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Showing 33 posts in News.

Supreme Court Strikes Down Provision of Lanham Act That Barred Registration of Disparaging Trademarks

The United States Supreme Court recently struck down a provision of the Lanham Act that denies registration of disparaging trademarks. Read More ›

Categories: Intellectual Property, News, Trademarks

Fiduciary Rule: More Changes Being Considered

Fiduciary Rule UpdateThe United States Department of Labor (the "DOL") published a request for comment in the Federal Register on July 6 with respect to its often discussed fiduciary rule (the "Fiduciary Rule"). This time, the DOL hopes to clarify uncertainty moving forward, as the Fiduciary Rule and its related prohibited transaction exemptions (the "PTEs") became partially effective on June 9, 2017, and will be fully implemented on January 1, 2018. However, recent events have brought the wisdom of a January 1, 2018 applicability date into question. Read More ›

Categories: Employee Benefits, News, Regulations, Tax

Benefit Plans Established by Church Affiliates Are Exempt From ERISA

ChurchOn June 5, 2017, the United States Supreme Court held that employee benefit plans established by church-affiliated organizations are church plans pursuant to the church plan exemption under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”). Read More ›

Categories: Employee Benefits, News, Tax

If You Think Consequences from a Cyber Data Breach Aren’t Real…Just Ask Target

CyberSecurityCyber attacks can be costly. Target recently reached a settlement with 47 states to pay $18.5 million, the largest multistate data breach settlement to date. In November 2013, Target's systems were infiltrated and 40 million customers' payment card information was stolen as was the personal information of 60 million customers. In addition to the settlement, Target paid for free credit monitoring services for consumers affected by the breach as part of a $10 million class-action lawsuit settlement.  Read More ›

Categories: Cybersecurity, News

How does the "Hire American" portion of the "Buy American, Hire American" Executive Order impact H-1B visa applicants and start-up businesses?

Visa ApplicationMuch ado has been made about the Trump administration's stance on immigration issues. Throughout the 2016 campaign and into the first months of the new presidency, immigration has been a hot-button issue that has consistently garnered media attention. Last month, the administration took one of its first major swings at immigration reform in putting into effect an Executive Order titled "Buy American and Hire American" (the "Executive Order.") The "Hire American" portion of this Executive Order focuses on the H-1B visa program, a program that is used to give skilled foreign workers a temporary visa, granting them work authorization to utilize their skills in the United States. This blog post will analyze the impact of the proposed reforms, and in particular, the impact of those reforms on startup businesses. Read More ›

Categories: Employment, News, Startup, Venture Capital/Funding

Cyber-Security: It's Not If, It's When

We are all at risk for a cybersecurity breach. Speakers from Michigan State University, ASK and Foster Swift will help you determine the legal and technical processes you need to have in place. Learn more in this short video. Read More ›

Categories: Cybersecurity, News

Border Searches May Compromise the Privacy and Security of Company Technology

International FlightRecently, international travelers have noticed US Customs and Border Protection agents with increased interest in searching cell phones, laptops, and other portable technology. Employers should be aware that this trend increases the risk that an unauthorized individual will access sensitive company information, which could result in an inadvertent data breach.

Some international travelers have been asked by border agents to unlock cell phones or provide a password needed to unlock the device. One report included a customs agent threatening to seize a travelers' phone if he did not unlock his cellphone. Employers are rightfully concerned that these searches may allow unauthorized individuals to access sensitive company information. Read More ›

Categories: Employment, News, Privacy

Fiduciary Rule update: the beginning of the end?

Shortly after our first article on the DOL Fiduciary Rule the White House issued an Executive Order that requires the Department of Labor (the "DOL") to revisit the Fiduciary Rule (the "Fiduciary Rule" or the "Rule") and the Prohibited Transaction Exemptions (the "PTEs") that were amended alongside it. President Trump's Executive Order requires the DOL to determine if the rule will adversely affect retirement investors or financial firms. If the answer is yes, the expectation is that the Fiduciary Rule and the related PTEs will not survive as currently written, and the DOL will rescind or revise the Rule. Read More ›

Categories: Employment, News

5 Tips for Investigating and Purchasing Cyber Insurance

In 2016 Lansing, MI's Board of Water and Light fell victim to a cyber-attack that resulted in $2.4 million in costs, including a $25,000 ransom paid to the perpetrators. In the aftermath of the breach, BWL announced that it was filing for a $1.9 million insurance claim under its cyber insurance policy, including $2 million in covered losses, less a $10,000 deductible.

There is a lot at stake for businesses when it comes to cyber-crime, which is why more and more businesses are investigating and purchasing cyber insurance to hedge against the risks associated with cyber security and data privacy. Read More ›

Categories: Intellectual Property, News, Privacy, Technology

The New Fiduciary Rule and its Future

Financial advisingWith a sea of political change in Washington this year, many are speculating on what regulatory reforms the Trump administration and a Republican Congress will make in 2017. One reform in particular is commonly mentioned: a repeal, delay, or revision of the new Department of Labor ("DOL") fiduciary rule (the "Fiduciary Rule"). Given that the Trump administration is widely seen as anti-regulation, and the Fiduciary Rule is one of the most sweeping pieces of regulation regarding retirement investors and the financial industry since the implementation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA") in 1974, speculation about the Fiduciary Rule's impending review and revision are not unfounded. Read More ›

Categories: Employment, News