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Melder Joins Chester & Jeter LLP

By Blog, Employment, Litigation, News

The Dallas-based business & innovation law firm Chester & Jeter LLP is pleased to announce that labor and employment attorney Michael Melder has joined the firm as Of Counsel.

Michael’s practice will focus on labor and employment law, including matters such as employment agreements, employee handbooks and policy manuals, workplace investigations, and issues related with hiring, disciplining, and terminating employees.

Immediately prior to joining Chester & Jeter, Michael was in-house counsel with Ennis, Inc., one of the largest print manufacturers in the United States.  While at Ennis, he provided labor and employment counsel to divisional leaders and managed the company’s human resources department.  Prior to Ennis, Michael worked for Key Harrington Barnes, a boutique management-side labor and employment firm.

“Jim and Justin are terrific attorneys and we have complementary practices that provide exceptional service to the small to mid-sized company,” notes Michael of the move. “Joining forces with the firm was an easy decision. “

“Michael is a service-oriented lawyer with a great reputation,” adds partner Justin Jeter.   “His practice and his personality will integrate into our firm very well.”

According to Jim Chester, Chester & Jeter’s managing partner: “Adding Michael’s labor and employment expertise to our firm marks another significant step toward our goal of establishing a boutique law firm that meets the comprehensive, mission-critical legal needs of a select type of client: start-ups, entrepreneurs, and small to mid-sized innovation-based companies.”

 

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About Chester & Jeter LLP

Chester & Jeter LLP 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 & Jeter LLP 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, employment law, litigation and dispute resolution.  Additional information about the firm and its attorneys may be found at www.chester-law.com

USPTO Publishes Regulations to Sync with PLT

By Blog, copyright, Intellectual Property

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently published its Final rules to adjust its protocols and policies in light of the Patent Law Treaties Implementation Act of 2012 (PLTIA).   The rule goes into effect December 18, 2013.

PLTIA amends the patent laws to implement the provisions of the Hague  Agreement Concerning International Registration of Industrial Designs  (Hague Agreement) in title I, and the Patent Law Treaty (PLT) in title  II. The PLT harmonizes and streamlines formal procedures pertaining to  the filing and processing of patent applications.

This final rule revises the rules of practice for consistency with the changes in the PLT and title II of the PLTIA. The United States Patent and Trademark  Office (Office) is implementing the Hague Agreement and title I of the  PLTIA in a separate rulemaking.

The notable changes in the PLT and  title II of the PLTIA pertain to: The filing date requirements for a  patent application; the restoration of patent rights via the revival of  abandoned applications and acceptance of delayed maintenance fee  payments; and the restoration of the right of priority to a foreign  application or the benefit of a provisional application in a subsequent  application filed within two months of the expiration of the twelve- month period (six-month period for design applications) for filing such  a subsequent application.

This final rule also revises the patent term  adjustment provisions to provide for a reduction of any patent term  adjustment if an application is not in condition for examination within  eight months of its filing date or date of commencement of national  stage in an international application, and contains miscellaneous  changes pertaining to the supplemental examination, inventor’s oath or  declaration, and first inventor to file provisions of the Leahy-Smith  America Invents Act (AIA).

 

SOURCE:  USPTO

New for 2013 Holidays: “Holly the HAZMAT Doll” ??

By Blog

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers and Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) investigators recently seized more than 200,000 toy dolls arriving from China due to high levels of phthalates, a group of banned chemical compounds. Officials seized a total of 10 shipments valued at nearly $500,000 at the ports of Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Norfolk, Va., Memphis, Tenn., Newark, N.J., Portland, Ore., and Savannah, Ga.

The Commercial Targeting and Analysis Center targeted the shipments beginning in April because of the potential that the products presented a safety threat to the American public, particularly children, and contained items prohibited in the U.S. Although dispersed across the county, officials flagged the shipments as high risk after CTAC identified key commonalities in the hazardous products.

“Using advanced technology to track certain shipments before they reach our shores is helping CPSC better protect America’s consumers,” said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. “CPSC and CBP are working in partnership to detect and detain violative imports. Through the use of a risk management system, we are targeting those shipments most likely to contain dangerous goods, while also allowing for faster processing of compliant products. Expanding our port surveillance program is key to preventing injuries and achieving our long-term vision.”

Since April 2010, CPSC has maintained permanent staffing at CTAC in Washington, D.C. In addition, CPSC compliance investigators are assigned to several major ports across the country and work side-by-side with CBP officers to examine shipments of potentially unsafe imported consumer products to help prevent them from reaching the hands of America’s consumers. In Fiscal Year 2012, CTAC targeting efforts resulted in the seizure of more than 1.1 million unsafe products.

