jump to navigation

Happy Halloween! Client Alert: 4 SCARY Facts about the New European Union General Data Protection Regulation 10/31/2017

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Intellectual Property, Privacy and Data Security.
Tags: , , , ,
add a comment

client alert skinnyThis Halloween, in the privacy and data security world, it is not the ghost or goblin that should frighten your business – but rather, the looming May 25, 2018 deadline for compliance with the new European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).  In honor of Halloween, MBBP’s privacy and data security team shares 4 SCARY facts about the GDPR.

To learn about the 4 facts, read the full alert.

Faith Kasparian Comments on Privacy & Data Security Implications of Burger King’s New Google-Triggering Ad 04/14/2017

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Intellectual Property, Privacy and Data Security.
Tags: , , , , , ,
add a comment

FDK Headshot Photo 2015 (M0846572xB1386)Intellectual property attorney Faith Kasparian comments on the potential privacy and data security repercussions of Burger King’s new ad in Bloomberg’s article, “Burger King’s Google-Triggering Ad Invites Complaints, Scrutiny“. The article discusses Burger King’s recent ad controversy, after it prompted consumers’ Google Home devices to respond to the prompt “OK, Google. What is the Whopper burger?”.

Faith notes that:

It’s unreasonable for Google not to have appropriate mechanisms in place so that the device couldn’t be activated by a third party.

She also states that the FTC could have a claim against Google for the ad since consumers did not receive proper disclosures, and that Google could also take legal action against Burger King for “inappropriately leveraging that device”.

For more information on the legal implications of the ad, read Bloomberg’s article.

List Mania: Top IP Developments of 2016 04/04/2017

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Computer Software & Hardware, Intellectual Property, Internet and E-Commerce, Privacy and Data Security, Telecommunications & Networking.
Tags: , , , ,
add a comment

wrs-headshot-photo-2016-m0980966xb1386While you may have been distracted by a tumultuous 2016, at MBBP we have been monitoring developments in intellectual property. We are happy to present, in no particular order, our list of the top IP developments of 2016, plus an Honorable Mention for 2017.

In the full article on our website, “List Mania: Top IP Developments of 2016“, Bill Schmidt covers the following developments:

  1. Patent Infringement Plaintiffs Get a “Halo”: Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc. and Stryker Corp. v. Zimmer, Inc.
  2. A Light at the End of the Tunnel for Software Patents?: Enfish v. Microsoft Corp.
  3. High Octane Fee Shifting: Octane Fitness, LLC v. Icon health & Fitness, Inc.
  4. Limits on “Common Sense”: Arendi S.A.R.L. v. Apple
  5. Shhh… It’s a Secret: Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016
  6. Designs, Damages, and Dinner Plates: Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co.
  7. Personal Information Expressway: EU-US Privacy Shield Framework
  8. In Defense of Abbott and Costello: TCA Television Corp. v. McCollum
  9. Thanks, but No Thanks: UK votes to exit the European Union
  10. Honorable Mention for 2017: CRISPR/Cas9

Privacy & Data Security Video: Privacy & Data Security Issues for Service Recipients and Service Providers 11/01/2016

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Client News, Intellectual Property, Privacy and Data Security.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

In our eighth and final Privacy & Data Security video clip, MBBP attorney Faith Kasparian discusses how companies sharing information with third-party service providers can create liabilities, both because many data breaches arise from third-party access, and because companies fail to oversee these third parties as required by law.  Faith will guide you through a few key points relevant to both service recipients and service providers.

Make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel and to check out our Privacy & Data Security playlist for related videos.

fdkvideo8

Privacy & Data Security Video: Understanding the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) 10/24/2016

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Privacy and Data Security.
Tags: , , , , , , ,
add a comment

In our seventh Privacy & Data Security video clip, MBBP attorney Faith Kasparian discusses key points concerning the scope of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), and why it is critical that businesses comply with the act.

