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January 2013 Archives

Towel Tote Can Pursue IP Claims Against Bed Bath and Beyond

When you walk into a business meeting at Bed Bath and Beyond (BB&B), you expect fluorescent lighting and comfortable home goods. Maybe a set of slippers. A soft throw casually tossed over the side of the conference table.

You don't expect the retailer to steal your design for the Towel Tote. But that occasionally happens. At least, it allegedly happened to Roger Hall.

Reality Trumps Eligibility in Disability Benefits Appeal

Workers aren't allowed to double-dip between Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) disability retirement annuities and Social Security Administration (SSA) disability benefits. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) must reduce a FERS disability annuity for any month in which the recipient is also "entitled" to SSA disability benefits.

Until this week, however, there was a grey area of statutory interpretation: What happens when an employee is eligible for Social Security benefits, but doesn't receive those benefits? Will he receive his full FERS annuity?

Affirmed: Postal Worker Fired for Using Gift Card

Stealing gift cards from undeliverable mail seems like something that Newman would have done on "Seinfeld." Except Newman never stooped so low. Instead, Warren Schiff -- Richard Dreyfuss' character on "Weeds" -- will be remembered as the TV mail carrier who pilfered gifts from undelivered mail.

So what would happen if a postal employee pulled a similar stunt in real life?

He would lose his job. And the federal employment review process would offer no relief.

Pro Se Veterans' Filings Must Be 'Read Liberally'

A veteran proceeding pro se gets extra leeway in making his benefits case.

And if the Board of Veterans' Appeals and the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims don't give him that leeway? Well, they'll probably be reviewing the claim again on remand.