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Chicago Class Action Attorneys and Oak Brook Class Action Lawyers and Naperville Class Action Attorneys near ChicagoThe recent natural movement that has led many people towards organic foods has spread to other areas of our everyday lives. Many people now reach for organic soaps and moisturizers as well as local, organic produce.

Deodorant in particular has seen an increased demand for natural options, especially since claims arose years ago that conventional deodorant is linked to cancer. The validity of those claims is still up for debate, but what many customers of Old Spice say is not up for debate are the severe rashes and burns they’ve allegedly received as a result of the company’s various deodorant products.

According to a recent consumer class action lawsuit against Procter & Gamble, the company’s Old Spice deodorant products have left serious rashes and chemical burns on hundreds, maybe even thousands, of customers. The class action lawsuit was filed in March and is seeking $5 million in damages. Continue reading

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Naperville copyright and trademark attorneys near Oak BrookMost copyright laws in the United States come with a time limit. In the case of music, publishing rights can be recaptured after 56 years for any music that was written before 1978. For songs written after 1978, one only has to wait 35 years before the publishing rights can be recaptured.

The ability to recapture the publishing rights to older music certainly makes a strong case for living a long life, something musicians seem to be less likely to achieve the more successful they are. Nevertheless, Paul McCartney is one of the few original rock stars to live long enough to reclaim the publishing rights to some of his most famous songs.

According to Billboard, McCartney has begun taking steps to reclaim the publishing rights of some of the most famous songs he wrote and performed when he was with The Beatles. McCartney is not seeking the rights to all of the songs The Beatles are known for, since many of them were written or co-written by John Lennon. According to documents filed with the U.S. Copyright Office in December, McCartney is seeking to reclaim the publishing rights of 32 of the famous band’s songs. Continue reading

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Top Chicago trademark and copyright lawyers near Oak Brook and SchaumburgWhen someone files a lawsuit, it’s rarely just about the money. In many cases it’s about an individual or company participating in illegal practices and the plaintiff wants to make sure that issue is addressed. Some complaints include a request for the court to file an injunction to prevent the defendant from ever participating in the illegal behavior again, but sometimes the defendant remedies the problem before the court can act.

On its face, that may seem like a good idea, because it cuts off the allegations at the head, but a company changing its practices can actually work against it if they’re facing a lawsuit. By changing its practices, the defendant is essentially admitting that it was doing something wrong. Plaintiffs who may have been injured before the company changed their policies now have a stronger claim against the company.

One such case of this is the class action lawsuit filed against Rhapsody, the music streaming company. The lawsuit is very similar to one that was previously filed against Spotify, a different music streaming company. Continue reading

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Best copyright attorneys near Chicago and Oak ParkGood Morning To You Productions v. Warner/Chappell Music Inc.

When you gather with friends or family to celebrate birthdays, you probably never considered that that famous song you sing them was “owned” by anyone. No worries; you can now sing “Happy Birthday” to someone in public without potentially being sued for royalties. A federal district court in California has held that Warner/Chappell Music, Inc. can no longer claim a copyright on the song. The ruling is part of a class action settlement in which the music publishing giant will have to repay $14 million in copyright infringement awards it has collected over the years.

The song, which is the most widely recognized composition in the English language, was allegedly composed in the late 19th century by a schoolteacher and her sister, and was originally entitled “Good Morning to All” and contained different lyrics. The “Happy Birthday” lyrics and music were first put into print beginning in 1911, but neither the words nor the melody were ever definitively or consistently attributed to anyone. The rights to the song were acquired from the sisters by the Clayton Summy Co., which was much later acquired by Warner. Continue reading

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Illinois lawyers near Oak Brook who know about noncompete agreements
This video provides a very good summary of recent Illinois non-compete agreement law:

Our Chicago non-compete agreement and business dispute attorneys have defended high level executives in covenant not to compete and trade secret lawsuits. A case in which our firm defended a former Motorola executive was covered in Crain’s Chicago business. You can view that article by clicking here.

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Best Chicago consumer fraud and consumer protection lawyers near Schaumburg Plainfield and Sugar GroveEveryone loves a good deal and retailers know that. It is extremely popular to see online retailers include a price for an item that is higher than the price they’re selling it for. Names for the higher price range from “suggested retail price” to “list price” to the more vague “estimated value”. By listing a higher price next to their own price, the retailers give the impression that they’re giving their customers a deal, but how do customers really know they’re getting a deal?