Make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel and to check out our Privacy & Data Security playlist for related videos.

fdkvideo7

Privacy & Data Security Video: Data Breach Response Requirements 10/17/2016

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Privacy and Data Security.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

In our sixth Privacy & Data Security video clip, attorney Sandy Kahn discusses the steps the law requires you to take if your company experiences a data breach.

Make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel and to check out our Privacy & Data Security playlist for related videos.

sekvideo6

Privacy & Data Security Video: Privacy and Data Security in the Cloud 10/11/2016

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Computer Software & Hardware, Intellectual Property, Privacy and Data Security.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

In our fifth Privacy & Data Security video clip, MBBP attorney Howard Zaharoff identifies the legal and practical measures that both cloud providers and cloud customers should take, including the critical terms each should require in their contracts.

Make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel and to check out our Privacy & Data Security playlist for related videos.

hgzvideo5

Privacy & Data Security Video: The Importance of Developing an Accurate Privacy Policy 10/04/2016

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Privacy and Data Security.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

In our fourth Privacy & Data Security video clip, MBBP attorney Faith Kasparian discusses how having an inaccurate privacy policy may expose your business to liability for unfair and deceptive trade practices.

Make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel and to check out our Privacy & Data Security playlist for related videos.

fdkvideo4

Privacy & Data Security Video: Written Information Security Programs (WISPs) Under Massachusetts Law 09/26/2016

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Privacy and Data Security.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

In our third Privacy & Data Security video clip, attorney Sandra Kahn discusses the importance of a company’s Written Information Security Program (WISP).  Specifically, Sandy explains the data security regulations that require every company that owns or licenses personal information about Massachusetts residents to develop, implement, and maintain a WISP.

Make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel and to check out our Privacy & Data Security playlist for related videos.

sekvideo3

Privacy & Data Security Video: Privacy in M&A Transactions 09/19/2016

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Intellectual Property, Privacy and Data Security.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

In our second Privacy & Data Security video clip, MBBP Attorney Faith Kasparian discusses key privacy and data security issues that companies must consider when participating in an acquisition.

Make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel and to check out our Privacy & Data Security playlist for related videos.

fdkvideo2

Watch Attorney Howard Zaharoff in New “High-Level Overview of U.S. Privacy/Data Security Landscape” Video 09/12/2016

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Intellectual Property, Privacy and Data Security.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

For the next several weeks we will be releasing a series of eight videos of our attorneys discussing key privacy and data security considerations.  In our first video, Howard Zaharoff discuss the privacy and data security landscape, and provides an overview of the complex patchwork of state and federal laws governing privacy and data security in the United States.

You won’t want to miss our second video about Privacy in M&A Transactions! Stay tuned and subscribe to our YouTube channel to ensure that you don’t miss any posted videos!

hgzvideo1-m0950959xb1386

New Federal Law Protects Trade Secrets But Also Requires Changes to Employee and Contractor Agreements 05/05/2016

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Client News, Employment, Intellectual Property, Licensing & Strategic Alliances, Privacy and Data Security, Public Companies.
Tags: , , , ,
add a comment

By: Sandra E. Kahn

It is expected that President Obama will soon sign into law the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA), which creates a new federal civil cause of action for trade secret theft.  While claims for trade secret theft may still be brought under the various state laws which protect intellectual property, this new law will provide uniform protection on the federal level.

The DTSA defines trade secrets consistently with the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA), and applies broadly to any trade secrets “related to a product or service used in or intended for use in, interstate or foreign commerce.”  Along with the ability to bring a lawsuit to fight trade secret theft and pursue equitable remedies and the award of damages for the misappropriation of a trade secret, the DTSA also includes a provision for expedited relief on an ex parte basis to prevent the dissemination of misappropriated trade secrets, which may be obtained under “extraordinary circumstances.”

