News

Orlando-based Restaurant Chain Sues Nashville’s Hermitage Hotel

The Orlando-based restaurant group Capital Grille Holdings is suing Historic Hotels of Nashville, owner of the historic Hermitage Hotel, over trademark infringement, the Nashville Post reports. The Hermitage Hotel is home to Capitol Grille, a restaurant that’s been in operation since 1910 but only under the current moniker since 1995. Capitol Grille Holdings registered its trademark for its “The Capitol Grille” chain of restaurants in 1991, and in 2016 began seeking to enter the Nashville market.
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Fastcase 7 New Features

A new Fastcase 7 update provides highlighting for your search terms when viewing the full text of a document. Each term is highlighted with a different color so that you can see the occurrence of each item separately. You can also turn off the highlighting function for both, and each term individually by choosing the highlight dropdown option, then selecting the ‘x’ across from the term. See this and all new features of TBA’s member benefit Fastcase 7 here.

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TBA House of Delegates Seeks to Fill 13 Open Positions

In accordance with Article 29 of the TBA Bylaws, the officers of the House of Delegates will fill 13 open positions in the House. If you would like to be considered for one of these positions, please submit a declaration of candidacy that includes your name, principal place of law practice, district of interest and contact information to TBA Executive Director Joycelyn Stevenson by July 15. Read a list of open positions here.
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TBA Debuts New Podcast Network

The Tennessee Bar Association Podcast Network launched today with the premiere of two shows-- Sidebar and BarBuzz. Sidebar is a magazine podcast featuring compelling stories from attorneys across the state. BarBuzz is a monthly rundown of TBA news and upcoming events at the local and state bar levels. Both shows are now available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, TuneIn and the TBA's website. Simply search the show title or "Tennessee Bar Association" wherever you listen to podcasts. Do you have a story lead you'd like to submit for a future episode? Submit your ideas here!

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Use Your Prepaid TBA CLE Credits Before Monday!

TBA members have until June 30 to use the 2018-2019 CLE credits that come with their memberships. Use the credits now to register for any TBA course taking place this summer or fall, or any online course, as long as you register by June 30. Don’t let these valuable credits go to waste! Find more information on how to use your credits, and if you haven’t done so already, remember to renew your TBA membership for the upcoming year to get more CLE credits.
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Federal Law Barring Trademarks for ‘Immoral or Scandalous’ Ideas Struck Down

In a 6-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday sided with a Los Angeles designer who sought to trademark "FUCT" for his clothing line but was blocked by a federal law prohibiting registration of "immoral or scandalous" ideas, ABC News reports.  Justice Elana Kagan wrote the majority opinion, saying the law violates the First Amendment. Judging which ideas are “immoral or scandalous” is highly subjective and potentially discriminatory, Kagan wrote.
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Full Upgrade to Fastcase 7 Coming July 22

The TBA will be upgrading to Fastcase 7 — the latest in legal research technology — on July 22. Start the transition by reviewing the helpful resource page to learn new and advanced research tools and view training videos and reference guides. Did you know that as a member benefit Fastcase also offers research assistance? Use the LiveChat feature located on the Fastcase website, email support@fastcase.com or call 866-773-2782, Option 2, to speak with a research attorney. 
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Short Breathing Exercises Can Be Done Anywhere, Anytime

Some of the best mental wellness tools simply involve breathing. "4-7-8 breathing" is something you could even do in court while waiting for a case to come up. It’s subtle and no one has to know you’re doing it. Close your eyes, inhale for 4 counts, hold for 7, and slowly exhale for 8. Repeat until you’re ready to revisit your day.
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Businesses Testify to USTR Regarding Additional Trump Tariffs

Some of the nation’s business leaders recently participated in seven days of hearings with the Office of the United States Trade Representative in an effort to sway the Trump administration from imposing tariffs on an additional $300 billion in Chinese goods, The New York Times reports. The group — comprised of toymakers, telecom officials, port workers and shoemakers — joined existing detractors, arguing that additional levies would further raise costs for consumers, disrupt supply chains and could force them to lay off employees or close. The administration says that these levies are necessary to curb China’s violation of international trading rules. President Trump will meet with President Xi Jinping of China at the end of this week to discuss the tariffs and a new trade deal, but business owners remain doubtful that an agreement will be reached.

