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  • Building a Quality Patent Portfolio

    02/16/2016 / Todd R. Fronek

    Michelle Lee, current Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, has made it a point to increase the quality of patents that it issues. As part of the “Enhanced Patent Quality Initiative,” the USPTO will strive to issue patents that are both “correct and clear.” System-wide, issuing correct and clear patents will help to reduce inefficiencies created when patents are invalid, overly vague or include some combination of issues, and then asserted as infringed by a specific device sold by a competitor.

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  • Court Watch: Franchise Alert - February 2016

    02/09/2016 / Bryan J. Huntington and R. Henry Pfutzenreuter

    In the February 2016 issue of the Law Journal Newsletter’s Franchising Business & Law Alert, Bryan Huntington and Henry Pfutzenreuter contributed two articles, "Court Dismisses Franchise Act Claims" and "Court Grants Franchisor's Motion to Compel Arbitration."

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  • Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) Extended

    02/02/2016 / Paul J. Linstroth and Robert C. Long

    Paul Linstroth and Bob Long released a co-written article, Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) Extended.

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  • Update on Financial Performance Representations (FDD Item 19)

    01/19/2016 / Charles Modell

    In January each year, Franchise Times features their annual “20 to Watch” in franchising for the year. In addition to listing our long time client, Anytime Fitness, at the top of the list, this year’s list includes the North American Securities Administrators Association’s pending Commentary on financial performance representations as one of the top 20 things or people to watch in franchising in 2016. In our last newsletter, we reported that the Commentary had been issued for public comment. NASAA received extensive comments, and the task force that issued the Commentary has been scheduling at least two conference calls a month to work their way through the comments. What does this mean for franchisors?

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  • A New Year, a New Day: The Amendments to the California Franchise Relations Act Are Now in Effect

    01/19/2016 / Henry Pfutzenreuter

    For franchisors with franchisees in California, ringing in the New Year means navigating a new regulatory landscape. All franchise agreements renewed or entered into after January 1, 2016, as well as existing indefinite ones that are terminable without cause, are now subject to the amendments to the California Franchise Relations Act (“CFRA”), which the California legislature passed in fall 2015.[1] The amendments to the CFRA make significant changes to the transfer, termination, and nonrenewal of franchises in California, as well as the resulting remedies available to franchisees. While there are some ambiguities that will need to be resolved by the courts, it is clear that franchisors will have a number of new issues to consider when deciding how to deal with franchisees in California.

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  • Metro Cities Contemplate Controversial Housing Policies

    12/28/2015 / Peter J. Coyle and Bryan J. Huntington

    In the November-December 2015 issue of the BATC Digest, Peter Coyle and Bryan Huntington contributed an article entitled, "Metro Cities Contemplate Controversial Housing Policies," which appeared on pages 40-42.

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  • Limited Partnerships Must be Represented by an Attorney in State District Court

    11/30/2015 / Gary A. Van Cleve

    In a ruling issued November 9, the Minnesota Court of Appeals held that a limited partnership could not represent itself in district court without licensed counsel. Minnesota courts have previously held that corporations and limited liability companies must have licensed counsel in court, but this is the first time a Minnesota appellate court has addressed whether limited partnerships also must be represented by counsel.

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  • Minnesota Court of Appeals Strikes Down Sprinkler Rule

    11/30/2015 / Rob A. Stefonowicz and Bryan J. Huntington

    Larkin Hoffman real estate litigation attorneys Rob Stefonowicz and Bryan Huntington successfully obtained a declaratory judgment from the Minnesota Court of Appeals invalidating an administrative rule while representing the Builders Association of the Twin Cities (“BATC”). Specifically, BATC challenged a rule adopted by the Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry (“DLI”) requiring residential fire sprinklers in all newly-constructed single- and two-family homes, except for those single-family homes under 4,500 square feet (the “Sprinkler Rule”).

