Amazon Receives Largest Ever GDPR Penalty

The Luxembourg Data Protection Authority (the “Commission Nationale pour la Protection des Données” or “CNPD”) has issued the largest GDPR financial penalty to date against Inc. Amazon disclosed the $888 Million fine in a July 29, 2021 regulatory filing. Prior to this ruling, the largest GDPR penalty was against Google in the amount of…

Continue reading...

Proposed HIPAA Privacy Rule Amendments

February 19, 2021

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a new Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

In other news...

Trademark Modernization Act of 2020

By Kristen Brooks | Jan 18, 2021

The Trademark Modernization Act of 2020 (TM Act) is included in Subtitle B of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, signed into law on December 27, 2020. This law will make several statutory changes to the Trademark Act; each of these changes will be addressed in further detail below. Third-Party Submissions of Evidence The first…

Read More

The Internet of Things Cybersecurity Act: Upcoming Guidelines for Secure Devices

By Kristen Brooks | Dec 4, 2020

On December 4, 2020, the Internet of Things Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2020 was signed into law. The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the interconnection of, and sharing of information between, devices through a network. This includes essentially any device that has at least one sensor that interacts with the outside world and one…

Read More

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….

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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 if you’d like to be notified when this resource is updated from time to time. Key…

Read More

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…

Read More

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:…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More