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Patent Litigation Update CLE Webcast, June 27

The TBA's Patent Litigation Update CLE webcast will examine the implications of several recent decisions for businesses seeking to protect their key technologies through patents. Register here and tune in on June 27 at 11 a.m. CST.
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TIPLA Announces 2019 Officers

The Tennessee Intellectual Property Law Association (TIPLA) recently announced its 2019 officers. The new TIPLA president is Lakita Cavin, secretary is Greg Parker, vice president is Phil Walker and treasurer is Seth Ogden. Other officers include past president Gary Montle, member at large Peter Brewer and member at large A.J. Bahou.
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Entertainment & Sports CLE Planned for TBA Convention

In addition to fun evening activities and networking opportunities, the TBA Annual Convention in Nashville will offer a number of valuable CLE programs. This year, the TBA Young Lawyer’s Division has brought together legal counsel and experts from some of Tennessee’s most popular sports teams to share their war stories, experiences and to answer your legal questions related to sports law. All practice areas are welcome to attend and cheer on their favorite sports team or panelist (no excessive heckling or air horns allowed). Register now for the June 12-15 convention and reserve your hotel rooms before the TBA special rate expires.
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IP Patent Litigation Update Webcast is June 27

Feeling a little out of the loop when it comes to patent litigation? Get caught up by registering to attend the Patent Litigation Update webcast by Registered Patent Attorney Seth Ogden!

Join us on June 27 at 11 a.m. CST to examine the implications of several recent decisions for businesses seeking to protect their key technologies through patents: Secret sales can now serve as invalidating prior art (Helsinn). Patentees can now recover lost foreign profits for certain instances of infringement (Western Geco). Attacking patent subject matter eligibility under Section 101 at the pleadings stage has become more difficult (Berkheimer). Choice of venue for patentees filing suit in district courts has become more limited (BigCommerce and HTC).

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TBA Recap: Intellectual Property CLE Blast 2019

The Tennessee Bar Association's Intellectual Property Law Section recently held its annual CLE blast in Nashville at the Tennessee Bar Center. Attendees enjoyed programming on various topics, including patent, copyright, trade secrets, trademark and legal tech sessions. The TBA would like to thank program producer and Section Chair Hemant Gupta as well as the members of the Executive Council for their time and assistance creating a unique and successful program.

Missed the forum? Online videos of some sessions will be available soon; look for an announcement in a future Connect. 


Hemant Gupta | Chair | West
Ryan Levy | Chair Elect | Middle
A.J. Bahou | Council Member | Middle
Ed Lanquist | Council Member | Middle
Seth Ogden | Council Member | Middle
Judy Goans | Council Member | East
Autumn Boyd | Council Member | East
Kevin Christopher | Council Member | East
Mark Graham | Council Member | East 
Ian McFarland | Council Member | East
Shawn Sentilles | Council Member | West

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Amazon Under Fire for Harvesting Children's Data

Consumer advocacy groups are drawing attention to the way Amazon treats privacy regarding its Echo Dot Kids Edition, The New York Times reports. The company markets the device as an easy way for children to interact with its voice assistant software Alexa, but the groups involved allege that Amazon additionally included data-mining software in the device that violates the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) by gathering names, home addresses, Social Security numbers and other private information. Amazon released a statement maintaining that the product is compliant with COPPA; however, more than a dozen organizations have filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission on the issue.

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Lawsuit Against Apple Can Continue, SCOTUS Rules

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that consumers could forge ahead with a lawsuit against Apple over the way it manages its App Store, The Washington Post reports. The 5-4 decision allows device owners to proceed with a case that alleges Apple has acted as a monopoly by requiring iPhone and iPad users to download apps only from its portal while taking a cut of some sales made through the store. Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who sided with the court's liberal justices in the 5-4 decision, authored the opinion in the case.
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Your TBA Free CLE Credits Expire June 30

TBA members receive three hours of free CLE programming. Your credits expire June 30 for the current bar year. You may apply them to any available course here or donate them. Members can use this credit to cover all or part of the cost of live programs or on any online CLE program. (The course does not have to take place by June 30.)
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Men Charged With Economic Espionage to Benefit Business Interests, China

An American engineer, and a Chinese businessman were charged on Tuesday with economic espionage for a plan to steal sophisticated turbine designs for the benefit of China and their business interests, The Washington Post reports. The indictment alleges that Xiaoqing Zheng of New York conspired with Zhaoxi Zhang of China to procure and disseminate plans for the turbines, which are trademarked and produced by GE. Though the defendants are not accused of being government spies or officials, both men held meetings with Communist Party officials to discuss a “strategic partnership” regarding development of aerospace technology. Authorities say that Zheng used an encryption technique called “steganography,” which hides secret messages in otherwise normal computer files and images.

