Minding Your Business

Proskauer’s perspective on developments and trends in commercial litigation.

A Note of Caution: Inflation, Price Increases, and the Lingering States of Emergencies

Many companies have increased prices in recent months.  Reportedly, across the economy, prices “rose by 5 percent in May compared with a year ago.”  Restaurants are raising prices to cover the cost of increases in wages in a tight labor market.  The prices of used and rental cars are quickly rising, due to low inventory and higher demand.  Gasoline prices have risen, and not just as a result of the recent cyberattack.

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How Many Communications Before a State Has Jurisdiction?

According to the Federal Circuit, twenty-two communications with a party over the course of three months may be enough to force a defendant to defend itself in the state where the party is located.  But three letters sent over that same time period is not enough.

In a recently published opinion, Trimble, Inc. v. PerDiemCo LLC, the Federal Circuit reversed a district court’s dismissal of a declaratory judgment noninfringement action for lack of personal jurisdiction.  PerDiemCo, a Texas LLC and the defendant in the action, had communicated with Trimble twenty-two times over the course of three months.  The communications began with a demand letter from PerDiemCo’s sole owner to Trimble’s subsidiary seeking to have Trimble pay for a non-exclusive license to practice PerDiemCo’s allegedly infringed patents.  The parties attempted to negotiate over the next three months via letters, emails, and telephone calls until Trimble filed a declaratory judgment noninfringement action in the Northern District of California, where Trimble is headquartered. Continue Reading

District Court Takes Judicial Notice of SEC Order in Denying Motion to Dismiss Shareholder Claims

In our previous post, Under Armour Inc. Pulls Sales Forward, SEC and Stockholders Push Back, we discussed Under Armour Inc.’s recent settlement with the SEC, under which Under Armour agreed to pay $9 million for alleged violations of federal securities laws. While that settlement marked the end of a two year investigation into Under Armour’s “pull forward” practices, it also was the basis on which a U.S. District Court permitted similar (but not identical) shareholder claims against Under Armour to proceed.

Read the full post on Proskauer’s Corporate Defense and Disputes blog.

Antitrust Enforcers Need Merger Presumptions to Reduce Market Power?

Under the Clayton Act (15 U.S.  Code § 18), certain business acquisitions are prohibited where “the effect of such acquisition may be substantially to lessen competition, or to tend to create a monopoly.” Long-standing jurisprudence has established that merger challenges require, at the outset, a prima facie showing of the likelihood of a substantial lessoning of competition that would result from the merger or acquisition.  Such prima facie showing typically takes the form of claims and evidence related to market shares above a certain level, but can take other forms.

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SEC Chair Gensler Testifies on “Unprecedented Surge” in SPACs

SPACs remain on everyone’s mind, especially the country’s chief regulator.  On May 26, 2021, SEC Chair Gary Gensler testified before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government on “key capital market trends” that will impact SEC resources in the coming years. And the very first topic he raised – Initial Public Offerings and Special Purpose Acquisition Companies – was of no surprise to most market watchers.

Read the full post on Proskauer’s Corporate Defense and Disputes blog.

Second Circuit Revisits Transformative Use Test in “Fish Sticks n’ Tater Tots” Music Copyright Case

The Second Circuit recently upheld a ruling that streaming giants Apple, Amazon, and Netflix engaged in fair use, in a case concerning the use of plaintiff musicians’ song in a documentary film available for viewing on defendants’ streaming platforms. In doing so, the Court found the eight-second snippet of the song was performed in a way that was transformative, and reasonably necessary to convey the film’s message. Brown, et al. v. Netflix, Inc. et al. Continue Reading

COVID Winds Down, but States Ramp Up Price Gouging Legislation

Even as Governors lift mask mandates and sporting events welcome fans to stadiums, some states are revisiting their price gouging laws.  Recently, several states have advanced legislation to amend or create price gouging statutes.  State governments are learning from experiences during COVID-19 emergencies and some are proposing legislation to adjust the scope, definitions, and penalties for price gouging. Continue Reading

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