Category Archives: Litigation

Billionaire Richard Branson Called a Trademark Bully by the Trademark Law Professors of University of Washington, School of Law

Westborough, MA, 2020-Jul-30 — /EPR LAW NEWS/ — Virgin has targeted to attack over 300 small companies & non-profit charities. Common sense says that the word ‘virgin’ cannot be owned by one individual or organization but Virgin has deep pockets to destroy those who dare to fight for their rights.

“Opposing trademark registrations in unrelated fields is the classic behavior of a trademark bully,” says Mike Atkins, an attorney at Atkins Intellectual Property who teaches trademark law at the University of Washington, School of Law.

That’s why it came as a surprise that Branson decided to send a threatening cease-and-desist letter (where he tells the small start up to either commit a business suicide right away or else Virgin lawyers will destroy it within 30 days) to I Am Not A Virgin, a small eco-friendly denim label, claiming that the company’s name infringes on his copyright, as the Telegraph’s Laura Hubbert reported on the case.

Richard Branson’s lawyers demanded environmentally friendly start up jeans label ‘I Am Not A Virgin’ to cancel their trademark (a trademark they have been lawfully granted and owned for almost 4 years before they received the threat letter from Branson – reports Ms. HUBBERT in her article.

“I guess I could rename my jeans Not Made By Richard Branson” – comments sarcastically the founder of the brand. Branson also demanded the small business owner cease to sell current stock of the jeans and removes them from the stores which for a small business is a financial suicide and a loss of all start up investment costs essentially leading to the end of a business.

“Common sense says that the word ‘virgin’ cannot be owned by one individual or organization. In other words, it’s stupid to claim a colour of your own, let say a word. Branson, who’s also well known for his support of environmental causes, apparently has failed to see that” – says Anderson Antunes in his Forbes article about Virgin’s abuse on small entrepreneurs.

Attorney at law, Widerman Malek, summaries in his comments: “If Richard Branson has his way, it might be. ” He adds: “Although sometimes considered a bully in the trademark office, they remain unapologetic for their stance.”

According to multiple news reports, in the past several years, the Virgin group has targeted over 300 companies who used the word Virgin in their name, URL or marketing slogan. Unfortunately, many of these 300 companies are small businesses who do not have the resources to fight back against a multi-billion dollar company with hundreds or even thousands of lawyers on their retainer. These small businesses almost always settle simply because they cannot afford to fight.

Widerman Malek brings up some of the companies Virgin attacked:

  • Virgin Vapors – a small vapor company located in California whose owner currently refuses to change its name despite being threatened by Virgin.
  • The owners of domain names virginthreads.com, virginpublishing.com, virginstar.net, and virgincigar.com. The Virgin group alleges cyberpiracy for any company using the name virgin in their domain, even if it is not their business name.
  • Author Cristina Crayn, who named one of her published books, “Tales from the Virgin Vault.”
  • Virgin Valley Cab – a cab company in the Virgin Valley geographic location of Northwest Arizona, who recently came to an agreement with conglomerate to stop using the name.
  • Las Virgenes United Educational Foundation – a nonprofit organization in the Las Virgenes School District. The Virgin Group attempted to block the trademark application. Evidently, any virgin will meet their criteria – no matter which language it’s in and if destroying charities for children is to take place.
  • I Am Not A Virgin – a New York clothing company which specializes in creating and selling denim products.
  • Virgin Air, a small airline in the American Virgin Islands, which no longer exists under this name due to Virgin’s lawsuits.
  • CBS Studios, who may be opposed by the Virgin Group in an attempt to trademark the name Jane the Virgin, which they will use as a sitcom name.
  • Last year, the Virgin group attempted to stop Valle Grande from trademarking a phrase that contained the words “virgin olive oil”, using the argument that Valle Grande currently only sells vinegar.
  • In 2004, the conglomerate sued a tiny apparel retailer called Virgin Threads in federal court in New York; the retailer dropped the name a year later as they could not afford to battle with Virgin any longer.
  • VIRGINIC – Purity Perfected – small cosmetics brand, selling “beyond organic”, handcrafted, allergy-free face creams in small batches. Virgin has been suing them with malicious, aggressive litigations, on the ongoing basis from 2018-2020 in multiple countries to starve them financially to business death, as Virgin did with other start ups. Interestingly, Virgin abandoned selling cosmetics years ago making public statements on their own website that they have no intention to sell beauty products. As of July 2020, VIRGINIC still refuses to be bullied and to give up their name.

Via EPR Network
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Virgin’s unethical business practices against small start ups and non-profit foundations

Louisville, Kentucky, 2020-Jul-16 — /EPR LAW NEWS/ — When it comes to big business versus small business, the deck is, and always has been, heavily stacked in favor of the giants, making sure it stays that way. Yes, there will always be David and Goliath stories held up as the reason for hope in these battles, but reality dictates that they are almost insurmountable obstacles in the path of a small entrepreneur.

There is, however, a more insidious and corruptive side to the competition that few, if any, really see or understand at all. The legal teams.

Companies like The Virgin Group and Sir Richard Branson retain the type of law firms that see no ethical issue in destroying anything and anyone on their way, no matter the cost, the merits and the human lives and dreams destroyed along the way.

Take billing, for example. Virgin Enterprises uses Norvell IP and A. A. Thornton, type of companies that sees fit to charge by the half hour for anything that they do, including a single phone call, running up bills of around $300 per call. Yes, you read that correctly…$300 PER CALL! Equally absurdly, they charge the same to write a letter, to attend a meeting or to send an email!

 

Ok, so Virgin and Sir Richard is worth billions, they can afford these costs and who cares? It’s their choice and their wallet, right?

Well, no. They make their pray pay for it.

The thing is, as the relentless (and oftentimes frivolous) stream of trademark infringement lawsuits are filed across the globe, those costs are, almost exclusively borne not by Virgin, but by the small business that they are making their claim against.

Take the case of Wyoming start-up, VIRGINIC LLC. Virgin decided, as they have done on so many occasions in the past, that they were unhappy with the UK Intellectual Property Office awarding VIRGINIC LLC their own brand trademark “VIRGINIC”. For a little context, let’s not forget that this is the same company that sued a Virgin Olive Oil producer, the TV show “Jane The Virgin” and even a Non-profit Educational Foundation, “Las Virgenes” for children, staffed entirely by volunteer parents! If you’re like most people, this alone can leave anyone speechless. Clearly, Virgin is not afraid to throw their litigation budget around even against non-profit children care foundations.

So, Virgin took umbrage to the idea of a company VIRGINIC LLC, regardless of the fact that the UKIPO had already awarded their trademark for their name to them. Virgin attacked and yet again the UK courts decided that there was no case to be heard and VIRGINIC should keep their own trademark.

Virgin lost the case, and the subsequent appeal, with VIRGINIC being awarded the princely sum of £300 in costs, and that, in any sensible judicial process, should have been that. However, Virgin’s lawyers managed to get the UK High Court of Appeals to agree to review the appeal of the case which, upon doing so, intrestingly awarded in favor of Virgin this third time around.

