Dunn Lambert, LLC
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Comprehensive legal services for businesses in New Jersey and New York call 201-957-0874
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July 2010 Archives

How Not to Lead a Business, As Taught by Tony Hayward

A recent opinion piece by Rosabeth Moss Kanter for the Harvard Business Review reflects on soon-to-be-departing CEO Tony Hayward's conduct during BP's Gulf oil spill crises. Moss Kanter considers Hayward's leadership during the trying time for the company as well as the country-at-large, and from her reflections she crafts "a set of anti-rules for bad leadership."

Americans with Disabilities Act Became Law 20 Years Ago Monday

It was 20 years ago Monday, July 26, that President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act into law. When he signed the monumental law, he borrowed a line from Ronald Reagan's Berlin Wall speech, saying, "Let the shameful walls of exclusion finally come tumbling down." The broad civil rights law was meant to make discrimination based on a person's disability illegal, much as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed discrimination based on race, sex, religion, national origin, and other personal characteristics.

Feinberg Says Businesses Did Not Break Law With Payouts

The Wall Street Journal reports today that Kenneth Feinberg, the U.S. "pay czar," has announced that the 17 financial firms that he investigated as the Obama administration's special master for compensation used poor judgment but did not break any laws when they gave out excessive payouts in late 2008 and early 2009. The companies gave the payouts at the height of the financial crises, even while they were receiving taxpayer assistance. In 2009, lawmakers created executive-compensation restrictions to prevent future payouts like the ones given by the firms studied by Feinberg and deemed excessive and "ill-advised" by him, such as individual payouts exceeding $10 million.

Nets' New GM Says He Will Make Prudent Acquisitions

You may have heard by now that the New Jersey Nets hired a new general manager last month. In mid-July, Nets president Rod Thorn officially handed over the position to Billy King during a press conference. King was formerly the president and general manager for the Philadelphia 76ers. The Sixers had some significant success while he was with them, including making it to six postseasons and the 2001 NBA Finals, but he was fired in 2007.

Intellectual Property Dispute Round-Up, Part 2

J.K. Rowling and her "Harry Potter" series have been on both sides of intellectual property litigation. In 2008, Rowling successfully blocked the publication of an encyclopedia of Harry Potter facts in the U.S. by convincing the court that the project fell outside fair use protections. On the other hand, Warner Bros. lost their case when they tried to stop a Bollywood comedy spoof from being released, "Hari Puttar: A Comedy of Terrors." 

Intellectual Property Dispute Round-Up, Part 1

Two recent intellectual property disputes have made the news, one involving Microsoft Corp. and the other involving the author of the Harry Potter books, J.K. Rowling. U.S. computer software company Microsoft is cracking down on the piracy of its software in China. On the other side of litigation is J.K. Rowling and her publisher, Scholastic, who are defending against an intellectual property lawsuit. The lawsuit claims Rowling stole the intellectual property of another British author in order to create one of the books in her wildly popular Harry Potter series.

U.S. Industries Falling Behind Globally in Scientific Innovation

In the previous post, we discussed New Jersey-based Merck & Co.'s current plans to restructure in order to foster more scientific innovation. An opinion piece appearing today in The Wall Street Journal, America's Growing Innovation Gap, by the chairman, president and chief executive officer of pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Company, John C. Lechleiter, lays out why America needs to focus on fostering innovation now more than ever.

New Jersey Drugmaker Merck Closing 8 More Plants After Acquisition

According to The Associated Press, drugmaker Merck & Co. announced Thursday that it is closing eight manufacturing plants and eight research sites around the world. The Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, company has been strategically restructuring its operations since its acquisition of Schering-Plough Corp. last November for $41 billion. After the acquisition, Merck became the world's second-biggest drugmaker by revenue.

Consumers Sue Apple Over Alleged Unfair Business Practices

Apple Inc. is being sued by consumers over problems with its latest iPhone. The iPhone 4 was released June 24 and consumers soon complained that calls were dropped or reception was weakened when users placed a palm over the lower left corner of the device. Apple has acknowledged the glitch and recommends that owners of iPhones buy a case to cover the area and solve the problem. Apple sells its own case called a "bumper" in six colors for $29. The consumers who have filed lawsuits claim that Apple engaged in unfair business practices and false and misleading advertising by releasing the iPhone 4 when they likely knew of the problem.

Authorities Crack Down on Intellectual Property Rights Violations

Authorities launched a major antipiracy effort this week against websites offering free movie downloads. Internet piracy has hurt the movie industry by offering free versions of new movies, often soon after they are released in theaters. This week, "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" opened and now "watch eclipse online for free" is ranking as one of the most popular search terms. The latest Twilight movie has already broken the record for the largest midnight gross ever, but authorities are concerned about the corresponding boom in pirated copies of the movie.

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