Posts tagged Intellectual Property

    NIH researchers say agency seeks to block unionization effort

    August 7, 2023 // The agency is arguing that postdocs and graduate students aren’t employees, according to union organizers Early-career researchers who work in labs operated by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) have hit a roadblock on their way to unionizing. In June, a group of postdocs, graduate students, and postbaccalaureate researchers asked the agency that oversees the certification of unions by federal employees, the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA), for permission to hold an election to determine whether early-career researchers at NIH are in favor of forming a union. But on Monday, the organizers say, they were told that NIH had submitted paperwork to FLRA arguing that many of the union’s potential members are not employees and don’t have standing to form a union. Union representatives also declined to send Science the entirety of the document NIH submitted to FLRA. But they did share one excerpt, which argued that most of the potential union’s 4800 likely members cannot be considered employees. “The Agency is of the view that individuals in all categories appointed under the CRTA [Cancer Research Training Award] and IRTA [Intramural Research Training Award] authorities, i.e., all categories other than Clinical Fellows, Research Fellows, and Senior Research Fellows, are not employees under the Statute,” the document states, according to the union.

    Trader Joe’s sues employee union for trademark infringement

    July 17, 2023 // Grocery-store chain Trader Joe's sued its employee union in Los Angeles federal court on Thursday, claiming the union's sales of merchandise related to the company violated its trademark rights. The grocer's lawsuit said Trader Joe's United sells tote bags, buttons, mugs and other products featuring the store's name and logo that are likely to confuse customers into thinking it made or endorsed them.