Category Archives: Business Litigation

Assouline & Berlowe is a Proud Member of Nextlaw, the Largest Worldwide Network of Attorneys – Now Ranked by Chambers

Chambers Approved (00261036xA4579)

MIAMI, Florida – March 15, 2019. Assouline & Berlowe, P.A. is pleased to announce that Nextlaw Referral Network (NRN) has been recognized as a Leading Global Legal Referral Network by Chambers & Partners in the Chambers 2019 guide. Assouline & Berlowe, P.A. has been a member of Nextlaw Network since September 2016.

Nextlaw Network has achieved this milestone faster than any network in history, having been founded in October 2016 by Dentons, the world’s largest law firm. The Network grew to be the largest in under one year and is now three-times larger than the second largest network in the world.

“We are proud to be the champion of the small to medium-size law firms,” said Nextlaw Network CEO Jeff Modisett. “Until now, medium-sized law firms were excluded from most networks because of high annual fees and the exclusive, territorial and monopolistic nature of the traditional network business model. Our Network welcomes all top law firms in the world, focusing on quality, not size.”

Assouline & Berlowe, P.A. Managing Partner Eric N. Assouline, Esq. said, “Membership in the Nextlaw Referral Network provides us with unprecedented global reach, including leading capabilities in 205 countries. We have access to top lawyers in any practice, industry or sector, anywhere in the world, enabling us to provide our clients with the best local and global services possible. The Nextlaw Referral Network makes us truly ‘in and of the community.’”

Chambers is an independent legal directory that conducts in-depth interviews, reviews submissions from law firms and collects feedback from clients to identify and rank the most outstanding legal referral networks, law firms and lawyers.

Nextlaw Network has more members and covers more countries than any other single legal referral network in the world. Members conduct more than 2,000 searches per month on the network’s advanced proprietary platform, which is seamlessly linked with its sister network, the Nextlaw Public Affairs Network. More than 70 percent of NRN members are Chambers ranked.

The Network also serves as a strategic platform by distributing cutting-edge legal technology at discounts to members, working with another sister company, Nextlaw Labs. Nextlaw Labs curates the best technology in the profession. The Network also promotes thought-leadership in emerging, disruptive technologies, such as AI and Blockchain.

Nextlaw Network is one of the only referral networks that offers inter-disciplinary functionality. In today’s complex global environment, clients often need access to professionals who understand the regulatory, business and economic cultures everywhere they do business, which means integrating legal and public affairs representation.

The Network provides no jurisdictional exclusivity, due to its guiding principle to offer clients the best lawyers in any practice, sector, anywhere in the world.
Assouline & Berlowe, P.A. is a South Florida Business Law Firm, formed in 2003, with offices in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, and Boca Raton. Assouline & Berlowe, P.A. concentrates its practice in the areas of: Intellectual Property Law and Litigation; International and Domestic Dispute Resolution, including litigation, arbitration, and appeals; Real Estate and Corporate Law and Litigation; Labor & Employment Law; Trusts, Estates & Probate Administration and Litigation; and Creditors’ Rights and Bankruptcy.
About Nextlaw Referral Network
Nextlaw Referral Network is the broadest and most sophisticated legal referral platform in the world. Introduced in October of 2016, it already includes nearly 670-member firms, over 25,000 lawyers covering all of the world’s major jurisdictions in more than 205 countries. In addition, working closely with its sister company, Nextlaw Labs, the platform will also introduce new technologies, products and services to its members. The platform also includes Nextlaw Global Public Affairs Network, the first of its kind network that includes more than 50 of the world’s top public affairs and public relations firms.

ASSOULINE & BERLOWE

Miami Tower, 100 SE 2nd Street, Suite 3105, Miami, Florida 33131

Telephone: 305-567-5576

http://www.assoulineberlowe.com

Intellectual Property, Labor & Employment, Creditors’ Rights & Bankruptcy, Business Litigation, Corporate & Finance, Real Estate, International Law, Trust & Estates, Probate and Guardianship

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Filed under Appeals, Arbitration, Awards, Bankruptcy, BK, Business Litigation, commercial litigation, Copyright, Corporate Law, Intellectual Property, International, International Arbitration, IP Litigation, Judgments, Labor & Employment, labor and employment law, Litigation, Patent Prosecution, private equity, Real Estate, trademark, Trusts & Estates, Uncategorized

ALL RISE – This Moot Court Is Now In Session

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Assouline & Berlowe has a long history of supporting both the legal and non-legal community in South Florida.  From its inception, the Firm has been involved in numerous charitable events and community endeavors.

As part of its support for the local legal community and the South Florida Law Schools, the Firm supports St. Thomas University’s School of Law Moot Court Room, where oral argument by the Florida’s Third District Court of Appeals is often held.