The DTSA also provides protection for whistleblowers, granting immunity to  parties who, under certain circumstances, disclose a trade secret to the government or an attorney to report wrongdoing, or as part of an anti-retaliation lawsuit.  Of particular interest to our clients is the requirement that employers must now provide a notice of this immunity protection in any contract or agreement with an employee (or an independent contractor or consultant) that governs the use of a trade secret or other confidential information.    If this notice is not included in all contracts which are signed or revised after the effective date of the act, the employer will not be able to recover exemplary damages and attorneys’ fees under the DTSA (although the employer may still pursue any available damages under other causes of action).  Employers are advised to consult with their counsel to revise all agreements with employees and contractors in order not to run afoul of this requirement.

The DTSA, by itself, may not be used to prevent a departed employee from entering into a new employment relationship with a competitor, and provides that any conditions placed on such employment must be based on “evidence of threatened misappropriation and not merely on the information the person knows,” in effect rejecting the doctrine of inevitable disclosure.

Survey Says: Top NINE Intellectual Property Developments of 2015 03/04/2016

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Computer Software & Hardware, Intellectual Property, Licensing & Strategic Alliances, Life Sciences, Privacy and Data Security, Publishing & Media.
Tags: , , , , , , ,
add a comment

happy-birthdayBy: Callie L. Pioli

2015 was another busy year in terms of intellectual property law, but luckily, MBBP has been carefully monitoring all of the important developments. There were many contenders for spots in our list, but only a select few could make the cut.

Get a recap on 2015 (and prepare for success in 2016) by reading our list.

We cover:

  1. Happy Birthday to All! – Marya v. Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.
  2. Google Books (Authors Guild v. Google, Inc.)
  3. Disparagement versus Free Speech: In re Tam
  4. Issue Preclusion & The TTAB: B&B Hardware, Inc. v. Hargis Indus., Inc.
  5. Patient Infringement Liability: Akamai Techs., Inc. v. Limelight Networks, Inc.
  6. Biosimilarity: Amgen v. Sandoz
  7. ­Patentability of Natural Phenomena: Ariosa Diagnostics, Inc. v. Sequenom, Inc.
  8. Computer Fraud & Abuse Act
  9. Safe Harbor Down, EU-US Privacy Shield Up

 

Clearing Away Cloud Confusion; MBBP Team to Illuminate Intricacies of Buying and Selling Cloud Services 02/01/2016

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Computer Software & Hardware, Corporate, Events, Intellectual Property, Licensing & Strategic Alliances, Privacy and Data Security, Telecommunications & Networking.
Tags: , , , , , ,
add a comment

Lawyers for technology companies are increasingly asked to assess the risks of client companies shifting from standard sales and licenses to a cloud model, and lawyers for every company need to assess the pros and cons of receiving core technology as a service over the internet. On Wednesday February 3rd, at a NECCA (New England Corporate Counsel Association, Inc.) seminar  held at the Westin Waltham from 10:00 to noon, MBBP attorneys Howard Zaharoff, John Hession, Mark Tarallo and Faith Kasparian will address the complexities of cloud computing and offer guidance to in-house counsel and other professionals advising their clients on these critical issues.

Among the topics to be covered are understanding the legally relevant features of cloud computing, identifying the key contract issues, recognizing the terms a standard vendor contract should contain, and discovering the implications of  recent developments in data privacy, particularly in the EU, for companies that are purchasing or selling cloud services.

To explore these and many other aspects of this complex and rapidly -evolving subject, reserve your space for this important and edifying NECCA seminar. Lunch will be served at 12:30 p.m.

Massachusetts Data Protection Regulations 11/03/2015

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Internet and E-Commerce, Legal Developments, New Resources, Privacy and Data Security.
Tags: ,
add a comment

As a reminder, Massachusetts has enacted stringent data protection regulations (the Massachusetts Standards for the Protection of Personal Information of Residents of the Commonwealth, 201 C.M.R. 17.00 et seq. (the “data protection regulations”) and data disposal legislation (Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 93I) (the “disposal law”).