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Intellectual Property CLE Blast, May 10

Who doesn’t love a blast? This year’s Intellectual Property Blast on May 10 in Nashville will include presentations on patent, trademark and copyright issues. Three hours of ethics will be offered. Practitioners may attend any or all of the presentations based on their learning needs. Don’t forget to RSVP at cle.tba.org to let us know that you are coming! 
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Supreme Court Considers ‘FUCT’ Trademark Case

The Supreme Court is expected to make a decision by summer over whether the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office unconstitutionally denied trademark protection to the “FUCT” clothing line, NPR reports. Designer Eric Brunetti has been attempting to get the brand trademarked since he opened the clothing line in 1990. The office claims that the name of his brand violates the federal statute that bars trademark protections for offensive, shocking, immoral and scandalous words. Two-years ago Brunetti's case was strengthened following the Supreme Court's ruling that trademark protection of the Asian-American band name titled "The Slants" could not be denied. The office claimed the name was denied protection because it is racially disparaging, but the court ruled that the office's denial signified unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination.

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Paypal’s Patent to Fight Crypto Ransomware Approved

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently approved a patent, originally filed in 2016, that aims to end crypto ransomware, CoinGeek reports. PayPal developed the technology to better detect the malware and prevent potential victims from being locked out of their own accounts. This is a global problem impacting law enforcement officials, individuals and companies, according to the story. Companies have reported a 90% increase in ransomware costs for the first quarter of 2019 compared to the first quarter of 2018.      

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5 New Job Postings on TBA’s Joblink

See who is hiring in Tennessee. Recent job postings this month offer opportunities in litigation, real estate, health law and more. See full listings or post positions in your firm on TBA’s Joblink.
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TBA Convention Kicks Off TOMORROW!

The big week is finally upon us: The Tennessee Bar Association’s Annual Convention begins tomorrow, June 12. This year’s Convention is chock-full of even better programming, exhibits and fun than last year! Look forward to:

  • Free Access to 9 Hours of CLE, including the Bench Bar Program, co-sponsored by the Tennessee Judicial Conference
  • Opening welcome reception
  • Bench Bar Luncheon (featuring keynote speaker, Ken Starr)
  • Law School and General Breakfasts
  • Lawyers Luncheon (featuring special honor for Sen. Lamar Alexander)
  • Thursday night joint reception sponsored with TLAW and TABL
  • Thursday night Dinner/Dance Party featuring My So-Called Band
  • Friday night TBALL/YLD Party
  • Access to activities and programming designed for well-being including massages, contemplative space and more.
  • Access to TBA's sponsorship hall to meet with exhibitors, participate in our special TBA Wellness Corner and win prizes.
• QUESTIONS: Just email convention@tnbar.org to get help.
 
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Help4TNDay Kicks Off Saturday

Tennessee lawyers are invited to participate in Help4TNDay activities throughout the month of April. Events will bring attention to the ongoing need for free and low-cost legal services and highlight the groups that provide these services to disadvantaged Tennesseans. Opportunities include volunteering to help clients in need through Tennessee Free Legal Answers (TFLA) or at a local legal clinic. The events kick-off this Saturday with a statewide virtual legal clinic, where attorneys across the state will answer questions on TFLA from noon to 2 p.m. Simultaneously, the TBA will host an on-site TFLA Clinic and Luncheon in Nashville. To participate in the TBA event, contact Liz Todaro. Help4TNDay is a joint effort by the Tennessee Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission, the Administrative Office of the Courts, Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services and the Tennessee Bar Association. 
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Registration Now Open for TBA Convention in Nashville, June 12-15

The TBA's annual Convention returns to downtown Nashville this summer! Mark your calendars for June 12-15 and prepare for four days of CLE, networking, entertainment and more at the Renaissance Hotel, 611 Commerce Street. Registration is officially open, with early bird rates available until April 30.
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