Monthly Archives

July 2012

Chester Speaks to North Texas Technology Entrepreneurs

By Export, International Business, News, Technology Transactions

J. F. (Jim) Chester, founding partner in the Dallas-based global business & technology law firm of CHESTER pllc, recently presented a seminar on the legal implications of doing business internationally to an audience of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists at an event sponsored by the North Texas Enterprise Center (NTEC).  Chester co-presented the seminar with Cesar Reyna, CEO of Trade Consulting Services, LLC (www.TCSGroup-US.com), an international trade consulting firm.

NTEC regularly holds informational seminars, such as the recent event presented by Chester, to introduce such topics to its stakeholders and entrepreneur partners and affiliates as part of its mission to promote innovation and emerging technologies in the North Texas region.

The title of the presentation, which was held at the NTEC headquarters in Frisco, Texas, was: “Going Global:  Common International Business & Trade Legal Issues.”  Subject Chester and Reyna discussed includes international contracting and payment considerations, import/export and other international trade regulations, ITAR, FCPA, and international civil litigation.

Jim Chester, founder and managing partner in CHESTER pllc, also teaches courses on International Trade Law and International Business Transactions at Baylor University Law School.

Of the event, Chester reports, “International business presents a number of opportunities for companies of all sizes, but involves a lot of risk, as well.  Although many of the NTEC companies represented in the audience are ‘pre-revenue’ or start-ups at relatively early stages, they are already thinking globally – which is exactly what they need to be doing.”

About CHESTER pllc

CHESTER pllc is a Dallas, Texas law firm providing comprehensive legal services to innovation-based companies doing business in the US, around the world, and on the web.  Its mission (and passion) is helping entrepreneurs and emerging companies solve problems and protect their interests. CHESTER pllc delivers value by providing business-savvy, cost-effective solutions to legal challenges.  The firm offers a wide array of business legal solutions, such as business entity formation (LLCs, corporations, etc.), trademarks and other intellectual property, technology transactions, contracts, ecommerce and dispute resolution.  Additional information about the firm and its attorneys may be found at www.chester-law.com

About NTEC

The North Texas Enterprise Center (NTEC) is a not-for-profit organization based in Frisco, Texas, that operates as a business accelerator – providing a broad spectrum of services and support to MedTech and CleanTech start-up companies.  NTEC, which was founded in 2002, has grown to become one of the largest technology start-up accelerators in the South Central U.S.  NTEC’s core mission is assisting entrepreneurs with the challenging task of starting and expanding a new, technology-based business venture.  The target result of that mission is local and regional economic development, new job creation and industry diversification.  For more information, please visit www.ntec-inc.org.

Jim Chester Featured in July 2012 Issue of Texas Bar Journal

By Intellectual Property, International Business, International IP, News

Jim Chester, founding member of Dallas-based global business & technology law firm CHESTER pllc, was featured in the July 2012 issue of the Texas Bar Journal.  A recognized expert in international business and intellectual property law, Chester was asked to write an article discussing, “Protecting Intellectual Property in International Markets.”  In the article, he discusses the need for IP protection while suggesting actions to take when conducting business on a global scale.   The article is available for download from the Texas Bar website.

Advising clients regarding trademark, copyright, trade secret protection, licensing and enforcement in the U.S. and abroad, Chester represents clients before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the U.S. Library of Congress (Copyright Office).  He also counsels companies on trade regulations involving customs, import and export laws which include International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).  Chester routinely represents clients before U.S. Customs & Border Protection U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Department of Defense Trade Controls, the Office of Foreign Asset Controls, the U.S. International Trade Administration, and other state, Federal and foreign governing agencies.  Chester is a licensed U.S. Customs Broker, and is admitted to practice law in Texas and Washington, D.C.

“For anyone conducting business outside of the U.S., the first stop in the protection process is to properly identify all IP assets,” Chester advises.  “Since all businesses make use of names, brands and logos (trademarks and service marks), designs, websites and software (copyright), inventions, ideas, and processes (patent and trade secrets) in some form, IP protection is essential when doing business outside the U.S.”

“Jim has a unique legal skill set combining international law with intellectual property expertise,” said Darin M. Klemchuk, a Dallas IP attorney and senior partner of Klemchuk Kubasta LLP.  “He has advised clients on business deals involving almost 100 countries, and has coordinated with foreign counsel on legal projects around the world.  Jim has also served as legal advisor to foreign companies doing business in the U.S.”

To be an effective international business and technology attorney, Chester has many years of experience in handling a broad range of domestic business matters, including entity formations, ecommerce, agreements, technology transactions, acquisitions, and other legal issues commonly faced by businesses. In addition to his work in international and IP law, Chester has been an adjunct professor of law at Baylor University Law School for more than ten years, teaching courses on International Trade Law and International Business Transactions.  He also served as an adjunct professor of Business Law at the University of Dallas for four years.

