Proposed HIPAA Privacy Rule Amendments

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a new Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on January 21, 2021 which is currently open for comment until March 21, 2021. This proposed rule constitutes the most recent step in HHS’s “Regulatory Sprint to Coordinated Care,” and is intended to improve care coordination and case management…

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Trademark Modernization Act of 2020

January 18, 2021

The Trademark Modernization Act of 2020 (TM Act) is included in Subtitle B of the Consolidated Appropriations…

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Update on Patentability of Digital Designs

January 8, 2021

On December 21, 2020, the USPTO issued a request for comments on whether its interpretation of the…

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In other news...

Biotechnology Regulation in the United States: Genetically Engineered Animals

By Kristen Brooks | Nov 20, 2020

The field of biotechnology has grown tremendously in recent years. With the advancement of science and the changes in the legal protections granted to these advancements, the industry has been enabled and encouraged to truly take off. Since the Supreme Court opened the way for granting patent protection to genetically modified organisms in Diamond v….

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USPTO Increases Trademark Filing Fees

By Kristen Brooks | Nov 17, 2020

The USPTO released a final rule detailing increases for trademark fees that will be effective January 2, 2021. This will increase application and renewal fees as follows: Application and application-related fees TEAS Standard: $350 per classUp from $275 per class TEAS Plus: $250 per class Up from $225 per class Processing fee for failing to meet…

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California Privacy Rights Act of 2020 Approved

By Aaron Brooks | Oct 20, 2020

UPDATE: On November 3, 2020, California voters approved Proposition 24, causing the California Privacy Rights Act of 2020 to become law when the California Secretary of State has certified the election results. While much of CPRA will not become operative until 2023, several key provisions become effective right away. Perhaps most importantly, California now has…

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Schrems II Resources and References

By Aaron Brooks | Oct 10, 2020

This post is intended to serve as a running list of key articles, resources, and primary law associated with Data Protection Commissioner v Facebook Ireland and Maximillian Schrems (Case C-311/18) EU:C:2020:559, commonly referred to as “Schrems II.” Please email hello@brooksfirm.law if you’d like to be notified when this resource is updated from time to time. Key…

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U.S. May Impose Sanctions for Making or Facilitating Ransomware Payments

By Aaron Brooks | Oct 2, 2020

The United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has issued an advisory warning against making ransomware payments related to cyberattacks. The OFAC warning, issued on October 1, 2020, notes that demands for ransomware payments has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, and makes clear that such payments are a threat to…

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Microsoft Dives into Underwater Datacenter Research

By Aaron Brooks | Sep 26, 2020

In August of 2014 Microsoft began work on Project Natick, a research initiative focused on building and deploying underwater datacenters. Now, a datacenter that’s been 117 feet under the ocean’s surface for two years is providing a first look at what the future of offshore datacenter networks might look like. According to Project Natick’s website:…

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Post-Quantum Cryptography: The New Legal Standard For Protecting Highly Sensitive Data

By Aaron Brooks | Aug 18, 2020

On August 22, 2019, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) hosted its Second Post-Quantum Cryptography Standardization Conference. The core purpose of this Conference series was to standardize one or more quantum-resistant public-key cryptographic algorithms. This is significant, and requires the attention of any legal professional who is engaged in documenting compliance procedures associated…

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Information Durability In Data Storage Agreements

By Aaron Brooks | Aug 18, 2020

Digital storage systems raise a number of legal issues that are challenging, yet manageable if they are fully understood. One such issue is managing the durability of electronic data when the original paper document is no longer available to remaster the digital image if it were to become lost or inaccessible. Paper is a physical…

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Thoughts on Cloud Service Agreements

By Aaron Brooks | Aug 15, 2020

The terms “cloud computing” and “cloud storage” are generally used to describe any system of managing or storing data that is not dependent upon a single device or computer. “Cloud computing” usually means that the data can be accessed over the Internet, and frequently means that the data is stored on a server that is…

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