BLT: October 2019

 

Featured Articles

Business & Corporate

Mission Accomplished: Supreme Court Holds Rejection of Trademark License Agreement in Bankruptcy Does Not Terminate Licensee’s Rights in Trademark

A recent Supreme Court decision resolves a longstanding division among lower courts. The case held that when the licensor of a trademark files for bankruptcy, its “rejection” of the trademark license agreement does not terminate the licensee’s rights in the mark. The decision has the potential to simplify what has become an extraordinarily complex and confusing area of the law.

Banking

First Thing We Do, Let’s Exclude All the Lawyers

The independence and role of the legal department within regulated banking organizations has come under pressure in recent years. The current situation of mutual mistrust, diminishment of the in-house legal function, silence by the organized bar, and lack of training in the legal framework for supervisory staff as well as lack of understanding of the basic principles in risk management by lawyers must stop. That means more cross-training, more conversations to understand the other professional silos, and more working together within the organization. The time to do so is now because the next step is augmenting basic legal interpretation by algorithms. If we are not doing it properly in human brains, how will the algorithms know, and who will train them? We need to fix the situation now.

Consumers

Wyoming’s Digital Assets Amendments: Marked Out or Missed Out? A Review of Recent Amendments to Article 9 of the Wyoming UCC

The Wyoming legislature correctly recognizes the revolutionary aspects of blockchain technology and is a first-mover in modernizing commercial law for blockchain assets. Wyoming has taken the lead in updating its version of Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code to provide new commercial law for blockchain technology and virtual currency. Although Wyoming deserves praise for addressing transactions dealing with blockchain assets, in many ways their amendments with respect to the perfection and priority of security interests in blockchain assets fall short.

Business & Corporate

The Trump Effect on the Resolution of Future International Business Disputes

Regardless of one’s own views on the matter, the Trump Administration has introduced an altered geopolitical landscape for international relations and international law. Many call this the “Trump Effect,” referring to the gravity of the intended and unintended effects on the international community of this particular change in control of the U.S. executive branch. International business disputes, often found at the intersection of international trade, commerce, and development, are not immune from these effects. This article briefly examines three areas where the Trump Administration’s approach to foreign policy and international relations is changing the ways in which international business disputes arise and may be resolved.

Business & Corporate

Major Television Networks Turn to Courts Yet Again to Stifle Competition in Television Streaming Market

With the proliferation of YouTube TV, Apple TV, and Amazon Prime Video, one might think competition in the streaming television market is flourishing. However, the major television networks continue to block competition, and legal barriers to entry have stifled competition among would-be market players not sponsored by the world’s largest multimedia companies—companies that already have millions of eyeballs before they launch television services. The outdated and uncertain legal landscape forces courts to determine the legality of many innovative services. But the high costs associated with such litigation can be prohibitive, particularly for emerging technology companies. The net result of outdated law governing constantly evolving technology is a reduction in competition and fewer choices for consumers, who are also essentially forced to pay higher fees as companies pass on legal costs.

Business & Corporate

The New Digital Revolution? The Global Antitrust Focus on Platform Markets

Politicians and enforcement agencies around the world are increasingly targeting the rise of large technology platforms that have revolutionized the modern economy. A true revolution in competition enforcement involving digital platforms is unlikely, but further evolution is virtually assured to address these unique markets. This article reviews recent policy initiatives by authorities around the world assessing the unique features of these markets, the outlook for potential enforcement following announcement of several high-profile investigations, and the related regulatory or legislative changes proposed to promote competition going forward.

Business & Corporate

Journey of Deafblind Lawyer Inspires, Teaches

A spotlight on Haben Girma; an accomplished attorney with a disability. She’s both deaf and blind, and her memoir, Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law, is a worthwhile book that you should read to better understand the challenges of the disabled. The book discusses the value for business organizations and law firms to include people with disabilities; her unique voice brings us just a glimpse into how disabilities can be an asset to businesses. The memoir shows the level of talent and size of the potential market that businesses could reach by including persons with disabilities.

Business & Corporate

The Missed Business Opportunity of Missing Intelligence

All businesses, even law firms, operate in what is now a data economy. CMOs in the legal industry in particular cannot discuss strategy or identify new business opportunities without the necessary insights that come from client data and relationship knowledge. The key is unifying data across the entire client lifecycle so the people who need it are able to easily access it, but how do modern firms make this transition?

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