 

 

About CHESTER pllc

CHESTER pllc is a Dallas, Texas law firm providing mission-critical legal services to innovation-based companies doing business in the US, around the world, and on the web.  Its mission (and passion) is helping entrepreneurs and emerging companies solve problems and protect their interests. CHESTER pllc delivers value by providing business-savvy, cost-effective solutions to legal challenges.  The firm offers a wide array of business legal solutions, such as business entity formation (LLCs, corporations, etc.), trademarks and other intellectual property, technology transactions, contracts, ecommerce and dispute resolution.  Additional information about the firm and its attorneys may be found at www.chester-law.com

ICE seizes 70 Websites Offering Counterfeit Merchandise

By Customs IP Enforcement, Intellectual Property, Internet / eCommerce

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)-led National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) recently seized 70 websites that were illegally selling counterfeit merchandise.

The 70 websites seized are part of Project Copy Cat, an iteration of Operation In Our Sites (IOS), and closely mimicked legitimate websites selling authentic merchandise and duped consumers into unknowingly buying counterfeit goods. Many of the websites so closely resembled the legitimate websites that it would be difficult for even the most discerning consumer to tell the difference.

The websites are now shut down and their domain names are in the custody of the federal government. Visitors to these websites will find a seizure banner that notifies them that the domain name has been seized by federal authorities and educates them about the federal crime of willful copyright infringement.

“This operation targeted criminals making a buck by trying to trick consumers into believing they were buying name brand products from legitimate websites when in fact they were buying counterfeits from illegal but sophisticated imposter sites located overseas,” said ICE Director John Morton. “The imposter sites were simply a fraud from start to finish and served no purpose other than to defraud and dupe unwary shoppers.”

A new twist in the websites seized in Project Copy Cat involved the appearance of Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates. SSL certificates provide authentication for financial information, meaning consumers should be able to trust that they are sending information to the intended server and not to a criminal’s server. Trusted SSL providers should only issue SSL certificates to verified companies that have gone through several identity checks. In addition to providing authentication, SSL certificates also provide encryption, enhancing the security of credit card numbers, usernames, passwords and other sensitive information. These websites, however, displayed SSL certificates, further duping the consumer into thinking they were shopping on a legitimate website, potentially putting customers’ financial information at risk.

During this operation, federal law enforcement officers made undercover purchases of a host of products, including baby carriers, professional sports jerseys, language and fitness DVD sets, and a variety of clothing, jewelry and luxury goods from online retailers who were suspected of selling counterfeit products. In most cases, the goods were shipped directly into the United States from suppliers in other countries. If the copyright holders confirmed that the purchased products were counterfeit or otherwise illegal, seizure orders for the domain names of the websites that sold the goods were obtained from federal magistrate judges.

“Every day the U.S. economy and American jobs are negatively impacted by criminal organizations engaged in the sale of counterfeit merchandise through rogue websites. Even more importantly, consumer’s health and safety can be threatened when they unknowingly purchase counterfeit products,” said IPR Center Director Lev Kubiak. “Our goal at the IPR Center is to protect the public’s safety and economic welfare through robust intellectual property enforcement and we hope that today’s enforcement actions raise the public’s awareness to this pervasive crime.”

This operation was the next phase of IOS, a sustained law enforcement initiative that began two years ago to protect consumers by targeting the sale of counterfeit merchandise on the Internet. These 70 domain name seizures bring the total number of IOS domain names seized in the last two years to 839. This enforcement action coincides with the two-year anniversary of the 2010 launch of IOS. Since then, the seizure banner has received more than 103 million individual views.

Of the 769 previous domain names seized, 229 have now been forfeited to the U.S. government. The federal forfeiture process affords individuals who have an interest in seized domain names a period of time after a “Notice of Seizure” to file a petition with a federal court and additional time after a “Notice of Forfeiture” to contest the forfeiture. If no petitions or claims are filed, the domain names become the property of the U.S. government. Additionally, a public service announcement, launched in April 2011, is linked from the seizure banner on each of the 229 forfeited websites. This video educates the public about the economic impact of counterfeiting.

The operation was spearheaded by the IPR Center in coordination with HSI field offices in Denver, El Paso, Houston, Newark and Salt Lake City. U.S. Attorney’s Offices in the Western District of Texas, Southern District of Texas, District of New Jersey, District of Colorado and the District of Utah issued the warrants for the seizures. The IPR Center is one of the U.S. government’s key weapons in the fight against counterfeiting and piracy. The IPR Center uses the expertise of its 21 member agencies to share information, develop initiatives, coordinate enforcement actions and conduct investigations related to IP theft. Through this strategic interagency partnership, the IPR Center protects the public’s health and safety, the U.S. economy and the war fighters.

During the first phase of IOS in 2010, the IPR Center received information from the Motion Picture Association of America that a website, www.ninjavideo.net (Ninja Video), was illegally distributing pirated copies of motion pictures and other audiovisual works. Ninja Video provided its millions of visitors the ability to illegally download high quality copies of copyrighted movies including movies that were currently in theaters or not yet released.

Following the seizure of the website, search warrants were executed at the residences of the primary suspects in the United States and funds were seized from 15 separate financial accounts. To date, the Ninja Video investigation has resulted in the arrest and conviction of five of the six co-conspirators with sentences ranging from 22 months in federal prison to three years of probation with a combined restitution exceeding $470,000 to the victims. A sixth co-conspirator remains a fugitive. In addition to Ninja Video, IOS phase one also targeted eight other websites selling counterfeit merchandise in New York.

 

SOURCE:   U.S CUSTOMS & BORDER PROTECTION / IMMIGRATION & CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT