law | WRAL TechWire


Making the hunter the hunted: North Carolina gives business owners new tools to combat ‘patent trolls’

Editor’s Note: Allen N. Trask, III is a member of the Litigation Practice Group at Ward and Smith, P.A. Governor Pat McCrory signed the North Carolina “Abusive Patent Assertions Act” (“Act”) into law on August 11, 2014. The Act seeks to protect business owners from frivolous claims filed by “patent trolls,” a term used to refer to those who use patent infringement actions solely as a means to make money instead of actually inventing products and bringing them to market. The Act is an amendment to the North Carolina Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act and creates new liability...

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Covering your intangible assets – Intellectual property insurance

Editor’s Note: Angela P. Doughty is a member of the Business and Intellectual Property Practice Groups at Ward and Smith, P.A. In our increasingly computer-dependent society, many businesses are powered by their ingenuity and development of new and useful concepts and ideas. It is often intellectual property – not physical assets – that are the lifeblood of companies. Many of these companies spend a substantial amount of their revenue on research and development of intellectual property and, as a result, often have insufficient resources left to defend or enforce the very intellectual property that has become the core of...

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Unauthorized disclosure of your confidential information on the Internet: Plugging the leak without breaking the levee

Editor’s Note: Alex Dale is a member of the Litigation Section and Intellectual Property Practice Group of Ward and Smith, P.A. Earlier this year, the Swiss-based bank Julius Baer & Company (“Baer”) sued, a website that boasts of having posted 1.2 million “leaked” government and corporate documents it claims expose unethical behavior, and Dynabot, the company providing the domain name for Wikileaks. Baer alleged that Wikileaks’ publication of confidential bank documents on its website constituted unlawful and unfair business practices, interference with contract, and conversion. Baer sought an order from the Court restraining Wikileaks from displaying, posting, publishing,...

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Wage, Overtime Exemptions Applicable to Computer-Related Occupations

Editor’s note: Albert R. Bell, Jr. is a member of the Labor and Employment Practice Group of Ward and Smith, P.A. RALEIGH – The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (“FLSA”) establishes minimum wage and overtime pay standards for American workers. Although simple in concept, the FLSA has remained a continuing source of labor and employment litigation since its passage in 1938. The reason is simple: with one hand, the FLSA provides minimum wage and overtime standards, and, with the other hand, it exempts employees from one or both requirements. The exemption status of computer-related occupations under the FLSA...

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