Jul 14, 2020

COVID-19 & Force Majeure – Guaranteed Minimum Royalties No More?

Plan B Apparel Industry

Is it still true, as the old saying goes, that it is better to offer no excuse than a bad one? The old adage has trouble holding up in today’s climate.  Because of the significant and detrimental impact that COVID-19 has had on the economy, and especially the apparel industry, good excuses are aplenty for licensees in the apparel licensing industry. Due to the pandemic, brand apparel licensees that have entered into license agreements with licensors to use their brand names have had unanticipated difficulty meeting the minimum sales standards and paying minimum royalties. In addition, those licensees are now… Read more


Jun 17, 2020

EPA Exploring Chemical Fee Options for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

EPA Fee

The EPA is exploring whether it can offer some form of financial relief to manufacturers of 20 chemicals who are being required to pay chemical risk evaluation fees in 2020.  In December of 2019, the EPA announced that it is requiring manufacturers of 20 priority chemicals to pay a total of $27,000,000 towards the EPA’s cost of evaluating those chemicals’ potential to injure people or the environment.  In light of the economic impact of COVID-19 on the chemical manufacturing sector, five chemical trade associations requested that the reimbursement request be pushed to 2021.  The EPA has expressed doubt as to… Read more


Jun 4, 2020

Tax Consequences of Deferring or Restructuring Payments

Loans

During the current economic downturn arising from the COVID 19 pandemic, many businesses are struggling with payments to lenders, landlords and contractors.  This SGR Tax Blog posting addresses the tax consequences to each party when a payment is deferred or renegotiated. While the tax consequences of such are frequently not foremost in the minds of debtors, they often drive decisions on the creditor side.  Accordingly, even for debtors an overview of these rules can help explain positions taken by creditors. The tax rules on debt instruments (“DI’s”) are more complicated and we address them first.  Leases and other arrangements are… Read more


Jun 3, 2020

EPA Union Opposes Reopening Plans

EPA Reopening

The EPA’s largest union is pushing back against the agency’s plans to start the process that could reopen some of its offices.  The EPA announced last week that it has decided to take steps to reopen three of its 10 regional offices.  Those offices are in Atlanta, Seattle, and Lenexa, Kansas.  According to the agency, that decision is based upon local data about Coronavirus infection rates and conditions, and the agency intends to proceed carefully as more data is revealed.  No precise date for reopening has been announced, but the EPA has decided to start the process based in part… Read more


May 21, 2020

COVID-19 and Competition: Antitrust Law During the Global Pandemic

Healthcare

Overview COVID-19’s rapid spread has necessitated collaborations to equip communities with the proper tools to combat the disease. Many have risen to the occasion and worked tirelessly to help protect the health and safety of the United States.  As the DOJ and FTC (the “Agencies”) put it in their March 24th Joint Antitrust Statement, however, “others may use [COVID-19] as an opportunity to subvert competition or prey on vulnerable Americans.”[1] The FTC, DOJ, and Trump Administration have taken measures to guide businesses on how to collaborate legally and have sent forceful reminders about the repercussions of violating antitrust laws during… Read more


May 20, 2020

How Should Co-Ops, Condos and Office Buildings Adjust To New York’s Social Distancing Guidelines?

NY Executive Order

On April 25, 2020, Governor Cuomo promulgated Executive Order 202.17, which requires any individual over the age of two (and able to medically tolerate a face-covering) to cover their nose and mouth with a mask or cloth face-covering when in a public place and unable to maintain social distance. For condominiums, cooperatives, and commercial office buildings, the concern is whether the lobby, laundry room, bathroom, and other common areas are considered “public places” where individuals are required to wear face-coverings. There is no official definition of “public space” within any of the executive orders, and therefore, the applicability of Executive… Read more


Apr 22, 2020

You May Have Insurance Coverage for COVID-19 Related Losses

Insurance Policy Photo

The actual policy terms are what matter This is another of our series of articles where we present a short action item related to COVID-19 topics. Many companies have insurance coverage beyond the standard commercial liability, automobile, errors & omissions, and directors and officers coverage.  Examples of this additional coverage are Business Interruption insurance, environmental insurance and for some companies engaged in the business of national and international conferences, event cancellation insurance.    Each of these could potentially be a source of insurance coverage in the COVID-19 scenario.  In this short “FYI” article, we will focus on Business Interruption and to… Read more


Apr 13, 2020

Paid Sick and Family CARE Leave – Employer Obligations Expanded and Refundable Tax Credits Granted

sick leave with pills

This is just a quick note to call to your attention another program of the federal government’s response to the corona virus that may affect all cooperative and condominium buildings, and their management companies, in their capacity as employers. The “Families First Corona Response Act” (“FFCRA”) signed into law on March 18, 2020, requires employers with 500 or fewer workers to provide up to two weeks of sick leave at full pay up to a $511-per-day cap if they’re directly affected by COVID-19, and at partial pay up to $200 a day to care for affected family members.  FFCRA also… Read more


Apr 13, 2020

Updates: New York Federal & State Courts

NY Courts

In less than two weeks, there have been several changes to the response of the New York Federal & State Courts to COVID-19.  This blog post is to provide an update to our prior blog post that may be found here. New York Federal Courts SDNY All jury trials are now suspended until at least June 1, 2020. In-court appearances are restricted to “emergency matters” NDNY Most criminal proceedings are now temporarily being held remotely via Skype. New York State Court Court of Appeals  The Court of Appeals will not hear oral argument during the April/May session and the building… Read more


Apr 1, 2020

Update on USPTO and U.S. Copyright Office Extensions and Adjustments

photo of Intellectual Property Blocks

On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which provides, in part, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) with the authority during the current emergency to “toll, waive, adjust, or modify any timing deadline established,” in the Patent Act, Trademark Act, and the Copyright Act, including regulations implementing timing deadlines. Before taking such action, the USPTO must determine that the COVID-19 emergency “(1) materially affects the functioning of the patent and trademark office; (2) prejudices the rights of applicants, registrants, patent owners, or others appearing before the office; or… Read more