And here is the fun part; When VIRGINIC, a small “David” went up against the behemoth “Goliath” of Virgin and managed to not only show that common sense is still alive and well in some legal systems, but managed to do it on a shoestring budget, whilst a mammoth task and stupendous result given the odds, it appears that the ultimately necessary penny-pinching that all start-ups are likely to be forced to adopt, is the largest chink in their armor.

The reason for this is simple: Virgin lose and the judge awards costs in the order of £300 to the start-up. £300 which Virgin never actually saw fit to pay, regardless of the fact that they spend so much time in courtrooms arguing that their rights are being infringed upon and crowing for justice. This in itself is a pointer towards where this all goes wrong. You see, they cry foul and plead for justice as if the courtroom is a sacred place where all shall find their truth. In reality, when that truth is contrary to their opinion, they simply disregard the orders of the court and find somebody else to cry to.

Now, what happens when, at the third time of asking, they manage to find themselves a “friendly” judge? Well, their costs are awarded against VIRGINIC in the sum of…

Ready for this…?

£33,000 + £10,000!
With no right to appeal any further, conveniently.

So, Virgin “loses” and the bill is £300. I would guess that the lawyers charging $300 to make a phone call would probably be happy to pay that off themselves with the cash that they dropped down the sofa last night. However, when VIRGINIC loses, all those cups of coffee that the world’s most expensive secretaries were making suddenly add up to a sum of £43,000, so exorbitant, so utterly defiant of anything even approaching a reality that is in any way sustainable, that all suddenly becomes so very clear.

Virgin and, more importantly, Virgin’s lawyers LOVE finding random reasons to drag volnurable, small businesses (and apparently non-profit foundations too) into a courtroom because it is a no-loss situation for them. They literally don’t even bother paying the measly costs generated if they lose (Virgin pays) whilst running up such absurd bills themselves that, if they win, the small business is basically financially crippled to the point where it either ceases to exist or exists only for the purposes of paying off the legal bills. Small educational foundations like “Las Virgenes” for children, staffed entirely by volunteer parents are a no match with this malice legal practice backed by deep pockets of Virgin.

Is there a happy ending here? VIRGINIC is well off its knees trying to write one as we speak. Keep your fingers crossed and maybe the Wyoming case will prove more uncorrupted justice system in the US than the UK one.

Via EPR Network
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Virgin hires private investigators to spy and find out where VIRGINIC employees live in the US. VIRGINIC wins with Virgin twice in the UK

Austin, Texas, 2020-Jun-09 — /EPR LAW NEWS/ — Hypocrisy continues. Richard Branson claims to support small entrepreneurs and yet Virgin lawyers attack and destroy small start-ups.

Jolly Santa figure or a Business Bully?

Common sense says that the word ‘virgin’ cannot be owned by one individual or organization. After suing VIRGINIC, will Virgin now go after British Virgin Islands, the country? Or after Madonna for a song “Like a Virgin?”. Welcome to the Jungle where you can hire the most ruthless and manipulative lawyers, shall your deep pockets allow the cost.

Richard Branson, he of the goatee beard, shaggy hair and permanently fixed grin is not a man who needs to worry about money. His personal net worth is as of 2020 approximately 4.2 billion USD according to Google. The Virgin Group had an annual turnover in 2016 of around 25 billion USD. The Group’s business interests extend, to use the legal phrase, ad coelum et ad inferos. For those of us without a Classical education, that means up to heaven and down to hell, from trains on the ground to telecommunications in the atmosphere around us up to commercial space flight, Virgin has many fingers in many pies.

Of the many classes of goods and services marketed under the Virgin name cosmetics is not one of them. In June 2009, Virgin explicitly announced its intent to not use any mark containing the term “Virgin” in connection with the sale of cosmetics, skincare, and beauty products by announcing that it was “moving away from glamorous adventures in this particular retail sector.” A crystal clear statement of intent that stands to this day as Virgin still doesn’t sell cosmetics under the Virgin name and has long abandoned its mark with respect to cosmetics and skincare goods.

Enter stage right VIRGINIC LLC. Virginic was created two and a half years ago and is a startup specializing in mission-based, allergy-free, chemical-free beauty products with “virginic” level of purity, sold strictly through ecommerce channels. Small company with big ethos of superior standards of ingredients purity and ethics, vegan and unprocessed. Despite the fact that Virgin has no current or future interest in goods of this type, and that VIRGINIC is a different brand name than Virgin, Virgin has been aggressively pursuing a frankly absurd and bullying course of action against VIRGINIC for the past 2 years.

The logos of the two companies look nothing alike, the name of VIRGINIC is not similar and no person is going to think their VIRGINIC face cream has anything at all to do with Virgin Atlantic airline. There is no reason for Virgin to maliciously keep trying to destroy a company like VIRGINIC. It poses no threat whatsoever to Virgin’s business interests or to consumers but it is under attack by an army of lawyers in multiple countries, where employees are spied by lawyers, their linkedin profiles invigilated and people straight abused.

This sad state of affairs began when VIRGINIC LLC applied to register their trademark in the UK. In January 2018 the mark was accepted and published in the Trade Marks Journal in respect of Class 03, which covers cosmetics and skincare goods. The UK IPO governmental trademark officer accepted the trademark as it concluded no marketplace confusion nor even similarity. Virgin opposed it despite the fact that it does not sell cosmetics. As any reasonable person would expect, Virgin’s opposition failed, another senior UK IPO specialist decided VIRGINIC wins for a second time on the basis that the average consumer would not make a connection between VIRGINIC chemical-free cosmetics and Virgin Mobile.

However Virgin has massive resources and aggressive lawyers who appealed to the UK Court claiming that the original hearing officer was incorrect and his decision should be overturned. Additionally, aiming to destroy at all cost and against all merits, the lawyers attacked further demanding $50,000 from VIRGINIC.

Thomas M Monagan from Norvell IP, USA, together with Geo Hussey from A.A. Thornton in UK continued by opening more lawsuits in the USs and UK, serving litigation papers to unrelated companies that managers of VIRGINIC used to work for, all to harass the small company to the extreme point so they give up and destroy themselves on Virgin’s request. Virgin also hired a private investigators, as they disclosed to Court in Wyoming, to find out where employees and managers physically live.

In May 2020 same lawyers served VIRGINIC employees lawsuits via their private Linkedin profiles and to random email addresses found on the internet. Such actions could have been a Monty Python sketch, but sadly these days lawyers are apparently allowed to invade people’s privacy.

VIRGINIC stood strong and refused to be destroyed. A fight with multi billion dollar bully can cause significant hardship to any startup in its early stages. While Virgin has the resources to indulge in frivolous and harassing court cases, VIRGINIC does not.

This could bring any other company to its knees, halting operations and causing the lay offs of valuable and experienced staff, impacting the company and making its people jobless. Malicious lawyers applying a technique of continued harassment to burden financial resources of a smaller company and take an emotional toll on its staff is a technique called bullying. Where VIRGINIC should be concentrating on growing and developing its allergy-free and ethically-sourced products, which could change the face of the beauty industry, it is instead being forced to fight for its very survival even though it has done nothing against Virgin whatsoever.

Virgin’s lack of good faith and attempts of its lawyers to harass and destroy is even more clear looking at Virgin’s long history of trademark abuse. Even a cursory search of online sources will reveal multiple examples of trademark abuse and bullying small start ups.

Via EPR Network
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Дело Radio Star Ltd. против Matvil Corp. о защите прав на интеллектуальную собственность проливает свет на коррумпированность юридической системы Молдовы

TORONTO, Canada, 15-May-2020 — /EPR LAW NEWS/ — Как обнаружил один из ведущих провайдеров этнического онлайн-телевидения, предоставляющий услуги на территории Северной Америки, Matvil Corp., у легальных вещателей не существует надежной системы защиты от недобросовестных конкурентов. Интернет пираты, пытающиеся пробиться на рынок США и Канады путём подтасовок, манипулирования данными и используя коррумпированные судейские системы стран Восточной Европы, пытаются дестабилизировать деятельность успешно работающих компаний и нанести им серьезный финансовый и репутационный ущерб.

Ярким доказательством этого явилось дело Radio Star Ltd. против Matvil Corp.

8 июня 2018 года Radio Star Ltd. подала иск против Matvil Corp. в суде города Кишинев (Молдова), заявив, что последний незаконно вещает ряд российских и украинских телеканалов на территории республики Молдова.

Сразу следует отметить, что в поддержку своих требований компания Radio Star (Молдова), сознательно и намеренно использовала обход технических средств защиты, предпринятых Matvil Corp., а в последствии представила их в качестве доказательств.

Используя программу ExpressVPN, сообщники или работники компании Radio Star (Молдова), (которая является в данном случае медийным «пиратом»), физически находясь на территории Республики Молдова, создали учетные записи пользователей и, используя американские IP-адреса, с локацией в Нью-Джерси, США, зарегистрировались на сайте Matvil Corp, тем самым создав иллюзию получения предлагаемых компанией услуг.

Следует разъяснить, что программа ExpressVPN представляет собой виртуальный туннель, который виртуально изменяет физическое место нахождения компьютера или другого электронного устройства, присваивая данному устройству виртуальный IP-адрес, с указанием виртуальной локации в любой точке мира (по выбору пользователя данной программы), при этом, физически, электронное устройство находится в своём территориальном пространстве.

Компания Matvil Corp является добропорядочным медийным провайдером, который предоставляет услуги вещания онлайн ТВ на территории Канады и США.

Любой доступ пользователям из других стран строго запрещён и недоступен.

Однако, злонамеренное желание незаконного обогащения толкает таких злоумышленников как Radio Star (Молдова) на незаконные действия, фальсификацию, мошенничество и совершение преступлений с использованием IT-технологий.

Более того, как стало известно уже в рамках судебного разбирательства, у Radio Star (Молдова) вообще нет эксклюзивных прав на вещание российских и украинских телеканалов на территории республики Молдова. Radio Star (Молдова) является всего лишь агентом по распределению и заключению договоров с конечным потребителем и с ограниченным сроком действия договорных соглашений.

Помимо этого, компания Matvil Corp не получала каких-либо претензий в свой адрес от законных обладателей авторских прав, а Radio Star (Молдова) не представила доказательств предоставленных полномочий от владельцев авторских прав на защиту их интересов.

Несмотря на всё вышеизложенное, 18.01.2019 Суд первой инстанции города Кишинёв, судья Оксана Парфени, вынесла решение в пользу Radio Star, приняв все их сфабрикованные доказательства как достоверные, при этом отказала представителям Matvil Corp в праве заслушать экспертов/специалистов в области IT-технологии, также отказала в праве заслушать тех лиц, которые якобы получили доступ к сервису.

Если бы суд был объективным и беспристрастным, то данным злоумышленникам необходимо было задать всего лишь один вопрос:

«По какой причине и для чего они использовали программу ExpressVPN, использовали американские IP-адреса, с локацией в Нью-Джерси, США, а не попытались авторизироваться на сайте Matvil Corp под действительными молдавскими IP-адресами?»

14.02.2019 адвокат Matvil Corp обжаловал Решение первой инстанции, однако, и здесь пришлось столкнуться с предвзятым отношением.

05.04.2019, то есть спустя 2 месяца, Апелляционная палата Кишинёва, вынесла Определение, которым постановила вернуть апелляционную жалобу по причине, что она была подана неуполномоченным лицом. Основанием для такого постановления послужил банальный и абсолютно незаконный мотив: якобы доверенность, выданная на имя адвоката компании, не была легализована в Министерстве Иностранных дел РМ.

Следует отметить, что данное Определение не было отправлено (утаили по всей видимости для того, чтобы истекли сроки обжалования) в адрес адвоката компании Matvil Corp вплоть до 15.05.2019. Лишь после обращения с официальным заявлением и требованием сообщить, на каком этапе находится поданная апелляция, судебная инстанция соизволила выдать данное Определение.

В этот же день, 15.05.2019, адвокат подал протест на Определение от 05.04.2019, которым постановили вернуть апелляцию, а 26.06.2019 Высшая Судебная Палата РМ постановила, что полномочия являются законными, вследствие чего обязала Апелляционную Палату рассмотреть жалобу на решение первой инстанции по существу.

Таким образом, появился первый луч надежды на объективность и честность Молдавской Судебной системы.

14.11.2019 – Апелляционный суд признал тот факт, что Radio Star (Молдова) не обладает никакими эксклюзивными правами в отношении вещания ТВ программ и не обладает полномочиями от их законных собственников и, как следствие, отменил решение первой инстанции и отказал злоумышленникам в иске.

Казалось бы – справедливость восторжествовала!!!

Однако, чудеса правовой/судебной системы Молдовы продолжились.

Совершенно случайно и благодаря бдительности адвокатов, стало известно, что Radio Star 14.01.2020 подали кассационную жалобу в Высшую Судебную Палату.

Данная информация появилась на сайте судебной инстанции, однако до сегодняшнего дня, ни Matvil Corp, ни адвокат компании, не получили копию данной жалобы и не были официально проинформированы о её существовании.

При этом, 18.03.2020 данная жалоба уже прошла процедуру допустимости, а само рассмотрение назначено на 20.05.2020 и, что примечательно, без участия сторон!

Эта серия несоблюдений требований Закона самой системой, которая создана для его защиты, показывает, что она служит интересам определенной группы людей.

Используя молдавскую судебную систему, недобросовестные конкуренты пытаются дестабилизировать деятельность и нанести серьезный финансовый и репутационный ущерб американским и канадским компаниям, которые не ведут и не помышляли вести бизнес в Молдавии.

