Monday, February 28, 2011
The CPSC identified the collapses were caused by cross-bracing rails that were not fully locked into place. Therefore Burlington Basket published a Safety Notice where it stated that customers should “make sure that the rails are properly locked.”
In 2007 over 1 million Simplicity and Graco cribs were recalled by the CPSC after discovering that a drop-side can detach from the crib which can create a dangerous gap and can lead to the suffocation of infants. Three Infants died after being trapped in these cribs. Another 1-year old child died in a newer model of the Simplicity crib because the drop-side was installed upside down.
There have been many recalls of cribs and bassinets due to substantial risks of injuries or even death because of design defects, manufacturing defects or failure to warn (i.e. marketing) defects.
How can manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers of consumer products avoid those substantial risks in order to guarantee consumers safety? How can they identify and mitigate substantial risks? What do they have to do and what can they do if they identify a product defect? The following report provides you with an answer to these questions by giving you advice on how to prevent substantial product hazards and when to announce a recall.
Before and during the production process, manufacturers should follow the following guidelines:
(1) The greatest care has to be used during the entire production process. To prove the production process it is recommended to have made an external investigation of the consumer interests, the competitive products, and the industry standards. Another external investigation to prove any product risks is useful once the product design is determined. Generally, during the production process regular hazard analyses are recommended which should also be documented.
(2) Manufacturers should choose their distribution or business partners conscientiously. There must be a clear structure of the whole production process because all sellers of the product who are in the distribution chain can be held liable.
(3) Instructions for the product must be clear and simple so that an uninformed consumer will know how to install and to use the product. Furthermore, instructions and warning stickers with instructions should be affixed to the product itself.
(4) It is important to obtain product liability insurance and to contact an experienced product liability attorney because product liability actions are often very complex.
Following the production process, it is important to conduct regular investigations and to adjust the instructions and the warning stickers on the product. These steps are necessary to prevent or mitigate substantial risks of injuries. Whether there is a product defect which may cause a substantial product hazard and obliges manufacturers to make a recall can be identified by means of the following questions published by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission:
(1) Manufacturers have to identify if the product has a defect or not.
1. What is the utility of the product? What is it supposed to do?
2. What is the nature of the injury that the product might cause?
3. What is the need for the product?
4. What is the population exposed to the product and the risk of injury?
5. What other information sheds light on the product and patterns of consumer use?
(2) If a product defect or signs of a product defect can be identified, the manufacturer or retailer should prove whether the defect might cause substantial product hazards.
According to Section 15 of the Consumer Product Safety Act the term “substantial product hazard” means (1) a failure to comply with an applicable consumer product safety rule or (2) a product defect because of the pattern of defect, the number of defective products distributed in commerce, or the severity of the risk.
For instance, the Burlington Basket bassinets were supposed to be a “sleeping place” for infants and young children. Probably due to a failure to warn defect customers did not make sure if the cross bracing support rails were in the locked position. Therefore, the bassinets could loose their stability and collapse. Child Safety Protection is an important issue which manufacturers have to guarantee. This defect is a substantial product hazard because bruises constitute severe injuries for children. Moreover, there might have been a pattern of defects because the instructions and warning stickers were too inaccurate.
Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of consumer products are obligated to inform the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission immediately (i.e. within 24 hours) if they discover such a substantial product hazard or a failure to comply with a consumer product safety rule. The Commission also monitors this itself and will inform the manufacturers, etc. if a recall has to be made.
Today, “a timely, reasonable recall of a product can have a strong influence on consumers’ attitude about the firm because consumers now believe they enjoy a safer better product as a result of a recall.” (U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission).
(c) Picture: Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot - http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Family_g212-Infant_p29114.html.
There are five different forms of identification cards included in House Bill 33:
(1) Drivers license issued by any state;
(2) Special identification card issued pursuant to G.S. 20-37.7;
(3) Military ID;
(4) Passport issued by a government with diplomatic ties to the U.S. (5 countries that have no official relation to the U.S.: Bhutan, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Taiwan);
(5) Official document from the government showing the person to be a legal citizen.
The bill also provides that any Local Government Ordinances which accepted any other form of identification not listed in this bill are repealed. On February 7, 2011 the bill was referred by the House of Representative to the committee on government.
We will continue to monitor this development, which may impact foreign investors from Taiwan as their national Passport will no longer be accepted in North Carolina for identification purposes. More updates can also be found on our website.
