The False Claims Act imposes liability on persons and companies who defraud the government of monies, whether it is by receiving monies based on false statements or material omissions, or avoiding the payment of monies through false statements or omissions. The statute permits both private parties (whistleblowers) and the government to bring actions against the perpetrators of such fraud in order for the government to collect damages, a portion of which will be paid to the whistleblower, if one is involved.
Long lines and waiting for security inspections are the new normal not only at airports and stadiums, but also at office buildings and theatres—just to name a few places. According to the plaintiff in Rodriquez v. Nike Retail Services, Inc., N.D. Cal. Case No. 5:14-cv-01508, he and other Nike retail employees also had to wait for security inspections when they left for breaks or after their shifts at Nike’s retail stores. The plaintiff claims that he and other employees were required to wait for such inspections after clocking out, and he and a class of Nike retail employees should have been, but were not, paid for the time spent waiting.
On August 19, 2016, the Northern District of California granted the plaintiff’s motion for class certification and certified a class of all current and former non-exempt Nike retail store employees from February 25, 2010, to the present. Opposing class certification, Nike made three overarching arguments:
The new partnership tax audit rules enacted by Congress on November 2, 2015 could have a dramatic impact on partnerships and their partners (including limited liability companies taxed as partnerships (“LLCs”) and their members). The new rules will apply to audits of tax returns for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017.
- FDA has issued a record high 19 Warning Letters to cosmetics/personal care product companies in 2016.
- Companies should promote cosmetics on the Internet with the understanding that FDA may be actively monitoring company websites.
- It is unclear whether Congress and the President will come to agreement and move forward this year on cosmetics and personal care products legislation.
- Rather, activity this year may lay the groundwork for action by the next Congress in 2017.
What Made News?
Last month, the US International Trade Commission issued a decision invalidating a trademark for Converse’s iconic Chuck Taylor sneaker. Although Converse did win some of its claims, the ITC decision overall represents a potentially significant setback for Converse after the company took aggressive action to try to stop the sale of shoes that Converse claimed infringed its rights in the Chuck Taylor design.
What’s New? (The GDPR.)
Fashion and luxury goods companies need to take heed of yet another data protection regulation. This one could substantially impact them if they collect, process, or transfer EU individuals’ personal data, or plan to do so at some point soon. Specifically, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the EU’s new data protection law, recently and finally entered into law. It replaces the old EU data protection regime established by the Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC). The GDPR lays out requirements for organizations that process EU residents’ data and generally provides people increased control over their personal data.
In the recent case of International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium v. Security University, LLC, the Second Circuit articulated its test for analyzing nominative fair use claims in trademark infringement cases. While we now know the Second Circuit’s test, the case also highlights a notable circuit split between the Ninth, Second, and Third Circuits regarding nominative fair use. As a result, companies intending to rely on a nominative fair use defense may have varying success depending on the jurisdiction.
Recent reports indicate that advertising fraud is not only increasing but is now being run by groups alongside otherwise legitimate advertising businesses.
Cybersecurity company Check Point recently released a report finding that HummingBad—a known malware that takes over Android devices, generates fraudulent advertising revenue, and installs apps on the infected phones—was developed and is controlled by a group of cybercriminals within Yingmob, an otherwise legitimate advertising analytics business based in Beijing.
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