Tag Archives: Assouline & Berlowe

Greg Popowitz Earns IP Board Certification by The Florida Bar

Assouline & Berlowe is proud to announce that Partner and Registered Patent Attorney Greg Popowitz has earned board certification from The Florida Bar in Intellectual Property Law. Greg joins a group of only 140 board-certified Florida lawyers in the Intellectual Property practice area.

According to The Florida Bar, only 7% of eligible Florida attorneys have earned board certification in one or more of the bar’s 27 specialty areas. Board certification recognizes attorneys’ special knowledge, skills, and proficiency in their areas of the law and their professionalism and ethics in practice. Board-certified lawyers must have a minimum of five years in law practice, pass an examination specific to their area of practice, undergo a peer review assessment of their competence and character, and satisfy continuing legal education requirements. Greg joins fellow Assouline & Berlowe partner Ellen Leibovitch, who is board-certified in Labor and Employment Law. 

Greg, who practices in the firm’s Fort Lauderdale office, helps clients protect their inventions, brands, and other creations using patent, trademark, and copyright law. Greg is a Registered Patent Attorney and he helps secure patents and trademarks before the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO), along with work relating to licensing, co-existence agreements, evaluating new inventions, brands, and technology, clearance searches, and litigation. Greg enjoys counseling clients on the various mechanisms available to protect their Intellectual Property, which ultimately adds value to their business.

Greg earned his J.D. from Nova Southeastern University School of Law and his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). 

For more information about Intellectual Property issues, please contact Greg M. Popowitz, Esq.

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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LEGO Takes Aim at Gun Company with Cease and Desist

Famous kids’ toy manufacturer Lego sent a cease and desist letter to gun company Culper Precision regarding its sale and marketing of Glock handguns.  Culper Precision offered a Glock handgun with an aftermarket kit to transform the outside of the firearm with Lego bricks (a little tidbit, the plural of Lego is not Legos).  Aside from what famous gun manufacturer Glock might have to say about its brand being used by Culper as a not so playful “Block19”, it was not a wise decision for Culper to adorn the outside of a Glock handgun with Lego bricks.  The use of the Lego bricks makes the handgun look like a child’s toy and associates a kids toy company with firearms. 

The term Lego derives from the Danish words that mean “play well”.  Lego is a Danish company.  I do not think Culper was playing well with others with this ill-conceived Lego kit.  The term Lego is a famous brand for Lego bricks commonly found in homes across the world, particularly when you are walking barefoot in your home. 

Lego likely has a claim of dilution by tarnishing under the Federal Trademark Dilution Act (FTDA) and/or the more commonly known Lanham Act.  Dilution of a brand occurs when someone uses a famous mark (brand) that blurs or tarnishes the mark.  Dilution differs from a typical trademark infringement claim as dilution does not hinge upon whether consumers would be confused.  Traditional trademark law was designed to protect consumers from confusion.  While dilution is designed to protect the famous brand from being diminished by properly identifying and distinguishing its good or services. 

The FTDA in 2006 clarified that a mark is “famous” if it is widely recognized by the general consuming public as a designation of the source of the goods or services of the mark’s owner, and it allows the court to consider all relevant factors when determining whether a mark is famous, including: (1) the duration, extent, and geographic reach of advertising and publicity of the mark; (2) the amount, volume, and geographic extent of sales of goods or services offered under the mark; (3) the extent of actual recognition of the mark; and (4) whether the mark was registered on the principal register.

Here, Lego is clearly a famous mark.  The false association of its Lego bricks on firearms would tarnish its brand and reputation for kid’s toys (including theme parks).  Culper would be best served looking at the age difficulty on the Lego box before it tries to connect Legos with firearms. 

For more information about dilution or other Intellectual Property issues, please contact Greg M. Popowitz, Esq.

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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EMPLOYERS: Are You Exempt from Paid Sick Leave for COVID?

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Pexels.com

Among other things, the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA) provides paid leave to employees to care for a child and paid sick leave.  Though the FFCRA generally applies to employers with less than 500 employees, employers with less than 50 employees can be exempt if compliance with the FFCRA would jeopardize “the viability of the employer’s business as a going concern.” Upon enactment, Congress did not clarify the mechanism for claiming an exemption, but the Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued some guidance.

