General

A Spoke in the Wheel: The UAW Strike’s Impact and How Similar Acts Can Negatively Impact Regionalized Economies

General_Motors_logo

By: Nathaniel Reiff

After a six-week long strike, General Motors Co.’s employees finally agreed on a four-year labor agreement, stifling further loss for the company and mitigating further blows to the economy.  The longest automotive walkout in 50 years, was initiated on September 16, 2019, when approximately 48,000 United Automobile Workers members went on strike. According to Bloomberg Law, the agreement awards among other things workers pay raises, $11,000 ratification bonuses, a route for temporary employees to reach full-time status, and preserves the automaker’s health-care plan. It is reported that the prolonged strike diminished automotive supply chain revenue and removed tens of thousands of workers from an October Labor Department jobs report. In particular, one business tied to the automaker claimed he had laid off nearly his entire staff and used his personal savings to keep his company afloat.

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Sharing Space…Literally.

By: Golzar Yazdanshenas

 

Space Debris

 

“We are going to build a road to space, and then amazing things will happen.” – Jeff Bezos

Lead CEO’s such as Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and Dennis Muilenburg are discussing building the necessary space vessels to make living outside of this world possible. However, space, like the high seas, is a tricky territory to navigate, since no one country has any actual rights over it or legal claim to it. So before we venture into discussions about future enterprises in space, it would be prudent to assess potential legal issues that may arise.

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Driverless Cars: Friend or Foe?

By: Golzar Yazdanshenas, Summer Blogger

 

Autonomous Vehicle

In a 2019 interview, inventor and entrepreneur Elon Musk stated: “I think we will be ‘feature-complete’ on full self-driving this year, meaning the car will be able to find you in a parking lot, pick you up, take you all the way to your destination without an intervention this year.” Many experts are skeptical of Musk’s predictions, claiming the technology needed to make fully autonomous cars is years away.

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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.