Minnesota businesses rely on insurance policies to provide financial protection in accidents and commercial disputes. A recent decision from the federal Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, with jurisdiction over Minnesota, revealed that insurance policies may not provide this coverage when it is most needed during litigation.
Selecting a name and company logo can be the forerunner of legal problems across state lines. In a recent case, The Real Estate Company of Dickinson, North Dakota sued the Real Estate Company of Detroit Lakes, Minnesota for trademark infringement and deceptive acts and practices. The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court of North Dakota on Sept. 17.
Companies in Minnesota must protect their intellectual capital. These protections are formalized through copyrights, patents, trade secrets, trademarks and other legal devices. Violations of these protections, such as where an employee engages in a breach of confidentiality agreement, should be vigorously prosecuted.
Contracts and agreements over profits do not necessarily prevent lawsuits or misunderstandings between companies. Microsoft, for example, has filed suit against Samsung for failing to pay royalties for Android smartphone sales after Microsoft announced its intent to purchase Nokia's smartphone business in late 2013.
In two unanimous decisions, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the side of prevailing parties in patent cases and made it easier for them to recover legal fees from the losing party. Technology companies welcomed these decisions and claimed that the rulings would fight abusive and coercive lawsuits by companies, known as patent trolls, that buy patents solely to collect royalties and damages.
For the first time, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether a prevailing party in a meritless patent infringement case may be awarded legal fees. The case can impact a pending case involving Apple, Google and a Minnesota manufacturer that is also a party in this case.