Many customers simply take the retailer’s word for it while others take the age-old advice for customers to do their research, shop around, and compare prices. Recent comparisons of “discounted” items on sites like Amazon and failed to find any retailer that sold the item for the list price. Comparisons also found that the “list price” varied from site to site, even when the actual price it was sold for was the same at each retailer.

Because giving customers the impression they’re getting a deal can make them more likely to click that “Buy” button, many customers feel deceived when they find out they paid the same price as everyone else at other retailers. This sense of betrayal has resulted in several consumer class action lawsuits with allegations of false advertising. Continue reading

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Best business dispute lawyers and attorneys near Chicago Naperville and Oak BrookRoot Consulting Inc. v. William Insull, 2016 WL 806556 (N.D. Ill., March 2, 2016)

An officer and shareholder of a closely held corporation has a fiduciary duty not to compete with the company even if he is forced out of the organization.

William I. was sued by Root Consulting Inc. and fellow shareholders for breach of fiduciary duty after he formed a competing company and solicited business from Root customers, while still a vice president and shareholder of Root (Root Consulting Inc. v. William Insull (2016 WL 806556)). Root is an Illinois-based information technology company with operations in Illinois and Texas; William I. is a Texas resident. William I. claimed his employment ended in July 2013 when he was “frozen out” (or constructively terminated) by the other shareholders, and therefore he had no fiduciary duty to refrain from competition. However, U.S. District Judge Robert Blakey found that he remained vice president and 47.5% shareholder until February of 2014, and that he continued to do work for Root after his alleged termination date.

Under Illinois law, corporate officers owe a fiduciary duty to their corporation and to its shareholders and may not enrich themselves at the expense of the corporation. Under the “corporate opportunity” doctrine, a fiduciary cannot take personal advantage of business opportunities that arise from and rightfully belong to the corporation. The officer’s resignation does not relieve him of liability if he acquired the opportunity before his employment ended. Continue reading

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Chicago trademark lawyers and best Chicago business dispute attorneys

Our Chicago trademark attorneys prosecute and defend intellectual property lawsuits and complex partner and business disputes.  We can help solve your business dispute issues.

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Chicago's best non-compete agreement attorneys near Oak Brook and Orland Park

Our Oak Brook non-compete agreement attorneys have defended high level executives in covenant not to compete and trade secret lawsuits. A case in which our firm defended a former Motorola executive was covered in Crain’s Chicago business. You can view that article by clicking here.

DiTommaso-Lubin a firm of Chicago business dispute attorneys handles litigation over non-compete clauses for individuals and businesses of all sizes, including small or closely held businesses for whom competition from an ex-employee can be a serious threat. Our Chicago business lawyers with offices near Lombard and Addison have substantial experience in restrictive covenant and breach of contract cases, and we are proud of our record of strong results.

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Best business dispute and closely held corporate dispute attorneys near Oak Brook Naperville and ChicagoAsk almost anyone what a donut is and they’ll most likely describe it as a round pastry that’s fried and then usually glazed with sugar and sometimes various toppings, such as frosting and/or sprinkles. The definition usually consists of a hole in the center, unless the pastry is filled, but two bakeries have started making square donuts and are now fighting over the name “Square Donuts.”

A bakery in Terre Haute, Indiana (called “Square Donuts”) has been making donuts in a box-like form since the 1960s. When Family Express, a convenience store based out of Valparaiso, Indiana, started making their own square donuts in 2005, the Square Donuts sent a cease and desist letter, saying the name “square donuts” was proprietary.

Family Express responded that they did not think their use of the term “square donuts” constituted infringement. They didn’t hear back from Square Donuts so they continued making their box-like pastries. Family Express markets these oddly-shaped donuts on their website as one of their main offerings, saying they’re made every day before being delivered to all their outlets. They even posted a video that shows how the donuts are made, including a machine that cuts the pastries into squares.

The company talks up its oddly-shaped donuts as a unique attraction, despite the fact it has turned out that the shape of their donuts is not so unique after all. In fact, Family Express was about forty years behind another the Terre Haute-based bakery in making and marketing donuts in a new shape. Far from being the first to think of this, Family Express isn’t even the first in the state to make and advertise square donuts, much less the first in the country. Continue reading