A small business (with fewer than 50 employees) may be exempt from certain paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave requirements if: (a) leave is requested because the employee’s child’s school or place of care is closed, or child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 related reasons; and (b) providing that employee such leave would jeopardize the viability of the employer’s business as a going concern.  As to (b), an authorized officer of the business must determine that at least one of the following three conditions is satisfied:

  1. the requested leave would result in the small business’s expenses and financial obligations to exceed available business revenues and cause the small business to cease operating at minimal capacity; or
  2. the absence of the employee or employees requesting leave would entail a substantial risk to the financial health or operational capabilities of the business because of their specialized skills, knowledge of the business or responsibilities; or
  3. there are not sufficient workers who are able, willing and qualified, and who will be available at the time and place needed, to perform the labor or services provided by the employee or employees requesting leave, and those labor or services are needed for the small business to operate at minimal capacity.

The exemption applies only to leave requests under the FFCRA due to school closures and child care unavailability and does not exempt small businesses from providing sick leave for any of the other types of permissible requests under the FFCRA. 

The DOL does not explain how small businesses go about claiming the exemption and specifically advises employers not to send any materials to the DOL.  So what is an employer to do?  We recommend having an authorized officer of the employer sign a statement verifying that one or more of the three qualifying reasons apply and attach supporting materials if available.  The employer must maintain this record for at least four (4) years in case of a lawsuit, DOL audit or other challenge. Remember that this exemption only applies to employers with less than 50 employees and is otherwise inapplicable to employers with 51 to 499 employees.

Ellen M. Leibovitch

Board Certified Labor & Employment Lawyer

ASSOULINE & BERLOWE, P.A.

2300 Glades Road

East Tower – Suite 135

Boca Raton, Florida 33431

Main: 561-361-6566
Direct: 561-948-2479

[Bio] [V-card] [Directions]

eml@assoulineberlowe.com

www.assoulineberlowe.com

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Webinar: Branding and Business, with a Primer on Non-Use Due to Covid-19

Intellectual Property Partner Greg Popowitz recently recorded a webinar on the Zoom platform titled Branding and Business, with a Primer on Non-Use Due to Covid-19. The course can be found here.

Mr. Popowitz speaks about the intersection of business and branding. He covers topics such as the importance of a brand, how to select a brand, how to protect a brand, and how to enforce/monetize your brand.

Another focus of the webinar is on the topic of trademark non-use. An often overlooked subject of trademark law, non-use is a critical topic for brand holders in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic. The Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure (TMEP) outlines several scenarios of excusable non-use. The webinar discusses those scenarios and how trademark owners can document their non-use to fight off challenges to their trademark rights in the future due to non-use.

Mr. Popowitz also references a statistic he saw during a trip to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in 2018. The average person sees approximately 1,500 brands during the course of their day. 1,500? That seems like a lot. But think about all the advertisements on TV and the web, driving on the road (billboards, badges on cars), and walking through a grocery store or shopping mall. Of course, this statistic does not apply to our current stay at home orders during COVID-19.

For more information about the intersection of branding and business, please listen to the webinar. If you have any additional questions about Intellectual Property, contact Mr. Popowitz below.

https://www.nacle.com/CLE/Courses/Branding-and-Business-with-a-Primer-on-Non-Use-Due-to-Covid-19-1465

Greg M. Popowitz, Esq.

Make Your IP Pop

Registered Patent Attorney / Partner

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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PLANNING FOR YOUNG ADULTS AMIDST THE CORONAVIRUS

In older blog posts, I have stressed the importance of creating an estate plan that will best suit your individual and/or family needs.  With all of the craziness and uncertainty brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, this importance has magnified that much more.  In an article written in the Miami Herald recently, Jose A. Iglesias stated “As the coronavirus crisis escalates, catastrophic projections of 100,000 to upwards of 240,000 deaths in the United States are forcing people to act on long-deferred intentions to get their affairs in order. No one is immune. Legal experts urge all mortals — not just the elderly and not just the wealthy — to put their end-of-life plans in writing.”