Существует вероятность того, что будет принято решение удовлетворить решение первой судебной инстанции и необоснованно обвинить Matvil. Компания будет лишена возможности что-либо сделать в свою защиту в силу того, что это будет последнее судебное заседание, если дело не будет возвращено в Апелляционный суд.

Учитывая ненадёжность, сомнительность, предвзятость судебной системы Молдавии, которая допускает утаивание информации или пренебрегает объективными фактами (видимыми невооруженным взглядом и не требующими специальных знаний), в компании Matvil не уверены в объективности рассмотрения этого полностью сфальсифицированного судебного дела.

Если Высшая Судебная Палата Молдавии вынесет решение в пользу компании Radio Star Ltd, это будет еще одним вопиющим свидетельством полного развала судебной системы Молдавии.

SOURCE: EuropaWire

Matvil Corp. Continues Its Fight Against Illegal Actions of the Legal System of Moldova

A case of intellectual rights dispute sheds light on the corrupt legal system of Moldova

TORONTO, Canada, 2020-May-15 — /EPR LAW NEWS/ — As one of the leading online ethnic TV providers, operating in North America, Matvil Corp. discovered, there is no reliable system in place that protects legal broadcasters from dishonest competition. In their attempts to enter the US and Canadian markets, Internet pirates commit fraud and manipulate data in order to influence the corrupt legal system of Eastern European countries and try to destabilize operations of successful companies, cause financial damage and hurt their reputation.

The case Radio Star Ltd. against Matvil Corp. is a vivid proof of such practices.

On June 8, 2018, Radio Star Ltd. filed a lawsuit against Matvil Corp. in the court of Chisinau, Moldova, stating that the latter illegally broadcasted a number of Russian and Ukrainian channels on the territory of Moldova.

It should be noted right away that in support of its demands, Radio Star (Moldova), knowingly and deliberately used various methods to circumvent technical protection measures undertaken by Matvil Corp., and subsequently presented them as evidence. Using ExpressVPN program, accomplices or employees of Radio Star (Moldova), (which in this case is a media “pirate”), physically located in the Republic of Moldova, created user accounts and, using American IP addresses, with location in New Jersey, USA, registered on the Matvil Corp website, thereby creating the illusion of receiving services offered by the company.

It should be clarified that ExpressVPN program is a virtual tunnel that virtually changes the physical location of a computer or other electronic device, assigning this device a virtual IP address, indicating a virtual location anywhere in the world (at the choice of the user of this program), while physically, the electronic device is located in its territorial space.

Matvil Corp is a respectable media provider that provides online TV broadcasting services in Canada and the United States. Subscription access to the service for users from the countries of former USSR and Russia is strictly prohibited and unavailable.

However, malicious desire for illegal enrichment pushes such adversaries as Radio Star (Moldova) to resort to illegal actions, falsification, fraud and the commission of crimes using IT technologies.

Moreover, as it became known already in the framework of the trial, Radio Star (Moldova) does not have exclusive rights at all to broadcast Russian and Ukrainian television channels in the territory of the Republic of Moldova. Radio Star (Moldova) is just an agent for the distribution and conclusion of contracts with the end consumer and with a limited duration of contractual agreements.

In addition, Matvil Corp did not receive any claims from the copyright holders, and Radio Star (Moldova) did not provide any evidence that authority was granted by the copyright holders to protect their interests.

Despite all of the above, on January 18, 2019, Chisinau Court of First Instance, Judge Oksana Parfeni, ruled in favor of Radio Star, accepting all their fabricated evidence as reliable, but denied Matvil Corp representatives the right to hear IT experts / specialists and also denied the right to hear those persons who allegedly gained access to the service.

If the court were objective and impartial, then these adversaries would be asked only one question: “For what reason and why did they use ExpressVPN program, used American IP addresses, with location in New Jersey, USA, and did not try to log in on Matvil Corp website under valid Moldovan IP addresses? ”

On February 2, 2019 lawyer Matvil Corp appealed the decision of the first instance, however, even here Matvil Corp had to face partiality.

On April 5, 2019, that is, after 2 months, Chisinau Appeal Chamber issued a Decision, which decided to return the appeal because it was filed by an unauthorized person. The reason for this decision was a banal and completely illegal motive: the power of attorney issued to the company’s lawyer was allegedly not legalized in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Moldova.

It should be noted that this Decision was not sent to Matvil Corp lawyers until May 15, 2019 (apparently it was concealed in order to have the appeal dates expire). Only after applying with an official statement and demanding to indicate at what stage the filed appeal was, the court deigned to issue this Decision.

On the same day, May 15, 2019, the lawyer filed a protest against the Decision dated April 5, 2019, where it was decided to return the appeal, and on June 6, 2019, the Higher Trial Chamber of the Republic of Moldova ruled that the power of attorney was legal, and therefore obliged the Appeals Chamber to consider on its own merits the appeal about the decision of the first instance of the Court.

Thus, the first ray of hope for the objectivity and honesty of the Moldovan Judicial System appeared.

November 14, 2019 – The Appeal Court acknowledged the fact that Radio Star (Moldova) does not have any exclusive rights to broadcast TV programs and does not have the authority to protect the interest of copyright holders and, as a result, reversed the decision of the first instance and dismissed adversaries’ lawsuit.

It seemed as though that justice has triumphed!!!

However, the miracles of the legal / judicial system of Moldova continued.

Just by accident and thanks to the vigilance of the lawyers, it became known that Radio Star submitted cassation appeal to the Supreme Court of Justice on January 14, 2020.

This information appeared on the court’s website, but until today, neither Matvil Corp nor the company’s lawyer have received a copy of this complaint and have not been officially informed of its existence.

Moreover, on March 18, 2020 this complaint has already passed the admissibility procedure, and the review itself is scheduled for May 20, 2020 and, what is noteworthy, without the participation of the parties!

This series of non-compliance with the requirements of the Law by the system itself, which was created to protect it, shows that it serves the interests of a certain group of people.

Using the Moldovan judicial system, unscrupulous competitors try to destabilize the business and cause serious financial and reputational damage to American and Canadian companies that do not conduct and did not intend on conducting business in Moldova.

Via EPR Network
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Иск о нарушении прав интеллектуальной собственности продемонстрировал масштаб коррупции судебной системы Молдовы

Торонто, Канада, 24-Jun-2019 — /EPR LAW NEWS/ — Как обнаружил один из ведущих провайдеров этнического онлайн-телевидения, предоставляющий услуги на территории Северной Америки, Matvil Corp., у легальных вещателей не существует надежной системы защиты от недобросовестных конкурентов. Интернет пираты, пытающиеся пробиться на рынок США и Канады путём подтасовок, манипулирования данными и используя коррумпированные судейские системы стран Восточной Европы, пытаются дестабилизировать деятельность успешно работающих компаний и нанести им серьезный финансовый и репутационный ущерб.

