Business

Tax and the Loss of Recession-Fighting Tools

Stock MarketBy: Dylan Ray, Summer Blogger

Economic activity, which reflects the balance between buying and selling assets, can be manipulated. In times of recession, with decreased economic activity, the government usually attempts to increase demand. For example, the Federal Reserve boosts economic activity, by reducing interest rates, in times of recession. Similarly, Congress can improve the economy, when it experiences a recession, by altering the tax regime and increasing capital investment. However, with the 2018 enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), Congress implemented aggressive depreciation provisions, which are no longer available to combat a forthcoming recession. Continue reading »

A Horrifying Prospect for Studios and Production Companies

By: Cameron Rush, Summer Bloggerfriday13th-3479595_640

Last fall, the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut issued a summary judgment opinion in the case of Horror Inc. v. Miller which could have far-reaching implications for the relationships between screenwriters, studios, and production companies. In a fight for control of the “Friday the 13th” franchise, the court sided with screenwriter Victor Miller, allowing him to reclaim the rights to the script under a provision of the Copyright Act commonly known as the “termination right.” Continue reading »

California’s Consumer Privacy Act: An Underwhelming First Step

Picture1 By: Brian Lewis, Summer Blogger

“Senator, we run ads.” During his 2018 testimony before the Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committee, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s patronizing response to then-Senator Orrin Hatch’s rudimentary question illustrates the elusive nature of Facebook’s business operations. Nearly 70% of Americans use Facebook. Many Americans support regulating social networking sites to ensure their data are secure. For the supporters of social media regulation, the new California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) may not be the “model” regulation many claim it will be.

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Uh Oh, Opioids!

By: Mary Jasperse, Summer Blogger

Branded Oxycodone 10mg

In 2017, The New Yorker published an expose on the Sackler Family and their company, Purdue Pharma, that blew the top off of a modern American scandal. This entrepreneurial family became one of the wealthiest in America, amassing a net worth of over thirteen billion dollars in a matter of years. The key to their success has been OxyContin, an oxycodone pain medication chemically similar to morphine. Though no more effective than similar products, OxyContin became the brand leader through aggressive marketing and promotion from Purdue Pharma. As a result of this vigorous campaigning, annual prescriptions for OxyContin increased from 600,000 thousand to 6 million.

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Aurora: The Computer of the Future

By: Samantha Moench

On March 18, 2019, Argonne National Laboratory released more information about Aurora, “America’s next-generation supercomputer.” Intel has teamed up with the Department of Energy (“DOE”) to create the computer at Argonne’s lab facility which is estimated to cost upwards of $500 million. Cray Inc.—known for its 45 years of building the “world’s most advanced supercomputers” will be a sub-contractor on the deal. Together, Cray Inc. and Intel will work to construct “the fastest supercomputer in U.S. history.”  Continue reading »

NC Sets Sail for the Supreme Court: “Blackbeard’s Law” and Modern Day Piracy

By: Killoran Long

https://pixabay.com/photos/naval-battle-ship-sailing-vessel-3195409/ At the beginning of this year, a North Carolina videographer escalated a copyright fight with the State of North Carolina to the U.S. Supreme Court. Rick Allen, co-owner of Fayetteville based Nautilus Productions, LLC, is alleging the State of North Carolina and the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources are guilty of copyright infringement regarding images related to the recovery of the Queen Anne’s Revenge.

The Queen Anne’s Revenge (“QAR”) was Blackbeard’s flagship vessel and was commandeered and then used by the infamous English pirate to conduct his activities during the early 1700s. While Blackbeard operated from the eastern coast of the American colonies, down to the West Indies, he is particularly notorious throughout North Carolina history for his exploits along the coast. It was believed that Blackbeard ran the QAR aground off the coast of Beaufort, North Carolina in the summer of 1718, which was confirmed in 1996 when a private research firm found the wreckage. Continue reading »

Mozilla v. FCC, The New Net Neutrality Case

By: Daniel Norton

On February 1st, 2019, the D.C. Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in the case Mozilla Corp. v. FCC. The premise of the case is that Mozilla, and several other interested parties, have sued the FCC over the Restoring Internet Freedom Order’s reclassification of internet services as information services rather than telecommunications services under the Telecommunications Act of 1996. A telecommunications service is one that transmits unaltered information while an information service is used for “generating, acquiring, storing, transforming, processing, retrieving, utilizing, or making available information.” This classification is important as the D.C. Court of Appeals has held that the FCC cannot enforce net neutrality against Internet Access Providers if they are classified as telecommunications services, but they can if the IAPs are classified as telecommunications services. The 2015 Open Internet Order classified IAPs services to be telecommunications while the 2017 Restoring Internet Freedom Order reclassified IAPs services as information services. Continue reading »

Opportunity Zones: An Opportunity for Investors to Give Back

By: Samantha Moench

The Trump Administration enacted the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “TCJA”) on December 22, 2017. It is claimed to be one of the most aggressive tax reforms in history. Not only did it change the tax brackets and taxation of corporate tax incentives, but it also introduced a new innovative tax incentive designed to encourage investment in economically distressed areas throughout the United States. Continue reading »

How Netflix Risks the Genericization of the “Choose Your Own Adventure” Trademark Through Its Black Mirror: Bandersnatch Hit

By: Melissa Lawrence

Chooseco, maker of the “Choose Your Own Adventure” books popular in the 1980s and 1990s, sued Netflix over its interactive adult film Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. Chooseco’s lawsuit concerns Netflix’s use of its trademark “Choose Your Own Adventure,” a mark registered both in the United States and internationally. In its complaint, Chooseco demands both injunctive relief and damages in the amount of $25 million or Netflix’s profits from the film, whichever are greater.   Continue reading »

Symposium Spotlight: Camille Stell

By: Jason Gonzalez

On March 8th, 2019, the Wake Forest Journal of Business & Intellectual Property Law will be hosting Camille Stell, current President and CEO of Lawyers Mutual Consulting & Services to join Pegeen Turner on a discussion of how attorneys can integrate technology in their everyday legal practice.

Camille began her legal profession after graduating from Meredith College and worked as a paralegal for 10 years with Young Moore & Henderson PA. In addition to her work as a paralegal, Camille has worked with North Carolina Lawyers Weekly, as a Business Development Manager with Kennedy Covington Lobdell & Hickman, and she has served as the Chair of the Raleigh City Group, Legal Marketing Association.

Camille was a past contributing member to the NBCA Transitioning Lawyer Commission and was the chair of the NCBA Law Practice Management Section. In September of 2011, Camille was honored with being named one of 25 distinguished individuals who have bettered the legal profession through their community involvement by North Carolina Lawyer’s Weekly Leader in the Law” award.

Finally, Camille currently sits on the Pro Bono Resource Center Advisory Board. This board is comprised of 18 professionals throughout North Carolina that serve as the front-line focus group for all pro bono initiatives, and as a means to outsource pro bono resources and communications to the state of North Carolina.

Camille has traveled throughout North Carolina sharing her experience and expertise in the legal community and the legal technology sector and the Wake Forest Journal of Business & Intellectual Property Law is honored to have her join us.