What we, as parents of young adults, often fail to think about is planning not for our children, but by our children. I, like many of my friends, am about to become an “empty nester”.  My older daughter is about to begin her senior year in college and my youngest is about to begin her freshman year.  As we scour websites to see what their dorms or apartments are going to look like, buy every school supply known to man and prepare for the inevitable parental tears from knowing that the kids are away and mom and dad are going to have to reintroduce ourselves to one another, we need to consider important legal documents that can protect our young adults and our ability to act as their guardian in emergency situations.

I can agree that, while important, a Last Will and Testament may not be a priority for my eighteen year-old and twenty-one year old daughters – however, I cannot stress the importance of them having other essential advance directive documents in place.  In no particular order, I recommend that anyone over the age of 18 have the following:

DESIGNATION OF HEALTH CARE SURROGATE WITH HIPAA AUTHORIZATION

A signed Designation of Health Care Surrogate communicates your wishes in case you are unable to make medical decisions or communicate this information due to a medical emergency or incapacity. This form will also contain a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) authorization by your adult child naming you as a designated “surrogate” giving you the ability to ask for and receive information that would normally be protected from you from your child’s healthcare practitioners about their health status, progress, and treatment. Without a HIPAA authorization in place, the only other way to obtain information regarding your child’s health would be to have a court appoint you as his or her legal guardian.

LIVING WILL AND HEALTH CARE PROXY

A Living Will is a statement indicating you would not want to be kept alive by life-sustaining measures if in a coma or vegetative state with no hope of recovery.

DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY (POA)

A Durable Power of Attorney authorizes a trusted person (in the case of young adults, typically parents or legal guardians who are referred to as “attorney-in-fact”) to make important decisions or conduct matters on behalf of the young adult, even after they become incapacitated. With a Durable Power of Attorney, the attorney-in-fact named would be legally permitted to take care of important matters for your young adult, if they’re unable to do so themselves. The powers granted to the attorney-in-fact are broad and provide the ability to make medical, legal, and financial decisions on the young adult’s behalf.

The thought of needing these documents is not something that any parent wants to think about. Unfortunately, with the Coronavirus being such a changing force in our daily lives, there could not be a better time to consider and prepare for this scenario.

While we are on shelter at home Order, I will be offering a fifty percent student discount on my advance directive packages for young adults between the ages of 18-25 or alternatively, to be included at no charge to be as part of a full estate planning package for the parents of young adults.

Jason Steinman, Esq.

ASSOULINE & BERLOWE, P.A.

213 East Sheridan Street, Suite 3

Dania Beach, Florida  33004

Main: 954.929.1899

Fax: 954.922.6662

Email: JSteinman@assoulineberlowe.com 

http://www.assoulineberlowe.com

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TRADEMARK ALERT – Is Your Brand “Dead” for Non-Use During the Covid-19 Shutdown?

We are in trying times. The Coronavirus known as Covid-19 has impacted the world. Businesses are trying to navigate how to operate in the middle of a pandemic. Emergency orders are continually coming out from all levels of government regarding essential and non-essential businesses, including “stay at home” orders. What if you are deemed a non-essential business and your business is effectively shutdown as a result? While direct revenue is likely a pressing concern, what about the brands around your products or services that you have built over the years?

Trademark law is centered upon use of a brand in commerce. Without use, the brand will eventually become abandoned. After three years of non-use without any attempt to resume use, the USPTO will presume the owner abandoned the brand. Section 71 of the Trademark Act is designed to remove “deadwood” from the register. However, it is not designed to cancel registrations due to a temporary interruption of use of the brand due to circumstances beyond the control of the trademark owner.

The Trademark Manual of Examination and Procedure (TMEP) details excusable (and non-excusable) non-use of a brand. See TMEP 1613.11.

