On June 30, 2015, Connecticut’s governor signed into law an amendment to the state’s data-security-breach-notice statute to mandate ‘appropriate’ identity theft prevention services for breaches involving social security numbers. Identity theft mitigation services are also required ‘if applicable’, e.g., if identify theft actually occurs. The services must be provided at no cost and for at least 12 months. The statute does not explain which identity theft ‘prevention’ or ‘mitigation’ services are mandated or which are ‘appropriate.’
On 15 June 2015 the European Council published its final proposed text for the new General Data Protection Regulation. The Regulation is being adopted to provide legal certainty and transparency for businesses and to provide individuals with the same level of rights and obligations in all EU Member States.
To read the full alert, click here.
‘Make Every UK Ad a Responsible Ad’
On 27 May, the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) and the Committee for Advertising Practice (CAP) published their Annual Report for 2014. The Annual Report emphasises the ASA and CAP’s continuing work to implement the strategy unveiled during 2014. This strategy aims to ‘make every UK ad a responsible ad’ through the following five strands:
On January 7, 2015 the Court of Appeal of Milan (Court of Appeal) rendered a relevant judgment on a dispute involving Yahoo! Italia S.r.l and Yahoo! Inc. vs. Reti Televisive Italiane S.p.A. (RTI), one of Italy’s major broadcasters. RTI sued Yahoo! Italia S.r.l. and Yahoo! Inc. (Yahoo!) because of the reproduction of RTI’s copyrighted videos on the Yahoo! Video-sharing platform (Yahoo! Video Italia). RTI requested the removal of such videos and the implementation by Yahoo! of a filtering and blocking system in order to detect and prevent any infringement of copyright. The Court of Appeal concluded that the hosting provider is only exclusively responsible if it takes active part in the uploading activity or is aware of the unlawful content or use of the material and does not erase them.
Twenty years ago, the social media world we now live in was the stuff of science fiction. Today, social media is a critical business tool creating unprecedented opportunities for direct consumer interaction, brand awareness, checking the pulse of key constituents and so much more. This incredible opportunity is not risk-free, however, and is the subject of new laws, application of old laws to new situations, and a significant amount of murkiness. Fortunately, the risks can be managed by considering the issues created by social media and that begins with asking the right questions. Please click here to view a discussion of ten important questions every business can start with to better benefit from its social media presence.
Can you Register a Rallying cry or Trending Slogan as a Trade Mark in Australia?
Following the Charlie Hebdo massacre, supporters of free speech and freedom of expression rallied behind the phrase JE SUIS CHARLIE. Within two days, “#jesuischarlie” had been tweeted over five million times. Less than a week after the shooting, trade mark applications for both “Charlie Hebdo” and “jesuischarlie” were filed in Australia. This follows as many as 50 applications for the phrase in France and similar applications in the United States, European Union and Belgium. Read More
In our last Big Data blog posting, we cautioned that the protection of the intellectual property rights (IP) in Big Data may warrant its own focus. While there are legitimate concerns about finding IP in data, because data may be an inert lump of code, bits, or pieces of information, it is worthwhile to think about the different kinds of IP that arise in conjunction with and in the context of Big Data. This blog entry focuses on the IP opportunities ‘in relation to’ Big Data.
“Speak softly and carry a big stick” connotes a policy of beginning gently but holding a decisive weapon in reserve. Big Data doesn’t do that. When Big Data ‘speaks,’ it tends to blurt out its conclusion and can have an immediate impact, deserved or undeserved, because Big Data is not based on careful statistical sampling and is not aimed at determining causation. Big Data correlates masses of good, bad and indifferent data, ie, it can be ‘messy’ and its correlations are not necessarily accurate relative to a desired question. So what will happen when ‘the data’ indicates an outcome that people believe or act on because the ‘data says so?’ That is the topic of this blog. Read More
Airbus filed a suite of patent applications recently, one of which includes a futuristic looking new concept for a passenger aircraft.
Dubbed the ‘flying doughnut’, and looking like a craft one would expect to see only in a science fiction movie, the aircraft features a circular cabin accessed via a cavity in the middle, contained in the middle of a giant triangular wing.
The aircraft design allows for a wider passenger cabin than traditional passenger aircrafts, with the circular cabin making the most of the greater width. An important advantage of this new aircraft is that the circular cabin is better able to withstand pressurisation loads without compromising cabin space.
It has been a bumper week for IP decisions in Australia. Earlier, we reported on the Coke v Pepsi and Cantarella decisions. Now, in a third major judgment, the Federal Court of Australia (Federal Court) has refused registration of Apple’s trade mark application for APP STORE in Australia.
Apple Inc. v Registrar of Trade Marks  FCA 1304 was an appeal from a decision by the Registrar of Trade Marks (Registrar). The Registrar found that the trade mark APP STORE was ‘purely’, ‘directly’ or ‘inherently’ descriptive, as it would be well understood by modern digital-savvy consumers to refer to a ‘store’ that sells or provides ‘apps’. Read More