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  • Governor Sounds Death Knell to Most Independent Contractors: The "ABC" Test is Official

    By Procopio Senior Associate Annie Ellis and Associate Stephenie M. Alexander As of January 1, 2020, many employers in California will find it almost impossible to make use of independent contractors. This process began last year with a landmark California Supreme Court decision establishing a three-pronged test to determine if a worker should be classified as an independent contractor or employee. That decision has now been codified, with Governor Gavin Newsom signing A.B. 5 into law on ...

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  • Wage and Hour Win for Employers: The California Supreme Court Limits PAGA's Threat to Employers

    California Employees Are Prohibited From Seeking Underlying Wages in PAGA Actions   By Procopio Partner Marie Burke Kenny and Senior Associate Brook T. Barnes The California Supreme Court has provided some much-needed relief to California employers who routinely face Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) litigation from their current and former employees. The PAGA statute allows private citizens to sue on behalf of the state for violations of California wage and hour law...

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  • Recent Court Decisions Drive Strategic Approaches to Pursuing Sound Patent Protection

    By Procopio Partners Robert H. Sloss and Miku H. Mehta The art of drafting patent applications and the task of litigating patents continue to evolve, driven by changes in review processes at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and rulings in the Federal Circuit. In particular, we have seen a dramatic change in both the risks and benefits associated with functional claim drafting. Of note to anyone dealing with patents are two recent Federal Circuit decisions that continue the tre...

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  • Effective Date of New State Wetland Definition and Permitting Procedures

    By Procopio Partner John J. Lormon and Legal Assistant Miranda C. Barfield  Earlier this year, we published two articles monitoring the implementation of the new State Wetland Definition and Procedures for Dischargers of Dredge or Fill Material to Waters of the State (Procedures) and the prospective impact of these regulatory changes on future development in California. When the Procedures were adopted by the California State Water Resources Control Board (State Board) on April 2...

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  • Why Companies Should Care About Increasing Criminal Enforcement of Trade Secret Theft

    By Procopio Partner Mindy Morton The importance of trade secrets continues to be front and center in high-profile legal disputes. In a 2019 Bloomberg Law Big Law Business Quick Pulse Survey, approximately 33% of companies surveyed said that they had trade secrets stolen in the last 10 years, and 75% of the surveyed companies expected the risk of trade secret theft to rise in the next five years.  The Waymo-Uber trade secret dispute is case in point. While civil litigation was settled...

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  • U.S. Limits and Extends Temporary General Export License Related to Huawei Technologies

    By Procopio Partner Miku H. Mehta and Senior Associate Michael Jones On August 19, 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) revised the “temporary general license” or “TGL” we had previously highlighted to further restrict exports to Huawei and its affiliates, effective immediately and expiring on November 18, 2019.*  The revised TGL limits permissible exports, eliminates export authorization for non-public activities associated with 5G standard implementation, an...

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  • Does Your Company Need a Stockholder Agreement?

    By Procopio Senior Associate Aaron Sokoloff Let’s say you are the part-owner of a closely held corporation with one other partner. If your partner gets divorced, do you want to be in business with the proverbial “bitter ex-spouse”? If your partner dies, do you want to be in business with their widow/widower, or worse, their ungrateful, ne’er-do-well kids? Or, if your partner decides to retire or move on to another business, do you want them to be able to keep their ownership of th...

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  • Keeping Up With the Latest on the California Consumer Privacy Act

    By Procopio Senior Counsel Elaine F. Harwell, CIPP/US The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is a bit of a moving target. Since its passage and as we have previously addressed here and here, lawmakers anticipate making changes to the law before it takes effect January 1, 2020. Indeed, by one count, the state legislature has seen as many as 18 amendments, ranging from minor grammatical changes to significant modifications to its scope. This sweeping new privacy legislation is riding th...

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  • California Bans Employers and Educators from Discriminating on Hairstyles

    By Amber Gardina-Quintanilla Employers and educators should be aware that on July 3, 2019, California became the first state to explicitly ban discrimination in employment and education based on natural Black hairstyles. Several steps may need to be taken before the new law goes into effect on January 1, 2020. The Creating a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair Act (the “CROWN Act”) amends both the Education Code and the Government Code to prohibit racial discrimination ...

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  • USPTO Imposes Requirement of U.S.-Licensed Attorney for Foreign Trademark Applicants and Registrants

    By Senior Associate Michael C. Jones UPDATE: On July 2, 2019, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued the final rule indicating that the proposed rule discussed below would go into effect on August 3, 2019. Beginning on this date, foreign applicants and registrants will be required to identify a U.S. licensed attorney prior to examination of a trademark application. These rules will apply to any foreign domiciled trademark applicant registry the party. Additionally the rul...

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