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November 2013 Archives

Court rules 'Charbucks' only minimally similar to Starbucks

Denver Starbucks coffee aficionados won't be confused by New Hampshire-based Black Bear Roastery's 'Mr. Charbucks' blend of dark roast coffee, according to the ruling by a three judge panel of the New York Appeals Court. The Court upheld a previous finding by U.S. District Court in 2011 that the use of the name 'Charbucks" was not a trademark infringement of the well-known Starbucks coffee brand in a trademark dispute that began in 2001.

Judge rules in favor of Google over book scanning project

Colorado readers may be interested in the result of a lawsuit between Google and a group of book authors and publishers over the scanning of millions of books. Though the court found for Google, an appeal of the decision is expected.

Office-supply chain merger wins approval

The proposed merger of two large office-supply chains with locations in Colorado and nationwide recently obtained regulatory approval from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. In the transaction, Office Depot Inc., the second largest office-supply retailer in the country behind Staples Inc., will acquire OfficeMax Inc., the third largest. After the merger, the new company will account for $18 billion in annual sales, still trailing industry leader Staples which has sales of $24 billion.

Privacy at Work

An employee's right to privacy in the workplace used to apply only to personal items, storage lockers, mail, and life outside the office. However, when technology entered the equation, the right to privacy became more complicated. Both state and federal laws govern the employer-employee relationship and common problems that can arise with employer monitoring of employee telephone and computer usage.

FMLA

Mr. McArdle is a former teacher in the public schools of the town of Dracut, Massachusetts who began working there in 1997. In 2007, he entered divorce proceedings with his wife and began to drink excessively. Mr. McArdle suffered from depression, anxiety, his home was foreclosed on, and he filed for a personal bankruptcy. Dealing with these personal crises, Mr. McArdle began to miss work. He went to work only ten (10) of twenty-one (21) days in September and did not appear at all in October, November, or December of 2008. His record improved following winter break but in total, he appeared at his job for only eighty-two (82) days in the 2008-2009 school year. These absences exhausted the fifteen (15) days of sick leave and two (2) personal days to which he was entitled. He also borrowed the fifteen (15) days from his 2009-2010 year and deducted fifty-two day for which he did not work and was not paid.

Firm pleads guilty to insider trading

Colorado investors might be interested in a case brought against a prominent hedge fund group. The fund will plead guilty to charges of securities fraud, according to reports. The plea will be the end a federal court case that arose from a 6-year investigation into business transactions that allegedly involved insider trading.

SoulCycle Instructor

SoulCycle is a brand of spinning or indoor cycling classes currently available in New York and California. SoulCycle has fourteen locations and riders pay $34 per class. The week's classes are released for reservations on Mondays at 12:00 p.m. and fill within seconds. Soul Cycle has eighty (80) or so people who audition to be instructors each training period, and it accepts eight to twelve (8-12) of those who audition. The instructors then have to pass an eight (8) week training program. The training program is unpaid but the instructors do not have to pay for the course. Once the employees complete the training, and are determined to "pass," they are assigned to eight (8) classes per week and are given health insurance. The instructors are not allowed to teach at any other gyms but are compensated from $125 to $150 per class or about $1,200 per week.