TikTok: Going Once, Going Twice, SOLD!

Posted on: May 15, 2024 | By: Business Clinic | Filed under: Client Alert

The race is on for interested buyers to potentially acquire TikTok, currently owned by Beijing-based ByteDance. Billionaire and former owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers is planning a consortium to buy TikTok’s U.S. operations with the investment bank Guggenheim Securities. This comes following the news from last month that President Biden signed legislation requiring the sale or ban of the social media app due to national security and data privacy concerns. The Chinese-controlled social media app will have up to one year to sell the app, then TikTok will be banned in the U.S. The greatest concern for legislators is the potential for China to collect intelligence on U.S. users or spread misinformation regarding sensitive topics such as the Israel-Hamas conflict. The pushback is intense since TikTok filed a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the law. However, with some big names like former Treasurer Secretary Steven Mnuchin and “Shark…

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Small Business Compliance to Avoid Summertime Sadness

Posted on: May 9, 2024 | By: Business Clinic | Filed under: Client Alert

  With Summer approaching, many Small Businesses are on the hunt for seasonal employees. Despite the numerous benefits seasonal employees provide employers, it’s important for Small Businesses to be aware of the potential risks associated with seasonal employment and healthcare coverage compliance. Understanding the requirements and demonstrating compliance is paramount for Small Businesses as they transition into Summer and the rest of the calendar year. Per the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”), “applicable large employers” (“ALE”) must provide group health plan coverage to their employees. ALE have at least fifty (50) full-time or full-time equivalent employees in the preceding year. To comply with the ACA, ALE’s must report their coverage offers to the IRS. ALE’s expose themselves to significant penalties if (i) they fail to offer the minimum essential coverage to at least 95% of employees and their dependents; or (ii) they offer coverage that is neither…

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Noncompetes, Mostly Dead!

Posted on: May 3, 2024 | By: Business Clinic | Filed under: Client Alert

The recent FTC ruling banning non-compete clauses could significantly impact North Carolina businesses. Employers have used non-compete clauses to prevent employees from working for competitors or starting similar businesses after leaving their current employment.  However, the FTC has determined that these clauses can harm competition in labor markets by suppressing earnings and opportunities for workers. This new FTC rule eliminates nearly all non-competes, either direct or indirect, throughout the entire nation. The only major exceptions exist for the sale of a business, and a carve-out for “Senior executives” that make at least $151,164 and have policy-making roles—the President, CEOs, etc. with authority over business aspects. The FTC rule does change the way NC courts have interpreted non-competes. Previously, NC courts have not enforced overly broad territories or noncompete containing “indirectly competing” clauses.  In the 2023 case of Prometheus Group Enterprises, LLC v. Gibson, the North Carolina Business Court warned against…

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CTA’s Constitutionality – the Government’s Position

Posted on: April 25, 2024 | By: Business Clinic | Filed under: Client Alert

In an effort to stop financial crimes, money laundering, and other illegal activities, the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) has been established to oversee commercial activities that can impact interstate commerce. These activities often take place under the cover of “shell companies” that are used by individuals that can help conceal their ownership of business activities. On March 2024, in National Small Business United v. Yellen, the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Alabama held that the CTA was unconstitutional. The prevailing argument asserted that Congress exceeded its enumerated powers upon its approval of the CTA. The court held that in case of the litigants, the Commerce Clause does not also extend to the substantive regulation of business entities and their engagement in commerce. However, FinCEN will continue to implement the CTA those not involved in the lawsuit. More recently, the Department of Justice appealed this ruling, and has…

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Meet Kirsten Tildon and Chuom Prak – SBEC Student Attorneys Spring 2024!

Posted on: April 18, 2024 | By: Business Clinic | Filed under: Client Alert

  Hello World! My name is Kirsten Tildon and I am a current 2L at Elon University School of Law. I attended Towson University and majored in English and minored in Business Communications and Liberal Arts. After graduating from Towson and worked on DC’s Campaign to Reduce Lead Exposure and Childhood Asthma before moving to Greensboro to pursue a career in law. During my time at Elon Law, I have had the privilege of serving as the Business and Online Editor of We the People (Elon’s Constitutional law journal), Executive Vice President of the Federalist Society, Vice President and Co-Founder of The Board, and being a member of the Black Law Students Association, Phi Alpha Delta, Business Law Association, People Not Property, and Guilford County’s Teen Court program. I am also a Research Assistant for Professor Clodomir. My passion for justice and commitment to effecting change in the law motivated me to go to law school. I am…

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Meet Lance Sigmon and Caroline Decarvalho, Spring 2024 Student Attorneys in the SBEC!

