Is this the end of the bar against registrability for scandalous and immoral trademarks?

On December 15, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) struck down the portion of the Lanham Act (aka the Trademark Act) which prevented immoral or scandalous trademarks from being registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The CAFC's decision involved the term FUCT (In re Brunetti) which pertained to various types of apparel, including clothing for children and infants. However, the move did not come as a tremendous surprise. About seven months prior, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the portion of the Lanham Act in a case (Matal v. Tam) which involved the mark, "The Slants." The Slants decision, which was made on the basis of violating the First Amendment, received widespread attention for its seemingly groundbreaking nature. However, it was generally expected that the rationale of the Supreme Court in Matal v. Tam would be adopted by the CAFC and other lower courts in later decisions – which is precisely what has now occurred in this recent decision by the CAFC. [More]

Confidential Settlements of Sexual Harassment Claims are No Longer Tax Deductible

In response to the recent wave of sexual harassment allegations and the #MeToo movement, the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act includes a provision some call the "Harvey Weinstein tax." Specifically, the law amends the Internal Revenue Code to prohibit a business from deducting the costs of a settlement payment (including attorneys' fees) for a sexual harassment claim, if the settlement agreement contains a nondisclosure (confidentiality) provision. New Section 162(q) was added to the Internal Revenue Code and provides that no deduction shall be allowed for "(1) any settlement or payment related to sexual harassment or sexual abuse if such settlement or payment is subject to a nondisclosure agreement, or (2) attorneys' fees related to such a settlement or payment." This provision applies to all such settlements entered into or paid after December 22, 2017, the date President Trump signed the bill into law. [More]

5 Ways to Safeguard Your IP

A company’s intellectual property is a vital asset that should be protected. Walter | Haverfield Attorneys Kevin Soucek and Jamie Pingor list five ways that businesses can safeguard their IP in an e-article published by the Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE), a division of the Greater Cleveland Partnership. [More]

Decoding Ohio's New Truancy Law for Students with Disabilities

When Ohio updated its truancy law in 2017, the move required schools to emphasize prevention over punishment. Lawmakers shifted the focus from court proceedings to intervention strategies in schools, hoping students will return to the classroom and face a better chance for academic success. In the process, the juvenile justice system can reduce its caseload and focus on more serious matters. [More]