NYC Litigation Blog

Friday, September 22, 2017

What Every NYC Employee Handbook Should Include

Why is it important to have an employee handbook?

Employee handbooks are not required under New York law, but having a comprehensive employee handbook is essential to the smooth operation of your business.  Employee handbooks define the parameters of your employer-employee relationship.  Laying out the basic rules and guidelines for employment will help to minimize the potential for future employment conflicts.

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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Protecting Your Trade Secrets

How do I protect my business’ trade secrets?

Your trade secrets are likely an invaluable part of your business’ success.  Trade secrets can include formulas, patterns, practices, and processes that are unique and confidential.  Your trade secrets can be found in your restaurant’s special recipes, your proprietary method for creating products, or your unique client list, for example.  Protecting your trade secrets from competitors is vital to the ongoing success of your business.

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Friday, August 18, 2017

Increasing the Enforceability of Your Non-Compete Agreement

What makes a non-compete agreement enforceable?

Non-competition agreements can offer your business vital protections.  A non-competition agreement places restrictions on the ability of employees to work for a competitor after terminating their employment with your company.  As business owners and entrepreneurs, you likely rely on non-compete clauses to ensure key employees do not join forces with competitors or start their own competing business.  However, you may be surprised to learn that your non-competition agreement may not be enforceable.

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Monday, July 17, 2017

Selling Your Small Business in New York

What steps should I take to prepare for the sale of my business?

Selling your small business can be a complex process.  It will require that you adequately prepare for the sale, select the right method for the transfer of your business, and determine whether it is the right time to sell.  A well prepared and executed sale can bring in tremendous financial rewards. Small business owners should enlist the assistance of an experienced

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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Paul McCartney Settles Lawsuit with Sony/ATV to Reclaim Copyrights

Singer Paul McCartney recently settled his lawsuit against Sony/ATV Music Publishing which sought to reclaim copyrights to several Beatles songs.  McCartney had originally filed suit on January 18, seeking to be declared the holder of copyrights to several songs, including “Hey Jude.” “Yesterday,” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”  McCartney had previously been outbid by Michael Jackson for the Beatles’ Song rights, which later went to Sony/ATV.  Under new copyright laws, McCartney can reclaim song rights after periods of time have elapsed.
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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Fair Use Defense Explained

What is the fair use defense to copyright infringement?

A recent court case involving LeBron James’ tattoo could set important case precedent on the issue of the fair use defense.  In the case, Solid Oak Sketches, the owner of James’ prominent lion’s head tattoo, filed suit against Take-Two Interactive Software for copyright infringement after Take-Two used the tattoo on its virtual LeBron James in a video game.  Take-Two filed a counter claim seeking to have the court declare the video game’s display of the copyrighted tattoo was either fair use or de minimum use.
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Friday, June 9, 2017

NYC Employers Should Review Their Hiring Practices

What should NYC employers know about the new salary history law?

A new law signed this month by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio may mean changes to some New York City employer’s hiring practices.  The bill prevents employers from asking job applicants about their salary history.  It will take effect on October 31, 2017.  Our

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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Creator of the Wall Street Bull Accuses “Fearless Girl” of Copyright Violation

Does the “Fearless Girl” statute infringe on the copyright of the “Charging Bull”?

The 7,000-pound bronze statue of a charging bull has long been a part of New York City’s landscape.  Created in the 1980’s by artist Arturo Di Modica, the bull located outside of the New York Stock Exchange was intended, according to its creator, to be a symbol of strength.  Recently, the statue of a young girl appeared triumphantly standing a few feet from the bull.  This statue is known as the “Fearless Girl” and it was created by Kristen Visbal.  The “Fearless Girl” has attracted a huge fan base for its message of female empowerment, but now the creator of the “Charging Bull” is calling for its removal.
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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Employment Discrimination and the “After-Acquired Evidence” Defense

What is the after-acquired evidence defense?

Employees in New York and across the country are protected from discrimination or unfavorable treatment based on certain attributes, such as their race, religion, disability, gender, and sexual orientation.  Employees who believe they have been discriminated against may be able to file an employment discrimination case.  Anyone considering filing such an action should be aware of the after-acquired evidence defense, which their employer may assert.
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Friday, April 21, 2017

NYC Bill To Ban Employers from Asking Potential Employees About Salary History

What positive effect could banning employer inquiries as to salary histories have on employees citywide?

A New York City bill has proposed preventing private employers in the city from questioning employees about their salary histories.  The bill, number 1253, was approved by the New York City Council on April 5.  It now awaits approval by Mayor Bill de Blasio.  Several other states and cities have taken similar measures to prohibit employers from inquiring about a job applicant’s previous salary.  Our Read more . . .

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Can I Trademark My Name?

Under what circumstances is it legal to trademark a person’s name?

Blac Chyna, the rumored fiancé of Robert Kardashian, with whom she shares a child, was recently denied trademark protection for the name “Angela Kardashian.”  Chyna, whose legal name is Angela White, filed a trademark petition in May of 2016 seeking to protect the name Angela Kardashian prior to her wedding to Rob.  The Kardashians filed an opposition to the request, claiming that Chyna was seeking to profit from the goodwill and fame of their name.  They also asserted that granting the trademark would cause them to suffer irreparable injury to the reputation and goodwill of the Kardashian name.  The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) declined to register the trademark Angela Kardashian after Chyna failed to answer a notice of default.
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