Ярким доказательством сказанного явилось дело Radio Star Ltd. против Matvil Corp.

8 июня 2018 года Radio Star Ltd. подало иск против Matvil Corp. в суде города Кишинев (Молдова), заявив, что последний незаконно вещает ряд российских и украинских телеканалов на территории республики Молдова.

Доказательства, представленные в суд в поддержку этих ложных обвинений, были сфабрикованы притворными пользователями сервиса: Мунтяну Николаем и Унгуряну Серджиу, которые обращались к страницам услуг, предназначенным для пользователей из США и Канады, находясь в Кишиневе (Молдова) физически. Они зарегистрировались на сайте Matvil Corp., создали учетные записи пользователей и через ExpressVPN смогли использовать американские IP-адреса. С помощью этих незаконных манипуляций они создали скриншоты контента, доступного только пользователям находящимся на территории Северной Америки, создав тем самым ложное доказательство нарушения авторских прав, которое впоследствии было передано в суд.

Эта тактика обмана суда была успешной, и судья Оксана Парфени вынесла решение в пользу Radio Stars даже не указав причину, по которой она приняла такое решение, несмотря на явно сфабрикованные доказательства, представленные истцом. Возможно, это можно рассматривать как техническое невежество, если бы не тот факт, что последовавшая за этим попытка обжаловать это решение была отклонена судом второй инстанции, судьими (Марина АнтонВиталие Которобай и Ион Цуркан), которые мотивировали свой отказ тем,что адвокаты Matvil Corp. не имели полномочий представлять Matvil, хотя ранее судья Оксана Парфени, рассматривавшая это дело в первой инстанции, не высказала таких сомнений в ходе судебного разбирательства.

Впервые подозрения в том, что судьи были предвзятыми, возникли, когда судья первой инстанции Оксана Парфени отклонила просьбу адвоката Матвила пригласить в суд технических экспертов, которые были готовы предоставить неоспоримые доказательства фальсификации предоставленных истцом фактов и включить показания экспертов в дело.

Вторым подозрительным фактом явилось отсутствие в вердикте судьи обоснования принятого ею решения.

Третьим фактом, свидетельствующим об отсутствии законности в молдавском суде явилось то, что когда была подана апелляция в суд второй инстанции, то решение об отказе апелляции даже не было послано адвокатам защиты, которые узнали об неправомочном решении только тогда, когда это решение было уже опубликовано публично, таким образом намеренно лишив адвокатов Матвил возможности обжаловать это решение сразу же в суде второй инстанции. Что по сути являлось вопиющим нарушением элементарных юридических норм.

SOURCE: EuropaWire

Matvil Corp. Fights the Illegal Actions of the Legal System of Moldova

A case of intellectual rights dispute shreds light on the corrupt legal system of Moldova

Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 2019-Jun-22 — /EPR LAW NEWS/ — As one of the leading online ethnic TV providers, operating in North America, Matvil Corp. discovered, there is no reliable system in place that protects legal broadcasters from dishonest competition. In their attempts to enter the US and Canadian markets, Internet pirates commit fraud and manipulate data in order to influence the corrupt legal system of Eastern European countries and try to destabilize the operation of successful companies, cause financial damage and hurt their reputation.

The case Radio Star Ltd. against Matvil Corp. is a vivid proof of such practices. On June 8, 2018, Radio Star Ltd. filed a lawsuit against Matvil Corp. in the court of Chisinau, Moldova, stating that the latter illegally broadcasted a number of Russian And Ukrainian channels on the territory of Moldova.

The evidence submitted to court in support of these false accusations were fabricated by the pretense service users: Munteanu Nicolai and Ungureanu Sergiu who accessed the service pages targeted for users based in the US and Canada while being physically present in Chisinau (Moldova). They registered at Matvil website, created user accounts and through ExpressVPN were able to use American IP-addresses.

Through these illegal manipulations they made screenshots of content available only to North American users thus creating a false evidence of copyright infringement that was later submitted to court.

This tactics of deceiving the court was a success and the judge Oxana Parfeni ruled in Radio Stars’ favor, failing to provide the reason for doing so, despite the obviously fabricated proof submitted by the Plaintiff.

This could possibly be seen as a technical ignorance hasn’t it been for the fact that the attempt to appeal the ruling that followed was denied by the Court of Appeal by the judges Marina Anton, Vitalie Kotorobay and Ion Tzurkan who explained that they denied the motion to appeal based on the fact that Matvil’s attorneys did not have the authority to represent Matvil even though previously no such doubts were raised by the judge Oxana Parfeni in trial court.

The suspicions that the judges were biased were first raised when the judge of the trial court Oxana Parfeni denied a request of Matvil’s attorney to interview technical experts who were ready to submit an undeniable proof of the fraud nature of the evidence submitted by the Plaintiff and to incorporate this evidence into the case.

The second fact that caused the suspicions was a failure of the Judge to justify her decision in the verdict.

The third evidence of the failure of Moldovian legal system to comply with the Law is the fact that when the motion to appeal was submitted into the Court of Appeal the decision to deny the appeal was not sent to Matvil’s attorneys who had to find out about this illegal decision only after it was made public thus intentionally depriving Matvil’s attorneys’ of the opportunity to appeal this decision directly in the Court of Appeal which is an outrageous disregard of the basic legal norms.

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RCS & RDS S.A. entered into a settlement agreement with Antena TV Group S.A. and Antena 3 S.A.

BUCHAREST, Romania, 18-Jun-2018 — /EPR Law News/ — The Company would like to inform its shareholders and the market that RCS & RDS S.A., the Romanian subsidiary of the Company (“RCS&RDS”), entered on 15 June 2018 into a settlement agreement with Antena TV Group S.A.and Antena 3 S.A. (“Antena Group”).

This settlement ends all lawsuits between RCS&RDS and Antena Group and related entities, which we have previously disclosed in detail to the market and to our investors in the initial public offering prospectus dated 26 April 2017, in the bond public offering memoranda from 2016 and 2017, as well as in the subsequent periodic public reports.

Also, RCS&RDS and Antena Group entities have also concluded a carriage agreement based on which RCS&RDS will continue to retransmit the Antena Group channels as pay-tv stations as soon as the Antena Group channels will exit the must-carry regime.

For details regarding the reports, please access the official websites designated of Digi: www.digi-communications.ro (Investor Relations Section).

SOURCE: EuropaWire

Law Offices of James Scott Farrin Announces ProductsThatHurt.com – a Website Dedicated to Informing Consumers about Defective Drugs and Medical Devices

The Law Offices of James Scott Farrin is proud to present ProductsThatHurt.com – a website dedicated to informing consumers of the dangerous side effects and recalls of various defective drugs and medical devices in the United States.

ProductsThatHurt.com is hosted by the NC defective products lawyer team at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin, and it provides information about recalls and the serious side effects of many dangerous drugs and medical devices –some that are still currently on the market. Visitors can stay current on the latest information about these dangerous drugs and medical devices through up-to-date blogs and can post comments and questions about their concerns.

