Ron Schuler Weighs in on Law Firms, Leadership and Pittsburgh

Ronald W. Schuler, Member in Charge of Spilman’s Pittsburgh office, was recently asked about the impact of Pittsburgh’s law firm leadership being located outside of the city. It’s a trend that has materialized with two of Pittsburgh’s largest law firms, but has been avoided by Spilman.

Schuler was interviewed by the Pittsburgh Business Times regarding his take on how outside leadership can impact the city. According to Schuler, “One of the inevitable consequences is leadership shifts outside of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh becomes de-emphasized to some degree.” He continues, “When the leadership of a law firm is in Pittsburgh, it’s more likely those firms will play a role in or have influence here. If it isn’t, it’s harder for that to occur. The things law firm leaders did in the 1980s and 1990s, participating in the birth of technology and starting business opportunities, were because they were in Pittsburgh. When firms become more nationalized or delocalized, that begins to fall away.”

Examples of the impacts can be seen with other industries. “You might have local leaders but leadership and influence run from the top of the firm and that’s the danger we face,” Schuler said. “I don’t say it’s the end of the world. But it’s akin to what happened to the corporate sector. You could see it in Pittsburgh that large CEOs felt a duty to collaborate. You don’t see that same paternal approach over trying to improve the city when leadership changes from local to national and international.”

So what do the largest firms have to say about this trend? Click here to read the entire article.

62 Spilman Attorneys Recognized by Best Lawyers 2017

We are pleased to announce that 62 of the firm’s attorneys were selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2017 directory of leading attorneys.

The Best Lawyers in America, published by Woodward White, Inc., is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which more than 55,000 leading attorneys cast more than 6.7 million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas. More information on the research process can be found at www.bestlawyers.com.

A wide variety of Spilman attorneys from all of our locations were selected by their peers in their respective areas of practice. Click here to read the entire list.

Maintaining Your Trademark Registrations-Part 2

Once you have obtained a U.S federal trademark registration, you must take certain steps to maintain the registration or else you risk losing your trademark protection. We now discuss a key step in maintaining your federal trademark registration—showing use of your trademark.

Our last article explained that certain post-registration documents and fees are required to maintain a U.S. trademark in force. In this article, we discuss the requirements for filing the Affidavit of Use under Section 8, and the specimens that go along with the Affidavit of Use.

Click here to read the second part of maintaining trademark registrations.


By William P. Smith

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How to Maintain Your Trademark Registrations

This article explains filing deadlines and document requirements for maintaining federal trademark registrations with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”). The documentation for establishing proof of continued use of your mark, registration renewals and establishing the incontestability of your mark are all explained in this first article of the series. Special requirements for international registrations will also be discussed.

Click here to read the entire article.

By William P. Smith

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Congratulations to the 2016 Athena Award Finalists

Congratulations to all of the finalists for the 2016 Athena Awards Program of Greater Pittsburgh. The Allegheny Conference on Community Development created the award to focus on three attributes – professional excellence, contributions to the community and mentorship of other women.

The finalists for the traditional Athena Award are:

  • Audrey Dunning, CEO, Summa Technologies Inc.
  • Kelly Gray, senior vice president, Human Resources, FedEx Ground
  • Diana Reid, executive vice president, PNC Real Estate
  • Tracy Vitale, superintendent of schools, Seneca Valley School District
  • Yvette Williams, senior patient advocate/program manager, Allegheny Health Network/The Open Door Inc.

Finalists for the Athena Young Professional Award, presented to a woman age 35 or younger, are:

  • Marteen Garay, director of entrepreneurship programming, Urban Innovation21
  • Caitlin Green, vice president, PNC Bank
  • Katie Kopczynski, marketing analyst, Eaton Corp.

The annual luncheon ceremony will be held September 26.

You can read more about the Athena Awards by clicking here.

 

Post-Brexit: EU and UK Intellectual Property Protection

Many U.S. companies rely on foreign intellectual property protection for their inventions, including, of course, the European Union (“EU”).

