In a highly awaited software copyright decision, the U.S. Supreme Court recently held that Google LLC’s copying of Oracle’s Java application programming interface (API) is a fair use as a matter of law. Java is a programming language and computing platform originally developed by Sun Microsystems, Inc., which was acquired by Oracle America, Inc. in 2009. Java is popular and widely used in many applications such as laptops, game consoles, supercomputers, mobile phones and websites because it provides clear and consistent code.
With Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s signature on March 2, 2021, Virginia, a bit surprisingly, became the second state to set comprehensive rules for how companies handle and share personal information. Virginia’s Consumer Data Protection Act (CDPA) will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2023, incidentally the same day as the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), a ballot measure that will strengthen the landmark California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). While Virginia’s CDPA and California’s CCPA share several features, each law takes a somewhat different approach.
To start the year, New York lawmakers reintroduced the Biometric Privacy Act – Assembly Bill 27. The bill closely mirrors Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), which has spawned compliance changes and hundreds of class action lawsuits, with some resulting in multimillion dollar settlements.
A version of this article was originally published by Law360 on Oct. 21, 2020.
Depending on whom you ask, the promise of smart contracts ranges from the mundane to the fantastic—from helping to “facilitate, verify, execute and enforce the terms of a commercial agreement”[i] to ushering in the end of contract law by providing a technological alternative to the legal system.[ii] Smart contracts have already been used in connection with real estate transactions,[iii] bank bonds,[iv] interbank transfers,[v] invoice financing,[vi] and homeowners, renters, pet, and flight-delay insurance.[vii] B3i Services AG, an insurance startup owned by 20 of the world’s largest insurers and reinsurers,[viii] released an application that uses smart contracts to allow participants to “negotiate terms, agree on rates and complete contract placements.”[ix] By February 2020, nine insurers, four major brokerage firms, and eight reinsurers had concluded 30 reinsurance contracts through the application, including, according to B3i, “some of the world’s most complex Catastrophe Excess of Loss (XoL) reinsurance treaties.”[x]
Two recent district court opinions addressed issues of personal jurisdiction and standing under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). BIPA imposes a number of requirements on those who obtain a person’s biometric data, including those set forth in Section 15(a), requiring those in possession of biometric data to develop a publicly available written policy regarding the retention and destruction of biometric data in their possession, in Section 15(b), requiring that each person be provided with required disclosures and obtaining that person’s written release prior to acquiring that data, and in Section 15(c), which prohibits those in possession of biometric data from selling or profiting from that data, or disclosing that data to third parties.
After filing applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) nearly eight years ago, Booking.com, the travel registration website known for its punny commercial tagline, celebrated victory on June 30, 2020. In an 8-1 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court found that the trademark BOOKING.COM is not generic, and therefore eligible for registration.
With an eye toward supporting the fast-moving research and development process of COVID-19 treatments, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has announced two new programs aimed at expediting review of certain mark and patent applications. Under each program, applicants must demonstrate that the product or process is directly correlated to COVID-19.
A major portion of the sweeping John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (NDAA) that impacts federal contracts will take effect in August 2020. Section 889 prohibits the federal government from directly procuring “any equipment, system or service that uses covered telecommunications equipment or services as a substantial or essential component of any system, or as critical technology as a part of any system” or entering into a contract with any entity that uses such covered telecommunications equipment or services.
On April 24, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held in Bryant v. Compass Group USA, Inc. that plaintiffs lack standing to assert in federal courts claims arising under Section 15(a) of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) for failing to develop a publicly available policy for the retention and destruction of biometric data, because they do not incur actual damages as a result of the violation. Although the immediate effect of this procedural ruling is that plaintiffs cannot assert claims under Section 15(a) in federal courts within the Seventh Circuit, courts may rely on the ruling to apply Illinois’ two-year statute of limitation to state court actions asserting claims under Section 15(a), and hold that actions under this section are not insurable as a matter of law.
It is simple enough: press record and you can easily share your internal video conference call, re-watch it later, or forget it and move on. You move on until you receive a discovery request or a subpoena for information if the company is sued. Now, your internal video call is discoverable and may be seen by those outside your intended viewership.