2019

Museums that Give Away Open Access Images of Public Domain Work

Creative Law Center

Innovative museums share their collections with high resolution open access images that can be used by anyone for anything. The post Museums that Give Away Open Access Images of Public Domain Work appeared first on Creative Law Center. Copyright & Content Protection open access public domain

The USPTO Issues First Hemp Plant Variety Patent; Expect More to Come

Patent Law Blog

The first U.S. plant patent has been issued on a variety of hemp, which is by federal law a cannabis plant with less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol. See our post, “ The USPTO Issues First Hemp Plant Variety Patent; Expect More to Come ,” on our cannabis law blog, Legally Grown , to read more.

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The “Likelihood of Confusion” Test for Trademarks: What to Know When Creating Your Brand

McBayer IP Blog

Posted In Trademark The purpose of a trademark is to provide your business with a unique identifier on which to build your brand. Trademarks then help you to stand out in the marketplace.

Keeping Abreast Of Payments Made To Your Customer

GDB Firm Blog

The New York State Prompt Payment Act allows subcontractors to be informed by the owner of payments made to the prime contractor

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2019 is a Huge Year for Public Domain Art

Art Law Journal

Steve Schlackman. On Jan 1, 2019, we not only ushered in a new year but also an unprecedented amount of creative works entering the public domain. Public Policy Copyright Duration Fair use International Copyright Public Domain

Don’t end up on The Elf on the Shelf’s naughty list! 

KMK Blog

You may be tempted this time of year to create advertising featuring The Elf on the Shelf ® (“TEOTS”) interacting in humorous ways with your product or service. DON’T! While your audience may engage and enjoy such a campaign, TEOTS products should not be used to promote or endorse your products or brands. TEOTS’s 2015 Specialty Retailer Asset Guidelines state that doing so without express written consent from TEOTS may constitute intellectual property infringement.

What is in the Public Domain?

Creative Law Center

The public domain freeze is over. More creative work is free for use than ever before. Here's how to tell if a work is in the public domain. The post What is in the Public Domain? appeared first on Creative Law Center. Copyright & Content Protection

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Getting A Default Judgment In A Nonpayment Proceeding

GDB Firm Blog

You've served your rent demand, no payment. You've started your nonpayment proceeding, no answer. Now you're ready to ask the court to grant you a judgment of possession based on the tenant's default. Easy, right? Not really.

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Developing IP Strategy for FDA-Regulated Drug Products Requires Special Considerations

Patent Law Blog

Despite the widely diverging needs of the different industries that make use of the US patent system, US patent law applies essentially the same rules to innovations from all technology fields. This means that drug and biotechnology-based inventions are treated no differently by the U.S.

My Condominium Needs To Perform A Major Capital Improvement Project - What Do We Do?

GDB Firm Blog

Many of our condominium clients face expensive capital improvement projects. While cooperatives can obtain a traditional mortgage loan by pledging their building as collateral, condominiums cannot do this. But there is still a way for condos to finance their projects

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McDonald's Learns a Trademark Truism: "Use It or Lose It"

McBayer IP Blog

Posted In Trademark A well-known truism of trademark law is that if the owner of a trademark is not making adequate ongoing use of that trademark, the owner of the mark is at risk of jeopardizing the continued right to enforce the trademark to prevent others from using the same or a similar mark in a related line of business.

Don't Lose The Right To Foreclose Because Of A Years-Old Default

GDB Firm Blog

Every week, one of my partners tells me about a court decision in which a bank lender blew the statute of limitations and lost the right to foreclose. Almost all of these cases involve securitized loans with incompetent "foreclosure factory" lawyers and inattentive bankers. However, there is one important lesson that even the most diligent lender should learn. The statute of limitations has a beginning, as well as an end.

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Cybersecurity Covenants in Loan Documents

GDB Firm Blog

In my October 21 blog, I described a new law in New York that will require almost all businesses to adopt formal cybersecurity protection programs. Small businesses ARE NOT exempt, but they have a lesser compliance burden - they must have and implement a cybersecurity protection program that is appropriate based upon the size, nature and complexity of the business.

The New York Lien Law §76 Demand To A Contractor

GDB Firm Blog

A construction contractor often receives a demand for information--under New York Lien Law §76 -- for a verified statement of entries of job costs and expenses. What is this about? How should a contractor respond

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Reminders Versus Demands

GDB Firm Blog

June's Housing Security and Tenant Protection Act imposed a new requirement on landlords in the event their tenants don't pay, which has created some confusion with the rent demand that is usually issued

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The OCC, Banks and the Federal Courts

GDB Firm Blog

I don't normally blog about court decisions, but in 2015, the United States Court of Appeals, in a case referred to as "Madden," tossed a monkey wrench into the ability of banks to sell loans. Before Madden, if the interest rate on a loan was valid when it was made, then the interest rate remained valid even after it was sold.

Stay Out of Trouble With the Federal Trade Commission

KMK Blog

Whether you’re an active influencer on social media or just occasionally endorse a friend/family member’s product or service, check out the easy-to-read (and apply!) Disclosures 101 for Social Media Influencers brochure and video the FTC published last week. One way to stay out of trouble is to sufficiently disclose your relationship. Find the document and three videos here

Give Your Account Documents a Checkup

GDB Firm Blog

In 2008, I wrote in the Business Law Journal that legal developments lagged behind technology so banks needed to stay at the head of the curve to avoid claims of negligence for failing to offer state-of-the-art solutions to customers. Recently, we had a practical application of this situation. The Uniform Commercial Code requires depositors to review checks shown on their account statements for alterations or forgeries.

Court Holds 6-Month Limitation Period "Unreasonable and Unenforceable"

GDB Firm Blog

"A limitation period that expires before suit can be brought is not really a limitation period at all, but simply a nullification of the claim," and will not be enforced

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Down Goes Frazier (FinTech)

GDB Firm Blog

The knockout punch was in May when a federal judge decided that offering a national FinTech charter exceeded the OCC's authority. The referee's count reached 10 last week when judgment was entered against the OCC, paving the way for an appeal. A few years ago, the OCC announced that it would accept applications for "FinTech" charters under the National Bank Act. FinTech is a vague term for companies that use modern technology to provide financial services.

It's Not Quite Schadenfreude, But Now Maybe Other Businesses Will Understand Your Pain

GDB Firm Blog

In the closing rush of the legislative session in July, New York adopted a statute that requires all businesses that keep sensitive personal information to maintain appropriate procedures to protect against security breaches. Banks and certain other regulated entities that comply with Gramm Leach Bliley, HIPPA or NY Department of Financial Services Part 500 requirements are exempt. Other businesses must satisfy a long list of cybersecurity requirements.

Don't Abandon the Abandoned Property Law. You May Lose Interest.

GDB Firm Blog

Busy bodies, like whistleblowers, can sue to collect money fraudulently withheld from New York State, and share in the recovery if they win. In 2015, a data analytics company sued J.P. Morgan for allegedly fraudulently delaying the date when it was required to pay abandoned property to the Comptroller, and not paying interest during the delay. In August 2019, the court held that interest was required to be paid. The plaintiff claimed that J.P.

The GAO Criticizes FinCEN For Not Communicating CTR and SAR Metrics. But Is Communication Enough?

GDB Firm Blog

In August, the GAO issued a report titled, "Agencies and Financial Institutions Share Information but Metrics and Feedback Not Regularly Provided." " The GAO criticized FinCEN and recommended more feedback from FinCEN about reports that had been filed. Unfortunately, the report ignores the cost/benefit analysis of filings in the first place. FinCEN's website reports than depository institutions filed over 16,000,000 SARS since 2012.

Is Using A Credit Card To Buy Bitcoin The Same As Getting A Cash Advance? Chase Says Yes!

GDB Firm Blog

First, let's get the clutter out of the way. I think cryptocurrencies are useless and have no social utility other than to allow people to gamble without going to a casino, if you call that social utility. For over 5 years, I have been challenging Bitcoin proponents at public forums to give me one useful case, and other than protecting against Venezuelan hyperinflation by parking local currency in a Bitcoin wallet, no one has met my challenge by providing a justification for its existence.

Guidance Issued Regarding the $20 Cap on Application Fees

GDB Firm Blog

The New York State Department of State (the "DOS") has just issued a Guidance for Real Estate Professionals in connection with the Housing Security and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (the "Act"), that addresses, among other topics, the $20 limit on application fees

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Willful Exaggeration of Lien For Extra Work

GDB Firm Blog

The Lien Law seeks to punish a willful exaggeration of a mechanic's lien, not honest differences of opinion concerning what is owed. But can one be punished for liening for extra work which ultimately proves to be within the scope of the contract? A recent case suggests "yes," under the right circumstances

Avoiding Unnecessary Litigation Expense, Especially When You Are Not Even a Party to the Lawsuit

GDB Firm Blog

Your customer gets involved in a dispute with a former business partner and the next thing you know, you are being dragged in because you have years of records that one side or the other wants to prove their case. You have no liability, but your employees waste hours, or days, collecting information, appearing for depositions, or testifying in court. On top of that, you may have legal fees just to make sure that you comply with court orders or legal process.

Maximizing Your Protection for Remotely Given Customer Payment Orders

GDB Firm Blog

As technology evolves, many banks forget to take advantage of a 30-year-old UCC provision that protects them when they accept remote customer directions to send.

Personal Liability for Trust Fund Diversion By Home Improvement Contractor

GDB Firm Blog

A recent decision highlights the special remedy available to an owner of a home improvement whose contractor misused funds paid by the owner—a claim for personal liability of the officer or agent responsible for the diversion of trust funds

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Make Sure Your Vendor Cybersecurity Policies And Procedures Are Up To Snuff

GDB Firm Blog

The final step in the two-year phase in of the DFS cybersecurity regulations came in March 2019, when Section 500.11 regarding vendors became effective. DFS can't directly regulate your vendors, but they can do so indirectly by telling banks, insurance companies and everyone else DFS licenses, charters, permits or regulates who they can, and can not, do business with. Part 500.11 provides a compliance road map.

Vendor Cybersecurity Policies and Procedures - The Nitty Gritty

GDB Firm Blog

Last week, I wrote about DFS's requirement for written vendor cybersecurity policies and procedures generally. Now let's talk about specific issues. What issues should you make sure that your vendors address in their own procedures? DFS is very specific. What are the vendors' access controls? Do they use multi-factor authentication when appropriate? What do they encrypt?

The Last Date Of Work Revisited. Literally.

GDB Firm Blog

Once again a court grapples with the issue of when the clock starts ticking for filing a mechanic's lien. Can you return to the project site to inventory and remove your materials and reset the 4 month period to file a private improvement lien on a single-family home

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Can You Get Liquidated Damages and Also Actual Damages On Account Of Delay?

GDB Firm Blog

The common perception is that you cannot get both liquidated damages and also actual damages. A recent case points out that unless the LD's are stated to be the "exclusive remedy," you can probably get both

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Scams, Scams and More Scams

GDB Firm Blog

A business customer comes to a bank, opens an account with copies of corporate papers proving incorporation in New York, and deposits a large check payable to the corporation. After an extended hold for a new account, the customer comes back to withdraw substantially all of the funds. The branch manager is suspicious and refers it to the Fraud Department. The funds were not released even though the check had been paid by the drawee bank.

Zombie Coop Units Get Some Protections Applicable To Zombie Houses

GDB Firm Blog

Effective August 14, 2019, New York law was amended to require holders of loans on abandoned residential cooperative apartments to "pay. cooperative fees as needed to maintain the property." " The lender must first jump through required hoops to determine that the unit has been abandoned.

Foreclosing Lenders Are Now Required To Pay HOA Or Coop Fees On Abandoned "Zombie" Properties

GDB Firm Blog

The New York State legislature enacted Chapter 168, of the laws of 2019, effective August 14, 2019, that amends Section 1308 of the Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law to require holders of mortgages or secured loans on abandoned HOA or cooperative properties to pay homeowners' association or cooperative fees "as needed to maintain the property" if they are foreclosing on such abandoned properties.

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Don't Forget Your Annual Zombie Housing Law Exemption Filing?

GDB Firm Blog

New York's Zombie Housing Law requires, in general terms, foreclosing mortgagees to maintain and secure 1-4 family residential real estate when the owner has abandoned the property. State or federally chartered banks, thrift institutions and credit unions are exempt if their percentage share of the market falls below thresholds set in the statute. A bank must file for the exemption with DFS and the exemption is only good for one year.