Decades back when we first represented advertising agencies, the proliferation of titles involved executive vice presidents, senior vice presidents, vice presidents…well, you get the point. Someone once quipped “hand out titles, not raises.” Today, new positions abound in agencies. There are creative directors, chief experience officers, strategy officers, branding directors, and chief marketing officers. The latest misery to befall the maker of M&M candies evidences the need for a strategy king (or queen) in charge of sensitivity. Continue reading
Monthly Archives: January 2023
Trade Secrets: Jim Astrachan Comments on Protecting American Intellectual Property Act
Jim Astrachan was tapped for his take on the Protecting American Intellectual Property Act in a news article on Technical.ly.
Here’s an excerpt:
Intellectual property lawyer James Astrachan of downtown Baltimore’s Goodell, DeVries, Leech & Dann sees a mix of positives and major concerns with the new bill. He specifically cited the bill’s seemingly incomplete definition of what it purports to protect.
“I’m looking at the bill, and I don’t see that the bill even defines the term ‘trade secrets,’” said Astrachan, who is also an adjunct professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law. “That throws up in the air a lot of discretion to whoever is compiling this list of offenders for the president.”
Astrachan also believes companies are likely to report theft unless the act of doing so results in losing control of that trade secret. To that end, he is actually getting ready to file a trade secret action for a client.
“We’ll be very vague in our complaint in terms of identifying [the trade secret],” he explained. “We’ll try to work out some sort of protection so that it’s going to be under seal. Nobody can read it in the court records.”
He also noted how the terms “knowingly,” “secretly,” and “theft” remained undefined in the act, which could be problematic.
“You wonder whether in operation, this bill has been so watered down that the teeth are, ‘I’ll bite if I want to bite,’ he said.
Read the full article here: A new law aims to protect US IP from international theft. Here’s what that means for founders
The Protecting American Intellectual Property Act
By Jim Astrachan and Kaitlin Corey
The bipartisan Protecting American Intellectual Property Act was passed by the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives and sent on to President Biden for signature. Although the bill proclaims to protect intellectual property, its aim is the protection of trade secrets. Maybe. And likely there is a real back story to why this piece of legislative sausage came out of the sausage stuffer the way it did. Continue reading
FTC Proposes to Ban Non-Competes
The FTC claims its latest effort to promote competition will increase the wages of America’s workers by “nearly $300 billion per year,” but what will this effort do to employers and the sellers of businesses?
The subject of the FTC push is a proposed rule that would ban the use of non-compete clauses except where they are imposed, with limitations, on the sellers of a business. The FTC seeks public comment through March 6 on its January 5, 2023, proposed rule. The rule was “encouraged” by President Biden’s July 2021 Executive Order promoting competition. In it, he encouraged the FTC to use its authority under the Federal Trade Commission Act to curtail what he called the unfair use of non-competition clauses and other agreements that may “unfairly limit” worker mobility. Continue reading