Some examples of excusable non-use include:

  • Trade Embargo or Other Circumstance Beyond Holder’s Control (Covid-19?):  When the holder of the registered brand is willing and able to continue use of the brand in commerce, but is unable to do so due to a trade embargo
  • Sale of Business: Temporary non-use during the sale
  • Retooling: Limited circumstances if the tooling was critical and there was no other means to produce without the shutdown for tooling
  • Orders on Hand: If the product is the kind of good that cannot be produced quickly or in large numbers (for example, airplanes), but there are orders on hand and activity toward filling them
  • llness, Fire, and Other Catastrophes (Covid-19?): Illness, fire, and other catastrophes may create situations of temporary non-use, with the holder being able to outline arrangements and plans for resumption of use.  Note, illness of the owner does not qualify as excusable non-use unless the business cannot operate without the owner

Examples of non-excusable non-use:

  • Business Decision: A business decision to stop use of the brand is not beyond the holder’s control
  • Decreased Demand: Decreased demand for the product sold under the brand, resulting in its discontinuance for an indefinite period
  • Negotiations with Distributors: Helps to show lack of intention to abandon the mark but not excusable non-use
  • Use in Foreign Country: This has no bearing on excusable non-use in the United States that can be regulated by the U.S. Congress (use in commerce)
  • Use of Mark on Different Goods/Services: Using the brand on goods/services outside of the registered class
  • Use of Mark in Another Form: Material changes to mark

Non-use of a brand due to Covid-19 may be covered as excusable non-use under “Other Circumstance Beyond Holder’s Control” and/or “Catastrophe”. If you have stopped using your brand, it is advisable to document the date you stopped using the brand in all related products and/or services covered by your trademark registration, including why you stopped using the brand. For example, shutdown orders by the government, lack of supply chain to make the products, or workers contracting Covid-19 and directly impacting your facilities. Documenting this situation will suport a declaration surrounding excusable non-use if or when you need to provide justification for the gap of time for non-use of your brand(s). You had spent considerable time and money building your brand through the years. It is important you take the necessary steps to protect the brand if use has temporarily stopped during this pandemic.

For any questions about excusable non-use or to look into protecting your brands, contact Greg Popowitz.

Greg M. Popowitz, Esq.

Make Your IP Pop

Registered Patent Attorney / Partner

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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You Thought All Settlement Offers Were Confidential?

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Photo by Alexander Mils on Pexels.com

That is not the case if the settlement offers show the case was litigated in an unreasonable manner. Federal Rule of Evidence 408 protects settlement communications.  The purpose being to encourage litigants to communicate and work on resolving the claims of the case.  Like most rules, there are exceptions.

Enter Blackbird Tech LLC v. Health in Motion LLC, 2018-2393 (Fed. Cir. Dec. 16, 2019).  Blackbird sued Health in Motion (“HIM”) and Leisure Fitness Equipment LLC (“Leisure”) for patent infringement regarding exercise equipment.  After 19 months of litigation, Blackbird voluntarily dismissed the lawsuit, with prejudice, and executed a covenant not to sue.  Shortly thereafter, the Defendants moved for attorneys’ fees under 35 U.S.C. 285, which allows an award of attorneys’ fees in patent cases to the prevailing party in “exceptional cases”.  The District Court granted attorneys’ fees and expenses in the amount of $363,243.80, which Blackbird appealed.

The Federal Circuit, which streamlines patent decisions of the district courts, affirmed the decision, holding the District Court did not abuse its discretion due to the way Blackbird litigated the case.  During the course of the litigation, Blackbird had a peculiar settlement strategy of decreasing offers that stood out.  The first offer was $80,000, then $50,000, then $15,000, and finally a walk-away offer of zero.  Defendants rejected all the offers.  The Federal Circuit analyzed the settlement offers and the nature of the decreasing offers, each of which were “significantly less than the cost of litigation.”  The Federal Circuit viewed the offers with suspicion.

The District Court also found that Blackbird unreasonably “delayed in producing documents, withheld many documents until after [Appellees] took [Blackbird’s] deposition[,] and completely failed to produce other responsive documents.”  Lastly, Blackbird unreasonably “filed a notice of dismissal, covenant not to sue, and motion to dismiss without first notifying [Appellees’] counsel, on the same day pretrial submissions were due and shortly before [Appellees’] motion for summary judgment was to be decided.”

While all of the issues led to the exceptional fee award due to Blackbird’s abusive litigation, the unique aspect was the court’s ability to open the window into settlement offers to demonstrate the abusive litigation tactics.  Blackbird’s settlement demands were far less that the anticipated cost of defense, which Blackbird admitted, and equated to mere “nuisance value settlement offers.”  While most settlement offers and negotiations are closed from public view, the court may open that door to assess whether attorneys fees can be awarded in exceptional cases.

