Welcome to the Weintraub Resources section. Here, you can find our Blogs, Videos, and Podcasts, in which Weintraub attorneys regularly provide insights and updates on legal developments. You can also find upcoming Weintraub Events, as well as firm and client News.

USPTO Issues Guidance on Patentability of Inventions Developed with the Assistance of Artificial Intelligence

On February 12, 2024, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) issued guidance on the patentability of inventions developed with the assistance of artificial intelligence, saying that a human must have made a “significant contribution” to the invention. The USPTO explained that while AI-assisted inventions are not categorically unpatentable, the inventorship analysis should focus on human contributions, as patents function to incentivize and reward human ingenuity. Thus, patent protection may be sought for inventions for which a natural person provided a significant contribution to the invention, and the guidance provides procedures for determining the same.

The California Civil Rights Department has Released New Guidance for Employers Required to Report Workforce Data

California law requires private employers with 100 or more employees and/or 100 or more workers hired through labor contractors to annually report pay, demographic, and other workforce data to the Civil Rights Department (CRD). This year, the pay data reporting portal opened on February 1, 2024, and employers have until May 8, 2024 to submit their annual reports. To aid employers, the CRD released updated FAQs as well as new versions of the pay data reporting Excel templates, a user guide, and training slides. The FAQS are available here.

Jacqueline M. Simonovich for The Daily Journal: California’s New Civility MCLE Requirement Should Focus on Bias-Driven Incivility

In a January 31st article for The Daily Journal, Weintraub attorney Jacqueline M. Simonovich writes about California’s new civility MCLE requirement. While civility training can focus on the “link between civility and bias,” it can also focus on broader forms of incivility. Jacqueline suggests that education on bias-based incivility should be required, not optional.

Employers Beware: The Deadline to Comply with Notification Requirement of California’s New Non-Compete Law is Rapidly Approaching!

Last October, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 1076 into law and it became effective as of January 1, 2024.  AB 1076 was the Legislature’s attempt to codify the California Supreme Court’s 2008 decision, Edwards v. Arthur Anderson LLP, which held that non-compete agreements in the employment context are unenforceable unless they fall within one of the three narrow statutory exceptions dealing primarily with the sale of business interests.  AB 1076 makes clear that requiring an employee to enter into a non-compete is unlawful and can subject the employer to penalties of up to $2,500 per violation.

California Supreme Court Determines PAGA Cases May Not be Dismissed Due to Issues of Manageability

Long-time blog readers and CEN watchers will recall that for the last several years, we have been watching several cases discussing whether Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) claims may be stricken as unmanageable. First, in the Fall of 2021, an appellate court determined that trial courts have inherent authority to strike or limit PAGA claims that could not otherwise be made manageable in order to “preserve judicial resources [and to] prevent trials from becoming excessively complex and time-consuming.” (See Wesson v. Staples the Office Superstore, LLC (2021) 68 Cal.App.5th 746).  Just a few months later, a different appellate court disagreed, concluding that while a court may limit the presentation of evidence to ensure a manageable trial, courts had no authority to strike or limit PAGA claims due to unmanageability. (See Estrada v. Royalty Carpet Mills, Inc. (2022) 76 Cal. App. 5th 685.)

Commercial Real Estate Outlook for 2024: Slow and Steady Wins the Race

The classic fable of The Tortoise and the Hare is well-known across mainstream culture. Yet despite the story’s reliable and surprisingly universal thesis, it appears to have become commonplace for investors to look for faster and bigger results in lieu of slow and steady returns. And with recent high rates of return triggered by sustained low interest rates and pent up demand following the Great Recession, the commercial real estate sector seems to be no exception to this hare-like approach. It should therefore come as little surprise that, given high interest rates, increased construction costs, and political turmoil, many commentators on the 2024 commercial real estate market predict negative results for the upcoming year.[1]

When Is Trade Secret Protection the Right Choice?

Companies rely on intellectual property (“IP”) rights to protect their valuable information, creations, and branding. IP rights come in several forms: copyrights, trademarks, patents, and trade secrets.

As the U.S. Copyright Office explains, copyrights protect “original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture.” Copyright protection exists at the time of creation of the artistic or literary work, but before enforcing the rights against an infringer, it is necessary register the work with the U.S. Copyright Office.

2024 Brings Expansion for Medicare-Payable Mental Health Providers

In connection with the federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023, marriage & family therapists (“MFTs”) as well as licensed professional clinical counselors (“LPCCs”) are eligible to receive payment from the Medicare program for covered behavioral health services with dates of services commencing January 1, 2024.  This change was intended to help address healthcare practitioner shortages and expand access to behavioral health services for Medicare beneficiaries.