Arthur R. Lehman, L.L.C.

New York Business Litigation Blog

Don't let others take advantage of your original ideas

Intellectual properties are incredible valuable assets for any company or individual and should be protected from those looking to take the ideas and concepts for their own gain. If your business is facing a situation of intellectual property dispute, having the assistance of an experienced attorney can be an invaluable resource.

At Arthur R. Lehman, L.L.C., we represent individuals, businesses, inventors, and entrepreneurs facing such situations. Our experience in the realm of business litigation makes us devoted allies for those who have been taken advantage of by another induvial or business. We understand just how important preserving trademarks and copyrights is and have a great respect for the creativity and hard work that goes into bringing an original idea to life in the first place.

New York hospital group reaches agreement in contract dispute

For healthcare groups, many employ those who are a part of a union. The union functions as a spokesperson for the employees as a whole, especially in instances of employment disputes. Recently, a group of hospitals in New York, including some of the largest private hospitals, has agreed to a three year employment contract for many of their workers. The union, 1199SEIU, is the largest New York health care union.

The contract, effective October 1st, impacts over 90,000 employees. The original negotiations for salary increases was nearly derailed when a dispute concerning employer pension contributions, upset the union. The agreement will give workers 3% raises annually for the next three years. These employees are employed at over 90 different healthcare facilities across New York.

Fraud during contract negotiations can hurt a business

Rarely do organizations agree to terms with their partners, vendors and other associates on the first pass of review over new contracts. In fact, a New York business may go through numerous iterations of an agreement before it is ready to sign off on it and bind itself to the terms set forth therein. When a business enters into a contract it is responsible for fulfilling its responsibilities and can be penalized if it fails to follow through on its promises.

However, not every contract that a business may sign may be in its interests. In some cases, businesses may be induced into entering into contracts that ultimately do not serve their needs. They may have been compelled to agree to the terms offered to them because the other party or parties to the agreements perpetrated fraud upon them.

What is trade dress and how does federal law protect it?

Many New York companies have trademarks that help define the company's identity to consumers and the public. In addition to trademarks, many companies also have a unique trade dress that also helps to define the company. One may wonder: What is trade dress and how is it protected?

Trade dress is a legal term that describes a product's total image or overall appearance. Historically, trade dress referred to the way a product was packaged, with elements such as a label and a package display card. Today, trade dress can also include features, including shape, size, texture, graphics, color and color combinations. It can also include certain sales techniques.

Checklist for a Manhattan asset purchase and sale agreement

When a Manhattan business owner decides to sell their business, or alternatively, if they decide to purchase another business, there are a number of ways such a deal could be structured. One way is the purchase and sale of a company's stock. Another way is an asset purchase and sale agreement.

In an asset sale, only the assets of a business are conveyed to a new owner. The legal ownership of the business stays in the name of the seller. Some of the things that would change hands include equipment, client lists, accounts receivable and other items of value.

Helping you resolve a contract dispute

Whether it is in a major deal or the normal course of business, companies enter into contract on a frequent basis. These contracts serve as an agreement between two or more parties. This agreement outlines the duties of each party. The ultimate goal of a contract is to not only protect the agreed upon terms, ensuring they are followed but to protect the interests of the party. When a contract is not complied with, this is considered a breach of contract. A breach of contract not only harms the business relationship but could result in the non-breaching party suffering damages.

At Arthur R Lehman, LLC, our experienced legal team represents business clients with one goal in mind, to protect their rights. With regards to the contracts our clients are involved in, we take the time to explore the terms, assessing whether or not a breach did occur. If a breach happened, we take the time to calculate the damages suffered by this breach.

Disney and Pixar being sued for copyright infringement

Certain kinds of copyright infringement are clear. If someone uses your logo without permission, passes off your artwork as their own, or releases your book with their name attached instead of yours, then the legal status is straightforward. Theft is theft. However, other cases are less clear. A Canadian film director, Damon Pourshain, is currently suing Disney/Pixar over alleged copyright infringement regarding the film “Inside Out,” which won the 2016 Oscars for Best Animated Film and Best Original Screenplay. Mr. Pourshain alleges that Disney/Pixar copied distinct elements from his short film of the same name, which released in 2000. His case cuts to the heart of the burden of proof in copyright law.

How long does one have to sue for copyright infringement?

Copyrights are useful to those in New York who have created a tangible work that is of value to them when they want to protect the work from being duplicated by another. Books, pieces of art, movies and television shows are all examples of works that might be copyrighted. However, there will always be those who infringe on another person's copyrighted work. When this happens, the person whose work was infringed upon may want to file a lawsuit. However, they only have a limited amount of time to do so.

Under the U.S. Copyright Act, when it comes to filing a lawsuit for copyright infringement, a person has three years after the accrual of the claim to file a lawsuit. Once the three years is up, a person generally can no longer file a claim. However, there are varying rules when it comes to determining when a claim begins to accrue.

A basic overview of unfair competition

In today's active business climate, staying competitive is more important than ever. Businesses in New York will want to make sure their advertising is effective and that their trademarks and trade secrets are protected. They will also want to increase their customer base and see an uptick in sales of their goods or services. All of these actions can lead to a profitable and successful business. However, sometimes, in pursuit of these goals, a business will either be accused of committing unfair competition or will claim it is the victim of unfair competition.

In very general terms, unfair competition exists when a business, for its own gain, deceives or misleads consumers or other businesses, causing the other business or consumers to suffer financial harm. Unfair competition is a business tort.

We help with Manhattan employment non-compete agreements

In the workplace, non-compete agreements are used by Manhattan employers to prevent employees from taking company secrets to a competitor. Many employers understandably want to keep their trade secrets confidential and don't want employees to be lured away by competitors wanting to get access to trade secrets. Still, many people think that non-compete agreements are being overused in the workplace.

A few weeks ago, we told you about efforts under way in many jurisdictions to restrict the use of non-compete agreements in the workplace. Non-compete agreements are fairly commonplace even among jobs that earn less than $15 per hour. Researchers determined that over 15 percent of low-wage workers are required to sign a non-compete agreement as a condition of employment. Many lawmaker say that these are unnecessary and unfair, as these workers probably do not have access to sensitive trade secrets.