Recent Blog Posts

  • New standard contractual clauses adopted by the European Commission By Katja Garvey   On June 4, 2021, the European Commission (EC) adopted a modernized set of standard contractual clauses for international data transfers (New SCCs) aimed at better protection of the data businesses transfer out of the European Union (EU). These New SCCs, which will take effect on June 27, 2021, will replace the standard contractual clauses that were adopted under the former EU Data Protection Directive in 2001, 2004 and 2010 (Previous SCCs). The New SCCs were eagerly awaited due to... More
  • Privacy and Security Roundup: Ransomware attack causes gasoline shortages, a new executive order to enhance cyber security and raising the stakes for trans-Atlantic data transfers By Kevin Scott and Donna Ruscitti   The past few weeks have provided some big developments in the area of data privacy and security. In this Privacy and Security Roundup, we cover a ransomware attack on the largest oil pipeline in the U.S., an Executive Order from President Joe Biden to enhance U.S. cybersecurity and potential mandatory reporting/sharing requirements, the U.S. Supreme Court weighing in on the Federal Trade Commission’s ability to seek monetary relief, and more. Recent Developments FBI confirms ransomware attack on... More
  • Privacy and Security Roundup: The FBI removes malicious web shells from Microsoft Exchange Servers, clarity on auto-dialers and new privacy legislation By Kevin Scott and Donna Ruscitti   The technology industry is constantly evolving and trusted legal advice is more important than ever. The attorneys in our Privacy and Data Security practice group are proud to offer a new blog series to provide curated data privacy and security news, developments and things to know moving forward. We will provide analysis designed to keep you and your organization up to speed. Our first roundup includes news on the FBI removing malicious web shells from Microsoft’s... More
  • Google v. Oracle: Use of copyrightable computer code is a fair use By Rick Mescher   In a highly awaited software copyright decision, the U.S. Supreme Court recently held that Google LLC’s copying of Oracle’s Java application programming interface (API) is a fair use as a matter of law. Java is a programming language and computing platform originally developed by Sun Microsystems, Inc., which was acquired by Oracle America, Inc. in 2009. Java is popular and widely used in many applications such as laptops, game consoles, supercomputers, mobile phones and websites because it provides... More
  • A different approach—Virginia’s Consumer Data Protection Act By Kevin Scott   With Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s signature on March 2, 2021, Virginia, a bit surprisingly, became the second state to set comprehensive rules for how companies handle and share personal information. Virginia’s Consumer Data Protection Act (CDPA) will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2023, incidentally the same day as the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), a ballot measure that will strengthen the landmark California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). While Virginia’s CDPA and California’s CCPA share several features, each... More
  • More states tackling biometric privacy: New York’s version of BIPA reintroduced By Porter Wright   To start the year, New York lawmakers reintroduced the Biometric Privacy Act – Assembly Bill 27. The bill closely mirrors Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), which has spawned compliance changes and hundreds of class action lawsuits, with some resulting in multimillion dollar settlements. Of note, like BIPA, the draft New York law permits a private cause of action with penalties of $1,000 to $5,000 per violation for private entities that violate the law’s provisions related to collecting, using,... More
  • Avoiding smart contract conflicts despite ambiguity By Andy Foreman   A version of this article was originally published by Law360 on Oct. 21, 2020. Depending on whom you ask, the promise of smart contracts ranges from the mundane to the fantastic—from helping to “facilitate, verify, execute and enforce the terms of a commercial agreement”[i] to ushering in the end of contract law by providing a technological alternative to the legal system.[ii] Smart contracts have already been used in connection with real estate transactions,[iii] bank bonds,[iv] interbank transfers,[v] invoice financing,[vi]... More
  • Two new opinions address personal jurisdiction and standing under BIPA By Karen Borg and Porter Wright   Two recent district court opinions addressed issues of personal jurisdiction and standing under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). BIPA imposes a number of requirements on those who obtain a person’s biometric data, including those set forth in Section 15(a), requiring those in possession of biometric data to develop a publicly available written policy regarding the retention and destruction of biometric data in their possession, in Section 15(b), requiring that each person be provided... More
  • U.S. Supreme Court says “booking dot yeah” to federal registration in trademark case By Porter Wright   After filing applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) nearly eight years ago,, the travel registration website known for its punny commercial tagline, celebrated victory on June 30, 2020. In an 8-1 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court found that the trademark BOOKING.COM is not generic, and therefore eligible for registration. Trademarks serve as source identifiers – they indicate the source of the goods or services with which the mark is used. Thus, U.S. trademark law prohibits... More
  • USPTO expedites review of COVID-19-related trademark and patent applications By Emily Cunningham   With an eye toward supporting the fast-moving research and development process of COVID-19 treatments, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has announced two new programs aimed at expediting review of certain mark and patent applications. Under each program, applicants must demonstrate that the product or process is directly correlated to COVID-19. Trademark Program Effective June 16, 2020, the trademark program allows applicants to file a Petition to the Director to expedite review of COVID-19-related marks, which accelerates review of... More