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Dallas Business Litigation Blog

Government agencies are barred from challenging patents

In many cases, an intellectual property dispute only affects the parties involved. One company wins and one loses. However, in a recent intellectual property case, the Supreme Court made a decision that will have a greater effect.

A fifteen-year dispute between the U.S. Postal Service and Return Mail ended this week in the U.S. Supreme Court. The 6-3 decision will have wide-reaching implications for intellectual property law, as it established that government agencies were not allowed to appeal patents filed by private individuals and companies.

Use bulletproof discretion for foolproof recruiting

If you hold an executive position, the hardest aspect of your job may be having to terminate someone’s employment. And the more responsibility that person has, the more complex saying “you’re fired” can be.

It can take a long time to replace an employee who has a lot of skills and experience. Recruiting the right replacement often requires communication deep within the fired employee’s professional and social world.

Business collection: Consultant files suit seeking owed payment

Running a business is not an easy task, and it relies heavily on the cooperation of others, especially when work agreements have been made. Unfortunately, some Texas business owners may have more work cut out for them when clients or customers do not pay their outstanding balances. In some cases, legal action may be necessary when it comes to business collection.

One woman in another state is currently working toward obtaining payment owed to her. According to reports, she worked as a consultant on a sports complex project from Nov. 2017 through March 2018. She acted as the project's chief diversity officer during that time. However, she reportedly did not receive payment from the project's founders despite sending multiple invoices for payment.

Commercial landlord utilizes litigation to seek money

Commercial property owners have a substantial number of tasks to handle. If the owners manage the property and act as landlords, they may find themselves facing disputes with their tenants from time to time. While some issues may be easily resolved, others may require litigation.

Texas readers may be interested in a dispute currently underway in another state. According to reports, claims have come against a Hallmark store that has operated out of a mall since the 1970s. The landlords for the space that Hallmark was leasing filed suit in regard to money or property owed to the mall owners from the store. Details on exactly what damages are being sought by the mall owners were not given in the report.

Cultural intellectual property dispute leads to new resolution

A food chain that trademarked its name set off a series of discussions about intellectual and cultural property that prompted another state to take action. While intellectual property might seem clear-cut in Texas, there can be complicating factors. For example, trademarking something of cultural significance might not be as effective as some people hope.

In 2018, the restaurant chain Aloha Poke Co. trademarked the name "Aloha Poke." The company is based in the continental United States and does not have any ties to the state of Hawaii. After trademarking its name, it mailed cease-and-desist letters to restaurant owners of Native Hawaiian origin in both Alaska and Hawaii. These entities were told to stop using the word aloha in their businesses despite their ties to the cultural meaning behind the name.

Protecting your business with sound noncompete agreements

Texas employers may work diligently to protect the information that differentiates them from competitors. However, to successfully and efficiently run your business, you may need to share such key, sensitive information with employees. What can you do to protect this information in the event that those employees leave your company?

Noncompete agreements provide employers with peace of mind in knowing that key employees leaving the company cannot immediately go to work for your competitors. However, these agreements must be carefully worded and constructed to avoid the potential for a future dispute.

Patagonia files suit due to intellectual property infringement

Businesses work hard to make their products and brands recognizable to consumers. They may trademark names, slogans and images to ensure that those details are used only by their companies. As a result, confusion and damage to business could occur if another company infringes on that intellectual property, and businesses may need to take legal action to protect their brands.

Texas readers may be interested in a lawsuit recently filed by clothing company Patagonia. According to reports, the company has filed suit against Anheuser-Busch because the beverage company has started selling a beer called Patagonia. The beverage's look even bears a striking resemblance to the clothing company's logo of a silhouette of a mountain and the word Patagonia. Patagonia claims that Anheuser-Busch has gone to great lengths to make it seem like the clothing company is selling the product.

Lack of confrontation may cause partnership disputes

For many Texas residents, starting a business means enlisting the help of one or multiple partners. While partnerships can certainly have their benefits, they are not immune to facing serious issues. Partnership disputes can cause significant problems within a company, especially if they are not handled quickly and effectively.

Partners may find themselves at odds for many reasons. For example, some individuals may feel afraid of confrontation with their business partners. As a result, one partner's missteps could continue to cause problems for the company because another partner does not want to cause a confrontation by pointing out those errors. Unfortunately, avoiding confrontation at first may only lead to bigger problems later on when the issues can no longer be avoided.

Lyft accusations may lead to shareholder disputes

While stocks and shares can play major roles in company finances, they can also be points of contention. If company higher-ups believe that some sort of wrongdoing has occurred, shareholder disputes could come about. These conflicts could even have the potential of causing legal issues that lead to litigation.

Texas readers may be interested in a dispute that currently has rideshare company Lyft threatening litigation. Apparently, the company believes that investment banking company Morgan Stanley has been helping investors and shareholders participate in short-selling stocks, though the individuals are subject to lock-up agreements, which prevent them from selling their shares. Lyft sent Morgan Stanley a formal letter, asking the company to deny that any type of short product had been created and, if such actions did occur, that the company provide the names of shareholders who participated.

Tesla involved in business litigation with former employees

Successful Texas businesses often employ numerous individuals in order to keep operations up and running. While having this help can be beneficial, it also means that a company is more at risk of having trade secrets leaked or other intellectual property stolen. Unfortunately, this type of scenario is not unusual, and company owners often have to utilize business litigation in order to seek recompense.

It was recently reported that Tesla has filed suit against four former employees, claiming that those individuals provided confidential information to a rival company. The workers, who now work for a robo-taxi startup, are accused of sending that information from their work email accounts to personal accounts in order to utilize it later with their new employer. Tesla claims that by providing this information, the rival company was able to bypass years of effort needed in relation to operations development.

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