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Practical Perspectives on Intellectual Property Legal Developments

Category Archives: Privacy

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Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2015 Would Create a Federal Private Right of Action for the Misappropriation of Trade Secrets

Posted in E-Commerce, Privacy
On July 29, 2015, with bipartisan support, Congressional leaders in both the House and the Senate introduced identical bills, HR 3326 and S. 1890, respectively, entitled, the “Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2015” (“DTSA 2015”). The proposed legislation attempts to authorize a private civil action in federal court for the misappropriation of a trade secret that is related to a product or service used in, or intended for use in, interstate or foreign commerce. Additionally, the proposed legislations seeks to (a) create a uniform standard for trade secret misappropriation; (b) provide parties pathways to injunctive relief and compensatory damages; and (c) create remedies for trade secret misappropriation that are similar to other violations of intellectual property rights, for example, including exemplary damages and attorneys’ fees available in the event of willful and malicious misappropriation of a trade secret. An interesting feature of the DTSA 2015 is the availability of an ex parte seizure order for plaintiffs fearful of the dissemination of their trade secret(s). The proposed ex parte seizure allows for the government to seize property necessary to prevent the propagation or dissemination of the trade secret prior to giving notice of the lawsuit to the defendant. … Continue Reading

Target/Visa Settlement: A Potential Guide Post in Data Breach Litigation

Posted in Privacy
While the winter holidays are a time for spending and good cheer, the 2013 holiday season was one that continues to be costly for Target. On December 19, 2013, Target publicly announced that computer hackers had stolen data, including credit card payment information, from millions of Target shoppers. In January 2014, Gibbons P.C., in light of the Target data breach, discussed the ramifications of delay in notifying consumers, whether the delay was intentional or as a result of compliance with law enforcement requests. Banks and credit unions, which had issued credit cards affected by the breach, were forced to reimburse Target customers in some cases and reissue millions of cards, brought a class action lawsuit against Target.… Continue Reading

Court Finds Lack of Standing in Medical Data Breach Case

Posted in Privacy
In Peters v. St. Joseph Servs. Corp., the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas recently dismissed a class action complaint seeking damages arising out of a data incursion. The Court dismissed the complaint under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) for lack of standing without leave to amend, while granting the plaintiff 30 days to raise her state and common law claims in state court.… Continue Reading

Second Circuit Issues Decision in Gucci America, Inc. et. al. v. Li et. al.

Posted in Privacy, Trademark Counterfeiting
On September 17, 2014, the Second Circuit issued its long awaited decision in Gucci America, Inc. et. al. v. Li et. al., 2014 WL 4629049 (Appeal Nos. 11-3934 & 12-4557). In its decision, the Court vacated and remanded an August 2011 order compelling nonparty Bank of China (BOC) to comply with a document subpoena and asset freeze provision in an injunction and a May 2012 order denying the bank’s motion to reconsider. The court also reversed a November 2012 decision holding the bank in contempt for non-compliance with the court’s August 2011 order and imposing civil penalties.… Continue Reading

Navigating Data Transfer from the EU to the U.S.: Safe Harbor or Danger at Sea?

Posted in FTC, Privacy
In 2014, the FTC stepped up enforcement against companies that either falsely represented that they were Safe Harbor certified or displayed the Safe Harbor Framework (Safe Harbor Program) Certification Mark on their websites at a time when they were not in fact certified. Companies looking to self-certify in the future, and those that have self-certified more than one year ago and failed to re-certify, should take note of this important trend.… Continue Reading

Gone, but Not Forgotten: How the European Union Court of Justice Misremembered the Fundamental Purpose of Search Engines

Posted in Privacy
The European Union Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on May 13, 2014 that Google must purge links to personal data appearing on web pages published by third parties if the person who is the subject of that data objects that it is “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to the purposes for which [the data] were processed and in light of the time that has elapsed.” Google and other industry voices have already identified numerous concerns with the Court’s ruling, notably the unknown costs and potential disputes over relevancy and staleness of data that could arise as search engines seek to comply with the ruling.… Continue Reading

Viewing Windows Through Bars – Former Microsoft Employee Takes Plea in Criminal Trade Secrets Case

Posted in Privacy
While most trade secrets cases are litigated in civil court, one former Microsoft employee learned the hard way that the theft of trade secrets is also a federal crime. Alex A. Kibkalo, a former Microsoft Corp. employee, was being prosecuted for leaking valuable company trade secrets to a blogger for publication. On March 31, 2014, Kibkalo’s counsel and the prosecution advised a district court judge in Washington that the government and Kibkalo had reached a plea agreement. Pursuant to the terms of the agreement, Kibkalo will spend three months in federal prison and pay Microsoft Corp. restitution of $22,500.… Continue Reading