We as a Firm give thanks to the hard work of the local law schools’ professors and staff, which has allowed the legal community to thrive and produce high quality lawyers and judges.

Thank you.

Eric N. Assouline, Esq.

Managing Partner

@assoulineberlowe

 

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Filed under Appeals, Arbitration, Awards, Bankruptcy, BK, Business Litigation, commercial litigation, Copyright, Corporate Law, Intellectual Property, International, International Arbitration, IP Litigation, Judgments, Labor & Employment, labor and employment law, law school, Litigation, Patent Prosecution, St. Thomas University, trademark, Trusts & Estates, Uncategorized

Assouline & Berlowe’s Litigation Department Selected as Top 19 of 116 for Miami

Assouline & Berlowe is pleased to announce that Expertise has selected Assouline & Berlowe’s attorneys as the top 16 law firm for litigation, out of 119 selected.

Expertise published on its website that it based its results on the following criteria when choosing its top 19 selections:

  • Reputation: A history of satisfied customers giving excellent recommendations
  • Credibility: Established in their industry with licensing, accreditations, and awards
  • Experience: Masters of their craft, based on years of practical experience and education
  • Engagement: Approachable and responsive to clients and available for new business
  • Professionalism: Dedicated to providing consistent quality work and impeccable customer service

The Expertise website also stated the following information:

The selection process is performed annually across business categories and geographies. Minor updates may be made throughout the course of the calendar year.

Hand-Picking the Best

Our team conducts a manual review to verify the accuracy of the selections. We then write unique and detailed business descriptions for each hand-picked businesses.

Coming off the heels of already winning the Daily Business Review’s Litigation Department of the Year for Real Estate and Other Litigation (for Small Firms of 69 attorneys or less), the firm management is humbled by this award.

 

ERIC N. ASSOULINE, ESQ.

PLEASE NOTE OUR NEW MIAMI ADDRESS

Miami Tower, 100 SE 2nd Street, Suite 3105, Miami, Florida 33131

 Intellectual Property, Labor & Employment Law,  Real Estate, International Dispute Resolution, Commercial Litigation, Corporate Law, and Bankruptcy

Miami · Ft. Lauderdale · Boca Raton

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Filed under Awards, Business Litigation, commercial litigation, IP Litigation, Litigation, Uncategorized

15 Years Later – the Hard Work Starts to Pay Off – Litigation Department of the Year

Winner of Daily Business Review's Litigation Department of the Year for Small Firms in the Section of Real Estate and Other Litigation

Litigation Partners Peter E. Berlowe and Eric N. Assouline at the 2018 DBR Awards Ceremony

Before starting the firm in 2003, both Peter Berlowe and Eric Assouline worked as associate attorneys at the Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP law firm.  Hanging in the office of the Head of the Litigation Department was a framed plaque that read “Defense Verdict of the Year.”  This plaque commemorated the awesome accomplishment of the senior partner’s efforts, and it was recognized by the American Law Journal.  Eric Assouline used to look at this plaque in awe and wonder if he could ever achieve the heights of his mentor.

In its 15th year, Assouline & Berlowe has grown into a recognized and well regarded presence in the South Florida legal community.  Assouline & Berlowe works with businesses and individuals on a wide array of legal issues, ranging from real estate, business litigation, intellectual property, employment, and trusts, estates and probate matters.

On May 30, 2018, Assouline & Berlowe was recognized by the Daily Business Review for the tireless hard work and effort of its attorneys, when the firm was awarded Litigation Department of the Year, for Small Firms, in the areas of Real Estate and Other Litigation.

The award came as a surprise to the management of the firm, not because they did not think that they had anything short of an excellent litigation department.  Instead, it was because the litigation department of Assouline & Berlowe only consists of 7 attorneys, and the firm, as a whole only has 12 attorneys.  The Small Firm category of the DBR award was open to all firms of 69 attorneys or less.  Firm management thought that there must be dozens of other firms that had many celebrated successes worthy of trying to win this award.  Nonetheless, again, the tireless effort of the firm management did as it always does, all that could be done to try to win.

Now, the hard work for the last 15 years, is starting to pay off.

Eric N. Assouline, Esq.

 

ASSOULINE & BERLOWE, P.A.