These laws likely apply to your business to the extent that you collect information (either from your own employees or in connection with providing goods/services) that falls within the meaning of “personal information” under the data protection regulations.  Although the definition of “personal information” under the data protection regulations is relatively narrow (a Massachusetts resident’s first name and last name or first initial and last name in combination with any one or more of the following data elements that relate to such resident: (a) Social Security number; (b) driver’s license number or state-issued identification card number; or (c) financial account number, or credit or debit card number, with or without any required security code, access code, personal identification number or password, that would permit access to a resident’s financial account), the data protection regulations impose high minimum standards for protecting such information.  (The definition of “personal information” under the disposal law includes the same information as that in the data protection regulations’ definition, except that the disposal law’s definition also includes a Massachusetts resident’s first name and last name or first initial and last name in combination with a biometric indicator.)

Among other requirements, the data protection regulations require the adoption of a written information security program (WISP) including certain minimum administrative, technical, and physical safeguards – among which are to oversee third-party service providers and adhere to specific computer system security requirements.  The disposal law sets forth minimum standards for the proper disposal of records (including paper documents and non-paper media) containing personal information.

To assist in the compliance process with respect to the data protection regulations, the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation has created a compliance checklist, as well as a guide for small businesses entitled “A Small Business Guide: Formulating A Comprehensive Written Information Security Program.”

If you would like help in preparing a WISP or addressing other compliance issues, please contact MBBP Attorney Faith Kasparian.

MBBP’s Faith Kasparian’s Article Draws National Interest 09/01/2015

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Privacy and Data Security.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

IP Licensing and Trademark Attorney Faith KasparianMBBP Senior Attorney Faith Kasparian’s article on M&A privacy and compliance concerns (M&A Privacy and Compliance with Applicable Privacy Laws and Sharing of Customer Information) drew the attention of Reporter Katie Rucke of Communication Daily, who consequently called upon Faith to comment for a story Ms. Rucke was preparing for her publication. Ms. Rucke’s story, entitled Privacy Policies Should Say what Happens in M&A, Experts Say, appears in the August 17, 2015 edition of “the Daily”, as the “news source for communications regulation” is familiarly known.

The premise of Ms. Rucke’s story, that “a clause about the sale or transfer of data in the event of a merger, acquisition or bankruptcy should be included in every company’s privacy policy…”,  was validated by Faith’s stance. “If a privacy policy is too vague,” Attorney Kasparian is quoted as saying, “a company runs the risk that the disclosure that its data could be sold or transferred isn’t sufficiently clear, and the deal could fall through.”  Faith goes on to cite the example of a dating company in Texas which wanted to sell its list of users, but the privacy policy was found to be so ambiguous that the transaction was called off.

In the Daily story, Faith also authoritatively comments on other notable aspects of the privacy policy issue, such as a weak company privacy policy bringing down the selling price, and warns about the consequences of the FTC going after unfair and deceptive practices regarding these policies. To learn more, read the full article which can be found here.

In Honor of Data Privacy Day, MBBP’s Data Privacy “Bell Ringers” 01/28/2015

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in New Resources, Privacy and Data Security.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

dpd2015Happy Data Privacy Day!

Information and data are everywhere. Indeed, as of 2010, it was noted that “every two days, we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization up until 2003.” And as information and data have proliferated, so too have the laws applicable to privacy and data security. Understanding — and complying with — this rapidly changing landscape of laws is critical for any business, because the penalties for violation can be significant and may include substantial fines plus destruction of unlawfully obtained data.

So, in honor of this week’s Data Privacy Day, the privacy team at MBBP would like to share with you some of the major privacy “bell ringers” — the contexts that should “ring a bell” indicating the presence of privacy-related legal issues and prompt you to consult with privacy counsel.

