Monthly Archives: August 2016

Trust as Currency in the Digital Age

I had the great pleasure of moderating a panel at AdWeek Europe on the issue of trust earlier this year. The session was titled “Trust: Digital’s New Currency,” and there was broad agreement on the panel—which included among others the CEO of Clear Channel UK, the European Editor of Newsweek, and Phil Stokes, partner, Entertainment & Media Industry, PwC EMEA—that in today’s environment, trust is a valuable currency indeed.

It always has been. Before consumers act on an advertising or marketing message, after all, they need to trust it. In the digital age, however, it seems that consumer trust is under threat from more sources than ever before. If consumers aren’t knowledgeable and wary of digital scams, they can soon … Continue Reading

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ILN Today Post

Changes to Taxation of Settlement Payments

The government has published draft legislation which will make changes to how settlement payments are taxed. These changes are not intended to come into force until April 2018 and will have an effect on what parties may be willing to offer or accept when entering into a settlement agreement.

At present, non-contractual payments received by way of compensation for loss of employment are subject to income tax, although the first £30,000 of such payments is tax free. There are some complications in the rules, such as exceptions for certain types of payment, and a distinction regarding payments which amount to earnings rather than compensation for termination of employment. The changes to be introduced are intended to simplify the taxation of settlement payments.

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In no mood for charity: Federal Court confirms that charities are not necessarily public authorities

The Federal Court of Canada recently confirmed in Starbucks (HK) Limited v. Trinity Television Inc., 2016 FC 790 (the “Decision”) that status as a charity is, in and of itself, insufficient to constitute an entity as a public authority for the purpose of obtaining an official mark.

(For a discussion about official marks and their interplay with regular trade-marks, please see this previous post on our blog.)

The facts leading up to the Decision are straightforward: in 2013, Starbucks (HK) Limited (“Starbucks”) filed an application to register the trade-mark NOW TV & Design.  During prosecution, an official mark for NOWTV, owned by Trinity Television Inc. (“Trinity”), was cited against the Starbucks application.  In response, Starbucks commenced a judicial review application against the Registrar’s decision – made in June 2001 – to give public notice of the adoption and use of NOWTV as an official mark.

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The Law on collecting overdue debts of individuals

Federal Law N 231-FZ dated 3.6.2016 «Оn protection of rights and legal interests of individuals at implementation of activity on overdue debt collection and on amendments to the Federal Law «On microfinance activity and microfinance entities» has been officially published on 06.06.2016.

The Law also known as «The anti – collectors Law» due to prior broad discussion of abuse cases at recovery of debts. The main purpose of this Law is to prevent such abuses.

Below you’ll find a brief summary of the key issues arising from this new piece of legislation.

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A PRIVATE PARTY TOO BIG TO BE PRIVATE

A photo by Daniel Robert. unsplash.com/photos/MRxD-J9-4psThe Danish court has recently decided that a party may be too large to be considered private, at least when it comes to the understanding of the wording “Public performance” in Danish copyright law. The court therefore ruled that the staff party held by Novo Nordisk should be considered as public in connection to the Danish Copyright Act, and therefore Novo should pay Koda for the use of musical work and text.  

Danish copyright law implements a range of EU directives, including directive 93/98/EEC concerning harmonizing the term of protection of copyright and certain related rights, and directive 92/100/EEC on rental rights and lending rights and on certain rights related to copyright in the field of intellectual property. 

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New York Attorney General Targets Non-Competes for Rank-and-File Workers

This summer, New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has reached agreements with a number of companies curtailing their use of non-competition agreements with respect to non-executive and low-wage employees in New York. The issue appears to have caught the attention of Mr. Schneiderman, who stated recently that “restricting rank-and-file workers from being able to find other jobs is unjust and inappropriate” and “workers should be able to change jobs without fear of being sued.”

For example, on August 4, 2016, Examination Management Services, Inc. (“EMSI”), a medical information services provider headquartered in Texas, agreed to stop using non-compete agreements for most of its employees in New York. Prior to the agreement, EMSI’s mandatory non-compete agreements prohibited employees for nine months after leaving the company from working for competitors within fifty miles of any locations they worked for EMSI.

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ATTORNEYS JAMES A. KOHL AND JAY YOUNG NAMED SETTLEMENT JUDGES WITH THE NEVADA SUPREME COURT

Royal Oak, Michigan, August 16, 2016:  Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC is pleased to announce that the Nevada Supreme Court’s search for two new Supreme Court Settlement Judges has ended with the selection of two Howard & Howard attorneys, James A. Kohl and Jay Young.  The pair have been appointed to a 2-year term as Supreme Court Settlement Judges with the Nevada Supreme Court. They both practice out of our Las Vegas Office.

            Since 1997, the Nevada Supreme Court has mandated that certain matters on appeal in Nevada participate in an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program to mediate their disputes before an appeal is heard.  The Supreme Court explains, “Mediation is a process in which an impartial third party, a Settlement Judge, assists the parties in considering options for settlement of their dispute.  The Settlement Judge doesn’t decide the outcome of the case, but rather assists the parties in communicating their positions and interests in order to promote understanding, reconciliation, and a mutually acceptable solution to the dispute. . . . Mediation provides the parties with an opportunity to resolve their case themselves.” Press Release Kohl-Young NVSupCourt 8-16

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FOUR DAVIS MALM ATTORNEYS RECOGNIZED BY 2017 BEST LAWYERS IN AMERICA

August 15, 2016 – Boston, MA
For more information contact: Joanne Thorud
(617) 589-3894; jthorud@davismalm.com

Davis, Malm & D’Agostine, P.C. announces that four of its shareholders were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2017. Published by Woodward/White, Inc. Best Lawyers is considered by many as the oldest and most respected peer review publication in the legal profession.

The following Davis Malm shareholders were recognized in their respective fields:

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Mother Awarded Compensation for Son’s Birth Injuries

A mother has been awarded compensation amounting to £11 million after medical failings at her son’s birth led to him sustaining serious brain injuries, reports the Guardian.

Her son, who is now nine-years-old, was born in the maternity unit at King George hospital in Ilford. During the delivery, his heart rate slowed down, but medical staff failed to notice or carry out an emergency caesarean section.

His mother claimed that if the doctors and nurses had acted promptly her son might have been born in a healthy condition, but their failure to act meant that he developed severe cerebral palsy and also has a limited life expectancy.

In 2013 Barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS Trust apparently admitted that mistakes had been made at the boy’s birth. A settlement of £11 million was subsequently agreed, which has now been ratified at the High Court. 2013 also saw the closure of the maternity unit at the hospital.

The boy’s mother has said that the money will help to provide her son with a much better quality of life than he had previously been able to enjoy.

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Employee’s personal activities during a disability leave: beware of incompatibilities and lack of openness!

A commentary by Jacques A. Laurin, from our Labour and Employment Law Group.

August 16, 2016 — Can one be a contestant on La voix, Quebec’s version of a popular vocal talent competition TV show featuring amateurs coached by established artists, while being on disability leave and receiving salary insurance indemnities? Such was the question recently raised before a labour arbitrator.

A leave with incompatible activities

A disability leave with compensation is an exceptional benefit open to an employee only if certain strict conditions are met. An employee of CHSLD Bourget, in the eastern part of Montréal, recently learned this lesson the hard way.

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