European Patent Organization (“EPO”) President Benoit Battistelli issued a brief statement today on the U.K. referendum voted in on June 23, 2016. President Benoit’s statement indicates that the outcome of the referendum, i.e., the vote in favor of Brexit, has no consequence on the membership of the U.K. in the EPO. The Brexit vote will have no effect on European patents in the U.K. The EPO anticipates that the U.K. and EPO member states will resolve the Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court soon to allow full implementation of these long-delayed provisions.

European Community (“EC”) trademarks and designs are still valid in the U.K. There will be no immediate loss of protection. When the U.K. withdraws from the EU, trademark and design protection in the U.K. may be subject to validation or conversion procedures. There will be no loss of priority associated with such validation or conversion.

Please contact our Intellectual Property Group if you have legal questions with respect to European patent or trademark protection following the Brexit vote.


By William P. Smith

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The Brexit – The Impact and Top 5 Questions

We have all heard the news by now. Britain has voted and will be leaving the European Union. But, what does it all really mean?

NDTV takes a look at the Brexit and asks five important questions.

  • What does it all mean?
  • What’s happening right now?
  • What is Article 50?
  • Where does the EU go from here?
  • What changes?

Click here to read the entire article.

 

 

They’re Smiling Like a Butcher’s Dog

Mike Lange, the Pittsburgh Penguins’ play-by-play broadcaster, couldn’t have said it better.

Congratulations to the Pittsburgh Penguins on their amazing fourth Stanley Cup!

The Penguins captured the win after defeating the San Jose Sharks 3-1 in Game 6.

Click here to read the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s article and see the gallery of photos.

 

Spilman Attorneys Recognized by 2016 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers

We are pleased to announce that attorneys Sally E. Edison and Ronald W. Schuler have been selected to the 2016 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list, and Barry A. Naum has been selected to the 2016 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers Rising Stars list.

The objective of the Super Lawyers selection process is to create a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of outstanding attorneys from more than 70 practice areas that can be used as a resource to assist attorneys and consumers in the search for legal counsel. The methodology includes a statewide nomination process, peer review by practice area and independent research.

Edison practices law in the areas of commercial bankruptcy, insolvency and creditors’ rights. Her clients primarily include national trade creditors and major corporations. Her decades of experience, along with her commitment to the community and dedication to the advancement of diversity in the legal profession, have made her a sought-after speaker and garnered her significant state and national recognition for her professional excellence and leadership.

Schuler, who serves as Member in Charge of Spilman’s Pittsburgh office, is a corporate, securities and commercial transactions lawyer with extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions, public offerings, and private placement financings in the energy, software, biotechnology and telecommunications industries. He served as a chief operations executive of a $100+ million oil and gas company before joining Spilman in 2009.

Naum, who serves as Counsel in Spilman’s Harrisburg-area office, focuses his practice in the areas of utilities, energy and communications law. He represents and counsels various large commercial and industrial clients in these areas. He earned his undergraduate degree, cum laude, from Malone College and his law degree from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. He is admitted to practice law in Pennsylvania.

Congratulations!

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Sally E. Edison

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Ronald W. Schuler

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Barry A. Naum

The Golden Triangle Remains Golden and is Growing

The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership has issued their latest report and the news is good.  According to the State of Downtown report, new development is occurring and going beyond the “golden triangle.”

In 2015, the city saw $636 million in new projects, which is an increase of 21 percent since 2014. The growth is mainly being seen in the North Side and Strip District, which are just outside of the Central Business District.

In addition, there is a wave of real estate inventory coming to the downtown region with:

  • 1.4 million square feet of office space,
  • 761 new hotel rooms and
  • 1,380 residential units

The report notes that the residential population has continually increased, competitive hotel room rates have remained steady and average Class A office rents reaching an all-time high of $27.70 per square foot.

Click here to read the entire Pittsburgh Business Times article.