For any questions about trademarks, patents, or copyrights, contact Greg Popowitz.

Greg M. Popowitz, Esq.

Registered Patent Attorney / Partner

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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PARALEGAL SEMINAR – OCT. 19, 2019 – South Florida Paralegal Association

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Assouline & Berlowe Litigation Partner Peter E. Berlowe is one of the guest speakers at this year’s Annual Fall Seminar for the the South Florida Paralegal Association. 

On October 19, 2019 at the Florida International University – College of Law

Located at Rafael Diaz Balart Hall (RDB) Room 2008, 11200 SW 8th Street, Miami, FL 33199

Offering 6.5 Credits

Including 1  Ethics Credit and 0.5 Technology Credit

With Keynote Speaker

Mercedes M. Prieto, Esq., Clerk of the Third District Court of Appeal on Introduction to Legal Research and Legal Memoranda Writing

and guest speakers


 Peter E. Berlowe, Esq. of Assouline & Berlowe, P.A. on Analysis of an Injurious Falsehood Case and the Paralegal’s Role

 Marc Hurwitz of Crossroads Investigations on A Former CIA Officer’s Guide to Investigations for the Divorce Process

Bianca Moreiras of Bianca Moreiras & Associates on Time Management, Goal Setting and Taking Action

 Felice Solomon of Solomon Search Group on How Paralegals Can Deal With Seven Personality Types in the Workplace

and

 Valencia N. Poitier, Esq. of American Integrity Insurance of Florida, Inc. on HIPPA: Accountability, Ethics and Evidence – Avoiding the Pitfalls of Suppression and Lack of Foundation

The cost to attend the event is:

Students: $25 

Member & Affiliate Members: $55

Non-Members: $65

Continental breakfast & hot lunch will be provided Your Savory Fare

For more information regarding the event, please contact SFPA Vice-President Summer Marshall by email at smarshallfrp@gmail.com


For more information on how to sponsor this event, please contact

Sadena Blatt Miropol by email at sb0929@gmail.com

This seminar meets the requirements of the NALA Certifying Board for Paralegals for continuing legal education credit required to maintain the CP (Certified Paralegal) credential.

To recap:

The South Florida Paralegal Association is proud to present its 2019 Annual Fall Seminar on October 19, 2019 at the Florida International University – College of Law, located at Rafael Diaz Balart Hall (RDB), RDB 2008, 11200 SW 8th Street, Miami, FL 33199

Celebrating 40 Years of Commitment to the Legal Community

Offering 6.5 Credits (including .5 Ethics Credit and 1 Technology Credit)

With keynote speaker:
Mercedes M. Prieto, Esq., Clerk of the Third District Court of Appeal

And guest speakers:
Peter E. Berlowe, Esq. of Assouline & Berlowe, P.A.,
Marc Hurwitz of Crossroads Investigations,
Felice Solomon of Solomon Search Group,
Valencia N Poitier, Esq. of American Integrity Insurance of Florida, Inc., and
Bianca Moreiras of Bianca Moreiras & Associates

The cost to attend the event is:
Students: $25
Member & Affiliate Members: $55
Non-Members: $65

Continental breakfast & hot lunch will be provided Your Savory Fare

For more information regarding the event, please contact SFPA Vice-President Summer Marshall by email at smarshallfrp@gmail.com

For more information on how to sponsor this event, please contact Sadena Blatt Miropol by email at sb0929@gmail.com

This seminar meets the requirements of the NALA Certifying Board for Paralegals for continuing legal education credit required to maintain the CP (Certified Paralegal) credential.

All content © SFPA 2019.

South Florida Paralegal Association, Inc. is a non-profit organization. 123 S.E. 3rd Avenue, #367, Miami, Florida 33131.

http://sfpa.info/event-3565682

 

 

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BROWARD COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION: Member of the Week – Eric N. Assouline, Esq.

The Broward County Bar Association Featured Assouline & Berlowe Litigation Partner as the “Member of the Week”.

Eric N. Assouline, is a co-founder of Assouline & Berlowe, P.A., a business litigation and transactional boutique law firm.  Eric credits his personal and professional success to hard work, a strong work ethic inspired by his parents, and good Jewish values.