Posted on: April 9, 2024 | By: Business Clinic | Filed under: Client Alert

Hello, my name is Lance Sigmon, and I am a current 2L at Elon University School of Law. I attended North Carolina State University for undergrad and majored in Communications Media and minored in Business Administration. After graduating from NC State and working for the North Carolina Secretary of State for 6 months, I moved to Greensboro to pursue a career in law. During my time at Elon Law, I have had the privilege of participating in the Board, Business Law Association, and 1st Gen Society. These organizations have helped me develop relationships with different people from all types of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. I am actively pursuing a career in law because I have seen the system be effective. Growing up, I had several friends who were displaced from unfortunate familial situations. Although I was young when this happened, I witnessed the positive aspects of the judicial system and how arguing…

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Meet Ayo Onasanya and Collin Donaghy, Spring 2024 Student Attorneys!

Posted on: April 2, 2024 | By: Business Clinic | Filed under: Client Alert

Hello, my name is Collin Donaghy. I am a current 2L at Elon University School of Law. I attended Virginia Tech for undergrad and received a degree in Professional and Technical Writing. After graduating from Virginia Tech and working for Siewers Lumber and Millwork for a year, I moved to Greensboro to pursue a career in law. During my time at Elon Law, I have had the privilege of participating in the Business Law Association, which provided me with the opportunity to hear from and speak with entrepreneurs and attorneys actively engaged in the practice area. I chose to pursue a career in law because of the opportunity it provided for me to be an involved community member, as well as an avenue to assist members of my community in seeking justice for themselves, loved ones, and their passions. Elon has given me the opportunity to be engaged in my…

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CTA Unconstitutional?

Posted on: March 6, 2024 | By: Business Clinic | Filed under: Client Alert

Since January 1, 2024, entities and lawyers across the Unites States have been working on complying with the Corporate Transparency Act (the “CTA”). The CTA requires entities to file information on their “beneficial owners” with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. The main goal of the CTA is to prevent money laundering. Last week, the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Alabama held that the CTA is unconstitutional when deciding the case National Small Business United v. Yellen (Case No. 5:22-cv-1448-LCB, ND-AL). The winning argument was that Congress exceeded its enumerated powers when it approved the CTA. The Commerce Clause of the Constitution grants Congress the power to regulate commerce among the states. The court found that this power does not extend to the substantive regulation of the business entities utilized to engage in commerce. It is likely the Department of Justice will appeal the decision. Though the plaintiffs…

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Angel Reese: No Longer a “Bayou Barbie”

Posted on: February 29, 2024 | By: Business Clinic | Filed under: Client Alert

  According to the United States Patent & Trademark Office (“USPTO”), Louisiana State University (“LSU”) women’s basketball star, Angel Reese (“Reese”), is not a Bayou Barbie, after they denied her Trademark application. After LSU won the women’s basketball national championship, Reese skyrocketed to fame. Her nickname became the “Bayou Barbie” because of LSU’s close proximity to the water and her girly sense of style. LSU Women’s Basketball has even posted to their social media, posters of Reese which say, “Bayou Barbie. This Barbie is a National Champion.” Reese who has over 2.5 million followers on Instagram and a name and image net worth of 1.7 million dollars. Reese also has a multi-year NIL  deal with Reebok and had 17 NIL deals for the 2022-2023 season. Reese filed a trademark application with the USPTO in February 2023 to register “Bayou Barbie,” but was denied in November 2023 because of the confusion…

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So You Think You Know Your Trademarks?

Posted on: February 22, 2024 | By: Business Clinic | Filed under: Client Alert

From Law & Order’s famous “dun, dun” sound to Tiffany’s iconic robin-egg blue, celebrities and companies have many trademarks you may not know existed. In 2024 alone, there have been 181,365 trademark applications, which is a 3.2% increase in applications. With so many applications, many people are left with the question: What can I trademark? A trademark identifies a brand in conjunction with a good or service that the brand offers. You can trademark logos, words, slogans, letters, abbreviations, numbers, packaging designs, sounds, and even smells. For a trademark to be registered, the mark must be distinctive and original and must apply specifically to a class of products or services. Anyone can apply for a trademark in the United States by submitting an application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). A trademark in the United States can also last forever, so long as it is used in commerce…

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