Winstead attorneys Frank Amini, Ph.D. and Lekha Gopalakrishnan, Ph.D.  presented a webinar on the topic of protecting trade secrets.

Watch On-Demand Webinar

Trade secrets can be an institution’s most valuable and prolonged assets. However, maintaining trade secrets in an institution can be challenging because trade secret protection requires the implementation of proactive and consistent safeguarding measures. The implementation of such safeguarding measures can be particularly challenging if an institution has multiple employees, departments, offices, or collaborators. Additionally, the rise of remote working environments during the COVID-19 pandemic has further escalated these challenges. Furthermore, determining whether or not trade secret protection is appropriate for a particular invention can be complex, especially if various aspects of the invention must be published or disclosed to regulatory agencies.

This session will shed light on these challenges by providing the following insights:

  • The basics of trade secrets
  • Guidelines for strategically choosing between patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets to protect an institution’s inventions
  • Proactive and consistent steps that institutions must take to protect and maintain the enforceability of their trade secrets
  • Avoiding the risk of loss of trade secrets in view of remote working environments during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Avoiding the risk of loss of trade secrets when an invention must be published or disclosed to regulatory agencies

Watch On-Demand Webinar

With COVID-19 surging as the United States enters the winter months and holiday season, employers in all industries can expect to grapple with significant COVID-19 hazards for the foreseeable future. Employers in the healthcare industry though are doubly burdened not only by increased workloads stemming from higher numbers of ill patients, but also by increased health and safety risks for their workers. Accordingly, healthcare employers should pay close attention to guidance and updates from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and implement appropriate plans and protocols—if not already in place—to address COVID-19 hazards to their workers.

OSHA recently announced that, through November 5, 2020, it had issued 204 citations based on alleged violations related to COVID-19. These citations resulted in $2,856,533 worth of proposed penalties and generally stemmed from complaints, referrals, or fatalities in a number of essential industries, such as “hospitals and healthcare, nursing homes and long term care settings, and meat/poultry processing facilities.”

Continue Reading Healthcare Industry Employers, Take Heed: OSHA Issues Most Cited Standards Related to COVID-19 Hazards

Winstead PC Shareholder Sarah Churchill Llamas recently spoke with Medpage today about the federal emergency orders in response to the Covid-19 pandemic that currently allow physicians to prescribe opioid medications to patients via telemedicine. An excerpt is below:

“In the COVID-19 era, under relaxed federal emergency orders, licensed clinicians have been able to prescribe opioid analgesics for their patients even if they’ve only ever seen the patient via telehealth, rather than in person.

For providers like Stephen Bekanich, MD, a palliative care physician for Ascension Texas in Austin, this provision allows him to help seriously ill patients without requiring in-person visits that may be difficult for them or could expose them or their caregivers to the virus.

Continue Reading Sarah Churchill Llamas in Medpage Today: Docs Can Prescribe Opioids Via Telemedicine, for Now

In the wake of the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic, many practitioners have started to see a notable uptick in healthcare M&A activity through the third quarter of 2020.  Such activity spans from consolidation transactions in certain medical practice segments, accretive acquisitions in the hospice and home health space, business combinations to expand telemedicine offerings, and a growing interest in value-add healthcare real estate opportunities.  In most cases, the seller parties that have weathered the COVID-19 storm have done in so in part through the lifelines of funding provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) through the CARES Act, and in particular Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.  However, as the healthcare M&A deals initially inked in Q3-2020 now shift to closing mode in Q4-2020, these PPP loans are presenting new challenges for both sellers and buyers.  The following highlights some of the key issues.

Continue Reading Healthcare M&A in a Post-PPP World: Time to Look that Gift Horse in the Mouth

In order to clarify the required procedures for changes of ownership of entities that have received Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) funds, the Small Business Administration (“SBA”), on October 2, 2020, released a Procedural Notice. Specifically, the Procedural Notice addresses the procedures companies with outstanding PPP loans must follow when undergoing a change of ownership, including mergers, equity or asset acquisitions, or ownership restructurings.[1]

Prior to the October 2, 2020 Procedural Notice, SBA loans typically required prior SBA approval for any transaction involving a change of ownership, regardless of the percentage change. Without further guidance from the SBA, PPP lenders have been cautious in granting their consent to their PPP borrowers’ change of ownership transactions without prior SBA approval in order to avoid potential defaults and forego forgiveness rights of the PPP loan.