213 East Sheridan Street, Suite 3

Dania Beach, Florida  33004

Main: 954.929.1899

Fax: 954.922.6662

Email: ENA@assoulineberlowe.com 

http://www.assoulineberlowe.com/

Intellectual PropertyLabor & EmploymentCreditors’ Rights & BankruptcyBusiness LitigationCorporate & FinanceReal EstateInternational Law

 

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Filed under Business Litigation, commercial litigation, Corporate Law, Intellectual Property, labor and employment law, Real Estate

New Employment Law Developments

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

 

For all the media time devoted to President Trump, many of you may have missed some actual law-making going on behind the scenes.  Let me take a moment to update you as to three developments which should be of interest to employers:

 1-9 Audits on the Rise

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has announced plans to increase I-9 audits this summer and focus on punishing employers who hire illegal workers and deporting of workers in the country illegally.  Make no mistake – the punishment to be imposed by ICE can include civil penalties and/or criminal charges.

 Accordingly, now is the time to make sure your I-9’s are in order and, if they need to be updated because the form of identification on file has expired or will be expiring soon, update them now.  Not all employers are enrolled in E-Verify, but many in the know believe the aim of ICE’s aggressive tactics is to increase E-Verify enrollment.

 While the audits do not include independent contractors, classifying workers as contractors when they should properly be classified as employees may expose employers to headaches beyond ICE: namely the Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service.

 New Rules for Tips and Tip Pools

As part of the 2018 tax bill, Congress amended the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in regards to tip pools and tip ownership.  First, under the new rules, employers are prohibited from keeping tips received by their employees, regardless whether the employer takes a tip credit. Second, the new rules state that employers who pay the full minimum wage (currently $8.25/hour in Florida) can allow employees who are not customarily and regularly tipped – like cooks and dishwashers – to participate in tip pools.  Note that tip pools must still exclude supervisors, managers and owners.

 Many employers do not pay tipped employees the minimum wage and instead take a “tip credit,” recognizing that the employee’s tips will bring the hourly rate up to and over the minimum wage.  For employers who wish to include back of the house workers in the tip pool, paying the minimum wage rather than the tip credit is a way to accomplish this goal.

 Arbitration Can Eliminate Class/Collective Actions

In the case of Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis , the U.S. Supreme Court upheld an arbitration clause in an employment agreement which precluded the employee from bringing a class action against the employer.  The 5-4 decision authored by Justice Gorsuch makes clear that employer-favored arbitration agreements can be used to eliminate the risk of costly class and collective actions.

 Opponents of such agreements argued that arbitration could not trump employees’ rights to join together to seek common relief.  Based on the holding in Epic Systems, arbitration agreements can be used to eliminate an employee’s right to participate in a class or collective action and require arbitration of the employee’s individual claims only.

 Those of you who require your employees submit to arbitration to resolve any employment-related dispute should have counsel review the arbitration agreement to ensure that it precludes the employee from participating in a class or collective action.  Those of you who do not have arbitration agreements with your employees – either as a stand-alone agreement or as a clause in an employment contract – may want to consider putting this type of agreement in place.

 As always, if you have any questions about the foregoing or other employment-related matters, please feel free to contact me.  Happy Memorial Day to all!

Board Certified Labor and Employment Partner Ellen Leibovitch

ASSOULINE & BERLOWE, P.A.

1801 N. Military Trail, Suite 160

Boca Raton, Florida 33431

Main: (561) 361-6566

Fax: (561) 361-6466

Email: EML@assoulineberlowe.com

http://www.assoulineberlowe.com/

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Happy World Intellectual Property Day!

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April 26 marks World Intellectual Property Day.  At Assouline & Berlowe, we have built a team of Intellectual Property (IP) attorneys that handle a wide range of IP issues that impact many aspects of business.  Most people (including attorneys) do not realize how often IP crosses into all areas of business, from employment law (trade secrets), business sales (IP due diligence), to bankruptcy (inventory and valuation).  IP creates valuable assets for businesses because the IP allows the IP owner to stop others from either using their protected IP without their consent.  IP is a powerful tool that could prevent copying, or monetize IP through licensing deals.  On the other hand, infringing someone else’s IP can be a significant liability for an unprepared business.

The Assouline & Berlowe IP team, including 3 registered patent attorneys, is well equipped to handle all aspects of IP prosecution and litigation.  Our IP team routinely files applications to secure patents, trademarks, and copyrights for clients.  Assouline & Berlowe handles IP in a wide range of industries, including alcoholic beverages, mattresses, transportation, cellular technology, security, and celebrities/influencers.  The IP team is highlighted below:

Peter Koziol co-chairs the firm’s IP litigation department.  Peter handles a wide range of IP, especially related to his background in computer science.  In 2017, Peter was lead counsel on approximately 15% of new patent litigation in the Southern District of Florida.  A majority of this patent litigation centered upon software based patent(s).  Peter is also well versed in drafting licensing agreements and co-existence agreements that relate to IP.  Peter is also equipped in handling IP prosecution, with an emphasis in software related IP.