In the last six months, CBP officers seized more than 200,000 toy dolls at eight ports of entry due to the presence of phthalates, a hazardous substance banned by the United States.


 

 

 

Announcing Chester & Jeter LLP

By Blog

Jeter photo

Dallas Business & Innovation Law Firm Joins Forces with Litigation Boutique to Form Chester & Jeter LLP.

The Dallas-based business & innovation law firm CHESTER pllc recently joined forces with litigation boutique Jeter PLLC to form Chester & Jeter LLP.  This new firm offers a broad range of business legal services to businesses and individuals, including business entity formation and governance, domestic and international transactions, ecommerce, technology transactions, intellectual property registration and enforcement, employment law, and business litigation.  Similarly, Chester & Jeter offers guidance and representation to individuals regarding employment issues, non-competition agreements, payday act violations, and wage and hour disputes.

“Our firm seeks to provide an alternative to larger firms by providing responsive, quality legal services for the core legal issues faced by technology and innovation-based clients at a reasonable cost,” notes Jim Chester, the firm’s managing partner.

The formation of this new firm marks a significant step toward achieving Chester’s dream of creating a boutique law firm that meets the comprehensive, mission-critical legal needs of a select type of client: start-ups, entrepreneurs, and small to mid-sized intellectual property-based companies.

“We seek to be the first phone call our clients make when they have legal questions or concerns,” adds partner Justin Jeter. “Although we will continue to need and use our extensive network of attorneys and other professional service providers, combining our resources and expertise allows us to deliver value across a broader range of services to our clients.”

 

 

About Chester & Jeter LLP

Chester & Jeter LLP 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 & Jeter LLP 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, employment law and dispute resolution.  Additional information about the firm and its attorneys may be found at www.chester-law.com

Chester Named to “Texas Super Lawyers” List

By Blog, Community, Grab Bag, News, Portfolio, Testimonial

J. F. (Jim) Chester, founding principal in the Dallas-based business & innovation law firm of CHESTER pllc, was recently selected for inclusion on the 2013 Texas Super Lawyers® list. Chester will be listed in the intellectual property practice section, although his practice also covers a broad range of business, technology and international transactional matters.

Texas Super Lawyers®, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding Texas lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual Texas Super Lawyers® selections are based on a rigorous, multiphase process, including peer nominations and review, and independent research. No more than 5% of the lawyers in Texas are selected to be a part of this list.

This is the first time Chester has been named to the Texas Super Lawyers® list, although he has been listed several times in “Rising Stars Under 40,” by the same issuing group.  Chester has also earned an “AV® Preeminent” Peer Review Rating by Martindale Hubbell®, a separate yet equally-prestigious honor.

Chester stated, “There are a number of lists and awards out there, but this is one of the big ones because it is based on recommendations from colleagues in the legal community, including those who were previously named Super Lawyers.  To be recognized by such an esteemed group of legal professionals is truly an honor.”

 

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 core legal solutions to entrepreneurial enterprises, such as business entity formation (LLCs, corporations, etc.), trademarks and other intellectual property, technology transactions, domestic and international contracts, and ecommerce matters.  Additional information about the firm and its attorneys may be found at www.chester-law.com

Jim Chester Speaks at DISD’s Career Day Event

By Blog, Community, Innovation, Intellectual Property, International Business, News

Jim Chester explains "intellectual property" to first graders using a "Star Wars" branded notepad as an example

J. F. (Jim) Chester,  founding partner in the Dallas-based business and intellectual property law firm of CHESTER pllc, recently spoke to students at Lakewood Elementary School as part of in Dallas Independent School District’s (DISD) career day event.

 Chester, whose law practice involves commercial IP, technology transactions and international business/trade matters, also teaches courses on International Trade Law and International Business Transactions at Baylor University Law School.   Chester spoke to a class of first graders and fifth graders about his practice, educational background and experience.

 At CHESTER pllc, we believe in the power of innovation and creative thinking,” notes Chester.  “We strive to help our clients, our team members, and our community innovate. Participating in community service events such as DISD career day is a vital part of our firm’s mission.”

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, domestic and international contracts, and e-commerce matters.  Additional information about the firm and its attorneys may be found at www.chester-law.com.

Paraguayan Authorities and Homeland Security Seize More Than $34 Million in Counterfeit Goods

By Blog, Customs IP Enforcement, Intellectual Property, International Business, International IP

Over the past 15 months, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) has provided extensive training and capacity building to Paraguay’s customs office and other Paraguayan law enforcement partners. This training has been very successful, as Paraguayan authorities, working closely with the HSI Buenos Aires attaché, are making extensive seizures of counterfeit goods.

