Arthur R. Lehman, L.L.C.

New York Business Litigation Blog

What are nondisclosure agreements?

Depending on the type of business they are in, companies in New York and elsewhere have certain priorities. For some, this means taking extra precautions to protect business secrets. These business secrets are often the core of the company's identity, making it what it is and causing it to stand out in the market and keep up with other competitors. If this information is revealed, it could be detrimental to the company. Thus, employers and business owners take steps to ensure their employees keep these secrets as well.

What are nondisclosure agreements? This document is a contract. It is signed by both parties, and contains terms ensuing that the employee promises to protect the confidentiality of a business secret that has been disclosed to him or her during the course of employment or during a business transaction.

What is intellectual property?

As previously mentioned, a business's brand in everything. It is what connects the business to the general public and what really helps the company flourish. Any damage caused to a business's brand could harm their reputation and even the ability for it to remain in business. Because of this, businesses in New York and elsewhere should take steps to protect their brand by protecting their intellectual property.

What is intellectual property? Generally, this is property of a company that involves images, ideas, concepts and even the arrangement of words. When a business designs a product, a patent is usually established. The possessor of this patent has the ability to protect this design or idea. The business may sell or license their patent to others; however, the holder of a patent is able to sue those that use their patent without permission.

Can a monkey own a copyright?

Copyright issues span a gamut of scenarios brought before the court in an effort to assign and protect authorship. With society utilizing more technology and creativity in its pursuits, there is often collaboration between humans and non-humans to produce a final work.

As a result, new questions are arising when determining who deserves the credit for work and how much credit ought to be given. This gray area of copyright laws involves the contribution of artificial intelligence and animals to creative endeavors.

Helping you protect your business and its brand

Much like a person can have a specific branding, the details that make them who they are, a business has the same branding. The name, a trademark, advertising and any other defining factors make a business. These details link the business to the public, and this is what makes a business thrive. Thus, when another business encroaches on these details, this can cause public confusion and harm to the business. Protecting intellectual property is important, especially when other companies in the industry put it at risk.

Whether your business's intellectual property is put at risk or your company is being accused of trademark infringement, it is important to understand how best to approach this matter. At Arthur R. Lehman, LLC, our experienced legal team has represented individuals, businesses, inventors and entrepreneurs in the Manhattan area, guiding them through these litigation matters.

What is the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016?

What rights does a trade secret holder have when their trade secret has been misappropriated? Depending on the specific circumstances, a Manhattan business owner may be able to seek a remedy in the New York state court system. A Manhattan business owner may also be able to seek a remedy in federal court. This is because of the enactment of the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016. This law came into effect in May of last year.

The law applies to trade secret misappropriation related to a product or service in interstate or foreign commerce. An intellectual property attorney can help people determine whether their product or service meets this requirement. If it does, and the legal requirements of misappropriation have been demonstrated to the court's satisfaction, the plaintiff may be entitled to a number of remedies. These remedies can include compensatory money damages for the misappropriation. It can also include getting an injunction to stop the alleged misappropriator. A successful plaintiff may also be able to recover some or all of their attorney's fees.

CBS gets sued for copyright infringement and responds in kind

In February of this year, a photographer filed a lawsuit against CBS interactive for using his copyrighted photos. The images appeared on 247Sports, a subsidiary of the media giant that deals largely in collegiate athletics recruitment. The photographer was requesting $150,000 for each use of his images.

After the photographer took to Twitter to voice his displeasure with 247Sports, he was eventually given photo credit, but nonetheless he proceeded with his lawsuit.

Arbitration clauses in employment contracts: How we can help

Whenever there is a dispute between an employer and employee about the terms of an employment contract, those terms may not only govern the result of the dispute resolution method used, they may also control what dispute resolution method is used. An arbitration clause in an employment agreement may compel the parties to resolve the dispute using binding arbitration.

Not long ago, we discussed the issue of arbitration clauses in employment contracts. In many cases, federal law will require that an employment contract's arbitration clause be respected, requiring courts to defer to the decision of an arbitrator or arbitration panel in employment law cases. Although there are a number of proposals to change this, courts will still usually order cases to be decided by binding arbitration when the employment agreement contains an arbitration clause.

Theme park owner faces shareholder dispute, class-action suit

Business litigation can take many forms, including disputes with customers, suppliers and subcontractors. But for Manhattan corporations, there are other parties who may initiate business litigation, namely shareholders. A shareholder dispute is a common source of business litigation. Recently, a well-known theme park owner found itself the target of litigation in response to allegations that statements made by company representatives artificially inflated the company's stock price.

SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. is known for its exhibition of killer whales and other sea creatures. Several years ago, a documentary was made that criticized SeaWorld's practices regarding its captive killer whales. Now plaintiffs are proceeding with a lawsuit that alleges SeaWorld intentionally misled shareholders about the impact of the documentary on SeaWorld's business.

The law of fraudulent misrepresentation in New York

Over the past several weeks, this blog has provided some basic information about possible legal remedies for when another party is harmfully dishonest in a business transaction. We've talked about fraud and trade disparagement; now we're going to talk about another New York business tort: fraudulent misrepresentation.

Fraudulent misrepresentation involves a party making a false statement to another party, causing a deal between the two parties to be based on a false premise. If the false premise has a material effect on the deal, the law considers the contract between the parties to be invalid. The misrepresentation can be communicated in a number of formats, including writing, speech, a gesture, or even silence.

What if I have been victimized by trade disparagement?

A New York business will often have a great amount invested in its reputation. In the competitive world of New York business, it is not unusual for competitors to try and gain an unfair and illegal advantage by making false and derogatory statements about another business in the same industry. This can be called commercial disparagement or business disparagement. The idea is to prevent others from working with the business or using its products or services. There is a wide array of ways in which this can occur and it is important for a business that is considering a business tort to understand them.

The allegations can range from a business being incompetent at its work, to unethical in its dealings, to showing outright dishonesty. The main idea of this business tort is to protect one business from disparagement from another, but the tort can also be brought against customers. To show that there was disparagement, the plaintiff must show four elements: that the false statement that was made has been published; that the statement that was made will lead to economic loss; that there was economic loss; and that the statement was made knowing that it was false or said with reckless disregard as to its accuracy.