Loren Pearson handles all aspects of domestic and international patent, trademark, and copyright applications.  His work includes evaluating new technologies for patentability, portfolio counseling, and intellectual property registration, prosecution, and litigation.  Loren has a background in chemical and material science, which aids in his ability to tackle complex inventions.  He is also knowledgeable with licensing agreements, opposition proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), infringement opinions, to name a few.

Greg Popowitz handles both IP prosecution and litigation.  His background in mechanical engineering and the automotive industry gives a unique perspective on mechanical based products and processes.  Greg handles the IP for an established adult beverage company, along with a wide range of small businesses and entrepreneurs.  Greg is able to assess the client’s needs and tailor fit a custom plan to properly protect and maintain the client’s IP.

Assouling & Berlowe’s IP team has a wide range of competencies to assist businesses with their IP needs.  Whether you need to secure IP protection for your intangible assets, monetize IP you already own, or purchase/license IP, the IP team at Assouline & Berlowe is well equipped to handle your IP needs.

Below is an inventory of the hundreds of patent and trademark applications and registrations handled by the IP Team at Assouline & Berlowe.  This does not include the hundreds of other marks and patents that have been addressed by Assouline & Berlowe attorneys, either from the standpoint of enforcement, counseling, and means of protection.  Over the years, some applications/registrations are abandoned for various business purposes.

PATENTS

pat1

pat2

pat4

pat3

TRADEMARKS

TM12

TM11

TM10

TM9

TM8

TM7

TM5

TM6

TM4

TM3

TM2

TM1

TM13

#worldipday

For any Intellectual Property questions, please contact our offices below.

ASSOULINE & BERLOWE, P.A.

Miami: (305) 567-5576

Fort Lauderdale: (954) 929-1899

Boca Raton: (561) 361-6566

http://www.assoulineberlowe.com/

Intellectual Property, Labor & Employment, Creditors’ Rights & Bankruptcy, Business Litigation, Corporate & Finance, Real Estate, International Law

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Filed under Business Litigation, commercial litigation, Copyright, Intellectual Property, International, IP Litigation, Patent Prosecution

“My Other Bag” is a Louis?

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Isn’t the point of a parody to be funny? “Weird Al” Yanovich is well known for his music that makes fun of popular artists/music, such as  Amish Paradise, a parody of Coolio’s Gangsta’s Paradise, and Eat It, a parody of Michael Jackson’s Beat It.   Weird Al is so well known that his successful fair use defense of copyright litigation has become a leading case on musical parody.

Fast forward to Louis Vuitton (“LV”), the Paris based luxury hand bag brand company.  Consumers world wide know the LV brand and the status behind “Having a Louis”.  LV claimed copyright and trademark infringement by My Other Bag (“MOB”), a California based entity.  In a recent decision, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of MOB.

MOB created a series of handbags where one side of the bag had a similar pattern of famous handbag company brands and the other side said “My Other Bag”.  In this case, MOB imitated LV’s interlocking L and V letters with interlocking M, O, and B letters.  Needless to say LV did not appreciate the similarity of the style and design of its famous mark.

With respect to likelihood of confusion with LV’s brands, the court noted differences between LV and MOB’s design, lack of market proximity, and lack of actual confusion.  From a dilution standpoint, the court said MOB’s bags are a parody of LV’s bags, bringing them within the fair use exclusion of trademark dilution. The critical point was that MOB was not using LV’s brands solely to increase their own sales by confusing consumers that MOB’s bags are associated with LV’s bags.  To the contrary, MOB was using LV’s well known brand and images as a parody because it was clear MOB was not trying to pass off their bags as LV produced bags.  Consumers would know they were buying a MOB bag, not a LV bag.

While a trademark owner has obligations to police their brand, trademark owners should carefully weigh all factors before bringing suit.  In this case, the parody fair use defense was strong for MOB, along with other factors.  More importantly, LV helped market MOB’s products by instituting this action and bringing more attention to the alleged infringement.  Now, “My Other Bag”, with the help of LV, has gained notoriety in the hand bag industry.  But they have a far way to go to compete with Weird Al.

Greg M. Popowitz, Esq.

Registered Patent Attorney

AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell

Intellectual Property Litigation

ASSOULINE & BERLOWE, P.A.

213 East Sheridan Street, Suite 3

Dania Beach, Florida  33004

Main: 954.929.1899

Fax: 954.922.6662

Email: GMP@assoulineberlowe.com

http://www.assoulineberlowe.com/

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Intellectual Property, Labor & Employment, Creditors’ Rights & Bankruptcy, Business Litigation, Corporate & Finance, Real Estate, International Law

 

 

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