Regulators & Activists Attack Enterprises’ Most Valuable Assets: Their Brands

Cross-posted by Forbes.com at On the Docket and WLF’s contributor page

A flag similar to the one pictured here hangs in Washington Legal Foundation’s headquarters. WLF’s founder and Chairman purchased the flag from an anti-business activist organization which created it to mock America. Its depiction of internationally known, made-in-the-USA corporate brands, he felt, is in fact a profoundly positive reflection on America. Brands, be they reflected in a corporate logo, a certain look or feel on a product package, or other imagery, constitute intellectual property worth billions of dollars. But in industries which make “disfavored” products – tobacco, “fattening” foods & beverages, and alcohol – such brands are being targeted for extinction.

The Camel’s Nose Under the Tent. The highest priority targets for government regulators and health and legal activists around the world are, not surprisingly, tobacco brands. That tobacco companies and their products have been relentlessly sued, regulated, demonized, and taxed in every corner of the world is apparently not enough. International bureaucrats at the World Health Organization, along with their counterparts and legislators in countries like Canada, Britain, and Australia, have been pursuing “plain packaging” requirements which strip tobacco packs of images, colors, and trademarked branding. As related in a past Legal Pulse post, Australia is moving forward with formal legislation to impose tobacco plain packaging. Tobacco companies have already filed a legal challenge to the impending mandate. Continue reading “Regulators & Activists Attack Enterprises’ Most Valuable Assets: Their Brands”

WLF Attorney Advances Health Care Law Constitutional Debate at SCOTUSblog

Washington Legal Foundation Senior Litigation Counsel Cory Andrews injected WLF’s institutional perspective into an ongoing debate yesterday on the constitutional issues surrounding the Affordable Care Act at one of the web’s most popular legal blogs, SCOTUSblog:

Reading the constitutional tea leaves: How will the Supremes vote on the Affordable Care Act?

Among the many pieces of legislation signed into law by President Obama, none has sparked more controversy than the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, or “ObamaCare” as it is more colloquially known.  The individual mandate contained in Section 1501 seeks to compel most Americans, under threat of civil penalty, to purchase health insurance by 2014.  Even many of the mandate’s defenders, including some of the judges who have upheld it, concede that it goes well beyond any previous exercise of federal authority under the Commerce Clause.

In terms of framing the legal questions posed by the individual mandate, it is difficult to improve upon Judge Graham’s formulation in Thomas More Law Center v. Obama:” (continue reading here

Update: ABA Resolution on State Court Funding Ignores One Effective Solution

We read with some regret the story from this morning’s National Law Journal, Boies and Olson’s latest campaign: Stanching the hemorrhaging at state courts, which reported on the passage of a resolution in the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates “urging state bar associations and other local bar groups to document the effects of budget cuts and argue for more money.”

Sadly, our friends at the ABA ignored the suggestion of our Chairman, Dan Popeo, in his May 11 Legal Pulse post, Cash-Strapped State Courts Remedy: A Litigation Excise Tax? We know, raising taxes is not a popular subject right now, but shouldn’t those who make so much money from using America’s overburdened court system give a little back?