(c) Picture: Arvin Balaraman - http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Other_Travel_g166-Travel_p15116.html
Department of State Fraud Warning: Diversity Visa Program Scammers Sending Fraudulent Emails and Letters
All applicants should be familiar with information about DV scams provided by the Federal Trade Commission. Applicants are encouraged to review the rules and procedures for the DV program so that you know what to expect, when to expect it, and from whom.
Finally, remember that all DV-2012 applicants will not receive a notification letter from the U.S. government but must check their status online. DV Entry Status Check will only be provided through the Department of State secure online site.
If you need any help or assistance, please let us know of review our website for more information.
(c) Picture: Paul Martin Eldridge - http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/USA_g133-Statue_Of_Liberty_p7859.html
Mannheim -- Das streitige Patent (100a) ist ein Algorithmus, der es ermöglicht, eine Nutzer-Hierarchie zu erstellen, damit in Notfällen Ärzte oder Nothelfer im UMTS-Netz Vorrang haben. Dabei handelt es sich um ein standard-essenzielles UMTS-Patent. Im Dezember 2010 hatte das Deutsche Patent- und Markenamt (DPMA) das entsprechende Gebrauchsmuster 100a für gültig erklärt.
Auch auf der Basis dieser Entscheidung fällte das Landgericht Mannheim nun sein Urteil. IPCom kann das Urteil gegen eine Sicherheitsleistung von 30 Millionen Euro vollstrecken und den Verkauf von UMTS-fähigen Handys von Nokia in Deutschland stoppen. Nokia ließ jedoch verlauten, dass diese Technik bereits aus den Telefonen entfernt sei, sodass der Verkauf in Deutschland nicht beeinträchtigt sein soll.
Ob der finnische Handyhersteller nun mit IPCom in Lizenzverhandlungen eintritt oder weitere rechtliche Schritte einleitet, war bei Redaktionsschluss noch nicht bekannt. Marktbeobachtern zufolge war es das erste Mal, dass Nokia ein Patentverletzungsverfahren dieser Art verloren hat.
Nach Meinungen von Experten sind auch andere Handyhersteller, die dieses Patent in UMTS-Telefonen nutzen, von dem heutigen Urteil betroffen, da es sich um ein standard-essenzielles Patent handelt. Außerdem läuft vor dem Oberlandesgericht Karlsruhe derzeit ein Berufungsverfahren im Komplex IPCom gegen den taiwanesischen Handyhersteller HTC. Auch dort spielt das hier verhandelte Patent eine Rolle. In einem dritten Komplex hat IPCom die Deutsche Telekom verklagt, die im jetzigen Verfahren als Streithelfer auftrat.
(c) Picture: Michael Marcol, http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Telecommuncations_g177-Cell_Phone_p5381.html
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Illegal immigrants would be barred from driving in the state, enrolling in school or receiving most public benefits. Their children would receive special birth certificates that would make clear that the state does not consider them Arizona citizens.
Some of the bills, like those restricting immigrants’ access to schooling and right to state citizenship, flout current federal law and are being put forward to draw legal challenges in hopes that the Supreme Court might rule in the state’s favor. Arizona drew considerable scorn last year when it passed legislation compelling police officers to inquire about the immigration status of those they stopped whom they suspected were in the country illegally. Critics said the law would lead to racial profiling of Latinos, and a federal judge agreed that portions of the law, known as Senate Bill 1070, were unconstitutional.
Similar legal challenges are likely to come in response to the latest round of legislation, some of which cleared a key Senate committee early Wednesday after a long debate that drew hundreds of protesters, some for and some against the crackdown. “This bill is miles beyond S.B. 1070 in terms of its potential to roll back the rights and fundamental freedoms of both citizens and noncitizens alike,” said Alessandra Soler Meetze, executive director of the A.C.L.U. of Arizona. She said the measures would create “a ‘papers, please’ society” and that a new crime — “driving while undocumented” — would be added to the books.
Despite boycotts and accusations that the state has become a haven of intolerance, Arizona won plaudits last year from immigration hardliners across the country. On Tuesday night, the Indiana Senate voted to allow its police officers to question people stopped for infractions on their immigration status, one of numerous proposals inspired by Arizona’s law.