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  • Minnesota Property Tax Watch for Taxes Payable in 2016

    11/30/2015 / Timothy A. Rye

    Minnesota taxpayers will soon have their first real glimpse of their 2016 real estate property tax obligations. Assessed values for 2016 taxes were sent in March or April, but many times the notices of value are filed away without much scrutiny. Now, taxpayers should expect to receive truth-in-taxation notices by November 24, 2015.

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  • Court of Appeals Rejects Tenant's Argument in Delivery-of-Premises Case

    11/30/2015 / Inga K. Schuchard

    The Minnesota Court of Appeals recently decided an issue of interest to residential landlords in Minnesota – whether a tenant who paid a security deposit and first month’s rent, but had not moved into the leased premises, was a “residential tenant.” The court of appeals said “no” in Cocchiarella v. Driggs, which means that even though the tenant paid, the tenant cannot force the landlord to deliver possession of the premises under a certain Minnesota statute.

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  • Collect Releases Like you Collected Baseball Cards

    11/30/2015 / Charles Modell

    Chuck Modell's article, Collect Releases Like you Collected Baseball Cards, appeared in the Fall 2015 edition of The Franchise Lawyer.

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  • Court Watch: Franchise Alert - November 2015

    11/04/2015 / Cynthia Klaus and Bryan Huntington

    In the November 2015 issue of the Law Journal Newsletter’s Franchising Business & Law Alert, Cynthia Klaus and Bryan Huntington contributed two articles, "Franchisees and Dealers Should Plead Causation In Actions Against The Government" and "Michigan Court Transfers Case Brought By 41 Franchisees to Franchisor's Home State."

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  • Keys for Successfully Mediating Franchise Disputes

    10/28/2015 / Charles Modell

    Chuck Modell's article, Keys for Successfully Mediating Franchise Disputes, appeared in the Fall 2015 edition of the Law Journal Newsletter's – Franchising Business & Law Alert®.

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  • It Can Be Done: An Employer’s Challenge to an OSHA Citation was Recently Upheld by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals

    10/21/2015 / Phyllis Karasov, David D. Hammargren and Daniel J. Ballintine

    The U.S. Secretary of Labor (“Secretary”) acts through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) to create and enforce workplace health and safety standards. The Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (the “Commission”) is the final administrative decision maker in federal OSHA claims. Typically, the Commission affirms the Secretary’s interpretation and enforcement of a particular standard. This case is unusual because the employer won: the Commission refused to adopt the Secretary’s interpretation and the Commission’s decision was affirmed by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. In Minnesota, the state OSHA agency enforces most federal OSHA standards. Those states with state OSHA agencies do the same.

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  • Minneapolis City Council Considering Requiring Sick Leave and Scheduling Obligations for All Employers

    10/13/2015 / Daniel Ballintine

    The Minneapolis City Council is currently considering a sweeping new ordinance that would mandate all employers in Minneapolis to provide sick leave to their employees, and impose broad requirements with respect to scheduling shifts. The proposal is supported by Mayor Betsy Hodges and a committee which the city council created earlier this year.

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  • The ABCs on NASAA’s Proposed Changes to Financial Performance Representations

    10/07/2015 / Chuck Modell

    On October 1, 2015, the North American Securities Administrators Association (“NASAA”) ‎published 19 proposed Questions and Answers addressing the preparation of financial ‎performance representations (“FPRs”). This proposed “Commentary,” discussed in this article, would likely affect most franchisors that make FPRs in their franchise disclosure document. Franchisors, franchisees, and other interested parties have until November 2, 2015 to submit ‎comments to NASAA on the proposed Commentary. If no comments are received, the ‎Commentary will likely become law, as written, in 2016.‎

    Some portions of the Commentary will be welcome clarifications that should reduce the ‎number of inconsistent comments franchisors receive from state regulators who review their ‎franchise filings. Others will impose burdensome requirements. We urge you to read the ‎Commentary carefully, and consider commenting on provisions you believe will be problematic ‎for your system. The task force that prepared the Commentary will review every comment ‎received. To the extent you can show that a proposed change will not be of significant benefit to ‎franchisees, or that the cost of complying outweighs the benefits to prospective franchisees, or ‎that a proposed change will likely cause many established franchisors to stop making FPRs, your ‎comments will receive more significant consideration.