ProductsThatHurt.com has been divided into distinct categories to make the website easier to navigate:

The site will feature frequently updated blogs about these categories and the various recalls of defective drugs and medical devices that affect consumers in North Carolina and throughout the United States. Through these blog posts and in-depth informative articles, readers can leave the website feeling better informed and updated about the various risks of dangerous drugs and medical devices that they may be taking or that may be suggested as a course of treatment by their doctors. Ultimately, the website will be a place for readers to educate themselves about recalls and potential dangers, while also providing them resources for getting legal help if they need it.

“There are many prescription drugs and medical devices on the market that are being promoted to help patients but that are actually proving to be quite harmful and to cause even more serious health problems in some cases,” said President James S. Farrin. “We want to give consumers the information they need about these defective products. We are also here to offer them the legal protection they may need if they feel that they have suffered serious side effects as a result of these dangerous products.”

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NC Workers’ Compensation Attorney Ryan Bliss Joins the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin

The Law Offices of James Scott Farrin is pleased to welcome NC Workers’ Compensation Attorney Ryan Bliss to the firm’s Workers’ Compensation Department.

Bliss has experience working on both sides of the Workers’ Compensation law, having worked on the defense side prior to joining the firm. In addition to Workers’ Compensation, Bliss’ experience in law encompasses several areas including family law, real estate, trust and estates.

Bliss enjoys working on the side of the law that helps injured NC workers because he values the relationships that develop. Bliss is able to develop strong, meaningful relationships with his clients while helping them navigate the complicated Workers’ Compensation system.

“It is important to me to represent people who are most affected by an injury from simply doing their job,” said NC Workers’ Compensation Attorney Ryan Bliss. “Representing faceless companies with lots of red tape on the defense side was not the reason I became a lawyer.”

Bliss received his J.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Law, and his bachelor’s degree in English from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC, where he graduated magna cum laude.

“I’m proud to be part of a team with such a great reputation in helping injured NC workers,” Bliss said.

Bliss joins a team of 5 other NC Workers’ Compensation Attorneys who have a wealth of experience helping injured workers in North Carolina. Several have experience on both the defense and plaintiff’s side of Workers’ Compensation law. In addition, the Workers’ Compensation team includes a former Deputy Commissioner and a former Special Deputy Commissioner of the North Carolina Industrial Commission . The Workers’ Compensation department also has three attorneys who are North Carolina Board Certified Specialists in Workers’ Compensation law.

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James Scott Farrin’s Workers’ Compensation Attorney Hunter Gentel Selected for the NC Bar Association’s Leadership Academy

The Law Offices of James Scott Farrin is pleased to announce that NC Workers’ Compensation Lawyer J. Hunter Eddins Gentel has been selected by the N.C. Bar Association to attend the 2012 Leadership Academy.

Attorneys are eligible to apply if they are members of the N.C. Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division and have been in practice between two to ten years.

The mission of N.C. Bar Association’s Leadership Academy is “to help young lawyers become effective leaders in their communities, whether their communities be the legal profession, their firms, legal departments or other workplaces, other organizations with which they are associated, or their local, state, national or even international communities, or any other environments where lawyers regularly have calls or opportunities for leadership.”

Gentel is among 16 young lawyers who were chosen to participate in this selective leadership program developed by the N.C. Bar Association.

“I’m both excited and proud to be part of this select group of young lawyers,” said Gentel. “I look forward to applying the skills and strategies I will learn at this Leadership Academy to help my clients who have been injured while working on-the-job and to help my community.”

The program will span over 4 months in 2012. The sessions will take place at the N.C. Bar Center in Cary, NC, at the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, NC and at the N.C. Bar Association’s Annual Meeting in Asheville, NC.

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James Scott Farrin NC Workers’ Comp Attorney Recognized As a “Rising Star” for a Second Year In A Row by North Carolina Super Lawyers Magazine

NC Workers’ Compensation attorney Barry Jennings, a North Carolina Board Certified Specialist in Workers’ Compensation Law and shareholder at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin has been named a 2012 “Rising Star” by North Carolina Super Lawyers magazine for the second year in a row.

While up to five percent of the lawyers in any state are named “Super Lawyers,” by Super Lawyers magazine, no more than 2.5 percent are named to the Rising Stars list.

To be eligible for inclusion in Rising Stars, a candidate must be either 40 years old or younger or in practice for 10 years or less. Rising Stars undergo a rigorous, multiphase process which combines peer nominations with third-party research. Each candidate is evaluated on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement. Selections are made annually on a state by state basis.

The Rising Stars list will be featured in North Carolina Super Lawyers magazine, which will be circulated to various attorneys and ABA-accredited law school libraries across the state. Approximately 19,000 copies of the magazine will be included with The New York Times on Saturday, February 5, 2012. In addition, selected North Carolina attorneys will be in a special advertising feature in the February 2012 issue of Charlotte magazine.

As a North Carolina Workers’ Compensation attorney, Barry Jennings works to help protect the rights of people who were injured while on the job and assist with the Workers’ Compensation process.

“I am honored to be deemed a “Rising Star” not just once, but two years in a row,” Jennings said. “It motivates me to work even harder as a NC Workers’ Compensation attorney.”

Barry Jennings received his J.D. with honors from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 2003 and received his BA, magna cum laude from North Carolina State University in 2000.

Barry Jennings’s other professional affiliations include the North Carolina Bar Association; North Carolina Advocates for Justice (NCAJ); Durham County Bar Association, Workers Injury Law and Advocacy Group; and the US District Court, Eastern District of North Carolina.

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Prominent Labor Litigation Economist Joins BLDS, LLC

Labor Economist Christopher Erath, Ph.D., has joined the national statistical and economic consulting firm BLDS, LLC as a director. Dr. Erath will consult with BLDS clients on issues arising in litigation, including class-action certification, liability in employment-discrimination claims, wage-and-hour claims and economic damages. Dr. Erath has written extensively on labor and employment litigation and has testified on labor and employment issues in over 30 matters.

Bernard R. Siskin, Ph.D., founder and head director of BLDS, LLC, said Dr. Erath affords BLDS clients added depth. “In addition to significant experience in the analysis of statistical liability and damages in labor matters, Dr. Erath has directed research on antitrust issues, including patent-infringement damages. He also has significant experience in regulatory hearings. He is a welcome addition to our firm.”

Dr. Erath previously served as senior vice president of NERA Economic Consulting. He earned his doctorate in Economics at the University of Wisconsin.

About BLDS, LLC: For nearly 40 years, the nationally recognized statistics and economics experts of BLDS, LLC have advised law firms and their clients — including Fortune 500 corporations, government agencies, and privately held enterprises — on a wide variety of issues requiring quantitative expertise and coherent explanation.

