In House: Litigation Archives
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Arbitration remains an essential litigation prevention tool, and one that's regularly been given favorable legal treatment by the Supreme Court and Congress.

But two recent opinions, one from the Supreme Court and one from the Fourth Circuit, serve as an important reminder of some of the limits to arbitration agreements, at least when it comes to choice of law provisions. Here's a quick review.

Life Will Get Tougher With E.U.'s New Patent Court

Most of the EU member state-countries have already signed on to ratify the Unified Patent Court agreement and only a few more states are left before this thing becomes reality. Rumor has it that Germany and the UK are already inking up and the UPC will be up and running by 2017.

Are You a Trademark Bully?

By now, we've all heard of patent trolls, but now is a good time for us to visit its lesser known cousin, the trademark bully. And yes, just like copyright bullies and the patent troll, they're not particularly loved. The reasons for their existence, unsurprisingly is related to the complexities of Intellectual Property practice.

Are you (or your company) a trademark bully? To find out, take a look at the list of symptoms below.

A former Yahoo manager is challenging the tech company's famous -- or infamous, depending on where you stand -- employee ranking system in federal court. Gregory Anderson, a former Yahoo editor, sued the company on Monday, alleging that the ranking system was used to violate both California and federal employment law.

A hallmark of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's reign at the company, the system requires supervisors to rank every employee on a scale of one to five, with those on the bottom often shown the door. But, Anderson's suit alleges, that merit-based ranking is often a smokescreen for getting around mass layoff laws.

It was a rough start and quick finish for the first trail over General Motors' defective ignition switches, which have left over 124 dead and many more injured. The first bellwether case fell apart last week as evidence emerged that the plaintiffs had lied about the extent of their injuries. The plaintiff dismissed his claim on Friday, after Southern District of New York Judge Jesse Furman said he had committed "a fraud on the court and on the jury."

So, what went wrong for the plaintiffs and so right for GM?

Someone didn't like your shrimp sales, or your "clean diesel" advertising, or your employment practices, and they've filed suit. It's not just any lawsuit, however. It's a class action, so the stakes are a bit higher than your everyday litigation.

What is in-house counsel to do? Here's what.

Lumosity Settles $2M for Failing to Back Ads With Science

The FTC has often been the public consumer protection outfit that helps people take down companies making absurd claims about their products or services. One of the more famous FTC takedowns was of L'Oreal, which had claimed that products in its Genefique and Paris Youth Code lines essentially were the keys to youth by unlocking proper gene expression.

The latest company to feel the FTC's wrath, Lumosity, settled with the federal agency to the tune of $2 million because it failed to back up its brain-training program claims with "sound, scientific research."

The Department of Justice filed its first charges against Volkswagen on Monday. In a civil complaint filed in the Eastern District of Michigan, the Justice Department alleges that Volkswagen repeatedly and illegally violated the Clean Air Act by installing "defeat devices" on its so-called clean diesel vehicles. Those devices allowed the cars to cheat emissions tests and release air pollution at much higher rates than allowed under the Clean Air Act.

The case could lead to civil fines of costing tens of billions of dollars. But that's just the opening salvo in the government's response to the VW emissions scandal and does not foreclose the possibility of criminal charges against Volkswagen executives sometime in the near future.

With the new year comes a renewed focus on criminal prosecutions for violations of worker safety laws. In mid-December, the Departments of Justice and Labor released a new memorandum of understanding that should lead to increased prosecutions in 2016.

The move came shortly after the criminal conviction of Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship following the death of 29 miners and indicates that the federal government will double down on such prosecutions in the future. Here's what you need to know.

AstraZeneca Sues Generic Indian Pharm for Its Purple Pills

AstraZenaca, the makers of the acid reflux pill Nexium, successfully secured an injunction against the generic pharm company Dr. Reddy's Laboratories for the latter's use of the color purple in packing its pills, according to the New Jersey Law Journal. The two companies have been duking it out in New Jersey and Delaware federal courts over the last few weeks.

Reddy countered on November 18th, claiming the AstraZeneca knew that Reddy intended to package its generic version of the drug in a purple capsule -- or at least purple and lavender.