Unexpected Risks of Early Exercise Incentive Stock Options

Canadian companies and their outside counsel occasionally ask about the ability to grant early exercise incentive stock options (“ISOs”) to limit the impact of the U.S. alternative minimum tax (“AMT”) to their U.S. employees. However, due to fairly counterintuitive U.S. federal tax regulations, structuring options in this manner may expose optionees to negative tax consequences...

Trump Seeks to Uproot the Obama Climate Change Agenda

Citing concerns over economic harm, President Trump has targeted his predecessor’s climate change agenda. He has sought reversal of a number of key Obama regulations, directives, and other actions, including the Clean Power Plan and the U.S. participation in the Paris accords. The overall blueprint for these actions is found in his March 2017 Executive...

Damages: Making Anti-Harassment Policies Work in the United States

Harassment has been in the news a lot lately in the United States, with several high-profile terminations at well-known companies. Companies are losing millions of dollars, not just in settlements and verdicts, but in lost customers and bad publicity. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC, is the administrative agency responsible for enforcing laws prohibiting...

Exporting Products Across the Border – Avoiding Product Liability and Other Litigation Risks in the United States

Canadian companies exporting products across the border into U.S. markets face significant risks of litigation or regulatory action arising from products sold and distributed in the United States. In a recent article, our colleague Kent Schmidt outlines ideas for managing these risks and creating a litigation risk profile around the four key areas of vulnerability:...

Trump Administration Announces NAFTA Renegotiation

After months of public pronouncements on the future, including threatened withdrawal from, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Trump Administration announced on May 18, 2017, its intention to begin negotiations with Canada and Mexico. Signed by Robert Lighthizer, the newly confirmed U.S. Trade Representative, the notification letters to Congressional leaders do not contain...

Tax Consequences to U.S. Shareholders of Holding Shares in a Passive Foreign Investment Company or PFIC

If a non-U.S. corporation (the “Company”) is a “passive foreign investment company” or “PFIC” for any tax year during which a U.S. shareholder owns shares in the Company, certain adverse U.S. federal income tax consequences of the acquisition, ownership, and disposition of shares will generally apply to such U.S. shareholder. A U.S. shareholder will be...

Protect Your Intellectual Property in Cross-Border Distributor Relationships

Canadian manufacturers who sell products through U.S. distributors should ensure that they take appropriate action to establish their U.S. intellectual property rights, and to deal clearly with those rights in their cross-border distribution agreements. In a recent post on Dorsey’s IP blog, The TMCA, Sandra Edelman discusses the difficulties encountered by Covertech Fabricating, a Canadian...