Dear valued clients and supporters: This month's newsletter will focus on: (1) updates to federal overtime regulations; (2) the protocols and pitfalls of the I-9 verification process; and (3) common law and federal trademark protections.
Federal regulations were updated recently to greatly expand the number of employees who will be eligible for overtime as of December 1, 2016. The Fair Labor Standards Act (the FLSA) is the primary federal law that regulates the payment of overtime wages to employees. The recent updates to the federal regulations greatly raises the overtime salary threshold. This change is estimated to remove some 4.2 million employees from "exemption", thereby entitling them to overtime pay. For employees and businesses who want to learn more about these changes and the impact they changes will have, an in-depth article can be found here on our website.
In our last newsletter, we covered some of the pitfalls and recommended practices for businesses, in particular, employers who have to comply with the I-9 employer verification process under Federal law. A more in-depth article on this topic is now posted here on our website.
Business owners and other alike often wonder whether or not they need to register their trademarks. While using unique words, symbols, or phrases in connection with the sale of goods or services provides some legal protection under the common law, this protection can be somewhat limited. For example, common law trademark rights tend to be restricted to the geographical area and manner in which the mark is used. In contrast, registering with United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) grants the owner exclusive use of the mark nationwide. Additionally, federal registration serves as constructive notice of ownership and use, and grants the holder the right to sue in federal court for trademark infringement. Still, federal trademark rights can, in certain circumstances, be restricted or even superseded by common law rights. To learn more about various types of trademark rights, infringement, and conflicts, an in-depth article will be posted next month on our website.
Disclaimer: Nothing on this website is or should be construed as legal advice. An attorney-client relationship does not exist with our firm unless a signed retainer agreement is executed, and we do not offer legal advice through this site or any of the content located on it. For legal advice for your particular circumstances, please contact us directly.