Opponents said the changes were a drastic rewriting of the core values of the country. In Tucson, a community group was so enraged by what it called the extremist nature of the proposals from Phoenix that it proposed severing the state in two, creating what some call Baja Arizona. “Denying citizenship to children because they have parents without documents is crazy,” said the
The measures would compel school officials to ask for proof of citizenship for students and require hospitals to similarly ask for papers for those receiving non-emergency care. Illegal immigrants would be blocked from obtaining any state licenses, including those for marriage. Landlords would be forced to evict the entire family from public housing if one illegal immigrant were found living in a unit. Illegal immigrants found driving would face 30 days in jail and forfeit the vehicle to the state. The measures are not assured of passage.
Supporters of the crackdown include Katie Dionne, who described herself as an “average, everyday American” who wanted to prevent illegal immigrants from changing her way of life. “If their life is so wonderful why did they leave where they’re from?” she asked senators.
The state’s business community, stung by a boycott that has reduced the number of conventions in the state, generally opposes the new round of restrictions. “This will put Arizona through another trial and hurt innocent businesspeople who are just trying to get ahead,” said Glenn Hamer of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
(c) Picture: Michael Elliott - http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/USA_g133-USA_Flag_p8309.html
Ursache für die Klage war, dass die Klägerin im Dezember 2010 von Freunden erfahren hatte, dass es sich bei Nutella um keinen gesunden und nahrhaften Frühstücksaufstrich handeln soll. „Nutella ist ein Beispiel fuer ein leckeres aber zugleich auch ausgegliechenes Frühstück“ heißt es auf dem Etikett des Nutellaglas. Ausserdem zeigt ein Bild auf dem Produkt frische Früchte, Vollkornbrot und Orangensaft, die das gesunde Frühstück mit Nutella darstellen.
Frau Hohenberg hat aufgrund dieser Werbung Nutella für ihre Familie gekauft. Die US-Bürgerin suchte schliesslich nach gesunden Lebensmitteln für die ganze Familie. In der Tat soll Nutella jedoch 70% gesättigte Fette und über 50% Zucker enthalten.
In der Klage heisst es, dass sie „geschockt“ gewesen sein, als sie gehört hatte, aus welchen Zutaten Nutella in Wirklichkeit besteht. Hätte sie dies gewusst und wäre sie nicht durch die Werbung getäuscht worden, hätte sie Nutella nie gekauft. Das Verhalten des Herstellers sei „rechtswidrig.“ Ferrero USA habe falsche und irreführende Werbung für das Produkt gemacht. Die Konsumenten seien hierdurch dazu bewegt worden, ein Produkt zu kaufen, dass eine schlechtere Qualität und einen geringeren Wert habe, wir versprochen.
In der Klage vom 1. Februar 2011 fordert Frau Hohenberg eine Untersagung für Ferrero’s Marketing und Werbestrategie von Nutella. In Zukunft dürfen keine Begriffe wie „gesunde“ oder „ausgeglichene“ Ernährung verwendet werden. Ferrero USA ist verpflichtet sämtliche Einkünfte und Gewinne, die sie durch ihre täuschende Werbung erzielt hat, zurückzuzahlen. Alle auf dem Markt befindlichen Werbematerialien und Produkte, die zu einer Täuschung des Konsumenten führen, müssen vernichtet werden. Außerdem werden alle Personen, die nach dem 1. Januar 2000 ein oder mehr Nutellaprodukte gekauft haben, entschädigt.
Der Anwalt, Ron Marrow, der die Klage eingereicht hat, hat sich bisher noch nicht weiter geäußert. Genauso hat Ferrero USA noch keine Angaben zu diesem Fall gemacht. Laut der Internetseite des Wall Street Journal soll eine Ferrero Sprecherin gesagt haben, dass „das Unternehmen hinter der Qualität, den Zutaten und der Werbung des Nutella Produktes stehe.“
(C) Picture: Suat Eman: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=151
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Language software maker Rosetta Stone appealed after a federal judge ruled for Google in a trademark dispute. and now Google presented a lot of redacted documents.
It seems that privacy matters. Hopefully for all!
Please contact me, if you would like to receive it via email.
Reinhard von Hennigs
We all know that determining whether an employee is exempt or nonexempt is very fact-specific. We can help you.
We offer an analysis using the requirements of the law. Misclassification is rampant and can cost employers thousands of dollars in civil, as well as criminal penalties.