“Partnerships with international customs agencies and border security agents are essential to combating intellectual property theft,” said Raul O. Aguilar, HSI Buenos Aires attaché. Aguilar oversees HSI throughout the southern cone of South America. “HSI is proud to support our Paraguayan colleagues with our expertise in disrupting criminal organizations that import counterfeit products and goods. Fighting these organizations demands a response that is transnational and well-coordinated. I am truly proud of the collaboration we have built with our counterparts.”

Two major recent seizures include:

On Oct. 16, Paraguayan authorities, working collaboratively with HSI, seized counterfeit merchandise with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $34 million. On Oct. 11, Paraguayan authorities received information about counterfeit products being smuggled out of Silvio Pettirossi International Airport in Asunción. A criminal organization was attempting to smuggle these goods out of the country — possibly destined for the United States. Law enforcement discovered multiple high-quality counterfeit brand name watches of Swiss origin. Among the various brands were watches from Patek Philippe, Tissot, Tag Heuer, Bulgari and Hublot. In addition, approximately 12,500 counterfeit Samsung cellular phones were discovered. The products were ultimately seized by law enforcement.

On Sept. 26, Paraguayan Customs, working with HSI, identified and searched a shipment of containers sent to Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, from Uruguay. The three containers and their contents included counterfeit Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo gaming systems. The shipment, with an MSRP of $741,041, was subsequently seized by Paraguayan authorities. This specific case has been presented to the Paraguayan Public Ministry for prosecution.

“HSI will continue to provide training exercises and build strong partnerships with our Paraguayan counterparts in order to assist in the targeting and interception of shipments containing smuggled and illicit cargo,” added Aguilar. “Such training has been instrumental in increasing the abilities of the various agencies within the Republic of Paraguay, and has contributed to an increase in seizures.”

These seizures are the result of HSI’s Illicit Pathways Attack Strategy (IPAS). Over the last two decades, transnational organized crime (TOC) has transformed in size, scope and impact — posing a significant threat to national and international security. TOC networks are proliferating, striking new and powerful alliances, and engaging in a range of illicit activities as never before. The result is a convergence of threats that have evolved to become more complex, volatile and destabilizing. HSI’s response was the creation of the IPAS to break TOC strongholds.

HSI takes very seriously the threat to national security that TOC represents. HSI designed IPAS to focus its resources in a manner that best targets, disrupts and dismantles TOC while maximizing efficiency. IPAS provides a methodology and mechanism for HSI to prioritize threats and vulnerabilities within its mission and to coordinate its own efforts internally and among federal partners. IPAS enhances HSI’s and host country partners’ abilities to investigate and prosecute individuals involved in TOC organizations that threaten the stability and national security of the host countries and pose continuing threats to the homeland security of the United States. Prioritization allows HSI to strategically focus enforcement and capacity building efforts along the continuum of crime within and beyond U.S. borders. IPAS provides a structure for engagement with host country partners — including Paraguay — to increase joint investigations, enhance exchange of information, and support foreign and domestic prosecutions. The IPAS strategy is extremely important in the tri-border area of Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina, where the propensity for TOC organizations is immense.

Source: ICE

US Trade Relations and the Presidential Debates

By Blog

Its time to brush up on what is going on in US trade relations. The second presidential debate will be taking place tonight at 9:00-10:30pm Eastern time and the topic is foreign and domestic policy. And according to an article published by the New York Times, China and Its Trade Tactics Are Coming to the Debates.

Robert E. Scott wrote an interesting report called The China Toll: Growing US trade deficit with China cost more than 2.7 million jobs between 2001 and 2011, with job losses in every state. He provides a history lesson about US trade relations with China and makes an interesting argument.

Recent developments in terms of US trade relations include conflicts with:

  • MEXICO: “The United States Department of Commerce signaled it might be willing to end  a 16-year-old agreement between the United States and some Mexican growers that has kept the price of Mexican tomatoes relatively low for American consumers. American tomato growers say the price has been so low that they can barely compete.”- NYT: Ammunition for a Trade War Between the US and Mexico
  • CHINA: China and the US keep filing complaints against each other in the World Trade Organization. Read Bloomberg Businessweek’s WTO to Probe US Anti-Subsidy Duties on Chinese Imports to learn more about what each country’s complaints.

 

 

Beware of the Dangers of Counterfeit Air Bags

By Blog

WASHINGTON – Following investigations by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a consumer safety advisory today to alert vehicle owners and repair professionals to the dangers of counterfeit air bags.

While the counterfeit air bags seized in the investigations look nearly identical to certified, original equipment parts – including bearing the insignia and branding of major automakers – NHTSA testing showed consistent malfunctioning ranging from non-deployment of the air bag to the expulsion of metal shrapnel during deployment. The agencies are not aware of any deaths or injuries connected to counterfeit air bags at this time.

