Lawyer-written insights on the latest legal happenings—and how they impact your business.

GDPR Compliance Task Force

Jun 06 2018
The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation went into effect on May 25, 2018. GDPR replaced the EU Data Protection Directive. GDPR can apply to US-based businesses even if they do not have offices or employees in the EU. It can also reach activities conducted outside the EU.
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U.S. Biogas and Renewable Natural Gas Industry May Benefit from Expansion of EIA Natural Gas Data Collection Efforts

Aug 06 2020
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has recently proposed revisions to its natural gas data collection survey forms for 2020, including Form EIA-176, the Annual Report of Natural and Supplemental Gas Supply and Disposition. If EIA’s final proposed revisions to Form EIA-176 are approved by the Office of Management and Budget this fall, EIA’s natural gas data collection efforts will expand to include production and consumption data from certain biogas and renewable natural gas producers beginning in 2021.
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SEC Adopts Final Rules for Proxy Advisors

Jul 30 2020
On July 22, the SEC adopted final proxy solicitation rules that are designed to provide clients of proxy advisors with accurate and complete proxy voting advice. The final rules take a principles-based approach – rather than a prescriptive one – after a nearly decade-long initiative to enhance the accuracy, transparency and effectiveness of the proxy voting system.
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10 Key Considerations for Commercial Real Estate Loan Restructurings: A Primer

Jul 20 2020
Since commercial real estate is a “leverage” business, one common challenge that many owners will possibly face is the need to restructure the loans secured by their properties in order to achieve more realistic and achievable economic terms and to avoid loan defaults, foreclosures and the loss of their properties. As a Primer for those lucky few real estate owners and advisors that have not worked through previous real estate cycles (and as a refresher for those who have), here are ten key considerations to guide you generally in pursuing loan restructuring transactions with your lenders.
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GDPR Update: Top EU Court Strikes Down Validity of EU-US Privacy Shield Framework; Upholds Standard Contractual Clauses

Jul 16 2020
Today, July 16, 2020, the EU’s top court, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), issued its highly anticipated decision in the Schrems II case. In doing so, CJEU has invalidated the EU-US Privacy Shield Framework and held that its prior decision regarding Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs) remains valid. Following this decision, US businesses can no longer rely on the EU-US Privacy Shield Framework as a legal mechanism for transferring personal data from the European Economic Area (EEA) to the US. However, companies can still leverage the SCCs in certain instances. The decision highlighted the requirement to for the data exporter to ensure adequate levels of protections are in fact in place prior to transfers.  
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The Supreme Court, Federal Circuit, and PTAB Dance to Boloro Over the Constitutionality of Administrative Patent Judges

Jul 09 2020
In a string of appeals from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”), the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has called into question the constitutional legitimacy of numerous inter partes and – as of this week – ex parte proceedings from the PTAB’s administrative patent judges (“APJs”). It is now up to the Supreme Court to take the stage, should it so choose, and decide whether those APJs were constitutionally appointed such that their decisions should stand. Should the Supreme Court grant certiorari, its decision could give many patent owners who lost at the PTAB the chance to have their ex parte and inter partes cases reheard.
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Frequently Asked Questions: Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness

Jul 09 2020
On May 15, 2020, the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the U.S. Treasury Department released their much anticipated Loan Forgiveness Application and corresponding instructions (Forgiveness Application) for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which includes updated guidance and a detailed procedure on how borrowers and lenders will calculate forgiveness. The SBA’s press release also announced the SBA will “soon issue regulations and guidance to further assist borrows as they complete their applications, and to provide lenders with guidance on their responsibilities.”
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PPP Updates: Borrower Details Released, Application Extension & Revisions to Forgiveness Application Timing

Jul 06 2020
On July 6, 2020, the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the U.S. Treasury released detailed and searchable information about more than 650,000 borrowers that received PPP loans. As the SBA previously announced, for loans below $150,000, the names of borrowers were not released, but totals for those borrowers were provided by zip code, industry and business type.
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USPTO Makes the Patent “Fast-Track” Faster

Jul 06 2020
The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) is now accepting petitions for expedited resolution of ex parte appeals. Launched last week, the “Fast-Track Appeals Pilot Program” aims to decide the average patent appeal within six to eight months faster than the current average.
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Generic + Generic = Protectable? The Supreme Court Opens Door for Generic Terms Combined with Generic Domain Suffixes to be Registrable in Booking.Com Decision

Jul 02 2020
For eight years, travel website Booking.com and the US Patent and Trademark office have been embroiled in a dispute over trademarking the company’s name. The US Supreme Court settled the controversy—and opened the door for other companies to trademark formerly generic names—with its June 30 decision in favor of Booking.com.