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  • Data Breach Risk and Responsibility in Franchise Systems

    10/07/2015 / Mark Robertson

    Every franchise system uses common technology systems to ‎facilitate systemwide customer service standards and system ‎reporting. Problems with technology and IT systems are easily ‎foreseeable, including data breaches, viruses, service interruptions, ‎inconsistent databases, outdated data, end of term data transfers, ‎inappropriate uses of data and more, but are often not covered by ‎existing contractual provisions with franchisees. ‎When these problems arise, implied IT warranties, express ‎warranties, disclaimers, limitations on liability, exposures to and ‎limitations of consequential damages, system requirements related to ‎confidentiality and privacy, and many more IT-specific legal ‎provisions that are not customarily included in longer-term franchise ‎agreements all create ambiguity and risk the introduction of ‎unintended parole evidence that is inconsistent with the underlying ‎franchise relationship.

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  • Washington Update: State Regulators Circumvent Venue Clauses for Arbitration

    10/07/2015 / Sawan Patel

    In State Regulators Circumvent Venue Clauses for Arbitration, The Franchise Lawyer, vol. 18, no. 1 (Winter 2015), Susan Tegt (Anytime Fitness) and I discussed the constitutionality of state franchise laws that require any arbitration between a franchisor and franchisee be held in the franchisee’s state, and whether these state laws are preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. § 1 et seq. (“FAA”), which provides that contracting parties’ arbitration provisions in interstate commerce are “valid, irrevocable and enforceable.” 9 U.S.C. § 2; Southland Corp. v. Keating, 465 U.S. 1 (1984). Courts have overwhelming held that parties can agree to arbitration in a different state notwithstanding state law. Nonetheless, some states require franchisors to remove out-of-state venue clauses from their arbitration provisions as a condition to approving the registration of their franchise offerings. This forces franchisors to pick from a bad or worse option – either not comply with state law on the grounds that in-state arbitration provisions are preempted but risk rejection of the franchise registration or consent to in-state arbitration as required under state law even if the state law is unconstitutional.

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  • New Executive Order Mandates Paid Sick Leave for Employees

    10/01/2015 / Phyllis Karasov and R. Henry Pfutzenreuter IV

    On Labor Day, President Obama issued a new executive order mandating paid sick leave for employees working under federal contracts. The rules outlined in the order, to be further defined by the secretary of labor and Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council over the next several months, will apply to new federal contracts entered into after January 1, 2017. The U.S. Department of Labor will issue regulations concerning the executive order by September 30, 2016. Within 60 days after the Department of Labor issues its regulations, the Federal Acquisition Council will issue regulations concerning the clauses to be included in federal procurement solicitations and contracts.

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  • Supreme Court Maintains Rule Prohibiting Post-Expiration Royalties

    09/28/2015 / Craig Lervick and Hilda Li

    The Supreme Court maintained the status quo – patent royalties that extend beyond the expiration date of the underlying patent remain prohibited.

    In Kimble v. Marvel Entertainment, LLC, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a flexible test proposed by Kimble, a patentee and licensor, and maintained the clearly defined rule it adopted in a patent royalty case more than 50 years ago, Brullotte, that prohibits post-expiration royalties. The Kimble decision further eliminates uncertainties surrounding patent purchase and licensing activities by expressly recognizing that certain alternatives still remain which allow parties to contract around the established rule prohibiting post-expiration royalties. Further, the court specifically limited Brullotte’s application to patent royalties.

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Showing Results 41 - 60 of 592