Spotlight Interview: Robin Williams’ Son, Zak Williams, Speaks Out on the Stigma Surrounding Mental Illness

By: Sarah Wesley Wheaton* | Staff Writer

On September 24, Zak Williams, the oldest son of the late Robin Williams, flew to North Carolina to speak at the Evening of Hope about mental illness and the impact it can have those suffering and their family and friends. The Evening of Hope is an event run annually by Foundation of Hope, a 501(c)(3) not-for profit dedicated to raising awareness and finding cures for mental illnesses.

Interviewer, Sarah Wesley Wheaton, poses with Zak Williams

Interviewer, Sarah Wesley Wheaton, poses with Zak Williams

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Boston Bruins vs. …… the IRS?

By: Alec Robertson* | Staff Writer

On July 27, 2015, the Boston Bruins (NHL) filed an action in the U.S. Tax Court titled Jacobs v. Commissioner to go head to head with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) over the deductibility of players’ meals. On April 28, 2015, the IRS sent a letter to the Boston Bruins stating the Bruins owed $85,000 for the years 2009 and 2010 in taxes. The note additionally stated that the IRS had disallowed many deductions dating back to 2007. One of the largest of those disallowed deductions was for the Bruins’ practice of deducting players’ meals 100% while traveling for away games.

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‘Never Say Never’: Bieber and Usher Dragged Back into Copyright Battle

By: Valerie Mock* | Summer Guest Writer

In April of 2010, Justin Bieber released “Somebody to Love,” an upbeat urban pop song that peaked at number 15 on the Billboard Hot 100 and earned a Platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).  The track received positive critical reception from industry standards like Rolling Stone, and was so popular that Bieber eventually re-recorded the song with his superstar mentor, Usher, for distribution both as a remix and as part of Usher’s 2010 EP “Versus.”

Author=[http://lorenwohl.com/ Loren Wohl] |Date=2010-12-13 |Permission= |other_versions= }}

Author=[http://lorenwohl.com/ Loren Wohl] |Date=2010-12-13 |Permission= |other_versions= }}

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Another Battle in the Patent War of Apple and Samsung

By: Tyler S. Hood* | Staff Writer

On September 17, the federal circuit decided Apple, Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the latest patent case decision in a protracted series of smartphone patent infringement battles between the two electronics giants.  The case concerned Samsung’s alleged infringement on a few Apple smartphone patents, perhaps most notably the patent for the swipe-to-unlock feature. The District Court had ruled that Samsung had infringed on the Apple patents in question, but the court denied to issue a permanent injunction on the grounds that Apple  failed to demonstrate that the infringement resulted in irreparable harm.

Transferred from Flickr by User:Fæ

Transferred from Flickr by User:Fæ

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Can Your Facebook Friend List Cause Creditors to Deny you a Loan?

By: Sarah Wesley Wheaton* | Staff Writer

There are now more reasons than ever to keep that Facebook friend request in “limbo.”  In early August, a patent was bought by Facebook to curtail spamming; however, a section of the patent allows lenders to examine the credit scores of your Facebook friends in order to determine if you are eligible for a loan. This suggests that your Facebook friends, even if you have not seen them since high school, can keep you from getting a mortgage.

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Vote BEST LEGAL BLOG

The Journal of Business and Intellectual Property Law is pleased to announce our blog has been nominated for Best Legal Blog in the Expert Institutes Annual Legal Blog Contest. We would like to thank our staff bloggers, summer guest writers, and readers for this nomination.  Please take a moment to vote!  No sign up is required; just give us the thumbs up in the top right hand corner.

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The FDA Hits R.J. Reynolds

By: Alec Robertson* | Staff Writer

Photo by Geierunited

R.J. Reynolds, a subsidiary of Reynolds American Inc., is the second largest tobacco company in the United States and has historically done well through the sale of its popular cigarettes such as Newport and Camel. Even with all of this success, recently smoking has been on the decline because of various things including increase in taxes on cigarettes, the increase in preventive messages sent towards the youth, and the realization of the true harm smoking can do to humans. Now, another shot at the R.J. Reynolds empire has been fired by none other than the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”). The FDA on September 15, 2015 ordered that all stores carrying Camel Crush Bold, Pall Mall Deep Set Recessed Filter, Pall Mall Deep Set Recessed Filter Menthol, or Vantage Tech 13 must immediately stop the sale of those cigarettes and dispose of them within 30 days of the order or face severe financial penalties.

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Shark Attacks in the Carolinas

By: Carolyn Trepasz* | Summer Guest Writer

Shark attacks in the Carolinas this year have been more than double the average of six attacks per year.  Naturally, there has been a lot of speculation about why there are so many more attacks.  And with that speculation comes blame; who or what can be blamed.

The drought is one alleged culprit.  The drought led to a higher saline content in the shoreline waters since there was no runoff to dilute the salt water.  Most sharks prefer a higher saline content, so the sharks have been venturing into shallower waters than usual – swimming waters.Carcharodon_carcharias_drawing

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The Evolving Standard of Antitrust Analysis in Pharmaceutical Product Hopping

By: John S. Sears* | Summer Guest Writer

Photo provided by taxrebate.org.uk

Is it “pharmaceutical innovation” or “product hopping”?  The distinction is not always clear.  While pharmaceutical innovation brings new and improved pharmaceuticals to patients, the term “product hopping” refers to a tactic by which brand name pharmaceutical companies try to obstruct generic competition by making modest reformulations that offer little or no therapeutic advantages.  Such approaches are contrary to section 2 of the Sherman Act that makes it an offense to “monopolize, or attempt to monopolize … any part of the trade or commerce among the several States.” Continue reading »

Disc Jockey to Juris Doctor, Spotlight Interview

By: Rivver Cox* | Summer Guest Writer

COE RAMSEY practices entertainment and communications law at Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard, LLP in Raleigh, North Carolina. His music and entertainment law practice includes representing major recording artists and producers, songwriters, and other artists. Coe advises his clients on copyright and other intellectual property disputes, music licensing, record contracts, publishing agreements, and live performance contracts. His communication law practice emphasizes FCC regulations, corporate transactions, and intellectual property matters where he advises his television and radio clientele. Coe’s passion for music and broadcasting arose from his young career as a disc jockey for 102 JAMZ of Greensboro while he was in high school. In addition, Coe is an Adjunct Professor at his alma mater, Wake Forest University School of Law, where he lectures on Entertainment Law.