Led by Bernard R. Siskin, Ph. D., BLDS statistical experts provide independent expert analysis in applied statistics and effectively communicate both the results and implications. They have been retained in matters of employment discrimination including hiring, promotion, compensation, reductions-in-force, and class action certification. BLDS experts are frequently retained to analyze the work force impact of planned management actions in an effort to minimize litigation exposure.

BLDS’s rigorous statistical approach has also been applied to questions of credit discrimination, wage and hour disputes, and insurance issues.

BLDS economic experts provide litigation support and advisory services on economic damages in commercial, employment and tort actions. They are also recognized experts in business valuation theory and practice, including valuation discounts and premiums.

BLDS experts have been appointed by courts as neutral experts and have testified before arbitration panels, and in federal and state courts, including the Delaware Court of Chancery.

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James Scott Farrin launches Workers Comp Web site

The Law Offices of James Scott Farrin is proud to announce the launch of its new NC Workers’ Compensation informational site – www.nc-workers-comp.com.

While the site will contain information about the firm and its North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Department, the bulk of the Web site will be devoted to information about the intricacies of Workers Comp law in North Carolina . The site is intended to provide information to anyone who has suffered an on-the-job injury or work-related illness or otherwise seeks more information about the N.C. Workers Compensation.

Topics include:

  • About the North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC)
  • NC Workers Comp eligibility
  • Common injuries
  • How to file a claim
    Why you might need an attorney
  • Common terms
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The site is also frequently updated with the latest news and information about Workers Comp in North Carolina.

The Workers’ Compensation Department at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin includes four North Carolina Board Certified Specialists in Workers Compensation Law. These individuals are certified by the North Carolina State Bar as having demonstrated special knowledge, skill, and proficiency in Workers’ Comp. law. Several members of the team have also worked as defense lawyers for the insurance industry, so they have seen the law from both sides.

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BlueStar Case Solutions Develops EDD Toolkit E-Discovery App

Chicago based litigation support services provider launches free e-discovery calculator application for smartphones.

BlueStar Case Solutions, Inc. (BlueStar), a litigation support services provider and consultancy, recently launched EDD Toolkit, a free e-discovery application (app) for smartphones. The app features a Cost Estimator, Time Estimator, Conversion Table and Glossary for common e-discovery questions with regards to ESI (electronically stored information) processing, document review and production. The EDD Toolkit e-discovery app is a useful application for attorneys, paralegals, in-house counsel and litigation support staff who quickly need answers about a particular e-discovery project.

“We are very excited about all the positive reviews we have gotten so far, including the enthusiastic comments we received last week at LegalTech New York,” says Desiree Salomon, BlueStar’s Marketing Manager. “It’s the ultimate e-discovery ‘cheat sheet.’”

The EDD Toolkit provides valuable reference resources and quickly estimates how much e-discovery may cost and how long the process may take. Along with a glossary of terms and a data-to-documents or pages conversion calculator, the application is quickly becoming an essential tool for the e-discovery practitioner.

EDD Toolkit e-discovery app’s full list of features includes:

Cost Estimator
E-Discovery, and the costs associated with it are a large portion of a client’s litigation spend. Using industry averages, BlueStar’s EDD Toolkit Cost Estimator estimates how much a user defined amount of data or number of documents for review could cost.

Time Estimator
The Time Estimator will estimate how long the ESI processing and review steps may take in litigation, and also has the ability to calculate how long it can take to scan paper documents into an electronic format.

Conversion Table
The Conversion Table calculates how many documents or pages may be found in a user defined amount of data. Broken down by common email and document formats, the user can easily estimate how much data exists in a tangible measurement, by the number of documents or pages.

Glossary
E-Discovery terminology and jargon can be perplexing to paralegals, attorneys, and anyone involved in litigation support, therefore the Glossary feature provides definitions for most common e-discovery related terms via a quickly accessible interface.

The EDD Toolkit is currently available for iPhone and Android, while BlackBerry and Windows 7 versions are scheduled for release later this month. To learn more or to download the EDD Toolkit app for free visit: http://www.bluestarcs.com/resources/app-support.

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Joseph Law Corporation Adds Litigation and Employment Law Specialties with Addition of Jonathan M. Cohen

Joseph Law Corporation announced today that it has expanded its complex litigation and employment law expertise through the addition of Jonathan M. Cohen as Of Counsel to the firm.

Joseph Law Corporation Adds Litigation and Employment Law Specialties with Addition of Jonathan M. Cohen

“We are extremely pleased that Jonathan Cohen is teaming up with Joseph Law Corporation. With his extensive state and federal court litigation expertise as well as his experience providing pre-dispute advice in the areas of complex commercial transactions, executive compensation and employment law, we have rounded out our ability to offer complete legal solutions to public companies and private businesses,” said Jonathan Joseph, the firm’s chief executive officer.

Jonathan Cohen brings many years of trial experience to Joseph Law Corporation. He concentrates his practice on complex litigation as well as pre-dispute counseling. His practice includes executive compensation negotiations and employment law, including wrongful termination litigation, harassment, retaliation and discrimination. His trial experience includes class actions, complex commercial disputes, insurance coverage, real estate, product liability, securities, commodities and derivative litigation. He has represented clients in state and federal court in addition to domestic and international arbitrations and mediations. Prior to joining the Joseph Law Corporation, Mr. Cohen was a partner in the San Francisco office of Winston & Strawn LLP. Jon Joseph and Jonathan Cohen initially met eight years ago when they were partners in the San Francisco office of K & L Gates (previously known as Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham LLP).

Joseph Law Corporation is an AV® rated firm based in California that emphasizes complex banking, corporate, regulatory, securities and transactional matters for financial institutions, entrepreneurs, businesses, investors and venture capital firms. Joseph Law is known for sophisticated expertise, extraordinary commitment to clients, relationship-based services, and a range of specialized capabilities typically found only in the largest American law firms. For additional information, please visit the firm’s website at http://www.josephlawcorp.com.

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Schillings Recommend Key Changes To Privacy And Reputation Protection

Schillings, the leading law firm protecting the privacy and reputations of businesses and high-profile individuals, has released the findings of its recent research entitled – ‘A private life in the public eye’. The research report sets out a ‘Blueprint for change’ to help people protect their privacy and reputation without compromising the vital principle of freedom of expression. The launch of the report coincides with the Government’s DCMS Select Committee’s comprehensive report into Press Standards, Privacy and Libel.

Schillings Recommend Key Changes To Privacy And Reputation Protection

The overarching aim of the research was to discover what it means to be in the public eye today and where the line should be drawn to separate the part of a person’s life that should remain private. The key areas of interest included: Attitudes towards privacy; Importance of legal measures; Due prominence of apologies; The effectiveness of the Press Complaints Commission; Dissatisfaction with press reporting; Prior notification and the future challenges facing reputation protection.