Forgive Me Not: Privacy Advocates Challenge Facebook’s WhatsApp Deal

Posted in Privacy
In their latest effort to curb potential consumer privacy abuses, the Electronic Privacy Information Center and the Center for Digital Democracy are challenging the potential misuse of data about WhatsApp users’ data as a result of WhatsApp’s acquisition by Facebook for $16 billion. WhatsApp is a popular App that allows users to send messages without the regular cost associated with SMS text messaging. According to the complaint, the company “processes over 10 billion messages per day from approximately 450 million users.”… Continue Reading

Final Cybersecurity Framework Released in Furtherance of President Obama’s Executive Order

Posted in Privacy
On Wednesday, February 12, the White House released the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Final Cybersecurity Framework: a set of industry best practices and standards to help owners and operators of critical infrastructure develop better cybersecurity programs. It is accompanied by a Roadmap which discusses NIST’s next steps with the Framework and identifies key areas of development, alignment, and collaboration. The Framework stems from President Obama’s February 2013 Executive Order on cybersecurity, previously covered on October 1, 2013. The overall core of the Framework is essentially unchanged from earlier drafts, also previously discussed on October 28, 2013. … Continue Reading

Preliminary Cybersecurity Framework Released in Furtherance of President Obama’s Executive Order

Posted in Privacy
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has just released its Preliminary Cybersecurity Framework: a set of best practices to help owners and operators of critical infrastructure reduce cybersecurity risks. This voluntary framework provides both private and public-sector organizations with a common language for understanding and managing cybersecurity risks internally and externally. The framework stems from President Obama's February 2013 Executive Order on cybersecurity, previously covered by this blog. The Final Framework is due to be released in February 2014, following a 45-day public comment period on the Preliminary Framework.… Continue Reading

Updated California Online Privacy Laws Require Disclosure of “Do Not Track” Policies

Posted in E-Commerce, Privacy
Recently, California Assembly Bill No. 370 (AB370) was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. AB 370 amends California's Online Privacy Protection Act of 2003 (OPPA) to require that the privacy policy provided by the operator of a website and online service describe how the operator will respond to consumer-initiated mechanisms for controlling the collection of consumer personally identifiable information (PII).… Continue Reading

Obama Administration Proposes Cybersecurity Best Practices

Posted in Privacy
As practitioners are aware, in February 2013, President Obama issued an executive order directing federal agencies to create a set of voluntary cybersecurity standards and procedures for critical parts of the private sector. If followed, these "best practices" are intended to reduce the risk of a cyber attack and its attendant disruption of business.… Continue Reading

Gibbons Institute Program – Cybersecurity Insurance and Cybersecurity Risk Management

Posted in Privacy
On June 6, the Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology, along with Seton Hall University School of Law, will host a timely and informative program, "Cybersecurity Insurance and Cybersecurity Risk Management." The evening features two expert panels who will examine the developing cyber-risk insurance market. Panelists will address the potential legal liability for businesses victimized by cyber crimes, as well as the availability and scope of coverage for cyber-risk insurance policies.… Continue Reading

Risky Business: Cybercrime in the New Economy

Posted in E-Commerce, Privacy
Cybercrime has increased tremendously in the digital economy. "According to the American Society for Industrial Security, American businesses [are] losing $250 billion a year from intellectual property theft since the mid-1990's." There is a clear and growing threat of Chinese industrial espionage targeted at American companies. In a recent case, a Michigan couple was accused of stealing $40 million worth of trade secrets from General Motors and selling them to a Chinese car maker. Aside from hackers, the threat also exists within organizations from insiders. A recent study commissioned by Cisco found that "[i]n the hands of uninformed, careless, or disgruntled employees, every device that accesses the network or stores data is a potential risk to intellectual property or sensitive customer data."… Continue Reading

Gibbons Director Catherine Clayton to Host Roundtable on Internet Privacy and Emerging Issues Relating to Online and New Media Enforcement

Posted in Copyright, E-Commerce, Privacy, Trademark
Gibbons is pleased to announce that Catherine M. Clayton, a Director in the firm's Intellectual Property Department, will host a roundtable on internet privacy and emerging issues relating to on-line and new media enforcement on September 22, 2011 at 12:00 pm. This program is part of the International Trademark Association's (INTA) roundtable series, and will take place at the firm's Newark office.… Continue Reading

Thunderstorms on the Horizon for Cloud Computing

Posted in E-Commerce, Licensing, Privacy
With the U.S. economy still reeling from the aftershock of what is now known as the "Great Recession," companies large and small are evaluating cloud computing as a means of reducing IT costs. The National Institute of Standards and Technologies ("NIST") and the Cloud Security Alliance have defined cloud computing as a model for on-demand network access to a shared pool of computing resources over the internet, namely software applications, data servers, networks and other services. Just as businesses and consumers now pay for gas, electricity and other utilities, cloud enthusiasts predict that the cloud will be sold on demand as a pure IT service.… Continue Reading