Eric is a first-generation American.  Eric was raised in Queens, New York, by immigrant French Moroccan parents, with few resources.

Started in 2003, Assouline & Berlowe’s main practice areas are pat­ent and intellectual property law; commercial litigation and appeals; real estate; labor and employment; international law and arbitration; creditors’ rights and bankruptcy; and as of 2018 the law firm added an additional practice area – Trust, Estates, and Guardianship.  The firm has three South Florida offices, and has served as counsel of record on many complex cases outside of Florida.

Eric N. Assouline is a litigation partner in the Miami and Ft. Lauderdale offices, and the head of the business litigation practice group.  Eric’s prac­tice focuses on complex business litigation, intellectual property and real estate litigation, bankruptcy and creditors’ rights.  Eric en­joys a complicated business litigation dispute, analyzing the risks and benefits of the strategy to employ, and then implementing the plan.  Eric takes pride in taking a case from inception to conclusion for the client, which often includes trips into the appellate and bankruptcy courts.

As the business world continues its international expansion, Assouline & Berlowe guides its clients through their legal challenges.  As a French speaking attorney, Eric has been hired by many clients from France and they are always shocked at the expense involved in litigating a case in the United States.  Eric does his best to bridge his clients between differing legal environments.  With the assistance of his partner, Daniel Vielleville, who was an attorney in Venezuela before becoming an attorney in the United States, they bridge the gap with the firm’s Latin American clientele.  Corporate Partner Carl Perdue plays a similar role with corporate matters from his extensive experience with complex Middle East corporate finance.

Assouline & Berlowe’s management predicts growth in the areas of technology, real estate, intellectual property, and trust and estate issues.  “We’re more than just another boutique law firm. We take great pride in the high quality legal work that we do every day. I believe our extensive network of attorneys that refer their clients to our firm, including many referrals from former opposing counsel, is a testament to how we honor our craft,” Eric Assouline has been quoted as saying.

In the Beginning

Eric Assouline and Peter Berlowe first served together as mem­bers of the University of Miami Law Review.

After law school, they worked together in the Miami office of Weil, Gotshal & Manges, LLP, where they trained as litigators on nationally recognized cases. While there, Eric Assouline served as the court appointed receiver’s lead litigation attorney charged with recovery actions in a high-profile global Ponzi scheme.

When Assouline & Berlowe first opened its doors 0n February 10, 2003, in Coral Gables, its office was sublet from Peter Berlowe’s father.  Eric has been quoted as saying “Our first office had thick shag carpet, old fash­ioned wood paneling, and had not been renovated in decades. The furnishings were comprised of mis-­matched furniture and left over construction mate­rials that we used to build a new countertop for the receptionist area,” From those humble beginnings, Assouline & Berlowe expanded with an of­fice in Broward in July 2004, and later another office in Boca Raton in 2008.

As part of its flagship intellectual property practice, the firm has two registered patent attorneys, includ­ing Peter Koziol, who is the head of the IP Litigation Group and Greg Popowitz, who has been with the firm for over 5 years.

Ellen Leibovitch, who is board certified in the areas of labor and employment, heads the firm’s Boca Raton office.

Eric Assouline has been quoted as saying that “Through our 10 attorneys we now have several hundred years of collective business law ex­perience, much of it gained in practice at large, presti­gious law firms.”

Eric Assouline has also been quoted as saying: “As the managing partner of the firm, I need to know what everyone is doing. I have an ethical obliga­tion to protect all of the firm’s clients and to be there to pick up the pieces if anything were to happen to any particular attorney at the firm. But I do not tell attor­neys how to do their job. The attorneys at my firm are exceptionally qualified and know their craft. My job is to make it as easy as possible for them to get their work done and keep the firm’s clients satisfied.”

Eric Assouline believes that his firm has the talent and experience to compete with any firm in the area of business law.  “As it re­lates to regional boutique business firms, because we are smaller, we can offer more flexibility without com­promising on service.” Eric stresses the fact that clients regularly interact with the firm’s attorneys through multi-office video conferencing. “This not only gives us what I believe is a significant competitive edge, but it helps keep clients in close contact, which is important to our client relationships.”

