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Trademarks And Craft Brewing: What Do Federal Courts Think Of Craft Beer Lovers?

An exploding craft beer industry has led to an uptick in lawsuits about beer names and labels.  Craft beer lovers do not always appreciate the lawsuits.  But what do the federal courts think about them?

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2, 4, 6, 8! Who Does Big Fashion Appreciate? The Sixth Circuit Protects Clothing Design In A Thrilling Overtime Victory.

The Sixth Circuit shook up copyright law – and had some fun with it – in the recent decision Varsity Brands, Inc. v. Star Athletica, with reasoning that hinged on an unusual proposition: “[a] plain white cheerleading top and plain white skirt still cover the body and permit the wearer to cheer, jump, kick, and flip.”  (No. 14-5237, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14522, *51 (6th Cir. Aug. 19, 2015).)   The decision, which found a protectable copyright in stripes, chevrons and patterns on uniforms, stood conventional wisdom on its head, flipped the usual script of copyright analysis, and gave new cheer to fashion designers, who are typically shut out from copyright protection. 

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Seventh Circuit Sides with Plaintiffs and Reinstates Consumer Data Breach Class Action Previously Dismissed for Lack of Standing

Last week the Seventh Circuit reinstated the Neiman Marcus data breach class action, holding that plaintiffs had satisfied Article III’s standing requirements based on at least some of the injuries they alleged. In doing so, the Seventh Circuit became the first federal court of appeals to rule on a challenge to the standing of purported data breach victims in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Clapper v. Amnesty International, 133 S. Ct. 1138 (2013), and diverged from the growing majority of federal district courts that have held similar allegations are insufficient to confer standing.

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CONTACT: Jacob D. Rhode

Proportionality in E-Discovery: Tools for Efficiency and Cost Reduction

In our increasingly technological society, parties are encountering a greater demand for electronically stored information (“ESI”) in litigation. This demand has led to the adoption of a concept called proportionality. Proportionality evaluates the costs and benefits of e-discovery, to determine if discovery production is warranted.

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Title Isn’t Everything: Sixth Circuit Taps Jury to Decide Keller’s FLSA Fate

Albeit seemingly self-evident, Keller v. Miri, 781 F.3d 799 (6th Cir. 2015), serves as a renewed caveat that title isn’t everything: merely designating workers as independent contractors is not sufficient to avoid Fair Labor Standards Act obligations.  In this recent Sixth Circuit decision, the Court reversed the district court, finding sufficient and genuine issues of material fact that entitled a jury to decide whether a satellite dish installer qualified for overtime and minimum wage protections under the FLSA. 

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Sixth Circuit Sides With Management in Dispute Over Employee’s Request to Telecommute

In a potentially important decision over workplace accommodations in an environment when telecommuting is more common, the Sixth Circuit ruled on April 10 that an employer does not need to permit an employee to work from home when an essential aspect of the employee’s position requires being in the office. 

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The Value of Cyber Insurance in Managing the Risk of a Data Breach

Cyber insurance
The risk of a data breach now tops the list of concerns of many in-house counsel and C-suite executives. Cyber insurance is an important component in managing this risk and mitigating the damages and loss that follow a data breach.

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Revised Ohio Receivership Statute Brings Clarity for Lenders and Prospective Foreclosure Sale Purchasers

On March 23, 2015, Ohio’s recently enacted amendments to the receivership statute will go into effect, creating certainty and consistency for various existing receivership practices previously developed and used by Ohio courts.  The revised receivership law amends, among other things, certain sections of Ohio Revised Code Chapter 2735 – Receiverships, including sections 2735.01 (Appointment of Receiver), 2735.02 (Qualifications of Receiver) and 2735.04 (Powers of Receiver).

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CONTACT: Jason V. Stitt

Yet Another Reason to Read the Fine Print: Allied Industrial Scrap, Inc. v. Omnisource, Corp. (6th Cir. 2015)

Late television curmudgeon Andy Rooney is said to have observed that “nothing in fine print is good news.” Based on a recent decision from the Sixth Circuit, the fine print can be good news for some, and costly for others.

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This blog is devoted to complex litigation related issues — recent decisions, relevant commentary, key discovery rulings of general import, substantive law developments, and suggestions on litigation strategies. We will discuss how to minimize exposure to complex litigation and how to manage cases if you have already been sued.

We're monitoring and reporting on developments in complex litigation to help you stay informed in this important and dynamic area of the law.

Blog Contact:  Joseph Callow, Litigation Partner
jcallow@kmklaw.com or 513.579.6419

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