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January 29, 2014

In the News Today – January 29, 2014

According to Securities and Exchange Commission Chairwoman Mary Jo White, the SEC is preparing for “a very busy year in enforcement” in 2014. Corporate Counsel reports that  the “SEC’s agenda this year includes the conclusion of all major investigations connected to the 2008 financial crisis, more admissions of guilt in settlements with the agency, and new tools and new regulations intended to combat financial fraud and ensure market integrity.” White announced these items in remarks prepared for the 41st Annual Securities Regulation Institute. 

In his State of the Union Address last night, President Barack Obama urged Congress to take up patent reform, saying, “Let’s pass a patent reform bill that allows our businesses to stay focused on innovation, not costly, and needless litigation.” The House passed patent reform legislation by a 325-91 vote in December. The National Law Journal reports that the White House supports the Patent Transparency and Improvements Act, which is currently in the Senate Judiciary Committee.  

Legislation that would make West Virginia the 30th state with a False Claims Act drew the support of a group “funded by whistleblowers and trial lawyers”, reported the Charleston Gazette. Patrick Burns, co-director of Taxpayers Against Fraud, testified in favor of the bill at a legislative hearing Tuesday. Meanwhile, a representative for the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce labeled the legislation a “duplicitous, horrible policy” that promotes “litigation for profit” and would “kill jobs” in the Mountaineer State. 

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