOMA provided that, for federal purposes, same-sex marriages would not be recognized, even if such marriages were recognized for state law purposes. The Supreme Court’s ruling means that, for federal purposes, a same-sex marriage must be viewed on the same terms as an opposite-sex marriage, generally leaving the definition of “spouse” to the states. Therefore, in states that already recognize same-sex marriage, there is no longer a barrier to that recognition under federal law. As an initial matter, any plan that includes DOMA’s definition of “spouse” will require an amendment. While the decision addresses the constitutionality of same-sex marriage, it does not address numerous implications that follow from the ruling.

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Supreme Court Narrowly Defines Supervisor Under Title VII

Our colleague Julie Saker Schlegel at Epstein Becker Green recently posted “Supreme Court Holds That Only Employees Who Have Authority to Take Tangible Employment Actions Constitute Supervisors for the Purpose of Vicarious Liability Under Title VII” on the Retail Labor and Employment Law blog, and we think financial services employers will be interested. Following is an excerpt:

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High Court to Review Constitutionality of President Obama’s Recess Appointments to the NLRB

By Steven M. Swirsky, Adam C. Abrahms, and D. Martin Stanberry

With an eye toward next term, the Supreme Court announced on Monday, June 24th, that it had granted the National Labor Relations Board’s (“NLRB”) petition for certiorari in Noel Canning v. NLRB. This news all but ensures that America’s highest court will determine not only the fate of President Obama’s recess appointments to the Board, but also the extent of a president’s Constitutional power to appoint individuals to various federal agencies, departments and courts without the advice and consent of the Senate.

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Lidings Further Strengthens its Pharmaceutical Practice

Lidings law firm, the leading legal advisor to foreign businesses in the Russian market, continues to become advisor of choice for the leading pharmaceutical companies.

With Life Sciences being one of Lidings’ most rapidly developing practice areas the firm’s client list boasts industry leaders including pharmaceutical giants like Boehringer Ingelheim, Ferring Pharmaceuticals, Ipsen Pharma, MEDA Pharmaceuticals, Sanofi Aventis, Servier, and others.

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Express or Implied, Hearsay is Hearsay

Christopher Baldree was a small time drug dealer in Cornwall, Ontario. One night in May of 2006, Baldree and three other people were smoking marijuana in his apartment.  The Cornwall police, responding to a suspected break-in, knocked on the door. Baldree inexplicably allowed them to come into the apartment where the police found an open safe containing cocaine, a large cardboard box containing a Ziploc bag of marijuana, as well as the joints that Baldree and his friends had been smoking.  The police arrested Baldree and his companions and seized a mobile telephone and some cash.

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Clark Wilson Acts for PIRET in $72 Million Acquisition

Clark Wilson client Pure Industrial Real Estate Trust (PIRET) (TSX: AAR.UN) completed the purchase on June 17, 2103 of four industrial properties in Calgary, Alberta, comprised of two single-tenant and two multi-tenant properties having a total of over 720,000 square feet of leasable premises, for a total purchase price of $72 million. James Speakman and Shauna Towriss worked on the deal with assistance from paralegal Wendy Ng. PIRET’s year-to-date 2013 acquisitions total 75 properties having a total of 5.8 million square feet of leasable premises and a total purchase price of $577.3 million. Clark Wilson is lead securities, real estate and corporate counsel to PIRET. PIRET is the largest internally managed publicly traded REIT in Canada that offers investors exclusive exposure to Canada’s industrial asset class.

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Supreme Court Decision Sets High Bar for Establishing Retaliation Claims Under Title VII

Our colleague Amy B. Messigian at Epstein Becker Green recently posted “Supreme Court Decision Sets High Bar for Establishing Retaliation Claims Under Title VII” on the Health Employment and Labor blog, and we think hospitality employers will be interested.

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Supreme Court Holds That Only Employees Who Have Authority to Take Tangible Employment Actions Constitute Supervisors for the Purpose of Vicarious Liability Under Title VII

By Julie Saker Schlegel

In a 5-4 decision the dissent termed “decidedly employer-friendly,” the Supreme Court held on June 24, 2013 that only employees who have been empowered by the employer to take tangible employment actions against a harassment victim constitute “supervisors” for the purpose of vicarious liability under Title VII.  Per the holding in Vance v. Ball State University, employees who merely direct the work activities of others, but who lack the authority to take tangible employment actions, will no longer be considered supervisors under Title VII. 

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