For instance, handling any of the following classes of information should ring a bellbell

  • Medical or Health
  • Credit/Debit Card or Bank/Financial Account
  • Social Security Numbers
  • “Personal Information” within the meaning of the Massachusetts Standards for the Protection of Personal Information of Residents of the Commonwealth, 201 C.M.R. § 17.00 et seq. (Massachusetts resident’s first name and last name or first initial and last name in combination with anyone or more of the following data elements that relate to such resident: (a) Social Security number; (b) driver’s license number or state-issued identification card number; or (c) financial account number, or credit or debit card number, with or without any required security code, access code, personal identification number or password, that would permit access to a resident’s financial account).

Check out our other “bell ringers“.

To discuss your specific privacy and data security legal services needs, please contact Faith Kasparian, Michael Cavaretta, or Howard Zaharoff.

Our Greatest Hits of 2014! 01/21/2015

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Corporate, Employment, Immigration, Intellectual Property, Licensing & Strategic Alliances, M&A, MBBP news, Privacy and Data Security, Public Companies, Taxation.
Tags: , , , , ,
add a comment

From the Top Ten Issues in M&A Transactions to the Life Cycle of an IRS Audit we’re recapping the most popular articles and blogs in 2014!

Other popular articles include:

Most popular posts from our 4 blogs:

These articles, along with our newsletters and other blogs can found here.

Want To Stay Employed as a CIO? Better Get Privacy Right 08/25/2014

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Computer Software & Hardware, Intellectual Property, Internet and E-Commerce, Legal Developments, Privacy and Data Security.
Tags: , , , , ,
add a comment

Consumer privacy is emerging into a big headache for companies — and the CIO is bearing the brunt. Most companies analyze customer data in some way, and there are increasing amounts of legislation around how such data handling should be performed. Breaking the rules can land a company in hot water — and leave the CIO out of a job. Sensitive information is often copied from system to system by staff with little understanding of  privacy issues and risks surrounding sensitive data. As a result, it falls to the CIO to make sure that a customer privacy strategy is in place. To properly ensure consumer privacy, the CIO should make sure their company is complying with existing regulations, but also be prepared for possible data breaches.

To read the full article

Understanding the rapidly changing landscape of privacy and data security laws is critical for any business. For more information on how MBBP counsels clients in this area, visit our Privacy & Data Security practice or check out our related resources.

Upcoming Seminars in Waltham & Cambridge! 07/16/2014

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Corporate, Employment, Events, Intellectual Property, Legal Developments, MBBP news, Privacy and Data Security.
add a comment

The end of Summer and beginning of Fall are the perfect time to get back into the swing of things! Join us for timely, informative seminars on False Advertising, Sweepstakes & Contests, and Employment Law. Get the details below.

LIMITED SEATING – REGISTER TODAY!

8/12/14 – Unfair Competition / False Advertising: How the Supreme Court’s recent decisions impact false advertising claims against competitors. (Waltham, MA) – In this seminar, we will discuss unfair competition and false advertising under the Lanham Act, the Lexmark International, Inc. v. Static Control Components, Inc.and POM Wonderful LLC v. Coca-Cola Co. decisions, and how these decisions may affect your rights against third parties. Complimentary seminar!

9/18/14 – Playing a Game of ChanceUnderstanding the Differences Between Sweepstakes, Contests and Illegal Lotteries. (Cambridge, MA) – Sweepstakes and contests are a great way to promote your business. However, there is a fine line between conducting legal sweepstakes or contests and conducting an illegal lottery. In this seminar, we will discuss what constitutes an illegal lottery, ways to structure contests / sweepstakes to comply with federal & state laws, state registration requirements and penalties for conducting an illegal lottery. Complimentary seminar!

10/17/14 – The Morse CourseEmployment Law Compliance & Risk Prevention for Managers, Supervisors and HR Professionals. (Waltham, MA) – Learn practical information and valuable strategies for avoiding the many traps that lead to expensive and time-consuming HR problems and employment litigation. Group discount available!

Have a different topic in mind? Check our Events Page for additional seminars or email us.

%d bloggers like this: