Protect Your Tech: Florida Bar CLE Edition



Earlier this month, I had the distinct pleasure to present at the Florida Bar Basic Technology CLE about how businesses, and their lawyers, can protect technology using Intellectual Property.  This was the first time a Florida Bar Basic CLE was focused on technology.  To keep the CLE interactive, the presentations included live tweeting using the #CLEHistory hashtag, interactive polls with the audience, and post presentation video outtakes.  The interactive nature of the CLE was perfect for a technology focused CLE.

My portion of the CLE focused on how technology is used protect intellectual property, with the focus on patents.  There are several options when determining how to use patent law to protect technology, from design patents to provisional and non-provisional utility patents.  There are key timetables and strategic considerations to assess when protecting your technology, both before and after the technology is finalized.

One of the interactive questions, pictured below,  I posted to the live audience was whether someone could put “patent pending” on a product as soon as a patent application was filed.  The question was posted during my presentation and the audience texted their results to get an immediate response to the question.  36% of the audience correctly chose the right answer of A – Yes.  Meaning you can put patent pending on a product as soon as you file a patent application.  However, the application must remain active, i.e. not abandoned, to continue marking the product as “patent pending.”  Notably, 44% of the audience thought patent pending depended on what type of patent application was filed.  This is not accurate as it does not matter if the patent application is design, provisional, or non-provisional.

assouline & belrlowe, interactive polling

There are many misconceptions about patent law and it is important to consult with a registered patent attorney to review your technology and plan to maximize your protection.  It was an honor to speak at the first Florida Bar Basic Technology CLE and I enjoyed the interactive nature of the CLE.  Check the Florida Bar CLE page as the Technology CLE will be available for download in the near future.

For questions about Intellectual Property matters involving Technology, contact  Greg Popowitz below.


213 East Sheridan Street, Suite 3

Dania Beach, Florida  33004

Main: 954.929.1899

Fax: 954.922.6662

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

Miami • Ft. Lauderdale • Boca Raton

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PANAMA PAPERS – Subpoena Issued to Mossack Fonseca Regarding Daddy Yankee Assets

Miami Attorneys Issued a Subpoena to Mossack Fonseca, of the Panama Papers, regarding Daddy Yankee Assetsassouliene-vielleville-berlowe-2
4/12/16- Eric Assouline, Daniel Vielleville, and Peter Berlowe, with ASSOULINE & BERLOWE, P.A., Miami – Picture from Daily Business Review Article 4-14-2016 By AM Holt

 Keeping the whereabouts of your assets is ok, except when . . .

This is a burning question that has surfaced in light of the Panama Papers.  When is it ok to have off shore accounts?  The simple answer is when you do not owe anyone any money and after you have paid all the taxes that are due on the assets that you wish to keep secret.   See recent article by Real Estate and Corporate Law Partner David Blattner: Have the Panama Papers Taught Us Anything We Didn’t Already Know?

You cannot maintain a secret web of companies, with the intention of hiding this information from creditors to whom you owe money.  That is illegal.

You cannot transfer assets that would be subject to execution by a creditor to an off shore, or out of state company, in order to not pay debts that you owe.  That is illegal.

This is the basis of the investigation that has been opened up as to all the public figures mentioned in the Panama Papers.  Including noted celebrity Daddy Yankee.

In today’s Daily Business Review, South Florida’s prominent daily business paper, one of the headline stories regards Assouline & Berlowe, P.A.’s subpoena issued to Mossack Fonseca, the Panamanian law firm that has gained notoriety for opening off shore accounts for high profile individuals all over the world.

Through their subpoena, Assouline & Berlowe, on behalf of their clients, creditors of Daddy Yankee, are seeking financial information from Mossack Fonseca as to Daddy Yankee’s assets and financial affairs.

A link to the complete article is:

For more information regarding this case, please contact Daniel E. Vielleville, Peter E. Berlowe, or Eric N. Assouline.


/12/16- Eric Assouline, Daniel Vielleville, and Peter Berlowe, with ASSOULINE & BERLOWE, P.A., Miami – Photo by Daily Business Review Photographer AM Holt 


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What is Good for the Goose . . . Florida Supreme Court Rules Opposing Counsel’s Billing Records are Relevant to the Reasonableness of Amount Sought

The Supreme Court of Florida has put the stamp of legitimacy on an argument long disfavored by large institutions when they lose a case and are faced with having to pay attorneys’ fees to the prevailing party.

Whether based upon an Offer of Judgment, by contract, or by statute, the issue of the reasonableness of attorneys’ fees sought by the prevailing party is often a contested matter.  Unfortunately, as both a delay tactic and a means to reduce the amount the prevailing party may recover, larger institutions all too often argue that the amount of attorneys’ fees sought by the entitled party is unreasonable.

On March 24, 2016, the Supreme Court of Florida issued its opinion in the case of Paton v. GEICO General Insurance Co.  In Paton, the plaintiff sued its insurance company for failing to pay a claim.  After winning at the trial level the Plaintiff sought attorneys’ fees from the defendant insurance company, as provided by statute.  As part of the Plaintiff’s preparations for presentation as to the amount of attorneys’ fees sought, Plaintiff propounded paper discovery on the insurance company related to their attorneys’ billing records and other related attorneys’ fees discovery.  The insurance company objected to the discovery propounded by the plaintiff, and the basis for the objection is the subject of the Supreme Court of Florida’s review.

At the Supreme Court of Florida level, Florida’s high court ultimately held that, in light of the objections raised by the insurance company, as to the amount of attorneys’ hours expended by the Plaintiff, the amount of hours expended by the insurance company’s attorneys was relevant to the issue of the reasonableness.

Although the court noted that this is an issue that falls within the decision of the trial court, the fact that the Supreme Court of Florida, the highest court in the State of Florida, one of the most densely populated states in the nation, recognizes the legitimacy of this argument will help prevailing party’s attorneys to argue these records should be produced when the issue is contested.

If you wish to discuss this opinion or any other attorneys’ fees issue, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

ERIC N. ASSOULINE, ESQ., Assouline & Berlowe, P.A., Miami – Ft. Lauderdale – Boca Raton





Attorneys' Fees - Assouline & Berlowe

Attorneys’ Fees in Florida – Opposing Counsel’s Billing Records are Relevant

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“Trump” the Union Workers! – In re The Bankruptcy of Trump Entertainment Resorts – 2016 Decision from 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal

Bankruptcy Litigation

Bankruptcy Adversary Proceeding Defense Attorney Eric Assouline Preferential Transfer

Trump Entertainment Resorts and its predecessors have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection four times, in 1991, following construction of the $1-billion Trump Taj Mahal, and in 2004, 2009 and 2014.

Last week the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, issued an important ruling.  Here are excerpts from the opinion:

This appeal requires us to resolve the effect of two potentially conflicting provisions of federal law. Section 1113 of the Bankruptcy Code allows a Chapter 11 debtor to “reject” its collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) under certain circumstances.1 The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) prohibits an employer from unilaterally changing the terms and conditions of a CBA even after its expiration.2 Thus, under the NLRA, the key terms and conditions of an expired CBA continue to govern the relationship between a debtor-employer and its unionized employees until the parties reach a new agreement or bargain to impasse. This case presents a question of first impression among the courts of appeals: is a Chapter 11 debtor-employer able to reject the continuing terms and conditions of a CBA under § 1113 after the CBA has expired?UNITE HERE Local 54 (Union) appeals the Bankruptcy Court’s order granting the Debtors’ motion to reject their CBA with the Union pursuant to § 1113(c). The Union contends that the Bankruptcy Court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to approve the Debtors’ motion because the CBA had expired. The Debtors, Trump Entertainment Resorts, Inc., and its affiliated debtors,3 contend that § 1113(c) governs all CBAs, expired and unexpired, and that the Bankruptcy Court’s interpretation of § 1113 is consistent with the policies underlying the Bankruptcy Code.We conclude that § 1113 does not distinguish between the terms of an unexpired CBA and the terms and conditions that continue to govern after the CBA expires.

Thus, we will affirm the order of the Bankruptcy Court. – See more at:

Under the policies of bankruptcy law, it is preferable to preserve jobs through a rejection of a CBA, as opposed to losing the positions permanently by requiring the debtor to comply with the continuing obligations set out by the CBA. Moreover, it is essential that the Bankruptcy Court be afforded the opportunity to evaluate those conditions that can detrimentally affect the life of a debtor, whether such encumbrances attach by operation of contract or a complex statutory framework. In light of Chapter 11’s overarching purposes and the exigencies that the Debtors faced, we conclude that the Bankruptcy Court did not err in granting the Debtors’ motion.

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ASSOULINE & BERLOWE 13th Anniversary Lunch

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ASSOULINE & BERLOWE 13th Anniversary Lunch

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Internal Investigations

20150713_173521Our corporate clients find the need to perform internal investigations.  The Firm’s attorneys pull their respective industry related experience to conduct such internal investigations and defend corporations and employees in complex investigatory and litigation matters.

In the current economic climate, corporate scrutiny is at an all-time high.  The public and private sectors find themselves subject to federal, state, and local agency investigation.  Corporate conduct, compliance and ethics have become an issue increasingly raised by private plaintiffs. As a result, our corporate clients see significant compliance related obstacles to navigate.

We have found that our corporate clients can be best protected from such scrutiny by understanding all the facts surrounding the allegations at hand. When the facts indicate a violation of policy, law, ethics, or other measure of scrutinization, the client must respond rapidly and measurably with remediation, employee discipline, and where necessary contacting appropriate governing agencies.

Corporate internal investigations are protected by the attorney-client privilege and can be beneficial for a number of reasons.  A well designed internal investigation can:

  • Identify key facts so that management and/or the board can make a fully informed decision as to how best to proceed;
  • Cease any offending behavior;
  • Prevent future misbehavior;
  • Document the corporation’s response as the facts are learned;
  • Protect management and boards of directors against a charge of being complicit in the misbehavior; and,
  • Establish and create a corporate culture of compliance and openness.

Planning is key to internal investigations.  The plan will address document and data collection and review, witness interviews, analysis of the facts and data, and regular reporting to the client on the investigation.  The attorneys of the Firm are well suited to developing the right plan for our clients’ needs.

For any questions about internal investigations and their legal implications, please call Peter below:

Peter E. Berlowe, Esq.


3250 Mary Street, Suite 100

Miami, Florida 33133

Main:  (305) 567-5576

Fax: (305) 567-9343


Intellectual Property, Labor & Employment Law, Bankruptcy, Commercial Litigation, and Corporate Law

Miami • Ft. Lauderdale • Boca Raton

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