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Recent Blog Posts

  • Big changes for internet shopping By Mark Snider    On June 21, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Wayfair v. South Dakota that internet and catalogue retailers can be required to collect sales taxes from customers in states where they have no physical presence. In plain English, in most situations, no more tax-free shopping on the internet. Buyers have always technically been required to pay a use tax to their state if no sales tax was collected by the seller. This decision overrules two older decisions that... More
  • UPDATE: All fifty states now have data breach statutes By Ryan Graham    On July 1, 2018, all fifty states will have active data breach statutes that govern the notification process for companies that experience a data loss incident. Alabama and South Dakota both recently passed data breach laws, representing the last two states to enact data breach legislation. As with other data breach statutes, Alabama and South Dakota have imposed slightly different requirements on businesses that experience a breach event, contributing to the increasingly rich tapestry of state laws governing... More
  • The federal landscape on self-driving cars By Jill Okun    Motivated by the unprecedented spike in automotive fatalities in 2015, mostly caused by human error, the United States Department of Transportation (DOT), through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), has embraced self-driving cars as a means to significantly reduce motor vehicle crashes. In so doing, the DOT stands behind developing a regulatory framework which encourages the safe development, testing and deployment of automated vehicles. Because current legislation and policies have not caught up with technology, Congress and... More
  • ADA Website filings show no sign of slowing down By Bob Morgan    Regardless of industry, website accessibility has become an area of focus for ADA litigation. My colleague, Jamie LaPlante, was recently interviewed by the Bristol Herald Courier regarding a filing against Highlands Union Bank in the U.S. District Court in Abingdon, Virginia, where the plaintiff is a blind man from Fairfax county. The case follows a similar fact pattern to the 2017 Florida case against Winn-Dixie where a federal judge ruled the supermarket chain failed to make its website... More
  • DMCA agent requirements changing by end of year By Bob Morgan    In December 2016, the United States Copyright Office introduced an online registration system and electronically generated directory to replace the office’s old paper-based system and directory for filing DMCA agent information. The office no longer accepts paper designations. To designate an agent, a service provider must register with and use the office’s online system. While the change to an electronic directory is noteworthy, those with existing DMCA agent registrations (filed to the old, paper-based registry) must submit new DMCA... More
  • Rivalry in the Athleisure Industry – lululemon and Under Armour battle over criss-cross straps By Melissa Barnett    Patent infringement lawsuits are rather unusual in the fashion industry in part because design patents are difficult, expensive, and slow to obtain. In an industry that is constantly evolving to keep up with consumer trends, the year+ length of time from application filing to design patent registration is a lifetime. The latest development gaining momentum in the fashion industry is a niche known as “athleisure.” This trend, as suggested by the term, is defined by clothing designed not... More
  • Supreme Court holds ban on disparaging trademarks is unconstitutional – a victory for The Slants By Melissa Barnett    On Monday, June 19, 2017, the Supreme Court released a decision in a high profile trademark case rejecting the Lanham Act’s rule against disparaging trademarks as being facially invalid and unconstitutional. The Lanham Act, since its enactment in 1946, has contained a provision stating that a trademark should not be refused registration on the principal register unless it “consists of … matter which may disparage or falsely suggest a connection with persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national... More
  • ‘This could be heaven or this could be hell’ for Hotel California By Melissa Barnett    Nearly 50 miles south of San Diego in Mexico lies an eleven room hotel which is currently making waves for its name, Hotel California, which is also the name of the Eagles classic single and album. The boutique hotel was originally named Hotel California at its 1950 opening but has since undergone several name changes. Ultimately the original name, Hotel California, was revived sometime after a Canadian couple bought it in 2001. Although the Baja hotel has been around... More
  • Don’t wannacry? Help your IT staff prevent ransomware By Donna Ruscitti    This week our colleagues at Employer Law Report published a post discussing the recent “Wannacry” ransomware attack. In the post, Brian Hall outlines the risks employers may face when dealing with cyber attacks and how human resource departments can help protect their organizations. Click below to read the full article. Don’t wannacry? Help your IT staff prevent ransomware ... More
  • Expiration of Amazon’s 1-Click patent: Are you preparing for the single click world? By Rick Mescher    About two decades ago, Amazon.com, Inc. revolutionized e-commerce transactions with the innovation of single click buying. Single click buying is a checkout process that enables customers to bypass the shopping cart to make an online purchase with a single click based on payment and shipping information previously provided by the customer. Amazon received U.S. Patent No. 5,960,411 (the 1-Click Patent) for this technology in 1999. Amazon also has U.S. registrations for the trademark “1-Click”. The 1-Click Patent will... More