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Zap! Pow! Bang! In a legal dust up between one of the world's biggest superhero sidekicks and a major pop star, D.C. Comics is opposing Rihanna's attempt to trademark her given name. In an effort to bring more product lines under her umbrella -ella -ella, the singer has filed for trademark protection for her given name, Robyn.

The comic book company claims that the trademarked name could cause confusion with Batman's sidekick, Robin. D.C. Comics holds the trademark for Robin in relation to action figures and comics, according to Inside Counsel.

PayPal, the online payment company owned by Ebay, has agreed to pay $25 million to settle claims stemming from its "Bill Me Later" program. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau had accused PayPal of refusing to honor the advertised terms of its online credit product, signing customers up for credit without their permission, and failing to properly manage its credit and billing system.

Thankfully, PayPal's failure can be your inspiration, as there's plenty to learn from the company's credit debacle.

When you buy a "designer" bag out of the back of a van, you probably realize it's a knockoff. That might not be the case when you purchase a similar bag online, where counterfeit goods can proliferate without the buyer being able to check every monogram, button and zipper to see if the item is the real deal, or just a rip-off.

For companies involved in online markets and e-commerce, and their legal departments, counterfeit goods can cause major headaches. Take Alibaba for example. The enormous Chinese e-commerce company is currently being sued by Kering SA, the enormous French luxury brand company behind Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Balenciaga, which alleges Alibaba knowingly traffics in counterfeit goods.

It's not just telemarketers that are at risk of being sued under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Any company that makes customer phone calls, sends texts or faxes faxes could be open to liability under the TCPA. The TCPA prohibits unsolicited advertising by phone, text and fax. It provides $500 to $1,500 for each violation, plus allows for the recovery of lawyer fees and costs.

TCPA lawsuits are a booming business. For a plaintiff's side class action firm, a company's TCPA slip up can be a windfall. There's even apps that help consumers convert unwanted calls straight into lawsuits. Thankfully, a vigilant in-house legal department can help reduce the risks of unexpected TCPA litigation.

It's bad enough when low-level employees open the company up to litigation through thoughtless behavior. It's even worse when it's an executive. AT&T got a reminder of just how embarrassing, and potentially expensive that can be. The telecom company is facing a $100 million employee discrimination suit over racist texts and images allegedly sent by Aaron Slator, the company's (now former) president of content and advertising sales.

AT&T isn't the only company to have suffered from an high level employee's poor behavior. Is there anything, besides triage, that can be done to stop executives behaving badly before the lawsuits come in?

Patent trolling, the process of threatening or engaging in abusive and often baseless patent litigation, has long been lamented in the legal and technology industries. You may have experienced it yourself, if your company has received demands for licensing payments for engaging in actions as common as sending emails or making photocopies. Reformers have increasingly called for limitations on these practices, finally leading to action from Congress.

However, that action doesn't go far enough, according to some advocates. As the Targeting Rogue and Opaque Letters Act (TROL Act) moves into markup before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, two leading patent reform groups have said they cannot support the bill.

Usually it's clients who suffer because they didn't read something all the way through. This time, though, it's the lawyers who didn't heed that most lawyerly of advice.

Thanks to its lawyers -- the good people at Sidley Austin, LLP -- AT&T has to pay a $40 million jury verdict that would have been appealable, if only they'd filed the notice of appeal on time.

Uber and Lyft continue to "disrupt" their way right into court, where drivers for each company allege in separate lawsuits that they're employees, not independent contractors.

The companies, of course, claim that their drivers -- excuse me, "partners" if you're Uber -- are independent contractors, meaning Uber and Lyft don't have to pay the "employer" part of the payroll tax or otherwise abide by wage and hour laws that apply to employees but not contractors.

Apparently unfamiliar with The Streisand Effect, the International Franchise Association, along with four owners of various franchises, are suing the City of Seattle to enjoin enforcement of the city's new minimum wage ordinance. The ordinance would take effect April 1 and would raise the city's minimum wage from $9 to $15 an hour.

Despite what The Huffington Post is insinuating, McDonald's isn't suing the city, nor is any McDonald's franchisee. On the other hand, a ruling in favor of the plaintiffs would definitely benefit those franchisees. The real issue, though, is whether the ordinance unfairly discriminates against certain kinds of employers.

The trial placing one of Silicon Valley's most prestigious venture capital firms in the spotlight has also placed sexual harassment in the spotlight. Last week, we learned that famed venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins didn't even have a non-discrimination policy.

That, in itself, isn't proof of wrongdoing, but it does suggest that Kleiner Perkins may have been taking a casual attitude toward sexual harassment and sex discrimination. Like "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," let Kleiner Perkins' situation be a warning so you don't find yourself in the same situation.