While the full scope and scale of the problem of counterfeit air bags is uncertain from currently available data, ICE and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have identified certain vehicle makes and models for which these air bags may be available based on seizures and investigations to date. NHTSA believes this issue affects less than 0.1 percent of the U.S. vehicle fleet and only vehicles which have had an air bag replaced within the past three years by a repair shop that is not part of a new car dealership may be at risk.

“Organized criminals are selling dangerous counterfeit and substandard airbags to consumers and suppliers with little to no regard to hazardous health and safety consequences,” said ICE Director John Morton. “We will continue to aggressively investigate criminal supply chains with our law enforcement and private industry partners and bring these criminals to justice.”

Consumers who believe they may be at risk should contact the call center that has been established by their auto manufacturer to have their vehicle inspected at their own expense and their air bag replaced if necessary. The full list of call centers and additional information is available at www.SaferCar.gov.

“Anytime equipment that is critical to protecting drivers and passengers fails to operate properly, it is a serious safety concern,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “We want consumers to be immediately aware of this problem and to review our safety information to see if their vehicle could be in need of inspection.”

NHTSA has been working with a number of government agencies – including ICE, CBP, and the Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) to better understand the issue of counterfeit air bags and how to prevent them from being purchased and installed in vehicles. To view the video of the performance tests of the counterfeit air bags, please visit https://dotmediacenter.onehub.com/d/gql7/.

“We expect all motor vehicle equipment to meet federal safety standards – and air bags in particular play a central role in keeping drivers and passengers safe in the event of a crash,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. “That’s why it’s critical that vehicle owners work with their automotive dealers and repair professionals to ensure they use the appropriate, original equipment parts in the event they need to replace their air bag.”

The IPR Center, who assisted in the investigations, is one of the U.S. government’s key weapons in the fight against criminal counterfeiting, piracy and commercial fraud. As a task force, 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 and commercial fraud. Through this strategic interagency partnership, the IPR Center protects the public’s health and safety, the U.S. economy and our war fighters. For more information on the IPR Center please visit www.IPRCenter.gov.

SOURCE: ICE

India’s Supreme Court: Enforce Patents or Provide Generic Drugs for the Poor?

By Blog, International Business, International IP
“A child suffering from cancer in New Delhi, India. This week, India’s Supreme Court hears arguments in a case that will affect how many poor people can afford cancer drugs. Novartis is defending a patent on its cancer medication, Gleevec.”- American Public Media’s Marketplace.org (Photo by Sajjad Hussain/AFP/Getty Images)

According to Reuters, Swiss drug maker Novartis is trying to secure patent protection for one of its drugs, Glivec, in India. Its taken the case up to India’s Supreme Court because patent protection was denied protection in the lower courts which found that the drug wasn’t a new molecule, but rather an amended version of a known compound.

According to America Public Media’s Marketplace, Novartis first developed Glivec in the 1990s. Since then, it has modified its drug, which is why Novartis believes it deserves a patent. Ranjit Shahani, a company president, says “Glivec is widely recognized as a medical breakthrough and has been granted a patent in more than 40 countries, including China, Russia, and Taiwan.” However, India’s courts denied the patent in 2006 because its not really new under Indian law, which prevents pharmaceutical companies from from continually renewing patents on existing drugs by making slight changes to original medications.

However, what’s at stake isn’t really about getting Indian patent protection for Glivec in India at all. Reuters explains that India only accounts for a small fraction of Novartis’ total global sales. And Glivec is only used to treat chronic myeloid leukaemia and some gastrointestinal cancers. The issue is much bigger than that. Its really all about the global production of generic drugs.

India is the world’s largest exporter of cheap generic drugs. In fact, India is considered the pharmacy of developing world. Leena Menghaney, who is with the aid organization Doctors Without Borders, told Marketplace that generic versions of Glivec in India cost 96 percent less than in the United States, where the drug is patented and costs $70,000 for a year’s supply. Megnhaney explains, “If Novartis wins, the generic industry will possibly move back from producing some of the drugs they produce today. So this will have a chilling effect on generic competition.”

Novartis and other large drug makers are concerned that a ruling against patent protection would cement India’s status as a country in which patents are extremely hard to protect. Critics of big Western drug makers say that a win for Novartis would jeopardize the supply of cheap generic drugs to hundreds of millions of poor people around the world.

So one the one hand, there are millions of poor people who can’t afford to pay for drugs that are protected by patents. On the other, pharmaceutical companies are fighting for the exclusive rights to produce the drugs that they invented, in which they have invested countless years and resources.