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Last week, American Apparel axed its founder, CEO, and 27 percent shareholder, Dov Charney, after an "investigation into alleged misconduct." We couldn't help but wonder: with all of his public idiocy (sexual harassment, labor law violations, slurs, and most damning of all: unprofitability), what caused the company to finally pull the trigger, five years too late?

From the reports? Not a whole lot more than we already knew about, including sexual misconduct, as well as a few allegations of personal use of company resources. The real surprise was the way the termination played out: a ten-hour meeting with Charney and an ultimatum: resign or be fired for cause.

American Apparel tossed its founder and CEO Dov Charney to the curb this morning, blaming the move on "an ongoing investigation into alleged misconduct."

The move, which reeks of desperation, could mark rock bottom in a comeback. Or, more likely, it could be a precursor to the end: the press release notes that the change in management could trigger an event of default under its credit agreements. Add in five straight years in the red, and this could be the epitome of too little, too late.

Last week, Tesla made a big, bold move: It opened its patent portfolio to everyone.

In a post titled, "All Our Patent Are Belong To You," a reference to a poor video game translation turned Internet meme, the company's CEO Elon Musk announced the move and explained why the company would only use the patents for defensive purposes. In short: acceleration of innovation.

A cynic might amend that a bit: acceleration of adoption of Tesla's proprietary and patented standards, ensuring that the company doesn't develop the Betamax of electric vehicles. But nonetheless, this was a huge move. But was it a good move?

She started as General Counsel for Sony in 2001. Now, Sony's Nicole Seligman will hold three titles: President of Sony Corporation of America (the umbrella company for all U.S.-based business), President of Sony Entertainment (includes the company's music, movie, and publishing operations) and senior legal counsel (an advisory role) -- a considerable list of responsibilities that will be eased a bit by ceding GC duties to someone else. She'll also remain on the company's executive committee, reports Deadline.

If all of those titles seem a bit confusing, well, welcome to corporate America. But in simpler terms, she's gone from GC to the boardroom, lawyer to executive -- exactly what we were discussing last week.

Trade Secret Theft Accounts For Up To 3 Percent of GDP

A recent study by PricewaterhouseCoopers US and CREATe.org found that the theft of trade secrets amount to one to three percent of the United States GDP.

According to the study, malicious insiders are the number one source of exposing trade secrets. The loss from occupational fraud amounts to about $3.5 trillion worldwide. With the significant economic impact of trade secret theft, what can a company do to better protect its trade secrets?

Facebook struck again, this time dropping $19 billion ($16bn for the company and $3bn for the company's founders, per Wired) on WhatsApp, an insanely popular messaging app. For context the number is:

In short: it's a big, big number. And even if you didn't strike it rich in the deal, there are reasons you should be paying attention.

In the latest version of David v. Goliath, Kind, a small, but fast-growing company, is going up against Clif Bar, who has over 18% of the nutrition bar market as of 2012, reports Fortune. According to court papers filed on February 6, 2014, Kind is suing Clif for trademark infringement, à la trade dress violation, related to the new, very similar packaging of Clif's Mojo nutrition bars.

Trade Dress Similarities

Kind's packaging features a large clear band so consumers can see the product inside. Daniel Lubetzky, the company's founder stated, "Everything you see in our product is about transparency ... We were the first ones to [have a transparent wrapper] in our industry, and now we have a lot of people trying to copy our approach," reports Fortune.

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong's 'Distressed Babies': 3 PR Lessons Learned

AOL Chief Executive Tim Armstrong is still reeling from his massive "distressed babies" public relations debacle. At a town hall meeting, Armstrong blamed two AOL employees' "distressed babies" and their pricey health care costs for the company's decision to cut employee retirement benefits, Reuters reports.

Deanna Fei, an accomplished writer and mother to one of the so-called "distressed babies," penned an incredibly moving article for Slate about how Armstrong's town hall comments has affected her family, including her husband, the AOL employee.

Here are three lessons in-house counsel should take away from this mess:

One of the emerging trends of the past decade is the rise of the legal department operations manager ("LDO manager"), who reports directly to general counsel, and oversees the operational and managerial aspects of the law department, according to the Association of Corporate Counsel. In doing so, general counsel has more time to devote to leadership, counseling and strategy.

But what exactly do LDO managers do? Their tasks are ever evolving, but can be broken up into three main categories: finance, technology, and project management.

Former Alex and Ani GC Files Wrongful Termination Suit

Robert Rainville, a former general counsel for Alex and Ani, filed a lawsuit against the Rhode Island-based lifestyle brand, claiming wrongful termination in addition to breach of contract with regard to stock and bonuses.

The case is a good reminder for in-house counsel to formalize "perk promises" and to also make work boundaries clear.