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Will Hill Tankersley Spoke on Intellectual Property at College of Labor and Employment Lawyers 5th Circuit Regional Meeting

Will Hill Tankersley, partner in the firm’s Birmingham office and chair of the Intellectual Property / Trademark Practice, spoke at the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers 5th Circuit Regional Meeting in New Orleans on April 1, 2017, regarding recent Intellectual Property developments that affect Labor and Employment (“L&E”) lawyers, including the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), trademarks, and copyrights. The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers is a non-profit professional association honoring the leading lawyers nationwide in the practice of Labor and Employment Law.

Will Hill discussed the high points of the DTSA, which was signed into law on May 11, 2016, as well as the soon-to-be-published (first in the Nation) 11th Circuit DTSA Pattern Jury Instructions, which will be the first to be published in the nation. He highlighted the judicial interpretation of how to apply the whistle-blower immunity, as well as academic criticism of treating the immunity like an affirmative defense.

Will Hill also spoke about trademarks, including the National Labor Relations Board’s guidance as to unacceptable work rules limiting employee uses of company trademarks. He specifically discussed the August 2016 decision to order Chipotle to cease and desist certain employee social media restrictions (among other things).

Lastly, Will Hill discussed the potential rising tide of Copyright Assertion Entities (CAE) (pejoratively known as “Copyright Trolls”), how to refer to a CAE demand, and protective labor and employment actions designed to prevent issues that can attract the attention of CAEs.