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Recent Blog Articles

Don't Forget About Wine When Filing a Trademark Registration for Beer

01/15/2020

When seeking to register a federal trademark registration that covers beer, you not only need to search for the same or similar marks that are used with the same goods (beer) but also look for marks that are used with commercially related goods (wine and spirits).

Don't Throw Away Tax-Exempt Status: Electronic Annual Filings Now Required

01/07/2020

All organizations that have tax-exempt status under Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”) Section 501 or 527 are required to annually file an information return with the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”). Failure to make a filing for three consecutive years results in the automatic revocation of the organization’s exemption. Under recently enacted law, organizations are now required to file information returns and related forms electronically for tax years beginning after July 1, 2019.

Wire Transfer Fraud: Financial Losses and Regulatory Sanctions

01/07/2020

Wire transfer fraud is rampant. FINRA member firms and their employees must be diligent in the detection of scams and the prevention of client losses. In addition, adherence to the member firm’s wire transfer policies and procedures is important for the avoidance of losses and potential regulatory sanctions.

Congressional Action on PFAS May Impose Significant Burdens on Water Utilities

12/20/2019 - By: Stanley Lutz

On November 25, 2019, the Congressional Budget Office released an analysis of the potential impacts of a Senate measure that would set concentration standards for per- and polyflouroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water and require drinking water providers to meet new drinking water standards for PFAS.

The 2019 Guide to Arizona's Speculative Builder's Tax

12/10/2019

Arizona’s speculative builder’s tax is a hidden real property transfer tax imposed by Arizona cities but is not imposed by the state. The speculative builder’s tax is a sales tax on the sale of “improved real property.” It is triggered for commercial buildings if the property is sold within 24 months of substantial completion.

Category: Taxation

Adult-Themed Domain Blocks - Discount Expires December 31, 2019

Intellectual Property
12/06/2019

A new adult-themed domain name blocking mechanism has announced a promotional price incentive that expires on December 31, 2019. We recommend considering this option for your most valuable marks.

Nevada Gaming Regulators Propose Revisions to Draft Workplace Discrimination and Harassment Regulations

11/07/2019 - By: Glenn Light, Karl Rutledge, Mary Tran

In the last several years, the United States has experienced a surge in the number of sexual assault victims who have publically disclosed their stories. Sexual harassment is prevalent across a broad range of industries, including Hollywood, media, hospitality and healthcare. As such, it has spurred many industries to reexamine their own policies to prevent sexual harassment. The gaming industry is no different.

Nevada Reaches a Compromise in the Debate Over Participation in Charitable Lotteries by Minors

11/04/2019 - By: Glenn Light, Karl Rutledge, Mary Tran

On October 24, 2019, the Nevada Gaming Commission (“NGC”) voted unanimously to adopt amendments to Regulation 4A, which governs lotteries and games of chance that raise money for nonprofit organizations in the state.

Revised Examination Guide Addresses Concerns with Determining Applicant’s Domicile

Intellectual Property
10/03/2019 - By: Oliver Bajracharya, David Jackson

The United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) new rule requiring foreign-domiciled trademark applicants, registrants, or trademark-proceeding parties to be represented by a U.S. attorney (84 FR 31498) took effect on August 3, 2019. The USPTO issued an accompanying initial Examination Guide in early August to help implement the rule. After taking into account responses …

Beware Your Design Language – Curver v. Home Expressions

Intellectual Property
09/25/2019 - By: Kurt Prange

In Curver v. Home Expressions, decided on September 12, 2019, the Federal Circuit affirmed the dismissal of Curver’s design patent infringement suit against Home Expressions. The Federal Circuit held that “claim language can limit the scope of a design patent where the claim language supplies the only instance of an article of manufacture that appears …

Use Requirements in the United States for Foreign Applicants

Intellectual Property
09/19/2019 - By: Oliver Bajracharya, David Jackson

The United States, unlike many other countries, requires proof of use before a trademark registration will be granted.  Applicants can still file an application before use commences, provided that the applicant has a bona fide intent to use a mark, but the trademark registration still will not issue until acceptable use evidence is submitted.  This …

PFAS Legislation May Impact Utilities and Other Unprepared Sectors - Energy Blog

09/16/2019 - By: Stanley Lutz

Per- and polyflouroalkyl substances (collectively known as a class as “PFAS”) have been widely used in industrial and consumer applications for years.  PFAS are a class of long-lasting chemicals that have been shown to accumulate in the human body.  PFAS have historically been used in non-stick cookware, stain and water-resistant fabrics, and are also...

