Raymond James Arbitration Claims by Investors Barred by the Statute of Limitations in Florida.

The Supreme Court of Florida examined a case certified by a lower court as an issue of great public importance held that Florida’s statute of limitations applies to an arbitration proceeding because it is within the statutory term “civil action or proceeding” under section 95.011 of Florida statutes. This case involved a mandatory provision for clients of Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. to arbitrate all disputes arising from their investments.  A group of investors claimed that the statute only applies to judicial actions, not contractual arbitration clauses, and thus claims could be brought against Raymond James beyond the statutory deadlines.  The Supreme Court reversed the 2nd District Court of Appeals, reasoning that the statutory terms “action” or “proceeding” was intended by the Florida legislature to include an adjudication by an arbitrator since the parties are engaged in a legal process to resolve a dispute. Additionally, the Court stated that if the legislature had intended to limit proceedings to only judicial actions, it would have so declared. The statute did not include that limitation, so the Court refused to add that limitation.  See the Supreme Court opinion, Case No. SC11-2513 (May 16, 2013).

Contributor: Roger M. Groves, Professor of Law, Director of Business Law Program

Infringement for $345 Million in Damages and Royalties Even After Adaptation of Computer Pricing System.

On May 1, 2013, the US Federal Circuit Court of Appeals held that even when a company adapted a software pricing system that prevented users from saving data into certain fields, the jury finding of a direct infringement was upheld. In Versata Software, Inc. v SAP AM., Inc. the plaintiff had a pending patent on a pricing system, and sold it as an addition to companies like the defendant software maker SAP. While Versata’s patent application was pending, SAP released a new version of its software that infringed the plaintiff’s product.  The Defendant thereafter modified its own product to make it less available to users. But the jury concluded that the products still infringed and awarded plaintiff $260 million in lost profits and royalties of $85 million.

View the case via Justina US Law:  http://law.justia.com/cases/federal/appellate-courts/cafc/12-1029/12-1029-2013-05-01.html?utm_source=Justia+Law&utm_campaign=f6371ef6b9-summary_newsletters_practice&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_92aabbfa32-f6371ef6b9-406004917

Top 12 Tax Scams of 2013

Contributor: Brittney Trigg, Florida Coastal School of Law JD and business law certificate candidate 2014, law clerk for Law Offices of Xavier Saunders, P.A.

Every year the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) issues a list of tax scams called the “Dirty Dozen” to remind taxpayers to protect themselves against a wide range of schemes during tax season. This year the IRS has just listed the following “Dirty Dozen” tax scams: Continue reading

Publicly Traded Companies Can Use Social Media to Disclose Material, Non Public Information

By contributor Brittney Trigg: Florida Coastal School of Law JD and business law certificate candidate 2014, law clerk for Law Offices of Xavier Saunders, P.A.

Publicly traded companies can now use social media as a way to disclose material, non public information, and be in compliance with Regulation FD.  The company must give investors proper notice of the site that the company will use to disclose that information. Continue reading

Antenna Company Threatens Traditional Broadcast Rights and Revenue.

By Contributor Roger M. Groves, Professor of Law and Director of the Business Law Program at Florida Coastal School of Law.

A small startup company, Aereo, provides a method of streaming broadcast TV through a browser. It provides a DVR in a cloud storage system by micro-version TV antennas, thereby rebroadcasting programming content found in the public airwaves.  Aero has recently been sued by a contingent of broadcasters, including Fox, Univision, and PBS and a majority of the media outlets in New York City. The claim is that Aereo infringes of their copyrights. The broadcasters seek an injunction to immediately stop Aereo’s activities and attendant monetary damages.

The economic crux of the dispute is that Aereo provides this service for only $12 a month. This allegedly threatens the substantial license fees and advertising revenue the broadcasters generate from cable companies.  To view the complaint in this case see the link: http://docs.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/new-york/nysdce/1:2012cv01540/392820/1/

 

Tennessee Football Program Cited for NCAA Violations

By Contributor Brittany N. White: Florida Coastal School of Law JD and Sports Law Certificate Program Candidate 2014, former intern for Cashmere Agency (Entertainment Marketing).

The NCAA has ruled that a former University of Tennessee assistant football coach has violated NCAA rules for knowingly collaborating with a booster to provide impermissible travel and lodging to prospective student athletes. Continue reading

Twitter Granted Patent for Tweets

On March 19, 2013, a patent was issued to individuals Twitter. The patent is awarded for “tweeting” which is technically titled under the patent as a “Device Independent Message Distribution Platform.”

A provisional patent application was filed in July, 2007, so the question of whether the devise was sufficiently novel, useful, and non-obvious is determined as of that time. According the Patent Office, Twitter had a patentable method of distributing messages independently of the sending or receiving devices and “beneficially allows for device independent point to multipoint communication.” For more detailed information see U.S. Patent No. 8,401,009.

- Roger M. Groves, director of business law certificate program, Florida Coastal School of Law

The Coastal Updates on Regulatory Affairs and Business (CURB) blog provides regulatory updates, including statutory amendments and regulations that implement statutes affecting business entities, and the law firms and accounting firms that represent them. Included as well are updates and interpretations relevant to the business of sports at both the collegiate and professional levels.