Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Defend Trade Secrets Act: What Employers Need to Know

By Kacey L. Faughnan, Byron N. Brown, IV, and Sean G. Williamson

IP out the door 4930034SmallBusinesses now have an additional weapon with which to protect their trade secrets.  Effective May 11, 2016, the Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”) was signed into law.  The DTSA provides a federal cause of action for the protection of trade secrets related to products or services used, or intended for use, in interstate or foreign commerce.  Traditionally, trade secrets have not enjoyed the same protections under federal law as other forms of intellectual property, like patents, trademarks, and copyrights.  Instead, owners of trade secrets had to rely upon a patchwork of state laws and various adoptions of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act to safeguard their innovations.  The DTSA only broadens trade secret protection, leaving intact the parallel remedies available under state law.  Yet, the implementation of the DTSA will help to alleviate the uncertainty and inconsistent results that previously occurred in some cases as a result of state-by-state variations in trade secret law.

The enactment of the DTSA provides increased forum choices for businesses taking legal action to protect trade secrets.  Prior to the DTSA, federal courts were only available as a forum in limited cases.  The new law also increases the amount of Continue reading The Defend Trade Secrets Act: What Employers Need to Know

Bob Craddock and Graham Matherne author “Trade Secrets and the Inevitable Disclosure Doctrine” for the Memphis Daily News

Bob Craddock and Graham Matherne, Partners in the Firm’s Litigation & Dispute Resolution Service Team, wrote an article that was recently published in the Memphis Daily News.  The article, “Trade Secrets and the Inevitable Disclosure Doctrine,” explains the Tennessee Uniform Trade Secrets Act and how it can prevent a former employee from stealing a company’s trade secrets.

Please click here to read the full article.

Steve Hall quoted in The Lane Report on Intellectual Property Protection

Steve Hall, an experienced patent lawyer and litigator, and member of Wyatt’s Intellectual Property Protection & Litigation Service Team, was recently quoted in the February 2016 issue of The Lane Report.  The article, “Many Options to Protect Intellectual Property,” draws upon the knowledge of local experts in the field and describes various ways to ensure a company’s intellectual property is protected.

Please click here to read the full article.

Steve Hall to present at the Defense Research Institute’s Intellectual Property Seminar

Steve Hall, member of Wyatt’s Intellectual Property Protection & Litigation Service Team, will be speaking at the Defense Research Institute‘s (DRI) Intellectual Property Seminar on the topic “Using the AIA’s First to File Rule and the Written Description Requirement to Invalidate Patents” on May 6, 2016 in Nashville. Mr. Hall’s presentation will teach attendees how to use the “written description” requirement, along with recent amendments to the Patent Act, to challenge a patent’s validity in a way that was not available to defendants before 2013, when the First-to-Invent features of the America Invents Act went into effect.

Event details to follow.

Posting of “Selfies” Taken with Celebrities at Company Functions – Possible Violation of Publicity Rights?

By J. Graham Matherne

SelfieYour company sponsors, at your offices, a charitable, newsworthy event. Local celebrities attend. Afterwards, you have numerous “selfies” of you and your employees with those celebrities. You want to place various “selfies” on your website but don’t want to go to the trouble of getting the celebrities’ permission first.

While it is always best practice to gain permission, if you don’t, will you violate Tennessee’s law prohibiting misuse of another’s name and likeness for commercial purposes?1 How’s this for a lawyer’s answer: “It depends.”

The Tennessee Personal Rights Protection Act (“TPRPA”) provides that “every individual has a property right in the use of that person’s name, photograph, or likeness in any medium in any manner.” T.C.A. § 47-25-1103. The TPRPA applies, however, only when the unauthorized use is in a commercial, advertising, sponsorship or endorsement context. T.C.A. § 47-25-1105(a).

It is permissible under the TPRPA for one to use another’s name or likeness if the use is in connection with a newsworthy, public affairs or sports-related event. T.C.A. § 47-25-1107(a). But Tennessee courts suggest that if Continue reading Posting of “Selfies” Taken with Celebrities at Company Functions – Possible Violation of Publicity Rights?

Controversy or Sign o’ the Times?: Fair Use, the DMCA, and Lenz

By Carl Eppler

Music sheetRecently, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued an opinion that further defines the intersection of the “fair use” defense to copyright infringement and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (15 U.S.C. § 512) (the “DMCA”). In Lenz v. Universal Music Corp., No. 13-16106, 13-16107 (9th Cir., Sept. 14, 2015), the Court stated that in order for a copyright holder to send a take-down notice under the DMCA to a host of online content and meet the DMCA’s requirement of a “good faith belief” that the material at issue is not authorized, it must have considered whether the material makes fair use of the copyright.