Remote Registration for Sports Wagering Accounts in Nevada

Commercial Gaming
08/23/2019 - By: Glenn Light, Karl Rutledge, Mary Tran

A discussion regarding remote registration for Nevada sports books has been raised recently with sports betting commentators having arguments for both innovation and keeping the status quo. On the one hand, the argument is that given the numerous casinos in Las Vegas, it is not difficult to register for a sports wagering account in-person. The …

The post Remote Registration for Sports Wagering Accounts in Nevada appeared first on The Commercial Gaming Blog.

Video Game Industry Pledges to Disclose Odd of Winning In-Game Items from Loot Boxes

Commercial Gaming
08/22/2019 - By: Glenn Light, Karl Rutledge, Mary Tran

Entertainment Software Association (ESA)’s Chief Counsel of Tech Policy, Michael Warnecke, announced at a recent Federal Trade Commission workshop examining loot boxes,[1] that the video game industry will require disclosure of the odds of winning in-game items from paid loot boxes. Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony Interactive Entertainment have agreed to new platform policies with regard …

The post Video Game Industry Pledges to Disclose Odd of Winning In-Game Items from Loot Boxes appeared first on The Commercial Gaming Blog.

Arizona Supreme Court Affirms Lower Court's Ruling on Death Penalty

08/12/2019 - By: Stephen Richer

On Wednesday morning, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled to uphold the death sentence of Alan Matthew Champagne who killed two people and then buried them in his mother’s backyard, only to be discovered 20 months later by a landscaper. In affirming the lower court’s ruling, the Court rejected Champagne’s argument that Arizona’s death penalty violated both the U.S. Constitution and the Arizona Constitution. Champagne also lost on a host of other challenges that the Court assessed and rejected.

End of the Line? A Halt to Funding the Phoenix Light Rail Expansion Now Officially on the Ballot

07/29/2019 - By: Stephen Richer

The Arizona Supreme Court recently ruled that a Phoenix light rail ballot initiative can proceed to the polls in August 2019. According to the Court, the proponents of the ballot initiative did not violate ARS 19-118.01(A) by paying signature gatherers per signature because that prohibition only applies to statewide ballot initiatives, not city initiatives. Nor did the initiative supporters violate ARS 19-102(A) through a misleading 100-word descriptive statement.

The ballot initiative before the Court in Associated General Contractors v. City of Phoenix and Building a Better Phoenix seeks to end all funding for the expansion of the city’s light rail system. If passed by Phoenix voters, current light rail operations would remain, but planned expansions would be scrapped (listen to this AZCentral podcast for more details).

New USPTO Rules for Foreign Applicants Ensure Compliance With U.S. Use Requirements

Intellectual Property
07/29/2019 - By: Oliver Bajracharya, David Jackson

The impetus for the upcoming August 3, 2019 rule change requiring all foreign-domiciled trademark applicants and registrants to retain licensed counsel in the United States is an increase in foreign trademark applicants acting pro se and who are failing to comply with the rules of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”). Many countries …

The post New USPTO Rules for Foreign Applicants Ensure Compliance With U.S. Use Requirements appeared first on The Intellectual Property Blog.

New Hampshire Sports Betting Legislation Approved

Commercial Gaming
07/12/2019 - By: Glenn Light, Karl Rutledge, Mary Tran

The governor of New Hampshire signed sports betting legislation, HB 480, on July 12, 2019. The new law authorizes sports betting at retail locations and mobile wagering while located within the geographic boundaries of the state. If you would like to discuss this recent legislation, please contact authors Karl Rutledge at krutledge@lrrc.com, Glenn Light at …

The post New Hampshire Sports Betting Legislation Approved appeared first on The Commercial Gaming Blog.

The Federal Circuit Clamps Down on Broadening Reissues – Or Does It?

Intellectual Property
07/01/2019 - By: Kyle Kellar

By Kyle Kellar and Christopher Underwood Last week, the Federal Circuit, in Forum US v. Flow Valve[i], affirmed the lower court’s ruling invalidating a reissue patent because the broadened claims added in the reissue failed to satisfy the original patent requirement under 35 U.S.C. § 251. As a brief refresher, the original patent requirement requires that …

The post The Federal Circuit Clampsdown on Broadening Reissues – Or Does It? appeared first on The Intellectual Property Blog.

SCOTUS Decision on "Immoral or Scandalous" Trademarks

Intellectual Property
06/25/2019 - By: David Jackson

What exactly is an “immoral” or “scandalous” trademark, and should the government be the arbiter of making such a determination? In the second landmark trademark decision in two years, the Supreme Court invalidated the Lanham Act’s prohibition on registering “immoral” or “scandalous” trademarks. Iancu v. Brunetti, 588 U.S. ___ (2019). The Court’s decision expands the …

The post SCOTUS Decision on “immoral or Scandalous” Trademarks appeared first on The Intellectual Property Blog.