Issues we test for you with your specific facts are:
- General exemption tests under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA): The salary test and the primary duties test
- Application of the 5 main exempt categories
- New trends originating from recent federal case law regarding the exempt status of employees
- Analyze your deductions (differentiate between permissible and impermissible payroll deductions)
- Work with your regular pay rate and check whether your calculations and formulas can lead to a conclusion
- Interplay of state law with the FLSA
Contact us - better now than after you were contacted by the authorties.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
The last week the House has been debating a budget bill to keep the government open for the remainder of the year (ending September 30). The US budget is always from October 1 thuough September 30 the following year.
Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY) introduced last week H.R. 1, commonly referred to as the continuing resolution (CR). As the current situation will expire soon either this proposal H.R. 1, or a different budget bill needs to be voted on and enacted into law by March 4, 2011. The current short-term budget will expire that day.
By now over 600 amendments were proposed and over 20 were immigration-related.
We will monitor this development and how it impacts foreign companies in their operation in the US.
(C) Picture: vitasamb2001: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=915
Monday, February 21, 2011
Thursday, February 17, 2011
The Internal Revenue Service announced on February 15, 2011 it has started processing individual tax returns affected by legislation enacted in December and reminded taxpayers that they can begin filing electronically immediately.
On 2/14/2011 IRS systems began to accept and process both e-file and paper tax returns claiming itemized deductions on Form 1040, Schedule A, as well as deductions for state and local sales tax, higher education tuition and fees and educator expenses.
“The IRS is now accepting all the 1040 forms,” IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said. “We worked hard to update our systems and get the changes in place as quickly as possible. We appreciate the patience of those impacted by the delay. We urge taxpayers to use e-file with direct deposit, and they can get their refunds within days.”
In late December 2010, the IRS announced it would delay processing of some tax returns in order to update processing systems to accommodate the late tax law changes. These tax law provisions were extended by the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010, which became law on Dec. 17.
More information can be found on our website.
Or as always: please contact us!
(C) Picture: Arvind Balaraman: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=1058
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Last week, in testimony to the American Bar Association's Task Force on the Preservation of the Justice System, the Georgia Bar Association presented a statement and a report that shows a significant economic impact associated with decreased judicial funding in Georgia.
Does this surprise you?
In other words: the common good (aka the judges) demand more to help the business to flourish.
Let me know of comment below.
Picture (C): Boaz Yiftach: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=1408
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
The card looks similar to the current Employment Authorization Document (EAD) but will include text that reads, “Serves as I-512 Advance Parole.” A card with this text will serve as both an employment authorization and Advance Parole document. The new card is also more secure and more durable than the current paper Advance Parole document.
For more information about the EAD and Advance Parole card, review at our website or contact us.
Reinhard von Hennigs
Picture (C) Michael Elliott: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=816
Monday, February 14, 2011
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer filed a counter-lawsuit against the federal government last week (Febr 10, 2011) for failing to control the border and enforce immigration laws, and for sticking the state with huge costs for jailing illegal immigrants who commit crimes. This is an interesting move. After his state was challenged by the Federal Government - this is now his attack.
The Arizona counter suit was filed in the federal government's legal challenge to Arizona's new enforcement immigration law. The immigration issue in Arizona has a long history, we reported earlier here.
Picture (C) Arvind Balaraman: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=1058
Friday, February 11, 2011
"In the world of banking and financial services, however, it is already in the premier league. Charlotte’s two biggest banks—Bank of America, the country’s largest, and Wells Fargo, which, though headquartered in San Francisco, has maintained a strong presence in the city since taking over Charlotte-based Wachovia at the end of 2008—employ around 35,000 people. In banking Charlotte is second only to New York among American cities."
Read the full article here:
Federal Reserve Board Proposes Rule Related to Designation of Systemically Important Nonbank Financial Companies
The Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act federal statute in the United States that was signed into law by President Barack Obama on July 21, 2010. The Act is a product of the financial regulatory reform agenda of the Democratically-controlled 111th United States Congress and the Obama administration.
The proposed rule includes these two issues:
- Identifies the criteria to determine if a company predominantly engages in financial activities.
- Defines "significant nonbank financial company" and "significant bank holding company."
We will monitor the rule and will keep you posted on our website and here at the blog. We will also include some new development on the Dodd-Frank Act in our March Newsletter. If you are not yet a subscriber, please contact us.
Picture: (C) Salvatore Vuono: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=659
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Will it break if it falls on the floor?
Are you surprised if your phone breaks after it dropped on the floor?
Well if you are in a shock and you just dropped your Apple iPhone 4, you may join a law suit. There was a class action filed.