In brief, this case arose after plaintiff Stephanie Lenz posted a short video clip on YouTube. The 29-second clip showed Lenz’s child dancing to Prince’s hit song, “Let’s Go Crazy.” Universal Music sent a take-down notice to YouTube, alleging the use of the song in the video was unauthorized, and YouTube removed the video. Lenz then sent a counter-notice to YouTube to have the video restored, to which Universal Music protested. Lenz then Continue reading Controversy or Sign o’ the Times?: Fair Use, the DMCA, and Lenz

The Defense Research Institute, the Voice of the Defense Bar Nationwide, Appoints Wyatt’s Steve Hall as Vice Chair of Patent Litigation Subcommittee

Steve_HallWyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLP is pleased to announce that Stephen C. Hall has been appointed as Vice Chair of the Patent Litigation Subcommittee of the Defense Research Institute’s Intellectual Property Litigation Section. The Intellectual Property Litigation Section is dedicated to meeting member needs relating to substantive law issues in patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret litigation as well as professional and business development. The Section particularly focuses on issues related to IP litigation and provides the defense practitioner with the skills and tools needed to thrive in this competitive market. The Defense Research Institute (DRI) is the leading organization of defense attorneys and in-house counsel in the nation and has served the defense bar for more than 50 years.

Mr. Hall concentrates his practice in the areas of patents and litigation involving medical technology, life sciences, and chemical products and inventions. He is a registered patent attorney who practices before the United States Patent and Trademark Office and in federal and state courts. He is a former President of Kentucky Defense Counsel and former Vice Chair of the Biotechnology Law Committee of the American Bar Association. Mr. Hall is AV rated in Martindale-Hubbell and has been recognized in Woodward/White’s The Best Lawyers in America for Biotechnology, and Kentucky Super Lawyers and Chambers and Partners USA in the area of Intellectual Property. He has also been recognized as one of the top lawyers in the area of Patent Law by Louisville Magazine. Mr. Hall earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Louisville, magna cum laude, and his law degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law.

Glen Reid named to Inside Memphis Business’ Legal Power Players list

Glen Reid, member of the Firm’s Intellectual Property Protection & Litigation Service Team, was recently named a legal Power Player by Inside Memphis Business.  The Power Players list is an annual feature that highlights the city’s top movers and shakers.  The editorial board consists of Inside Memphis Business staff, along with informed business and community leaders.

Click here to view the list of legal Power Players.

How the Tennessee Business Court Affects the Business Community

By Matthew M. Lubozynski

handshakeWhen business disputes cannot be resolved by negotiation or arbitration, the parties involved often turn to litigation. However, these business disputes frequently involve complex, time-consuming and costly proceedings that would be more appropriate in a specialized forum.

To better serve the litigation needs of Tennessee businesses, the Tennessee Supreme Court recently joined 26 other states in creating Tennessee’s first Business Court to focus exclusively on such difficult and complex business litigation.

The Davidson County Business Court pilot project started in May with the goal of attracting and retaining businesses throughout Tennessee by facilitating business litigation efficiently and effectively with more predictable and consistent results. Although the Business Court is located in Davidson County, any case in Tennessee that meets certain criteria can be transferred to that court.

There are a number of requirements for a case to be eligible for the Business Court. First, taking a case to the Business Court is voluntary, thus the parties to the action must Continue reading How the Tennessee Business Court Affects the Business Community

Some Neutral Perspectives on “Net Neutrality”

By Mark Vorder-Bruegge

In less than thirty years, the Internet has evolved from a small consortium of military and educational research offices into a world-wide public system for communication, information-sharing, and business with millions of content providers such as Netflix and CBS News, thousands of connection service providers (ISPs) such as Comcast and AT&T, and billions of business and consumer customers, including you and me.

Net NeutralityThe phrases Net Neutrality and Open Internet are public policy labels used by the U.S. government to focus on some specific business practices applied to content providers by connection service providers (ISPs).

Earlier this year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that it had greatly advanced the federal government’s Net Neutrality policy by adopting new regulations regarding telecommunication and information services.  These new regulations essentially control the ability of ISPs to apply variable pricing to content providers based upon the size and speed of the data flows they stream into the Internet for ultimate delivery to the ISPs’ business and consumer customers. As a simple example, if the movies and Continue reading Some Neutral Perspectives on “Net Neutrality”