Technology Law Source

Q1 2020 drone law update

This is the first quarterly blog post identifying U.S. drone law developments of interest in the legislative, executive and judicial branches, on both the federal and state levels.

U.S. Congress

On Feb. 10, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Protecting Critical Infrastructure Against Drones and Emerging Threats Act (H.R. 4432). The act would require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to establish a mechanism to report unauthorized unmanned aerial systems (UAS) activity over critical infrastructure facilities, and then use that information to develop a threat assessment regarding UAS. The U.S. Senate has referred H.R. 4432 to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

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A BIPA lawsuit! Do we have coverage? Understanding West Bend Mutual v. Krishna

Companies doing business in Illinois are keenly aware of the recent flood of lawsuits alleging violations of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). They know that BIPA lawsuits can be costly to defend. And they understand that if they are found to have mishandled the retention, collection, disclosure or destruction of biometric information, they could face substantial exposure.

Not surprisingly, the first question most companies ask when they learn about a new BIPA lawsuit is: Do we have coverage for that? To answer that question, companies will want to closely review the recent Illinois Appellate Court decision in West Bend Mutual Insurance Co. v. Krishna Schaumburg Tan, Inc., 2020 IL App (1st) 191834. According to that ruling, they might have coverage.

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UPDATE: Kawhi Leonard debuts new shoe amid logo dispute

NBA star Kawhi Leonard debuted his new signature shoe during the 2020 NBA All-Star game on Feb. 16 in Chicago. The shoe from New Balance noticeably does not include the so-called “KL2” or “Klaw” logo because of Leonard’s ongoing legal dispute with Nike, Inc.

Rick Mescher explained Leonard’s lawsuit filed against Nike regarding that logo in his award-winning June 26, 2019 blog, “Kawhi Leonard v. Nike Inc.: How copyrights can trump trademarks.” In the lawsuit, Leonard claimed to be the sole author of the logo. This blog was such an excellent and detailed explanation of the copyright vs. trademark dispute, we are excited to share it won a Burton Award for Distinguished Legal Writing.

Rick followed up that blog with details on Nike’s response to the lawsuit, in the blog, “Kawhi Leonard v. Nike, Inc.: Copy, derivative work or distinct work?” which published on July 17, 2019.

The lawsuit was originally filed in the U.S. District Court Southern District of California. In Oct. 2019, a judge granted Nike’s request to move the suit to federal court in Oregon.

What college student-athletes should be thinking about now before NCAA name, image and likeness rules are released

On October 29, 2019, the NCAA Board of Governors unanimously decided to allow college student-athletes the opportunity to profit for the use of their name, image and likeness. The Board directed the NCAA’s three divisions to consider updates to their rules and regulations to effectuate such a decision. The NCAA announced the decision on the heels of the California Fair Pay to Play Act, which will allow college student-athletes in the State of California to hire agents and be paid for endorsements. While this California law will take effect in 2023, it, along with consideration of similar laws by other states, put pressure on the NCAA to determine an association-wide solution.

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Consumer privacy protection in recent state legislation

Special thanks to Emily Cunningham, Porter Wright law clerk, for her assistance on this article.

Since California passed the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), many states have introduced similar consumer data privacy legislation, but so far only Maine and Nevada have passed legislation successfully. Nevada focuses on internet website operators, whereas Maine focuses on broadband internet access service providers. Both laws are generally narrower than CCPA, although Maine’s law has an opt-in only provision. Continue Reading

Status of CBD products under Ohio law: Update

In our recent post, Status of CBD products under Ohio law: Part one, we discussed the perplexing regulations in Ohio that made it effectively illegal to sell hemp and Cannabidiol (CBD) despite passage of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, otherwise known as the 2018 Farm Bill. That landscape has now changed in Ohio with the passage of Senate Bill 57, signed into law by Governor DeWine on July 30, 2019.

The version of Senate Bill 57 that Governor DeWine signed into law has special emergency provisions making the legislation effective immediately upon signing the bill. This post will examine what Senate Bill 57 does to change Ohio’s legal landscape for hemp and CBD and provides an overview of what Ohioans can expect as the hemp program takes shape in Ohio. Continue Reading

Kawhi Leonard v. Nike, Inc.: Copy, derivative work or distinct work?

On July 17, 2019, Nike, Inc. (Nike) filed its Answer and Counter Claims in response to the complaint previously filed by Kawhi Leonard, now of the Los Angeles Clippers. Read about the complaint in our previous post, Kawhi Leonard v. Nike Inc.: How copyrights can trump trademarks?

In its Answer, Nike asks for a declaration that Nike is the sole owner of copyrights in the modified “KL2” logo, a finding that Kawhi’s use of the modified “KL2” logo infringes the copyrights owned by Nike, cancellation of Kawhi’s copyright registration to the modified “KL2” logo due to fraud in his copyright application, and a finding that Kawhi breached the “Men’s Pro Basketball Contract” he entered into with Nike on October 26, 2011. Continue Reading

The GDPR: A year in review

On May 25, 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) became effective across the European Union. The GDPR is a regulation designed to give EU residents control over their personal data and simplify the regulatory framework for international organizations doing business in the EU. In its infancy, it was not entirely clear how the GDPR would be enforced. Now, one year later, the regulation is beginning to show some teeth.

For individual consumers, the GDPR likely calls to mind last year’s flurry of privacy policy email updates from companies scrambling to comply, or perhaps the constant stream of consent pop-ups and cookie banners Europeans navigate on a daily basis when browsing the web. For U.S. companies that do business abroad, however, the GDPR represents a constant struggle to refine their data protection policies, as strict compliance remains an elusive target.

Although many data privacy lawyers disagree on whether strict compliance with the GDPR is even possible, recent enforcement measures have shed some light on how the regulation may be enforced in the future. A review of last year’s enforcement actions should help companies avoid unnecessary penalties and inform them what to expect going forward. Continue Reading

Kawhi Leonard v. Nike Inc.: How copyrights can trump trademarks?

On Monday, May 3, 2019, in the midst of the NBA finals, Kawhi Leonard of the Toronto Raptors filed a lawsuit against Nike, Inc. (Nike) in the US District Court Southern District of California. The complaint asks the Court for a declaration that Kawhi is the sole author of the “KL2” logo, that his use of that logo does not infringe the rights of Nike, and that Nike committed fraud in its copyright application. The “KL2” logo is sometimes referred to as the “Klaw” logo which is a nickname for Kawhi. Kawhi owns US trademark registration number 5608427 for the “KL2” logo for use with apparel. However, Nike owns US copyright registration number VA0002097900 for the “KL2” logo.

Kawhi KL2 logo

Trademark Reg. No. 5608427

See our update in part two, Kawhi Leonard v. Nike, Inc.: Copy, derivative work or distinct work?. Continue Reading

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