The research provides evidence that people are dissatisfied with the current position regarding reputation and privacy. The opinions of the audience presented in the report do not necessarily represent those of Schillings. An area of common ground is the view showing that whilst it is important to permit publication of matters that are genuinely in the public interest, too often reputations are damaged, and privacy invaded, by the publication of stories that are untrue, or where the main aim is to satisfy salacious curiosity about the lives of the rich and famous irrespective of the distress caused to them, their families and their friends.

Gideon Benaim, Partner at Schillings, who led the research project commented: “Schillings has been at the forefront of developing privacy law in this country and has set legal precedent providing everyone the right of protection in respect of their home life, their children and medical information, as well as other areas considered private. This means their private life should not be reported by the press unless it is truly a matter in the public interest. However, in some areas we find the media don’t make the correct distinction between ‘public interest’ and ‘of interest to the public’ which are quite different concepts.”

Schillings concluded that the aims of existing laws are sound. But in practice, they frequently fail to achieve a satisfactory balance between the public interest, the truth and privacy. The report recommends three key reforms to reputation laws under the proposal called the ‘Blueprint for change’; each of which are supported by the recommendations in the DCMS report.

– The press should have to notify people before publishing stories that will seriously invade their privacy.
– It should be easier to obtain injunctions preventing the publication of untrue allegations.
– Introduce a pre-publication system to resolve disputes.

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Keith Schilling Appearing At Cambridge Union To Debate Press Freedom

Schillings, the UK law firm dedicated to protecting the reputations of international corporations, brands and high-profile individuals, will be taking part in a Cambridge Union debate on press freedom.

Keith Schilling, one of Britain’s most sought after lawyers for his work in defamation and privacy, joins Max Mosley and James Price QC to complete a line-up of experts in what promises to be a thought provoking debate on the motion – ‘This house believes the British press has too much freedom’.

Opposing the motion will be David Leigh, Investigations Editor at the Guardian, author, Tom Bower, and Alex Thomsom, Channel 4 News Correspondent.

The Cambridge Union Society is the oldest and most prestigious student debating society in the world. Founded in 1815, it has welcomed speakers from across the world and across generations. From Prime Ministers to archbishops, from generals to Presidents, the Society has hosted giants from all walks of life.

The Cambridge Union is well known for its contentious debates with high profile figures who are asked to passionately defend what they believe in. The panel open themselves to discussion with union members on contemporary issues that often reflect what’s going on in the media.

Preparing for the debate Keith Schilling said: “I am really looking forward to debating this important and topical issue, particularly in such auspicious premises. Whilst freedom of expression is fundamental to any democracy, there are insufficient checks on the media’s freedom which can result in significant and often irreparable harm.”

The debate will take place at 8pm on Thursday 21st January at the Union building in Cambridge.

About Schillings:
Schillings is one of Britain’s top media law firms dedicated to reputation protection and safeguarding the rights of international corporations and brands, high-profile business people and those in the public eye. The firm’s 25 year track-record in defamationprivacy law and copyright cases together with family law, matrimonial and commercial dispute resolution is second to none, prompting The Independent newspaper to call Schillings a “spectacularly efficient media law firm”.

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Schillings Academy Welcomes Professor Gavin Phillipson

Schillings, the leading law firm protecting the privacy and reputations of corporates and high-profile individuals, has announced that privacy and freedom of expression expert, Professor Gavin Phillipson will join as a tutor at the Schillings Academy.

Schillings Academy Welcomes Professor Gavin Phillipson

Professor Gavin Phillipson will deliver the Advanced Privacy module over four months, covering topics including the philosophical values that underlie the notion of privacy as a fundamental right. He will also be covering comparative perspectives on privacy and freedom of speech.

A Professor at Durham Law School and a Senior Fellow at Melbourne University’s Centre for Media and Communications Law, Professor Gavin Phillipson is regarded as a leading expert on privacy. Mr Justice Eady recently recommended that attendees read Professor Phillipson’s recent article entitled ‘Max Mosley Goes to Strasbourg’ whilst speaking at a law conference in December 2009. Professor Phillipson is the author of several leading articles on civil liberties and the Human Rights Act, as well as co-author of two books and co-editor of a leading edited collection. His most important contribution has been in the area of the development of a common law right to privacy on which he has published several influential articles.

Speaking about his involvement with the Schillings Academy, Professor Gavin Phillipson said: “I am delighted to be invited to be part of this remarkable programme of development and am looking forward to working with some of the leading lawyers in the field of privacy. I’m particularly looking forward to exploring, in discussion during the Academy, some of the opposing arguments to those professionally advanced by claimant lawyers such as Schillings.”

Keith Schilling said: “It is a testament to the high quality of education the Schillings Academy is delivering that we have attracted such a well respected lecturer in privacy and freedom of expression to join our programme. The skills and specialist knowledge we are delivering through the Schillings Academy enable us to have the most talented, experienced and qualified solicitors practicing libel and privacy law.”

Keith also said: “We have continued to recruit solicitors whilst many other firms have had to downsize their businesses recently. The Schillings Academy is providing all our talent a unique programme and encouraging the very best to join our growing Firm, in addition to retaining our existing exceptional people.”

Via EPR Network
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Black Farmers Reflect on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

On this day that we remember the life and impact of Dr. Martin Luther King, we recall a letter Dr. King sent to newly-elected president, John F. Kennedy. This letter was published in “The Nation” on February 4, 1961. In this letter Dr. King outlines the many areas that President Kennedy’s administration could affect positive change. Among areas cited specifically by Dr. King are the practices of the United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) and the Department of Justice:

Black Farmers Reflect on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Department of Agriculture—which doubtless considers civil-rights issues as remote from its purview—could fruitfully reappraise its present operations with a view to taking certain steps that require no new legislative powers. The department could be of tremendous assistance to Negro farmers who are now denied credit simply because of their desire to exercise their citizenship rights. To wipe out this kind of discrimination would be to transform the lives of hundreds of thousands of Negroes on the land. A department zealous to implement democratic ideals might become a source of security and help to struggling farmers rather than a symbol of hostility and discrimination on the federal level.

A Justice Department that is imbued with a will to create justice has vast potential. The employment of powerful court orders, enforced by sizable numbers of federal marshals, would restrain lawless elements now operating with inexcusable license. It should be remembered that in early American history it was the federal marshal who restored law in frontier communities when local authority broke down.

It is now 2010, some 49 years after Dr. King’s letter. Unfortunately, many of the same issues remain for black farmers. Discriminated black farmers still await compensation from the government. In May 2009, the President proposed $1.15 billion for the 2010 budget – In a statement, President Obama said the proposed settlement funds would “close this chapter” in the USDA’s history of discrimination. He went on to say:

My hope is that the farmers and their families who were denied access to USDA loans and programs will be made whole and will have the chance to rebuild their lives and their businesses…

Sadly, that promise remains unfulfilled. Congress has thus far failed to fund the requested $1.15 billion to compensate discriminated black farmers. “May this be the year that this portion of Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream gets fulfilled” says John Boyd, founder and President of the National Black Farmers Association.

Via EPR Network
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