“Brexit” – the United Kingdom’s (“UK”) 2016 voter referendum to exit the European Union (“EU”) has grown from a nagging itch in many people’s sides to a full-blown feeding frenzy. There is now virtually blow-by-blow news coverage of daily developments. Pundits issue editorial warnings of dire economic consequences ahead (particularly for the UK). Savage political cartoons and even “You Tube” videos of UK and EU leaders prancing and dancing to the beat of Mama Mia are every day fodder.
Recently, Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute, along with co-sponsors Foley & Lardner LLP and Ballard Spahr LLP, hosted the “Concordant Crossroads” summit in New York City. The esteemed keynote speaker, panelists and moderators provided deep insights into the unique and wide-ranging disruptive forces shaping the modern mobility industry.
Manufacturers have an inherent interest in owning the intellectual property rights created by their employees in the course of performing their jobs. Employees are the engine that drives a manufacturer’s innovations, but employees’ potentially patentable innovations only become the employer’s intellectual property if the proper patent assignment language is used. All employees that may develop potentially patentable innovations during the course of their employment should be required to sign contracts transferring ownership of all intellectual property rights to their employer. This may even include factory employees who submit ideas for product improvements through an employee suggestion program. However, if employee patent assignments are not carefully crafted, manufacturers may end up in a nightmare situation – believing they own a valuable patent invented by an employee when, in reality, it belongs to the employee.
As part of Foley & Lardner LLP’s ongoing mission to ensure that clients are prepared for dynamic changes in the current legal landscape, the firm recently presented the Association of Corporate Counsel – Michigan and Foley & Lardner LLP 2018 Legal Trends for In-House Counsel Program.
The business community, lawmakers and even workers across North America breathed a collective sigh of relief on October 1, 2018, after the renegotiated NAFTA agreement was unveiled. Following negotiations that had become acrimonious, and fears that Canada might be left out, the newly dubbed United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) yielded significant but workable changes to cross-border trade on the continent.