Read more and if you do not want to join a law suit but to protect your company and would like our Litigation Team to review your companies advertising to reduce your risk, please contact us!
Picture (C) Idea go, http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=809
A bookkeeper and office manager for a real estate company in California with about 30 real estate agents—she was busy. She was also paid hourly by the agency which results in one conclusion: she was not qualified as exempt.
"Her boss always worked her overtime and never paid her for it" explains her husband... and then she was fired.
While this is a real case it leads to a few questions:
1. How do you document overtime at your company?
2. Do you calculate and pay according to the law?
3. Do you plan to fire anybody who may have worked overtime?
Many more questions, but most of all... it makes sense to follow the law. Not just regarding overtime.
Please call or email if you have any questions to the applicable Labor Law, the FLSA.
Reinhard von Hennigs
Picture (C): winnond, http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=1970
Wednesday, February 09, 2011
An analysis compiled by a private group using government data also found that there has been a decline in the Justice Department's felony prosecutions aside from immigration cases, particularly outside the Southwest.
The study was released on February 1, 2011 by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, a private, nonpartisan group based at Syracuse University that compiled the data from the first two years of the Obama administration and the last two years of the Bush administration.
TRAC said that felony immigration prosecutions in federal court systems along the border from Houston to San Diego went up 259 percent from 2007 to 2010, increasing nearly 16,000 to 36,321.
Picture: (C) Simon Howden http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=404
Tuesday, February 08, 2011
North Carolina Republican lawmakers are attempting to use their new majority status in North Carolina to advance another policy goal: Medical malpractice reform that they contend would bring down costs for doctors and other businesses.
It is scheduled to be filed this week. The scope: to limit non-economic damages in malpractice cases and divide such trials into two parts — for questions of liability and monetary damages.
We will monitor this development and keep you updated.
Monday, February 07, 2011
"Registration is refused because the applied-for mark, SARAH PALIN, consists of a name identifying a particular living individual whose consent to register the mark is not of record," the patent agency said in an office action.
Too bad, but there is an easy fix: "Please note this refusal will be withdrawn if applicant provides written consent from the individual identified in the applied-for mark," the patent office said.
If you need some assistance in a trademark filing, we can assist you!
Sunday, February 06, 2011
Die Gesetzgebungs- organe in North Carolina und in Georgia sind wieder - wie es so schön heisst - "in session" und es ist denkbar, dass einige wesentlich Gesetze entstehen - genau so wie auf der US Bundesebene. Doch ist bei aller Aktualität es wichtig, einige gesellschaftsrechtliche Besonderheiten der letzten Monate zu bedenken. Dieses Ziel setzt sich dieser Newsletter.
Gerade jetzt in den ersten Monaten des Jahres müssen alle US Gesellschaften - egal ob es sich um eine Corporation oder eine LLC handelt - einen Jahresbericht abgeben und sich bei dem zuständigen Innenministerium "zurückmelden". Unterbleibt dieses, so droht die Löschung der Gesellschaft mit der Konsequenz der persönlichen Haftung. Hier gibt es Neues in North Carolina zu beachten.
Alles weitere auf unserer Webseite - oder kontaktieren Sie uns, wenn Sie den Newsletter regelmässig via email erhalten wollen.
Reinhard von Hennigs+1 (704)333 5230
Picture: (C) Renjith Krishnan, http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=721
Thursday, February 03, 2011
wir suchen stets eine/n Rechtsreferendar/in für eine Wahlstation in den USA in Atlanta oder in Charlotte zur Unterstützung der International Law and Business Practice Group, die von mir als Partner geleitet wird.
Gestern hatte ich dazu einen allgemeinen Post verfasst. Nun bekam ich Fragen dazu. Hier meine Antwort: die Tätigkeiten und Bewerbungsmodalitäten sind auf unserer Webseite beschrieben. Alles weitere dort.
Reinhard von Hennigs
Wednesday, February 02, 2011
Now, there are essentially 3 questions every hiring manager needs to have answered before they can make a decision about hiring you or not. They are:
- Do I like you?
- What motivates you?
- Can you do the job
The first 2 questions are personality questions. The last one is a commodity question. Think about it, almost everyone else going for that job can push the button too.
Anyhow: anybody interested in an internship?
Or an immigration specialist interested in joining us in Charlotte?
Let me know!
Reinhard von Hennigs
PS: Please take a look at this "Erlebnisbericht" of one intern.