Continue Reading SBA Procedural Notice Summary – Changes of Ownership

There’s no such thing as a free lunch….  This adage is over 50 years old, and the Office of Inspector General for Health & Human Services (OIG) wants to remind doctors that it remains true.

The pharmaceutical and medical device industry continues to woo doctors with invitations to educational speaker programs in high-end restaurants, with golf excursions, or at sporting venues.  On Monday, November 16, the OIG issued a new Special Fraud Alert to remind doctors that speaker programs sponsored by pharmaceutical and medical device companies must serve a legitimate educational purpose and must be appropriately tailored to meet a need in the medical community.

The Open Payments Act requires pharmaceutical and medical device companies to report their spending on entertainment.  According to Open Payments data, cumulative doctor payments in the three years from 2017-2019 exceeded $2 billion, and the OIG emphasized that this high amount of spending, and its potential to influence the prescribing or ordering habits of targeted physicians, was one of the reasons for this new alert.

Continue Reading There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch

Today, November 12, Shareholder Sarah Churchill Llamas moderated the panel discussion “Successful Raises and Investor Considerations” at the Texas Life Science Venture Forum, hosted by Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship and BioHouston. The panel discussed advice for entrepreneurs/inventors that impacts valuation; the specific risks that erode valuation and how companies can mitigate risks at various stages of growth; and approaches to increase a company’s valuation once you are invested or engaged.

The Texas Life Science Forum is the premier life science event in Texas that brings together members from industry, emerging life science companies, academic, and investors. The event represents an opportunity to meet investors, learn about promising life science companies, to learn about opportunities for entrepreneurs, investment professionals, big pharma, academics and business executives serving the life science industry.

Panelists:

  • Mark Chandler, Managing Director, Upstream Partners
  • Aaron G.L. Fletcher, PhD, Managing Partner & Co-Founder, Bios Partners
  • Jack Henneman, Director, Alafair Biosciences

It’s no secret that the Department of Justice has made the False Claims Act (“FCA”) a priority for years.  Last month, we discussed why regulatory changes in response to Covid-19 (e.g., STARK waivers) could provide additional bases for the government to bring FCA cases.  This post addresses the basics of cooperation credit for defendants who cooperate with the Department of Justice during an FCA investigation.

Continue Reading Understanding the Basics of Cooperation Credit in False Claims Act Matters

On October 23, Shareholder Corinne Smith will moderate a coding webinar titled, “Changes to Outpatient Evaluation and Management (E/M) Guidelines​,” which will cover the significant changes to outpatient E/M services that will go into effect on January 1, 2021. ​The webinar will also discuss best practices and elaborate on information that is critical for healthcare attorneys, accountants and medical professionals to understand as they navigate healthcare compliance issues, false claims and reimbursements.

​This webinar is approved for CPE and CLE credits.

Date: Friday, October 23, 2020
Time: Noon – 12:30 p.m. CDT
Cost: Complimentary

Speakers:

Corinne Smith, Shareholder, Winstead

Jeannie Cagle, Senior Manager, Coker Group

Rosalind Cordini,  Senior Vice President/Director of Coding & Compliance Services, Coker Group)

Register here: https://bit.ly/3lUuRfZ

Tuesday, October 20, 2020 | 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. (EDT)

Winstead attorneys Frank Amini, Ph.D. and Lekha Gopalakrishnan, Ph.D. will present at an AUTM live webinar on the topic of protecting trade secrets on Tuesday, October 20, 2020. Trade secrets can be an institution’s most valuable and prolonged assets.

However, maintaining trade secrets in academic institutions can be challenging because trade secret protection requires secrecy, while academic institutions generally advocate publication and open collaboration. Furthermore, determining whether trade secret protection is appropriate in academic institutions can be complex. This session will shed light on these challenges by covering the basics of trade secrets, guidelines for choosing between patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets to protect inventions derived from academic institutions, and steps that academic institutions must take to protect trade secrets. LEARN MORE.

 $150 AUTM members / $225 Non-members

Frank and Lekha will provide insights on the following:

  • Determine whether or not trade secret protection is appropriate in academic institutions
  • Discuss the basics of trade secrets and guidelines for choosing between patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets
  • Describe steps academic institutions must take to protect trade secrets

REGISTER HERE.