Giving Back

As individual professionals and as a firm, the attorneys of Assouline & Berlowe believe in sharing and they have backed that belief from the beginning. “We’ve long been involved in giving back to the community, in time, money and energy, to support numerous worthy causes and those who are less fortunate,” Eric Assouline has been quoted as saying.

Just some examples include: a mayoral debate for Miami-Dade County; a fundraising program for the Cystic Fibrosis Founda­tion; and a charity golf tournament in Boca Raton and a Walk-a-Thon in Sunrise, both in support of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.  “In 2008, as the economy struggled, we did not feel it was appropriate to have a year-end holiday staff party. So, instead we made donations to the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood and to the Miami Children’s Hospital,” Eric Assouline has been quoted as saying.

Eric Assouline currently serves on the board of directors of: the B’nai Brith Justice Unit; the Jewish Na­tional Fund; Hillel of Broward and Palm Beach Counties; the University of Miami Law Alumni Association; and the Florida Alumni of Arizona State University.

Eric Assouline has been a regular guest speaker at St. Thomas Univer­sity School of Law, where his wife, Iris Rogatinsky, is a law pro­fessor.  During his talks, Eric Assouline has mentored law students seeking his advice and insight on the practice of law, and he has conducted lectures on litigation and deposition skills for Pincus Professional Edu­cation. He also regularly volunteers to judge law school moot court and mock trial competitions at the University of Miami and Nova Southeastern Law School.

“I feel fortunate that I have been given this opportunity and I do my best to instill the same strong work ethic and uncompromising moral values upon my children with the help of my amazing wife.” She also worked with both Eric Assouilne him Peter Berlowe at Weil Gotshal & Manges.

Eric Assouline’s rise from humble beginnings to prominence in the legal community has colored his view of the world, the com­munity, and his firm. Eric Assouline and the attorneys of Assouline & Berlowe recognize their fortuity. Eric Assouline has been quoted as saying: “You will not hear me complain about my life. I find it very unbecoming to complain about triv­ial matters. No one is perfect and no situation is perfect forever. I like to say that I don’t look at the glass half full. I am grateful I even have a glass to drink. And as far as I am concerned, my glass always runneth over.”

Eric N. Assouline, Esq.

Business Litigation Partner

ASSOULINE & BERLOWE, P.A.

Miami Tower

100 SE 2nd St., Suite 3105

Miami, FL 33131

Telephone: 305-567-5576

Email: ena@assoulineberlowe.com

www.assoulineberlowe.com

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Property Owner Liable for Tenant’s Sale of Counterfeit Goods

man riding a yellow forklift with boxes

Photo by ELEVATE on Pexels.com

Earlier this year, a jury in New York federal court returned a verdict of $1.1 million in favor of Omega SA and its parents Swatch SA.  Omega sued 375 Canal LLC in 2012 regarding tenants selling counterfeit goods on 375 Canal’s property.  The jury found that 375 Canal and the landlord could have stopped the counterfeit sales, but did not.

Counsel for Omega asked a jury to “punish” 375 Canal and its owners, New York real estate developers Albert, Jason, and Jody Laboz, for allowing the property to be a “haven of counterfeiting activity for years.”  The jury found that 375 Canal knew about the infringing sales or willfully turned a blind eye to the seller’s counterfeit sales and continued to  lease the property to the counterfeiters.  Omega was liable for contributory trademark infringement (https://www.law360.com/dockets/download/5d0174472ef7e801af789f18?doc_url=https%3A%2F%2Fecf.nysd.uscourts.gov%2Fdoc1%2F127124921910&label=Case+Filing).

This should be a wake-up call to property owners to be aware of the business operations of tenants on its properties.  Property owners that have tenants selling products should pay attention to the legitimacy of the products being sold.  If they turn a blind eye, the property owner can face a hefty judgment in the courts.

Legitimate re-sellers of protected brands should look for authorization from the manufacturer and/or brand holder to verify the products are allowed to be sold by the tenant.  Authorization often takes the form of license agreements and distribution agreements.

Whatever the case, property owners should be on the look out to make sure its tenants are authorized to sell products in the leased space.  If not, the property owner should not look away and let the unauthorized activity continue.  It should act promptly to cease all unauthorized sales on its property to avoid a similar result as in Omega SA.

For any questions about trademarks, patents, or copyrights, contact Greg Popowitz.

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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