Federal Water Quality – WOTUS Rule Updates Leave Some States in Flux

Energy & Natural Resources
06/24/2019 - By: Dietrich Hoefner

Southern District of Texas Remands Obama WOTUS Rule The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas decided on May 28, 2019, that the Obama-era Clean Water Rule defining “waters of the United States” (WOTUS Rule), see 80 Fed. Reg. 37,054 (June 29, 2015), must be remanded to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and …

The post Federal Water Quality – WOTUS Rule Updates Leave Some States in Flux appeared first on The Energy & Natural Resources Blog.

DOJ Extends Deadline to Enforce Wire Act Reinterpretation, Yet Again

Commercial Gaming
06/13/2019 - By: Glenn Light, Karl Rutledge, Mary Tran

In light of the New Hampshire Lottery Commission Wire Act ruling issued on June 3, 2019, the Deputy Attorney General for the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) issued a new memorandum on June 12, 2019 extending the June 14, 2019 deadline for implementation of the Wire Act reinterpretation. The last extension we reported was issued on …

The post DOJ Extends Deadline to Enforce Wire Act Reinterpretation, Yet Again appeared first on The Commercial Gaming Blog.

Growing a Business to Multiple Locations Can Be Both Exciting and Daunting

06/12/2019 - By: Amy Altshuler

From a business perspective, many factors must be considered when growing a business to multiple locations, and this will vary based on the product or service being provided.

Podcast: Cybersecurity Panel with Doug DePeppe, Hilary Wells, Ed Barkel and Bill Nelson on the Business Leaders Podcast

Cybersecurity attorneys Doug DePeppe, Hilary Wells, Bill Nelson and Ed Barkel explore why businesses must start paying attention to their 'Cyber Hygiene' on the latest episode of the Business Leaders Podcast.

2018 Wire Act Reinterpretation Set Aside by U.S. District Court in New Hampshire - Commercial Gaming Blog

Commercial Gaming
06/05/2019

On June 3, 2019, U.S. District Court Judge Paul Barbadoro issued a 60-page ruling rejecting the 2018 Wire Act Interpretation that stated the Wire Act applied to all forms of gambling rather than only sports betting. As mentioned in our prior blogs, this case was brought in New Hampshire by the New Hampshire Lottery Commission...

Federal Loot Box Legislation Introduced: The Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act

Commercial Gaming
05/28/2019 - By: Glenn Light, Karl Rutledge, Mary Tran

Language for the “The Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act” was introduced on May 23, 2019 by Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), along with Senators Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.). This bill purports to ban the exploitation of children through “pay-to-win” and “loot box” monetization practices by the video game industry. The rules would …

The post Federal Loot Box Legislation Introduced: The Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act appeared first on The Commercial Gaming Blog.

eSports Competitions Legislation Approved in Maryland

05/14/2019 - By: Glenn Light, Karl Rutledge, Mary Tran

On April 30, 2019, Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland approved House Bill 48 titled “eSports Act.”[1] The eSports Act defines “eSports Competition” as a competition involving video games, including first-person shooters, real-time strategy games, and multiplayer online battle arenas in which: (1) players compete against each other; and (2) the dominant element determining the results...

Proposed Loot Boxes & Microtransactions Gaming Bill in Missouri - Commercial Gaming Blog

05/13/2019

Josh Hawley, a United States Senator from Missouri, recently announced plans to introduce a bill titled “The Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act.” The bill would, in essence, make it illegal for games “played by minors” to include loot boxes or pay-to-win microtransactions. How exactly the bill would achieve this is unclear as there is...

NJ Attorney General Sues DOJ For Failure To Respond To FOIA Request Regarding The Recent Wire Act Interpretation

Commercial Gaming
05/08/2019 - By: Glenn Light, Karl Rutledge, Mary Tran

New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal filed suit on May 7, 2019 against the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) for its failure to respond to a Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) request filed on February 5, 2019. The request sought documents relating to Sheldon Adelson’s lobbying efforts regarding the recent DOJ interpretation of the …

The post NJ Attorney General Sues DOJ For Failure To Respond To FOIA Request Regarding The Recent Wire Act Interpretation appeared first on The Commercial Gaming Blog.

New Hampshire Lottery Commission and NeoPollard Interactive Respond to DOJ's Refusal to Determine Wire Act Applicability to State Lotteries as Requested by the Court

Commercial Gaming
05/03/2019 - By: Glenn Light, Karl Rutledge, Mary Tran

Last week the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) refused to rule out future prosecution of state lotteries and their employees and vendors under the 1961 Wire Act. “The potential Wire Act liability of state agencies, employees, and vendors involves the evaluation of numerous complicated and important issues, and the department intends to give these issues …

The post New Hampshire Lottery Commission and NeoPollard Interactive Respond to DOJ’s Refusal to Determine Wire Act Applicability to State Lotteries as Requested by the Court appeared first on The Commercial Gaming Blog.