Countdown to May 25, 2018: Are You Ready for GDPR?

By Elizabeth Hinson and Alexander P. Woollcott

On May 25, 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the European Union’s new data privacy and protection law, goes into effect.   The most striking aspect of GDPR is that it applies not only inside the European Union but anywhere personal data of individuals located in the EU is being used or accessed.  If that does not catch your attention, the fines for non-compliance – up to 4% of global revenue – certainly should.

Even at this late date, many companies are not close to being in full compliance with GDPR.  This Article addresses some

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What Brexit Means For Patents, Trademarks And Enforcement

June 27th, 2016
Patents/IP, Recent Legal News

By Mary An Merchant, PhD

Brexit, the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union, raises many questions and some are related to intellectual property issues. There are a few anticipated changes to IP rights due to Brexit. Here is a summary of some key issues, and what could happen next.

Trademarks and Designs

Procedures for treatment of EU trademarks will need to be an element of the negotiations for the UK in leaving the EU. Trademarks can filed individually in each EU

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The Defend Trade Secrets Act

May 24th, 2016
Patents/IP, Recent Legal News

By Jonielle D. Turner

The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA) – arguably the most significant change to U.S. intellectual property laws in the past decade – was signed into law by President Obama on May 11, 2016. The DTSA creates a federal, civil remedy for misappropriation of a trade secret that is related to a product or service used in, or intended for use in, interstate or foreign commerce. There are a wide range of remedies available for plaintiffs under the DTSA, including seizure of property, injunctive relief and damages. Note that although

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CFPB Proposes Rule Regulating Pre-Dispute Arbitration Clauses

May 17th, 2016
Bitcoin, Recent Legal News

By Katie McConnell

On May 5, 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) issued a proposed rule, which will require providers of certain consumer financial products and services to overhaul their existing consumer-facing agreements. The proposed rule would:

  1. Prohibit class action waivers in a wide range of consumer financial products agreements;
  2. Require “providers” to insert language into their consumer-facing agreements to inform consumers of their right to participate in class actions; and
  3. Require a provider involved in an arbitration claim to timely file with the CFPB information about the claim and how the claim was resolved.

What This Means

Prospective Effectiveness:

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MMM Adds IP Depth in Atlanta: Patent Agent Joins

May 10th, 2016
Patents/IP, Recent Legal News

Atlanta (May 2016) – Richard T. Timmer, Ph.D., has joined Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP (MMM) as a patent agent in the firm’s Buckhead office. Timmer’s career includes more than 25 years in the chemical and life sciences industries. He will assist the firm’s Intellectual Property Practice and will work closely with MMM’s nationally-recognized Technology Practice.

Dr. Timmer brings a unique depth and breadth of experience to working with clients who are commercializing innovative technology. He spent more than 15 years preparing and prosecuting patent applications with two national law firms, and managing patent portfolios for biotechnology startups

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USPTO Throws a Lifeline to the Life Sciences Industry

By Mary An Merchant, JD, PhD, & Richard T. Timmer, PhD

U.S. Supreme Court decisions in Alice Corp., Myriad, and Mayo invalidated claims in critical life sciences and computer technology areas in finding that many inventions are not eligible patent subject matter, meaning that a patent cannot be granted for certain types of technologies. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has applied these decisions to patent examination, and in doing so, many pending patent application claims have been rejected as not being patent-eligible subject matter. On May 4, 2016, the USPTO published guidance that updates the

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Washington State Applies Money Transmission Act to Payment Processors

May 3rd, 2016
Bitcoin, Recent Legal News

By Austin Mills

Money transmission licensing (and related compliance) can be an expensive and time-consuming process. To further complicate things, it is often difficult to determine where a particular state draws the line on whether or not a particular payments-related activity constitutes money transmission.

The state of Washington’s Department of Financial Institutions (“DFI”) recently clarified one of these grey areas (“payment processing”) with an interpretive statement (the “Statement”) regarding the Washington Uniform Money Services Act (the “Act”). The statement concludes that “payment processing” is money transmission. According to the statement, payment processing includes activities where an entity “receives[s]

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Last week, Microsoft sued the U.S. government. Microsoft is seeking the right to tell its customers when the government requires Microsoft to disclose customer information, such as emails.  Since at least the enactment of the U.S.A. PATRIOT Act, the government has been able to issue a search warrant and prohibit the information provider from telling the party whose information is being sought about the search warrant.

Contracts in technology frequently have nondisclosure clauses in them.  After the basics of the clause are covered — identifying the confidential information and establishing obligations for nondisclosure and limited use — there

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Florida Amends Trade Secret Statute to Include Financial Information

By: Carl Erhardt, Larry Kunin & Alex Woollcott

Recent changes in two Florida statutes exempt financial information that is a trade secret from mandatory disclosure under Florida’s otherwise broad Sunshine Laws.  Florida has amended statute § 812.081, Florida’s criminal trade secret act, to expressly include “financial information” among the examples of trade secrets.  Citing to such new definition, Florida also amended several other statutes resulting in the exemption of financial information from mandatory disclosure under the Florida Sunshine Laws.

The broadening of the public disclosure exclusion was the result of lobbying from private companies involved in “P3s” – public, private partnerships.  In

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Why is Atlanta the Nation’s Health IT Capital? Here are Atlanta’s 6 Competitive Advantages

March 2nd, 2016
Recent Legal News

The largest Health IT conference in the country – HIMSS, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society – is in Las Vegas from Feb. 29-March 4. Michele Madison and Jonielle Turner of Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP (MMM) are representatives carrying a bold message: Atlanta is proclaiming its rightful role as the epicenter of Health IT.

Click HERE for the full article.

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