Coachella Sues Urban Outfitters for Trademark Infringement

By: Maria Pigna*| Staff Writer

Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, commonly known as Coachella, is a three-day event known for its musical performances of top artists, delicious food, world-class art, and its celebrated commitment to sustainability. Aside from the global attention this event receives every year, it has given itself another reason to make headlines. Coachella filed a trademark lawsuit against Urban Outfitters in the U.S. Central District Court of California on March 14, 2017.

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Can American Companies be Great Without Immigrants?

By: Cara Van Dorn*| Staff Writer

Trump’s recent address to Congress highlighted his pride in America’s status as the land of innovation and progress.  However, very few of the innovations that America proudly claims would have been possible without immigrants: Forty percent of Fortune 500 companies have founders that are immigrants or the children of immigrants; 30% of American-based Nobel laureates were born outside of America; Immigrants founded 24% of US engineering and technology start-ups, 43% of start-ups based in Silicon Valley, and 20% of the Inc. 500 companies.  Additionally, immigrants contributed to 60% of patent filings from innovative companies and authored more than 40% of the international patent applications filed by the US government.

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Lexmark: A Closer Look at the Patent Exhaustion Doctrine when Articles are Sold Outside the U.S.

By: Katherine Escalante*| Staff Writer March 21, 2017, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Lexmark International, Inc. v. Impression Products, Inc. relating to the doctrine of patent exhaustion. While the opinion is not yet available, the Supreme Court’s decision is expected to become a pivotal decision on the application of the patent exhaustion doctrine. The Supreme Court will review the Federal Circuit’s en banc decision finding: “(1) the first sale doctrine does not apply to patented articles sold subject to restrictions . . .; and (2) the first sale doctrine does not apply to patented articles sold outside of the United States.”

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Fiat Chrysler Admitting to Emitting?

By: Brandy Nickoloff*| Staff Writer

By Stratos L –, CC BY-SA 2.0,

On January 12th, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) issued a notice of violation to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. and FCA US LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary thereof, for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act (“CAA”). The EPA claim asserts that the light-duty models year 2014, 2015, and 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Ram 1500 trucks with 3.0 liter diesel engines are equipped with engine management software that was undisclosed to the EPA. The secretly installed software allowed more than 100,000 of Fiat Chrysler’s diesel vehicles to emit pollutants above legal levels. Continue reading »

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Files Suit against Navient in Preparation for Legal Showdown with Trump Administration

By: Jacky Brammer*| Staff Writer

Recent lawsuits filed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Attorneys General of the states of Washington and Illinois allege that Navient, the nation’s largest servicer of student loans, used illegal and deceptive practices to trap students into higher repayment plans for longer periods of time than necessary. Navient denies any wrongdoing.

The most serious allegation is that, from January 2010 to March 2015, Navient based employee compensation in part on manipulating student borrowers into postponing payments through forbearance which cost students an extra $4 billion in unnecessary fees. In another example, Navient is accused of shouldering disabled veterans with poor credit reports due to improperly marking their loan discharges as defaults.

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By: Cara Van Dorn*| Staff Writer

The Trump administration and a republican Congress have begun efforts to unravel the Department of Labor’s six-year-long effort to ensure that Americans saving for retirement receive only investment advice that is in their best interest.  The Fiduciary Rule, unpopular with conservatives and some members of the investment advice industry since its inception, was promulgated in response to a study by the White House’s Council of Economic Advisors that found that American workers lose more than $17 billion each year to conflicted investment advice.   Continue reading »

The Potential End to Chevron Deference – An Avenue for Changing the USPTO’s Broadest Claim Interpretation Standard

By: Katherine Escalante*| Staff Writer

*Data current as of: 5/31/2016

Many questions are looming with the recent passing of the bill in the United States House of Representatives (“House”) aimed at ending agencies’ judicial deference in promulgating rules.  The Regulatory Accountability Act was passed by the House on January 11, 2017.  If passed by the Senate, the bill would legislatively repeal the Chevron deference doctrine that gives deference to federal agencies interpretations when evaluating federal rules and regulations.  A principle that has been the foundation of judicial review of statutory interpretation by administrative proceedings since 1984.  The name comes from a Supreme Court case, Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., in which the Court held that deference would be given to agency interpretations, unless the interpretation was found unreasonable.  Continue reading »

CIA Releases New Rules for Collecting Information on Americans

By: Maria Pigna*| Staff Writer

On Wednesday, January 18, 2017, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) published in full, for the first time, revised rules for collecting, analyzing, and storing information on American citizens.  CIA General Counsel, Caroline Krass, told a briefing at the Agency’s headquarters in Langley, Virginia that the guidelines are designed “in a manner that protects the privacy and civil rights of the American people.”  The CIA refers to the rules as the revised Attorney General Guidelines and will become effective March 18, 2017, sixty days after they are signed by the Director of the CIA and the Attorney General.  Continue reading »

The Business of the Oscars

By: Jacky Brammer*| Staff Writer

By BDS2006 (talk) – I created this work entirely by myself., CC BY-SA 3.0,

The Academy Awards for the film and entertainment industry are Sunday, February 26, and after La La Land netted a record-tying 14 nominations in mid-January, its win for Best Picture seems inevitable. But La La Land has just as many fans as it does detractors. The detractors have many axes to grind but a common criticism is that a La La Land victory will perpetuate a larger, engrained problem: The Declining Business of the Oscars. Continue reading »

The Blockchain: Real-Time Payment Processing

By: Thomas Gaffney*| Staff Writer

Measured drawing of the First Bank from the Historic American Buildings Survey.

The secret is out; Blockchain, an emerging data recording technology introduced by the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, has burst onto the forefront of the FinTech scene and is here to stay.  The topic took center stage during the FinTech panel from JBIPL’s 2017 Symposium.  The panel members discussed the broad-based usages of Blockchain as well as some of the legal implications challenging the finance and banking industries without getting too much into the details. Continue reading »