Over the last few months there has been strong reaction in Japan to the class-action settlement between Google, the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers. Google had hoped that the settlement would remove a major hurdle to its efforts to create a vast online library by scanning millions of books and making them available for search. However, as documented in this report, Japanese publishers and authors have expressed real concerns about how their rights might be impacted by developments in the United States.
Either as a matter of internal policy or in response to specific requirements included in legislative actions, many government agencies have issued rules and guidelines relating to corporate compliance programs. This report provides an overview of the latest influential statement of policy issued by the Department of Justice regarding the factors that federal prosecutors should consider in deciding whether to pursue criminal charges against a corporate target. Among other things, the policy–referred to as the Filip Memorandum–discusses how prosecutors should evaluate the effectiveness of a compliance program.
A manufacturer may often enter a new market by contracting with a partner that will produce the products in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications and then promote and sell the finished products in the market. The operative agreement for such a relationship is often a trademark license agreement pursuant to which the manufacturer licenses its trademarks to the licensee for exploitation in a specific territory and the licensee agrees to use the trademarks in a manner that preserves the quality of the licensed products and remit royalties to the manufacturer based on sales of the licensed products. A comprehensive form of trademark license agreement is attached.
A crisis, such as a government investigation or a class action lawsuit from customers, is no fun and certainly raises career path issues for in-house lawyers if things aren't handled smoothly or it appears that the crisis could have somehow been averted if someone in the legal department has been paying more attention. So, one important tool for crisis managment is setting up processes in advance to identify potential problems before they explode. This report describes the preferred elements for a compliance and ethics programs as set out in the U.S. Sentencing Commission Guidelines Manual.
The audit committee is the most important of the board committees. Audit committees are responsible for overseeing the quality and completeness of the disclosures made by a company, interacting with the company's outside auditors and ensuring that there is independent and critical review of the accounting practices of the company. This week's report discusses the listing requirements of the two major national securities exchanges relating to audit committees.