Legal

Senate Panel Passes Patent Reform Bill

By a bipartisan 16-4 vote, the Senate Judiciary Committee today approved the PATENT Act (S. 1137), which would seek to reduce abuse of the patent system through vaguely worded demand letters sent to businesses by patent trolls.

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Supreme Court Ruling Protects Second Mortgage Holders

The Supreme Court today ruled unanimously against borrowers who sought to void second mortgages in Chapter 7 bankruptcy when their houses were worth less than the balance owed on the first mortgages. ABA filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the cases -- Bank of America v. Caulkett and Bank of America v. Toledo-Cardona¬ -- arguing that the lower court rulings allowing junior liens to be “stripped off” did not align with previous Supreme Court rulings and would cause widespread disruption in housing markets.

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DOL Will Enforce FMLA Same-Sex Spouse Rule Where Not Enjoined

Last month, we advised readers that a Texas federal district court had enjoined the Department of Labor from enforcing its FMLA same-sex spouse rule in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Nebraska. DOL’s final rule change updated the regulatory definition of "spouse" in the Family and Medical Leave Act in keeping with the U.S. Supreme Court‘s ruling in United States v. Windsor.

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